Cambridge West Partnership, LLC

Education ▪ Facilities ▪ Fiscal ▪ Technology

our team

C.M. Brahmbhatt

Managing Director

Mr. Brahmbhatt has been serving the educational community for 35 years. Twenty-four of those years were spent with the Coast Community College District as the Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services. C.M. holds a Lifetime Community College Chief Administrator Office Credential as well as a Lifetime Community College Supervisor Credential. He also received the 2010 Walter Star Robie Award from the Association of Chief Business Officers of CCC. C.M.'s career has granted him expertise in financial management, administrative services, cost savings, bond programs, State mandate compliance, capital construction/ facility planning, and finance resourcing.   

George Walters

Director of Operations

George Walters has served 17 plus years in California Community Colleges. During his career, he has served as a faculty member, Dean of Instruction and as Vice President of Administrative Services. As the Chief Business Officer of Barstow Community College District, Mr. Walters provided district wide leadership in risk management, capital projects, facilities, budget and finance, IT, maintenance and operations and auxiliary services.  In addition to providing a campus-wide operational perspective to strategic planning projects, Mr. Walters brings over a decade of experience in industrial arts and career and technical education.  

Deborah Ludford

Director of Technology

After starting her career in the private sector in IT, Deborah started her 30 year education career as a Professor. She has served as President of the Academic Senate, Dean of Business and Computer Information Systems at two institutions, and as the Chief Information Systems Officer for two college Districts. Deborah is currently on the Board for CENIC, Past President and Executive Director of the Certification program for the Chief Information Systems Officers Association (CISOA) and serves on the Ellucian Executive Advisory Committee (EAC). Deborah served on the SSSP MIS Revision and Funding Formula Workgroup for credit and non-credit. Deborah has been an Accreditation Liaison Officer at two institutions and has served on numerous Accreditation teams.

Dr. Fred Trapp

 Senior Associate 

Dr. Trapp has extensive experience in working with faculty and deans on curriculum design and development, orchestrating schedules of classes, completing unit plans, conducting program reviews, assessing student learning outcomes, and evaluating institutional effectiveness. Dr. Trapp has provided institutional research support in a variety of topics. He has acted as leader in roles pertaining to accreditation self-studies and has served on numerous teams on behalf of the Accrediting Commission. 

Ardith Richey

Senior Associate

Ms. Richey has wide-ranging experience in facilities planning and coordination of construction projects, capital outlay projects, scheduled maintenance and master planning. Sixteen of the 28 years spent at Coast Community College District were as the Director of Facilities & Planning. Ardith’s experience includes successful relationships with the Chancellor’s Office, Division of State Architect, local cities and the college community. Ms. Richey is a primary resource for planning, development, construction scheduling, infrastructure and scheduled maintenance projects. 

Dr. Linda Lacy

 Senior Associate

Dr. Lacy’s 40 years in education include 29 years in the California community college system as faculty, dean of student services, vice president, vice chancellor of student services and operations and 8 years as a college president. Dr. Lacy’s education includes an Ed.D. in Education from Oklahoma State University; M.A. in Education from Central State University, Oklahoma; and B.A in Science from Oklahoma State University. During her career, Dr. Lacy held numerous statewide positions of leadership, was active in the communities she served, and received numerous awards for her leadership and service. In 2015, Dr. Lacy was honored with the California State Assembly Distinguished Woman of the Year Award.

Chris Yatooma



Chris has spent over 20 years working for the community colleges. He started as a budget analyst with the Department of Finance working as the Governor’s fiscal and policy consultant on community colleges. He spent thirteen years with the state Chancellor’s Office working on budgets and apportionments for the system as the Director Fiscal Services. He also spent six years working as the Vice President of Administrative Services at two community college districts. 

Jim Austin

Senior Associate

Mr. Austin has over twenty years of California Community Colleges experience, including the position of Acting Vice Chancellor of Finance and Facilities for the CCC Chancellor’s Office. His experience also includes ten years of teaching in San Diego State University’s Educational Leadership doctoral program, and a financial analyst role with ACCJC. Other career achievements include: selection as the 2011 Walter Star Robie Honoree, president of ACBO, and service on the Consultation Council for the California Community Colleges.   

Deborah DiThomas

Senior Associate

Dr. DiThomas has over 18 years working in the California Community College System. She served Riverside CCD as the Dean of Matriculation for five years, and afterword functioned in a variety of positions including VP of Student Services, Associate Vice Chancellor Student Services & Operations, and Interim President, Norco College. She also served as President of Barstow CCD for four years. Before entering the CCC System, Deborah was a teacher in the K-12 system for seventeen years. She holds an Ed.D in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University.

Pete Cruz


Pete Cruz has over 30 years of audit and financial analysis experience. He served in various managerial capacities at North Orange County Community College District, Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and Atlantic Richfield. Pete was involved in audit projects that freed up significant funds augmenting the operational efficiency and effectiveness of various agencies. He is also instrumental in developing effective policies and procedures that solidify workflows. In all, he has a vast experience in working effectively with people. Pete obtained his Master of Business Administration from Syracuse University in New York.

Karen Cant


Karen Cant served the California Community Colleges in various roles during a 37-year career. For ten years she was the Vice President of Administrative Services at Cypress College. In this position she performed as the College Business Officer responsible administrative support services including fiscal management, budget development/control, contract and grant administration, personnel operations, and facilities planning. She was also responsible for community outreach, planning, and pre-construction services for Measure J local bond program. Prior to this she served as the Vice President of Educational Support and Planning.

Kevin McElroy


Kevin J. McElroy recently retired from the Foothill-De Anza Community College District (FHDA) where he served as vice chancellor of Business Services from August 2010 to December 2018. Prior to his senior leadership position at FHDA, Mr. McElroy worked for the Coast Community College District for 25 years as the vice president of Administrative Services at Coastline Community College and a fiscal affairs supervisor at Golden West College. 

Mr. McElroy has extensive knowledge and experience managing budget and finance and was responsible for overseeing all business policies and procedures for the Foothill-De Anza district. He is consensus builder who works successfully in the shared governance environment. 

Pradip Brahmbhatt

Associate/Office Manager

Mr. Brahmbhatt has spent over ten years working in the California Community College system, having previously served as an Associate in the Facilities Department of Coast Community College District. While there, Pradip was responsible for coordinating construction projects at all three colleges in the district, preparing quarterly Measure M reports, and managing the software infrastructure of the Department. While at Coast CCD, Mr. Brahmbhatt created a network system for district employees & constituents to digitally access architectural and construction drawings & documents at all three colleges.

Henry Eggers

Technology Services Associate

Working in county government and the private sector in large data centers gave Henry the foundation for a 31-year career in higher education. Henry has held numerous positions in infrastructure, system administration and networking. In addition, Henry was a faculty member in computer applications, networking and system administration in higher education for 7 years. Most notable is Henry’s experience in building data centers, disaster recovery/business continuity facilities and engineering software, hardware, and network solutions to meet the needs of students in a multi-campus institution. 

Linda Welz

Technology Services Associate

With 15 years in software development and assurance, process engineering and systems engineering in software and mission operations at U.C. Berkeley, Chevron Geosciences, California Institute of Technology and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Linda embarked on a career in higher education. Serving for the last 21 years in higher education Linda has held roles in process engineering, systems implementation and as a Chief Information Systems Officer at two institutions. Linda’s experience includes implementation of two different Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) Systems at two institutions, process and software engineering to assure the best use of the ERP Systems and management of operations to support both college administrative and educational technology needs.

Louise M. Straling

Louise was privileged to start working for Golden West College in 1997. She started as an Accounting Technician, Senior and worked her way up to the Director of Fiscal Services. During that time, Louise helped to implement new software systems, developed new charts of accounts, oversaw the $65 million College General Fund budget, Measure C Funding, Categorical Program accounting as well as the accounting and financial statements for all college Auxiliary Operations. 

 Louise’s love and passion for the Community College System brought her out of retirement in 2014 when she returned to the System as the Manager of Fiscal Services at Irvine Valley College. During her time with South Orange County Community College District, Louise helped train the campus on their new software, Workday, manage the budget of the college, oversee and help the categorical programs, and write the finance accreditation piece for the college.