Gabriel J. Esparza and Khalif J. Rhodes, both of Charlotte, have been appointed by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners to the Central Piedmont Community College Board of Trustees.
Esparza is a seasoned executive with more than 25 years of experience leading businesses spanning both large corporations and nimble start-ups. He serves as both advisor and investor in a variety of entrepreneurial ventures. In one notable example, he played an integral part of the success story at RapidSOS a gov-tech platform that radically transformed the way people communicate with 911, making it a data-driven experience that transmits precise location and other critical information to first responders.
Esparza's term on the Central Piedmont board runs through June 2023. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in International Relations and Psychology from Stanford University.
Rhodes is an attorney and founder of The Rhodes Firm, PLLC. He established the firm in 2012, after earning his J.D. and LL.M., from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. During his tenure at The Rhodes Firm, he has assisted various small to medium-sized businesses in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate compliance and due diligence. In 2017, he was appointed the Chief Magistrate of the 26th Judicial District. Under his guidance, Mecklenburg County attempted to address the significant disparities in the criminal justice system. He was a part of a team that re-wrote Mecklenburg County's bail policy.
Rhodes' appointment as a Central Piedmont Trustee runs through June 2025. In addition to his law degrees, he earned a BA in Political Science from Pennsylvania State University.
"I am excited to welcome Mr. Esparza and Mr. Rhodes to the Central Piedmont Board of Trustees," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "This is an important period in the history of the college as we endeavor to help so many Mecklenburg County residents rebuild their careers or start their higher education journeys in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The college will rely on its Board of Trustees for experienced insight and wise counsel."