Western Governors University (WGU) announced the appointment of Katin Keirstead to the WGU Northeast Alumni Advisory Council. As a nonprofit, accredited online, competency-based university, WGU established the Council to grow and strengthen the university’s connections with key stakeholders in the region. Comprised of leaders and influencers from a variety of sectors in the northeast, they also will provide counsel on the most effective ways WGU can meet its core mission to expand access to career-relevant post-secondary educational opportunities that are respected by employers, by other academic institutions, and by policymakers from Maine to Virginia.
Keirstead is a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) and holds a B.S. in Business management from Western Governors University. She is currently serving as the vice president of franchise operations at Planet Fitness World Headquarters, where she plays a pivotal role in providing strategic oversight. In this capacity, she leads a high-performing team dedicated to developing cutting-edge operations training systems and a nationally acclaimed competency-based leadership development program. Keirstead’s expertise and guidance have contributed to the franchise operations team’s exceptional performance in offering consultative support to the franchisee base of one of the fastest growing health club franchises in the U.S.
“We are thrilled to have Katinjoin our Advisory Council during this important time when so many people need higher education opportunities to align with employer and industry needs,” said WGU Regional Vice President Rebecca L. Watts, Ph.D. “Katin’sleadership in franchise operations, and her knowledge of how WGU can help advance and train the workforce in her areas, will be an immense asset.
“We know she will provide great insight as we work to advance our mission of changing lives for the better by creating pathways to opportunity.”
Said Keirstead, “WGU provided a flexible and affordable opportunity to complete my degree, while working full-time and running a small business. The university’s innovative approach to learning, coupled with their dedication to supporting non-traditional students like myself, ensured that I had the necessary resources and guidance to succeed. Through my education at WGU’s College of Business, I acquired a solid foundation that has been instrumental in my professional growth within franchise operations leadership. My current and future career prospects are now much wider and more diverse.”
WGU Northeast Alumni Advisory Council was established in 2020 to provide counsel to Regional Vice President Rebecca Watts on geo-specific needs and trends and to help shape the direction and fulfillment of the university’s mission. With impressive, diverse backgrounds, each Advisory Council member brings experience and expertise that will bolster the university’s ability to serve students and ensure WGU succeeds in its principal purpose: To expand access to affordable higher education through online, competency-based degree programs that address key workforce needs.
WGU offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the in-demand career fields of business, K–12 teacher education, information technology and health professions. For more information about WGU, visit www.wgu.edu.
Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, online, nonprofit WGU now serves more than 145,000 students nationwide and has more than 315,000 graduates in all 50 states. Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. In just 24 years, the university has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families, and preparing the workforce needed in today’s rapidly evolving economy. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and was featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times. Learn more at www.wgu.edu.