CWU News

Auxiliary Enterprises executive director named chair of national committee

Joseph Pearson, executive director of Auxiliary Enterprises at CWU, has been selected to chair the membership committee for the National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS).

Pearson has been a NACAS member since 2012 and has previously served on several committees, including this year’s C3X national conference planning committee and the west regional conference planning committee. He also was the vice chair of the national membership committee over the past year. 

“My specific role will be to lead and coordinate the efforts of the membership committee, which comprises a representative from each region as well as at-large members,” Pearson said.

The membership committee is one of nine committees. The committee chairs and the NACAS board meet regularly to talk about issues related to the association. 

For Pearson, the goal of this committee is twofold: recruitment and retention. The membership committee seeks to explore ways it can enhance the value of the NACAS membership for participants.

“We consider questions such as how to grow the association, and as we grow, how to continue to provide value to the membership,” he said. “As the chair, I get to help influence those conversations.”

As an international organization, NACAS has participating universities in Canada, Mexico, and other countries. Pearson said he would like to focus on growth with these groups. Specifically, he plans to invite more universities from Mexico to be active participants in the association. 

Pearson believes it is essential for university leaders to participate in national associations because the experiences often result in essential cross-university partnerships. 

“One of the things about being an active participant,” he said, “is that I get to interface with colleagues from all over the country who are either dealing with the same issues that we are or have unique or creative ideas for how to solve common problems, or innovative ways to provide services.” 

An added benefit is that Pearson’s participation in NACAS also will help raise CWU’s profile nationally.

“As a leader in a national association, ‘Central Washington University’ will be after my name everywhere it’s listed,” Pearson said. “So I am representing the university on the national stage.”

In addition to serving on the membership committee, Pearson was invited by the organization to lend his expertise to review the Certified Auxiliary Service Professional (CASP) exam as a subject matter expert. This certification offers the opportunity to auxiliary professionals to be recognized for their knowledge in the field. 

“Every campus auxiliary unit is different,” he said. “But the exam covers basics of finances and leadership of retail, food service, bookstores, parking, student development, housing, student leadership, and management.” 

A small group of experts has been invited to review the questions to ensure that the exam accurately reflects the current state of the business of auxiliary services. 

“I’m really excited and honored to be chosen to represent the association in that effort,” Pearson said.

During his nearly three years at CWU, Pearson has developed a bold vision for Auxiliary Enterprises: to be recognized for excellence by the university community at the state and national levels. Auxiliary Enterprises includes Dining and Catering Services, Wildcat Printing, the Wildcat Shop and Central Access, Testing Services, the Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC), Auxiliary Marketing, and the Wildcat Neighborhood Farm. 

Since Pearson’s arrival at CWU, Auxiliary Enterprises has gone through many changes. Dining and Catering Services have been combined and a new Dining Services director, Dean Masuccio, was hired last year. 

The Wildcat Neighborhood Farm is another new addition to campus and is just wrapping up its first production year. The Auxiliary Marketing team was created to help tell the story and move efforts forward. The unit is in the process of developing a mission, vision, and strategies statement. 

Auxiliary Enterprises also partners with Housing and Residence Life, particularly on large capital projects. Most recently, they were involved in the grand opening of Dugmore Hall and Northside Commons, which have transformed the northwest end of campus. 

“It was a big undertaking, it took a lot of time, and I’m very proud of the results of that effort,” said Pearson, adding that all of these efforts are to enhance the experience of CWU students and the university community. “It was a great partnership.”

Media contact: David Leder, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,