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Advancement Team

Meet the Advancement Team

Tom Ziemnick

Vice President of Advancement

As Vice President for Advancement, Tom Ziemnick oversees all of PHC’s fundraising, development, communications, and marketing efforts.
Tom has spent the last twenty years in professional sales, management, and development positions, including the last six at Patrick Henry College. He became the Assistant Vice President for Advancement in 2008, and accepted the appointment as Vice President in 2013.
Tom has many passions in life, including his love of aviation. He is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, earning a B.S. in Professional Aeronautics, and Emery Aviation College, obtaining an A.O.S. Certificate in Aviation Technology. He began his professional career as a flight instructor for Emery Aviation College in Colorado. Airplanes and aviation are still important to him, but those passions have been supplanted by an unabashed love of Christ, his family, the education of his children, and the mission and vision of Patrick Henry College.
Tom and his wife, Nancy, learned about PHC when they met Mike Farris in 2003, just after they decided to homeschool their children. Living in California, they became convinced that PHC was the right place at the right time for this country.
“We just knew, and firmly believed that God was at work at PHC. So we began to support it financially. That’s one reason it has always been easy for me to talk to donors. For the most part, they’re just like us. As I like to say, PHC is in our DNA.”
Tom grew up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, so he’s proud to be a Yooper. In his spare time, if he’s not on the basketball or tennis court with some of the PHC students, he’s out enjoying the traditions of hunting and firearms he grew up with back home.


Paul Devamithran

Assistant Director of Development

As Assistant Director of Development for Patrick Henry College, Paul Devamithran is responsible for cultivating the College’s relationship with supporters and alumni. Paul is a native of Northern Virginia.
Prior to joining PHC staff in the Fall of 2013, Paul worked abroad. His first job abroad was in London where he worked in the advocacy department of a Christian human rights & religious liberty non-profit. Paul later worked in Colombo, Sri Lanka for 6 months as a ghostwriter and executive aid to a Member of the Sri Lankan Parliament.
Paul studied International Politics while attending PHC. During his time as an on-campus student, Paul worked for Campus Security and served as the Student Body Vice President and captain of the soccer and mock trial teams. At Commencement 2012, Paul was the recipient of the Patrick Henry College Alumni Award for Outstanding Community Service.

Ryan Gilles

Development Officer

As a Development Officer, Ryan is responsible for building the college’s ongoing relationship with supporters and alumni. Ryan hails from Chicago, Illinois.

Before joining the advancement team, Ryan spent a year and a half overseas working with an international non-profit organization as part of a traveling media team. He visited 15 different countries to document various aid and community development efforts and share stories of hope through writing and photography. Upon returning, he continued working for the organization doing communications and recruitment.

Ryan graduated from Patrick Henry College in 2012 with a degree in Journalism. While on campus, Ryan was a part of the online student newspaper editorial team and wrote for a foreign affairs news outlet in Washington, DC. Ryan also participated in Model United Nations and Mock Trial and served on the campus security team and the student senate.


Cecilia Sanchez

Advancement Services Coordinator & Executive Assistant to the VP for Advancement

As an Executive Assistant and Advancement Services Coordinator Cecilia shepherds the college’s direct mail program and works closely with donors and the Board of Trustees. Cecilia also assists with advancement events and serves as the Vice President of Advancement’s Executive Assistant. Cecilia’s first experience at PHC was in 2006-2007 during PHC Summer camps, in which she attended Strategic Intelligence and Leadership Camps. Cecilia is a 2013 and 2016 graduate of Liberty University holding degrees in Worship and Music Studies: Biblical Studies and a Master of Arts in Religion: Leadership Studies. Prior to joining the Advancement Team, Cecilia served as a Resident Assistant and Women’s Leadership Graduate Assistant at Liberty University.