Meet the Cabinet
Daniel Bennett, Ph.D.
Daniel Bennett is Montreat College’s vice president for student services and dean of students, a position he has held since 2014. From 2006 to 2014, Dr. Bennett guided many student life teams and co-curricular programming initiatives at Montreat College, including student activities, residence life, chapel and convocation, student services, student conduct, and student government. Prior to arriving at Montreat, he served for three years in career services at Wheaton College, where he focused on developing synergetic partnerships along with transition programming for seniors and young alumni. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science at Biola University, master’s degrees in educational ministries and theology from Wheaton College, and his Ph.D. in educational leadership from Clemson University.
Jack Heinen, M.B.A.
Jack Heinen is Montreat College’s vice president for finance and administration, a position he has held since October 2014. He has over 30 years of experience in financial management and strategic planning, having held high-ranking positions at both for-profit and non-profit institutions. Prior to coming to Montreat, Heinen served for seven years as chief financial officer for Grand Valley Health Corporation in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has also been the chief financial officer for Michigan-based Advance Radiology Services, a financial manager for the Christian Reformed Church in North America, and was a high-ranking financial executive at the Pillsbury Company. Heinen earned his bachelor’s in business administration from Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, and his master’s of business administration from Harvard Business School.
Joe B. Kirkland, M.A.
Joe B. Kirkland is counselor to the president at Montreat College, a position he has held since 2015. Before assuming his current position, he served as senior vice president, interim president, and vice president for advancement. Prior to coming to Montreat College, Kirkland served as associate vice president for stewardship for Lancaster Bible College (LBC). Prior to joining LBC in 2000, he had a 25-year career with three major department store chains, including managerial and executive positions at McRae’s, The May Corporation, and The Bon-Ton. Kirkland earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern Mississippi, his master’s in biblical studies at LBC, and an honorary doctorate from LBC.
Jose Larios is Montreat College’s Vice President for Enrollment Management and Athletics, a position he has held since 2020. His career includes more than 22 years of coaching, recruiting, and administrative experience at three different CCCU institutions. He served as both a head cross country and track and field coach (2007-2010) and athletics director (2014-2020) at Montreat College. Under his leadership, the athletics department achieved remarkable improvements in academic and athletic success, recruiting and retention, as well as the most student-athlete participation in the history of the college. He also led the construction of the Athletic Complex and Pulliam Stadium, the renovation of the McAlister Fitness Center, and the Newell Baseball Field turf project. He was named Appalachian Athletic Conference Athletics Director of the Year for 2018-19. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education from Warner University. He serves the Black Mountain and Montreat communities alongside his wife, Heather, and their four children: Hanna, Emma, Sara, and Gabriel.
David Poole, Ed.D.
Dr. David Poole brings more than 38 years of experience in higher education and business. Throughout his career, he served as an executive leader and faculty member, providing oversight for a variety of areas including enrollment management, academic affairs, information technology, marketing, advancement, and institutional operations. He most recently served as President of the University of Mount Olive (UMO) in North Carolina. Before his appointment at UMO, Dr. Poole served as Vice President for Online and Professional Studies and Associate Professor of Leadership and Management at California Baptist University and was responsible for university-wide information technology services and all academic and administrative management of online, hybrid and education center programs for this nationally ranked division within the University that served 4,000 students in 37 states. Under his leadership, CBU increased adult enrollment from 589 students to 2,370 students – 24% of the total university enrollment – in seven years. He received both his Master of Science in Administration and Technology and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Pepperdine University. He completed his Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership at California State University Fullerton and is a graduate of the Harvard Institute for Educational Management.