During one terrible meeting in 1997(?), when trustee Frogue made groundless accusatory remarks about a colleague, I yelled at him, calling him a "coward." Lombardi didn't seem to mind. At the end of the meeting, as he shuffled through the crowd out the door, Lombardi looked at me and said, "I like your style," or something to that effect.
He served in several capacities in our district, starting with his gig as Superintendent in September of 1974. (See article below.) He became district chancellor in 1981 but left for a job in the private sector in 1982. In 1990, he returned, serving as acting vice chancellor for human resources for one year. Then he left for a gig at the College of the Sequoias. He was selected as chancellor of the Saddleback Community College District in 1994. He finally left the district in March of 1998 (by then, it was the SOCCCD). Lombardi was succeeded by Cedric Sampson.
According to a Feb. 5, 1994 LA Times article (Former Chancellor Back at Saddleback), Lombardi was chosen to serve as Chancellor, for the second time. (He was the unanimous choice among six finalists.)
The article explained Lombardi’s history with the district:
Lombardi has a long history with Saddleback. He was superintendent-president from 1974 to 1981 and was named chancellor in 1981 when the district reorganized to a multi-campus arrangement.According to a Dec. 16, 1997 Times article (here), Lombardi left his post at the district in March of 1998.
During his tenure, Saddleback's enrollment quadrupled to 30,000 and its number of class sections increased from 500 to 2,500. To accommodate the county's growth, the district also added a campus in Irvine.
Lombardi left the district in 1982 to take a job as vice president of Datascan, a firm with a division in Irvine that developed educational computer programs.
. . .
But in 1990, Lombardi returned to Saddleback for a one-year assignment as acting vice chancellor of human resources. The following year he was hired for the top position at College of the Sequoias.
. . .
Lombardi replaces Richard Sneed, who retired in August. Anna L. McFarlin, president of Irvine Valley College, has been serving as interim chancellor.