The Governors State University College of Business Alumni Hall of Achievement was established in 2019. Candidates are selected through a nomination process based on a record professional and personal achievements. Candidates may be selected for either early career, mid-career, or lifetime achievements.
2023 College of Business Alumni Hall of Achievement Inductees
Lifetime Achievement Award
As one of the first African Americans to work
at Donnelley, Daly continued his education, and, in 1975, earned his
associate’s degree from Prairie State University. Two years later, he earned a
B.A. degree from Governors State College, becoming the first person in his
family to graduate from college. Daly continued his education, earning an
M.B.A. from Loyola University of Chicago in 1980. He continued to work at R.R.
Donnelley, and by the time he left in 2002, he had risen to the position of
president of Donnelley Print Solutions, the largest division of the
organization. Daly was then named president and CEO of Océ-USA Holding,
Incorporated. At Océ, Daly is the first American to run the company’s North
American operations, and the first American to sit on the board of directors of
the Netherlands-based company.
In addition to a lifetime of dedication to his
work, Daly is active in the community as a member of the board of directors of
the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, president of the Leadership Group of Chicago
and a member of the executive council of Metropolis 2020. Daly and his wife,
Delores, have three children.
Dr. Judy L. Mitchell
Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Judy L. Mitchell served as Joliet Junior College's ninth
president. She was unanimously approved as the college’s president by the JJC
Board of Trustees in September 2016; prior to that, she had served in the role
of interim president at the college since March 2016. Mitchell recently retired and was recognized
with President Emerita status at the June 15, 2022, Board of Trustees meeting.
Mitchell serves on various boards, including Silver Cross
Hospital Board, Will County Workforce Investment Board, and Habitat for
Humanity. She is a member of New Lenox
Rotary and Zonta Club of Joliet.
she has led the college budgeting process through the state of Illinois’ fiscal
crisis and helped the college reduce its operating costs by over $2 million
over four years, in addition to encouraging the pursuit of creative revenue
sources like grant dollars to offset operational costs. In FY15, the college
garnered more than $5.4 million in grants to offset operational costs. Fiscal year ’22, Mitchell presented to the
Board of Trustees the 49th balanced budget for the college.
leadership, the college’s financial team was awarded the Government Finance
Officers Association’s (GFOA) Best Practices in Community College Budgeting for
FY20, the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial
reporting. The award is presented annually to colleges based on their budgeting
of resources that promote student achievement.
Mitchell’s leadership, JJC was the 2021 winner in the Advancing Diversity
category from the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). She
presented nationally at the AACC Future Leaders Institute on Bridging the Equity Gap in 2021. JJC has been recognized as a 2022 Most
Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges (MPPWCC) by the publication Diverse: Issues in Higher Education and the
National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development
been recognized for her contributions to education and the community, receiving
the Gary W. Davis Ethical Leadership Award from the Illinois Community College
Trustees Association in 2021, which honors individuals who have made an
outstanding contribution to the pursuit and support of ethical leadership and
decision-making. In 2018, Mitchell was honored with the Zonta Club of Joliet’s
Woman of Distinction Award for her contributions to improving the status of
women in the community.
worked at the college for 26 years, having started as an administrative
assistant in the CIOS department in 1996. In 2001, she served as the program
management specialist in Adult and Family Services, followed by the assistant
to the director of administrative services in 2002. In 2004 she became interim
director of administrative services, and then the director of business and
auxiliary services in 2005. In September 2012, she was appointed to the role of
VP of administrative services.
Mitchell received her doctorate in
community college leadership from National-Louis University in June 2012. She
holds a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in
business and technology from Governors State University. She earned an associate
degree in microcomputers for business and computer programming from JJC in
Most recently, Mitchell created her consulting firm JM Consulting
Rita Sola Cook
Rita Sola Cook is a Managing Director and President of Bank of America Chicago, as well as Division Executive for the Midwest and Mid Atlantic Division of Bank of America Private Bank. Drawing on more than twenty-five years with the firm, she provides strategic direction and sustained leadership in overseeing the delivery of impactful banking and wealth-management capabilities to individuals, families, businesses and institutions.
As President of Bank of America Chicago, Rita is responsible for connecting people and companies across Chicagoland to the suite of banking and investment resources offered by the Bank’s lines of business. In addition, she leads the Bank’s efforts in addressing social concerns, strengthening economic opportunities, building strong communities and facilitating the well-being and engagement of local employees.
Rita also serves as the Division Executive for the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic Division of Bank of America Private Bank. In this capacity, she leads the Division in providing a differentiated caliber of strategy, advice and service to high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients, helping to advance their distinctive priorities with care and customization.
Since joining Bank of America in 1997, Rita has taken on increasing responsibilities in finance, management and operations, gaining diverse client-segment and product acumen. Prior to her current role, she served as the Global Banking and Markets Anti-Money-Laundering Executive, the Global Commercial Banking Midwest Region Executive and the Global Commercial Banking Chief Operating Officer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Governors State University.
Rita is active in the Chicago community and has been recognized for her leadership and contributions in finance and banking by Crain’s Chicago Business, the Daily Herald Business Ledger and Crain’s Detroit Business. She was also recently named one of Chicago’s 10 Most Powerful Women by Better magazine. She serves on the board of directors for the Museum of Science and Industry, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Zoological Society, is a member of the Chicago Civic Committee, the Economic Club of Chicago and a Trustee for the Chicago Community Trust. Rita lives with her husband and daughter in Mokena, Illinois.
Colton Krska is an Audit
Associate for KPMG LLP, a Big 4 accounting and professional services firm. Colton
graduated from Governors State University with both his bachelor’s and master’s
degrees in accounting, and he was able to pass all four sections of the CPA
exam within a 6-month time frame. All of these milestones were achieved before
turning 23 years old. In that same period of time, Colton has worked for three
of the top five largest accounting firms in the United States, that of which
being Deloitte, KPMG, and RSM. His work experience in public accounting started
with small personal tax returns, but his current role puts him at the forefront
of integrated audits on large, publicly traded Fortune 500 companies.
of accounting is currently suffering a shortage of talent, and Colton wants to
help inspire the next generation of future CPAs.
Kayla M. Siam is an attorney at Thompson Coburn, LLP,
where she practices corporate and transactional law. Her experience spans all
areas of corporate law, including mergers & acquisitions, establishing new
business entities, memorializing joint ventures, drafting commercial contracts,
and guiding clients through their strategic growth. She is an active member of
the firm's African American Affinity Group as well as a 2023 Pathfinder and
first-year law student mentor with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity.
Kayla graduated from Governors State University (GSU) in
2014, earning a degree in Business Administration with a focus in finance.
Prior to attending GSU, Kayla attended Joliet Junior College (JJC) and was a
member of the university’s inaugural Dual Degree Program between GSU and JJC.
She went on to earn a Juris Doctor (JD) and a Master of Business Administration
(MBA) from Emory University with concentrations in transactional law, finance,
strategy, and real estate. She now aims to help business owners make key
transactional decisions and accomplish their business goals.
Kayla has been heavily engaged in the GSU community as
both a student and an alumni, serving as a Student Trustee on the university’s
Board of Trustees, one of the founding members of the International Culture
Club, and as a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. In her
spare time, Kayla enjoys traveling, film, and creative writing.
2022 College of Business Alumni Hall of Achievement Inductees
Lifetime Achievement Award
Kevin Brookins, Governors State University Board of Trustees Vice Chair. Mr. Brookins is a retired senior executive of ComEd. He is an exceptional leader who navigated exceptional sea change in the way that ComEd operates its systems and delivers benefits to customers. His expertise and strategic vision helped ComEd drive improvements in several key business areas including operations, customer service, communications and diversity and inclusion.
He is also an influential and dedicated leader in the Chicagoland community and in the energy industry through the many boards that he served on where he has demonstrated commitment, versatility, effectiveness, and moral integrity that together makes him an outstanding board member.
He has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Howard University and an MBA from Governors State University. He and his wife, Melonese, reside in Olympia Fields, Illinois.
Early Career Award
Jeremy Joyce is the owner of Black People Eats, LLC a digital advertising company that promotes black-owned food and beverage businesses. He highlights these companies through food reviews, food videos/pictures, and his black restaurant directory. His team's primary focus is on black-owned establishments only because they want to serve as a platform that gives black-owned food businesses a global voice. Once he realized how black restaurants were not promoted as much as they should be on other media platforms and he wanted to be the catalyst for change.
Stacy L. Crook
Stacy L. Crook is the Director of Investment Accounting at Asset Allocation and Management LLC (AAM) with over 25 years of investment experience. Stacy is responsible for the Investment Accounting Group, which provides accounting and statutory reporting services. Stacy has held several roles with increasing responsibilities at AAM, most recently as Vice President of Investment Accounting. Prior to joining AAM, Stacy worked at Jackson National Life Insurance Company in several different roles and at the Northern Trust Company as a Senior Accountant. Stacy earned the "2018 Top 100 Under 50 Executive Leaders" by Diversity MBA, Inc.
Stacy serves on the Advisory Board as the Vice-Chair for the College of Business at Governors State University. Stacy's civic and philanthropic leadership includes the board of directors for the National Black MBA Association, Chicago Chapter as President, the Women's Board of the Chicago Urban League, and Open Books, which transforms lives through reading, writing, and giving power of used books. She is also a member of the National Association Black Accountants, Inc., and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Stacy earned a BS in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, MBA in Finance from Roosevelt University, MS in Accounting from Governors State University. She enjoys running and biking with her husband and two daughters.
Phillip M. Kambic
Phillip M. Kambic President and CEO, Riverside Healthcare Phil began serving as Riverside Healthcare’s President and CEO in January 2006. He has held various executive and leadership roles at Riverside since 1985, including Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Phil received a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Illinois University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Governors State University.
As CEO, Mr. Kambic has guided Riverside to a number of awards and distinctions. Under his leadership, Riverside has received multiple IBM Watson (formerly Truven Analytics) 100 Top Hospital Awards, 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospital Awards, Everest Award; multiple HealthGrades Patient Safety awards, Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence Awards, 100 Top Orthopedic Hospital Awards, and 100 Top Stroke Hospital awards, 100 Best Hospitals awards, as well as a variety of other HealthGrades excellence awards each year. In Mr. Kambic’s time as CEO, Riverside has also become a teaching hospital, initiating residency and fellowship programs, as well as having earned Magnet designation and re-designation twice. Additionally, while under Kambic’s tenure as CEO, Riverside has expanded its physical presence and geographic footprint, now serving five counties and doubling its net asset size. A past Chair of the Illinois Hospital Association board of directors, Mr. Kambic continues to serve on numerous IHA committees.
Phil also serves on the Illinois Provider Trust board, and various IHA, IPT, and AHA committees. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Active in his community, Phil serves on the board of directors for many local organizations and is past chair of the Kankakee County Economic Alliance. Mr. Kambic was the recipient of the Bradley Bourbonnais Chamber of Commerce 2006 Business Person of the Year, the Kankakee Daily Journal 2006 Citizen of the Year, he is a past president of the Kankakee Area YMCA and past chair of the United Way of Kankakee County’s annual campaign.
Jake Lee is the Kankakee County Auditor. Jake is the youngest of five children born in Kankakee, Illinois. Jake grew up primarily in Hopkins Park, IL and was educated at the Pembroke and St. Anne public school districts and the Kankakee Area Career Center. After high school, Mr. Lee joined the United States Navy and served at several duty stations including: The United States Naval Academy, the USS Enterprise (CVN-65), and Bagram Airfield in Bagram, Afghanistan. During Jake’s tenure, he quickly rose to the rate of Religious Program Specialist Second Class, earned several accolades, the Joint Service Achievement Medal (2), the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NATO Medal, Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon, an Associate's Degree in Business Administration and subsequently a Bachelor's in Business Administration.
Upon his return to Kankakee County, Jake got involved in the community, supporting several organizations through volunteering. Some of Jakes volunteer activities include: the Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley (Secretary), the Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra Association (Treasurer), Kankakee County Center Against Sexual Assault (Past President), and Oakside Corporation (a part of Riverside HealthCare System). He also serves as a member of the Finance Committee of the Riverside HealthCare System, the National Association of Black Veterans, and the NAACP. His professional memberships include the Illinois Association of County Auditors, the Illinois Government Finance Officers Association, the Government Finance Officers Association, the Illinois Certified Public Accountant Society, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, and the National Association of Black County Officials. Jake is passionate about social justice and equality, personal growth, economic development, and cultural diversity.
In addition to the degrees earned while on active duty, Mr. Lee holds a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from Governors State University, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is an alumnus of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana’s School of Public Policy Governor Jim Edgar Fellowship Program. Jake was elected Kankakee County Auditor in 2016, making him the first African-American countywide elected official in Kankakee County.
Jake is the proud father of two daughters, Briánna and Maya.
2020 College of Business Alumni Hall of Achievement Inductees
Craig Schmidt began his career at Prairie State College (PSC) in 1997 as manager of the Community Instructional Center and then senior director of workforce training and services before leaving PSC in 2005 to lead education and training programs for Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. He returned to PSC in 2014 to serve as vice president of community and economic development.
Currently, Mr. Schmidt is leading workforce development efforts with local businesses, community organizations, state funding agencies, and higher education institutions to increase the talent pipeline of skilled workers in the manufacturing, transportation, supply chain and IT sectors.
Mr. Schmidt serves in leadership positions with numerous organizations in the Chicago Southland area, including Chairman of the Board for The Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce and the board of directors for the Homewood Area Chamber of Commerce. He also is a member of the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation and the Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Mr. Schmidt received an associate degree in business administration from Lake Land College. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Eastern Illinois University and his MBA from Governors State University.
Mr. Schmidt lives in Homewood, Ill. and is the proud father of four children.
Joi Mondisa, Ph.D.
Joi Mondisa, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Industrial & Operations Engineering Department and an Engineering Education Faculty Member at the University of Michigan. She earned her Ph.D. in Engineering Education and an M.S. degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University; an M.B.A. degree from Governors State University; and a B.S. degree in General Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to her graduate studies, she worked as a professional in the areas of manufacturing, operations, technical sales, and publishing for ten years. She also served as an adjunct faculty in the Engineering Technology Program at Triton College in River Grove, IL for seven years.
Dr. Mondisa is a rising mentoring scholar and a recipient of the prestigious National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Early CAREER award. In her research, she examines mentoring underrepresented populations in STEM; mentoring experiences and intervention programs in higher education; and learning experiences in engineering education. In addition to receiving grant awards, Mondisa has served on NSF review panels and as an educational consultant.
She is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education and co-founder and president of the No Longer Forgotten Network, a 501c3 non-profit organization. Dr. Mondisa is the recipient of the University of Michigan’s Dr. Willie Hobbs Moore Aspire, Advance, Achieve Mentoring Award (2018); Creativity, Daring, and Innovation Award (2019); and MLK Spirit Award (2020). For a list of her publications, grant awards, and civic engagement, visit her website.
Edward Hobson has nearly two decades of experience in various supply chain roles at fortune 500 organizations. He started his career at UPS where he held several leadership roles in operations at their large Chicagoland Area Consolidation Hub. From there he moved on to Anixter International continuing in operations management and after two years moved on to distribution accounting as a Sr. Accountant. After holding that role for 4.5 years, he returned to supply chain operations as an Inventory Control Manager for Office Depot. After holding that role for ten months, he was promoted to Senior Manager of Supply Chain Operations. During that time, he was able to lead several transformative initiatives including creating the forecasting methodology for volume for each process path at his site. He also completed his ASQ Certified Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt certifications and utilized this knowledge to make sustainable process improvements and train additional CSSGB leaders.
After five years at Office Depot Edward moved on to Amazon as an Operations Manager in their Inbound Cross Dock network. After assisting in turning around a large west coast operation, Edward was promoted to Sr. Operations Manager leading the Joliet, IL IXD night shift operation. With Amazon’s expansion in Illinois Edward moved to the Amazon Robotics customer fulfillment site in Monee, IL in March of 2018. While there, he led the inbound night shift operation and led a turnaround of the ship dock operation in the first half of 2019. Always looking to learn more and take on new challenges, Edward moved to the production planning team in June of 2019. In his current role as Sr. Manager of Business intelligence & Analytics, he leads the team that is working towards moving the planning process towards full automation through machine learning modeling.
Edward is a proud alumnus of Governors State University having graduated with a BA in Business Administration/Finance.
2019 College of Business Alumni Hall of Achievement Inductees
Dr. Curtis J. Crawford – Alumni Lifetime Achievement
Curtis J. Crawford is currently president and chief executive officer of XCEO, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in leadership and corporate governance; he has held this position since founding the company in 2003. Previously, he served as president and chief executive officer of Onix Microsystems and Zilog Inc.
Dr. Crawford has served on the boards of Xylem Inc. since 2011 and ON Semiconductor since 1999. He previously served on the board of E.I. du Pont and Nemours and Company from 1998 to 2015. He has also served on the boards of ITT Corp., Agilysys, Lyondell Petrochemical, The Sisters of Mercy Health Corporation and DePaul University.
Dr. Crawford is the author of three books on leadership and corporate governance. In 2011, Dr. Crawford was awarded the B. Kenneth West Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) for his contribution to corporate governance and for having made a meaningful impact in the boardroom.
Dr. Crawford earned a BA in Business Administration from Governors State University in 1974. He earned his MBA from DePaul University in 1977, and Ph.D. in Management from Capella University in 2000.
Rick D. Blasgen
Rick D. Blasgen is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) in Lombard, Illinois, USA. Blasgen began his career with Nabisco, working in a regional customer service center in Chicago, Illinois. While at Nabisco, he held various logistics positions of increasing responsibility in inventory management, order processing, and transportation and distribution center operations management. Mr. Blasgen became vice-president, supply chain, at Nabisco in June 1998, then vice-president supply chain for Kraft in June 2002. He joined ConAgra Foods in August 2003 as senior vice-president integrated logistics.
Mr. Blasgen has devoted much of his time to furthering a number of company’s supply chain management programs and initiatives. This experience has given him a solid foundation for his roles at CSCMP where he has responsibility for the overall business operations and strategic plan of the organization. His efforts support CSCMP’s mission of leading the supply chain management profession through the development and dissemination of supply chain education and research.
Mr. Blasgen was recently designated by the US Department of Commerce to serve as the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness (ACSCC) providing the administration advice and council on issues and concerns that affect the supply chain sector. He is a member of Northwestern University’s Transportation Center Business Advisory Committee and a past chair of the Grocery Manufacturers Association Logistics Committee, and a past president of the Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC).
Mr. Blasgen holds a B.A. in finance from Governors State University.
Angela (Angie) Hickey is the Chief Executive Officer of Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC, where she also is a member of the firm's Executive Committee and Compensation Committee.
Angie oversees all of the firm’s financial and operational functions, including business development, marketing, human resources and technology. She is the chief architect of the firm's client experience strategy, The LP Way™, and is responsible for the strategic development and execution of the firm-wide business plan.
A communication-focused leader, Angie has hosted "Ask Angie" open sessions for many years as a means of offering attorneys and staff meaningful financial and operational updates and providing them the opportunity to give their feedback. Angie’s technical expertise and innovative management style have been catalysts for many of the programs and processes that Levenfeld Pearlstein has implemented. She has developed profitability reporting processes and customized dashboards that facilitate robust project management and places a strong focus on helping the firm's attorneys hone their financial management and project management skills. In addition, Angie also spearheaded the use of partner, client and operational effectiveness surveys that have become a hallmark of Levenfeld Pearlstein, and was instrumental in the development of the firm's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, which is unique among law firms and recognized nationally for its comprehensive nature, integration with firm culture and results-oriented approach.
Angie joined Levenfeld Pearlstein in 1999 as the firm's first Director of Finance and was named Executive Director in 2003. Prior to joining Levenfeld Pearlstein, she spent seven years as accounting manager at an AmLaw 200 firm, and before working in the legal industry, worked in the field of higher education.
Angie is a CPA, holds an M.B.A. from Keller Graduate School of Business and a B.S. in Accountancy from Governors State University. She is a member of the Illinois CPA Society and the COO Forum.
Jim Kvedaras was hired by the Illinois Central Railroad in 1981 as a draftsman in the engineering department. He then advanced through various departments, including Buildings and Structures, Environment, Strategic Planning, Contracts, Public Affairs, and before becoming Director of U.S. Government Affairs for CN. In that role his duties included dealing with legislative issues and legislators at the state and local levels of government, along with coordinating a number of the railroad’s projects with appropriate internal and external stakeholders.
Jim was deeply involved with CN's Surface Transportation Board (STB) application and approval of the acquisition of the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway, which operates in a wide arc around the larger Chicago metropolitan area, since late 2007.
Jim received his B.A. in Business Administration from Governors State University in University Park, Illinois, and his M.B.A. from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. He currently participates on an advisory committee for Governors State University’s College of Business, is President of the Board of Directors for the Cancer Support Center in Homewood and Mokena, IL, and holds a Board position with the Calumet Area Industrial Commission.
A lifelong Chicago-area resident, Jim and his wife Cathy live in the south suburbs and have two grown children.
Adam Shorter III
Adam Shorter III, MBA possess a resume that ranges from higher education to small business, Adam is a consummate businessman. He is dedicated to minority outreach and community development. Adam is currently the CEO and President of Shorewood Restaurant group and partner of Krimson 4 Restaurant group. With over 19 years’ experience in Finance and Business Management, Mr. Shorter has worked at Loyola University Chicago for last 13 years where he currently serves as the Director of Academic Business Operations. In addition to being a skilled restauranteur, he also serves as a public speaker, consultant and administrator.
Now a skilled businessman who learned to serve his community at an early age, Adam continuously seeks ways to make positive changes wherever he is. Adam now lives in Matteson Illinois, as is a member of New Faith Baptist Church with his wife, Danielle Shorter and their three lovely children, Adam, Dylan and Olivia. Active in his community, he coaches several youth sports and currently serves as a Trustee in the Village of Matteson. In his personal time, Adam enjoys spending time family, golfing and enjoying sporting events.
Adam possess an M.B.A. from Governors State University and a B.A. in finance from Illinois State University.