Class Notes

The following class notes were received from October through December 2011.


Myrtis E. Herndon, M.S., was inducted into the William H. Hollinger Hall of Fame for her contributions to athletics at Hiram  College, located in Hiram, Ohio. She is professor emerita of physical education, exercise and sports science, and athletics at Hiram College.


Richard Savich, M.S., M.S. ’67, of Bermuda Dunes, California, received the Sustained Contribution Award from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The award recognizes members of the institute who have contributed measurably to the AICPA and the CPA profession through their volunteer service.


J. Charles Eldridge, M.S., was honored by North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, with its 2011 Alumni Recognition Award. He is a professor of physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He has received numerous awards for his teaching. He was a Macy Foundation Scholar at Harvard Medical School and was named Ciba-Novartis Researcher of the Year. He was also honored as a Distinguished Alumnus by the Medical College of Georgia in 2001.

Bill Morris has been appointed as a commissioner on the Illinois Liquor Control Commission. He is a retired investment banker and a former mayor of Waukegan, Illinois. He also served on the Illinois Toll Highway Authority Board.

Paul C. Nicholson, M.P.A. ’73, city manager of Streator, Illinois, received a 40-year professional service award from ICMA, a local government leadership and management organization. The award recognizes and celebrates members’ dedication to public service and professional management at the local level.

Bob O’Connor published his seventh book, A House Divided Against Itself, which tells the story of two brothers who fought against each other twice in the American Civil War and is based on a true story. For more information, visit

Chuck Vrshek, an audit consultant in Atlanta, Georgia, spoke at Macon State College in Macon, Georgia, to members of the Georgia Association of Assessing Officials. He presented on the topic of understanding economic obsolescence in industrial property valuations.


Jan Leifer Mraz retired from Glenview School District #34, in Glenview, Illinois.


Dennis Mraz is C.O.O. of Related Products, Inc. in Bensenville, Illinois. Theresa A. Prater has been a litigation paralegal for over 30 years and has practiced in the Phoenix, Arizona, area for the past 20. She has been re-elected to the position of vice president and director of professional development for 2011–13 for the National Federation of Paralegal Associations.


Michael Maibach, M.A. ’80, is the president and CEO of the European-American Business Council. He is a member of the U.S. State Department’s Advisory Council on International Economics. He served as a legislative intern at the Illinois state capitol and was inducted into the Samuel K. Gove Legislative Internship Hall of Fame. He was selected based on his contributions to Illinois and its citizens.


Darneather Murph Heath was appointed as senior pastor of Our Savior’s United Methodist Church in Schaumburg, Illinois.


Debra Coppernoll Clay was presented with a Love of Learning Award by Phi Kappa Phi. She was one of 80 members selected nationwide from over 1,800 applicants. The award helps fund post-baccalaureate studies and career development.


MacArthur F. Corsino, Ph.D., was a Fulbright Scholar at NIU and recently retired as Philippine Ambassador; his latest postings were in Havana, Cuba, and Caribbean countries.


John Elsner, J.D., a member of the first graduating class from the NIU College of Law, has been selected as chief judge of the 18th Judicial Circuit in DuPage County, Illinois. As chief judge, he will be responsible for oversight of all activities in the DuPage County Courthouse.


Mariliss “Su” Erickson, M.A., was named 2011 Illinois Librarian of the Year by the Illinois Library Association.


Michael Burke’s debut short story collection, What You Don’t Know About Men, was named as a finalist in the first-ever Book of the Year Awards sponsored by the Chicago Writers Association. Visit for more information.

Steven Flack has been named chief financial officer of Priority Health. He will be responsible for leading all aspects of the  company’s financial efforts, including financial and strategic planning, investments, actuarial and underwriting services, medical economics, accounting, and auditor relationships.

John Gannon joined American Fast Freight as a transportation consultant. He will represent American Fast Freight and its  affiliates, including AFF Hawaiian Ocean Transport, and will be based in the Chicago area.

Paula Murphy is the director of marketing and public relations for Mary Free Bed Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Charisse Witherspoon has been appointed to the Illinois Business Enterprise Council by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. She is  president-elect for the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, the largest of over 60 chapters.


Steven Provenzano completed his seventh book, Top Secret: Executive Resumes, Second Edition, and is president of ECS: Executive Career Services & DTP, Inc. He has appeared numerous times on CNBC, CNN, and WGN, and in The Wall Street Journal and the Chicago Tribune. His career books have sold more than 100,000 copies worldwide. For more information, visit


Linda Potts, vice president of the FranaGroup, attended the fourth World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress in Schaumburg, Illinois. She met with representatives from around the globe about state-of-the-art medical services and facilities.


Catherine Shannon is the deputy director at the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and assists in the management of 26 state historic sites and historical preservation programs. She served as a legislative intern at the Illinois state capitol and was inducted  into the Samuel K.Gove Legislative Internship Hall of Fame. She was selected based on her contributions to Illinois and its citizens.


Kevin Sullivan, J.D. ’95, was promoted to associate vice president for administration and general counsel for the Virginia Tech Foundation. He also serves on the boards of the New River Planning Commission and the New River Valley Friends of the Roanoke Symphony in Virginia.

Jeff Weber won USA Book News’ Best Books of 2011 award in the category of Business: Entrepreneurship & Small Business for From Idea to Exit: The Entrepreneurial Journey. He launched his second start-up company, Job Search Board, Inc., designed to help job-seekers follow a process toward job obtainment and provide resources to assist in the process. For more information, visit


David Kalinowski and Gary Maag, ’90, co-founders of the decision support firm Proactive Worldwide, Inc., have co-authored a book, New Directions: A Competitive Intelligence Tale, which provides insight into the practice of competitive intelligence for business. For more information, visit

Diann Karen Marsalek, J.D., was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court as a judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County. She was assigned to traffic court in the Daley Center. She worked for over 22 years for the State of Illinois at the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, Illinois Department of Correction, and Illinois Secretary of State.


Elainie Lillios, M.M. ’92, has released a new electroacoustic CD. For more information, visit


Steven Wrobleski was appointed superintendent of LaSalle-Peru Township High School in LaSalle, Illinois.


Jordan Kagan left Smart Jewelers after almost 20 years and has launched a new business, Kagan & Company, in Deerfield, Illinois. They are buyers and brokers of valuables and other collectibles. For more information, visit

Chris Lindberg has published his first novel, Code of Darkness, a science fiction thriller. For more information, visit


Tito Carrillo, trumpet artist, has released his debut solo CD, Opening Statement. The CD covers a wide palette of moods and grooves both within the jazz and Latin jazz idioms and beyond. For more information, visit


Andy Arlotta, co-owner and vice president of the National Lacrosse League’s Minnesota Swarm, leads at-risk students in an innovative mentoring initiative: Imagine the Possibilities, a program that aims to broaden the horizons of at-risk students through the world of business that was created by Risen Christ School, a grade school in Minneapolis.


Ryan Dowd, M.P.A., J.D. ’03, was honored by North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, with its 2011 Alumni Recognition Award. He is the executive director of Hesed House in Aurora, Illinois, which provides services that help people end the cycle of homelessness. He also works with churches, primarily in Africa, that are confronting governments that commit human rights abuses.

Margaret Paddock, senior vice president of the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank, was elected to the board of the Eleanor Foundation, a nonprofit foundation that designs and funds innovative programs to promote sustained economic self-sufficiency for working female heads-of-households in the Chicago area.


Julie Burke Martin is the executive program director and speech language pathologist of By Your Side, an autism language center with locations in Burr Ridge and Schaumburg, Illinois.


Jason Gianvecchio received his J.D. with a certificate in trial advocacy in 2009 from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. He received a Master of Laws degree in entertainment and media law from Southwestern University, located in Los Angeles, California, in 2009. He passed the California bar exam and is working in a law firm in Beverly Hills, California.


Cheronda Everett graduated with a master’s degree in public service management from DePaul University in June 2011. She is the TRIO/student support services advisor–instructional focus at Robert Morris University.

David Winter, M.S., joined the energy and environment division of Barge Waggoner Sumner and Cannon, Inc. as senior manager of environmental engineering.


Chad Halley, M.B.A., is vice president and finance segment manager at Huntington National Bank in Columbus, Ohio. Karen Patton, M.M., is the composer of the original computer music composition, “An Open and Shut Case,” one of 33 works selected from 109 submissions by women composers from 18 countries for inclusion in a national art and music exhibition tour.


NeAngela Marshall, J.D., was sworn in as an assistant state’s attorney for Cook County in a ceremony held at the Loyola Law School in Chicago.