2014 Moraine Valley Hall of Fame Inductees
Laura_Aversano_SmallDr. Laura Aversano, 1995
Upon completing her education at Moraine Valley, Dr. Aversano earned bachelor’s degrees from Saint Xavier University and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and graduated from the Scottsdale Center for Dentistry. She began her career as an associate general dentist in Downers Grove and Oak Lawn, and now is practice owner and general dentist at Manhattan Dental Care in Manhattan. She is an active participant in Operation Care Package sending boxes of dental supplies for soldiers, has a candy drive for local children to bring in bags of candy to send to the troops, and got her patients involved in making blankets to send to hospital patients. Dr. Aversano was named 2014 Business of the Year by the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.
Elaine Echols, 2007
Elaine Echols is a court-appointed special advocate for children with CASA of Cook County. She earned her Associate in Applied Science degree at Moraine Valley in criminal justice. She has been a volunteer for the American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Catholic Charities, Star Net Region V Office of Specialized Care on Child Abuse, and serves as a consumer advisory council member for Metropolitan Health Services. In addition, she has been a long-time mentor in the Mt. Zion FHM Church’s mentor program, working with young women who dream of going to college, and becoming independent and successful.
Sup_Alumni_Michelle GerrityMichelle Gerrity, 2009
After earning her associate degree at Moraine Valley, Michelle Gerrity went on to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering with a biomedical concentration from Bradley University, where she served as president of the Society of Automotive Engineers. She works as an automotive safety engineer for Honda Research and Development and participates in the Honda STEM mentoring program, as well as the township community volunteer day in Ohio where she lives. Gerrity’s list of accolades includes a distinguished scholar award, a service award, a STEM scholarship, and being a commencement honor marshal, plus was recognized for prototype development at Honda. She also created the Michelle Gerrity Engineering Scholarship at Moraine Valley. [Spotlight]
Hofer_headshot_SmallJames Hofer, 1987
James Hofer’s career took him from a nondestructive testing engineer for McDonnell Douglas and a senior NDT engineer scientist for Boeing to president of Aerohoff Inspection Services. After earning an Associate in Applied Science degree in nondestructive evaluation, he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in aviation maintenance and NDE at Lewis University and a master’s degree in business administration from Pepperdine University. He has received numerous certifications plus many accolades, including a candidate nomination for the MDC Future VP Program at Boeing, two Silver Eagle awards, an Atlas Award (B1 Bomber) and a nominee for the Boeing C-17 Moose Award. In his spare time, Hofer has been a volunteer coach for girls’ soccer, little league baseball, Pop Warner football, and girls’ softball. [Spotlight]
Mark_Patoska_SmallMark Patoska, 2007
Mark Patoska serves as a senior research associate for the Civic Federation, Chicago. He is a veteran, having served in the U.S. Navy and was an alderman for the City of Blue Island, where he served as the chair of the Finance Committee and as a member of the Community Development Committee. He also was a public safety officer for Metro South Medical Center in Blue Island. After graduation from Moraine Valley, Patoska earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dominican University and a Master of Public Administration from DePaul University. He received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Dwight D. Eisenhower High School in Blue Island, and was a keynote speaker at the Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society induction ceremony at DePaul University.
Swoboda_SmallJeffrey Swoboda, 1990
Jeffrey Swoboda is the 34th police chief of the Elgin Police Department, where he oversees more than 250 sworn and civilian staff. He worked his way up through the ranks from a police officer assigned to the city’s Resident Office Program, where he worked and lived in one of Elgin’s highest crime areas, to leading Elgin’s Gang and Drug units, and serving as deputy chief. Chief Swoboda earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Aurora University and a master’s degree in administration of law enforcement from Western Illinois University. He also has completed executive training at Northwestern University, the University of Notre Dame, and through the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Senior Management Institute for Police. e chief is a member of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Boys and Girls Club of Elgin, Kane County Chiefs of Police, and Rotary International.
mark_weber_SmallMark Weber, 2003
After graduating from Moraine Valley, Mark Weber went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was a student commencement speaker at Moraine Valley and a member of the men’s cross country team. He served for more than four years as a trustee for the Moraine Valley Board of Trustees and as Governor on the governing body for the Harris Academy Falconwood primary school in Greater London. Weber was a senior consultant at Ernst & Young, a budget analyst for the State of Illinois Office of Management and Budget, and currently is a manager with Accenture Management Consulting. He has completed more than 12 half-marathons, one full marathon and numerous 5 to 10K, and has raised more than $20,000 for the Accenture charity partnership by summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro and trekking to Mt. Everest Base Camp.