Jim Craver

Jim Craver*

General manager of Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago – Downtown
Class of 1996
Jim Craver is the general manager of Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago – Downtown. This exceptional hotel does approximately $15 million in annual revenue, making it one of the top three revenue generators of the 500 Homewood Suites within the Hilton brand.

Jim has had a successful career in the hospitality industry spanning over 20 years. He has worked in numerous hotels, including Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Indian Lakes Resort and Holiday Inn Chicago/Elk Grove Village, among others.

When he started at Moraine Valley, he already was working part-time in a hotel and was undecided on a major. When he discovered the college had a hospitality program, he enrolled, which helped solidify his career path. Jim appreciated the way instructors augmented textbook lessons with real-world experiences, which helped him gain confidence and provided guidance he has used throughout his career.

After earning his associate degree from Moraine Valley, he started to move up in the industry and attained his first general manager position in 2001 with White Lodging Services at the Fairfield Inn in Merrillville, Indiana. He ended his first year with the highest guest satisfaction scores of any White Lodging Services’ Fairfield Inn property. After that, he had continued success at each company where he worked. Along the way, Jim mentored many employees and is proud that he helped them move into supervisory positions.

Jim decided to share his enthusiasm for the industry by becoming an adjunct instructor at Moraine Valley, teaching classes such as Convention Management and Sales, Hospitality Management and Front Office Procedures. Some of his former students have since gone on to have successful careers in the hospitality field.

He has earned numerous industry awards, including Promus Hotel’s President’s Award, White Lodging Services’ Excalibur Award and Crestline Hotel’s Crestline Cup. He also was the general manager of the first non-Marriott-operated Fairfield Inn and Suites to be awarded the status of “Connect U/GM Training Hotel.”

Jim has worked with several local convention and visitors bureaus and chambers of commerce. In addition, he served on the Meet Chicago Northwest Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors.

Over the years, he has volunteered for many organizations such as the Salvation Army, Alicia’s House Food Pantry and Ronald McDonald House Chicago/Streeterville.

His hotel leads the Chicago market in Hilton’s Clean the World Campaign, which sends shampoo and soap to developing countries.

Jim and his wife, Gabi, met in 2001, while both working in the industry and have been married for 10 years.

They have two young sons – Jimmy and Liam.

Dr. Walter Fronczek

Dr. Walter Fronczek

Retired Dean at Moraine Valley Community College
Class of 1982
Dr. Walter Fronczek retired in June 2022 from Moraine Valley Community College after working there for nearly 40 years.

Walter started at the college as a student in 1978 and was an orientation aide, working with students, counselors and academic advisors, while attending classes. He transferred to Saint Xavier University to pursue his bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in counseling. He later earned a master’s degree from Columbia College Chicago and a doctoral degree from National Louis University.

After graduating from Saint Xavier University, Walter worked for a couple of years as a drug and alcohol counselor, before being hired at Moraine Valley as the coordinator of College Activities. Over the years, he held numerous positions at the college, including director of College Activities, assistant dean of Student Life and Judicial Affairs, and assistant dean of Liberal Arts. His final position was dean of Liberal Arts, a position he held for 17 years.

Under Walter’s leadership, the Liberal Arts Department expanded opportunities for students. Some initiatives he led included creating the Speaking and Writing Center and Honors Program and establishing the ongoing relationship with The Second City. He helped usher in new academic programs such as American Sign Language, College 101 and the COM-101 Bridge Program; and he oversaw the development of the Associate in Applied Science in Early Childhood Education and the Associate in Fine Arts in Music degrees.

One of the most impactful initiatives Walter helped lead was the $89 million referendum campaign in 2006.

He served as the community campaign manager and worked diligently to ensure it was successful.

The referendum passed, and the exceptional new facilities it funded transformed the campus.

One aspect of his job Walter found especially fulfilling was overseeing the operations in the college’s Fine and Performing Arts Center. He championed the arts by bringing world-class professional performers and artists to campus, as well as supporting academic music and theater programs.

During his career, he was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Vernon O. Crawley Leadership Award and League for Innovation in the Community College’s Innovation Award. He also was inducted into the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Co-Curricular Hall of Fame.

Walter and his wife, Laura, have a grown daughter named Jenna.

Thomas O’Malley

Thomas O’Malley

Superintendent of Evergreen Park Community High School District 231
Class of 1987
Tom O’Malley has a 32-year career in high school education. He is the superintendent of Evergreen Park Community High School District 231. Tom followed in his father’s footsteps when choosing his career after observing him teach and coach at the high school level.

After earning his Associate in Applied Science degree in business administration at Moraine Valley, Tom went to Eastern Illinois University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in business education. He later completed a master’s degree from Chicago State University in education and another in educational administration from Governors State University.

He is currently pursuing his doctorate in administrative leadership from Aurora University.

Tom has served as Evergreen Park Community High School District’s superintendent since 2017. Among his many responsibilities, he oversees academic progress, curriculum, personnel and staffing for the district.

He manages a budget that exceeds $90 million dollars and directs all financial services, including financial reports, payroll, purchasing and insurance. He also serves as the chief negotiator for the Board of Education.

Prior to his current position, Tom worked in several schools and districts. He began his career teaching courses such as accounting, business law, consumer economics, computer literacy, keyboarding and physical education at Leo High School in Chicago and Hillcrest High School in Country Club Hills. He also coached cross country, track and basketball.

In 2001, he became an assistant principal for Student Services at Bremen High School District 228. He also held the positions of director of Educational Support Services and assistant superintendent in that district during his 16-year tenure.

Tom has impacted education beyond the districts and schools where he was employed. He served as president of superintendents for the South Suburban Conference, chairman of the South Suburban High School Business Officials and member of the executive board for AERO Special Education Cooperative. He is a member of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials and the South Suburban School Business Officials Association.

His volunteer work includes serving on the Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce, working with Special Olympics, organizing an annual toy drive for Comer Children’s Hospital and coaching basketball for 19 years at Christ the King School.

Tom and his wife, Katie, have eight children – Courtney, Molly, Shea, Ryan, Tara, Brennan, Annie and Meg.

Marjorie Owens-Klotz

Marjorie Owens-Klotz

Owner of Owens Media
Class of 1983
Marjorie Owens-Klotz is the owner of Owens Media, which provides marketing and public relations services to individuals, businesses and organizations, as well as offers public speaking training for companies.

In addition, Marjorie serves as a speech communications adjunct faculty member at Moraine Valley Community College and Saint Xavier University. She also teaches marketing at Trinity Christian College. She finds teaching speech to students especially fulfilling, and she begins each semester by telling students why being able to communicate effectively is valuable in any career.

Marjorie received her Associate in Arts degree in Liberal Arts from Moraine Valley before transferring to Governors State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in media communications and master’s degree in communication studies.

She began working at the Village of Orland Park as an intern. While completing her master’s degree, she was asked to create the village’s Office of Public Information, and in 1987, she was named the village’s first public information officer. She worked for the Village of Orland Park for 37 years, leading its communication efforts, promoting programs and events, managing the community’s branding initiatives and handling crisis communications.

She helped produce the nationally acclaimed drunk driving public education docudrama, “Shattered Lives – Shattered Dreams,” which was used by driver’s education programs across the country in the early 1990s and garnered a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Public Service Award.

Marjorie received numerous regional, state and national awards, including the Illinois Park and Recreation Association Event Promotion Award, Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau Event Promotion and Publication Design Award, and CANfest ’90 Gold Award.

She has a long history of community service as a Girl Scout, Cub Scout and Boy Scout leader, cheerleading coach, religious education teacher and baseball manager. She was the recipient of five Eagle Scout Mentor Awards and was named the Orland Park Girl Scout Leader of the Year.

Marjorie is married to retired Orland Fire Protection District Lieutenant Gerry Klotz, Jr., and they have two adult children, Tim and Stephanie.