The Moraine Valley Foundation announced the 2023 Alumni Hall of Fame inductees on March 7. They are Jim Craver, ’96; Dr. Walter Fronczek, ’82; Tom O’Malley, ’87; and Marjorie Owens-Klotz, ’83.
The 2023 Distinguished Alumnus Award winner was Jim Craver, who graduated from Moraine Valley with an associate degree in restaurant/hotel management. He is the general manager of Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago – Downtown, which does approximately $15 million in annual revenue and is one of the top three revenue generators of the 500 Homewood Suites within the Hilton brand.
Over his successful 20-year career in the hospitality industry, Craver has worked in numerous hotels and has earned several industry awards, including Promus Hotel’s President’s Award, White Lodging Services’ Excalibur Award and Crestline Hotel’s Crestline Cup.
In addition, Craver served as an adjunct instructor for a few years at Moraine Valley, where he incorporated his real-world experience into the hospitality courses he taught.
As this year’s Distinguished Alumnus Award winner, Craver will be the college’s nominee for the statewide Distinguished Alumnus Award sponsored by the Illinois Community College Trustees Association.
Dr. Walter Fronczek had a nearly 40-year career at Moraine Valley, where he held numerous positions before taking on his final role as dean of Liberal Arts, a position he held for 17 years before retiring last year.
Under Fronczek’s direction, the college expanded opportunities for students. A few of the initiatives he led included creating the Speaking and Writing Center, Honors Program and American Sign Language Program. In addition, he oversaw operations in the college’s Fine and Performing Arts Center, where he championed the arts by bringing world-class professional performers and artists to campus, as well as supporting the college’s academic music and theater programs.
Tom O’Malley, the superintendent of Evergreen Park Community High School District 231, also was inducted. Over his 32-year career in education, he was a teacher and has held numerous administrative positions before taking on his current role in 2017. He oversees academic progress, curriculum, personnel and financial services for the district and also serves as the chief negotiator for the Board of Education.
O’Malley 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.
The final inductee was Marjorie Owens-Klotz, the owner of Owens Media, which provides marketing and public relations services and public speaking training. Prior to starting her own company, 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.
Owens-Klotz also teaches speech communications at Moraine Valley and Saint Xavier University and marketing at Trinity Christian College.
The induction ceremony was held at the Moraine Business and Conference Center on the college’s main campus in Palos Hills. There were over 100 people in attendance, as inductees invited family members and friends to attend. In addition, many college faculty and staff members joined them to celebrate the achievement of these honored alumni.
“We were thrilled to welcome these new inductees and honor their professional and personal achievements,” said Patti Mehallick, director of Alumni and Annual Programs for the Moraine Valley Foundation. “They join a distinguished group of individuals in our Alumni Hall of Fame, who collectively are a snapshot of thousands of students who attended Moraine Valley and are leading happy and successful lives.”
For information about the Alumni Hall of Fame, contact Mehallick at (708) 974-5551 or email@example.com.
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