North Central College - Naperville, IL

Arthur "Buck" Rikli

Class Year: 
1939

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1995

Arthur Rikli was a pioneer in the use of computers as a diagnostic tool in medicine. In 1958, he conceptualized the design for the first computer to process electrocardiograms. For 25 years he was a member of the U.S. Public Health Service and served as chief of its National Heart Disease Program for five of those years. After retiring in 1968 with the rank of colonel, he was recruited to direct Missouri’s Regional Medical Program, one of the first of its kind to receive federal funding. Rikli was also founder of the National Organization for State Kidney Programs and served as its first president. Following retirement, he has continued to serve as a consultant to the Department of Health and Informatics. Today, he is president of the National Society for Computer Medicine and holds the title professor emeritus at the University of Missouri-Columbia.


Sharon Zimmerman Rader

Class Year: 
1961

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1996

Sharon Rader’s inspiring pastoral and administrative leadership is valued by laity and clergy alike. She served as Bishop of the Wisconsin Conference of the United Methodist Church from 1992 to her retirement in 2004. She has chaired the Council of Bishops Initiative on Children and Poverty and was president of the Wisconsin Conference of Churches. In 1976, she received a master of divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill., where she was later awarded the 1996 Outstanding Alumni Award. She was ordained as an elder of the United Methodist Church in 1978 and served congregations in Michigan and Illinois before being appointed district superintendent of the West Michigan Annual Conference in 1989, the same year she received an honorary doctorate of divinity from Albion College. She’s a trustee of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and served as a North Central College Trustee from 1992-2004. She has traveled for mission study to Kenya, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and has served on the United Methodist Church’s Board of Global Ministries, the ethnic minority local church committee and the commission on the status and role of women.


Harold "Joe" Pletcher

Class Year: 
1952

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1987

After graduating from North Central, Harold “Joe” Pletcher served two years in the U.S. Army as a special agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps. Then in 1954, he joined the First National Bank of Chicago and later retired as senior vice president in charge of real estate in 2000. During that time, Pletcher received a J.D. degree from John Marshall Law School in 1962 and a master of business administration degree from the University of Chicago in 1974. In 2000, he founded PMC Associates, a real estate consulting firm. Pletcher has been a member of numerous professional organizations, including the University of Chicago Executive Club, Chicago Mortgage Attorneys Association. He served as chairman of the board for Southeast Holding Company, Ltd. He was also a member of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, Illinois Bar Association, Naperville Sesquicentennial Ball Committee, DuPage County Zoning Board of Appeals, Naperville Heritage Society, Grace United Methodist Church and Who’s Who in Real Estate. At North Central College, Pletcher was a member of the Alumni Board, Board of Trustees and founding member of the Mentor Club.


George Picha

Class Year: 
1959

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1994

George Picha is an involved citizen of Rockford, Ill., in many ways. He is a senior partner at Picha and Salisbury Law Firm where he practices exclusively in the area of workers’ compensation law. He’s also a member of the workers’ compensation committee of the Illinois Manufacturer’s Association and serves as a technical advisor for proposed amendments to the Workers’ Compensation Act. He has been an author and lecturer for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education courses on workers compensation law and was appointed to the Illinois Industrial Commission. In addition to his leadership responsibilities at both the county and state levels, he’s currently serving on the public policy steering committee of the Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce. In 1997, Picha was the recipient of the Paul Revere Award for Business Advocacy by the Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce.


Jeffrey J. Oesterle

Class Year: 
1976

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1995

Jeff Oesterle has been on the North Central College Board of Trustees since 1995. After graduating from North Central College with a degree in biology, Oesterle was a telephone executive from 1976 to1988. In 1987, he became a property manager and developer and is currently the owner of Plaza Properties in Highland, Ind. Community service is very important to Oesterle. He is currently president of the Rotary Club of Hammond, Ind. He was the foundation president of that city’s Parks Foundation from 2003-04, vice-president of the Lake County Indiana Court House Foundation since 1997, and a delegate of the YMCA with the USA National Convocation in 2003. Oesterle was awarded the Hammond Jaycees DSA in 1985 and JCI Senator in 1991 and named a life member of North Central’s Presidents Club in 1998. In 2004, he received the YMCA of the Hammond Area Lifetime of Service Award along with his father, Clare Oesterle ’39.


Richard G. Norenberg

Class Year: 
1955

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1989

Richard Norenberg, now a Life Trustee of North Central College has been on the Trustee Board since 1984, serving as Board Chair from 2001-2004. He received his M.D. from the Illinois College of Medicine in 1959. He further specialized as a thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon and is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. After 35 years of medical practice in St. Petersburg, Fla.—including appointments as hospital chief of staff and chairman of the department of surgery—he “retired” from private practice in 1998. He has continued to utilize his medical skills in a variety of endeavors, including a sports medicine fellowship; director of the Wound Healing Clinic at St. Anthony’s Hospital; flight physician with Fixed Wing Air Ambulance Company; and preceptor, surgical clinics teaching program at Bayfront Medical Center. He is also a consulting thoracic surgeon at BayPines VA Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fl.


Michele Tozer Kenaga

Class Year: 
1973

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1993

Michele Kenaga is vice president for compensation and international human resource development with responsibility for more than 24,000 Champion employees worldwide. Since joining Champion in 1974, Kenaga has handled a wide range of responsibilities within the human resources function—ranging from labor relations, loss prevention and training to recruiting and salary and benefit administration. She led a task force which researched, designed and implemented one of the first corporate-sponsored child care programs in Connecticut. Kenaga also led the development of the company’s flexible benefits program. She has served on the Human Resource Advisory Board at the University of South Carolina, Women in Management, and is also an honorary member of the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center of Fairfield County. A recipient of an M.B.A. from Roosevelt University, Kenaga was elected to North Central’s Board of Trustees in 1998.


Roger F. Hruby

Class Year: 
1958

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1995

Entrepreneur Roger Hruby, chairman and CEO of CFC International Inc., a leading chemical specialty company, is also chairman of North Central College’s Board of Trustees. CFC International, Inc. formulates, manufactures and sells chemically complex, transferable, multi-layer coatings, and is a leading supplier in many of the worldwide markets it serves. Principal markets for CFC’s products are heat transfer printing for intravenous solution bags, magnetic strips for ATM/credit cards and wood grain laminates for the furniture industry. CFC is also the leading supplier of holograms used to authenticate brand name software, merchandise, credit cards, event tickets, and other applications requiring protection against unauthorized copying or counterfeiting. In 1998, Hruby was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” and became a member of the Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame in the Chicago Area. In 1996, Hruby and his wife, Nadeane, created an endowed scholarship fund to help working undergraduates. Hruby has been a College Trustee since 1991.


Nicholas Hood

Class Year: 
1946

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1996

Rev. Nicholas Hood has been a pastor, a central figure in the United Church of Christ, and a leader in Detroit. He was also the first African-American to receive a degree from North Central College. In November, 1965, Hood became the second African-American to be elected to the City Council of Detroit, serving for 28 years. He was a founding member of Southern Christian Leadership Council with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and was the founder of Cyprian Center and the Cyprian Foundation, whose chief mission is to serve developmentally disabled persons. He received the Distinguished Graduate Award from Yale University Divinity School in 1974.


David C. Harr

Class Year: 
1966

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1989

David C. Harr served in the diplomatic service of the U.S. Department of State. The Diplomatic Service Officer Corps is a competitive career service, and each year approximately 200 men and women are accepted from 8,000 to 10,000 applicants. Diplomatic service officers are commissioned by the United States Senate. Harr served in Nepal and also in DaNang, Vietnam, until 1975 when he returned to the United States and served in relocation camps in Arkansas and Pennsylvania. He then studied language for a three-year tour of duty at Sri Lanka and Burma. He was chief officer in Myanmar/Mandalay, Burma, for 18 months, and first officer in the Burmese capital, Yangon, (Rangoon) for another year and a half.


Syndicate content