North Central College - Naperville, IL

Sam Sumwalt

Class Year: 

Alumni Recognition Award Winner 1982

Sam Sumwalt is president of Entre’ Computer Center in Lafayette, La. He is also an instructor for the Realtor’s National Marketing Institute, as well as his own company. His involvements in his community include president of Round Tree Commons Homeowners Association and choir member and chair of Every Member Commitment Committee for Prince of Peace United Methodist Church.  He also serves in the Naval Air Reserve in Glenview, Ill.

William D. Soper

Class Year: 

Alumni Recognition Award Winner 1984

William Soper is an assistant professor of surgery and associate director of transplantation at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. He received his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1972 and began a surgical residency at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago. Soper is the author of numerous articles on transplantation and has presented papers at several national conventions.  He was president of the Illinois Transplant Society in 1983 and is a member of the American Medical Association, American College of Surgeons, American Society of Transplant Surgeons and the International Transplantation Society. Most recently, Soper agreed to serve on the Alumni Committee of the Campaign to Endow Student Research in Science.

Karen J. Solomon

Class Year: 

Alumni Recognition Award Winner 1995

Karen Solomon is the assistant director for Accreditation Services, the Higher Learning Commission in Chicago. She is also a Coldwell Banker Realtor serving at a residential brokerage in Naperville. Her previous position was with Associated Colleges of Illinois Inc., as an education associate and outcomes assessment. She also worked at Northern Illinois University as coordinator of research and evaluation in Adult Continuing Education. Solomon is involved with the North Central College Board of Trustees Associates, serving as WYSE Competition co-chair and treasurer. She is a member of the Naperville Riverwalk Foundation, and the Naperville Jaycees. Solomon is also a member of the advisory panel for the American Indian Education Consortium and an advisory board member for Northern Illinois University Adult Education. In 2003, she received a doctorate in education from Northern Illinois University, majoring in adult and continuing education with instructional technology as an area of focus.

Nancy Carlstedt Smith

Class Year: 

Alumni Recognition Award Winner 1996

Nancy Carlstedt Smith is a development chemist with Technical Coatings Company in Melrose Park, Ill. Smith holds master’s and doctorate degrees in chemistry from the University of Illinois.  She was a member of the North Central College Alumni Association Board of Directors for six years and served as president from1993-94. Under her leadership, the association implemented several new initiatives, including career networking. Smith volunteers her time teaching Sunday school at Calvary United Methodist Church in Villa Park, Ill.

Sandra L. Simmons Matthews

Class Year: 

Alumni Recognition Award Winner 1988

Sandra Matthews is a senior program director of the Michael and Juanita Jordan Endowment Fund, wife of Gary Matthews, hitting coach for the Chicago Cubs; and a professional with a resume that includes director of public relations with seven City Colleges of Chicago and a long, successful career at the Chicago Sun-Times.
Matthews discovered her passion was to work in the media. As a result, one of her first jobs after graduation was at the Chicago Sun-Times. Many promotions took place over the years and Matthews was later recruited to head public relations at the City Colleges of Chicago, which reported to the Mayor’s Office. After her daughter, Paige, was born, Matthews left City Colleges and pursued her interest in child and family law by earning a masters of juris prudence in 2002 from Loyola Law School. For the last six years, she has consulted for Michael and Juanita Jordan on their private family endowment fund. Matthews served on North Central’s Board of Trustees from 1989-91.

William H. Robinson

Class Year: 

Alumni Recognition Award Winner 1985

After graduating from North Central College, William Robinson earned a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Illinois in 1972. Robinson worked 30 years in the technology area for DuPont and Goodyear. He enjoyed building teams and introducing change into large organizations. What was especially rewarding to Robinson was assisting in leading the implementation of computerization and the Internet into Goodyear’s Research and Development area. He is a member of the American Chemical Society and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Robinson volunteers at his church and serves on an advisory board at Kent State, which helps raise money for MS and the Lung Association.

David J. Rivait

Class Year: 

Alumni Recognition Award Winner 1991

David Rivait is an economist and senior budget analyst in the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy.  He received a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan in 1984 and received his first appointment in the civil service that year as a presidential management intern in the Office of the Secretary of the Treasury.  In 1989, he received a professional achievement award from the Executive Office of the President for his work on issues relating to drug law enforcement.

ArLynn Leiber Presser

Class Year: 

Alumni Recognition Award Winner 1991

ArLynn Leiber Presser is a novelist and freelance writer whose work ranges from the discussion of legal questions to women’s fiction. She received a  J.D. degree from Northwestern University in 1985, and worked as a litigator in Chicago for two years before embarking full-time on a career in writing.  She has twice co-edited “West’s Guide to American Law Supplement.” Her work has frequently appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Journal of the American Bar Association, and popular women’s magazines. In addition, three of her novels have been published.

H. Robert Holmes

Class Year: 

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 2006

H. Robert (Bob) Holmes ’66, a political science major, began his professional career as a stock broker with Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, and later progressed rapidly through a series of promotions with the firm Blyth, Eastman, Dillon & Company.

In 1979, Holmes founded Gilford Securities along with other senior officers of the former Blyth Eastman Dillon & Company. Gilford Securities is one of Wall Street’s few remaining private investment banking firms, with ownership shared by its founders and many of the firm’s more than 150 employees. Today, Gilford Securities is a full-service, national investment firm and maintains offices in Irvine, Calif.; New York City; and in White Plains, Melville and Westhampton, N.Y.

Holmes was elected to North Central’s Board of Trustees in 1979 and was a member of the Board’s Public Affairs and Development Committee. He has also served the College as a class representative, Phonathon caller and has been a contributor to the Linda Gross Holmes Memorial Scholarship in memory of his first wife, Linda Gross ’67 Holmes.

In 1982, he received the College’s first Alumni Recognition Award and in 1989 became a life member of the Presidents Club. Most recently, Holmes honored his late grandparents, Ben ’12 and Bess Turner ’12 Kiekhofer, with a naming gift toward the renovation of Kiekhofer Hall and Koten Chapel. This gift is a celebration of the strong ties between his grandparents and North Central College.

Holmes resides in La Quinta, Calif., with his wife, Debbie, and five-year-old daughter, Megan.

Debra Falduto Novack

Class Year: 

Alumni Recognition Award Winner 1994

Debra Novack received her B.A. from North Central College in 1981 and her J.D. cum laude from Northwestern University School of Law in 1984, where she was editor of the law review. After checking for the Hon. Joel M. Flaum of the seventh circuit, she joined Baker & McKenzie in Chicago, where she was in the international tax department. Novack wrote an article titled “English – Only Rules in the Workplace – the Need to Prove Disparate Impact,” which palced second in the 1995 ISBA Lincoln Award Legal Writing Contest. The article was also published in the September 1995 issue of the Illinois Bar Journal.

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