Highland Community Foundation recognizes distinguished alumni

The Highland Community College Foundation presented its 21st annual Distinguished Alumni Awards on Thursday, October 29, at the Freeport Country Club. The distinguished alumni are nominated each fall by friends, family members and peers before the applications are reviewed by a selection committee made up of Foundation board members and Alumni Association steering committee members.

This honored distinction is reserved for individuals who exemplify community leadership, demonstrate professional achievement, and believe in the mission of community colleges and higher education. The 2015 award recipients are Amy Baker (McConnell), Jim Dole (Freeport), Steven Manson (La Crosse, Wisconsin) and Tim Myers (Rockford).

Amy Baker

Amy Baker was born and raised in McConnell, and earned her Associate of Science Degree in May 1995. She earned an accounting degree from Illinois State University. After several years working accounting jobs in Chicago, she and her husband Ray returned to Amy's hometown to raise their three children. She is now chief financial officer and corporate treasurer at Citizens State Bank and its holding company, First Lena Corporation. She is also a graduate of Highland's Leadership Institute. She is an active leader in Grace Free Church in McConnell and is an elected school board member with the Orangeville School District, where she also coaches athletic teams.

Jim Dole

Jim Dole graduated from Freeport High School in 1979. He then went on to serve five years in the Air Force. He returned to his hometown and completed his Associate of Science degree from Highland in 1993. He then received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics in 1997 from Rockford College and the attained a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems from the University of Phoenix in 2003. He is employed as an IT specialist at MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions in Savanna. He is also the volunteer director of the Doug Firebaugh Observatory in Freeport. He has been teaching an Introduction to Astronomy course at Highland since 2007 and added an online astronomy course in 2011. In 2013, he completed his Master of Science in Astronomy from Swinburne University in Australia.

Steven Manson

Steven Manson attended Highland from 1974-1976. He has practiced medicine at Gunderson Health System in La Crosse, Wisconsin for more than 23 years. His specialty is pediatrics and serves as chair of the pediatrics department.

Since 2009, he has joined other volunteers by serving residents of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, recently ranked the third poorest reservation in the United States. He was awarded the Wisconsin Medical Society's 2015 Physician Citizen of the Year award and is active in talking to youth about bullying, reads to elementary school children and provides volunteer medical services to St. Clare Health Mission, a non-profit clinic in La Crosse.

Tim Myers

Tim Myers graduated from Highland Community College in 1985, and during his time at HCC, he was a member of the men's basketball team. He continued his education at Northern Illinois University, graduating in 1988. He later earned a master's degree in Sports Management from Western Illinois University, which lead him to a position as director of tickets and group sales with the Rockford Lightning CBA basketball team. He is now general manager and sales manager at WIFR Channel 23 in Rockford. He is active in the community and serves on the board of the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors' Bureau and the Board of Directors/President's Circle of the Rockford Area Development Council, and is a member of the Media Advisory Board for Transform Rockford.

(Left to Right) Steven Manson, Tim Myers, Amy Baker and Jim Dole

2998 W. Pearl City Road
Freeport, IL 61032-9341

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