North Central College - Naperville, IL

Jim VanHootegem '90

Jim VanHootegem was named the new head cross country/track and field coach at the University of Oklahoma.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of working in a program that possesses an extensive history of producing championship-caliber teams and student-athletes,” he said. Previously, he was assistant coach of track and field for Texas A&M University. He played a crucial role in the team’s seven NCAA championships, 14 conference championships and 22 individual NCAA champions.

Dawn Pleas-Bailey '90

Dawn Pleas-Bailey was awarded the Ethel and Allen “Buddy” Carruth Sustained Leadership in Education Award at the University of Pennsylvania. The award recognizes individuals who serve as an inspiration to others, transcend expectations and provide significant service to the education community. Pleas-Bailey is vice president of student life and special assistant to the president for community engagement at Southwestern College in Winfield, KS. She has built the school’s reputation as a high-quality institution that provides academic and social opportunities to low-income families.

Nancy Kruschke '89

Nancy Kruschke is founder and owner of Successful Organizing Solutions (S.O.S.), which helps both individuals and entire businesses increase their effectiveness and efficiency through organizing skills and practices. She began her organizing career with 10 years professional experience at American Express Financial Advisors, where she earned her Certified Financial Planner designation.

Victoria Huffman-Sladek '89

Victoria Huffman-Sladek is a self-employed massage therapist. She recently completed Reiki I training. She lives in Mount Pleasant, MI.

Tim Gossett '89

Tim Gossett is director of discipleship at Collegiate United Methodist Church in Ames, IA. He coordinates many aspects of the church’s ministry and focuses on volunteer recruitment/training. In addition, he cares for the technology needs of the church and assists with marketing projects. He is a graduate of United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH, and has numerous published books and articles about Christian education and youth ministry. He may be reached at timgossett@mac.com.

Kevin Reed '88

Kevin Reed was promoted to state emergency teams coordinator for the State of Minnesota, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. He coordinates activities of the state bomb squads, hazmat teams and Minnesota Task Force One in support of local officials. He works with local law enforcement, fire and emergency management during incidents in order to protect citizens of Minnesota.

Joe Pinder '87

Joe Pinder opened Pinder Pottery & Gallery at 236 North Main Street in Galena, IL. The gallery features his original stoneware pottery and the artwork of other local artists. To view his work and to learn more about the gallery visit pinderpottery.com.

Michael Korinek '87

Michael Korinek is a Northwestern Mutual financial representative and received the company’s Top Producer award based on an outstanding year of helping clients achieve financial security.  He lives in Naperville with his wife Laurie.

Nick DeFalco ‘09

The Cardinals’ men’s tennis program has a new and old face at the helm. This summer, the North Central College athletic department announced the hiring of Nick DeFalco ‘09 as the new head coach of the men's tennis program.

“I am thrilled and humbled by (athletic director) Jim Miller ‘86 offering me the position,” says DeFalco. “It was a position I was hoping for in the future and I couldn't be more excited to accept it.”

Robert Phillips '85

Robert Phillips was named dean of the Wheeling Jesuit University (WJU) College of Arts and Sciences. Phillips joined WJU as an instructor of political science in 1998. He has served as curriculum coordinator for the master of science in organizational leadership since 2005 and as chair of the department of social science since 2008.

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