University Park, IL,
09:43 AM

College of Business Inducts First Alumni Hall of Achievement Members

Five distinguished Governors State University alumni were recently inducted as the first members of the College of Business (COB) Alumni Hall of Achievement.

More than 150 alumni, students, current and former faculty members, administrators and staff attended the ceremony—the final in a series of events for the COB Business Week.

Rita Gunther McGrath, business consultant and globally recognized leader of innovation and growth strategies, kicked off the week’s events, followed by a career fair on campus.

During the final evening, students were treated to a networking event where Executive Recruiter Billy Dexter shared insights from his book, “Making your Net Work.”

In honor of the university’s 50-year anniversary in 2019, the COB faculty, staff, and students chose alumni from across the decades to honor for their achievements and contributions, said Dean Jun Zhao.

“Over the past 50 years, the College has produced over 9,000 graduates, and many of our graduates have made great impact on their community and professions. This evening, we will be honoring a few of our outstanding alumni for their professional and lifetime achievements,’’ she said.

For their personal and professional achievements and engagement with Governors State and the COB, the following individuals were inaugurated into the Alumni Hall of Achievement:

Rick D. Blasgen, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) in Lombard, IL. Blasgen began his career with Nabisco, working in a regional customer service center in Chicago. Blasgen graduated in 1982 from Governors State University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis on finance.

In the world of supply chain hubs, Governors State is well positioned for success, he said. “This university, this college, is very important to this region.’’


Angela Hickey, CEO, Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC. A mission-driven leader, Hickey has created and worked closely with peer mentoring groups to provide a place where women leaders can share workplace strategies and life experiences. A highly sought speaker and thought leader, Hickey serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Catholic Charities of Chicago, the Council of 100, and the Advisory Board to the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana.

Recently named to the Governors State Board of Trustees, Hickey has partnered closely with the COB since graduating with her bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1996.




Jim Kvedaras, recently retired from CN Rail where he served for nearly a decade as Director of U.S. Government Affairs and cultivated corporate support for the university.

In 2019, he was named to the Governors State University Board of Trustees, culminating years of support for the university where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1989.

In accepting the award, Kvedaras said he was grateful to the university for shaping his life. “GSU modeled me, and made me the man I am today.”


Adam Shorter III serves as Director of Academic Business Operation at Loyola University, CEO and President of Shorewood Restaurant Group, and Village of Matteson Trustee.  Since graduating with his master’s of business administration from Governors State in 2003, Shorter has worked closely with the COB, serving as Vice-Chair of the Dean’s Advisory Board. 

He said Governors State has served as his launching pad. “GSU has been the foundation of what I have become."


Dr. Curtis Crawford received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to his profession, as well as to Governors State University, where he earned a master's degree in business administration in 1974.

As founder of  XCEO, Inc., Dr. Crawford serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the consulting firm that specializes in personal leadership development and corporate governance products, services, and support.