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MCC Announces 2019 Distinguished Alumni Susan Kirby and Shawn Tegtmeier

[Wednesday, November 6, 2019]

McHenry County College and the Friends of McHenry County College Foundation have named Susan Kirby and Shawn Tegtmeier as winners of the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award. Both individuals have made extraordinary contributions to their fields and the community, and remain actively involved with MCC.

With more than 25 years of experience in accounting and business administration, Susan "Sue" Kirby is the co-owner and controller at Associated Electrical Contractors, LLC (AEC) of Woodstock. She was one of three AEC executives to successfully navigate the buyout of the company in 2015, all while maintaining its respected reputation and ongoing progress.

Sue graduated with her Associate of Science from MCC, then continued her education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she obtained her bachelor's degree in accounting. Since 2015, she has been a proud member of the Friends of MCC Foundation's Education to Empowerment (E2E) program, which provides scholarships, mentoring opportunities, and sustainable financial commitments to future female leaders of McHenry County and beyond. Sue believes the program "helps women, through their education, to achieve greater literacy, obtain higher wages and faster income growth, raises their confidence, and promotes equal opportunity."

Sue supports other Foundation initiatives with company sponsorships and grants through her volunteer work with the Rotary Club of Crystal Lake Dawnbreakers and the Woodstock Professional and Business Women's group. She was also honored by the Northwest Herald as one of the 2019 Women of Distinction earlier this year.

Distinguished alum Shawn Tegtmeier started at MCC by taking a few computer classes to improve her skills and advance in her career. As her confidence grew, she continued taking courses until she obtained a Microcomputer Skills certificate and an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems.

Soon after, Shawn quit smoking and started getting active. As her interest in running grew, she looked to MCC to help her understand the real mechanics behind muscles and nutrition. Shawn went on to earn her Fitness Instructor Training (FIT) certificate from MCC, and is now a full-time certified personal trainer at Northwestern Medicine Health and Fitness Center with certifications in Corrective Exercise, Fitness Nutrition, Small Group Training, Behavior Modification, and CPR.

She is a marathon and ultra-marathon runner, and recently published her memoir "Running with Walt," which can be found on Amazon. She has been invited to speak at several MCC classes, and proudly states that the college helped her readjust her path, ultimately leading her to impact so many lives in the community. "You can achieve your dreams, no matter when you decide to start," says Shawn of her career and education. "You are more capable than you ever thought possible."

Both women will be honored at the Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony, sponsored by Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital. The ceremony is part of the annual President's Dinner held at the College this Friday, November 8.

Kirby and Tegtmeier are among a growing list of community college alumni throughout the U.S. that includes renowned doctors, business leaders, artists, government leaders, athletes, and scientists. Special acknowledgement goes out to other nominees this year, Frannie Glosson, Brian Markison, Ken Schmidt, and Eric Siddons, all very strong candidates and wonderful advocates for MCC. MCC's distinguished alumni are evidence of the important role community colleges serve as educational stepping stones toward successful careers.

"These distinguished alumni have truly made a difference in the community," stated Brian DiBona, executive director of the Friends of MCC Foundation. "We are proud of their notable accomplishments and commitments to helping others, and it's our privilege to honor them for their success."

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