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MCC Announces Ken Schmidt, Dr. Frances Glosson as 2020 Distinguished Alumni

McHenry County College and the Friends of McHenry County College Foundation have named Ken Schmidt and Dr. Frances Glosson as winners of the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award. Both individuals have made extraordinary contributions to their fields and to the community, and remain actively involved with MCC.

Dr. Frances Glosson has been the embodiment of service leadership for more than 40 years. With an expertise in organizational communication, she served on Centegra’s Senior Leadership Team as their expert resource for all regulatory accreditation and certification programs. Her special talents in education, leadership, and research—as well as her knack for bringing people together—have helped her build many strong, healthy programs that benefit our community today.

In addition to earning her doctorate degree, one of her most significant accomplishments was becoming one of the founding members of Leadership Greater McHenry County (LGMC) in 2004. Dr. Glosson led the development of the curriculum that remains largely in place today. She remains actively engaged with the organization and has made a personal impact on nearly every one of the over 400 LGMC alumni.

Dr. Glosson previously served as a Trustee for MCC, and dedicates much of her time to promoting the College and its importance within McHenry County. She continues to assist doctoral students with their dissertations and, through LGMC’s Leadership and Learning Academy, has facilitated strategic planning processes for over 50 for-profit and non-profit organizations both locally and nationally.

Ken Schmidt, a sought-after keynote speaker and communications consultant, is the former director of communications for the Harley-Davidson Motor Company. In this role, he played an active part in one of the most celebrated turnarounds in corporate history—and got paid to ride motorcycles. He is the author of the 2018 book Make Some Noise: The Unconventional Road to Dominance, which details stories and insights about the road to building a fanatically vocal customer base, creating a passionately loyal corporate culture, and developing leaders who inspire and motivate.

“Whether I’m talking about how perfectly average people can do extraordinary things or explaining how to build an entirely new corporate culture, rekindle relationships with customers, or reach out to new ones in completely non-traditional ways, I’m teaching people to throw conventional approaches out the window. I see opening hearts and minds as my life’s work,” said Schmidt.

Today, Schmidt shares his expertise with many of America’s leading brands, but is happily “semi-retired,” which allows him to pursue his other passions. Although currently living out of the area, Ken continues to support a scholarship at MCC. In 2018, he filmed a short video to help inspire others to engage with MCC and the Foundation.

Both alumni were honored at the Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony, sponsored by Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital. The ceremony was part of the annual President’s Dinner, which was held virtually this year on October 30.

“We’re extremely proud to call Ken and Dr. Glosson alumni of MCC,” said Brian DiBona, executive director of the Friends of MCC Foundation. “They are both shining examples of what it means to be community-focused leaders. They’re committed to making a positive impact, lifting others up, and giving back to those around them. We are excited to honor them with this award.”

Schmidt and Glosson 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. MCC’s distinguished alumni are evidence of the important role community colleges serve as educational stepping stones toward successful careers.