The Triton College Alumni Association is dedicated to fostering and encouraging lifelong connections between alumni and Triton College through programs and initiatives that serve alumni and engage them in the future success of Triton College. The Alumni Association Council conducts the business of the Alumni Association and supports any and all initiatives set forth by Alumni Relations.
Executive Committee Officers
Chief Andrew Hock
Elmwood Park Chief of Police Andrew Hock
Class of 2003
Andrew Hock was born, raised and resides in Elmwood Park, Illinois. He attended and graduated Fenwick High School in 1983. He continued his education and graduated from Triton College with an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice Administration.
In 1990 he began his career with the Elmwood Park Police Department. He is a graduate from the Illinois State Police Training Academy. Throughout his career he worked his way up through the ranks. He proudly served as a Patrolman, Detective, Sergeant, Commander and Deputy Chief before being appointed Chief of Police in 2023. During his career he has been a recipient of the Cook County Sheriffs Law Enforcement Award of Merit, Elmwood Park Police Chief Award of Merit, and Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorist, (A.A.I.M.), awards.
He is a 2007 graduate of the prestigious Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command. He has been a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Illinois Association Chiefs of Police, West Suburban Chiefs of Police, West Suburban Detectives Association and West Suburban Major Crimes Task Force. He currently serves on several boards and committees that tie law enforcement to the community.
He is involved in many civic and alumni organizations in his private life. In 2019, Andrew Hock received the Grand Corridor Chamber of Commerce Community Advancement Award. He currently serves as President of the Triton College Alumni Association Board and a Foundation Board member. When Andrew is not fighting crime he enjoys golf and photography. Chief Hock and his wife Heather have two children, Brian, 36, is a current Elmwood Park Police Detective, and Ashley, 32, works in the finance industry.
Council Vice President
Class of 1980
Jim Renella grew up in Franklin Park, Illinois and graduated from West Leyden High School in Northlake, Illinois. Jim attended Triton College to pursue a Certificate in Photo Offset. He worked full time at a printing company called Form Service, Inc. in Schiller Park, Illinois while going to Triton College part time at night. His career goal was to be a general manager of a printing company. After graduating from Triton College in 1980 with a Certificate in Photo Offset, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration degree from Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. All of the college classes Jim attended were exclusively at night because he worked full time during the day. His educational journey lasted more than nine years, during which he attended night classes all year long. While attending classes at night, his work responsibilities increased as he was promoted to senior management roles. Jim has held various positions in the printing industry throughout his career including Pre-Press Supervisor, Plant Manager, Chief Operating Officer, Senior Vice President/General Manager and Vice President Sales and Marketing. Jim ended up working for Form Service for 29 years, which grew to a $50 million organization. When he left in 2003, Jim held the position of Chief Operating Officer.
Today, Jim has been with Diamond Communication Solutions for over 14 years. During his tenure with the company, he has held several senior management positions. As the Senior Vice President/General Manager, he led a migration team that was integral in implementing ink jet technology that eliminated over 400 preprinted forms and developed a white paper environment for digital printing throughout the Diamond Communication Solutions organization. In his current role of Senior Vice President Quality Operations at Diamond Communication Solutions, Jim is responsible for total quality management and employee education for all of Diamond Communication Solutions’ facilities. He is a member of various professional organizations in his industry and has been recognized for his many contributions to the field.
As he looks back on his career and educational journey he credits Triton College for laying the foundation for a successful 40-year plus career in the printing industry. Jim also recognizes that the instructors he had for classes were more than just teachers, they were mentors that took the time and interest in his career path and offered him valuable guidance. Jim believes embracing technology is a way of life and a large part of one’s career. The industry he has worked in for more than 40 years has been impacted by technology in the last 20 years and ironically the same fundamental principles Jim was taught at Triton still hold true with this new digital technology.
Class of 2002
Mr. Justiz became an Adjunct Faculty member in March of 2002. He has served as the coordinator of the Emergency Medical Technology program, and is the current coordinator for the Fire Science program at Triton College.
Mr. Justiz has been a licensed Emergency Medical Technician-Basic since June 1997 and a licensed Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic since January 1999. He has also been a National Registered Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic since February 1999. In addition, he has been a certified firefighter in Illinois since 2000.
Mr. Justiz has completed an Associates of Applied Science degree in Fire Science & Paramedic Leadership from Triton Community College, Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Service Management from Southern Illinois University and is currently completing a Master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Illinois-Springfield.
Mr. Justiz is a Firefighter/Paramedic for the Chicago Fire Department and is also a part-time Firefighter/Paramedic/Fire Investigator with the River Grove Fire Department.
Dr. Kennedi Dixon
Dr. Kennedi Dixon
Class of 1992
Dr. Strickland-Dixon is currently the Special Education Divisional Director at Oak Park and River Forest High School.
Prior to transitioning to Oak Park and River Forest High School, she served as the first African- American Director of Special Education in Maywood District 89 for 8 years. As a product of Irving Elementary and Proviso East High School, this is an honor that Dr. Strickland- Dixon holds very near and dear to her heart.
After her tenure in Maywood District 89, she served as the Director of Special Education and Student Services in Bellwood District 88 for 3 years. The passion to help students with special needs was developed and cultivated while attending Triton College. Dr. Strickland- Dixon worked in the office that provided support to students with disabilities. She served as a mobility aide, scribe, and Peer Counselor for first generation college students.
In addition to her current position as a Special Education Director, Dr. Strickland- Dixon is heavily involved in promoting professional development that explores the needs of African-American students in the educational setting. She has presented at several professional conferences and is a guest lecturer at DePaul University the institution in which she received her doctorate in Educational Leadership. She is on the Board of Directors for the Mary E. Smith Foundation, which works to advance brain tumor research.
Dr. Strickland- Dixon became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated on the campus of Western Illinois University and is currently active with the Glen Ellyn Area Alumnae Chapter.
Despite her tremendously busy schedule, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teenage boys.
Current Alumni Association Council Members
Class of 2007
My name is Lawanda Agnew, I graduated from Triton College in 2007 with an Associate Degree in Applied Science. I went on to earn my bachelor’s degree in Nursing through a new partnership with Triton and Benedictine University in 2008. I furthered my career by obtaining my master’s degree in Leadership at Benedictine 10 years later in 2018. I credit Triton for preparing me for a 4-year degree and continuing education.
I currently work for Molina Healthcare and am a mother of three, two daughters, 24 and 12, and an 18-year-old son. My daughter also attended Triton and has earned her degree in Early Childhood Education my family and I still live in the Triton community.
After becoming a single teenage mother at the age of 18, I didn’t feel I could go away to a University and still work and support my daughter. I also needed the support of my family. Triton was my community college, I was impressed that it wasn’t a one-story building and that I could still have that university feel and get a good education. I was immediately impressed with the faculty, I quickly got a work-study position at the Center of Disabilities. I was now also a part of the staff and felt welcomed and supported by another at-risk group, which made me proud.
Triton was a beacon of hope for me, it provided a steppingstone at a time when I felt I no longer had opportunities being a single mother at 18. Triton became my life. I not only went to school there but also worked in the work-study program making Triton more like a family. I felt extremely supported at Triton and encouraged. Triton also provided an education for my daughter who tried going away to college but it wasn’t the right fit for her, I encouraged her to give my alma mater a try, and she also felt welcomed.
I am honored to be among this council and support students who will benefit from the same opportunities Triton offered me.
Class of 2016
Jamie M. DePaolo
Jamie M. DePaolo
Class of 2014
DePaolo is a Northlake native and graduate of West Leyden High School. She immediately began her pursuit of higher education as a first-generation, minority student at Triton College. She became a dedicated student leader, was a member of TRIO, and proudly served as the 2013 - 2014 Student Trustee, graduating with the Class of 2014.
After Triton, DePaolo transferred to DePaul University, where she earned her Bachelors of the Arts in Communication and Media with a Minor in Hospitality Leadership, concentrating in Event Production. Career highlight was being hand selected for DePaul’s Behind the Scenes with Chicago Sports Organizations class, where she was able to tour with Chicago based sports teams, organizations, and companies (Cubs, White Sox, Bulls, Blackhawks, Wolves, US Soccer Federation, Harry Caray’s, etc.), gaining first-hand insights into the sports business landscape. She graduated Cum Laude with the Class of 2016 and is a member of Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Association honor society.
Between her rich education and skills gained producing events on Triton’s campus, DePaolo has gone on to work with brands such as Kellogg’s, Airbus, and SC Johnson creating events, and fulfilled key event producer roles with the Chicago Sports Commission in the 2016 NFL Draft Town, and The Department of Defense 2017 Warrior Games Athletic Competition with Wounded Warrior veterans.
DePaolo has recently returned to the college to fulfill the new position of Coordinator for Athletic Facilities and Special Events, where she creates relationships with organizations in the community and manages their rentals at Triton’s newly renovated athletic fields. As President of the Alumni Association Council, she also serves as a board member for the Triton College Foundation.
Passionate about the arts, DePaolo has produced talent showcases in the community and performs in musical theatre throughout the Chicagoland area. What’s left of her free time is spent laughing with family and friends, watching her niece and nephew play soccer, and perfecting gluten-free recipes.
Chief Frank Fagiano
Elmwood Park Chief of Police Frank Fagiano
Class of 2000
Frank Fagiano was appointed Chief of Police of the Village of Elmwood Park in 2011. Prior to this role, Chief Fagiano began his career as an auxiliary police officer and then hired as a patrol officer, then promoted to sergeant, watch commander and deputy chief. He has continued his police-related training in executive management courses at Northwestern University Public Safety for Police Executives program.
In his role as chief, he has been instrumental in initiating many new programs within the Elmwood Park community. Chief Fagiano has provided a comprehensive approach to delivering police services, including regularly analyzing current crime trends and patterns. He has also initiated a crime free housing program which aids in curbing crime levels within the community.
Chief Fagiano has provided youth community support related programs such as Child Safety, Officer Friendly and Stranger Danger, Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) and Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT).
Chief Fagiano is member of the Illinois Chiefs of Police Association and the West Suburban Chief of Police Association. He is a decorated commanding officer and a recipient of numerous unit and team commendations for exemplary performance. He has received a number of awards during his career lifetime, including three distinguished Cook County Sheriffs Merit Awards for outstanding law enforcement work.
Class of 2010 and 2017
Wally Lockard III
Wally Lockard III
Class of 2012
Wally Lockard III is a 17-year entertainment industry veteran and culture creator.
Wally has a background in music, management, television, radio and media. After serving three years on active duty in the U.S. Army, Wally founded Urban Grind TV, an award-winning cable TV show that has aired on Comcast in Chicago for the past ten years.
Wally is a dynamic executive producer, recognized industry-wide for his creative leadership and artistic innovation through his media outlets Urban Grind TV, Urban Grind Radio, Urban Grind Lifestyle Magazine and 1913 Digital Media. Wally’s platforms have amassed 16 awards for creative media, including personally receiving a Cultural Impact Award.
After graduating from Triton College with honors and Governors State University, Wally received his law degree from Purdue University Global. He currently serves on the boards for The Chicago Music Awards, SAE Music Institute (Music Business), Operation Dream Big (Veterans), Triton College Alumni Association, Master Mason and Noble of the Mystic Shrine (Shriner). He also serves as vice-president of operations for Jaz-O’s record label Kingz Kounty Media Group, which recently inked a distribution deal with Roc Nation's Equity Distribution. Wally has been asked to co-chair working groups for the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events for the City of Chicago's Year of Chicago Music 2020.
Follow him on UrbanGrindTV.com @UrbanGrindTV on all social media platforms.
Gina M. Pesko
Gina M. Pesko
Class of 1985
A lifelong Elmwood Park resident, Ms. Pesko attended Elm School, Elmwood Park High School and Triton College. She graduated from Triton in 1985 with an Associate’s Degree in Radiologic Technology. She did her X-Ray internship at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital and worked at various clinics in the suburban area. She also was previously employed by United Airlines at their corporate headquarters for 11 years in their onsite employee health clinic. She is currently employed by the Village of Elmwood Park in their Code Administration Department and was elected to the position of Village Clerk in April of 2013.
Ms. Pesko has been married to Chris Pesko for 22 years. He is the Global Head of Investment Technology at Aon/Hewitt in Lincolnshire and current Elmwood Park library board President. She and Chris have two children, Sydney, a student at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana where she is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Tyler, a senior at Elmwood Park High School.
Ms. Pesko has always been very involved in the Elmwood Park community and gives freely of her time whenever she can. Besides being very active in her children’s schools, she also served as a Girl Scout troop leader and Elmwood School representative to the Elmwood Park/River Grove Girl Scout Council. She has been a parent advocate volunteer for Cochlear Corporation, maker of Cochlear Implants for deaf children and adults. She served as an active member of the Elmwood Park Rush youth football program for seven years.
She is a founding member and former secretary of the Elmwood Park Garden Club, member of the Keep Elmwood Park Beautiful committee as sell as secretary of the Arts and Special Events Commission. She and her family are lifelong parishioners of St. Vincent Ferrer in River Forest.
Her hobbies include gardening, baking and spending time with family and friends.
Class of 1976
Mr. John Saccomanno graduated Triton College in 1976 with a degree in Restaurant Training and from FIU (Florida International University, Miami FL) in 1978 from the School of Hospitality Management & Tourism. Mr. Saccomanno went on to work for Marriott Corporation following graduation from FIU at the Lincolnshire Resort, where he was seriously introduced to the game of golf; a game that he continues to enjoy today. After some time in the hotel business, which included rising to Director of Catering at The Palmer House Hilton Hotel in Chicago, he worked in club management at Medinah Country Club and Short Hills in the Quad Cities.
He has two grown daughters that have blessed him with three adorable grandsons. Mr. Saccomanno is currently retired from being a wine consultant with the largest wine distributor in the country and now assists charitable organizations at their signature events with wine pulls, wine silent auctions and wine raffles. Over the last few years Mr. Saccomanno has been traveling to golf tournaments around the country and to the wine countries of Italy, Spain and Napa Valley.
Dr. Tammara Trice
Dr. Tammara Trice
Chef Manny Uribe
Chef Manny Uribe
Class of 2009 and 2010
Mr. Uribe is a Melrose Park resident and graduate of West Leyden High School. He first enrolled at Triton as a senior in high school as part of a dual credit program. He went on to enroll full-time at Triton, earning an associate degree in culinary arts, as well as certificates in restaurant management and baking.
Mr. Uribe worked in a variety of positions at restaurants and hotels throughout the Chicagoland area, before returning to Triton to serve as a full-time faculty member of the Culinary Arts Program. He currently teaches food prep and garde-manger classes, helping aspiring chefs and food industry workers to reach their goals. In addition to teaching at Triton, Mr. Uribe currently serves as a menu consultant at Terzo Piano restaurant, located inside of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Notable accomplishments include participating in the 2018 Barilla Pasta World Championship in Milan Italy, where he helped a fellow faculty member capture the title of International Pasta Champion. He also traveled to Pennsylvania College of Technology in 2019, where he mentored students as part of the Visiting Chef Series. Mr. Uribe serves as the co-chair of Triton’s Greening the Campus Committee, leading efforts to reduce waste on campus and implement the use of recyclable products. He conducts community outreach programs throughout Chicagoland, educating community members on sustainability practices and food waste reduction techniques.
Mr. Uribe and his wife, Jackie, have two daughters, Alexa and Elisa.
Class of 2010
Mr. Webber is a graduate of St. Joseph High School and Triton College. He currently serves as a professional staff member at Illinois Community College District 504 (Triton College). For several years Mr. Webber has coordinated the Student Life Special Initiatives area that is responsible for Student Ambassador Program and Student Leadership Institute, which specializes in developing leadership and interpersonal skills.
Mr. Webber is a youth advocate within the Proviso Township. Through leadership programming and meaningful ministry it is his aim to minimize the senseless violence that is plaguing today’s area youth. From speaking at local grade schools and high schools to coordinating youth outreach functions, Lorenzo Webber remains connected to anyone who is dedicated to improving the lives of young people.
On June 22 at the Young Democrats of Illinois State Convention, Mr. Webber was elected 1st Vice President. He is also a deputy registrar in Cook County who assists in registering voter. It is his mission to bring about new movement of politically active young people.
Putting his roles together Mr. Webber is a community activist who empowers those he serves by connecting them to education and the political pathways of action. He firmly believes that education and political activism are the foundations of a strong community and a better tomorrow.
Mr. Webber is currently seeking funds to successfully complete his baccalaureate degree program at National Louis University for Applied Behavioral Science with a minor in Public Policy.
Alesha R. (Young) Whisenton
Alesha R. (Young) Whisenton
Class of 1995
A double Triton graduate in 1995 (Hotel Mgmt) and 2006 (Nursing), Ms. Whisenton currently working as a staff RN at the University of Chicago Medical Center as a telemetry nurse.
Ms. Whisenton has been a nurse for 9 1/2 years and truly loves caring for patients. Since leaving Triton, she has gone on to receive her BSN and MSN in education from Benedictine and my MSN with focus in Family Nurse Practitioner from Olivet Nazarene.
"I'm currently studying to take my board exam and credit Triton as my foundation to where I am today. Triton is truly a great place to start pursuing your degree and I'm honored to serve on the Alumni Council."
Alumni Association Council Nomination
To nominate yourself or an individual for appointment to the Alumni Association Council, complete the Alumni Association Council Nomination form. All nominations will be reviewed by a Selection Committee before appointments are made. All nominees must meet the following criteria and be able to meet expectations of a Council member to be considered for appointment.
Alumni Association Council Membership Criteria and Expectations:
- Nominee must be an active member of the Alumni Association
- Nominee must hold a degree or certificate from Triton College
- Nominee shall serve for a term of three years and may be elected for successive terms
- Council member must attend at least 50% of Council meetings and Council subcommittee meetings (to be held quarterly) and are expected to attend annual Alumni Association events when available
- Council member must participate as a member of 1 Alumni Association subcommittee annually
- Council member must abide by the expectations outlined in the Roles and Responsibilities of the Alumni Association Council
Alumni Association Scholarships
The Triton College Alumni Association is committed to supporting student success. To assist students and alumni in the pursuit of academic goals, the Alumni Association is offering two scholarship opportunities for students and alumni.