Harper College

2010 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Bruce R. Gaitsch

Internationally known Guitarist, Songwriter and Publisher

Bruce R. Gaitsch

Songwriter and Publisher Bruce Gaitsch has written, recorded and performed with many artists from around the world, including Celine Dione, Elton John, Barbara Streisand, Kenny Rogers and Peter Cetera - to name a few. He has written two number one songs including "La Isla Bonita" written for Madonna's "True Blue" record.

This song won Bruce an ASCAP most performed award in 1987 and has been number one in over 24 countries. The second number one song was "Don't Mean Nothing" by Richard Marx. Another big hit was "Right Here Waiting" by Richard Marx. Bruce has his own recording studio in Nashville where he records many of his own albums. Other artists and groups featuring Bruce on their records and albums have also recorded at his studio.


Andy-John G. Kalkounos

Managing Partner: Chicago Prime Steakhouse
Owner: Kalkounos & Associates: Boutique Executive Search Firm
Managing Broker: Chicago Prime Realty & Development Corp.

Andy-John G. Kalkounos

Andy-John G. Kalkounos began his association with Harper when he took piano lessons as a young child. Upon graduating from Butler University with a marketing degree, Andy-John returned to Harper and performed in three Harper Ensemble Theatre Company shows. He then earned his Real Estate Broker's license through Harper and continues to take many professional development courses at the College.

Following college, Andy-John worked for Aerotek, a national staffing company, before opening his own recruiting firm, Kalkounos  & Associates, in 1998. Kalkounos  & Associates continues to thrive and serve clients like Motorola and AT&T in their human resources and staffing needs.

In 2000, Andy-John became the Managing Partner with his father George at the Chicago Prime Steakhouse in Schaumburg. Chicago Prime Steakhouse is the recipient of many awards including the "Best Steak" and "Best Wine List" in Chicago from City Search and Open Table.com.

His Harper Real Estate Brokerage license has allowed him to expand into new business ventures in both the Northwest suburbs and city of Chicago.

Andy-John's strong commitment to Harper College includes serving on the Harper College Educational Foundation Directors Circle Committee, which raises money for scholarships and educational programs.

Andy-John represents the thousands of Harper alumni who have taken advantage of the many opportunities the college has to offer, coming to campus to sharpen skills, enrich themselves as human beings, or prepare for a new career path.


William F. Kelley

Managing Partner Kelley, Kelley & Kelley
Board Member, Harper College Board of Trustees

William Kelley

Bill Kelley attended Harper College in 1973 upon graduation from St. Viator High School and went on to graduate Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Loyola University Chicago in 1977. He completed his Juris Doctor Cum Laude from Loyola University School of Law in 1980, where he graduated in the top two percent of his class and served as an editor of the Loyola Law Journal. He also received the American Jurisprudence Award in 1980.

Bill has a strong commitment to Harper College and to the community. Currently, he serves on the Harper College Board of Trustees, Schaumburg Park District Foundation, St. Hubert Finance Board, Advisory Board to the Northwest Suburban Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the Board of Governors to the Northwest Suburban Bar Association. He is active in the Schaumburg Hoffman Estates Rotary Club and has served on numerous civic and community boards, including Past Chair of the Kenneth Young Center.


Todd R. Mussell

Director of Global Sourcing and Supply Chain, BAE Systems

Todd Mussell

Todd Mussell has a long and distinguished career in the manufacturing industry. Over the last 25 years, he has worked for many companies in various areas, which include engineering, marketing, quality, product development, supply chain and business development. In 2005, he became General Manager of Body Armor for what today is BAE Systems.

Outside of work, Todd received a Private Pilots License to fulfill a lifelong aviation interest. His aviation interests have led him to work for defense companies, focusing on force protection products and programs. With his work on defense programs, he has been honored by the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy for outstanding contributions to the protection of Army and Navy aviators. In addition, Todd has received numerous outstanding achievement awards over the years from many of his employers. Todd's education includes an Associate in Science degree from Harper College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a Master of Business Administration from Utah State University.


Shannon L. Plate

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
Adjunct Professor, Trinity International University

Shannon Plate

Shannon Plate was a wife and mother of two when she came to Harper as a returning student in 1996. While at Harper, she received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Motorola Award for Excellence, Who's Who Among College Students, the Dean's List and Phi Theta Kappa. Shannon was a national medalist for the Harper Speech team. She graduated with honors in 1999.

After leaving Harper, Shannon went on to Roosevelt University earning a Bachelor's degree with honors. She then moved on to Trinity International University, graduating Cum Laude with her Master's degree in counseling psychology. During her final year in graduate school, she wrote Degunking Your Personal Finances, which was published in 2005. Shannon then became a licensed clinical professional counselor and now runs a successful individual, marriage and budget counseling practice in Palatine, Illinois. As a result of her time on the speech team, Shannon spent 10 years writing and performing entertaining programs for groups in the Chicago area. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Shannon continues to volunteer weekly at her church, working with individuals and families in financial and personal crisis.


Jacob H. Sadoff

President and Co-Founder, Midwest Gold Buyers

Jacob H. Sadoff

As a Harper student in 1996, Jake Sadoff was a successful competitor on the Harper Speech Team. Even after transferring to Northern Illinois University, Jake still remained part of the "Harper College Speech Team Family," using his talent to help Harper students write their speeches, create their characters and polish their delivery. To this day, he donates countless hours of his time in order to help the students and coaches accomplish their tasks during the season.

Jake is also a successful business owner. After graduating from Northern Illinois University, he and his twin brother Jordan opened JS Enterprises which specialized in the trading of collectible toys. In 2008, as the collectible toy industry faded with the economy, they converted their business into Schaumburg-based Midwest Gold Buyers. With more than 75 stores, they are the largest retail gold buyer in the United States. For more than 10 years, Jake has given of himself to the students at Harper through countless hours of volunteering and financial support. Through the Harper College Educational Foundation, Jake has created and funded the Harper College Speech and Debate Alumni Scholarship that provides $1,000 of financial assistance each year to a member of the College's speech and debate team.


Daniel W. Untch

Corporate Vice President of Compliance Operations, CVS Caremark
and Vice President of Compliance of Minute Clinic

Daniel W. Untch

Daniel Untch received his Associate's degree from Harper College in 1973. He went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Governors State University and Master of Science in Health care Administration from the University of St. Francis.

After selling his retail music and studio business in 1978, Daniel began a career in the corporate world working his way up from an accounts receivable clerk at a hospital to a corporate vice president at a Fortune 18 company influencing the lives of 220,000 employees through compliance and integrity training, the publication of a Code of Conduct and various other compliance program initiatives.

Last Updated: 3/14/24