The Triton College Foundation will honor Geoffrey Obrzut, president and CEO of the Illinois Community College Board; Thomas Olson, executive director of marketing of Triton College; and Dr. Kathryn Robbins, superintendent of Leyden High School District 212, at the 19th Annual President’s Reception set for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the Student Center (B) Building on the west side of Triton’s main campus, 2000 Fifth Ave., River Grove.
Mr. Geoffrey Obrzut, a West Leyden High School and 1972 Triton College graduate, who received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Illinois—Springfield, held administrative roles with the Department of Human Services and the United Cerebral Palsy of Will County, before being elected to the Illinois General Assembly as a state representative for the 52nd District. He also served as an aide to Illinois Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan, as well as Illinois Gov. Dan Walker. Today, Obrzut is in a rewarding career as president and CEO of the Illinois Community College Board, holding his position since 2004.
Obrzut has won numerous awards, exemplifying his commitment to contributing to student success. Awards include the Meritorious Service Award from the Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA) in 2007, the Outstanding Service Award from the Illinois Student Association in 1992 and the ICCTA’s Outstanding Alumnus Award in 1986.
He also has served on the Triton College Board of Trustees, the ICCTA and chaired the National Council of State Directors of Community College in 2009 and 2010.
Mr. Thomas Olson holds the position of executive director of marketing at Triton College, where he has been employed since 1983, previously serving as a graphic designer and director of creative services.
In 1998, Olson was recognized as Communicator of the Year by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations, a highly-recognized national collegiate organization, for his graphic design and marketing skills and is a member of Triton College President Dr. Patricia Granados’ 2009 President’s Leadership Academy. In November 2010, he received the president’s Excellence in Service Award – an award given to individuals who repeatedly go above and beyond the call of duty for Triton College.
A lifelong Melrose Park native, Olson is a 1974 graduate of Proviso East (Maywood), a 1977 graduate of Triton College and parishioner of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. He is an active supporter of many youth and civic organizations throughout the area. In 2003, he was elected Veterans Park District commissioner and was re-elected in 2009. In 2007, Olson was honored as the 114th Annual Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Man of the Year and in 2009 as the 48th Annual Melrose Park Flowers of Italy Club Man of the Year. At each event, he set up and pledged student scholarships via the Triton Foundation to support the mission of each organization and benefit the students of Triton College.
Dr. Kathryn J. Robbins has an accomplished career in education, beginning as a high school teacher at Manteno and Proviso East High Schools years. As superintendent of Leyden High School District 212, a position she’s held since 1999, Dr. Robbins is responsible for all school district operations for 3,500 students and 550 staff members. During her tenure, she has worked with the Board of Education, her administrative team and staff to establish professional learning communities and to restructure the school day, currently leading the effort to bring 21st Century learning and technology skills to all Leyden students.
Dr. Robbins has served in a variety of capacities on boards and with professional organizations, including serving on the Board of Directors for the Illinois High School District Organization, the West Cook Region of the Illinois Association of School Administrators, the Superintendents Round Table of Northern Illinois and the Leyden Area Superintendents Organization. She was elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Association of School Administrators in 2005 and will serve as president of the state organization next year. She received her Bachelor of Science in business education from Northern Illinois University, her Master of Science in education from National Louis University and a doctorate in educational administration from Loyola University.
Tickets for the President’s Reception are $60 and include food, refreshments and entertainment, all produced by Triton College students or donated by area restaurants. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Foundation, a nonprofit affiliate of the college, to be used toward student scholarships and other programs at Triton College and are tax deductible as allowed by law.
A commemorative program book is being produced as part of the festivities. Ads for the book can be purchased for as little as $25 for a patron listing (name only), and up. If assistance is needed in designing an ad, the Foundation can help at no additional cost.
The Foundation also is looking for silent auction items. These items can be gift certificates, tickets to events or merchandise, including autographed sportswear, artwork, ceramics, sporting equipment, and food items arranged in gift baskets.
To purchase a ticket, place an ad in the program book or to donate an item for the silent auction, call the Foundation at (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3758, or send an e-mail to email@example.com.