5 to receive UNL Alumni Achievement awards

Released on 04/29/2009, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lincoln, Neb., April 29th, 2009 —

Five University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduates will receive Alumni Achievement Awards from the Nebraska Alumni Association during the All-University Celebration and Salute to Alumni Achievement May 8 at the Nebraska Champions Club.

The 2009 recipients of the award, which recognize service to one's community, state and nation, are:

Ken Jones of Half Moon Bay, Calif., founder of Automated Call Processing Corp. (1983), Ditech Communications (1990) and Globe Wireless (1999). Globe provides communications services to ships at sea using satellites and a global network of high-frequency radio stations. Jones, a Lincoln native who received his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the College of Engineering in 1968, is a member of the Engineering Dean's Advisory Board, supports engineering scholarships and academic programs, and is active in the Engineering Learning Community trip. He lives on the California coast near Half Moon Bay where he has served as president of the local school board for 12 years.

Maj. Gen. Timothy J. Kadavy, Nebraska Adjutant General and 1987 graduate. Kadavy commands the Nebraska National Guard (4,800 soldiers and airmen in the Army and Air National Guard) and directs the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency. Commissioned through UNL ROTC, the Omaha native has served in the Nebraska National Guard as well as assignments at Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Fort McPherson, Ga.; National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Va.; and tours in Bosnia and Iraq. He holds the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal and numerous additional awards.

Don Patterson, an attorney in Topeka, Kan., 1947 graduate and active member of the Northeast Kansans for Nebraska. He was a charter member and assisted in the organization of the Kansas Association of Defense Counsel. A frequent lecturer at legal institutes in the state of Kansas and nationally on product liability, he has been listed among the "Best Lawyers in America" since 1983. Patterson was the winner of the 1996 Yancey Memorial Award from the International Association of Defense Council, the 1997 Defense Research Institute's Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Profession and the 2003 Kansas Association of Defense Counsel William Kahrs Distinguished Service Award.

John Pekas, an attorney in Sioux Falls, S.D., and director of legal education for National American University. A 1991 graduate, Pekas has served on the Minnehaha County Commission for eight years, including two years as chairman. During his tenure he led efforts to improve law enforcement, maintain county welfare services, support expansion of county services to meet demands of a community that grew by 20 percent, and improve emergency management services, and oversaw the building of a new jail and courthouse, and improved community and rural ambulance service. He is the recipient of numerous outstanding teacher awards from National American University and the Glory House Board of Directors Service Award.

Rick Schuchardt of Fairfax, Va., a Nebraska graduate and Elgin native who served the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service for almost 35 years before his transition to farming in northeast Nebraska in 2008. At the time of his retirement, Schuchardt was special assistant to the NASS administrator and was responsible for coordinating strategic planning, performance management and competitive sourcing. He received the service's Administrator's Award for Excellence in 2005, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Honor Award in 2006 and the first agency "NASSie Award" in 2007 for outstanding performance.

Reservations for the All-University Celebration and Salute to Alumni Achievement may be made by calling the Nebraska Alumni Association, (888) 353-1874 or (402) 472-4217. The cost is $35 per person and the deadline for registrations is May 1.

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