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Heartland Community College

Alumni Association Honors Four

November 13, 2023

The Heartland Community College Alumni Association has recognized four graduates who have made a positive impact on their community. 

Ben Jeffreys is the 2023 recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award. This award is given to an individual who through both personal and professional accomplishments personifies the values of the College. 

Jeffreys, from Bloomington, is a Managing Partner/Principal at Mid America Insurance. He attended Heartland from 2004 to 2007, earning an associate degree in business. He then earned a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University in Integrated Marketing Communications.  

In addition to Distinguished Alumnus, the Heartland Alumni Association had added three new honors in 2023. 

Kyana Wilkinson is the recipient of the Career Achievement Award. This award is for an alumnus who has exceptional career and professional accomplishment that reflect favorably on his or her profession. 

Wilkinson, from Bloomington, is the Quality Practice Advisor at Healthmap Solutions out of Tampa, Florida. She attended Heartland from 2012 to 2014, earning an associate degree in nursing. She went on to earn a BSN from Methodist College, and a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare from Western Governors University.  

Harley Story is recipient of the Community Service Award, given to an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to their community through significant contributions to public or private programs that improve or enhance the quality of life of individuals, families, and communities.   

Story, from St. Louis, Missouri, is employed as the Events and Operations Coordinator at Mission: St. Louis and the CEO of Hall of Fame Sports, LLC. He attended Heartland from 2010 to 2012, earning an associate degree. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Sports Management from Maryville University.  

Gary Leato is recipient of the College Engagement Award, given to an alumnus who has provided exceptional service to Heartland Community College, by either serving on committees, boards, acting as a mentor or other service/support.  

Leato, from Flanagan, is employed as the Director of Information Systems at Advance Trading Incorporated in Bloomington. He attended HCC from 2010 to 2012, earning an associate degree in computer network technology, and certificates in computer network, Cisco Academy, Linux and Windows. 

 “The purpose of these awards is to recognize alumni who are making a difference in their community,” said Heartland Associate Director of Community Engagement Gena Glover. “Ben, Kyana, Harley, and Gary represent not only individual success stories as students who have found their path through education, but also an ongoing commitment to the betterment of our community as a whole.”

Written by: Steve Fast