SIU College of Business Inducts Four New Members into the Hall of Fame

Southern Illinois University



SIU College of Business Inducts Four New Members into the Hall of Fame

May 01, 2014, Christie Mitchell


Pictured from left to right are SIU Chancellor Rita Cheng, Hall of Fame inductees Lester Hale, Barbara Blacklock, Steven Beal, George Klenovich, and College of Business Dean Dennis Cradit.

The SIU College of Business inducted four new members into the Hall of Fame on Friday April 25, 2014 at the SIU Arena.   Induction into the Hall of Fame is the highest honor the College of Business bestows, recognizing outstanding contribution to business and industry.  A tradition started in 1986, the awards banquet was established to pay tribute to exceptional business people who are also alumni and friends of the college. 

“Our honorees have proven that once armed with an SIU education, our alumni are prepared to excel in whatever they choose to do,” said College of Business Dean, Dennis Cradit. 

The 2014 Hall of Fame Inductees are Steven Beal, Mt. Vernon IL, Barbara Blacklock, Carbondale, IL, Lester Hale, Chicago, IL, and George Klenovich Chicago, IL. 

Steven Beal earned his bachelor’s degree in management from SIU in 1997.  He is the President and CEO of National Railway Equipment, headquartered in Mt. Vernon, IL which encompasses fifteen US and international facilities and affiliates.  Steven has been employed by NREC since 1986 and has touched every facet of the business throughout his tenure.  He has served as the Managing Director and/or Vice President of many of NREC’s vertically integrated wholly owned subsidiaries which support NREC.

Barbara Blacklock is the Managing Director of Investments at Blacklock Financial Strategies Group- Wells Fargo Advisors, and a Premier Advisor.  Before becoming an advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors by way of Wachovia Securities, she was a branch manager for A. G. Edwards & Sons, Inc. for 20 years.  During that time Barbara also served as a Corporate Officer and member of the Chairman’s Council.  Barbara graduated from SIU in 1989.  Ms. Blacklock maintains significant ties to the College of Business through her work on the Finance Board of Advisors and by supporting the extern program.  She was also instrumental in equipping the College of Business Kraft Trading Room with cutting edge Bloomberg technology which significantly contributes to the advancement of students, the success of the Saluki Student Investment Fund and the newly created Graduate Student Investment Fund. 

Lester Hale received his bachelor’s degree in Marketing from SIU in 1970.  He then went on to earn his MBA from Northwestern University in 1972.  He is now President of Hale Company in Chicago, IL where he pursues and develops relationships with men’s stores in the Midwest and select National stores.  He has acquired many impressive credentials in the menswear retail industry during a career that has spanned four decades including V.P. status at Hart Marx, Brand Manager for Braham & Gunn, and top salesperson at Freedburg of Boston and Joseph Abbound Company. 

George Klenovich graduated from the College of Business with a bachelor’s degree in Accountancy in 1980.  He serves as the Managing Partner of CohnReznick’s Chicago office and actively serves on his firm’s Executive Board as well as other national committees with CohnReznick.  Throughout his career, he has served as the lead assurance and coordinating partner on privately-held, private equity-owned and public companies. Many of these companies have been active in international expansion, acquisition, and financing, and, as such, he has developed his own expertise in IPO’s and SEC reporting. Prior to joining CohnReznick, he served as the managing partner and director of the assurance practice for the St. Louis office of Ernst & Young. While there, he focused on strategic growth markets for the Midwest Region.

Congratulations to the 2014 College of Business Hall of Fame inductees.