Eight to Join Benson Hall of Fame on April 28, 2017

15th Saturday, 2017  |   Blog, Hall of Fame, News  |  no comments

A medical nuclear physicist, an obstetrician, a retired investment executive, a financial planner with a Super Bowl ring, a labor relations attorney and a retired Omaha police officer are the distinguished graduates entering the Benson High School Alumni Association Hall of Fame on April 28, 2017.
They are Tom Stokes (1952), David Jacobson (1968). David Campbell (1970), Dr. Monique Turner Tolston (1983), Michelle Peak (1987) and Tony Veland (1991).
Also to be inducted are Troy Travis (1989) posthumously as a booster-graduate and Mint Design Group as a community partner.
The public is invited to attend the ceremony in the school’s Mary McNamara Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. A 6 p.m. dinner will precede the ceremony. The dinner also is open to the public.
The Alumni Association Hall of Fame committee selected the following for induction:
Tom Stokes — 1952
Tom Stokes is the retired president of Gates Capital Management, a private family investment company that is a world leader in the manufacturing of V belts, hoses and related systems for the auto and truck market. It has 14,000 employees and plants in 16 countries. Prior to forming Gates Capital Management, Stokes was in commercial banking for 36 years before becoming executive director of the Gates Family Foundation and continues to be a trustee of the private foundation that focuses its efforts on education, historic preservation, parks and recreation and economic development in Colorado. Stokes serves on the boards of Downtown Denver, Governor’s Commission on Life and the Law, the Clayton Foundation, Denver Urban Renewal Authority, Colorado Public Radio and Colorado Forum.
David Jacobson — 1968
David Jacobson is a retired medical nuclear physicist who was the supervisor of Chemical and Radiation Safety Training at Omaha Public Power District’s Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station and then the Director of Chemical and Radiation Safety at the University of Nebraska Medical Center for 23 years, retiring in 2013. Jacobson was also a faculty member in the UNMC Department of Radiology and co-founded and co-owned two businesses. Great Plains Nuclear Service was a nuclear medicine and nuclear industry consulting business and Great Plains Radiopharmacy was a nuclear pharmacy compounding and dispensing radiopharmaceuticals to hospitals in the Midwest. Both businesses were sold to a Fortune 500 health-care company. Jacobson was also a consultant for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security for more than 17 years and served on federal inspections and evaluation teams for most nuclear power plants.
David J. Campbell — 1970
David Campbell is a retired Omaha police officer. During the May 6, 1975, tornado that struck Omaha, Officer Campbell traveled alongside the storm, tracking the tornado and radioing in dispatches. Local TV and radio stations were able to broadcast them, convincing people that they needed to take shelter. His cruiser was pummeled by debris from the F4 tornado he tracked along 72nd Street until it dissipated over Benson Park. His radio reports proved to be critical in getting the people of Omaha to take cover. Campbell served on the police force for nearly 30 years. In addition to the tornado, he delivered a baby in a house, was shot at before subduing a suspect and later in his career and talked down an armed Vietnam veteran at a VFW hall before taking him to the hospital for help. He retired because of injuries sustained during the line of duty. He is active in the community, serving as a member of the Tangier Shriners and Boy Scouts.
Dr. Monique Turner Tolston — 1983
Dr. Monique Tolston has a family practice with obstetrics in the Benson community. Marriage and family delayed Dr. Tolston from going to medical school but she completed her nursing degree from Clarkson College. With all of her family responsibilities, she worked nights as a nurse and in 2000 applied and was accepted to medical school. She graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in 2005 as one of six African-American women in her class of 109. After graduating from medical school, she worked at the Charles Drew Health Center. In December 2016, she opened her own private-practice clinic just blocks from Benson High. She delivers about 80 babies per year and counts nearly 500 families whose babies she has delivered.
Michelle A. Peak — 1987
Michelle Peak is a director and senior labor attorney for American Airlines. She manages a wide range of labor and employment issues for a $30 billion airline that has more than 100,000 employees. Her main focus is on the airline industry and the Railway Labor Act. She litigates and resolves issues involving collective bargaining and contract interpretation and mediates and arbitrates employee grievances. She is a frequent speaker discussing topics related to labor law and diversity and inclusion around the country. In addition to mentoring other attorneys, Peak is active in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, community and local bar association. In 2013, she was awarded the Corporate Counsel of the Year, Top 100 Emerging Leaders Under 50 and the Corporate Counsel Award —Champion of Diversity.
Tony Veland – 1991
Tony Veland is a financial advisor for Heritage Financial Services. He has been a financial advisor for 15 years. Veland was a starter at defensive back for the 1994 and 1995 Nebraska national championship football teams, and played for the Denver Broncos, winning a ring as a member of the their Super Bowl XXXII team in 1997. He ended his playing career in 1998 with the Carolina Panthers, then spent six seasons coaching as the defensive coordinator of the Omaha Beef of the United Indoor Football league. Veland is active in the community as a mentor and on the boards for Teammates and Collective for Youth.
Troy Travis (deceased) — 1989
Troy Travis was a member of the security staff at Benson High School for 12 years, earning the title of “Mr. Benson,” until his untimely death. He was always there for the Benson students with a shoulder to lean on or someone to listen to them. He always had a smile and a big heart, and a passion to help students any way he could. As a standout football player at Benson, he went on to play at Middle Tennessee State and later with the Omaha Beef in the Indoor Professional Football League. Travis said his biggest achievement was his daughter, who was his world. He died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident on Aug. 1, 2015. A foundation in his name has been established.
Mint Design Group — Community Partner
Mint was selected as the first Community Partner honored by the Benson Hall of Fame. The owner, D’Ann Lonowski, will be accepting the honor. Mint is located in the Benson business district and was instrumental in the implementation of Career Academies at Benson High School. It helped create the informational materials to accurately inform people of the exciting new programming, served on advisory boards, and provided students with internships and job shadowing opportunities. When asked, they delivered beyond expectations.

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