Benedictine University is home to a diverse group of alumni, successful in all walks of life. On the following pages, we aim to highlight and recognize the accomplishments of those that truly exemplify the Benedictine values of service, leadership and social contribution. These are just some of our alumni who are not only at the top in their respective fields but are also making a difference in their communities. We have recognized these individuals through special events, programs and awards.
Jim Kleinwachter grew up in the western Chicagoland suburbs and attended St. Francis High School in Wheaton, Illinois. After graduating high school, Kleinwachter went on to earn his bachelor's degree in business and economics from the College of Business, Technology and Professional Programs at Benedictine University in 1978. Kleinwachter also attended National University and earned his M.B.A. in Marketing in 1981.
After completing his higher education degrees, Kleinwachter moved to California and worked as a regional sales manager for Allied Automotive. In 1986, Kleinwachter returned to the Chicagoland suburbs and purchased his family's hardware business. After owning the business for 16 years, he sold it to follow his passion for nature.
Kleinwachter began his relationship with The Conservation Foundation over twenty years ago through volunteerism. In his volunteer efforts, Kleinwachter helped organize the annual DuPage River Sweep since its inception in 1991. He also organized the DuPage River clean ups in Warrenville, Illinois prior to the Foundation's involvement. Since then, he has worked on prairie and wetland restoration projects at Johnson Elementary School, also in Warrenville, Illinois, and on several educational endeavors of the Foundation. In 1999, Kleinwachter received the Paul Butler Memorial Award presented by The Conservation Foundation for outstanding volunteer service.
On January 1, 2004, Kleinwachter was hired by The Conservation Foundation as a land preservation specialist. Today, Kleinwachter works as a conservation program manager to preserve land as open space for The Conservation Foundation. In this position, Kleinwachter works with government agencies and private landowners to negotiate open space purchases and facilitate land donations and conservation easements. He lectures all over the region on local environmental issues and actively works with homeowners and business property owners to improve the environmental conditions of their sites. Kleinwachter has also developed and currently manages the Conservation@Home program, which teaches individuals about sustainable landscaping practices.
View current alumni visionary and rising star award winners who have displayed leadership and innovation in their industry.