Sterling mayor recognized with distinguished alumni award from Sauk Valley Community College

Diana Merdian, Roberto Carmona honored as outstanding alumni

Sterling mayoral candidate Diana Merdian spent the evening of the race with her bowling team at Blackhawk Lanes Tuesday, April 4, 2023. Merdian won the race.

DIXON – Sterling Mayor Diana Merdian and business owner Roberto Carmona will be honored Friday as outstanding alumni at Sauk Valley Community College.

The two will be recognized during SVCC’s commencement ceremony, which begins at 7 p.m. The alumni association nomination committee selected them based on peer recommendations and notable accomplishments.

“Diana has been working tirelessly to get community engagement and build referral systems within our communities to grow many programs.”

—  SVCC news release

Merdian, family education and support services coordinator at the Regional Office of Education #47 who was elected mayor in April, was chosen as the Distinguished Alumni recipient. She graduated from SVCC in 2007 with an associate’s degree in liberal arts.

“Diana has been working tirelessly to get community engagement and build referral systems within our communities to grow many programs,” according to a Sauk news release. “The community referral system that she and a group at the Regional Office of Education have piloted this year from the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood has seen almost 300 community referrals in six months. She, along with the ROE leadership, created a family support program, Nexus, to offer support to families in navigating community systems and reducing chronic stress in the home in the three-county area.”

The work done by the program is to eliminate barriers families have while increasing capacity in various community programs.

Carmona, a 1985 Sauk grad and president of Carmona Strategic Solutions, will receive the Alumni Achievement Award. Roberto credits SVCC for providing the tools, educational environment, and academic support needed to succeed academically and professionally.

“Through Roberto’s leadership, CSS has helped leaders in small business, local governments, nonprofits, higher education and healthcare, with their strategic priorities in the areas of growth, marketing, sales, organizational development, program design, executive coaching, and executive level recruitment projects,” the release said.

CSS currently serves as a consultant for the State of Illinois’ Capital Development Board, which hired the company to develop an outreach program and implement one-on-one technical assistance coaching, to increase the number of minority, women, and veteran owned enterprises and tradesperson participating in the CDB.

In 2019, Carmona was selected Member of the Year by the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and he has provided pro-bono organizational development and strategy services for IHCC and its members.

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If you go

Sauk Valley Community College Commencement and Health Career ceremonies.

Friday, May 12, Main gymnasium

Health careers pinning, 4:30 p.m.

Commencement, 7 p.m.

Alumni reception, after commencement in Dillon Mall.

Both ceremonies will be live streamed on the college’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Recordings will be made available on both platforms after the event.

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers joined Sauk Valley Media in 2016 covering local government in Dixon and Lee County.