NIU Alumni Association honors 2013 award recipients


The NIU Alumni Association annually recognizes the diverse accomplishments and contributions of the university’s most notable graduates and individuals who provide outstanding service to the university. Recipients are selected based on outstanding professional and personal success, as well as involvement in civic, cultural, or charitable activities. The Alumni Association honored the 2013 recipients, presented here, at an awards program and dinner on April 19 at the Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center.


College of Engineering and Engineering Technology

Stephen Doonan
President, DeKalb Mechanical, Inc.
B.S. Industrial Technology, 1983

image2Stephen Doonan began his career at DeKalb’s Hiatt Bros. E. B. Inc., where he was responsible for estimating and coordinating residential and commercial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) projects. In 1984, Doonan joined the Miller Engineering Company in Rockford, Illinois, where he rose to the rank of vice president and general manager. Just seven years later, he founded DeKalb Mechanical, Inc., now one of the area’s largest residential heating and air conditioning contractors.

As president and general manager of DeKalb Mechanical, Doonan is responsible for all aspects of the company’s operation, from service work, maintenance contracts, outside sheet metal and roofing work, and HVAC projects; to corporate meetings, equipment purchases, income statements, and advertising. In 2008, he became a certified LEED AP, which designates his advanced knowledge of green building practices.

An active member of the HVAC industry, Doonan was elected secretary/treasurer of the Northern Illinois Chapter of the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association (SMACNA) in 2001. He was elected vice president in 2003 and president in 2005 and 2010, and has served on numerous SMACNA committees and tasks forces. He is also active in his community, having served in his church, on government boards, and with local organizations such as the Experimental Aircraft Association.

Doonan, whose wife Cathy is also an NIU graduate, is an avid NIU football fan. He has shown his support of his alma mater in several ways, including as a fan and financial supporter of the equestrian team and the Motorsports Formula Team. He has also served on the NIU Engineering and Technology Alumni Society since 2010, and was elected vice president in 2012. However, perhaps his greatest gift to NIU is also his most personal—his four daughters are also proud NIU alumni and his son-in-law is a current student