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Tacoma Community College » Alumni & Friends » Distinguished Alumni

Distinguished Alumni

Each year the Tacoma Community College Foundation celebrates the accomplishments of Alumni who have demonstrated the highest level of professional achievement and service to the community.  

If you would like to nominate someone for the Distinguished Alumni award, fill out the nomination form. You may also submit any additional materials such as a resume, news articles, brief letters of support from a nominee’s colleagues, and other materials.

2015 Distinguished Alumni: Ali Criss & Vernelda Savoy


2015 distinguished alumnus ali crissAli Criss

Voted 2014 & 2015 Best Financial Advisor in the South Sound by South Sound Magazine and a 2013 40 Under Forty Honoree by the Business Examiner, Ali Criss has won accolades as a young leader.

Criss attended TCC from 2001-2003. She holds a BA from Pacific Lutheran University and is a Certified Financial Planner®.

In addition to serving as a small business owner and Managing Partner of local wealth management and retirement planning firm Financial Insights, Criss pours her energy into community volunteerism.

Criss serves on the Emergency Food Network Young Professionals Ambassador Board, which she helped to create. She is also a member of Rotary #8, where she was formerly Chair of the Rotary International Youth Exchange. She is enthusiastic supporter of the TCC Foundation's fundraising efforts.

"I realized with hard work, a passion for learning, and perseverance that anyone can be successful, anyone can be intelligent, and anyone can create the life they want. And you know what? We deserve it."

2015 distinguished alumnus vernelda savoyVernelda Savoy

A recognized clinical leader within the CHI Franciscan organization, nurse Vernelda Savoy says that knowledge, caring and patient advocacy are key to being a great nurse. After obtaining her Associate degree in Nursing from TCC, Savoy began her career as a staff nurse in the ICU at St. Clare Hospital in 1990.

Savoy obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Pacific Lutheran University and her Masters in Health Administration from Chapman University. She became charge nurse, and then served as a manager at St. Clare, where she was instrumental in opening the Progressive Care Unit and launching the Orthopedic Unit.

Savoy is known at St. Clare and Hospice House for providing quality assurance for the units under her leadership, and for being an excellent mentor to beginning nurses.

Savoy says that nursing is a diverse field that provides a wealth of opportunities to care and serve through the entire continuum of life. She invited TCC's Class of 2015 nurses to consider joining her at CHI Franciscan and offered some advice: "Congratulations to all of the 2015 graduate nurses! I welcome you all to the profession of nursing - we are a proud bunch who work hard, care much and strive for the best outcomes for our patients."


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