Outstanding Business Leaders Leave Lasting Impression


Personal interactions with honorees profoundly impact the learning experience, students say. Northwood University annually recognizes a select group of men and women for their business achievements and for their support and exemplary leadership of the communities in which they live and work. These individuals serve as role models for Northwood University students, all of whom are engaged in the study of business management and who aspire to have successful careers. In the 33 years since the Outstanding Business Leader (OBL) Association’s founding, more than 300 business leaders from more than 30 states and several countries, representing dozens of industries and fields of business expertise, have received the Outstanding Business Leader Award.

As the OBL Forum and Awards Gala drew near, guests and students gathered together dressed as successful professionals with business cards in hand, anxiously waiting to hear from the prestigious honorees as they shared their stories.

During the forum, Northwood University students asked questions to the OBL Class of 2013 at Northwood’s Florida Campus. The forum provided the opportunity for honorees to share anecdotes relating to the obstacles and challenges they encountered while on their personal road to business success, as well as remedies relating to how they overcame them.

Once the forum had concluded, many rushed to ensure that final gown and tuxedo fittings and salon appointments were confirmed in preparation for the evening’s Awards Gala. Held at The Breakers Palm Beach, the black tie affair provided the opportunity for Northwood University faculty, staff, students, and friends to formally celebrate the value and practicality of The Northwood Idea while learning more about the success stories of the OBL’s as well as the obstacles they have faced and overcame.

Northwood University students, friends, faculty, and staff are still abuzz with warm memories and inspirational stories relating to this year’s event. When asked what they remember most regarding the Northwood event, many recall that it was the personal interactions with the honorees that profoundly impacted their learning experience.

“This year’s class brought together eight individuals from diverse industries, yet their message to our constituents was united in support of The Northwood Idea,” said Allison Tardonia, executive director of the Outstanding Business Leader Association. “One of the program’s purposes is to bring together business leaders to influence and impact our student body. While the class of 2013 did just this, our Northwood students left their impression on our honorees and helped us begin exciting new relationships for the University,” she said.

-Suzi McCreery

The OBL Class of 2013 includes: 

Brian Black

President, Hatch Restaurant Management Group

Owner, Mi Piaci Ristorante and Ocho Kitchen and Cocktails

Dallas, Texas

John A. Boll, Sr.

Retired CEO & Chairman of the Board

Chateau Communities, Inc. 

Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan

Robert L. Forbes

Vice President, Forbes, Inc. President, 


New York, New York and

Palm Beach, Florida

John A. Hohman

Vice President, Retired

Monroe Auto Equipment Company

Sand Point, Michigan and Stuart, Florida

Jim Koons (MI ’73)

Chief Executive Officer

Jim Koons Automotive Companies, Inc.

Tyson’s Corner, Virginia

John Krafcik

President and CEO, Hyundai Motor America

Costa Mesa, California

Anthony Lomangino

Chairman & Founder

Southern Waste Systems and Sun Recycling

Lantana, Florida

Jack Miller

Founder and Former President/CEO

Quill Corporation

Buffalo Grove, Illinois