Northwood University Recognizes Outstanding Business Leaders at 34th Annual Awards Gala


A preceding forum provided students the opportunity to interact. Northwood University recently recognized eight nationally known business leaders at its 34th Annual Outstanding Business Leader (OBL) Awards Gala on Saturday, February 1, 2014, at The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida.


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 successful careers. In the 34 years since the program’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.

On Friday, January 31st, the day preceding the gala presentations, Northwood University students were provided the opportunity to ask questions of the OBL Class of 2014 at an afternoon forum held at Northwood University Florida. 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.

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The eight honorees in the Class of 2014 are (L-R):

Richard DeVos, Jr. (’81) President, The Windquest Group/ Retired President, Alticor Grand Rapids, MI

J Ferron Chairman Emeritus, Northwood University Board of Trustees Director, Crain Communications Inc/Automotive News Bloomfield Hills, MI

David H. Gilmour Founder, FIJI Water/The Wakaya Club and Spa Palm Beach, FL

Lisa Copeland Managing Partner, Fiat of Austin Austin, TX

Daniel R. Langdon President, East Penn Manufacturing Lyon Station, PA

Jonathan Hage President & CEO, Charter Schools, USA Fort Lauderdale, FL

Richard J. Garber (’78) President, Garber Management Group Saginaw, MI

Thomas F. O’Hare President & CEO (retired), WorldPAC Newark, CA