35th Annual Outstanding Business Leaders

Seated L to R:  Jim Hallett, Steve Madincea, Sonu Ratra, Melissa Spickler, John Rotche, Rollie MassiminoStanding L to R: Marrissa Angst, Jake Riepma, Jasmyne Powell, Trace Lanson, Rahul Vyas, Malte Ziegenhagen

Northwood University hosted its 35th annual Outstanding Business Leader (OBL) Awards weekend on February 6 – 7, 2015.

This year’s event recognized six men and women whose stories of challenge and ultimate success left an impact on all that attended.

On Friday, February 6th, 450 Northwood University students participated in an afternoon forum on the 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.  An interactive Q&A session followed.

The Florida Campus Entrepreneurship Society, led by Dr. Michael Olsher, hosted a Roundtable Luncheon on Saturday, where each honoree engaged with a small group of students eager to learn more.

Northwood University students, faculty and staff joined with our Trustees and community supporters on Saturday evening for the 35th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Awards Gala.  Held at The Breakers, in Palm Beach, Florida, the black tie dinner dance paid tribute to the Class of 2015, each of whom was presented their award and inducted into the association of influential business leaders by President Keith Pretty and Dr. Dan DeVos, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.   Each honoree was introduced on stage by a student presenter, who had the opportunity to interview and meet their OBL prior to the weekend festivities, and at the surrounding events that welcomed the honorees to Northwood University.

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 35 years since the program’s founding, more than 300 business leaders, representing dozens of industries and fields of business expertise, have received the Outstanding Business Leader Award.

The six honorees in the Class of 2015 are:

Jim Hallett, CEO,  KAR Auction Services.

Introduced by Rahul Vyas, 2015 MBA Candidate, Richard M. DeVos Graduate School of Management – Florida Campus

Steve M. Madincea, (MI ’82), Founder and Group Managing Director,  PRISM.

Introduced by Jake Riepma, a Senior majoring in Sports and Entertainment Management

on the Michigan Campus

Rollie Massimino, Head Coach, Northwood University Men’s Basketball. Introduced by Malte Ziegenhagen, a Senior majoring in Management on the Florida Campus

Sonu Ratra, President of Akraya, Inc.

Introduced by Jasmyne Powell, an Adult Degree Program Senior majoring in Management on the Florida Campus

John Rotche, President, TITLE Boxing Club. Introduced by Marrissa Angst, a Senior majoring Accounting and Finance on the Michigan Campus

Melissa Spickler, Founder, The Spickler Group. Introduced by Trace Lanson, a Senior majoring in Marketing on the Florida Campus