Northwood’s standing as the premier university for automotive marketing turned out to be a very good thing for Jason Brickl, ’95, and Regina Brickl (Bombard), '95. Despite growing up in different states, they found each other, along with a shared business vision, at Northwood. Now married and living in Prairie du Sac, Wis., they use many of the lessons learned at the University every day in running several thriving dealerships in three states. Yet one of the most satisfying achievements for them is their philanthropic involvement in their communities and Northwood. Jason’s interest in automotive marketing was captured early on when he started working for Ballweg Chevrolet in Sauk City, Wis., at age 16. “Darlene Ballweg, the owner of the dealership, noticed me and became my mentor. When she learned that I wanted to own a dealership one day, she told me ‘Go to Northwood.’ So that’s what I did,” said Jason, who is now chairman and CEO of Ballweg Auto Family.
After graduating in 1995, and spending time working in California, Jason rejoined Ballweg’s dealership in 1999 as general manager with a percentage of ownership. Since then, he and Regina have worked hard to build the Ballweg Auto Family business that now comprises five dealerships in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Missouri.
The Brickls’ success provides opportunities to make an economic and social difference in their communities. They actively invest in their town’s prosperity by supporting a variety of groups, including the local school district’s River Arts Center, Future Farmers of America, and Sauk Prairie Healthcare.Even their alma mater, where they met and learned the business of automotive marketing, is part of their commitment to community.
Belief in Northwood
Regina and Jason are thankful they developed their entrepreneurial drive, leadership skills, and commitment to social responsibility at Northwood. The Brickls’ belief in the University’s approach to education has grown even stronger over the years. They both appreciate that the University continues to improve and educate students who are bright and motivated.
To share that confidence in Northwood, Jason takes time to recruit at the University and hire graduates. In fact, eight NU alumni currently work for Ballweg Auto Family businesses. The Brickls have also given their support in person and with contributions to the Northwood University International Auto Show and the Auto Show Gala. And for several years, they funded the Ballweg Automotive Group Annual Private Donor Scholarship.
Their support continued in 2015 when they created the Regina and Jason Brickl Family Scholarship, which is offered to academically achieving students at Northwood. To date, three students have received the scholarship.
“It’s rare to find greater commitment to the University than what you witness with Regina and Jason. They met as students, established a life together after graduation, built a successful business, and hired Northwood grads. And throughout all of that, they remain committed and generous donors. We are honored by their friendship and support,” said Justin Marshall, vice president of Advancement and Alumni Relations.
Focus on Students
Jason and Regina both received scholarship support when they attended Northwood. So they understand first-hand the big difference a little help makes in pursuing a college education. “Through the scholarship, we hope to take some of the financial pressure off students and give them a strong first step toward their careers,” said Regina. “We know they are getting a great education at a prestigious institution, and we want to help them dream big and achieve their own successes.”
To create a private donor scholarship, contact Sherri Riepma, private donor scholarship coordinator, at 989-837-4146 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.