Greatness Defined

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Northwood recognizes the enormous contributions made by men and women to businesses, communities, nonprofit organizations, and public and private sector services. By acquainting our students with the lives and achievements of these present-day leaders, we provide an indispensable part of the education of America’s next generation of business leaders. 37th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award “Northwood University has been honoring business leaders for their contributions to our nation and to the world for 37 years,” says Keith Pretty, Northwood University President and CEO.

“By recognizing business leaders for their accomplishments in business, in their communities, and in their personal lives, Northwood encourages business excellence and inspires others, including our own students, to strive for success.

2017 Outstanding Business Leaders were honored at the March 4 dinner for their contributions to education, community involvement, personal and professional success, and dedication to Northwood’s philosophy. Proceeds from the event provide assistance to Northwood students with financial need and academic merit through the Outstanding Business Leaders Endowed Scholarship Fund.

2017 OUTSTANDING BUSINESS LEADERS

  • Hank Graff, President, Graff Automotive Group
  • Mary Ann Van Lokeren, former Chairman & CEO, Krey Distributing Company
  • Bernie Marcus, Co-Founder, The Home Depot and Job Creators Network
  • Thomas J. Moran, CEO & Founder, Moran Iron Works and Industrial Arts Institute
  • Lon Morey, Former Owner & Chairman, Morbark Industries
  • Lt. Col. (Ret.) Allen B. West, Executive Director and Vice Chair of the Board of the National Center for Policy Analysis, and former Congressman, Florida’s 22nd Congressional District
  • Carol A. Williams, former Executive Vice President, Manufacturing & Engineering, The Dow Chemical Company

 

47th Annual Distinguished Women Award Gala

Northwood celebrated the outstanding accomplishments of seven women at the 2016 Distinguished Women event on Nov. 5. Honorees represent the values Northwood espouses to its students: commitment to free enterprise, partnership of arts and business, and management in a global society.

2016 CLASS OF DISTINGUISHED WOMEN

  • Celeste D. Briggs, Director, GM Women’s Retail Network, presented by Kaitlyn Cole, Saginaw, MI
  • Audrey Peterson Kline, ’76, Owner, Audrey’s Classic Designs, presented by Alix Gardner, Goodrich, MI
  • Maureen L. LaFontaine, Owner, LaFontaine Automotive Group, presented by Faith Hommes, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Terri L. Mulcahey, ’86, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Business Development, Penske Automotive Group, presented by Norma Benavides, Laredo, TX
  • Judith Schumacher-Tilton, President, Schumacher Chevrolet Auto Group, presented by Taylor Darby, Howell, MI
  • Patricia Anne Shaheen, philanthropist, presented by Emilee Davey, Saginaw Township, MI
  • Deborah Haines Stephens, President, Dow Chemical Canada, presented by Stephen Cecchini, Bay City, MI

“The creation of our Signature Events Team (SET) has allowed students at Northwood University to be actively involved and present at our signature events and ceremonies. The experiential learning opportunities that these students take part in range from onsite event execution to networking, meeting prep, and exposure to our honorees and friends of the University,” said Ashleigh Summers, Director of Signature Programs & Special Gifts.

Outstanding Business Leaders

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Each year Northwood University recognizes individuals who, each in their own way, represent our character, values, and guiding philosophies during the Outstanding Business Leader (OBL) awards in January. This year’s seven recipients are leading business executives who demonstrate the endless opportunities available to those who pursue their dreams with diligence, passion, and integrity. OustandingLeaders_Photo1

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35th Annual Outstanding Business Leaders

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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

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

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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.

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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

 

 

Outstanding Business Leaders Leave Lasting Impression

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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, 

ForbesLife

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