Alumni and friends of the college will be honored for their outstanding professional and service accomplishments during Homecoming week. These individuals serve as a representation of the values of the Haworth College of Business and as an inspiration and example to our students.
WMU Distinguished Alumni Award
Jeanne Carlson served in executive positions for both Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network before retiring from BCN of Michigan as president and CEO in 2010. In addition to expanding product offerings to include new commercial and government business products, which increased members, Carlson was responsible for building HIPAA compliant operations and procedures. Under her leadership, BCN successfully entered the senior market, introduced a health reimbursement account product and was one of the first in the Detroit area to offer a plan that incorporated wellness and preventative care.
Birgit Klohs has spent her career in economic development and working to make the West Michigan region an economic leader in the Midwest. Since 1987, she has served as the CEO of The Right Place, Inc., the regional economic development organization for Grand Rapids and West Michigan. Under her leadership, more than $4 billion in capital investments have been made and more than 40,000 jobs have been created in the region. Klohs was appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to the International Crossing Authority to oversee construction of the North American International Trade Crossing.
HAWORTH COLLEGE OF BUSINESS OUTSTANDING ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Kay Benesh is a senior partner with over 36 years of experience in Deloitte & Touche LLP’s energy and resources industry group. She currently serves large, complex global public organizations in the construction, energy and utility industries. Benesh is also responsible for the global deployment of U.S. audit professionals and is a leader in the transformation of the audit of the future. Benesh has a broad range of experience, serving large security and exchange commission registrants.
Robert Kaiser is the owner and CEO of Gallagher-Kaiser Corporation, the world’s premiere automotive paint shop supplier. Kaiser’s father, Joe Kaiser III, started the company in 1952 in Detroit. GK maintains multiple manufacturing facilities in Detroit, with a corporate headquarters in Troy, Michigan. Under Kaiser’s leadership, the company has grown to become a world leader in engineering, procurement and construction and further expanded their capabilities when he purchased Universal Piping Industries in 2010.
HAWORTH COLLEGE OF BUSINESS OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD
David Rozelle dedicated his career to Western Michigan University students as associate professor of accountancy and faculty advisor for the international honor organization Beta Alpha Psi. Throughout his 38 years of service, Rozelle received two University-wide Teaching Excellence Awards, the University Distinguished Service Award, the Interfraternity-Panhellenic Council Teaching Excellence Award, the MACPS Outstanding Educator Award, and two Beta Alpha Psi Faculty Advisor of the Year Awards. He has impacted thousands of lives through his teaching.
HAWORTH COLLEGE OF BUSINESS YOUNG ALUMNI AWARD
Ryan Blanck is the founder and chief executive officer of Deviate, a leadership company specializing in performance coaching and partnering with influential leaders to help change the way they lead and live their lives. With a gift for bringing out the best in people, Blanck enables clients to ascend to the top of their professions without losing themselves in the process. The common denominator for Deviate is always the same: develop healthy leaders worth following and build cultures people genuinely want to join.
As partner and director of research at GrizzlyRock Capital, Saidal Mohmand plays an integral role in investment idea generation, analysis and portfolio management. He spearheads GrizzlyRock’s investment strategy and assists with identifying investments in companies that are dramatically undervalued. Mohmand also spends a portion of his time investigating corporate malfeasance, business models and product fads. Prior to GrizzlyRock, Mohmand served as an analyst for a regional bank’s leveraged finance team based in Chicago.
Psyche Terry is the founder and chief inspiration officer of UI Global Brands. UIGB started in 2009 when, after becoming pregnant and experiencing body changes, Terry formed Urban Intimates with her husband Vontoba to create lingerie and sleepwear to make women of various body types feel empowered and beautiful. UI Global Brands has expanded into hair and skincare as well as home cleaning, with products in 6000-plus stores. Terry became the first black woman to have a lingerie line sold in Walmart, Ross and Macy’s.
DEPARTMENT OF ACCOUNTANCY OUTSTANDING ALUMNI AWARD
With a notable career spanning more than 40 years, Mark Crawford serves as shareholder and chairman of the Board of Doeren Mayhew, the 57th largest CPA and consulting firm in the nation. As leader and steward of the company, Crawford guides the firm’s client service, growth, people development, risk management, and cultural and strategic direction. Under his guidance, the firm has grown its revenue by more than 700 percent and expanded its footprint across the U.S. as well as abroad.
DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS INFORMATION SYSTEMS OUTSTANDING ALUMNI AWARD
Richard Hook is the chief information officer for Penske Corporation, an on-highway, diversified transportation services company employing more than 50,000 worldwide. Hook also serves as senior vice president and chief information officer for Penske Automotive Group, Inc. Hook has more than 20 years of experience in information technology, infrastructure, business process, security and compliance. Prior to being named CIO, he was vice president of IT Infrastructure for Penske Automotive.
DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND COMMERCIAL LAW OUTSTANDING ALUMNI AWARD
David Ellis has been in the trust and personal financial advisory business more than 40 years. He founded Ellis Capital Management in 1997. As president and CEO, he provided investment advisory services to individuals and trusts on the premise of offering a high level of personal financial service and protecting peoples’ wealth. He also founded Ellis Fiduciary Services, which provided trustee, probate and conservator administration services in West Michigan. He recently merged his business with West Shore Bank of Ludington, Michigan.
DEPARTMENT OF MANAGEMENT OUTSTANDING ALUMNI AWARD
Kevin McManus was appointed president of TECHNI Waterjet, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of profile waterjet cutting systems, in 2016. With more than 35 years of experience, McManus is a recognized global leader in the robotic automation and waterjet cutting industries. He also serves as global director of business development for the company, helping organizations around the world significantly improve their operating performance through the utilization of TECHNI’s industry-leading products and technology.
DEPARTMENT OF MARKETING Hall of Fame
Jeff Williams has spent his entire 33-year career with Johnson Controls in multiple leadership positions, including leading large businesses for the company. He has served two international assignments in Brazil and Germany and has extensive global experience managing operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Recently, Williams led the successful spin-off of Johnson Controls’ $16 billion automotive business that operates in more than 35 countries with 200 manufacturing plants and 75,000 employees, culminating in the creation of Adient, which is listed on the NYSE.
FOOD AND CONSUMER PACKAGE GOODS MARKETING Outstanding Alumni AWARD
As vice president, consumables, at Sam’s Club, Trent Weller focuses on elevating private brand, improving packaging and cross-category merchandising. Under his leadership, 12 management associates have been promoted out of the consumables division. Prior to his current position, Weller spent four years serving as vice president over adult and non-adult beverages. In this role, Weller’s team delivered above market growth by enhancing quality assortment and focusing on emerging beverages and core brands through the instant savings program.
FOOD AND CONSUMER PACKAGE GOODS MARKETING ADRIAN TRIMPE AWARD
WMU ROTC WALL OF FAME AWARD
Colonel Glennie E. Burks, B.A.’91
Assistant Chief of Staff G3/5, 200th Military Police Command
Colonel Glennie Burks, Military Police, United States Army, 200th Military Police Command is the G3/5, responsible for training and operations for more than 12,000 military police and civilians and provides oversight of an annual budget that exceeds $50 million. Prior to his current assignment, Burks was the Deputy Assistant Commandant at the U.S. Army Military Police School, where he was responsible for ensuring the Army Reserve’s interests were addressed across the DOTMLF domains. He was the primary advisor to the Military Police Command Commander on Reserves training, education and leader development.
* Many of this year's recipients will be on campus for an all-college awards ceremony, which will take place on Oct. 13 at 4 p.m. in 2150 Schneider Hall. To RSVP, contact Stacey Markin: (269) 387-6936 | Email Stacey Markin