Alumni Awards

The Department of Business Information Systems alumni awards recognize alumni who have contributed significantly to their community and exemplified the mission and values of the Haworth College of Business at Western Michigan University.

2017 Honoree

Richard HookRichard Hook, B.B.A.’96
Chief Information Officer, Penske Corporation
Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Penske Automotive Group, Inc.

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.

Hook's biographical information

2016 Honoree

RutledgeJennifer Rutledge, B.B.A.’04
Chief Operations Officer
SalesPage Technologies

Jennifer Rutledge joined SalesPage Technologies in 2014 as chief operations officer. During her time at the Kalamazoo-based software firm, she and her team have been successful in growing the company with new clients, improved product offerings and a 30 percent increase in staff— several straight from WMU. Providing data management, sales reporting and turnkey CRM solutions to the financial services industry, SalesPage clients include Allianz Global Investors, BlackRock, NEI Investments and Ridgeworth Investments.

Rutledge's biographical information

2015 Honoree

Joel SundmanJoel P. Sundman, B.B.A.'95

Clien Architect Manager, z Systems, U.S. Midwest Region, IMB

Joel Sundman has been at IBM since graduating from Western Michigan University in 1995. He started out in IBM Global Services, building software applications for customers on both the mainframe and distributed platforms. In 2000, he moved to Minnesota to work as a software engineer on the WebSphere Application Server product. After five years, he moved back to Michigan as a sales engineer, helping customers adopt Java and modern software development methodologies.

Sundman then became the manager of a team of DevOps specialists helping IBM z Systems customers in North America adopt modern software development tools and methodologies. He currently manages a team of client architects providing software and hardware solutions to solve specific business needs for large z Systems customers.

Sundman has published several technical articles and has multiple professional and product certifications from IBM, Sun and the Open Group. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from Western Michigan University, a master’s degree in information systems from Northeastern University and an MBA from Michigan State University. He lives in Texas Corners near Kalamazoo with his fiancée and their five kids.

Update: In May 2017, Sundman became Cloud Technology Manager at Whirlpool Corporation in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Whirlpool is the number one major appliance manufacturer in the world, with approximately $21 billion in annual sales, 97,000 employees and 70 manufacturing and technology research centers (stats from 2015).

Previous Honorees

  • Thomas J. Wolf, Jr. (2014)
  • Joy McClendon (2013)
  • Paul Bertoldi (2012)
  • Matthew D. Mace (2011)