The members of the Board of Trustees have many roles supporting the University.
Their roles include:
- Directing the president who, in turn, manages the University.
- Providing vital policy leadership and oversight in critical areas.
- Evaluating the extent to which the Central Administration effectively supports the faculty and students in their pursuits.
- Overseeing the University's financial performance.
- Actively participating in academic planning.
- Donating to and oversight of the advancement function which seeks funds to support the University.
- Long-range planning.
- And, helping to define the philosophy of the University.
Dr. Lambert E Althaver
Retired Chairman & CEO
The Walbro Corporation
Cass City, Michigan
Lambert "Bert" Althaver is the retired chairman and chief executive officer of The Walbro Corporation, a manufacturer and designer of fuel systems for automotive and outdoor power equipment, headquartered in Cass City, Michigan.
Althaver was honored by Northwood University in 1997 with an Outstanding Business Leader award. He has been a member of Northwood’s Board of Trustees since 2000 and was a recipient of an honorary doctor of laws from Northwood in 2003.
Althaver was born in Kansas City, Mo., and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. Following two years in the military, he joined Walbro Corporation in the mid-1950s as an accountant and rose rapidly through the ranks. Althaver retired from the corporation as chairman and chief executive officer in 1998.
He currently serves as a member of the Hills and Dales General Hospital board and of Artrain USA. For many years, he held elected positions in local city government. He received the Cass City Chamber of Commerce Citizen on the Year Award and is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International.
Executive Committee (Chair), Finance and Audit Committee (Vice Chair), Nominations Committee (Chair)
Dr. Phillip D. Brady
Senior Vice President, Government Affairs
Phillip Brady is senior vice president, Government Affairs for Phillips 66. Located in Washington, D.C., he is responsible for the company’s federal, state and international policy and governmental affairs efforts.
Before joining Phillips 66 in August 2012, Brady had served as president of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) since June 2001. In this position, he directed a staff that carried out the activities of the association in government and industry relations, education and dealership operations, and public affairs. Prior to joining NADA, Brady served five years as the vice president and general counsel for the American Automobile Manufacturers Association.
Earlier in his career, Brady served two presidents in senior White House positions. He also worked at the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Congress.
Brady graduated with honors from both the University of Notre Dame and Loyola University School of Law. He was also awarded an honorary doctor of laws from Northwood University, and has served on the Board of Trustees since 2006.
Dr. Daniel G. DeVos '80
Chairman, President & CEO
DP Fox Ventures, LLC
Daniel DeVos is chairman, president and chief executive officer of DP Fox Ventures, LLC, a diversified management company with interests in real estate, transportation, and sports and entertainment.
DeVos also is chair of the Orlando Magic (NBA), and president and chief executive officer of the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL). In addition, DeVos is chairman and chief executive officer of Georgian International, Ltd., president and chief executive officer of Fox Motor Group and a partner in CWD Real Estate Investments. DeVos is also a member of the board of directors of Alticor, parent company of Amway.
In the community, DeVos is the current board president of Hope Network and the Hope Network Foundation and is a board member of the Family Outreach Center in Grand Rapids. He is a past chairman of the Economic Club of Grand Rapids.
DeVos earned a bachelor’s degree in 1980 and an honorary doctor of laws in 1999 from Northwood University. Over the years Northwood has honored him as an Outstanding Alumni awardee, Outstanding Business Leader, and Automobile Dealer Education awardee. He has served on Northwood’s Board of Trustees since 1997.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Executive Committee (Member), Advancement Committee (Member), Nominations Committee (Member).
Dr. Irma B. Elder
Elder Automotive Group
Irma Elder is president of Elder Automotive Group. Born in Xicotencatl, Mexico, Elder took over a Ford dealership after the death of her husband in 1983 and built it into one of the largest woman-owned businesses in the country.
Elder’s community activities include numerous positions. She is a former board member with groups as diverse as the Chicago Branch of the Federal Reserve and Lear Corporation. She is currently with Oakland Family Services and also serves on the boards of Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan, Minority Business Roundtable and the executive board of Detroit Economic Club.
Elder has been a Northwood University trustee since 1999. Over the years, Northwood has honored her as an Outstanding Business Leader and with an honorary doctor of laws degree.
Academic Committee (Member), Nominations Committee (Member)
James C. Fabiano II
Fabiano Brothers, Inc.
James Fabiano, II is the president of Fabiano Brothers, Inc., a wine and beer distribution company headquartered in Freeland, Michigan. Fabiano Brothers serves 17 counties in Central, Eastern and Northern Michigan.
Fabiano is a native of Mount Pleasant, Michigan and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Central Michigan University.
His involvement in the community includes memberships on the boards of Catholic Community Foundation of Mid-Michigan, Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce Executive Board, Saginaw Community Foundation, Junior Achievement of Central Michigan, and Bay Future.
Fabinao has served as a trustee for Northwood University since 2007 and is also a member of Northwood-Michigan’s Board of Governors.
Academic Committee (Member), Communications and Recruitment Committee (Member), Finance and Audit Committee (Member)
Dr. John J. Ferron
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
J Ferron been directly involved with major automotive industry issues affecting manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and consumers for over 25 years.
At PricewaterhouseCoopers and J.D. Power & Associates, Ferron's international consulting work spanned the entire automotive manufacturing and distribution value network. He is an author, lecturer, commentator, attorney, and an industry thought leader.
Ferron was co-author of the study on the automotive industry business model, Collaboration, Now or Never. Previously J co-authored a PwC publication that predicts the structural changes expected in the 21st century global automotive industry, The Second Automotive Century. J also contributed to the book released in 2001, Customer Relationship Management: A Strategic Imperative in the World of e-Business, about best practices in acquiring and retaining customers. In 2000, he was a contributor to the provocative book about the changes to the global economy because of the Internet, Metacapitalism. As senior partner at J.D. Power & Associates, and also managing director of their Tokyo joint-venture company, he published The Revolution in Auto Retaling.
He was a research associate working with MIT's International Motor Vehicle Program from 1985 to 1990 leading to the publication of The Machine that Changed the World! While vice president of National Auto Dealers Association (NADA), he worked on Capitol Hill and with regulatory agencies representing 20,000 franchised car, truck and heavy duty dealers. There he co-authored, Betting on the Franchise, which predicted the unbundling of the dealership facilities, public ownership of dealership chains, industry consolidation, and the narrowing of retail margins.
As a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science majoring in international affairs, Ferron is a lawyer, graduating with a juris doctor degree from George Washington University and The National Law Center. He was also awarded an honorary doctor of laws from Northwood University.
A pilot and combat veteran, he flew over 350 sorties in Vietnam on two different tours and has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters.
Brady Ferron, his son, graduated from Northwood in 1995.
Executive Committee (Member), Compensation Committee (Member), Finance and Audit Committee (Member), Investment Committee (Member)
Robert Grubb '80
Co-founder and CEO
Alliant National Title Insurance Company, Inc.
Robert Grubb serves on the Northwood University Board of Trustees. Grubb also serves as national co-chair of Northwood’s capital campaign along with his wife, Julie, and is a member of Northwood’s Board of Governors.
Grubb earned an associate’s degree in banking and finance, an associate’s degree in automotive marketing and a bachelor’s degree in management from Northwood University in 1980. He studied for his M.B.A degree at Babson College in Wellesley, MA.
Northwood University honored Grubb with its Outstanding Alumni Award in 1993 and an honorary doctor of laws degree in 2008. His long-standing support for Northwood includes the creation of the Samuel R. Marotta Faculty Ethics Award in partnership with the late Dr. Dale Haywood.
Grubb is a co-founder and chief executive officer of Alliant National Title Insurance Company, Inc., headquartered in Longmont, CO. Alliant National is a growing title insurance underwriter currently operating in ten states. It is unique in how it serves independent title agents helping them to expand their businesses, reduce their costs and risks, and increase profits in a non-competitive partnership. Grubb currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Underwriter Section of the American Land Title Association. He has founded a number of other companies over the past 25 years. Grubb is a seasoned executive who has started and grown companies operating internationally and domestically. He has provided his time and energy to help a range of nonprofit organizations.
Grubb and his wife reside near Longmont, Colorado.
Dr. John R. Hantz '84
Hantz Group, Inc.
John Hantz is the chief executive officer of Hantz Group, Incorporated and is a nationally recognized leader in the financial community.
In 1998, Hantz formed Hantz Financial Services and subsequently Hantz Group, Incorporated, a full-service financial holding company based in Southfield, Michigan. Under his leadership, Hantz Group, Incorporated has grown to more than 500 employees and maintains 23 offices serving communities in Michigan and Ohio.
A Detroit resident, Hantz is a supporter of numerous community projects, including being responsible for the renovation and restoration of 11 homes in Detroit’s historic Indian Village neighborhood.
Hantz graduated from Northwood University in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Over the years he has been awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award, Outstanding Business Leader award and was conferred an honorary doctor of laws degree in 2004. He has been a member of Northwood’s Board of Trustees since 2001.
Executive Committee (Member), Finance and Audit Committee (Member), Investment Committee (Chair)
Dr. Lyttleton T. Harris IV
Southwest Management & Marketing Company
Lyttleton "Lyt" Harris is president emeritus of Southwest Management & Marketing Company of Houston. He also serves as managing partner of The Harris Investment Partnership and chairman of the Board of Trustees of The John Quincy Adams Foundation.
Over the years, Harris has held a number of executive positions in marketing and sales management for such organizations as Scott Paper Company, Hunt Wesson Foods (where he helped launch Orville Redenbacher’s gourmet popping corn), Dallas Federal Savings & Loan Association, and First Magnolia Federal Savings & Loan Association.
Harris received a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Mississippi, a Master of Science from Louisiana State University and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Northwood University.
Executive Committee (Member), Advancement Committee (Member), Communications and Recruitment Committee (Chair), Finance and Audit Committee (Member), Investment Committee (Member)
Dr. John A. Hohman
Monroe Auto Equipment Company
Sand Point, Michigan & Stuart, Florida
John "Jack" Hohman served as vice president of the Manufacturers Sales Division of Monroe Auto Equipment Company. Since his retirement from Monroe he has directed a retail battery operation with his son, Robert. In 1970, he founded Monroe Cablevision. He was also a partner in Raisin Valley Title Company and has owned a retail travel company specializing in cruises.
Hohman is past chairman of Northwood University’s Board of Trustees and has served on the board since 1976. He received Northwood’s Automotive Aftermarket Education Award in 1975.
He is a graduate of Hillsdale College and also received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Northwood in 1986.
Executive Committee (Member), Advancement Committee (Member), Finance and Audit Committee (Member)
Dr. James O. Hutcheson
Founder & CEO
James Hutcheson is founder and chief executive officer of ReGeneration Partners, which provides consulting services to family businesses.
The grandson of Olan Mills, Hutcheson began his career with Olan Mills as a part-time telemarketer, eventually assuming responsibility for it most important division, Olan Mills Studios. In 1995, he left the company to create ReGeneration.
Author and speaker, Hutcheson is routinely featured in major media including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNBC, MSNBC, Fuji TV, and PBS. He has authored more than 100 articles, is the author of Portrait of Success and The Family Business Road Map to Peace of Mind, and is the co-author of four other books related to the field of family enterprises. He is a past editor of Nation’s Business, Financial Planning and BusinessWeek.com.
Hutcheson sits on the advisory board of The Dallas Foundation. He also belongs to The Family Firm Institute (FFI) where he has served on the board of directors, chair of the annual conference, and has been awarded Fellow status by his peers. Through FFI, Hutcheson has been awarded the Richard Beckhard Practice Award, the highest recognition for practice within the field of Family Enterprise. Further, he and his firm have been awarded the Greater North Texas Business Ethics Award.
He is also a member of Northwood-Texas’ Board of Governors and received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Northwood in 2009. Northwood also recognized Hutcheson with the Outstanding Business Leader award.
Executive Committee (Member)
Edward J. McBrian '81
President, Sales and Distributor Operations
Edward McBrien is the president, Sales and Distributor Operations for MillerCoors. He is responsible for all MillerCoors sales and distributor operations support, including its sales volume, profit contribution and share growth.
Previously, he was president of sales for the MillerCoors Western Sales Division. McBrien joined Coors in 1994 as the retail account director responsible for chain account business in the Midwest. He was promoted to vice president, key accounts in 2004. He held a number of sales positions at Procter & Gamble for 13 years before joining Coors.
McBrien received his BBA degree from Northwood University, graduating as senior class valedictorian. He was also named Academic Athlete of the Year. In 2001 he was honored with the Outstanding Alumni Award. He is also an emeritus member of Northwood-Michigan’s Board of Governors.
Academic Committee (Member), Advancement Committee (Member), Communications and Recruitment Committee (Member)
Dr. Patricia L. Naegele
Patricia Naegele has been a supporter and champion of Northwood University since shortly after the opening of our Michigan campus.
She was a charter member of Town & Campus, eventually rising to head of the successor National Women’s Board in 1992, followed by co-chairmanship of the Valley of the Sun chapter in Arizona. She took a place on the Board of Trustees, alongside her late husband Robert, in 1993. To honor her long commitment to the school, Northwood granted her an honorary doctorate degree in 1996. She has also been honored as a Distinguished Woman.
Naegle is also a past member of the governing board of Midland Center for the Arts and was named honorary manager “for life” by the Alden B. Dow Museum of Art and Science.
Advancement Committee (Member), Nominations Committee (Member)
Dr. Terry L. Neese
President and Co-Founder
Institute for the Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Terry Neese is the president and co-founder of the Institute for the Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW), an international non-profit, education and training research organization. She is also co-founder and past president of Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), whose mission is to strengthen businesswomen’s sphere of influence in the legislative process of our nation. As co-founder of WIPP, Terry represented the organization’s members on Capitol Hill and to the Administration.
Founder of Terry Neese Personnel Services, and an inductee into the National and Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fames, Neese is also a past national president of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), the largest women’s association of its kind. Neese also made history in 1990 when she became the first woman nominated by a major political party for the seat of Lt. Governor of Oklahoma.
Neese is recognized as a national expert on economic issues that affect women and families. Her articles have been published in the Chicago Sun-Times, Entrepreneurial Women magazine, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Journal Record, the Oklahoman, Washington Examiner, and the Washington Times. She is a recurring guest on Fox News, CNN, CNBC, SBTV, as well as local TV and radio stations.
Neese has also been appointed to numerous councils and positions with nominations by prominent leaders, such as Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, including: U.S.-Afghanistan Women’s Council, National Advisory Council, National Advisory Council on Indian Education, Les Femmes Chefs d’Entreprises Mondiales (FCEM) Regional Commissioner for the Americas, National Women’s Business Council, Director of the United States Mint and Advisory Council for the United States Committee for United Nations Development Fund for Women.
Northwood University recognized Neese as an Outstanding Business Leader in 2006 and awarded her an honorary doctor of laws degree in 2008.
Academic Committee (Member), Advancement Committee (Member)
Dr. William A. Parlberg '79 & '00
President and COO
Zehnder's of Frankenmuth
As president and chief operating officer, William Parlberg oversees all day-to-day operations and is responsible for the financial performance for Zehnder’s Restaurant, Zehnder’s Retail Division, The Fortress Golf Course and Zehnder’s Splash Village and Waterpark. Parlberg joined the company in 1975 as a dishwasher and has held several senior management positions prior to his promotion to president in 2001.
He is a 1979 graduate of Northwood University, earning a bachelor’s degree in business management and associate’s degree in hotel and restaurant management. He was named salutatorian of his graduating class. In 2000, he graduated from the Richard DeVos Graduate School of Management from Northwood University with his MBA.
Parlberg is very active in community activities and has served as one of the youngest presidents of the Frankenmuth Rotary Club. He has held numerous positions with Rotary International. He served as president of St. John’s Lutheran Church and chaired its new building finance committee in 1998. Other current activities include positions on the boards of the Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce, and Michigan Chamber of Commerce.
Communications and Recruitment Committee (Vice Chair)
Patricia A. Riley
Founder and CEO
MDR Fitness/Clientele Beauty of Palm Gardens, FL and Medical Doctors Research
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Patricia A. Riley, founder and CEO of MDR Fitness/Clientele Beauty of Palm Gardens, FL, and Medical Doctors Research.
She is an Outstanding Business Leader Awardee and in 2010 and was presented an honorary doctorate of laws degree.
Patricia previously served a member of the Northwood University Florida Board of Governors.
Dr. O. Temple Sloan III
President and CEO
General Parts International, Inc.
Raleigh, North Carolina
O. Temple Sloan III is the president and chief executive officer of General Parts International, Inc. (GPI), in Raleigh, North Carolina, the largest privately owned auto parts supplier in the U.S. GPI owns and operates more than 3,100 CARQUEST Auto Parts stores and over 80 WORLDPAC branches in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. For almost 30 years Sloan has provided GPI with his leadership and innovation which has resulted in the company’s growth.
He is a former board member of CAI and WakeMed Foundation. He currently serves on the board of directors for General Parts International, Inc.; Trail Creek Investments, Inc.; Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA); Car Care Council; YMCA of the Triangle; Wells Fargo Regional Bank board; and the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation.
Sloan is also a member of the National Association of Chief Executive Officers, the board of trustees of Ravenscroft School, former chairman of the 2011 American Heart Association Triangle Heart Walk, and a deacon of First Presbyterian Church.
Sloan graduated from the University of Wyoming with a degree in political science and received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Northwood in 2012. He was also the recipient of the Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award and has served on Northwood’s Board of Trustees since 2009.
Finance and Audit Committee (Member)
Dr. Maureen L. Smith
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Born and educated in New York, Maureen Smith attended St. John’s University Law School and then joined her family’s business. Moving to Florida in the early 1950’s, she and her father established the first beeper system in Miami. Later she bought and operated Airbeep, Inc. in Wisconsin and her father’s Cleveland Telephone Answering Service. In 1982, they partnered with The Washington Post to found Cellular One.
An active volunteer leader, she has been a major force in the development of Northwood University’s Florida campus, serving on its Board of Governors and as a long-time chair of the Ft. Lauderdale chapter of Northwood National Women’s Board & Friends. In 1991, Smith received an honorary doctorate degree from Northwood and the Distinguished Women’s award in 1996.
She is a member of St. Anthony’s Foundation, the Federated Women’s Club, Coral Ridge Women’s Club, a Lady of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem and an honorary alumnus of Pinecrest School, Ft. Lauderdale, which cited her for significant leadership in the development of their educational programs.
Smith has served as a Northwood trustee since 1991.
Advancement Committee (Member)
Corporate Vice President of Supply Chain, EH&S Operations, and Operations Services
The Dow Chemical Compay
Don Taylor is the corporate vice president of Supply Chain, EH&S Operations and Operations Services at The Dow Chemical Company.
Taylor joined Dow in 1983 as a production engineer in Plaquemine, Louisiana. He has held a number of roles within the company including vice president of operations for Dow Benelux (Terneuzen, The Netherlands) and site leader for Michigan Operations.
Taylor earned a degree in chemical engineering from Clemson University.
Academic Committee (Member)
Dr. Nina Vaca
Chairman and CEO
Pinnacle Technical Resources
Nina Vaca founded Pinnacle in 1996 as an information technology services provider to the Fortune 500. Pinnacle provides IT-enabled solutions in the area of vendor management via a proprietary solution that captures all aspects of the client-vendor relationship.
Under Nina’s leadership, Pinnacle has become the fifth fastest growing firm in a $20 billion dollar industry, which includes 4,000 consultants across the United States and Canada. Pinnacle has garnered over 38 national and local awards over the past seven years including consecutive top rankings in the Inc. 500, and Staffing Industry Report.
In 2005, Vaca appeared in Fast Company magazine as one of the Top 25 Women Business Builders in the country. She has been featured in numerous magazines both domestically and internationally to include Vanidades, Ali, Entrepreneur, Kiplinger, Forbes, Fast Company, HISPANIC, KERA CEO Review and Latino Leaders. Nina is a recipient of the Ernest & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for Technology and Communications for the Southwest Region. In 2010, she was named one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in America by Latino Leaders Magazine.
She is a graduate of Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in speech communications and business administration, where she was honored as the youngest Distinguished Alumna in that university’s history. She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School—Corporate Governance Executive Program. She also holds an honorary doctor of laws degree from Northwood University and was honored as a Distinguished Woman in 2004.
Vaca is a director with Comerica, Inc., Kohl’s Corporation and is chairman of the board of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In addition, she is one of the founding board members of Startup America Partnership.
In addition to serving on the Northwood Board of Trustees since 2011, Vaca has been a member of the Northwood-Texas Board of Governors since 2005.
Academic Committee (Member)
Kathleen M. Vertin '88 & '95
Harsens Island, Michigan
Kathleen Vertin has two degrees from Northwood University earning her undergraduate in management earned in 1988 and her executive MBA degree from DeVos in 1995.
At a very young age, she was named vice president of sales and marketing for the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. That was followed by ten years as chief financial officer of Visioneering, Inc. where she managed finance and operations until the company was sold.
Vertin has been an active part of Northwood for many years. She has been involved as president of DeVos Alumni Association, adjunct professor, evening MBA program advisory member, and with Friends of Northwood. She was awarded an Outstanding Alumni award and has served as a trustee since 2007.
Executive Committee (Member), Finance and Audit Committee (Member)
Dr. Albert F. Zehnder
Chairman and CEO
Zehnder's of Frankenmuth
As chairman and chief executive officer, Albert Zehnder directs all strategic planning for Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth which includes their world famous flagship restaurant Zehnder’s, their 18 hole championship golf course, The Fortress and Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel and Waterpark.
Zehnder earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Valparaiso University in 1976. He is a member of the National Restaurant Association, the Michigan Restaurant Association, the Michigan and National Golf Course Owners Association and the World Waterpark Association. He served as a delegate to the 1987-88 Michigan Governor’s Conference on Small Business and has been a board member of the Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce serving as president, 1986-87. He currently is a board member of the Frankenmuth Convention and Visitors Bureau and is president of the Frankenmuth school board.
Northwood University has honored Zehnder as an Outstanding Business Leader and awarded him an honorary doctorate degree in 2007. In addition to serving as a trustee since 2005, Zehnder also serves on the Northwood-Michigan Board of Governors.
Vice Chair, Compensation Committee (Member), Nominations Committee (Member)
Dr. Robert M. Fairchild, President, Fairchild Management Company
Dr. Jerome M. (Jerry) Fullinwider, Vice Chairman, Hillwood International Energy
Dr. Louis J. Furlo, Sr., Chairman of the Board, Morley Companies, Inc.
Dr. Christi Harris, President and CEO, The Christi Harris Companies, Inc.
Dr. Marjorie McIntyre Hohman
Dr. Leo C. Jerome, President, Story Automotive Group
Dr. Cleve L. Killingsworth, Jr.
Dr. Terence F. Moore
Dr. Robert Rossiter '82
Dr. Macauley Whiting, Jr.