About The Award

Award is given annually to recognize the tremendous contributions of the honorees. In 1970, the Northwood University Board of Trustees, under the inspiration of its founders Dr. Arthur E. Turner and Dr. R. Gary Stauffer, established the Distinguished Women's Award to recognize the enormous contribution women make to communities, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and public and private sector services world-wide. It is awarded annually and never in absentia. Each Distinguished Woman receives a medal that was originally designed by the late sculptor, Giulio Tamassy.

The honorees represent the values that Northwood espouses to its students: commitment to free enterprise, partnership of arts and business, and management in a global society. They serve as role models and mentors for students.

Find an Honoree

2015 Distinguished Women Honorees

Margaret Cooney Casey

Margaret Cooney Casey

Beverly Hills, MI

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Senior Vice President, Chief Development Officer and Interim Director, Marketing, Communication & Public Affairs at Beaumont Health, Southfield, Michigan; and President, Beaumont Foundation. In addition to her work with Beaumont Health and the Beaumont Foundation, Cooney Casey has served on numerous non-profit boards in the Detroit area and has held leadership positions in Association for Healthcare Philanthropy and co-chaired the senior advisory council for the Michigan Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals for nearly 10 years. She earned a bachelor's degree from Marygrove College and a master's degree from Oakland University.

*All biographical information is only current up to the date of the award.

Faye Alexander Nelson

Faye Alexander Nelson

Detroit, MI

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Vice President, Public Affairs of DTE Energy and President of the DTE Energy Foundation. Nelson leads the public affairs group for DTE Energy and the DTE Energy Foundation, both in Detroit. In this role, she is responsible for civic and community related initiatives and investments throughout the DTE service area, including the coordination of volunteer efforts by DTE employees. Nelson is also tasked with leading all activities of the DTE Energy Foundation, a separate philanthropic organization funded by DTE Energy. She formerly served as president and CEO of the non-profit Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, the organization charged with developing the public space on the Detroit riverfront. Nelson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Mercy College of Detroit and a law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

*All biographical information is only current up to the date of the award.

Stephanie Curtis

Stephanie Curtis

Dallas, TX

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President and Shareholder of Curtis|Castillo PC in Dallas. Stephanie Curtis is of Native American ancestry and a registered member of the Cherokee Nation. She focuses her practice in the areas of bankruptcy; business law; debtor and creditor law; and commercial litigation. Her firm Curtis|Castillo PC is registered as a Woman and Minority Owned Business Enterprise by the North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency and the Women's Business Enterprise National Counsel (WBENC). CCPC is also certified as a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB). Curtis|Castillo also has been honored as a Top 100 Largest North Texas Women-Owned Businesses by the Dallas Business Journal. Curtis has been designated as a "Texas Super Lawyer," by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters partner. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and a law degree with honors.

*All biographical information is only current up to the date of the award.

Brenda Rowley

Brenda Rowley

Bay City, MI

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Vice President of Operations of Rowley's Wholesale, Bay City, Michigan. In her role as Vice President of Operations for the 94-year-old family-owned distributor of automotive and industrial lubricants, tired and equipment, Rowley oversees three distribution centers in Bay City and Southgate, Michigan, and Medina, Ohio. She serves as a Chair for the board of The Stevens Center for Family Business and also serves concurrently on the board of IMM, a metal fabrication company in Grayling, Michigan. Rowley also has served on numerous local and regional non-profit boards. She is a graduate of Delta College, Central Michigan University and Northwood University's DeVos Graduate School of Management.

*All biographical information is only current up to the date of the award.

Margery Krevsky Dosey

Margery Krevsky Dosey

Bloomfield Hills, MI

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Founder and CEO, Productions Plus – The Talent Shop in Bingham Farms, Michigan. Since 1981, Krevsky Dosey's company provides some of the world's best-known brands with full-service talent management in automotive, live event and trade show staffing, product demonstration, retail merchandising, TV/film/commercial/voiceover and more. Krevsky Dosey began her career in fashion, but after attending the Detroit Auto Show in the late 1970's and learning that models were not permitted to speak about the vehicles, she founded Productions Plus. Today, her company is the largest SAG/AFTRA-franchised talent management agency in Michigan and continues to expand its automotive business. She also is the author of Sirens of Chrome: The Enduring Allure of Auto Show Models. Krevsky Dosey is a graduate of Lock Haven University and also attended the Fashion Institute of Technology.

*All biographical information is only current up to the date of the award.

Jennifer Valoppi

Jennifer Valoppi

Miami Beach, FL

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President & Founder of the Women of Tomorrow (WOT) Mentor & Scholarship Program in Miami. Valoppi designed this unique mentoring organization, considered a model for the nation, in 1997 and directs the mentoring of thousands of at-risk young women in over 150 public high schools in more than 50 cities in Florida and Metro Detroit and has helped provide mentees with approximately $3.2 million worth of college scholarships. The program boasts a 92 percent high school graduation rate among an at-risk population. She is currently engaged in expanding WOT nationally, thanks in part to a $3 million grant from the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation. Valoppi also is a multi-Emmy Award winning TV journalist, award winning author and social entrepreneur, who has been recognized seven times on the floor of the United States Congress and is a recipient of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush's Points of Light Award, the highest honor in Florida.

*All biographical information is only current up to the date of the award.

Candice Miller

Candice Miller

Washington, D.C. & Harrison Township, MI

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Representative for the 10th Congressional District of Michigan, U.S. House of Representatives. Miller is currently serving her seventh term after first being elected to office in November of 2002. She serves as Chairman of the Committee on House Administration, as the only woman chair of a committee in the U.S. House of Representatives; Vice Chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, as well as Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security; and is a member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Miller attended both Macomb Community College and Northwood University.

*All biographical information is only current up to the date of the award.

Donna Yost

Donna Yost

Bloomfield Hills, MI

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CEO of Life 2000 Ltd./The Life Chest, Troy, Michigan. Yost, CEO of The Life Chest and author of Pumpitude: My Journey from CEO Wife to CEO Wife, first tested the entrepreneurial waters in creating her own line of toys after a successful career in dental sales. She ultimately turned her attentions to her husband's (Art Van Furniture CEO Kim Yost) project – a way for people to hold their most treasured memories, replacing the old shoebox of family collectibles with an heirloom quality chest for all treasured keepsakes – The Life Chest. The company partners with such brands as Overstock.com and Dignity Memorial. Yost last year presented President George H.W. Bush with a Life Chest on his 90th birthday, something she says is her proudest career moment.

*All biographical information is only current up to the date of the award.