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Board of Trustees

The members of the Northwood University Board of Trustees help to define the philosophy of the University and have numerous additional roles, including:

  • 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 financial performance and actively participating in academic planning
  • Donating to and oversight of the advancement function and long-range planning

Chair and Vice Chair


Albert F. Zehnder

Albert F. Zehnder

Chairman, Northwood University Board of Trustees

Albert Zehnder is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Zehnder's of Frankenmuth in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Zehnder was recognized nationally in 2004 as one of Northwood University's Outstanding Business Leaders and received an Honorary Doctorate from Northwood in 2007.

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Jennifer M. Panning

Jennifer M. Panning

Vice Chair of the Northwood University Board of Trustees

Jennifer Panning is the President of Artisan Tile Inc. in Brighton, Michigan. She is an alumnus of Northwood University.



Executive Committee and Committee Chairs


Phillip D. Brady

Phillip D. Brady

Vice Chair of Advancement

Phillip Brady is the Retired Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at Phillips 66 in Alexandria, Virginia. Brady was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Northwood University and has served on the Board of Trustees since 2006.

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Daniel G. DeVos

Daniel G. DeVos

Chair of Executive; Member of Advancement, Compensation, and Nominating

Daniel DeVos is the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of DP Fox Ventures, LLC in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dan is a 1980 graduate of Northwood University, and was bestowed a Honorary Doctorate by the University in 1999.

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James C. Fabiano II

James C. Fabiano II

Vice Chair of Nominating; Member of Communications and Recruitment

James Fabiano is the President of Fabiano Brothers, Inc. in Bay City, Michigan. He has served as a trustee for Northwood University since 2007.

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Richard J. Garber

Richard J. Garber

Member of Advancement, Communications, and Recruitment, and Investment

Richard Garber is the President of Garber Management Group in Saginaw, Michigan. Garber is a 1978 graduate of Northwood University, was a Northwood University Outstanding Business Leader, and received the Outstanding Alumni award.

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Robert J. Grubb

Robert J. Grubb

Chair of Advancement; Member of Executive

Robert Grubb is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Alliant National Title Insurance Company, Inc. in Longmont, Colorado. A 1980 graduate, Northwood University honored Grubb with an Outstanding Alumni Award in 1993 and an Honorary Doctorate in 2008.

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Board Members


Jason Brickl

Jason Brickl is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ballweg Automotive Companies in Middleton, Wisconsin. He is a Northwood University alumnus.

Mary Ellen George-Hess

Mary Ellen George-Hess is the Head of North America operations for Tramada Systems (USA), Inc. in Frisco, Texas.

Mauro Gregorio

Mauro Gregorio is the Chief Executive Officer of Dow Corning in Midland, Michigan.

Rick Guirlinger

Rick Guirlinger is the President of Bourke Services, LLC in Raleigh, North Carolina. He received his MBA from the DeVos Graduate School of Management.
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Ken Lingenfelter

Ken Lingenfelter is the Owner of Lingenfelter Motor Sports in Brighton, Michigan.

Steve Madincea

Steve Madincea is the Managing Partner, Fantastec Sports Technology Ltd. in London, England. A Northwood alumnus, Northwood honored Madincea as an Outstanding Business Leader in 2015.
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James Massie

James Massie is the President, Chief Executive Officer at Georgian International Limited in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. Massie is a graduate of Northwood and recipient of its Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award and Honorary Doctorate.
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Edward J. McBrien

Edward McBrien is the Chief Operating Officer, Manhattan Beer Distributors, Bronx, New York. He earned his bachelor's degree from Northwood University and was the Senior Class Valedictorian as well as the Academic Athlete of the Year. He received an Honorary Doctorate in 2017.
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James T. Mestdagh

James Mestdagh is the President and Owner of Landquest Properties, Inc. in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. He is a 1987 graduate of Northwood.
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William A. Parlberg

William Parlberg is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Zehnder's of Frankenmuth in Frankenmuth, Michigan. He is a Northwood University alumnus.

Gary Short

Gary Short is the Vice President of Go-To Transport, Inc. in Bay City, Michigan. He is a graduate of Northwood University.

Noelle M. Walsh

Noelle Walsh is the Corporate Vice President of Supply Chain, the Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan. She joined Northwood's Board of Trustees in May 2014.
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Graham Williams

Graham Williams is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Power Process Piping, Inc. in Plymouth, Michigan.
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Robert W. Wilson

Robert Wilson is the Vice President of Mid Michigan Materials in Jeddo, Michigan. Wilson graduated in 2005 from Northwood University and in 2006 completed his MBA from Northwood's DeVos Graduate School.
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Trustees Emeriti


Dr. Robert M. Fairchild
Dr. John J. Ferron
Lynn Ferron
Dr. Jerome M. (Jerry) Fullinwider
Dr. Louis J. Furlo, Sr.
Dr. Christi Harris
Lyttleton T. Harris IV
Dr. Marjorie McIntyre Hohman
Dr. Leo C. Jerome
Dr. Cleve L. Killingsworth, Jr.
Dr. Macauley Whiting, Jr.