Outstanding Business Leaders Archives

38th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Honorees (2018)

Mark Davidoff

Mark Davidoff

Michigan Managing Partner, Deloitte LLP

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Mark serves as the managing partner of the Michigan practice of Deloitte LLP. He is the organization's top leader in the state, overseeing more than 1,200 professionals based in Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Midland. In addition to serving clients in the marketplace, he is responsible for the strategy, operations, talent, and business development of the statewide practice. Mark collaborates with the Deloitte U.S. Firm and global organization - Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited - to bring the best Deloitte resources and talent to help Michigan companies, community based organizations, and governments respond to today's challenges.

Additionally, Mark serves as the lead for Deloitte's CFO Forum Program, which serves CFOs in local affinity groups in over 100 geographies globally.

Mark joined Deloitte in 2005 after experiences in both public accounting and serving in significant C-Suite positions for various not-for-profit organizations in health care and the social services arena.

Mark is a CPA and holds a BSBA from Wayne State University and a Master of Management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Mark currently serves on the following community boards:

  • Business Leaders for Michigan
  • Downtown Detroit Partnership
  • Detroit Economic Club
  • Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Detroit Symphony Orchestra
  • Michigan Chamber of Commerce
Mort Harris

Mort Harris

Philanthropist and Entrepreneur

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Mort Harris is a philanthropist and entrepreneur in Detroit, Michigan.

Mort has long been a successful businessman, serving as president of Mercier Corporation a metallurgical supplier which he purchased in 1952. Later he acquired Erie Coke and Chemical Company, Ohio. It was the largest privately owned coke company in the United States for producing steel, iron and sugar. In 1999 Mort purchased the largest division of General Motors to survive with two co-founders, and named the company American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc.

He was the co-founder of Euroad, an over the road trucking company that provided logistics in Poland, when it was sold it was one of the largest trucking companies in Europe. He is also a renowned investor and entrepreneur in numerous real estate venture, including: hotels, apartments, shopping centers and mobile home communities.

Mort had a decorated military career, where he served as a Flying Fortress First Pilot in WWII. He flew 33 missions in WWII, and received three Distinguished Flying Crosses, six air medals, Polish Medal of Honor, Presidential Citation and led the mission over Warsaw to drop supplies and ammunition to the Polish. Mort was met in Moscow by Averell Harriman, American ambassador to the Soviet Union, who led the talks between the two countries during the crucial years of WWII.

In 1987, Mort and a contemporary engineer flew a personal light engine aircraft across the North Atlantic breaking a world record. Additionally he was recently knighted into the French Legion of Honor by the President of France.

Mort's countless philanthropic investments in Southeastern Michigan, through the Mort Harris Foundation, impact Henry Ford Health System, Brigitte and Mort Harris Stroke Center, Wayne State University, The Mort Harris Fitness Center, The Wayne State Medical School, Adult Literacy and many more. Recently, he supported funding for the Harris Med Direct Scholars program into perpetuity.

He supports the Detroit Institute of Arts, The Detroit Symphony, The Detroit Science Center, The Detroit Riverfront, Federation, The Henry, Boys and Girls Club, Oakland Family Services and numerous other Southeastern Michigan organizations.

His latest investment into healthcare will be The Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion, named for his late wife Brigitte, to be completed in 2020.

Cathy LaValley

Cathy LaValley

Founder/President, Cathy's Concepts

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Cathy LaValley is the founder and CEO of Cathy's Concepts Inc, a leading manufacturer and direct shipper of personalized gifts and wedding accessories, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. After attending Michigan's Northwood University from 1972-1975, LaValley left the school with a strong set of entrepreneurial skills and the drive to succeed. She then started the company in 1988, selling fashion jewelry out of her car to Indiana bridal shops.

Thirty years later, Cathy's Concepts has grown into a nationally recognized brand--designing, manufacturing, personalizing, and direct shipping custom products for an ever-growing list of national retail partners.

LaValley received the Outstanding Manufacturer of the Year award from Modern Bride Magazine in 1996. She was also a member of The Executive Committee (TEC). LaValley uses her platform to support philanthropic endeavors with her church and numerous Indianapolis-based animal welfare organizations. She is an avid golfer and loves attending her weekly Pilates and Jazzercise classes.

30 years after starting Cathy's Concepts, LaValley continues to guide her company's employees by the same mantra that inspired her humble beginning: "If you don't believe in yourself, don't expect anyone else to."

Michael Peay

Michael Peay

CEO and Owner, Holiday World of Houston

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Born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Michael Peay attended the University of New Mexico and received his Bachelors degree in finance from the Anderson School of Management. While attending school at UNM he sold and serviced Coleman fold-down camping trailers with his sister Cherilyn from a small dealership.

After graduating from school he joined the sales department in a larger dealership owned and operated by his father, Wayne Peay. Over the next five years Michael worked in every department, front to back, bottom to top. While working for the dealership he had the opportunity to meet and receive training from Bill Gorman, owner of Gorman Planning Company and Dealer Management Systems. He received training working in parts and service management, sales and sales management, finance and accounting.

In January 1989 Michael joined the consulting team at Gorman Planning Company and put on a consulting hat, offering training to growing RV and marine dealerships across the United States and Canada. This opportunity provided a vast amount of experience and education working with some of the leading RV dealers in the U.S. He and Bill Gorman worked together to form what is now call Focus Groups RV07 and RV09 consisting of 15 to 20 RV dealerships each, reporting accounting results, meeting quarterly, and creating an educational environment with the accountability of the consistent financial reporting.

Immersed in the learning of dealership operations, he found many dealers successfully operating dealerships with their individual personality differences. He learned best practices for daily operations, accounting, customer care and profit performance. He and Bill also worked with a small software company to help them understand and develop applications and financial reporting for the RV and Marine industries. Today IDS Astra is the preferred operation software in the RV industry partially because of Bill Gorman's influence and promotion of their system to growing RV dealers interested in integrated software solutions.

After consulting with, and offering computer solutions to, Holiday World RV Centers - a group of 14 RV dealerships owned by Harley Davidson - Michael was offered the position of General Manager of their two Houston stores. These stores were small in size and volume, only two acres each and selling about 300 RV's per year combined. He worked to implement processes and procedures to improve operations and grow the stores. In 1996 Harley Davidson decided to divest their investment in the RV industry providing Michael an opportunity to purchase the two stores in Houston.

Developing a purchase plan, Michael brought in partners, Leonard Martynowicz, former Director of the Holiday World stores, and Tom Daulton, another former UNM graduate and entrepreneur. Together they have grown the stores form two to six, 300 RV's sold annually to over 4,000 RV's sold annually, and annual sales of $10 million to over $220 million in sales.

Today Michael continues as the CEO of the Holiday World dealerships. He also serves as Chairman of RV07 Focus Group and Chairman of the Board of Priority RV Network, a cooperative of over 100 RV dealers nationwide. He is active with the non-profit organization Upbring, which operates the Krause Children's Center in Katy, Texas. Krause provides living, education, medical and counseling facilities for abused young girls ages 13 to 18 and helps them to find supporting foster families and gives them a positive Christian-based perspective as they move forward in their lives.

Ray Scarpelli Jr.

Ray Scarpelli Jr.

President and Dealer Principal, Ray Chevrolet, Ray Chrysler Dodge Jeep and Ram

Business Partner in Raymond Chevrolet and KIA

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Raymond Scarpelli, Jr. is the President and Dealer Principal of Ray Chevrolet and Ray Chrysler Dodge Jeep and Ram in Fox Lake, Illinois. He also is a business partner for Raymond Chevrolet and KIA in Antioch, Illinois. He is an award-winning second-generation automobile dealer and entrepreneur.

Ray earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Northwood University, majoring in marketing and management and minoring in accounting. He was named one of Northwood's Top Five Automotive students, was a Disney Academy graduate, and was listed among the "Who's Who Among American Colleges and Universities" in 1984.

Ray Chevrolet was established in 1991 by Ray and his father, Ray Sr., beginning with a two-car showroom and about 20 employees. The organization now consists of two stores and employs more than 200 people.

In 2013 and again in 2017, Ray was recognized with the Chevrolet Dealer of the Year Award, GM's highest and most distinguished award given to a Chevrolet dealer. For six consecutive years he has also received the Chevrolet Mark of Excellence Dealer award. In 2016 General Motors named Ray Chevrolet its No. 1 Business Elite dealer in the nation.

Ray is the current chairman of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA), co-chairman of the Chicago Auto Show, and will assume the chairman role in 2019. He was also elected to the Chevrolet National Dealer Council for the north central region, which reviews Chevrolet dealer policies and provides dealer perspective nationally.

Ray's philanthropic work has extended to every corner of his community. Ray and his family support and sponsor a number of organizations including the Big Play Program, which has donated over $250,000 to local high schools thus far. In addition, he supports numerous food drives for local shelters and has helped Catholic Charities raise more than $62,000. For the past three years, Ray hosted a Christmas party for the neediest children in the area known as the "Ray Holiday Party." This party not only provides toys for needy children in the community, but they also go on a shopping spree with the Fox Lake Police and Fire Department. He also has been instrumental in developing "BBQ for the troops," an annual event organizing Chicagoland dealers to participate for the USO. This fundraiser supports families of fallen soldiers and soldiers in need of assistance. Thus far his dealership alone has raised over $60,000 for military families for the USO.

Ray and his wife Lisa have two children, Ray and Samantha. Their son Ray is now working alongside his father, a third generation Scarpelli carrying on the automobile business. They reside in Libertyville, Illinois.

Sam Simon

Sam Simon

Founder and Chairman, Simon Group Holdings

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Sam Simon is the Founder and Chairman of Simon Group Holdings (SGH), which he formed in 1985 with the founding of Atlas Oil Company, headquartered in Taylor, Michigan.

Simon Group Holdings, directly and through its subsidiaries, has interests in and is an active investment manager within the following sectors: Commercial Fuel Supply and Distribution; Oil Field Services; Logistics and Transportation; Commercial and Residential Real Estate; Aviation; Technology SaaS; and Turnkey Modular Housing. The SGH Investment Management Team has active investments throughout the capital stack including: Venture Capital, Private Equity, Mezzanine, and Senior Debt. SGH has 250 direct employees and with its holding companies, employs an additional 500 people.

Simon is a valued counselor and was appointed to the National Petroleum Council by Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham early in the decade. A former board member of the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA), Simon continues as an active member.

Simon takes his corporate citizenship seriously. He and his companies humbly and generously serve and help others. In 2007, he created Atlas Cares, which supports several Metro-Detroit organizations and encourages employees to volunteer annually at charities of their choice. Over the last decade, Atlas workers have volunteered more than 40,000 hours.

In 2017, Atlas hosted its 11th annual party for servicemen and women and their families at Selfridge Air National Guard base. He and his wife began their family foundation in 2011, The Sam and Nada Simon Foundation, primarily to support military service men and women and their families as well as select children's organizations.

In Oct. 2016, the American Arab Chamber of Commerce presented Simon with its Economic Bridge Builder of the Year Award for his commitment to new business development and community leadership. In 2015, the Michigan National Guard awarded Simon its Legion of Merit Medal for his enduring support of Selfridge. Also that year, he received the Rotary Award from the City of Taylor. In 1999, he received the Ernst & Young "Entrepreneur of the Year" award.

37th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Honorees (2017)

Hank Graff

Hank Graff

President, Graff Automotive Group

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Max H. (Hank) Graff is a third-generation automotive dealer and former president of the Graff Automotive Group in Davison, Michigan. The Graff Automotive Group was once a single Ford dealership owned by Hank’s grandfather in 1914, and then passed onto Hank’s father. In 1977, Hank took over the family business, and in 1982 he left Ford for Chevrolet. The auto group is now comprised of 10 dealerships representing 16 franchises in Michigan and Ohio, and includes Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Volvo Heavy Truck and Isuzu Truck brands.

Professionally, Hank was a past president of the Flint Auto Dealers Association, a board member and past president of the Michigan Automobile Dealership, and president of the Ford Dealer Advertising Fund. He served as a member of Chevrolet Dealer Council and as a board member of the Michigan Automobile Dealers Self Insurance Fund.

Hank has also served as a board member for Evergreen Cemetery, a board member for the Genesee County Fair, and a board member of the Flint Golf Club. He has been a Deacon and board member of the First Presbyterian Church in Flint for several years. Hank was an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America, and received Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award. He has also served as president of the Tall Pine Council of the Boy Scouts.

He has been awarded the Time Quality Dealer nomination, the Northwood University Dealer Education Award, Sales and Marketing Executive Businessman of the Year Award and numerous General Motors Mark of Excellence and Dealer of the Year awards. He is also a recipient of the Jack Smith Leadership Award.

Hank graduated from Michigan State University in 1968, and was a high school teacher prior to joining his father’s dealership. He and his wife, Bonnie, have two children and six grandchildren.

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

Bernie Marcus

Bernie Marcus

Co-Founder, The Home Depot and Job Creators Network

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Philanthropist and public servant of the highest caliber, Bernie Marcus is co-founder of The Home Depot, Inc., the world’s largest home improvement retailer, and was chairman until his retirement in 2002.

He has redirected his entrepreneurial spirit toward charitable endeavors through The Marcus Foundation, which focuses on Jewish causes, children, medical research, free enterprise and the community.

Bernie’s contributions are given with the expectation that they will make a significant difference. They range from creating the Georgia Aquarium as a thank you to the associates, customers and shareholders of Atlanta and Georgia for the success of The Home Depot, which has attracted 22 million visitors since 2005, to an improved emergency and trauma center for the Grady Health System. Other grantees have included the Marcus Autism Center, the Marcus Nanotechnology Building at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Israel Democracy Institute in Jerusalem, a non-partisan and non-political think tank that deals with the complex issues facing the Israeli democratic society. The Foundation gifted the Piedmont Heart Institute in Atlanta to establish the nation’s first heart valve reference center; The Shepherd Center, for Project Share, to ensure that members of the military and veterans get diagnosed and cared for without financial constraint; and the Marcus Neuroscience Institute at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, an innovative nexus for neurologic and neurosurgical care.

In 2012, Bernie co-founded Job Creators Network (JCN), a nonpartisan organization formed to help stop harmful government policies from breaking the backs of small business owners and killing job creation. The best defense against bad government policies is a well-educated public, and JCN does this through targeted public, policymaker and employee education campaigns. Employers have the legal right, and Job Creators Network believes the obligation, to help employees “connect the dots” between bad government policies and the harmful impact on their job, pay, benefits and families. Bernie Marcus received the 2012 William E. Simon Award, given to “highlight the power of philanthropy to promote positive change.”

A native of Newark, New Jersey he received his B.S. degree in Pharmacy from Rutgers University.

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

Thomas J. Moran

Thomas J. Moran

CEO & Founder, Moran Iron Works and Industrial Arts Institute

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Thomas Moran started Moran Metal Iron Works, a metal fabrication firm, after graduating from high school in 1978. Today, the company employs nearly 100 people at four Michigan locations, and was recognized as a Patriotic Employer from the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Moran Iron Works received “Michigan’s 50 Top Companies to Watch” designation from the Lowe Foundation in 2012. In 2013, Tom was awarded Business Champion of the Year from Great Start Coalition. His company was also awarded Business of the Year 2013 from the Cheboygan and Onaway Chamber of Commerce, and Economic Project of the Year from the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance.

In 2014, Tom-an Onaway, Michigan native-recognized a shortage in skilled labor employees, and founded the Industrial Arts Institute. This premier trade school offers welding, electrical, plumbing, carpentry and HVAC certifications, and to date has graduated more than 100 students with multiple program certifications.

In addition to his businesses, Tom is a passionate artist. He creates ornamental sculptured metal art, which he has donated to numerous non-profit organizations, museums and educational facilities for display and fundraising initiatives.

Tom was appointed to the Executive Committee of the Michigan Economic Development Committee by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. He is also a former director of McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital, Regional Prosperity Initiative Chair of Michigan’s Region 2, and the American Red Cross. He and his wife, Marilyn, reside in Onaway, Michigan.

Master SCUBA diver and motorcyclist.

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

Lon Morey

Lon Morey

Former Owner & Chairman, Morbark Industries

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Lon Morey’s family business, Morbark, Inc., was established by his father in 1957. Lon served as the former chairman of the board at Morbark from 1997 until 2016. The company is the leading manufacturer of heavy equipment for the forestry, sawmill, tree care and recycling industries.

When he was eight years old, Lon helped to lay the concrete foundation for the first Morbark plant in Isabella County, Michigan. He held numerous positions at Morbark, spending time in the company’s parts department and in payroll and benefits before taking over as President from 1997 to 2011.

Focused on employee development, Lon was instrumental in arranging for opportunities for his employees to take part in the company’s success. He implemented numerous professional development trainings and initiated several partnerships which are still in place today. Through “Lunch with Lon,” he was able to spend time with employees at every level at Morbark, and used their feedback to set the company of the course for success.

In 1990, the Morey family started the Morey Foundation, which has served as one of mid-Michigan’s largest charitable funding sources, supporting a wide range of local projects which make the region an enjoyable an rewarding place to live, work and play. Since 2005, the foundation has contributed over $18 million to various programs including education initiatives, youth activities, life enrichment for the elderly, and community health and development.

Under Lon’s leadership as President, the foundation has also established the Norval K. Morey Cancer Center at McLaren Central Michigan Community Hospital, in addition to opening a charter public school. The Isabella Sportsplex recreation center, supported by the foundation, is home to Morey Courts’ basketball, volleyball and fitness center.

Lon was instrumental in supporting the Mackinac Center for Public Policy-an initiative his father, Norval Morey, also supported-through the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative in 2005. The initiative champions private-sector economic development and works to limit taxation and reduce government outlays.

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

Mary Ann Van Lokeren

Mary Ann Van Lokeren

Former Chairman & CEO, Krey Distributing Company

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Mary Ann Van Lokeren served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Krey Distributing in St. Charles, Missouri from 1986 to 2006. Under her leadership, the firm became one of the largest Anheuser-Busch wholesalers in Missouri.

In addition to leading the St. Louis-based company, Mary Ann has held a number of advisory and fundraising roles with civic and nonprofit organizations. She served as a member of Masco Corporation’s Corporate Governance Committee and member and past chair of the Compensation committee. In addition, she served on the Spire Inc. board as chair and member of numerous committees. Mary Ann held director positions on numerous company boards, including: Commerce Bancshares, D and K Wholesale Drugs and CPI Corporation. She is an active member of United Way.

Both Mary Ann and her company have been recognized with numerous industry and charitable awards. Krey Distributing was named Missouri Anheuser-Busch Wholesaler of the Year twice, and also received recognition as Anheuser-Busch Ambassador Wholesaler. Mary Ann was named one of St Louis’ Most Influential Women and Varity Club’s Woman of the Year. She has also been recognized as a Woman of Achievement for civic responsibility.

Mary Ann received her bachelor and master’s degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where she has been recognized with a Distinguished Alumni Award and served on the Board of Trustees. She and her husband, Michael Van Lokeren reside in Boca Grande, Florida.

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

LTC (R) Allen B. West

LTC (R) Allen B. West

Executive Director & Vice Chair of the Board of the National Center for Policy Analysis, Former Congressman, Florida’s 22nd Congressional District

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Allen B. West is the Executive Director and Vice Chair of the Board of the National Center for Policy Analysis, which he joined because he believes policy-not politics-will secure a sound economic future for Americans.

Lieutenant Colonel West is the third of four generations of military servicemen in his family. During his 22-year career in the United States Army, Lt. Col. West has served in multiple combat zones, and has received a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Commendation Medals and a Valorous Unit Award. In 1993, he was named U.S. Army ROTC Instructor of the Year.

In November 2010, Lt. Col. West was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd Congressional District. As a member of the 112th Congress, he sat on the Small Business and Armed Forces Committees and was instrumental in the passage of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.

Lt. Col. West is a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, A Fox News Contributor, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey o Family, Faith and Freedom. He is a legacy life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a life member of the Association of the United States Army and a life member of the National Rifle Association. Lt. Col. West was recently elected to the board of the NRA, and appointed by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission. He is an avid distance runner, Master SCUBA diver and motorcyclist.

An avid Volunteers fan, Lt. Col. West received his bachelor’s from the University of Tennessee, and later earned a master’s in political science from Kansas State University. He and his wife, Dr. Angela Graham-West have two daughters, Aubrey and Austen.

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

Carol A. Williams

Carol A. Williams

Former Executive Vice President, Manufacturing & Engineering, The Dow Chemical Company

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Carol Williams retired in early 2015 after serving as a special advisor to the Chief Executive Officer at Dow Chemical Company, a diversified chemical company headquartered in Midland, Michigan. Prior to her special advisor role, she served as Dow’s executive vice president of Manufacturing and Engineering, Supply Chain and Environmental, Health and Safety Operations.

Carol joined Dow in 1980, starting as an engineer in research and development for plastic films and foams in the Granville Research Center. Throughout her 34-year history at Dow, she assumed increasingly more significant management positions in research and development before moving into numerous executive leadership positions within the company.

Carol was named senior vice president of Basic Chemicals in 2009 and president of Chemicals and Energy in 2010. She accepted her role as executive vice president of Manufacturing & Engineering in 2011. Carol was named special advisor to Dow’s chairman and CEO in 2014. She joined the Board of Owens Illinois-a leading glass manufacturing company in 2014, and Olin Corporation in 2015. Carol was named Chairman of the Board, Owens Illinois in 2016. She is also a member of the Olin Chemical Board of Directors.

Professionally, Carol has served on the United States Department of Commerce Manufacturing Council, and on the board of directors for Sadara, Dow-Mitsui Chlor-Alkali LLC., and Zep Inc. She served on the Board of Trustees for Carnegie Mellon University until 2016, and continues to serve as an advisory board member for the Engineering Department and a member of the Energy Futures Institute Presidential Consultation Committee. Carol is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. She has received a Woman of the Year Award from the National Association of Professional Women and received a Junior Achievement Mid-Michigan Laureate Award. In 2009, she was selected as an Alumnae of the Year at Carnegie Mellon University.

Carol earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and completed Executive Education at Indiana University.

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

36th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Honorees (2016)

Robert Baidas

Robert Baidas

CEO, General RV Center

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As Chief Executive Officer, Robert Baidas leads the expansion, growth, and investment opportunities for General RV Center. In conjunction with the directors and management teams, Robert heads the strategic planning for the organization in order to keep General RV Center in the forefront of the RV industry.

General RV Center was started by Ambrose "Abe" Baidas in 1962 as a gas station and small utility trailer shop in Detroit, Michigan. Robert, along with his brothers and sister, worked weekends and summers through high school at the gas station and later in the dealership: "We did a little bit of everything from the office to the back of the shop."

After graduation, Robert's first entrepreneurial endeavor was a mail-order parts catalog for the growing RV industry that he started along with his wife, Nancy. The catalog became what is now Salem Distributors. Today, Salem Distributors is one of the top 10 largest distributors for the RV industry and continues to be operated by the Baidas family.

In 1991 Robert joined the family business: "We moved a little mom-and-pop business into the 20th century." Robert played a role in making the decision to move General RV Center to Wixom, as well as branching out and opening multiple locations across the state of Michigan. He implemented computer and accounting systems that allowed General RV to grow into the largest RV dealership in Michigan.

In 2006, General RV Center began expanding outside Michigan and is currently the largest family-owned RV dealership in the country with locations nationwide. With the continual development, the Baidas family formed other standalone companies including finance, insurance and reinsurance. "The growth of our companies are fueled by the people we have working with us, from our management team on down. We all focused on customer service and treating people with respect."

Currently Robert and his wife of 38 years enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren. In his personal time, his enthusiasm for sailboat racing has taken him around the country. As the third generation plays more of role in General RV, the Baidas family is turning its focus to industry and civil concerns along with future expansion of the business.

Robert attended college at the school of business at Western Michigan University and acquired a finance degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1981.

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

Joseph Serra

Joseph Serra

President, Serra Automotive Group

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Joseph O. (Joe) Serra is the president of Serra Automotive, based in Grand Blanc, MI. Serra Automotive currently owns 34 facilities and 52 franchises throughout the United States. Joe acts in the capacity of president for 22 of those facilities and as a dealer/operator for an additional 10.

Joe became the general manager at Al Serra Chevrolet in 1984 and moved up quickly to become a dealer/operator in 1986. By 1992, he was president of Serra Automotive. In 2000, Joe purchased 100 percent of Serra Automotive. During that time, he was also a member of the founding team for Driver's Mart Worldwide, Inc. in 1996, and became chief operating officer of Saturn Retail Enterprise in Charlotte, NC, in 1998.

Joe has held various positions in the Flint Auto Dealers Association (where he was president in 1988) and the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association (where he was president in 1995-1996). He served on the Detroit Auto Dealers Association from 2001-2012, where he was the chairman of various committees and a member of the executive committee from 2008-2012. In 2008, he was the co-chairman of the North American International Auto Show, moving up to senior co-chairman in 2009. Joe also spent 12 years as a member of the Albion College Board of Directors and Executive Committee, and he was the Chairman of the Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce from 2012-2014.

Throughout his career, Joe has received numerous awards. For 20 years (from 1998-2008), he received the Chevrolet National Top 10 Award from the Chevrolet Motor Division. He has a 14-year run (2001-2014) receiving both the Chevrolet/Buick/GMC/Cadillac Mark of Excellence Award and the GM Dealer of the Year Award. From 2007-2014, he received the Cadillac Master Dealer Award as well. Joe was named to the "50 Visionary Dealers List" by Automotive News in 2009, and he was Michigan's Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award recipient in 2001. Joe was also proud to be recognized as Flint, Michigan's Businessman of the Year in 1997.

Joe graduated from Albion College in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in economics and management. He completed a strategic marketing course at the Wharton School (Philadelphia, PA) in 1987.

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

Thomas Cunnington

Thomas Cunnington

Partner, Cunnington & Cunnington

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Thomas W. Cunnington is a Partner with Cunnington and Cunnington, a consulting firm specializing in mid-size energy projects.

Formerly, Tom served as Chief Executive Officer of Ward Williston Oil Company, an independent oil production and service company, which he successfully took from a relatively small service company to a position of leadership in the North Dakota oil industry. He has vast experience in the oil industry, including experience setting up partnerships to drill wells in North Dakota, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. As an entrepreneur, Tom has been involved in diversified investments in the oil exploration field, real estate and venture capital projects.

Previously, Tom was the founder and President of World Computer Corporation, a national firm. World Computer was the largest provider of "turnkey systems" for the credit union industry. He has since sold this company to a national conglomerate.

Tom serves on the board of various organizations. He is a trustee of Detroit Country Day School and Kirk in the Hills Church. He is a former chairman of National Multiple Sclerosis Society and a current board member. He is a board member of JAM International, a relief organization working in Africa. He is currently chairman of Faith Ventures, a foundation working to assist in feeding programs and establishing orphanages in Mozambique and Rwanda. In addition, Tom served President George Bush as a member of his Presidential Transition Team, and he has been active in several political PACs including GOPAC and the Republican Eagles.

Tom graduated from Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts with a BS degree in engineering, and he completed his MBA with a major in finance at Babson University, Wellesley, Massachusetts. He served in the United States Army as a Captain.

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

Don Tocco

Don Tocco

Owner, D.L. Tocco & Associates Inc.

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Don is the founder and president of D.L. Tocco & Associates, a national company based in Troy, MI that specializes in business development and marketing for industrial construction companies throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. The firm's collective sales total over $4 billion since inception.

With his father and his grandfather employed in the automotive industry, Don was certain to follow, and for a considerable amount of time he did drive a truck and worked in a small job shop. Lacking a formal education, mentoring, or any financial assistance, he had a spiritual urge and strong passion to read a number of the classic inspirational books of the ?70s. Armed with this information and help from Dale Carnegie's Leadership Training, he created a business from a one-bedroom apartment that is still today a one-of-a-kind enterprise.

Taking six small industrial contractors with annual sales ranging from $400,000 to $3 million, he helped them grow into market sector leaders with annual sales growth skyrocketing from 25 times to 150 times annual original sales (on average) in less than 12 years. Today, Tocco & Associates is the premier one-stop source for major construction projects ranging from $500,000 to $250 million per project.

Don has given extensively to the youth of America and the world community of young leaders for over 35 years. His special outreach programs include in part:

  • Keynoting over 30 international leadership programs through Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership, reaching students from every state in America and 70 countries, sharing the podium with a past president of the United States, a Cardinal from the Vatican, senators, congressmen, military leaders, famous industrialists, and best-selling authors.
  • For over 13 years, Hillsdale College and now Northwood University students have heard his message on "burning desire" and how to discover their God-given talents. A number of these students have recently taken critical leadership positions in Washington D.C. in an effort to take America back from those who would abandon the Constitution.
  • In 1988 at the behest of a principal of an elementary school, Don created his now popular Youth Enrichment Series (YES) designed expressly to teach elementary-aged students life's success principles. This program was discovered, promoted and initially funded by one-time General Motors division EDS. Don has presented YES's five-week program at over 25 schools.

Not to be found wasting any of his valuable time, Don has authored a book, Art of the Journey, that is replete with sculptures, paintings, photography, and poetry, all done by the author. Three of his sculptures can be viewed at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, MI. The book is sold at the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Charles Wright Museum in Detroit, plus on Amazon.

More can be found on Don's commitment to our youth at

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

James G. Massie

James G. Massie

Co-Founder, Co-Owner, President & CEO, Georgian International

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James (Jamie) G. Massie is the President and Co-Founder of Georgian International Limited, an automotive, aircraft and property development business based in Barrie, Ontario. Jamie is also President of Georgian Chevrolet Buick GMC Inc. as well as Georgian BMW, MINI Ltd., both located in Barrie. In addition, he is Chairman of Georgian Aircraft Corp, which operates 30 aircraft out of Barrie, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary, moving over two million passengers per year under the Air Canada Express banner. Jamie's real estate companies operate under the Georgian International Land Corp. brand and are involved in many Barrie and area developments.

Jamie has spent his career working to strengthen the community of Barrie through business, sports and philanthropic channels. He led the expansion of the Ontario Hockey League to Barrie, helping to spearhead the construction of the Barrie Molson Centre in 1994. Until 2007, he was the Chairman of the OHL's Barrie Colts. Today, he is the Honorary Colonel at Canadian Forces Base Borden, Canada's largest military training base. A true entrepreneur and business visionary, Jamie's combined contributions have resulted in the creation of over 2,000 jobs in the Barrie area.

Jamie has an impressive list of awards and acknowledgements. He was named Barrie Businessman of the Year and one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40. He was a recipient of the first MacLaren Art Centre Legacy Award, the Ontario Provincial Police Public Citation Award, and the Queen's Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee medals for citizenship, and he was inducted into the Barrie Sports Hall of Fame. Jamie also received an Honorary Degree and a Prestigious Fellowship from Georgian College. In 2014, Jamie was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada for significant contribution to the Canadian Armed Forces. In 2015, Jamie was awarded the prestigious "Order of the Spirit Catcher" from the City of Barrie for lifetime contributions to the City.

Currently, Jamie is a member of the board of Southmedic, a Barrie-based manufacturer and distributor of specialized medical products. Jamie has previously served on the boards of the Ontario Hockey League, Georgian College, The Georgian College Foundation and Ridley College, as well as many industry-related boards. He has actively been involved in fundraising for numerous charities including the Royal Victoria Hospital, Barrie Public Library, MacLaren Art Centre, the Lake Simcoe Conservation Foundation, the Barrie Molson Centre and numerous youth sports programs.

Jamie and his wife Wendy have four sons, who like their father enjoy the outdoors, sports, business, and discussing and debating the current issues that affect Canada and the world. Jamie attributes much of his success in business to the four years he spent at Northwood University in Midland, Michigan, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1980.

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

Kim Yost

Kim Yost

CEO, Art Van Furniture

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Kim Yost is the CEO of Art Van Furniture, which he joined in October 2009. During his six years at Art Van, the leadership team implemented The Art Book: Business Plan, the Art of Execution and Game Books for sales events. The company also opened several new full-line Art Van Furniture, Art Van Pure Sleep, and Art Van Franchise stores within Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. His highly inspired leadership team has dramatically increased sales and market share over the past six years.

In 2013, Kim introduced the 68-Day Challenge to Art Van. This program is all about recognizing a goal, pushing yourself, taking action and sustaining ongoing growth. As a result of thousands of individual actions, Art Van has risen to new heights.

Prior to Art Van Furniture, Kim spent 13 years at The Brick, Canada's largest furniture, mattress, appliance and electronics retailer. He was the driving force behind the opening of more than 200 stores. He developed the new "HomeShow Canada" brand as well as an Asian direct-buying service called First Ocean, and he produced "Brick Tube" to communicate with the Brick's 7,000 employees. Under his leadership as CEO, sales at The Brick soared from $900 million to $1.7 billion in just six years. Kim has spent over 35 years in the retail industry in both Canada and the United States, with experience in sales, marketing, operations and executive management within a number of leading retail brands.

Kim has also become a published author with the publication of four books: the PUMPTITUDE trilogy and The Life Chest - Leave a Legacy. Soon to be released is his next book, The Life Chest ? Africa.

Kim attended Douglas College in Burnaby, British Columbia, where he studied marketing & communications and applied design.

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

Jonathan Seevaratnam

Jonathan Seevaratnam

CEO, Founder, Jiggee (M) Sdn Bhd

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Jonathan Seevaratnam is the Founder and CEO of Jiggee (M) Sdn Bhd & John Hall (JH Creatives Sdn Bhd), event management companies based in Asia. Main events for Jiggee include launches, conferences, gala dinners, team-building escapades, social events and destination management events. Meanwhile, John Hall handles bespoke events like weddings and private soirees for high society, producing luxe events across Asia. The companies' primary clientele are from the banking & finance, insurance, oil & gas, pharmaceutical, property and automotive sectors.

Jonathan started his career as a professional clown while in college as a freshman and sophomore in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 1997 - 1999. In May of 2000, he founded his business while a junior at Northwood University in Midland, Michigan.

To date, Jonathan's businesses have produced numerous events in cities across Peninsular and East Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Bangkok, Phuket, Hanoi and Bali. In 2016, they will be venturing further into the global sphere with event planning slated for cities such as Phnom Penh, Ho Chi Minh City and Madrid. As a Show Producer under the Jiggee umbrella, Jonathan is a specialist in corporate event management for Fortune 500 clients for both private and corporate events, with over 1,500 events produced to date.

Jonathan was recognized by Special Events Magazine in July 2015 as one of the "Top 25 Young Event Pros to Watch for 2015." He is the second person in Asia, and the first Malaysian, to become a Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP). Jiggee was nominated as a finalist for Advertising+Marketing Magazine's "Event Marketing Agency of the Year" for both 2013 & 2014, and garnered a silver medal in that category in 2012. Jiggee was also a nominee for a 2012 Special Events magazine Gala Award in the "Best Event for a Corporation or Association (Budget Under $100,000)" category.

Jonathan received his BBA in International Business and Management from Northwood University in 2001.

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

35th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Honorees (2015)

Jim Hallett

Jim Hallett

CEO, KAR Auction Services

Carmel, Indiana

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As Chief Executive Offer and Director of KAR Auction Services, Jim Hallett leads the strategic planning for the entire organization by directing its executive management team and identifying synergies across all business units to optimize future growth.

Mr. Hallett entered the retail automotive business in 1975 and later owned and managed a number of new car franchises. In 1990, he opened two automobile auctions, the Ottawa Dealers Exchange and The Greater Halifax Dealer Exchange.

Mr. Hallett joined the Automotive Dealer Exchange Services of America's (ADESA) Canadian location in 1993 as president. In 1996, he relocated from his native Canada to Indianapolis to serve as president and CEO of the entire organization. During his tenure, the conglomerate grew from 16 to 53 whole-car auctions and expanded its Automotive Finance Corporation (AFC) to fully service the industry. Mr. Hallett also solidified ADESA's presence in the automotive remarketing trade by entering the salvage vehicle industry in both the United States and Canada.

Mr. Hallett then joined the Columbus Fair Auto Auction in Columbus, Ohio to serve as president from 2005 to 2007. He returned to ADESA to take on the role of president and CEO in April, 2007. In September 2009, he was promoted to his current role as CEO and director of KAR Auction Services.

Having enjoyed a lifelong passion for the game of hockey, Mr. Hallett purchased the Central Hockey League's Indianapolis Ice professional hockey team and won a championship the first year. In November of 2013 he announced that he'd acquired an expansion franchise in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). The team named the Indy Fuel began playing in October 2014 at the newly renovated Coliseum at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

A graduate of Canada's Algonquin College, Mr. Hallett holds a Dealer Management Certification from General Motors University. He has received several industry awards, including the Ring of Honor from the National Independent Dealers Association. In 2008, he was recognized as Remarketer of the Year at the Conference of Automotive Remarketing, and subsequently received the Pioneer Award at the National Auto Auction Association Conference in recognition for a lifetime of leadership and contribution to the automotive remarketing industry.

Most recently, Mr. Hallett was awarded with the national 2014 Ernst and Young (EY) Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Services category, further recognition of his achievement as the Midwest regional winner for the same honor in the Consumer category.

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

Steve M. Madincea (MI ?82)

Steve M. Madincea (’82)

Founder & Group Managing Director, PRISM

Surrey, England

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Born in the shadows of Motown, Steve Madincea has always marched to a different beat within the global business world. An honors graduate from Northwood University's Midland, Michigan campus, Madincea will tell you this is where his entrepreneurial flame was lit, igniting a career that has spanned the globe and is far from complete in his eyes.

Madincea is the Founder & Group Managing Director of PRISM (Public Relations & International Sports Marketing Ltd.), a worldwide powerhouse in the fields of sponsorship activation and automotive communications. PRISM offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Melbourne cover its Asia-Pacific Region and locations in Cologne, Amsterdam and London lead its European business. North American activities are run from Detroit, Michigan and Santa Monica, California. These worldwide locations have run sponsorship and public relations programs for global giants including Ford, Puma, Johnson and Johnson, Infiniti, Coca-Cola, Shell, Nissan, Heineken, Samsung, Unilever and Red Bull, to name a few.

"Throughout our history we have been blessed with terrific team players who work with great clients," Madincea said. "Interesting business challenges have taken us to far reaching places such as Boston and Bangkok, Melbourne and Montreal, New York and New Delhi, Singapore and Sao Paolo, London and Tokyo. It has been an absolute joy to work with people in different cultures and backgrounds from all over the world who find value in the dedicated PRISM ethos that great work leads to more work. Northwood lit my entrepreneurial flame, and working across the globe for 20-plus years continues to fuels my free-enterprise fire," he said.

Combining a deep appreciation of global business with a unique understanding of what drives successful international sports teams has allowed Madincea to pool two passions into one life-long pursuit. This dedicated drive for client victories has meant that Madincea is one of the few international business leaders readily welcomed into board rooms where trust and results are the key ingredients to success. Madincea elaborated, "Throughout my career becoming a trusted advisor has meant focusing on our client's needs first and foremost. While this approach may not deliver the headlines others crave, it has brought mutually beneficial and lasting business relationships to a highly competitive marketplace."

Based in Surrey, England, Madincea and his wife Jackie started PRISM in 1992 from their spare bedroom while raising three children Cali, Riley and Courtney. In 1999, PRISM was acquired by Sir Martin Sorrell and his WPP Group, the world's largest communication services conglomerate. PRISM was WPP's first sports marketing acquisition and to this day remains its most successful globally.

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

Rollie Massimino

Rollie Massimino

Head Coach, Northwood University Men's Basketball
1985 NCAA Champion, Villanova University

Tequesta, Florida

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Long recognized as one of college basketball's premiere coaches and motivators, Rollie Massimino has compiled an impressive list of coaching accolades.

Inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013, he has been recognized as Coach of the year for various league conferences during his career, including Big East Coach of the Year, Eastern Coach of the Year, The Sun Conference Coach of the Year and also the NAIA Coach of the Year. In addition, Coach Massimino was inducted into the Palm Beach County Sports Commission Hall of Fame in 2012.

His coaching career began in 1956 after graduation from the University of Vermont where he played varsity basketball for three years (and in 1983 was admitted into Vermont's Athletic Hall of Fame.) All told, Massimino coached on the high school level for 11 seasons and logged a sparkling 160-61 record.

He made his collegiate head coaching debut in 1969 at State University of New York (SUNY) - Stony Brook (Long Island, NY). In just his first season, he led his team to a 19-6 record, a conference championship, and to a berth in the NCAA small college national tournament.

In 1971, he left SUNY to work under the legendary Chuck Daly at the University of Pennsylvania as an assistant coach. During his two seasons at Penn, the Quakers compiled a 46-10 record, won two Ivy League titles, two Philadelphia Big 5 Championships, and finished ranked number five and number two, respectively, in the NCAA Final team defensive statistics.

In 1973 as head coach at Villanova, Massimino began his team's reconstruction relying on long days, hard work, and belief in his "family" atmosphere. Two seasons later he led the Wildcats back on the winning trail and they never looked back. He reached the pinnacle of collegiate coaching on April 1, 1985 when his Wildcats recorded one of the most stunning upsets ever in a NCAA tournament championship game by upending Georgetown 66-64.

In 2006, Massimino started the Northwood University Florida program from scratch, and has transformed Seahawks basketball into a national powerhouse in the NAIA. He has compiled an outstanding record of 227 wins and 49 losses (.822%), with eight consecutive trips to the NAIA National tournament, in the program's short history.

On December 29th, 2012, Coach Massimino became the 39th coach to record 700 career wins, and became just the third active coach in college basketball history to reach the 700-win plateau and win an NCAA National Championship during their coaching career, joining Syracuse's Jim Boeheim and Duke's Mike Kryzewski.

Noted for his "Family Style" coaching, Massimino motivates his players with the message that reflects his own view of life - "Enthusiasm is Contagious!"

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

Sonu Ratra

Sonu Ratra

President, Akraya Inc.

Santa Clara, California

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The Founder and President of Akraya Incorporated, a multiple-award winning talent solutions staffing firm which provides internet technology, creative and marketing services, Sonu Ratra's story is one of a young Indian girl who is truly living the American dream. Having arrived in the United States 18 years ago with only fifty-dollars in her pocket, she went on to become a successful entrepreneur while never forgetting her roots.

Ratra's mother was her primary role model. In spite of being paralyzed from a spinal cord tumor, she raised two daughters to face the world and its hardships with a smile. She provided precious education, counseling and guidance for her family although she was completely bedridden herself. This determination and positive energy encouraged Ratra throughout her life, and inspired her to work hard toward achieving her dreams while also supporting and counseling other female professionals. As a successful entrepreneur, Ratra believes that with achievement also comes responsibility. She has always been very passionate about giving back to the community, and is a dedicated advocate of women's empowerment.

Besides leading Akraya's aggressive growth strategies, Ratra serves on the Board of Directors at the Institute of Economic Empowerment for Women and supports their Peace through Business Program. She also serves the Northern California Astra Women's Business Alliance leadership group.

A past winner of the Enterprising Woman of the Year Award, Ratra has also received the Woman of Influence Award, the Stevie Award for Women Helping Women, the Soroptimist Ruby Award and the Indian American Women Empowered Award.

In her current role, Ratra spearheads Akraya's Diversity Supplier Program which gives preference to minority and women business owners to fill its corporate needs. She also leads her organization's charitable programs which include the Race for Literacy, Haitian fundraising events, and various women's mentorship programs.

In the staffing industry, Ratra has been recognized as a highly motivated and focused thought leader. After more than a decade of recruitment and management experience, she founded Akraya in 2001 with the goal of fulfilling professional staffing and service demands which weren't met by the current market.

Since its inception Akraya has grown to become the preferred staffing source to several Fortune 500 enterprises, and provides services in seven countries. Having been named Best Places to Work for three consecutive years, its many accolades include having been recognized by employees as the Best Staffing Company to Work For, the Best Staffing Company to Temp For, and more.

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

John Rotche

John Rotche

President, TITLE Boxing Club

Ann Arbor, Michigan

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After graduating from college in 1990, John Rotche began his career in franchising at the Michigan based pizza giant, Domino's. There, he quickly advanced from delivering pizzas to directing operations for hundreds of the chain's stores throughout the country, which led to various promotions and recognition as the organization's World Wide Trainer of the Year.

After the conglomerate was sold, Rotche accepted a senior level position with Krispy Kreme Doughnuts to help lead the brand's expansion throughout the Midwest. While there, he purchased a small, one-van air duct cleaning business, and soon discovered the value the service could offer children suffering from asthma as demonstrated by his own two-year-old son. He soon resigned from his position at Krispy Kreme to take the small company he'd named DUCTZ national.

Within three years, Rotche grew DUCTZ to become the nation's largest 175-office air duct cleaning business, before selling it to Belfor, the world leader in disaster recovery and property restoration. Due to this acquisition, Rotche was recognized as one of Crain's 2007 Detroit Business Top 40 Executives under the age of 40.

Two years after selling DUCTZ, Rotche's entrepreneurial spirit struck again when he created his next company, HOODZ an organization designed to provide restaurant kitchen exhaust cleaning services. Prior to selling it, Rotche grew the enterprise to become the largest in its industry, with 150 locations in less than two years.

In 2011, Rotche was honored with the Entrepreneur of the Year award from the International Franchise Association (IFA), joining the ranks of J. Willard Marriot of the Marriot Corporation, Fred DeLuca of Subway, Frank Carney of Pizza Hut, John Brown of KFC, and Tom Monaghan of Dominos.

Ready to embark on his next entrepreneurial journey, Rotche learned of the high franchise value and opportunity of TITLE Boxing Club International, and accepted the position as both President and Partner of the organization. Within his three years with the company, he and his team have grown the business from 20 units to over 500 units under development in the United States and Mexico. Today, TITLE Boxing Club is one of the fastest growing fitness brands in America, and is ranked number 202 in INC 500 and number 235 in Entrepreneur 500.

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

Melissa Spickler

Melissa Spickler

Founder, The Spickler Group
Managing Director, Merrill Lynch

Bloomfield Hills, MI

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As the founder of the Spickler Wealth Management Group and a Managing Director at Merrill Lynch, Missy Spickler built her team with the goal of providing individuals and businesses the same high-quality wealth management expertise that she'd expect to receive as a client.

Spickler believes that a commitment to excellence, integrity, a collaborative approach and dedicated work ethic are among the reasons that many clients have chosen to remain with her for several decades. An expert of the financial services industry, with more than three decades of accomplishments as a Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor, she founded The Spickler Group in 1980 and has since turned it into a team serving both individual and institutional accounts.

After graduating from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Law, Spickler became an undercover agent for the Michigan Attorney General. She then entered the financial services sector, joining Merrill Lynch in 1980, and today helps to motivate, advise, and guide women in transition, executives, businesses, retirees and entrepreneurs as they pursue their financial goals and aspirations.

While coaching and inspiring colleagues to provide clients with highly personalized and efficient services by listening attentively to their requests and addressing their needs, promptly, Spickler continues to fulfill her mission of helping customers identify needs they may not have realized while providing them with the financial tools to create and maintain the lives they desire.

A holder of the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC) designation, Spickler is also a qualified Portfolio Manager who, in addition to providing traditional advice and guidance, can help clients pursue their objectives by building and managing her own personalized or defined strategies, which may incorporate individual stocks and bonds, Merrill Lynch model portfolios and third-party investment strategies.

Highly recognized within the industry for superior service, Spickler was named to Barron's list of America's Top 100 Women Financial Advisors and to Registered Rep's Top 50 Wirehouse Women in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In 2014, Barron's listed her among America's 1200 Financial Advisors by State.

Regularly included in a variety of hard copy, television and digital publications she was recently featured on the cover of Barron's magazine and in recent issues of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and Crain's Detroit Business.

The executive director of the Detroit Area Chapter of the Women's Exchange, Spickler has served a variety of leadership groups and was recently appointed to the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission.

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

34th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Honorees (2014)

Lisa Copeland

Lisa Copeland

Managing Partner, Fiat of Austin

Austin, TX

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One of the most respected faces in automotive sales, Lisa Copeland is a dedicated pioneer in the field of automotive marketing and management with over 20 years of proven success. As a member of the National Chrysler Dealer Council, she now represents the North American pulse of the Italian brand Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino which was founded in 1899 and is popularly known as FIAT.

Named one of the Five Most Powerful Women in Austin by the Austin Business Journal in 2012, and recognized for her innovative marketing techniques, Copeland continually raises the bar on North American FIAT sales by developing processes and systems designed to strategically increase sales growth and revenue.

As the Managing Partner of FIAT of Austin, the number FIAT retailer in NAFTA since the brand’s return to North America, Copeland was also recently honored by Chrysler Group Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne for record-breaking FIAT 500 sales. This was truly a defining moment in her automotive career. Under her management, FIAT of Austin became the first FIAT studio in North America to sell 100 FIAT 500’s in a single month.

The achievement, which began with a wager she made with then FIAT CEO Tim Kuniskis in April of 2012, promised Copeland she’d be introduced to the celebrity of her choice if she could sell 100 FIAT 500’s in one month. Beating the goal by ten, Copeland earned record sales and cashed in on the deal by asking to be introduced to Marchionne. And the rest, as they say, is history. When congratulating Copeland in person, Marchionne said of her renowned sales and leadership, “Lisa is also an incredible salesperson herself, an excellent manager and a dynamic leader, and what she and her team have achieved here at the FIAT of Austin store is unprecedented.”

Co-author of New York Times best seller “Succeeding Against All Odds,” a book described as the ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ for entrepreneurs, Copeland share the story of “The Bet.” “The real premise of the story was not about record breaking sales,” said Copeland. “It was more about the fact that women in life and in business are often afraid and intimidated to ask for what they truly want or deserve. Therefore, by sharing my story, I believe women will be encouraged to ‘lean in’ and go for what they truly deserve.”

With extensive knowledge of acquiring, training and retaining diverse candidates Copeland earned FIAT of Austin recognition as #6 Best workplace in North America by Automotive News in 2013. Positioned as an expert in sales and management, her success story has been featured in prominent publications including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Marie Claire and Automotive News.

Copeland is also the co-founder of Women Impacting the Nation and The Project 19 Foundation, non-profit organizations that are dedicated to advancing leadership roles for women. In 2012, she was named “Women of Distinction” by the Girl Scouts of Central Texas, and as the creator of, she empowers women as consumers by offering inside information to female consumers.

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

Richard DeVos, Jr.

Richard DeVos, Jr. (’81)

President, The Windquest Group/ Retired President, Alticor

Grand Rapids, MI

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Dick DeVos was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and is a proud graduate of Northwood University. He has spent his business career working in a variety of executive positions at Amway, the NBA’s Orlando Magic, and The Windquest Group where he currently serves as President. 

As President of Amway from 1993 to 2002, DeVos held responsibility for all aspects of the company’s operations in 50 countries and six continents. In his final fiscal year of service, Amway reported sales of $4.5 billion.  Prior to assuming the Presidency, he served as Vice President of Amway International where he held responsibility for the company’s operations in 18 countries outside North America. Under his leadership, the company opened new markets and tripled international sales to exceed domestic sales for the first time in the company’s history.  DeVos became President and CEO of the Orlando Magic when his family acquired the team in 1991, a role he held for three years. 

Along with leadership in the world of business, DeVos has been a leader in a wide range of community initiatives. Having started the Education Freedom Fund which has awarded more than 4,000 scholarships to underprivileged children in Michigan, and the West Michigan Aviation Academy, a high school that aims to provide a rigorous educational program through an aviation focus, preparing students for unlimited opportunities, including college achievement, career success, and engaged citizenship, DeVos, who served on the Michigan State Board of Education, is also Founder and Chairman of the Regional Air Alliance of West Michigan (RAAWM), a private sector initiative dedicated to providing world-class commercial air service in the region. He has led as chair/co-chair various Grand Rapids area downtown revitalization and regional health care improvements including a $75M downtown area, a $212M convention center, a $130M heart hospital, a $90M medical school and a $30M Downtown Market.  He was the Republican candidate for Governor of Michigan in 2006.

With his New York Times best-selling book, “Rediscovering American Values” published in 1997 and available in seven languages, DeVos exemplifies Northwood University ideals by celebrating the principles that make America great and that shape who we are, how we live, and how we treat each other. Through real-life examples, he offers lessons on how each of us can apply these values in everything we do. Values such as honesty, fairness, humility, initiative, service, compassion, and leadership are, he argues, not just a matter of preference but essential to both personal and collective freedom.

A two-time National Champion sailor, a qualified jet aircraft and helicopter pilot, and a product of both the Harvard and Wharton Executive Study programs, DeVos was honored with the Northwood University Outstanding Alumni and the Direct Selling Association Hall of Fame Awards.   DeVos has been married to the former Betsy Prince for 35 years and they now have seven children and two granddaughters.

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

J Ferron

J Ferron

Chairman Emeritus, Northwood University Board of Trustees
Director, Crain Communications Inc/Automotive News

Bloomfield Hills, MI

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J Ferron’s involvement with Northwood University spans three decades beginning with his authorship of business management guides that were chosen to be used as part of its curricula. After joining the university’s Board of Trustees he played leadership roles on its strategic governance committees and was ultimately elected Chairman in 2008, a position in which he served four terms.

A torch bearer for the Northwood Idea from the university’s earliest days, Ferron is a prescient author and an industry thought leader relating to innovation and new business models. A personal friend of both founders Arthur Turner and Gary Stauffer, his 30-year automotive career has led him to be directly involved with many challenging industry issues affecting manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, and consumers by leading and devising global strategies and working to improve innovation practices. 

Ferron graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1968 and then went onto pilot training in Texas. There, he met Lynn, his wife of 43 years, whom he married after his first Vietnam tour where he volunteered for a prime combat assignment as forward air controller. After they were wed, he went back to Vietnam, ultimately flying over 350 sorties. He was awarded The Distinguished Flying Cross and The Air Medal with six oak leaf cluster awards.

After leaving the Air Force, Ferron earned a Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University while simultaneously beginning his career in the automotive industry as an economist with the National Auto Dealers Association (NADA). In this role he created the Dealership Attitude Survey, a tool that continues to guide industry relations improvements, expanded the dealership operations group with a variety of new services, and founded the NADA Dealer Candidate Academy that has graduated over 8000 dealership successors since 1979.

As the first Vice President of NADA, Ferron co-authored the book, "Betting on the Franchise - Car & Truck Retailing into the 1990's," which foresaw the unbundling of dealership facilities, public ownership of dealership chains, industry distribution consolidation, and consumer buying changes. With over 400 NADA staff members reporting to him on federal and state government regulatory issues, he also served on congressional advisory panels addressing small business tax challenges, electric vehicles, and energy issues.

Ferron and his family were lured west in 1988 to what was then a small research company known as J.D Power and Associates (JDP&A). There, he became a senior partner handling corporate legal issues and was also Managing Director of the group’s Tokyo joint-venture company. At JDP&A he launched the consulting group known as International Roundtable, and led the brand management strategy that quickly made J. D. Power a trusted name globally. 

Ferron was recruited to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) in 1995.  Leading the America’s Automotive Consulting Practice addressing top supply, vehicle assembly, retail distribution and financial issues, he managed globally dispersed consulting teams for distributors and retailers. He was deeply involved with major industry events including the Daimler Chrysler merger before and after it became public.

After retiring from PwC he was selected to be Director of Judging for the Automotive News PACE Awards for Innovation where he directs an independent panel of nearly 30 industry experts who annually research global automotive companies to identify and validate the best “game changing” process or product innovations. Each spring they present these “Academy Awards” for global innovation.

J and his wife Lynn, a Northwood Distinguished Woman, live in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. They are both involved in local and national charitable efforts. J was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from Northwood University in 1999. Both of their sons attended Northwood.

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

Richard Garber

Richard J. Garber (’78)

President, Garber Management Group

Saginaw, MI

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After graduating from Northwood University Michigan in 1978, Dick Garber became one of the youngest dealers in General Motors history when he was announced the third generation owner of 73-year-old Garber Buick at the young age of 25 in 1980.

Currently holding the honor of being America’s oldest Buick dealership in its 107th year, Garber has grown the conglomerate now known as Garber Management Group to generate annual sales revenues of over $700 million and to employ1200 people.

Ranked the 13th largest privately held Michigan company outside of Detroit, the enterprise functions in four states including Michigan, Illinois, Florida and New York. It includes 15 franchise dealerships representing 14 manufacturers, its own financial company known as Gateway Financial Solutions, and RightWay Automotive, an independent used vehicle chain which operates in over 25 sales locations in Michigan, Ohio and Illinois.

When asked how he was able to grow the enterprise so dramatically, Garber shared,“The organization’s culture has been the key; built around an amazing group of people dedicated to the core values of honesty, respect, empathy, integrity, pride and hard work.  These values guide our decisions and control our future,” he said.  

In the tradition of his grandfather Guy S. Garber and father Richard J. Garber, the industrialist has also made service to the community a major priority in his life.  As a life-long Saginaw resident, Garber has devoted himself to community, economic development and enriching the quality of life in the Great Lakes Bay Region. Currently serving as Chair of the Temple Theatre Foundation, President of Saginaw Society of Crippled Children, and Chair of the Capital Campaign for the Child Abuse and Neglect Council, his past leadership roles include the YMCA, United Way, Saginaw Chamber of Commerce, Saginaw Future, Inc., Vision 2020, and the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance to name a few.

Outside of the automotive industry, a unique opportunity arose in 2002 for Garber to make a further contribution to the community, this time in the sports arena.  At the encouragement of Hockey Legend Wren Blair and former Saginaw Mayor Paul Wendler, he became owner and Governor of an Ontario Hockey League (OHL) franchise, now known as the Saginaw Spirit which is in its thirteenth season at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw. Since its inception, nearly 1.5 million fans have enjoyed the excitement of world-class hockey and sports entertainment in the region.

Crediting his Northwood experience for a big part of his personal and professional success, Garber said, “Northwood University provided me my business fundamentals, including the importance of doing business ethically and not to be afraid to set high goals.  Believe in yourself and in others, and work hard to make great things happen.”   

Garber is father to three wonderful children, Anne, Laura and RJ.

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

David Gilmour

David H. Gilmour

Founder, FIJI Water/The Wakaya Club and Spa

Palm Beach, FL

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Canadian-born David Gilmour has enjoyed phenomenal success throughout his entrepreneurial career. In 1969, he and longtime partner Peter Munk founded the South Pacific Hotel Corporation (SPHC) which quickly became the largest hotel chain in the region. A decade later, the conglomerate was sold and the partners formed Barrick Gold Corporation, now the most profitable and largest gold-mining firm in the world. The entrepreneurial pair followed this venture by forming a real-estate company called Horsham Corporation, which was to become TrizecHahn, and today is one of the largest publicly traded real estate investment trust companies in North America.

Gilmour is also the founder of FIJI Water LLC, which in 2004 he’d led to become the fastest-growing premium beverage company in the United States and a main contributor to philanthropic endeavors on the island of Fiji. The feat earned the conglomerate and Gilmour, an officer in “The Governor General’s Horseguards” of Canada, the United States Senate Department’s 2004 Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) which was presented by Secretary of State Colin Powell.

It was in 1971 that Gilmour first developed his love for the island of Fiji. While on a trip to review SPHC operations, he discovered the 2,200-acre island of Wakaya, and was so taken with its lush, unspoiled natural beauty, that he purchased it in 1972. In 1990, he and his wife Jill formally shared their paradise with the world as they unveiled The Wakaya Club, their exclusive resort. Designed and decorated by Jill, The Wakaya Club is a four-time winner of “Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report” Grand Hideaway Award. It was for these and other philanthropic Fiji efforts that Gilmour was presented the 1998 “Order of Fiji” from president Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.

Never one to rest on his tropical laurels, Gilmour founded VIV Publishing LLC, in 2007, a media company that introduced an entirely new concept in women’s magazines: a health and lifestyle publication called VIVmag distributed exclusively in digital form. He then expanded his thrust into the world of publishing the same year by acquiring Zinio, the leading digital publishing, retail and distribution platform for magazines and books. Zinio pioneered paperless distribution, and has introduced responsible and innovative digital-marketing practices to the print industry for a variety of distinguished publishers. Since Gilmour’s acquisition, Zinio has introduced a series of ground-breaking new technologies for the global marketplace, rolled out operations across Europe and Latin America, and doubled both its publisher client and consumer bases.

The Gilmour’s split their time between their residence on Wakaya Island and their house on the island of Palm Beach, Florida. With a charitable focus on preschool education, they have donated a pre-school program in several areas of Fiji and now in the United States.

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

Jonathan Hage

Jonathan Hage

President & CEO, Charter Schools, USA

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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Driven to assist students in achieving academic success, Jonathan Hage founded Charter Schools USA (CSUSA) with less than $5,000 in 1997.

Now considered one of the fastest growing companies in the country with approximately 5,000 CSUSA employees educating approximately 50,000 students in 58 schools in 7 states, Hage is considered one of the nation’s leading social entrepreneurs committed to improving the educational system in the United States and beyond.

With strong academic programs, Hage’s schools have created their strongest national gains in reading, writing, science and math based on state and Federal performance test scores, most with their strongest gains among low-income students. And the organization is the first management company to earn system-wide accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' AdvancED Systems division.
Hage has also contributed to the physical growth of educational institutions, as he founded Red Apple Development, a construction company which has built over 1,000,000 square feet of new schools within the last 5 years.

Always seeking to break new ground, Hage was the first in the nation to open a charter school-in-the-workplace and the first municipal charter school. Today his schools include the top performing middle/high school in Broward County and the United States Department of Education Blue Ribbon Awarded Renaissance School, the highest performing elementary school in Miami-Dade County.
With a strong emphasis on ethics, integrity and achievement, all CSUSA schools require active parental involvement, emphasize moral character, reward high performing teachers, and promote active citizenship and service to the community.

Hage’s accomplishments and opinions distinguish him as being a pioneer in changing the face of education, and he has been chronicled by various media outlets, including Education Week, Forbes Magazine, Fox News, CNBC, NPR and numerous newspapers nationally.

Having worked tirelessly to influence education legislation at the local, state and federal levels, he is a former research director at the prestigious Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington, DC and has advised numerous political leaders, agencies and government bodies including being a speech writer and researcher for the 1994 Presidential Race. He served on the National Steering Committee of the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Presidential Elections and on the transition teams of Florida’s last three Governors. He was director of research for former Governor Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Florida’s Future, whom he credits with inspiring him to commit himself to improving education in America.

Hage has served positions on many boards including past chairman of the Sheriff’s Foundation, a Trustee of the Pine Crest School and board of directors of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife Sherry recently founded The Giving Tree Foundation, a private charity dedicated to assisting low income families and students, by underwriting and now building a school in Haiti.

Having been honored with awards for his community service, including The Diversity Champion Award by the Urban League and The Valor Award by the American Diabetes Association, Hage was recently named Floridian of the Year by Florida Trend magazine.

He served honorably in the United States Army, the Army National Guard and the Army Reserves as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Special Forces (Green Berets). He holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from the University of Colorado and a Master of Arts (MA) degree from Georgetown University. He and Sherry, who is the Chief Academic Officer at CSUSA, and their four children reside in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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

Dan Langdon

Daniel R. Langdon

President, East Penn Manufacturing

Lyon Station, PA

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As president of East Penn Manufacturing, Dan Langdon oversees the daily sales, marketing, and financial functions of a privately-held company that operates the largest, single-site lead-acid battery facility in the world. Currently with over 8,000 employees globally and 90 warehouses and distribution centers across North America, the conglomerate has experienced remarkable growth over the last ten years. In the last five of those years, East Penn has doubled in size to over a 2 billion dollar a year enterprise and is still growing.

Since assuming the role of president in 1994, Langdon has upheld a long-standing, deeply enriched company culture of intrinsic quality, organization-wide integrity, innovative sustainability, industry leadership, and community outreach. Most essential to this culture is a cohesive family of co-workers who continue to strengthen the company making it one of the Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania for 13 consecutive years. Working in collaboration with an accomplished executive team, the leadership has not only allowed this culture to be sustained, but has created the kind of environment in which it has flourished and grown. Langdon's commitment to these core company values, its people and customers, has earned him a high level of respect among his fellow co-workers and other industry leaders.

Langdon’s introduction to East Penn Manufacturing began in 1979 when he joined four partners to form Reinsel & Company Certified Public Accountants and secured the account as its Accounting and Auditing Partner. It was in this position that he first met DeLight Breidegam, East Penn’s founder and chairman. A 2004 Northwood University Outstanding Business Leader, Breidegam eventually became Langdon’s boss when he joined the company in 1986 as Controller. Langdon was then promoted to Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer in just a few short years.

Crediting his extensive background in finance, his 1973 Bachelor of Business Arts (BA) degree in Accounting from Lycoming College, and his early employment as Audit Staff Member at Deloitte Haskins & Sells as creating a strong foundation for leadership success, Langdon has played an instrumental role in the battery industry over his time at East Penn.

The past president of Battery Council International (BCI), he has served on the Board of Directors for many years. He is also on the board of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) serving the North American Aftermarket supplier industry. In efforts to reach out and promote the development of businesses in the community, he serves as Chairman for the Greater Berks Development Fund (GBDF). He is also on the Board of Trustees for his alma mater, Lycoming College. For over 40 years he has dedicated his time to serving as a Pennsylvania International Wrestling Association (PIAA) official. In addition, he has received the honor of being inducted into the Junior Achievement of Greater Reading Business Hall of Fame and has received the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants Prominent CPA in Business award.

The parents of Matthew, Kate, Christopher, Marybeth and Megan, Langdon and his wife Kathleen reside in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania where they are actively involved in the John Paul II Learning Center, the St. Ignatius Parish, Berks Encore programs and services, and the United Way.  Dan's hobbies include fishing and boating.  

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

Anthony Lomangino

Thomas F. O’Hare

President & CEO (retired), WorldPAC

Newark, CA

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Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Thomas O’Hare’s first job was selling hot dogs, soda and ice cream in the center field bleachers of Fenway Park.  Like many kids growing up in the late 1940’s and 50’s, he juggled several jobs such as cutting grass, caddying, serving as a soda jerk in a drug store, delivering newspapers, and more. “Each one was an opportunity to learn, but I must confess at the time I did not realize how fortunate I was for those experiences,” he reminisced.

But fortune smiled, O’Hare said, when he was able to attend and graduate from Boston College and then join the Marine Corp as a ‘wet behind the ears 2nd lieutenant.’ “I never would have made it without the help of a rough and tumble, take no prisoners Master Gunny,” he smiled. “Without his guidance, only the shadow knows my fate.”

After serving in the armed forces, O’Hare attended Tufts University, earning his Master’s degree in economics and subsequently interned at the Federal Reserve in Boston before starting his own business. “I failed and learned a lot before receiving the call that changed my life and led me to the Ford Motor Company,” he said. “There, I learned a great deal while dedicating 17 years to  various sales and marketing positions as I travelled throughout the country,” he said.

Tired of the constant relocations, O’Hare then left Ford to become the President and CEO of Butler Auto Group, a major automotive conglomerate consisting of a vehicle distributorship, port operation, and trucking and finance companies located in the metro New York area.” After spending 12 years with the company I wanted more and needed a challenge,” said O’Hare. “And boy did I get one.”

In January, 1995 the automotive aftermarket trailblazer signed on to become the president and CEO of an auto parts company with the goal of integrating two other companies. Successful with this merger, the group was ultimately named WORLDPAC.  Encouraged with the prospect of additional growth, O’Hare then successfully merged two additional companies to become part of the group on January 1st, 2000. We were thankful that the Y2K merger was also successful, as WORLDPAC grew substantially over the ensuing years,” said O’Hare of the company which was recognized as one of the Top 10 Best San Francisco Bay Area companies to work in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

But as their entrepreneurial success skyrocketed, O’Hare and his wife Carole faced an unbelievable heartache which eventually furthered their philanthropic endeavors.

“Carole’s mom was a victim of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, as she was a passenger on United Flight 93 when it crashed into an abandoned strip mine located in Shanksville, Pennsylvania,” said O’Hare. “We knew we had to assist the families of the victims and wanted to help create a place for healing that would also serve to educate future generations about how the actions of a few people can effect generations. That’s why we established the Hilda Marcin Flight 93 Charitable Fund with the purpose of carrying on her love of helping disabled children and training companion animals,” he shared. 

A ‘dye in the wool’ Red Sox fan, O’Hare was elected to the Automotive International Association (AIA) Hall of Fame in 2007 and is a current member of the WORLDPAC and General Parts International Boards.

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

33rd Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (2013)


Brian Black

President, Hatch Restaurant Management Group Owner, Mi Piaci Ristorante and Ocho Kitchen and Cocktails

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Brian Black literally grew up in the restaurant industry. The son of passionate restaurateurs, his dad was one of the original founders of the Chili's concept and his mom is a highly regarded restaurateur. Exposed to every facet of restaurant operations and the corresponding values necessary for success, he began working in the food and beverage industry at the age of 15, and has performed virtually every restaurant job imaginable - from dishwasher and busboy to line cook and bartender. These diverse experiences have provided him the perspective to run and operate restaurants, as well as to help others learn to do the same. Mr. Black spent close to ten of his over twenty-five years of experience in the restaurant industry by working up the ranks to become President of Cobb Restaurant Group. At age 24 his first wine list for the nationally acclaimed restaurant Mi Piaci Ristorante was featured in Wine Spectator, Gourmet, Town and Country, and Esquire Magazine for being a 100% Italian and user friendly. In 1999 at the age of 28 he explored his entrepreneurial side, achieving critical acclaim by opening his first restaurant, Il Sole Restaurant & Wine Bar. Steadily building his career, he went on to become sole owner and operator of Mi Piaci Ristorante in 2004, and in 2007 he opened Volte Restaurant, a Midwest venture that he later sold to a hotel management group. Most recently in 2012, Mr. Black unveiled Ocho Kitchen and Cocktails along with renowned Chef Eric Di Stefano of New Mexico's highly regarded Coyote Cafe and Geronimo. When not running and operating his enterprises, Mr. Black consults and mentors others to achieve their goals in the competitive restaurant industry. He believes that the success of any restaurant operation begins with a leader who has both experience and vision, and as President of Hatch Restaurant Management group brings these two components to his job daily, earning a proven record of maximizing unit profitability and turning around distressed restaurants and clubs. An avid runner and sports fisherman, Mr. Black shares that nothing amounts to the joy of spending time with his wife Sonia and their three boys Jackson, Garret and Jake, and coaching their soccer and football teams. Also involved in assisting the community, as he is heavily associated with programs which raise funds for the Dallas March of Dimes and Family Place, the largest family violence service provider in the Dallas area which reaches out to thousands of victims each year with award-winning programs that keep women and children safe. A graduate of Southern Methodist University Mr. Black earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Currently serving on the advisory board for the Cattle Barons American Cancer Society, he has served the Dallas Restaurant Association and received a variety of awards and accolades for his business achievements.


John Boll

Retired CEO & Chairman of the Board Chateau Communities, Inc.

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After serving as a corporal in the United States Army, 23 year-old John Boll saw opportunity in development, so he founded Lakeview Construction Company, an underground contracting firm in 1957. The young entrepreneur soon recognized the demand for affordable housing, so further capitalized on the necessity by founding Chateau Estates, a developer of manufactured home communities in 1964. This foresight and initiative produced over 20,000 homes for families throughout Michigan and Florida, and in 1993 presented the opportunity for it to go public, carrying the new moniker of Chateau Properties Incorporated, a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). Thanks to a booming economy, the New York Stock Exchange listed corporation continued to enjoy enormous growth and in 1997 merged with ROC Communities to become Chateau Communities, Incorporated, the largest developer of manufactured home communities in the United States. The multi-billion dollar conglomerate had a portfolio which consisted of 240 communities in 36 states with an aggregate of 100,000 residential home sites, and in 2003, was sold to the State of Washington Pension Fund under the name Hometown America Communities, which currently operates its portfolio. Active in a number of civic boards, Mr. Boll has served the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) for many years and been chairman for four years. Along with his wife Marlene, he established the Boll Family YMCA and is currently active in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Michigan Cancer Foundation. Mr. Boll has received numerous awards including YMCA's Man of the Year (1968), Lakeview High School's Citizen of the Year (1968), Who's Who listing (1974-75), and National Manufactured Housing Institute Hall of Fame recognition in 1992, and was honored as Citizen of the Year for Vail/Beaver Creek, Colorado in 1996. This honor was presented to Mr. Boll by former President Gerald R. Ford. In 2004, John and Marlene Boll received the Max M. Fisher Award for Outstanding Philanthropists from the Greater Detroit Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and in 2006 they received the William Booth Award, one of the highest awards bestowed upon an individual by The Salvation Army. He and his wife Marlene recently celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary with their three children and eight grandchildren. They currently spend time between their residences in Key Largo, Florida; Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan and Beaver Creek, Colorado.


Robert Forbes

Vice President, Forbes, Inc., and President, ForbesLife

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As Vice President of Forbes and President of ForbesLife magazine, Robert L. Forbes exemplifies the success of many intrapreneurs, as he constantly employs internal systems and processes which ensure that ForbesLife achieves its mission of celebrating the rewards of success with flair and style. And it's the ability to promote innovation within the internal organization which has propelled ForbesLife to unparalleled success. Launched in 1990, the magazine is the dedicated lifestyle supplement that is sent to all Forbes subscribers and is devoted to the pursuit of civilized pleasures. It is designed for well-heeled business leaders who play as hard as they work. Inspired by his father Malcolm Forbes to embrace a love for life and for business, Mr. Forbes is also an author who will publish the third in a collection of rhymed and metered poetry books this February. Aimed at children but also fun for adults, each is brilliantly illustrated by the late master caricaturist, Ronald Searle. BEASTLY FEASTS! A Mischievous Menagerie in Rhyme arrived to acclaim in 2007, and a second volume followed in 2010, LET'S HAVE A BITE! A Beastly Banquet in Rhyme. Next will be BEAST FRIENDS FOREVER! Animal Lovers in Rhyme, a compilation that will be geared to older kids and the adult gift market. Mr. Forbes also took the photographs for his wife's popular book, A YEAR OF DANCING DANGEROUSLY, about her first year of competitive ballroom dancing, and has authored numerous articles on food and travel. In addition, he produced a number of documentary films for Forbes, and co-authored Toy Boats 1870-1955: A Pictorial History, published by Scribner's in 1979. Mr. Forbes has served on the boards for St. Mark's School, Southborough, Massachusetts, the American School of Tangier in Morocco, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, New York. With his wife, Lydia, Mr. Forbes is a member of the Rockefeller University Council in New York City and The Four Arts Society of Palm Beach, Florida. He is also a member of the board of the SS United States Conservancy, serves on the advisory board of the Empire State Center for the Book, and is a Friend of the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. In addition to business leadership and creative writing, his interests include wine collecting, American and European photography, and the works of French post-impressionist painter Henri Le Sidaner. Robert L. Forbes was born in 1949 and received his Bachelor of Arts in Italian from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1971, which included a year of study at the University per Stranieri in Perugia, Italy. He and his wife reside in Florida.


Jack Hohman

Vice President, Retired Monroe Auto Equipment Company

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Having culminated years of experience in leading and developing companies, Dr. John (Jack) Hohman's career is a shining example for leaders in the world of business. As an ethical capitalist he steadily built a substantial, diversified portfolio by taking advantage of industry changes and economic shifts. A supporter of Northwood University for over 40 years, Dr. Hohman served as the institution's Chairman of the Board of Trustees for ten years, assisting with the expansion of its global footprint, growth of residential campuses, Master of Business Administration and adult learner programs, and more. Jack Hohman's career began after graduating from Hillsdale College in 1954 when he joined Monroe Auto Equipment Company (MAECO) as a sales engineer in the Original Equipment Sales Department. He steadily worked his way up, gaining the position of Vice President of the Manufacturers Sales Division in 1964. During the next 14 years, he increased sales in his division from 3.5 million to 55 million dollars annually. Monroe's growth in the automotive aftermarket industry was aided by the establishment of new manufacturing plants in Georgia, Nebraska, Arkansas, Canada and Europe. While maintaining his leadership role at MAECO, Dr. Hohman continued to participate in attractive business ventures. Forecasting growth in television cable, he founded Monroe Cablevision in 1970 and later sold it in 1980. Retiring after 25 years with Monroe, he projected growth in the travel business due to airline deregulation, so purchased a retail travel agency and expanded it to include business and incentive travel. He later partnered to acquire a local title company which he successfully grew and sold. He then partnered with his son Robert to form Complete Battery Source which has grown to six locations in Michigan. Now Chairman Emeritus of Northwood University's Board of Trustees, Dr. Hohman received a Northwood University honorary doctorate in 1986, and plays a lead role in its automotive aftermarket fundraising campaign. A past chair of Northwood University's Finance Committee, he has served as co-chair of the university's National Women's Board & Friends, along with his wife, Marjorie. He is also a past member of the Society of Automotive Engineers. He received the Northwood University Automotive Aftermarket Education Award and Outstanding Alumni Tower Award from Hillsdale College. "Jack Hohman is a reminder of the breed that built America. He is strong, true, honest and kind, while being analytical and tough-minded in the best possible way. It used to be that people of merit dedicated themselves to a cause outside themselves, stuck with it and insured that cause prospered. That is difficult to find these days. But Jack singlehandedly proved his ability to change and elevate Northwood through his multi-decade support, guidance, care and effort. It never earned him a thing, but it gave us a future forever. He is a hero," exclaimed Dr. David Fry, Northwood University President Emeritus.


Jim Koons

Chief Executive Officer, Jim Koons Automotive Companies, Inc.

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With precision and a focus on the Northwood Idea, Chief Executive Officer Jim Koons generates sales of over 1.4 billion dollars annually while overseeing 1700 employees at 26 franchises and 19 Jim Koons Automotive Company locations. Having spent the past 39 years building one of the largest dealership groups in the nation, the Northwood University alumnus and 2011 Honorary Doctorate has won virtually every major award in the automotive industry for sales performance, customer satisfaction and operational excellence. He credits his Northwood University education for directly preparing him for his career. "Entrepreneurship and the free enterprise system still provide the greatest opportunity to improve people's lives. Every day I apply what I learned to what I must do to lead my organization," he said. Together with his wife Cece, the 1973 Northwood alumnus has led this family-owned business to retail over 2 million vehicles and to rank as one of the top 20 largest dealership groups in the nation ranking as the 'Best Place to Work in the Washington Area' by the Washington Business Journal. As the owner of the largest locally headquartered automotive group with locations in Delaware and the Washington, DC metro area including Virginia and Maryland, Mr. Koons has received a variety of awards and his community service and charitable efforts are numerous. In addition to founding the Koons for Cause team which supports a variety of fundraisers, he served as lead sponsor of a new youth center for Easton Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) and has held leadership positions in the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Learning Resource Center at Northwood University, TAPS, Wounded Warriors, Habitat for Humanity, and more. The sharing of his time, talent and treasure has garnered many honors including the Northwood University Dealer Education Award, the Baltimore Area Employer of the Year Award in recognition of his commitment to hiring employees with disabilities, and The NFL Player Association Annual Service Award. Koons proudly represents Toyota, Scion, Lexus, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Nissan, Ford, Volvo, Mazda, Lincoln, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Smart and Sprinter brands.


John Krafcik

President and CEO, Hyundai Motor America

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John Krafcik, president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor America, is responsible for the strategic direction and management of the company's operations in the United States. Krafcik joined Hyundai in 2004 as vice president of Product Development and Strategic Planning after tenures at Ford Motor Company and the GM/Toyota joint-venture, New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI). With his guidance, Hyundai has reshaped its American lineup with strengths in design, innovation, and value. Since moving to his current role in late 2008 as president and chief executive officer, Krafcik and his team have increased Hyundai's U.S. market share over 50% under challenging market conditions on the strength of growing accolades, breakthrough products and innovative marketing programs such as Hyundai Assurance. North American Car of the Year awards for Genesis in 2009 and Elantra in 2012 have further bolstered Hyundai's reputation for providing quality, safety and value across its lineup. Prior to joining Hyundai, Krafcik began his career in the auto industry in 1984 as the first American engineer at the GM/Toyota joint-venture, NUMMI, with the quality and manufacturing engineering group. His experience inside the production process at NUMMI led to his move to the International Motor Vehicle Program at MIT, where he focused on identifying the key elements of manufacturing efficiency and coined the phrase "lean manufacturing." It was here Krafcik became an expert on production operations and assembly plants. In 1988 he earned a Master of Science degree in Management from MIT Sloan School of Management. He later consulted for various companies, industries and governments before joining Ford in 1990. Krafcik also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.


Anthony Lomangino

Chairman & Founder Southern Waste Systems and Sun Recycling

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As Chairman and Founder of Southern Wastes Systems (SWS) LLC and its affiliate companies, Sun Recycling and Sun Disposal, Anthony Lomangino has over 35 years' experience in the waste and recycling industry. Mr. Lomangino has throughout his career been a pioneer and innovator of processes and technology that have advanced the collection, recycling and disposal of residential and commercial waste. Recognizing early the value in products that were being buried needlessly in the ground, he began processes over 30 years ago which established him as a true pioneer in the recycling industry. It was the beginning of a lifelong career that focused on saving valuable landfill space while preserving natural resources. After owning and operating a successful retail business, Mr. Lomangino joined Allied Sanitation, a company founded 25 years prior to his arrival by his brothers in the northeast. With keen foresight and strong business acumen, he led the team to form Star Recycling, transforming the organization into the 14th largest privately owned solid waste management company in the nation before selling it to a public company in 1996. Investing in state of the art recycling facilities, the organization was ahead of the curve in regards to the future of waste disposal. Mr. Lomangino carried his progressive entrepreneurial skills to the South Florida market with the founding of Southern Waste Systems and Sun Recycling. As the leading privately owned company in Florida for the collection and recycling of construction and demolition material, the organization is focused on "Recycling for Zero Waste." Over 500 employees serve that mission with a goal of transitioning recycled materials into valuable products that stimulate the economy and create jobs. With 12 facilities conveniently located throughout South Florida, the organization currently recycles up to 93% of the materials collected. Under Mr. Lomangino's leadership the SWS team was honored by Enterprise Florida with the 2010 Governor's Business Diversification Award in the Green to Gold Category and the Recycle Florida Today, 2011 Recycling and Waste Reduction Award. Mr. Lomangino has served throughout his career in many leadership and board positions in the industry. A graduate of St. John's University, he holds a Bachelor's degree in Accounting and Business Administration. He is a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, awarded by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, was named to the Crain's Top 40 Under 40 in New York City in 1989, and was honored with the Man of the Year Award from Boys Town of Italy. A male breast cancer survivor, Mr. Lomangino uses his experience to help educate others to the threat of the disease by speaking publicly and lending his name to worthwhile community projects, including serving as the Honorary Survivor Chairman of the Palm Beach County Susan G. Komen education luncheon. In addition to contributing to a number of charities, he has spent many years giving of his time as a Little League Baseball coach and as a Catechism teacher. His family and faith are paramount in his life and he shares that commitment with his wife Lynda and their three grown sons and daughter.


Jack Miller

Founder and former, President/CEO, Quill Corporation

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Still an avid fitness buff at the age of 83, Jack Miller's business card reads 'Jack Miller Retiree - Sort Of.' As he actively pursues building a commercial real estate company and remains heavily involved with the Jack Miller Center for Teaching America's Founding Principles and History, one could hardly call Jack Miller a 'retiree.' A prominent Chicago area entrepreneur and philanthropist, Miller is the founder and former President and CEO of Quill Corporation, which became the nation's largest independent direct marketer of office products, employing over 1,300 people with annual sales in excess of $630 million before being acquired by Staples, the giant office supply company, in 1998. After the sale of Quill, Mr. Miller became chairman of the board at Successories Incorporated, a business-to-business mail order firm which he subsequently acquired and has since sold. He also focuses on real estate development and investment at Millbrook Properties and with The Benida Group, a family office. Mr. Miller and his wife, Goldie, are very active philanthropists. He serves as chairman of the Jack Miller Center for Teaching America's Founding Principles and History. The Jack Miller Center is one of the leading resources for educators who want to fortify the importance of teaching America's history and founding principles on college campuses. The Jack Miller Center provides programs and resources that are needed to support and to increase the number of college professors on college campuses who teach our founding principles and who inspire and cultivate an atmosphere of civil discussion. The Jack Miller Center also supports efforts by university and college professors to improve education at the high school level. A sufferer of peripheral neuropathy, a term used to describe a series of disorders that result from damage to the body's peripheral nervous system, Mr. Miller established the Foundation of Peripheral Neuropathy in 2007 and serves as its chairman. Founded with the mission of dramatically improving the lives of others by discovering more effective treatment options and finding a cure, the foundation funds collaborative medical research and clinical investigations and publishes the findings to healthcare professionals and patients. In addition, it strives to raise awareness of peripheral neuropathy through education to the general public and to healthcare professionals. Having published Simply Success, How to Start, Build and Grow a Multimillion-Dollar Business - the Old Fashioned Way, Mr. Miller, a graduate of the University of Illinois who holds a degree in Journalism with a focus in advertising, has received a variety of prestigious awards and recognitions for his business achievements and philanthropic efforts.

32nd Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (2012)

Jose MariaAlapont

Jose Maria Alapont

President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal-Mogul Corporation

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Jose Maria Alapont is president, chief executive officer and a director of Federal-Mogul Corporation, a leading global supplier of vehicle powertrain and safety technologies designed to improve fuel economy, reduce vehicle emissions and enhance vehicle safety. Alapont's rise to corporate leadership began in 1974 when he joined Ford Motor Company of Spain, serving in a variety of management and executive positions focusing on quality, testing, validation, manufacturing and purchasing until 1989. He then joined Valeo, a global automotive supplier, where he was named vice president of the worldwide clutch and transmission components division, and then group vice president of worldwide lighting systems division until 1997. Steadily climbing the corporate ladder, Alapont joined Delphi Corporation, a global automotive supplier in 1997, as executive director of international operations. In 1999, he was promoted to vice president of Delphi Corporation, president of Delphi Europe, Middle East and Africa, and became a member of the Delphi Strategy Board, the company's top policy-making group. In 2003, he was named president of Delphi's international operations and vice president of sales and marketing. Opportunity knocked once more in 2003 when Alapont was invited to serve as chief executive officer and member of the board of directors of IVECO, the commercial vehicle division of the Fiat Group. He also was a member of the Fiat Group Executive Committee, the company's strategy and policymaking group. It was the culmination of this experience which led Alapont to his current role as president, chief executive officer and a director of Federal-Mogul Corporation. Alapont has more than 35 years of global leadership experience with both vehicle manufacturers and suppliers encompassing business and operations responsibilities in the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa regions. In addition to his work at Federal-Mogul, Alapont is a member of the board of directors of Mentor Graphics and provides valuable guidance to the boards of automotive supplier trade associations and economic development groups in the U.S., Spain and other countries. In 2010, Alapont was honored with an Inspiracion Award by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which recognizes Hispanic business leaders in the U.S. for their leadership and serving as a role model to Hispanic students and the Hispanic business community as a whole. He also was presented with Philadelphia University's Leader of Innovation Medal in 2011 for his personal accomplishments and for exemplifying the University's mission and innovative spirit. A native of Spain, Alapont earned degrees in industrial engineering from the Technical School of Valencia in Spain and in philology from the University of Valencia in Spain.


Keith Crain

Chairman, Crain Communications

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Keith Crain is chairman of Crain Communications one of the country's largest trade, consumer and business publishing companies. As a business leader, he has taken his publishing commitment one step further and has become one of the most active participants in a myriad of civic and business organizations. Crain's first hand knowledge of publishing and business has assisted him in the development of the family owned company begun by his father in 1916. Since 1971, the company has grown from four titles to over 30 business, trade and consumer publications and news websites, and it employs approximately 850 people in 11 offices internationally. In addition to his role as editorial director, supervising several Crain publications, Crain also serves as editor-in-chief of Automotive News and of Crain's Detroit Business. In this role, he uses his regular columns as a forum to address issues and support causes that concern Detroit and the automotive industry. Therefore, he is also widely recognized internationally for his contributions to the automotive industry. In 2002, Crain launched Automobilwoche (meaning Automobile Week). Named "Business Publication of the Year" in 2005 by the German trade press association, the German-language newspaper covers the entire new-vehicle industry, from suppliers to automakers to franchised dealers. Crain attended Northwestern University and holds honorary doctorate degrees from four universities. In addition to his commitment to publishing excellence and contributions to the automotive industry, he is active in a myriad of civic and professional associations. His leadership positions include serving as chairman of the board of the College for Creative Studies, a college of fine arts and design; chairman of the Legacy Board of the Detroit Medical Center; and trustee for the board of directors of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau; Downtown Detroit Partnership; Gilmore Car Museum; Automotive Hall of Fame; and the Boy Scouts of America.


Valerie Freeman

Founder, Imprimis Group, Inc.

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In the late 1970's Valerie Freeman, a teacher, took note of the fact that computers were being introduced as a necessary tool for Dallas businesses, and successfully predicted demand for technically inept employees to quickly learn word processing skills. It was this foresight which inspired Freeman to leave teaching and to found WordTemps in 1982. The company's concept of providing highly trained personnel with specialized skills was met with great success, and its rapid growth spurred Freeman to update its name to Imprimis Group, which reflects the organization's growing specialty of staffing and human resource niches. Now one of the largest independently owned staffing enterprises in Texas, Imprimis Group serves as testimony to Freeman's belief in the value of higher education, the opportunities of entrepreneurship, and their role in the promotion of women in leadership. The conglomerate operates under several brand names including Imprimis Staffing, BravoTech, Freeman Leonard, Third Party Pay, and Mature Personnel. As demand continually increases for flexible staffing, training, and outsourcing services, it flexibly positions itself to capitalize on converging trends by offering a wide variety of labor solutions which combine technology, training and people. Today Imprimis Group places more than 1,500 professionals in firms throughout the country. With a focus on global expansion, Freeman and several other staffing firm owners founded the Alliance of National Staffing and Employment Resources, LLC (ANSERTEAM) in 2005. Proactively posed for multi-million dollar, global business opportunities with large corporations, ANSERTEAM, LLC is the only company of its kind in the United States, and continues to double its annual revenue thanks to its unique structure and network of over 80 firms in 400 plus locations. Freeman serves on the three-person executive team which oversees the business. Known for her many entrepreneurial endeavors including the establishment of two Dallas-based banks, a computer training center, and a women's angel fund, Freeman, along with three other colleagues, also founded Texas Women Ventures (TWV), an investment firm concentrating on women-owned companies, and is the process of starting its second fund. Convinced that education in entrepreneurship and leadership can change the world, she is actively involved with the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women's (IEEW) Peace Through Business Program, a training system designed to provide long-term business education to women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda. Highly involved in community service, Freeman is a past chairperson of the Board of the Dallas County Community College District Foundation, the Chairman of the Board of the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, a board member of the Dallas Foundation, and a Distinguished Alumna from the University of Houston where she holds a bachelor's and a master's degree in education. She has won numerous awards, and in January, 2011, was inducted into the Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) Hall of Fame.


Jerome Fullinwider

Founder and Vice Chairman, Hillwood International Energy

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Jerome (Jerry) Fullinwider is Vice Chairman and founder of Hillwood International Energy, a privately owned oil and gas exploration and development firm. After beginning his career with Standard Oil of Ohio, and later as General Manager of Cherry Brothers in Dallas, he saw opportunity in 1964 to become an independent oil operator in West Texas, his longtime goal. Aware that major oil companies were exiting West Texas while still holding a huge inventory of leases on millions of acres of potential oil property, Fullinwider figured he'd be able to get the departing businesses to assign him certain acreage free if he would agree to drill a well and pay them a small royalty. There was his opportunity. So in 1964 with only $5,000 in the bank, he moved his wife and two young daughters to Midland where he knew only three people. He and his partner, Victor Vasicek, founded V-F Petroleum, Inc. and slowly capitalized on contractual agreements with major lease owners known as "farmouts." The first year Fullinwider lived in Midland funds were meager. He took home $8500 for the whole year, but remarked that life was good because it was a fine place for the children to grow up and they were only three blocks from schools and church. Thanks to years of dedication and calculated risk, things began to pay off financially. By 1989, his business had increased substantially, and Fullinwider, along with four prominent oil company heads, was invited to Houston to meet with high ranking Soviet oil officials. Soviet oil production was in steep decline so the Soviet Ministry of Fuel & Energy sent groups to various western oil centers seeking advice. In attending this first meeting, Fullinwider began what would become a long-term relationship with several well-placed Soviet officials. He founded VF-Russia, Inc. to investigate oil opportunities in West Siberia, Fullinwider voiced his interest in developing oil fields in the Volga-Ural Basin of southern Russia and in 1991 received Soviet permission to do so. It wasn't long before VF-Russia had 107 Russian employees who Fullinwider later described as 'some of the best educated and innovative workers he had encountered.' Ministry officials refer to him as the only independent oil operator in Russia. VF-Russia proved successful in its development, forming BaiTex LLC, which now operates and develops oil fields in the Baituganskoye region of southern Russia. With domestic offices in Texas, and international locations in Kurdistan (Iraq) and Russia, Fullinwider has spoken widely on current Russian affairs. He received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Southern Methodist University in 1951, and is a 1953 graduate of the United States Naval School of Justice in Newport, Rhode Island. He was awarded a Doctor of Laws honorary degree from Northwood University in 2007. In May of 2011 he celebrated the establishment of the Jerome M. Fullinwider Endowed Chair in Economic Freedom at Southern Methodist University. In addition, he has served on many boards including Northwood University Board of Trustees and Board of Governors.


Peter Georgescu

Chairman Emeritus of Young & Rubicam, Inc.

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Peter A. Georgescu is Chairman Emeritus of Young & Rubicam (Y&R) Incorporated, a network of preeminent commercial communications companies dedicated to helping clients build their businesses through the power of brands. He served as the company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from January, 1994 until January, 2000. Elected as the company's eighth CEO, Georgescu was the first chairman of Y&R born outside of the United States. Having immigrated to the United States from Romania in 1954, his 37-year career includes top management experience in both the United States and Europe. Instrumental in designing the integrated communications strategy that has shaped the course of Y&R's development and become an industry standard, Georgescu served as President of both Y&R Advertising and its former international division. Under Georgescu's leadership, Y&R successfully transformed from a private to a publicly held company. Also during his tenure, Y&R built an extensive research database relating to global branding, and from its findings, developed a proprietary model for diagnosing and managing brands. Within the marketing community, Georgescu is known as a leading proponent of creating unified communications programs and agency accountability for measuring the impact of communications programs and structuring value-based agency compensation. In recognition of his contributions to the marketing and advertising industry, he was elected to the Advertising Hall of Fame in 2001. Georgescu was educated at the Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire before enrolling at Princeton University where he received his Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree with cum laude honors. He then earned his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Stanford Business School. His belief in the power of education has fueled his involvement with organizations such as A Better Chance and Polytechnic University, both of which he has served as a Board of Director. The University of Alabama and Cornell College in Iowa have awarded Georgescu with honorary doctorate degrees, and he is the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In addition, Georgescu continues to serve as a board member of a publicly registered company, Geeknet. Previously he has served on the Boards of Levis, Toys R Us, EMI Recorded Music, International Flavors & Fragrances and Briggs & Stratton. He is currently Vice Chairman of New York Presbyterian Hospital, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2006 Georgescu published his first book titled "The Source of Success," which asserts that personal values and creativity are the leading drivers of business success in the 21st Century.


John Hantz

President and CEO of Hantz Group, Inc.

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John Hantz, founder, president and CEO of Hantz Group, Incorporated, a full-service financial holding company serving 27,000 clients, revealed his entrepreneurial spirit at an early age. As a young boy growing up in the small town of Romeo, Michigan, Hantz used to spend his evenings scouring the local golf course for wayward balls, retrieving them from the dirty water, the weeds, and anywhere else that others wouldn't bother or dare to venture. He would clean up the balls and make them almost like new again, and then set up in the morning to "resell" them to their original owners at a good price. By the time he entered high school, Hantz's business ventures became a bit more sophisticated. While his friends were sleeping in for as long as possible, on cold winter mornings, John started a snow plowing business using an old Ford he had bought with money he had saved. He had negotiated some basic contracts with a dentist and a few local businesses, but the real value of his latest venture came to those "not so lucky neighbors" who found themselves buried by a snow storm, or a driver that somehow spun off into a ditch. Throughout his early years John struggled with dyslexia. It made school more difficult, but he was determined to overcome those challenges. He loved learning and continued to work hard, both in his businesses and in his education. He had an innate sense of recognizing strength in others, and was able to form alliances to help create the best team of mentors possible. He listened intently and was extremely focused on gleaning knowledge and lessons of life from his elders and those who had achieved success, especially if it was against all odds. Having combined this youthful entrepreneurial spirit with solid business expertise, Hantz, a Northwood University alumnus, is widely known for his innovative techniques, business acumen, and his ability to implement change. With a reputation as a visionary who sees opportunity in obstacles, his successful entrepreneurial endeavors have ranged from air charter, to lemonade. But it's his prospective plans to transform urban wastelands into working, commercial farms through partnerships with progressive scientists, and the use of biofuels and windmill power that is generating the latest buzz. The Hantz Group was founded in 1988. Today, with 24 offices in Michigan and Ohio, it employs over 500 people and serves 27,000 clients. Prior to founding Hantz Group, John was a group vice president for the American Express Financial Advisors' largest and most successful cluster in Metropolitan Detroit. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in Economics from Northwood University in 1984, and later successfully completed Harvard Business School's the Advanced Management Program (AMP) program. In 2004, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Northwood University. A supporter of numerous community projects and educational programs, Hantz is actively involved in Michigan's higher education system. He is a member of Northwood University's Board of Trustees, and Chairman of its investment committee. He also serves on the Legacy Board of Directors for the Detroit Medical Center.


Mike Jackson

CEO of AutoNation

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Mike Jackson is widely recognized as one of our generation's most influential and effective leaders in the automotive industry. Since joining AutoNation as CEO in 1999 and assuming the role of chairman in 2002, he has been responsible for literally transforming the automotive retail industry. Under his guidance, AutoNation not only reinforced its position as America's largest automotive retailer, but the company also set milestones that stand as testimony to Jackson's vision of the company as a standard bearer for a more customer-focused, transparent, and contemporary business model. Recently listed number 37 on Fortune Magazine's list of top 50 business people of the year, Jackson has boosted AutoNation's annual sales by 13 percent and profits by 15 percent, earning the conglomerate the title of the only retailer in history to have sold 8 million vehicles. A member of the S&P 500, AutoNation has been named America's Most Admired Automotive Retailer by Fortune Magazine for 6 of the last 8 years, and is a member of the Fortune 500, ranking in the top 200 companies. The company sells approximately 400,000 vehicles and services more than 5 million each year, with annual revenue for 2010 reaching approximately $12 billion across 214 stores in 15 states. These are just a few reasons why approximately 20,000 associates choose rewarding careers with AutoNation. Before joining AutoNation, Jackson was already a revered figure in the automotive world, having served as president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, an $8 billion annual business that oversaw the German automaker's U.S. sales operation and 311 franchised dealerships. In that role, he helped create the vision and direction that led to the luxury vehicle brand's rejuvenation in the United States. Prior to joining Mercedes-Benz USA, Jackson served as the Managing Partner of Euro Motorcars of Bethesda, Maryland, an operator of 11 new vehicle franchises. He also has served as chairman of the Mercedes-Benz National Dealer Council. Fittingly, it was at a Mercedes-Benz dealership that he began his automotive career, starting as a technician for a dealership in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, when he was just out of college.

Mary EllenSheets

Mary Ellen Sheets

Founder of Two Men and a Truck/International, Inc.

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Mary Ellen Sheets is the founder of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc., located in Lansing, Michigan. Encompassing 200 locations in 33 states, Canada and Ireland, and including a fleet of 1,300 trucks, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the nation's first and largest franchised local moving company. In the 1980s, Sheets' two teenaged sons, Brig Sorber and Jon Sorber, started a small moving business to earn spending money. After they left for college, customers kept calling, so Sheets decided to run the business herself while holding a full-time data processing job. She hired two employees and purchased a truck for the small investment of $350, the only capital she has ever invested in the company. Sheets data analysis experience combined with her commitment to customer service, earned her a spot on a panel for Michigan State University in 1988. This experience sparked an interest in franchising. It wasn't long before her daughter, Melanie Bergeron, opened the first franchise outside of Lansing in Atlanta, Georgia. Sheets considers herself very fortunate to have her children active in the company. Brig Sorber is president and chief executive officer, Melanie Bergeron is chair, and Jon Sorber is executive vice president. Always active in community service projects, Sheets profited $1,000 and gave $100 to ten different charities at the end of her first year. The system now donates a portion of every move to the American Cancer Society and encourages all franchises to get involved with local communities. In 2006, Sheets was a finalist in the Ernst and Young International Entrepreneur of the Year award. In 2005, she was the first woman honored in 40 years with the Entrepreneur of the Year Award by the International Franchise Association. She received the Michigan Women's Foundation Women of Achievement and Courage Award in 2004; won the Athena Award in 2002; was awarded the 1999 Working Woman 500 Congress; was a Working Woman's 1999 Best Employer Regional Finalist; won the 1998 Blue Chip Award; was named the 1995 Michigan Entrepreneur of the Year Award; and was a Top 25 Michigan Business Woman of the Year in 1994.

NealWilliams, Sr.

Neal Williams, Sr.

Chairman, N. A. Williams Company

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Recognized as one of the leading figures in the automotive aftermarket industry, Neal Williams joined his family's business, the N. A. Williams Company, an aftermarket representative agency, in 1959 after graduating from the University of Georgia and serving in the United States Army Counter Intelligence Corp. After entering the company as a territory salesman and progressing to sales manager, president and chairman, Williams grew the N. A. Williams Company to become the country's largest automotive agency. Having flourished from a six-man sales team to over 100, the conglomerate is now recognized as the country's largest automotive agency, and generates over one billion in annual sales and services to automotive aftermarket manufacturers, retailers and distributors. Founded in 1934, by William's father Neal (Red) Williams, the enterprise serves accounts such as Carquest, National Auto Parts Association (NAPA) Genuine Parts, AutoZone, Advance Auto and O'Reilly, and more. Widely respected due to his integrity, vision, knowledge and insight, Williams is renowned as one of the leading figures in the automotive aftermarket industry. Nationally recognized for his ability to promote tremendous growth and expansion, he is also acclaimed as one of the first in his industry to offer profit sharing and healthcare programs to his employees. Recently presented with the Martin Fromm Lifetime Achievement Award by the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA), the N. A. Williams Company was selected as "The Georgia Family Business of the Year." Active in both industry and civic causes, Williams is a member of the Board of Trustees at Darlington School, the Board of Governors and Manufacturers Council of AWDA, the Alexis Tocqueville Society, and The Pals Club. He also serves as an elder at Trinity Presbyterian Church.

31st Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (2011)


Colin Brown

President & CEO, JM Family Enterprises, Inc.

Boca Raton, FL

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As President and Chief Executive Officer of JM Family Enterprises, Incorporated, a diversified automotive corporation ranked by Forbes as the 33rd-largest privately held company in the United States, Colin Brown heads strategic planning for the entire organization. He also leads the JM Family's Executive Management Team, which oversees the development and implementation of the company's objectives and long-term strategies for future growth. With its principal businesses focusing on vehicle distribution and processing, financial services, finance and insurance products, retail sales, marketing and consulting, and dealer technology products and services JM Family Enterprises first welcomed Brown in 1992 as vice president and general counsel and appointed him chief operating officer in 1997 and president in 2000. He was named CEO in January 2003, becoming the first non-family member to hold both positions. Before joining JM Family, Brown served as general counsel for two FORTUNE 500 companies. In 2005, he was nominated by Governor Jeb Bush to join The Florida Council of 100, a group of the state's business leaders that promotes economic growth in Florida. He is also a member of the Broward Workshop, a forum of top leaders that address critical issues facing Broward County. In 2008, Brown became a member of the Board of Directors for the Automotive Hall of Fame, an organization dedicated to recognizing outstanding achievement in the automotive industry, and he serves on the board of United Way of Broward County. A graduate of Duke University's School of Law, Brown also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. He is on the Board of Advisors for the Duke University School of Law and is a board member of the Williams College Alumni Fund. Raised overseas in a Foreign Service family, Brown resides in Boca Raton, Florida.

Kathy L.Bennett

Kathy L. Bennett

Owner, President, CEO Bennett Packaging Company

Lee's Summit, MO

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Kathy Bennett, along with her husband Doug, founded Bennett Packaging and Displays in 1987. A leader in the Midwest region of the United States, Bennett Packaging and Display's produces over $50 million in annual revenue, and has built a reputation for producing competitively priced, quality products and integral service. The company has enjoyed over two decades of steady business growth adding over 450,000 square feet of physical space, and technologies which have yielded contracts with those who sell to Wal-Mart, and more. Born in Odessa, Missouri, in 1950, Bennett began her first job while working in a Missouri corn field at the age of 14. She attributes her personal philosophy, work ethic, and ambition to her parents Herman and Naomi Mollman whom she calls "true salt of the earth people with very little money who would never have considered going on the dole." By the early 1970's, Bennett found herself supporting two small children. With little formal education, she decided to become a real estate broker, and enjoyed success in the field for many years. In 1984 she married Doug Bennett, and in 1987 with a $30,000 real estate commission check and several loans, they purchased the assets of a very small manufacturing company which would later become Bennett Packaging and Displays. "We did not know what we did not know. We just worked hard, did what we said we would do and pampered our customers. We found great people and tried to treat them right," reflected Bennett. With a philosophy of charitable support being of the most benefit when it offers 'a hand up, not a hand out,' Bennett was thankful to meet Northwood University Outstanding Business Leader and Honorary Doctorate Dr. Terry Neese, and to sit on the board of Neese's Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW). Bennett supports a variety of other charitable causes including a local women's shelter, and an organization that provides companion dogs to returning wounded veterans.

Kenneth M.Czubay

Kenneth M. Czubay

Vice President, US Sales and Service Ford Motor Company

Dearborn, MI

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As Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Service in the United States for Ford Motor Company, Czubay has more than 40 years of automotive experience, beginning in 1970 when he first joined Ford Motor Credit Company as a financial analyst. He has also held numerous executive and management positions for Ford and Lincoln Mercury. In 1983, he joined Nissan North America in California, where he worked in sales and marketing until 1987 prior to taking a position with the Suburban Collection, a group of automotive dealerships based in Troy, Michigan. Steadily developing more diverse skills and challenging roles, he joined Deerfield, Florida based JM Family Enterprises in 1990 and held various executive positions there including President of Southeast Toyota Distributors LLC, the largest independent distributor of Toyota vehicles in the world and President of JM Lexus. In Czubay's current role as Vice President at Ford, he has played a critical role in executing the company's impressive global transformation plan, most notably connecting directly with U.S. consumers in unique ways outside of traditional sales and marketing methods. Ford remains a leader in utilizing social media tools to build a coalition of ambassadors and advocates for Ford Motor Company and is continuing to push the envelope in telling the Ford story in ways that resonate in a person manner with consumers. Born in Hamtramck, Michigan and raised in the Detroit area, Czubay graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit with a bachelor's degree in business administration. He and his wife, Jane, have two children. Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 163,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company.

Richard H.Morgan

Richard H. Morgan

Former President and CEO Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance

San Antonio, TX

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With over 49 years experience in the automotive aftermarket which have taken him to 6 continents, over 70 countries and all of the 50 United States, Richard Morgan recently retired as President and CEO of Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance (Alliance) Incorporated, a leading program distribution group with 55 shareholder members that distribute auto parts through over 150 distribution centers in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe. Designed to help auto parts stores deliver quality products and affordable prices to consumers everywhere in North America, Alliance was developed to assist automotive aftermarket parts distributors better compete with mass merchandisers, chain stores and other participants in the aftermarket. It accomplishes this mission by leveraging purchasing power through the initiation of cost justified prices and terms which previously were out of reach or beyond the reach of many non-affiliated aftermarket parts distributors. Having first attended Texas Christian University (TCU) in 1956 on an athletic scholarship, Morgan left college early to pursue a career in professional baseball with the Chicago Cubs organization, but soon found that the professional world was calling. After a brief career in the minor leagues, he joined General Motors Corporation in 1962 for what would become a 21-year stint beginning as a field sales representative with AC Spark Plug Division, and ending with the position of Director of Sales and Marketing for AC Delco Europe, Africa and the Middle East, headquartered in Antwerp, Belgium. His career brought him back to the United States where for the next 13 years he served as V.P. and General Manager for the Automotive Division of Straus Frank Company, a large CARQUEST Distributor headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. Following this assignment, Richard assumed the reigns with the Alliance. A 1992 graduate of Northwood University, Morgan was honored with the Northwood University 1998 Outstanding Alumni Award and 2002 Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree.

Stephen A.Levin

Stephen A. Levin

CEO Gold Coast Beverage

Palm Beach, FL

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A Palm Beach business, civic, and community leader, Stephen Levin is chairman of the board of The Erin Corporation and Erin Investments, Incorporated. Among the holdings of these companies is Gold Coast Beverage Distributors, Incorporated, the largest wholesale beer distributor in Florida. Having distribution centers in Miami, Pompano Beach, Homestead and Rockland Key, Florida, Gold Coast Beverage Distributors is one of the largest beer distributors in the country. In addition to his current entrepreneurial success, Levin has previously owned and operated a number of successful businesses including a large chain of Pizza Hut restaurants, the Reading Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Pennsylvania, Quality Roofing Supply Company in Pennsylvania and Delaware, Berkshire News, a wholesale magazine and newspaper distributor, various self storage facilities, and Madison Leasing Company, a nationwide lessor of computer equipment. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Levin is currently chairman of the board of the Quantum Foundation, a $150 million health and education oriented foundation in Palm Beach County. In addition, he serves on the board of trustees of the Los Angeles, California based Simon Wiesenthal Center. He is a former vice chairman of the Palm Beach County Anti-Defamation League and former vice president of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County. He is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Palm Beach County of which he remains active. He has served on the Vanderbilt University Law School Advisory Board, and was vice-chairman of the board of JFK Hospital, Atlantis. He also served as president of Temple Emanu-El, Palm Beach. In addition, Mr. Levin is vice chairman of the board of the Morse Life Foundation, a nationally-recognized provider of health care, housing and support services for seniors and their families in Palm Beach County. Additionally, Mr. Levin was recently reelected for a two-year term to the National Commission of the Anti-Defamation L


Rick Case

CEO Rick Case Auto Group

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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Having started his automotive career selling cars from his parent's Akron, Ohio, front yard while still in high school, Rick Case, along with his wife Rita Case, operates 16 dealerships in three states with 900 employees. At over a half a million square feet, the Rick Case Automotive Group Fort Lauderdale Honda dealership is the largest auto dealership in the world, holding the all-time world sales record of 1,222 new Hondas sold in one month, and its South Florida Acura dealership holds the world record for the most new Acuras sold in one month 379 and being the largest volume Acura dealership in the world seven years in a row and they also hold the sales record for the most new Honda motorcycles 642 sold in one month. Recognized as National Dealers of the Year by USA Today, Time, Sports Illustrated, American International Automobile Dealers Association and the National Automobile Dealer Association, Rita and Rick Case have been honored as Business Leaders of the Year by the Florida Sun Sentinel, and the Junior Achievement and Leadership Broward Foundations, and Humanitarians of the Year by Nova Southeastern University. The Rick Case Automotive Group attributes its growth to not just selling quality vehicles and products, but also to its unwavering commitment to customers. Focusing on superb customer service and community involvement, Rick and Rita Case started the “Rick Case Bikes for Kids” annual charity program in 1982, which has since awarded over 100,000 bicycles to needy children while also providing an avenue for local community members to help the community by donating bicycles. Upon relocating their family from Ohio to Fort Lauderdale in 1985, they also began to focus their efforts toward assisting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County, the Broward Community Foundation, the Work-Life Balance Institute for Women, the Broward County Sheriff Advisory Board, and more. Rick Case and his wife Rita have two children, Ryan and Raquel. Both children have attended Northwood University.


Rita Case

Vice President Rick Case Auto Group

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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Having grown up as the daughter of automotive dealers in Northern California, Rita Manly became involved in the automotive industry at an early age, and earned her Bachelor of Science in Economics at the University of California at Davis. She met her husband Rick Case at a Honda Automobile Convention in 1977. After marrying in 1980, the two began to build an automotive dealership group which would eventually operate 16 dealerships in three states with 900 employees. At over half a million square feet, the Rick Case Automotive Group, Fort Lauderdale Honda dealership is the largest auto dealership in the world, holding the all-time sales record of 1,222 new Hondas sold in one month, and its South Florida Acura dealership holds the world record for the most new Acuras sold in one month 379 and being the largest volume Acura dealership in the world seven years in a row and they also hold the sales record for the most new Honda motorcycles 642 sold in one month. Recognized as National Dealers of the Year by USA Today, Time, Sports Illustrated, American International Automobile Dealers Association and the National Automobile Dealer Association, Rita and Rick Case have been honored as Business Leaders of the Year by the Florida Sun Sentinel, and the Junior Achievement and Leadership Broward Foundations, and Humanitarians of the Year by Nova Southeastern University. In addition, Rita was named Northwood University Distinguished Woman of the Year, the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year by Ft. Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, the 2007 Women's Automobile Association Leadership Awardee, and one of the Top 100 Leading Women in the North American Automotive Industry. Focusing on superb customer service and community involvement, Rita and Rick Case started the "Rick Case Bikes for Kids" annual charity program in 1982, which has since awarded over 100,000 bicycles to needy children while also providing an avenue for local community members to help the community by donating bicycles. Upon relocating their family from Ohio to

30th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (2010)

WilliamGrote III

William Grote III

Chairman and CEO Grote Industries, Inc.

Madison, Indiana

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William "Bill" Grote III is the chairman and CEO of Grote Industries, a world leader in high-performance LED lighting technology, putting the first LED lamps on the road 20 years ago. Located in Madison, Indiana, Grote Industries was founded over 108 years ago and maintains operations around the globe. A family-owned company steeped in tradition, Grote Industries has a continuing focus on innovation as well as a strong commitment to providing quality products and service. Grote Industries employs hundreds of workers in every phase of production, from design and engineering to manufacturing, testing, marketing and distribution. Grote began his career at Grote Industries as a district manager, and then worked his way through several sales and marketing positions. In 1969, as the third generation of family took the helm at Grote Industries, he was elected to the board of directors. In 1972 Grote was appointed director of OEM sales and in 1979 was promoted to vice president of sales and marketing. This diverse experience served him well when he became president and CEO in 1989. Since 2004, Grote has served as the company's chairman and CEO. A 1962 graduate of Xavier University, Grote is extremely active in industry affairs. He has served as a past president of the Transportation Safety Equipment Institute (TSEI), a former Chairman of Motor Equipment Manufacturer's Association (MEMA) and has held board seats with the Automotive President's Council, Automotive Sales Council and the Heavy Duty Business Forum. In 2007, Grote was the recipient of the prestigious Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) Leader of the Year Award, honoring aftermarket professionals who have contributed to the industry in a unique and significant way.

JohnBouma, Sr.

John Bouma, Sr.

Chairman, The Bouma Corporation

Grand Rapids, Michigan

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The Bouma Corporation, celebrating its 60th Anniversary, has grown and diversified to include all areas of commercial, architectural finishing. With contracts exceeding $100 million annually, the corporation's principles remain rooted in a work ethic based on Christian faith, respect, integrity, humility and determination. In 1950, John Bouma, Sr. and his older brother founded Bouma Tile Company with a $1000 loan from their parents. The brothers built the corporation's reputation, while rapidly creating the preferred tile company for untold numbers of commercial customers. With their handshake contract, and their word their bond, the two grew the business to include a wide range of architectural finishes by working long hours, and hiring competent and trustworthy employees. As the son of Dutch immigrants who believed and instilled in their family that faith and hard work were important factors in life, Bouma's first job was working with his father as a janitor cleaning the pews at a local church, and loves to relay that he started working on his knees both in the tile business and in prayer. "While giving God the honor and glory in both my business and personal life, I find that the balance of family and work has fallen into place," he said. Now at age 82 after 60 years in business, Bouma has helped those in need through involvement in a variety of non-profit and charitable organizations.

Charles V.Wait

Charles V. Wait

President, Chairman and CEO The Adirondack Trust

Saratoga Springs, New York

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Founded in 1901 in Saratoga Springs, New York, The Adirondack Trust Company is the largest bank in Saratoga County. With assets of more than $830 million, the bank continues to invest in and work with countless community organizations, businesses and individuals. For more than 100 years the bank has played a critically important role in the development of all aspects of the Saratoga community. The Adirondack Trust Company has been a leading promoter of industrial development, commercial enterprise, education, the arts and sports events. A graduate of Cornell University, Wait began his banking career with The Adirondack Trust Company in 1974. Starting as a bookkeeping clerk in 1974, Wait was elected Assistant Vice President in 1977, Treasurer in 1978, a Director in 1982, President in 1984, and Chairman of the Board and CEO in 1989. He was the youngest bank President in New York when first elected to that position and is now one of the longest serving President's in the state. Wait currently serves as a Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a Director of the New York Bankers Association and a member of the Saratoga County Water Authority. He is a past chairman of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and the New York Bankers Association. Recognized continually for his management expertise and philanthropic efforts, Wait, holds an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from SUNY Empire State College, and is a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International. He has been bestowed a number of honors, including the Private Sector Initiative Award from President Ronald Reagan, the Outstanding New Yorker Award from the New York State Jaycees, the 1997 Sam Walton Business Leader Award from Walmart, and two awards from Skidmore College, the Denis B. Kemball Cook Award and the Lucy Skidmore Scribner Award.


Chip McClure

Chairman, CEO and President ArvinMeritor, Inc.

Troy, Michigan

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ArvinMeritor, Inc., a premier global supplier of a broad range of integrated systems, modules and components for the motor vehicle industry, McClure leads approximately 13,200 employees in 92 locations in 25 countries across five continents. As leader of ArvinMeritor, McClure has successfully implemented a "three R" (rationalize, refocus and regenerate) strategy which has been instrumental in the transformation of the company. He has driven significant improvements in the company’s business results, including directing its Performance Plus program, an aggressive cost savings and growth initiative. He has refocused the company to be more competitive by transforming its focus from light vehicle to the commercial truck, industrial, aftermarket and trailer businesses. McClure began his commitment to service by serving as an officer on a U.S. Navy destroyer from 1975 until 1979. Upon his honorable discharge, he spent four years at Ford Motor Company as a heavy-duty truck sales engineer and field service engineer. His career then moved him to join Hoover Universal in 1983. Soon after, the company was acquired by Johnson Controls, a Milwaukee-based global automotive supplier. McClure served an additional 12 years at Johnson Controls in several leadership positions including vice president and general manager of the company's joint venture activities, and president of the company's American region. McClure holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan. He then joined Detroit Diesel as president and CEO, a major designer and manufacturer of diesel engines and related products in 1997. He then applied his experience at the helm of Federal-Mogul Corporation, a $5.5 billion dollar business, joining the company in 2001 a as president, COO and member of the board and being named CEO in 2003.


Phil Smith

President & CEO Phil Smith Management, Incorporated

Lighthouse Point, Florida

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For the past three decades, Smith has been recognized as a community leader and a top entrepreneur in the automotive industry. He operates ten automobile dealerships with 24 franchises throughout the Southeastern United States, earning him consistent Automotive News Top 125 Dealership rankings. Smith's passion for the automotive industry began in the late 1960's while working at an automotive dealership as a finance and accounting major at Florida Atlantic University. This experience led to the purchase of his first Toyota dealership in Homestead, Florida in 1980, with subsequent franchise acquisitions including Toyota, Acura, Ford, Lincoln Mercury, Mitsubishi, Kia, Chevrolet, Scion, Nissan and Hyundai. Smith has received a variety of automotive industry awards including the J.D. Powers Quality Dealer Award, the Toyota President's Award, the Toyota Leadership Board, the Mitsubishi Diamond Quality Dealer Award, the Toyota Customer Service Advisory Award and the Ford Chairman's Award. Exercising his business management expertise, Smith purchased the Coral Ridge Country Club in 2004. He became dedicated to preserving the golf course that Robert Trent Jones called home, while also revitalizing the Club's services. As a result of his efforts, Coral Ridge Country Club has become South Florida's premier club, was honored with The Florida Golf Course Owners Association's 2009 Florida Golf Course of the Year award. Smith is a passionate community advocate. He and his wife Susan enjoy giving back to the community through volunteer work with the American Cancer Society, Broward College, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Florida Atlantic University, Humane Society of Broward County and Make a Wish Foundation.


Yvonne Boice-Zucaro

Owner, Fugazy International Travel and the Shoppes at Village Pointe located in Boca Raton, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

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As an international business ambassador promoting entrepreneurial opportunity for women, Boice-Zucaro is a world traveler in response to the call of duty. She has been selected to represent the United States women's international business conferences including the 2006 Middle East and North African (MENA) Women's Conference held in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., the 2007 Global Summit of Women in Berlin, and the 2008 Global Summit of Women in Hanoi. These international business experiences have compelled Boice-Zucaro to share her passion for empowering women and promoting global business opportunities through her speeches and numerous media interviews. Having applied her creativity and leadership success toward enlightening America's youth, Boice-Zucaro currently serves as a board member of the Trust of the National Endowment of the Humanities, a strong advocate of The Picturing America initiative, which brings dramatic production of the country's leading works of art to the nation's schools and libraries. As a community leader and volunteer, she has received many awards including The 2009 Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year from the Association of Fundraising Professionals, The President's Call to Service Award for 4000 hours or more of volunteerism, and the Amazing American Woman Award by the Women's Majority Network. She also has served numerous non-profits with positions including Northwood University’s Board of Governors, The World Trade Center Palm Beach board, the Chairman of the Palm Beach International Film Festival, the Secretary of the YMCA of South Palm Beach County Board of Trustees, the Vice Chairman for the Centre for the Arts and more. Boice-Zucaro graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. She is married to Al Zucaro, Founder of the World Trade Center of Palm Beach, and is a devoted mother to Lauren, a practicing attorney living in the Boston area with her husband, world-renowned astrophysicist, Dr. Randall Knowles Smith.

29th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (2009)


Ken Lingenfelter

President & CEO Lingenfelter Performance Engineering

Brighton, MI

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Ken Lingenfelter started his career in the title insurance business as a teenager with the Burton Abstract & Title Company in Detroit Michigan. Through dedication and commitment he worked his way up from a delivery position to manager of a small office. Shortly thereafter the company was sold to a casualty insurance company. Therefore, at the age of 23, Lingenfelter decided it was time to start his own company and began the work of establishing Metropolitan Title Company which grew over the years by aggressive start up operations and acquisitions in a number of states including Michigan. This entrepreneurial success earned Lingenfelter recognition in 1994 when he was named the Entrepreneur of the Year in Financial Services for the State of Michigan, an award sponsored by Crain’s Detroit Business, Ernst & Young and INC. Magazine. Metropolitan Title Insurance continued to grow through the 1990’s and was recognized as the largest most progressive title agency in the United States having expanded into 10 states with 150 offices and annual sales of $160 million. While leading Metropolitan Title Insurance, Lingenfelter served as President of the MLTA, and The National Title Alliance as well as the Board of Governors for the ALTA and a board member of RESPRO and TAVMA. In 2003 Lingenfelter sold Metropolitan Insurance to the largest title insurance underwriter in the country and he became a part of First American Corporation. Now a proud father of a son and triplet daughters, Lingenfelter, having completed the terms of his contract with First American, has embarked on a new career as owner of Metropolitan Motor Sports and the Lingenfelter Collection. These companies buy and sell collector cars and manage a collection of 125 vehicles consisting of muscle cars, Corvettes and exotic European cars. In addition, Lingenfelter has recently purchased Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, a company once owned by a distant relative of his, John Lingenfelter, the legendary drag racer and engine builder.

WendyLopez, PE

Wendy Lopez, PE

Vice President URS Corporation

Dallas, TX

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Wendy Lopez, Vice President of URS Corporation, is tasked with increasing URS Corporation’s infrastructure business in the high-growth Texas market. The co-founder and CEO of LOPEZGARCIA GROUP, Lopez played a major role in growing the practice into multiple areas of engineering, environmental services and planning, with its employee base expanding from one to over 200 employees upon its purchase by URS in August 2008. Lopez received her Master of Science in Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She is president-elect of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), and a past president of the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the NAWBO. She chaired for two years the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Women’s Business Issues Advisory Council. Her recent recognitions include an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Southwest Area, Real Estate/Construction, 2007; a Girl’s Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas “She Knows Where She’s Going” Award, 2007; and the Dallas Regional Chamber ATHENA® Award, 2006. Lopez is a member of the Dallas County Hospital District Board of Managers, 2007-2009; the North Texas Commission Chair-elect 2007-2009; the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Secretary-Treasurer, 2006-2008; and the Downtown Dallas Board of Directors, 2006-2007. URS is one of the largest, global, fully integrated engineering, construction and technical services firms with the capability to support the full project life cycle. URS employs more than 56,000 employees in a network of offices in major cities in the Americas, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Europe. Its broad-based expertise is a valued resource for federal, state and local government agencies, as well as Fortune 500 and other private industry clients worldwide. URS is a publicly held company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock symbol URS.

Byron O.Pond

Byron O. Pond

Retired Chairman & CEO Arvin Industries

Helena, MT

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Byron Pond retired in 2000 as Chairman and CEO of Arvin Industries, Inc. in Columbus, Indiana. Arvin Industries is a company in which Mr. Pond helped build into a global leader for the design and production of automotive light vehicle exhaust systems and ride control products. Mr. Pond was President and CEO of Maremont Corporation in 1986 when Arvin Industries, Inc. purchased the corporation. The two companies had similar automotive product offerings, so over the next four years Pond led a management team through a complete integration of the businesses. As the project neared completion Pond was appointed an Arvin Executive Vice President assuming responsibility for the company’s automotive operations and the following year he was named Arvin’s President and Chief Operating Officer. Concurrent with his new assignment Pond embarked on a program to dispose of Arvin Industries non automotive assets, which were about 20% of the company’s revenues. At the same time he introduced lean manufacturing and total quality production systems to Arvin’s automotive operations worldwide. These initiatives were supported with internally created educational programs designed to remake the company’s culture. Over the next five years, as noncore assets were being divested, Arvin Industries acquired additional exhaust and ride control businesses that more than offset revenues of the operations that were sold. Pond was then promoted to Chief Executive Officer of Arvin Industries in 1993. The remaking of Arvin Industries, Inc. into a focused automotive company concentrating on exhaust systems and ride control products was completed in 1995. The company then concentrated its full management effort on improving financial performance. The continual lean manufacturing and quality improvement initiatives helped raise Arvin’s revenues to over $2.5 billion dollars, which increased operating margins by more than 50% and more than doubled the company’s market capitalization.

Patricia A.Riley

Patricia A. Riley

CEO Clientele, Inc.

Sunrise, FL

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For over 32 years, as a Chemist and Nutritionist, Pat has worked with leading physicians and scientists around the world trying to understand what causes us to age and what we can do to look and feel young for as long as possible. She believes we are on the threshold of finding breakthroughs that will keep us healthy and youthful until we are 100 years of age. For the last year Pat has been involved with the University of Miami cofounding the first International Stem Cell Workshop Therapeutics Conference where 60 top Stem Cell researchers gathered from around the world. Pat is recognized as a Visionary for pioneering the use of antioxidants in vitamins and skincare in the early 1980’s, leading the way long before other companies. She was honored by JFK University, who named her a recipient of the Jacqueline Kennedy Award, for her outstanding contributions in the fields of Health, Anti-Aging, and Longevity. Pat has been awarded several patents for her scientific discoveries in nutrition and skincare, including nutritional compositions, and patents on compositions containing the age-defying Sacred Lotus and the LycoLift™ Complex with Lycopene and Lutein. Pat leads a fast-paced life running Clientele® and MDR®, directing Medical Doctors Research, advising celebrities on nutrition and skincare and appearing on television, infomercial and shopping channels around the world. Pat remains dedicated to her mission of helping us to live healthier and longer, continuing her quest for the “Fountain of Youth” to help us look and feel our best.

W. MarvinRush

W. Marvin Rush

Chairman Rush Enterprises, Inc.

San Antonio, TX

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Marvin Rush was born in Houston, Texas on October 10, 1938 to Maurice and Gladys Rush. At the age of 10, he embarked upon his first “enterprise.” With a $50 bank loan, he put a Coca-Cola vending machine in his father’s bus station. From that time until he graduated from Houston’s Reagan High School in 1957, he refined his business talents by working for his father and establishing several businesses on his own. After graduation, he set personal goals which included: become a General Motors dealer, own a bank, take a company public, and achieve over $1 billion in annual sales. In 1965, Marvin founded Rush Enterprises, Inc. with his first GM Truck store; soon after, he added his first Peterbilt franchise. He served as President from its inception until November 1995 when he took the role of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. In 2006, his son Rusty succeeded him as CEO, but Marvin continues to serve as Chairman of the Board today. Rush Enterprises, Inc. owns and operates the largest North American network of truck dealerships and a network of bus centers in Texas and an equipment center in Houston. All provide an integrated one-stop source for its customer’s needs including retail sales of industry leading truck, bus and equipment brands, sales of used truck and equipment, and parts, service, body shop operations, chrome accessories and tires. In addition, Rush offers a wide array of financial services, including financing and insurance, leasing and rental. The company’s truck and equipment centers are strategically located in high truck traffic areas on or near major highways in eleven states. In June 1996, Rush Enterprises, Inc. was the first auto or truck dealer organization in the United States to complete a successful IPO. The corporation is traded on NASDAQ under the symbols RUSHA and RUSHB. In 1993, Marvin purchased his first bank and his investment success continues, as he currently serves on the Board of TexStar National Bank in San Antonio, Texas.

28th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (2008)


Alberto Daire

President Liberty Power

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

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Alberto Daire is President of Liberty Power—the nation’s fastest growing independently owned retail electricity supplier, and the only minority owned company of its type with a national presence. In this capacity, he oversees the overall operations of the company. In 2001, Mr. Daire teamed with other professionals from the energy, telecommunications and financial services sectors to create Liberty Power. The corporation is focused on providing affordable, reliable energy solutions to business customers throughout America. Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Liberty Power supplies power to over 25,000 businesses and government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. Liberty Power also serves over two dozen Fortune 1,000 companies, including New York Life, Bank of America, JCPenney, Bausch Lomb and IBM. In just six years, Liberty Power grew from four to ninety employees and from a start up enterprise to a corporation grossing more than $120 million in 2006. Liberty Power expects to surpass the billion dollar revenue line in the next three years. The corporation has also established the Liberty Power Foundation whose mission is to support educational programs targeting disadvantaged youth in the communities it serves. Prior to building Liberty Power, Mr. Daire served in management and leadership roles at General Electric and Nortel Networks. Born in Miami, he graduated magna cum laude from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering and later earned his MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a member of the young Presidents Organization of America. Mr. Daire currently resides in the greater Miami area with his wife, Elizabeth, son, Sebastian, and daughter, Jillian.

Charles J.Daly

Charles J. Daly

Retired NBA Basketball Coach Detroit Pistons (Deceased)

Tequesta, Florida

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Charles “Chuck” Daly celebrates an enormously successful career as an inspirational NBA coach. Nominated for the OBL Award by good friend and fellow basketball coaching legend Rollie Massimino, Mr. Daly is known for leading his teams to victory through coaching with an open mind instead of an iron fist. Mr. Daly brought out the maximum potential in all his players, whether he was coaching high school or an NBA team. Mr. Daly coached the Detroit Pistons for nine seasons, achieving winning records every year and making the playoffs each season. He led the team to NBA titles in 1989 and 1990. The Pistons have retired jersey number 2 (representing the two NBA championships) in Daly’s honor. Mr. Daly also coached the 1992 Olympic “Dream Team” to a gold medal in Barcelona. During his fourteen-year NBA career, Mr. Daly coached the Cleveland Cavaliers, New Jersey Nets and the Orlando Magic. After two seasons in Orlando, Mr. Daly retired from the NBA. Mr. Daly was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on May 9, 1994 and he was selected as one of the NBA’s “Ten Greatest Coaches” of the league’s first fifty years in 1997. Mr. Daly now serves as a frequent keynote speaker, drawing upon his coaching experiences to deliver entertaining and motivational messages. He has authored two books one, a memoir of his experiences as a World-Champion coach, and the other, an historical account of America's Basketball Dream Team at the 1992 Summer Olympics. He and his wife, Terry, reside in Tequesta, Florida and are the proud parents of daughter, Cydney. They have two wonderful grandchildren, Connor and Sabrina. Deceased 2009


Patty DeDominic

Founder and Managing Partner DeDominic & Associates

Santa Barbara, California

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Patty DeDominic is highly regarded for both her vast business success and her tireless dedication and leadership to help women advance in the corporate world. Capitalizing on over two decades of successful experiences as an entrepreneur and board member, Ms. DeDominic currently operates DeDominic & Associates, a specialized business consulting firm which offers professional services to enterprise builders and other high achievers. She is former owner of PDQ Personnel Services, Inc. and CT Engineering which she founded in 1979 and sold to Select Staffing, now the nation’s largest privately held staffing firm. Ms. DeDominic was named Chief Executive Officer of the year by the LA Busi-ness Journal and has received over twenty distinguished awards including recognition by the United States Department of Labor and other organizations as one of America’s finest employers; The Bank One Top Customer Service Award; The Artemis Award presented in Greece; and The President’s Award from Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) presented in Washington, DC. She was inducted into the Women’s Business Owners Hall of Fame over ten years ago. As a leading community volunteer, Patty has chaired the board of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce as well as the foundation for SCORE (Counselors to America’s Small Business) and was the National President of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). She currently serves as a Director of the Jane Goodall Institute, sits on the Board of Governors for the Hugh O’Brian youth Government at Harvard University, and is the subject of a case study of successful entrepreneurship and succession planning at Stanford University. Ms. DeDominic and her husband, Gene Sinser currently reside in Montecito, California.

Peter and LorraineKornafel

Peter and Lorraine Kornafel

Vice Chairman CARQUEST Former Regional Vice President General Parts, Inc.

Lakewood, Colorado

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Peter and Lorraine Kornafel share a passion for the automotive parts business and for helping young minds achieve their greatest potential. From 1970 to 1996, the entrepreneurial couple grew Hatch Grinding Company’s distribution centers for automotive parts in Denver and Albuquerque which served more than 100 CARQUEST Auto Parts stores. With Peter serving as President and Lorraine as Vice President, the company grew from fifteen employees to over 225. That growth earned Hatch Grinding the recognition of Small Business of the year by the city of Denver and the state of Colorado in 1984. The next year, Peter was the Small Business Person of the year for the State of Colorado. Both Peter and Lorraine served as Chairmen of the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association; Peter in 1986 and Lorraine in 1994. They have also served as members of numerous other associations and boards in the automotive industry. After selling Hatch Grinding Company in 1996, Peter Kornafel served as president of CARQUEST from 1996-2001, and was responsible for products, advertising, marketing, and training programs for its members. Today he serves CARQUEST as Vice Chairman. Lorraine went on to work as Vice President of General Parts, Inc., and has now retired but remains active as an investor, renovator, and property manager for twelve residential and commercial rental properties. The couple’s “hobby” is giving college scholarships, and currently twenty students are receiving the honor. There are seven endowed scholarships offered at several universities including Northwood. In addition, they are helping other students who are relatives of former employees, and they are assisting with the Global Automotive Aftermarket Scholarship Fund.

Alfredo J.Molina

Alfredo J. Molina

Chairman and CEO The Molina Group

Phoenix, Arizona

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International jeweler Alfredo J. Molina is chairman and CEO of the Molina Group, based in Phoenix, Arizona. Mr. Molina was able to secure the $30 million, historic Archduke Joseph Diamond, the world’s twelfth largest perfect white diamond, earning him guest appearances on numerous television programs throughout the country. He opened Molina Fine Jewelers, his own exquisite jewelry salon, in Arizona in 1987. In October 2006, he became the proprietor of Black, Starr & Frost, America’s first premiere jeweler since 1810 and one of the most venerable American jewelers during the nineteenth and twentieth century’s. Mr. Molina’s lineage of master jewelers dates back to seventeenth century Italy. He was born in Cuba, and when the revolution forced his family to flee the grip of communism, he came to America and learned the diamond and gemstone business from his grandfather. Molina Fine Jewelers has built an unparalleled reputation, and Mr. Molina is considered one of the nation’s most prestigious jewelers. In December 2005, Mr. Molina was honored in Washington, DC as one of Seven Caring Americans and was inducted into the Frederick Douglass Museum & Hall of Fame for Caring Americans on Capitol Hill. Mr. Molina, his wife, Lisa, and their four children devote time and many resources to the Arizona and California communities. They have dedicated their lives to the service of others. Through their generous sponsorship and support of local and national charities, they seek to improve the lives of the less fortunate.

George E.Seay

George E. Seay

Founder & CEO Annadale Capital, LLC Founder & CEO Seay Stewardship & Investment Company

Dallas, Texas

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George Seay is the founder and CEO of money management firms Annandale Capital and Seay Stewardship & Investment Company of Dallas, Texas. Annandale Capital’s philosophy, asset allocation, investment processes, experience, fee structure, and reporting place it in the vanguard of customized, non-conflicted investment advisory firms. Mr. Seay is committed to advancing each client’s distinct investment objectives through excellence in capital allocation and investment manager selection, rigorous research, portfolio customization, and comprehensive reporting. A licensed attorney at law in the State of Texas, he has prior public policy experience working for the Governor of Texas and Deputy Secretary of State at the U.S. State Department in Washington. Mr. Seay received his B.A. with highest honors from the University of Texas at Austin where he was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa and the Junior Fellows. He received his J.D. with honors from the SMU School of Law, where he was elected President of the SMU Law Review Association and to membership in the Order of Barristers. He received his M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin where he received a Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence and was elected to membership in Beta Gamma Sigma. In addition to time invested in his companies, Mr. Seay serves on several boards and enjoys time with his wife and children, hunting, fishing, public policy and politics, and American and European history. He and his wife, Sarah, live in Dallas with their three children.

27th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (2007)

"Famous Dave" Anderson

Founder & Chairman Emeritus Famous Dave's of America

Edina, Minnesota

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"Famous Dave" Anderson is the founder of Famous Dave's of America, the legendary BBQ franchise, with over 120 restaurants and growing. Voted the "Hottest Restaurant Concept in America" by Nation's Restaurant News, Famous Dave's has received unprecedented recognition. Ernst & Young, sponsored by NASDAQ and USA Today, recognized Mr. Anderson as Minnesota's "Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year." Mr. Anderson also is known for helping found the Rainforest Cafe, another highly successful nationwide restaurant company. He has helped found three publicly traded companies on Wall Street and created over 20,000 new jobs. In Mr. Anderson's own life, he has experienced adversity, frustration, and bankruptcy as well as tremendous success. Mr. Anderson's life story is featured in two New York Times bestsellers. He has served two Presidents and three governors in advisory positions and has provided key testimony before Congress and the U.S. Senate. Always tackling the impossible, this bottom-half-of-the-class high school student has earned his master's degree from Harvard University. He has appeared on all major networks including: Regis and Kathy Lee, Oprah Winfrey, Crook & Chase, the Discovery Channel, the Food Network, National Public Radio and over 200 radio shows. As a highly sought after keynote speaker, Mr. Anderson shares his heartfelt optimism using his life's story to share valuable insight and life lessons in dealing with todays fast-changing and challenging world. He is an enthusiastic advocate of the American Dream, believing that no matter how tough things may seem today, if you never give up your dream and work hard tomorrow's rewards will always come. As a Native American, Mr. Anderson devotes his life to making a difference in his community and in the lives of others less fortunate. Oprah Winfrey's Angel Network recently recognized his leadership development work with at risk youth. He also serves on the National Board of Governors for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.


Dan DeVos

President & CEO DP Fox Ventures

Grand Rapids, Michigan

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Dan DeVos is President/CEO of DP Fox Ventures, LLC, a diversified management company with interests in real estate, transportation, and sports and entertainment. He was with Amway Corporation from 1980-1995 in a variety of capacities including Vice President-Pacific and Vice President of Corporate Affairs. Mr. DeVos currently serves on the Board of Directors for Alticor, the parent company of Amway, and is a member of their Audit Committee. In real estate, DP Fox has various projects in Michigan and the Bahamas. In the business of sports, DeVos is President and CEO of the Grand Rapids Rampage of the Arena Football League and the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League. In Grand Rapids, DP Fox also owns and operates Fox Motors. Mr. DeVos is also a member of the governing board of the Orlando Magic of the NBA. As Chairman and CEO of Georgian International, LTD, he oversees activities in automotive sales and commuter airline and charter business as well as the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League. He is past chairman of the Grand Rapids Symphony and currently serves in various capacities with Hope Network and the Economic Club of Grand Rapids.


Tom Gallagher

Chairman, President & CEO Genuine Parts Company

Atlanta, Georgia

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Tom Gallagher joined GPC as a management trainee in 1970. He has been President of Genuine Parts Company since 1990, Chief Executive Officer since August 2004 and Chairman of the Board since February 2005. Mr. Gallagher served as Chief Operating Officer of the Company from 1990 until August 2004. Mr. Gallagher is a director of Oxford Industries, Inc.; STI Classic Funds; NAPA; The Shepherd Center in Atlanta, which specializes in the medical and rehabilitative treatment of people with spinal cord injuries, acquired brain injuries, multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions; and is on the board of trustees at The Lovett School, an independent, nonprofit, college-preparatory day school in Atlanta.

James OlanHutcheson

James Olan Hutcheson

Founder and CEO ReGENERATION Partners

Dallas, Texas

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James Olan Hutcheson is the founder of ReGENERATION Partners and is devoted exclusively to assisting family owned and managed enterprises increase shareholder value, improve communication, and resolve conflicts. Mr. Hutcheson has more than 25 years of "hands-on" family business experience beginning with his own family's business, Olan Mills Inc., the world's largest portrait photography company. Mr. Hutcheson joined Olan Mills in 1976 and rose through the ranks to eventually head all of Olan Mills Studios-a family business with over 1,000 locations and 15,000 employees. Mr. Hutcheson left Olan Mills Inc. in 1995 to begin working with other family owned and managed firms that were experiencing many of the issues he experienced while with his family's firm. Since forming ReGENERATION, he has worked with many of the premier family enterprises throughout the United States. In addition to degrees in Psychology, Sociology, and a Masters in Business Administration, Mr. Hutcheson is a member of several corporate boards and not-for profit organizations; including The Family Firm Institute, the governing association for professionals that work with family enterprises. Each year Mr. Hutcheson logs numerous presentations and publications on issues related to family business, serves as the contributing writer for Financial Planning Magazine, and is routinely featured in major media including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNBC, MSNBC, and PBS. Mr. Hutcheson is the author of Portraits of Success: 9 Keys to Sustaining Value in Any Business, (Dearborn Publishers, August 2002), an inspirational management and leadership book, loves to snow ski and water ski, ride his Harley-Davidson and is working on his next book.


Larry McCurdy

Chairman of the Board Affinia Group (Deceased)

Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Larry McCurdy retired in August 2000 after an industrial leadership career spanning four decades. He most recently served as president of the Dana Automotive Aftermarket Group, which he managed after the merger of Echlin Inc. with Dana Corporation. He had been chairman, president, CEO, and a director of Echlin since March 1997. He spent the major portion of his career in the motor vehicle parts industry, including three years with Echlin during the 1980s. Mr. McCurdy came to Echlin from Cooper Industries, Inc., where he had been president and CEO since 1985. Mr. McCurdy served as president of Echlin, Inc., from 1982 to 1985, following a 26-year period with Tenneco, Inc., where he held various senior management positions, including president of Walker Manufacturing and executive vice president of Tenneco Automotive North American Operations. He is a director of Lear Corporation, Mohawk Industries, Inc., and General Parts, Inc. He also serves as chairman of the board of directors of Affinia Group, Inc. A native of Commerce, Texas, Mr. McCurdy graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.B.A. degree. He and his wife, Anna Jean, live in Madison, CT and have three grown children.


Phil Odeen

Chairman of the Board Avaya

Basking Ridge, New Jersey

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Phil Odeen is the non executive Chairman of AVAYA, a global leader in communication systems, applications, and services. He is former chairman of Reynolds & Reynolds and served as interim CEO from 2004-2005. From the fall of 2005 until mid 2006, Mr. Odeen served as CEO of QinetiQ North American Operations, supporting the expansion of QinetiQ Inc.'s-a leading U.K. defense technology company-into the U.S. marketplace. He continues to serve on their U.S. Board. Earlier, Mr. Odeen was chairman of TRW Inc., a major industrial corporation providing advanced-technology products and services primarily in the automotive, defense, and aerospace sectors, which was acquired by Northrop Grumman in 2002. Prior to becoming chairman, he was a member of TRW's Management Committee and served as executive vice president of its Washington, DC-focused operations, where he was responsible for government relations, business development, and selected International activities of TRW's Aerospace and Information Systems sector. Mr. Odeen graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in government from the University of South Dakota. He was a Fulbright Scholar to the United Kingdom and earned a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin.


Karen Pitts

Co-CEO Link Staffing Services Corporation

Houston, Texas

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Karen Pitts serves as the co-chief executive officer of Link Staffing Services, Inc, providing strategic, marketing and operational leadership for all Link divisions. Mrs. Pitts began her career in 1976 when she launched a start-up staffing company, Nurses PRN, Inc. Under her innovative leadership, Nurses PRN aggressively grew to include seven offices in six states in the first three years. Following Nurses PRN, Mrs. Pitts served as vice president of MedStaff, Inc., a large medical temporary staffing company. In 1980 she joined her husband, Bill Pitts, to build Link Staffing Services into a national industrial staffing company. Beginning with a small labor hall in downtown Houston, Mr. and Mrs. Pitts have grown Link Staffing Services into an Ernst and Young award-winning company with 50 locations serving thirteen states nationwide. At the national level, she is a past chairman, committee chair and board member of the American Staffing Association, the nation's largest staffing trade association. She dedicates her time in the promotion of business interest and issues, serving on the Foundation Board for the Committee of 200, the professional organization of preeminent businesswomen who exemplify and promote entrepreneurship and corporate leadership among women. Mrs. Pitts is frequently quoted in industry publications and has been honored by Working Woman Magazine as directing one of the "Top 500 Women-Owned Businesses." At the state level, she is a past president of the Texas Association of Staffing. Mrs. Pitts also is active in the Greater Houston Partnership, The Executive Women's Partnership and is on the Board of Chantal Cookware, and Advisory Board of Goodwill Industries. In 1999, the Greater Houston Partnership honored Mrs. Pitts as the "Entrepreneur of the Year." And 2000 received the Ernst and Young "Entrepreneur of the Year Award." In 2005, Link Staffing received the # 1 Small Business Award from the Houston Business Journal.


Wallace Tsuha

Chairman & CEO Saturn Electronics & Engineering

Auburn Hills, Michigan

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Wallace Tsuha founded Saturn in late 1985 to provide engineering design and electronics assembly to the automotive, commercial, and military markets. Prior to the starting Saturn, Mr. Tsuha played major roles in two successful start-ups: Rockwell Automotive Electronics and TRW Transportation Electronics, where he held various key management positions over seven years. Mr. Tsuha began his career in the U.S. Army, where he was instrumental in developing their global communications infrastructure. He then went on to work at General Motors' Advance Electronics Research Laboratory for 10 years. Mr. Tsuha brings with him 40 years of electronics operations, design, and manufacturing experience-specifically in the automotive component industry. He is a board member of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA), board member of Gentex Corporation, director at the National Minority Supplier Development Council, and Chairman and founder of the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce (APACC). Mr. Tsuha was recognized by Inc. 500 Magazine as one of the Fastest Growing Companies, six years consecutively. He also has received numerous awards for excellence as a minority businessperson and small business entrepreneur.

26th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (2006)

MichaelCardone Jr.

Michael Cardone Jr.

CEO & Chairman CARDONE Industries

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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The list of corporate values at CARDONE Industries states that CARDONE values its "People," "Work," "Witness," and their "Word." For more than thirty-five years, Michael Cardone, Jr., who co-founded CARDONE Industries with his late father, has honored those core values and beyond. Today, this three generational family business is the largest family-owned remanufacturer of automotive parts in the world. Although CARDONE Industries continues to set new industry standards, it has been the simple virtues of family values, taking pride and ownership in one's work, and delivering quality to the customer that has helped CARDONE become an industry leader. The people--the Cardone Factory Family--are revered as CARDONE's most valuable asset. According to Cardone, personal ownership has been a major edge in the competitive remanufacturing industry. Proud of his family and the commitment his father made over thirty-five years ago, Michael Cardone Jr. continues to selflessly stay true to the company's set of corporate values. In fact, he says he has always maintained that a "values-driven business will spur free enterprise,” a conviction that, to this day, goes as deep as his valued Christian beliefs.

R. MichaelDellenbach

R. Michael Dellenbach

President Dellenbach motors

Ft. Collins, Colorado

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Mike Dellenbach grew up with ten brothers and sisters, and learned early on that hard work would be his greatest ally. In 1965, the Dellenbach family moved to Fort Collins, Colorado to run their newly-purchased Chevrolet franchise, and at the age of thirteen, Dellenbach took on the odd jobs of washing cars and pulling weeds for his father at the dealership. Today, through the dedication and hard work of the entire family, the dealership has grown to become the largest Chevrolet dealership in Northern Colorado, with Mike Dellenbach leading as its President. He has been very active in both the business and philanthropic communities in Northern Colorado, including serving as Chairman of the Board at 1st State Bank; serving the Colorado Auto Dealers Association; President of the Fort Collins Area New Car Dealers Association and Chairman for the Community Foundation serving Northern Colorado. Dellenbach attributes his success to his strong faith and work ethic that his parents instilled in him. He has often said, "A job becomes a career when you look forward each morning to going to work, and I do.” He is very proud to be able to carry on the family tradition which he does, with a zest for life and success!

James C.Fabiano Sr.

James C. Fabiano Sr.

Chairman and CEO Fabiano Brothers, Inc.

Mount Pleasant, Michigan

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As a young man, Jim Fabiano began to learn about the family business first hand – working in the warehouse, delivering product and attending to the office. Today, he is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fabiano Brothers, Inc., a fourth generation, beverage wholesale company. Fabiano Brothers' roots originate in Italy where George Fabiano, the company's founder, and his family owned a cantina. George immigrated to the United States and his hard work and dedication allowed him to transport all of his family to the United States in the early 1900s. In 1919, George and his two sons established the Fabiano Fruit Market, a retail and wholesale store. The company expanded and included beverage distribution to the myriad of products and services they offered. Fabiano Brothers, Inc. is now one of the five largest beverage distribution companies in the state of Michigan, and is in the top ten percent of volume in their nationwide distribution network. From a small fruit cantina to a multi-million dollar company, James C. Fabiano, Sr. has proven that with family at the helm, Fabiano Brothers will continue to grow and prosper for many generations to come.


Terry Giles

President Giles Enterprises

Houston, Texas

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He may have attended twenty-one schools in ten years, but Terry Giles made the most of every experience by reaping a diverse educational experience and valuing the positive family influence that would set the tone for his numerous accomplishments. His family did not have a houseful of material goods, but Giles found that the greatest gift he received was a loving mother who taught her children that with positive thoughts, they could accomplish anything. She instilled a discipline and a will to succeed in their hearts and minds. Giles took his mother's lessons to heart and pursued law. He opened his own practice and within five years, he had established one of the largest, most successful criminal law firms on the West Coast. The prominent attorney turned entrepreneur now serves as President of Giles Enterprises. Through Giles Enterprises, Mr. Giles has led over thirty-five different businesses in diverse industries, including: energy, biotech, software development, entertainment, education and travel. Through the years, his business transactions have resulted in significant financial success, and his deep desire has always been to help others who could not help themselves. So, in 1987, Giles established the Giles Family Foundation. Now called the Giles O'Malley Foundation, it administers charitable contributions to extraordinary philanthropic organizations. It seems that Terry Giles has packed a great deal of experience in his life. He starts each day thinking about the positive things he can do to make it better - and better for those around him. Giles squeezes in a round of golf when he can, but what he does not need to do in his busy life is think of days when he might have stopped trying to do his best…he simply recalls his mother's voice telling him to “never give up.”

Patricia de StacyHarrison

Patricia de Stacy Harrison

President & CEO Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Washington, District of Columbia

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As a young girl, Patricia Harrison was captivated by a steady stream of Saturday visits to New York's great libraries, museums and theatres. Encouraged by her parents and teachers, she began to write, and, in high school, began journaling her wish-list of goals which included going to college, writing a book, traveling internationally, and leaving Brooklyn. In 1973, she and her husband formed the lobbying and public relations firm E. Bruce Harrison Company. During her tenure at E. Bruce Harrison, Mrs. Harrison founded the National Women's Economic Alliance and through "The Decade for Democracy," a mentoring exchange program, she created entrepreneurial training programs for women throughout the world. The new millennium has already proven to be a powerful era for Patricia Harrison; she was sworn in as the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs in 2001; then appointed Acting Under-Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs; and to top off an even more impressive resume, Harrison was named President and Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in June 2005. As an entrepreneur, author and political leader, Harrison has met every goal she set for herself as a young girl in Brooklyn, and has done so without reservation or looking back. Every year she sets new goals and sees no reason to let up now.

Paul N.Leone

Paul N. Leone

President and Chief Operating Officer The Breakers Palm Beach and Flagler System Inc.

Palm Beach, Florida

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Born and raised on Long Island, Leone was exposed to the hospitality industry at an early age. He was raised in a family that owned and operated five local motels and two restaurants. While he learned the intricacies of how to design, build and manage a business, two of the most important lessons learned were the belief that the ultimate hospitality is to treat a guest as if he or she were a guest in your own home; and to make every dollar count! Leone graduated from college with a degree in Accounting and soon began a career with Coopers & Lybrand. As a CPA, he worked with various hospitality accounts, including The Breakers. He joined The Breakers in 1985 and after several promotions became President and Chief Operating Officer of The Breakers Palm Beach and Flagler System, Inc. Leone has restored a strong sense of pride and teamwork in the 109-year old company's staff members, leading to dramatic improvements in employee satisfaction, customer service and profitability. The quality of service that he leads his staff to produce each and every day for the guests of The Breakers Palm Beach will continue to be what sets Paul Leone apart as a leader in the hospitality industry.


Terry Neese

CPC, CEO & Founder Terry Neese Personnel Services Founder Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP)

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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Just over thirty years ago, a road project was blocking the entrance to Terry Neese's personnel company. Not one to wallow in self-pity, Neese decided to take advantage of the situation. She posted signs around the area, directing visitors how to find Terry Neese Personnel Services which read: "My road to success is under construction." The incident also prompted Neese to become politically active, which ultimately led to honors, opportunities and prized visibility for both her business and her reputation. In fact, she was nominated for Lt. Governor by the Republican Party in 1990. She co-founded Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), a national bipartisan membership organization that represents the interests of women and minority business owners on Capitol Hill. And last year, President Bush nominated Neese to serve as Director of the United States Mint. Neese, who is a noted speaker, author, television and radio personality, whose weekly “Smart Business “ newspaper columns are published nationally, is considered a "Master of Motivation and Accomplishment" by political and business power brokers. She is recognized as one of the nation's most respected women business owners and advocates for small business. When Neese finds time to fly her plane above the every day construction of her busy life, she no doubt wonders what new challenges and opportunities will arise when the dust settles each day in her world.

Michael (Mico)Rodriquez

Michael (Mico) Rodriquez

CEO of M Crowd Restaurant Group

Irving, Texas

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When Mico Rodriguez was five years old, he began spending time helping his parents at the El Chico restaurant where they worked, and now, more than forty years later, he affirms his love of the restaurant industry as Chief Executive Officer of Dallas-based, M Crowd Restaurant Group. In 1991, with his hands-on experience and the love of the restaurant industry, he took on his greatest, most life-changing challenge: opening the first Mi Cocina in north Dallas. Growth and expansion were inevitable, and today his M Crowd Restaurant Group operates twenty-two successful restaurants. Rodriguez' commitment to employees and their families is evident in the national recognition bestowed upon the company. From Tex-Mex to the farthest heights of French cooking, Rodriguez has been a major influence in how and where Dallas residents and visitors eat over the last fifteen years. Mico Rodriguez started helping his parents in the restaurant industry at a very young age, and today he continues to run his business with his partners and the loving support of his family. For his M Crowd Restaurant Group, the hard work and perseverance is something that runs deep in his roots and will hopefully continue to do so for generations.

25th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (2005)


B.N. Bahadur

Chairman and Founder BBK, Ltd.

Southfield, Michigan

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B.N. Bahadur came to the United States in 1972 after having earned a Master of Commerce degree from the University of Mysore in his native India. Mr. Bahadur's journey from the Ganges River in India to the Great Lakes of Michigan is the fulfillment of his dream to become an American entrepreneur and business leader. Upon arrival in the United States, he settled in Kalamazoo, Michigan and worked his way through Western Michigan University earning a Master of Business Administration degree. In 1977, Bahadur turned his eyes to Detroit and launched his first venture with a $60 investment that was to become BBK, Ltd. BBK, Ltd., is an internationally recognized turnaround, business advisory and crises management firm with over 110 professionals in cities across the U.S, as well as globally in Frankfurt, London, Prague, and Warsaw. As chairman and founder of BBK, Ltd., Bahadur has stretched his company's expertise to encompass a wide-range of industries including banking, aerospace, retail, telecommunications, and information technology. Through his proficiency in automotive operational issues, production controls, process engineering and logistics, his company has been named a General Motors Supplier of the Year for six consecutive years. A highly regarded speaker on financial management issues, Mr. Bahadur holds membership in the Turnaround Management Association, the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees, the American Bankruptcy Institute and the National Association of Credit Management, and is a Certified Turnaround Professional, as well as a member and past treasurer of the India League of America. Mr. Bahadur and his family reside in Southfield, Michigan. He and his wife Rani, are active in many social and civic organizations providing educational opportunities to young people. They have two children, a son, 22, and a teenaged daughter.


Jay Lockwood

President J. Lockwood Plymouth Chrysler, Ltd.

Oakville, Ontario Canada

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Jay Lockwood is a third generation auto dealer. For over 70 years, the Lockwood family has been in the automotive business in Canada. In 1971, Jay started his first “Used Car” business in Hamilton, Ontario. In 1983 he purchased his present dealership in Oakville, Ontario, and less than two years later constructed the first building—the foundation of his present-day facility, which houses a state-of-the-art 18 car showroom, 20 service bays including Ontario Drive Clean testing, an auto salon automatic car wash and many more quality services and features. He is part owner of several other dealerships throughout Canada and the U.S., and through his many partnerships, has assisted other entrepreneurs in the start-up of their own thriving dealerships. Lockwood's business acumen reaches beyond the automotive industry. In 2000 he was part of the deep water exploration project that located the USS Maine, a U.S. warship which sunk in 1898 in Havana Harbor, Cuba. He also owned the boat which first located the S.S. Republic, a steamship which sank off the coast of Savannah, Georgia while carrying gold to New Orleans in 1865. Through the years, Mr. Lockwood has been recognized for his business excellence and community service. As well as serving on several boards, he has been honored with many awards including: two-time recipient of The Paul Harris Award, the highest award from Rotary International; the Chamber of Commerce Businessperson of the Year award, and Northwood University's Dealer Education Award. Both of Jay's son's attended Northwood University. In 1999, due to a tragic car accident Jay lost his youngest son, Chris. In his memory and honor, Jay established The Christopher Lockwood Scholarship Foundation, and to date, has provided more than 20 scholarships to students attending Northwood. Jay and his wife Mary reside in Oakville, Ontario, where they are active supporters in their community in every respect.

William S.Stavropoulos

William S. Stavropoulos

Chairman of the Board The Dow Chemical Company

Midland, Michigan

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In 1967, after receiving his PhD in medicinal chemistry from the University of Washington, William Stavropoulos began his career with Dow Chemical in Indianapolis in pharmaceutical research. He served in a variety of research and business positions, and in 1987, after moving through a series of positions, became the group vice president for Dow U.S.A. Plastics and Hydrocarbons. In 1990, he was named president of Dow U.S.A. and was elected a vice president of The Dow Chemical Company. He was then elected a senior vice president of Dow in May 1991, and became chief operating officer in 1993. He was named chief executive officer 1995-2000 and 2002-2004, and has been a member of the Dow Board of Directors since July 1990. He is a director of BellSouth Corporation, Chemical Financial Corporation, Maersk Inc., and NCR. He is a trustee to the Fidelity Group of Funds. Stavropoulos also serves on the board of American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Through the years, Stavropoulos has received numerous honors including: one of the Best CEOs in America in the category of Chemicals/Commodity by the Institutional Investor Magazine, the 2003 Society of Plastic Engineers Annual Business Management Award, Société de Chimie Industrielle's 2001 Palladium Medal Award, 2001 Chemical Industry Medal Award from Society of Chemical Industry, The Man of the Year Award from the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce in 2000, and the CEO of the Year Kavaler Award in 1999, an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Northwood University in 1998, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1998; The Man of the Year Award from the Hellenic American Bankers Association in 1997, and The Man of the Year Award from the American Hellenic Education Progressive Association in 1995. Bill and his wife Linda split their time between homes in Midland, Michigan, and Naples, Florida. They have two children, Bill and Angela, and love spending time with their six grandchildren.


Donald Wallace

President & CEO Lazydays RV SuperCenter

Tampa, Florida

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Over 28 years ago Don Wallace sold his first trailer for $500 and his vision unfolded into what has become the largest RV dealership in the world. Don Wallace is president, CEO and founder of Lazydays RV SuperCenter in Seffner, Florida, just east of Tampa. This 150-acre complex has become a landmark destination in the RV industry. As a young boy in his native Tennessee, Don began writing down his goals, a practice he continued when his family moved to Florida. Upon his high school graduation, Don returned to Tennessee to tackle tomato farming because of its challenging reputation. Nine years later, ready for a new challenge, he re-joined his father H.K. and younger brother Ron in Tampa with an idea for a landscaping business. However, when Don sold that first RV trailer, then a second and a third, he knew he had found his niche. In 1976, he persuaded his father and brother to go into the RV business, and Lazydays was born with two trailers and very little capital on a 1.75-acre lot. With no background in the RV business, Don read everything about management and sales, and looked to motivational books that reinforced what he already believed in: creating customers for life. By 1986, there were six other Lazydays stretching from Fort Myers to Zephyrhills. Don focused the organization on training and customer service and to achieve his long-term goals, closed all of the centers except for the original one. Annual sales increased and a momentum built that would keep Lazydays growing annually -- with sales increasing from nearly $250 million in 1996, when he moved the thriving business to the Seffner complex, to over $800 million in 2004. In 1999, Don sold a majority ownership in Lazydays to his employees. Subsequently the company was acquired by a New York-based private equity firm in early 2004. Don remains as the company's president and CEO. Don and his wife Erika have two young children, Donnie and Alexa. Having built his dream on the loyalty of customers, Don and his wife are loyal in giving b


Jim Arrigo

Arrigo Dodge Chrysler Jeep

West Palm Beach, Florida

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In his youth, Jim Arrigo set his sites on a career in the automotive industry. He graduated from Western Illinois University with a degree in management and never looked back. After graduation, Jim sold cars in Atlanta, Georgia, and then moved to Florida to work for JM Family Enterprises, Inc., dba, Southeast Toyota in Deerfield Beach. He worked at the dealership for nine years under the guidance of Jim Moran, president, who gave Arrigo the opportunity and professional advice needed to purchase his own Dodge dealership in 1989. Arrigo, along with his father as his partner, built Arrigo Dodge into one of the largest Dodge volume dealerships in the United States in 2001. In 2003 they purchased the Chrysler Jeep franchises, and today Arrigo Dodge Chrysler Jeep is the largest retailer of Chrysler Jeep and Dodge in the United States, breaking national sales records, as well as being the nation's largest Chrysler Financial customer. The Arrigo Dodge dealership has also received the coveted Five Star Dodge Chrysler Jeep Dealer Award which places them in an elite group of dealers nationwide. Highly regarded civically and professionally in his community and industry, Jim is the past president of the South Florida Auto Truck Dealers Association; president of the National dealers Council; and, was recently invited to serve as secretary of the Chrysler Jeep Dealers Council. Arrigo serves on numerous Florida boards and currently sits on the Board of Governors for Northwood University. Additionally, he received an honorary doctorate of laws from Northwood University; has received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Palm Beach County for Northwood University; and, with Leo Vecellio, was very instrumental in the completion of the soccer field at Northwood, which is named in honor of the Vecellio and Arrigo families. Mr. Arrigo and his family reside in West Palm Beach, Florida. He and his wife Margaret, are active in many social and civic organizations to promote higher education, with the emphasis on child

24th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (2004)

DeLight E.Breidegam, Jr.

DeLight E. Breidegam, Jr.

Chairman & Owner East Penn Manufacturing

Lyon Station, Pennsylvania

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In 1946, DeLight Breidegam Jr., a young Air Force veteran, started a battery business called East Penn Manufacturing with his father, DeLight Sr., who was a seasoned battery professional. At that time, the war made materials for new batteries scarce, but there was a great demand for rebuilt batteries to allow the returning GIs to get their cars and trucks started. DeLight and his dad filled that need by collecting old batteries and rebuilding them into new. Eventually, East Penn Manufacturing began to build new batteries as materials became available, and a new plant was built in Lyon Station, PA. By 1971, the company had grown to 350 employees, a number that would double in the next five years. Investments in new manufacturing and battery technology led to expansive growth throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The company is now the largest manufacturing employer in Berks County with a 490+ acre plant site that features on-site environmental and recycling facilities. Mr. Breidegam has been recognized by numerous business, professional and trade organizations for his entrepreneurial and leadership abilities. He holds honorary degrees from Moravian College, where he served on the Board of Trustees, and from Kutztown University, where he has served on the Foundation Board. With satisfied customers such as Caterpillar, Harley-Davidson and Freightliner to name a few, East Penn Manufacturing is truly a powerhouse which grew from humble beginnings, and Breidegam's dedication to the company he and his father began almost 60 years ago remains unwavering.


Valerie Daniels-Carter

President & CEO V& J Holding Companies, Inc.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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After beginning her career as a retail and commercial lender and auditor, Valerie Daniels-Carter segued into the multi-billion industry of quick-service restaurants. She and her brother, John, started V & J Foods with a single Burger King restaurant in 1984. Over the past 20 years, she has nurtured the company into a conglomerate of more than 126 franchise eateries in Wisconsin, Michigan, New York and Massachusetts. Mrs. Carter's hands-on approach to restaurant operations assures the quality of each and every unit, so that all are achieving positive results. Her operating philosophy is YATSE: You are the standard of excellence. Active in her business and industry organizations, she currently serves as president of the Minority Franchise Association of Burger King Corporation and Executive Board member of the National Franchisee Association. Mrs. Carter is also the recipient of numerous awards for her entrepreneurship from such well-known entities as Essence Magazine, Junior Achievement, Black Enterprise Magazine and the National Rainbow PUSH Coalition. V & J, the company, has also been recognized for its achievement, being named among the Top 500 Women-Owned businesses by Working Woman Magazine and among the Top 200 restaurants in the U.S. by Restaurant Finance Monitor. Mrs. Carter has taken her bachelor's degree from Lincoln University and her MBA from Cardinal Stritch College in Milwaukee far beyond her initial finance career, building an award-winning model of restaurant management success.

Richard E.Dauch

Richard E. Dauch

Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board & CEO American Axle & Manufacturing (Deceased)

Detroit, Michigan

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Richard E. Dauch began his career in 1964 when he joined General Motors Corporation following graduation from Purdue University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in industrial management and science. During his 12 years with GM, he became the youngest plant manager in Chevrolet's history. In 1976, he joined Volkswagen of America, where he served as group vice president of Manufacturing Operations and as a member of the Board of Directors. Lee Iacocca recruited him to Chrysler Corporation in 1980 to resurrect the company's ailing manufacturing operations. As executive vice president of Worldwide Manufacturing, Mr. Dauch was the driving force behind Chrysler's manufacturing and quality renaissance with his visionary, get-it-done management style. In 1994, he co-founded American Axle & Manufacturing, which today is a Fortune 500 company and one of the top 30 automotive suppliers in the world. In addition to lecturing extensively on the subject of world-class manufacturing, Mr. Dauch has authored a book titled "Passion for Manufacturing," which is distributed worldwide and used as textbook material at colleges and universities. He has been the recipient of numerous honors, including the Wayne State University, College of Business Administration's Michigan Executive of the Year and the Detroit Regional Chamber's World Trader of the Year. Mr. Dauch is the chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and serves on the boards of directors of the Michigan Manufacturers Association, Detroit Renaissance, and the Economic Club of Detroit, and is immediate past chairman of The Manufacturing Institute.

Charles PatrickGarcia

Charles Patrick Garcia

Chairman & CEO Sterling Financial Investment Group

Boca Raton, Florida

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In 1997, at the age of 36, Charles Garcia founded Sterling Financial Investment Group of Companies with three people. Today the firm has more than sixty offices in seven countries. In 2002, Sterling Financial was named the number one fastest growing Latino owned business in the United States by Hispanic Business magazine and number eight on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing privately held companies in the nation. For his entrepreneurial success and personal commitment to education, Mr. Garcia has earned national and international recognition as one of this nation's fastest rising Hispanic leaders. Mr. Garcia is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, a highly decorated military officer a Columbia law school graduate and a former White House Fellow. He has worked in the administration of three United States Presidents and was identified by Hispanic Business magazine as one of the "100 most influential Hispanics in the United States." He has received the Key to the City of Panama, and President Mireya Moscoco honored him during a private reception at the Presidential Palace for his success as a Panamanian-American in the United States. In January 2003, Florida Governor Jeb Bush appointed him to a four-year term as the only Latino on Florida's State Board of Education. In a rare publishing event, his first book, "A Message From Garcia: Yes, You Can Succeed" was published simultaneously in both English and Spanish, by John Wiley & Sons, and by Hay House, respectively. The book earned advance praise from three #1 New York Times bestselling authors, the foreword was written by famed educator Professor Jaime Escalante. Two days after the book was released, it hit the top 5 list of both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and a week after that, it earned the rank of #6 on the Wall Street Journal's bestseller list.

Lloyd G.

Lloyd G. "Buzz" Waterhouse

CEO, Chairman & President The Reynolds and Reynolds Company

Dayton, Ohio

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Lloyd G. "Buzz" Waterhouse has been CEO of The Reynolds and Reynolds Company since November 2002. He joined the company in May 1999 as president and chief operating officer and was elected Chairman in January 2002. Mr. Waterhouse has led an aggressive buildup of technology-based solutions to help automotive retailers and car companies drive productivity, efficiency and revenue growth. The company has developed and introduced solutions like the Reynolds Generations Series(tm), the company's next generation technology platform and a suite that integrates more than 200 applications and services to meet the needs of the automotive marketplace. The company has enhanced its strength and market share in emerging growth areas including telematics, Web services, e-business applications, and markets adjacent to the automotive industry including commercial, heavy truck, marine and power sport dealers. Before joining Reynolds, Mr. Waterhouse spent 26 years at IBM Corporation. He has extensive experience in international business management, information technology, e-business and organizational change. Mr. Waterhouse was an early participant in the formation of the Internet. Prior to joining Reynolds, he was general manager of e-Business Services, one of IBM's fastest growing business units. As co-chairperson of Dayton's e-Business Task Force, Mr. Waterhouse was instrumental in launching the iZone, which supports the birth and development of information technology-focused companies in the region. The iZone links volunteers from local businesses and development organizations with entrepreneurs so they can get advice about starting a business, obtaining funding, protecting intellectual property, finding a location and developing a business plan. Mr. Waterhouse serves on the boards of Atlantic Mutual Companies, Pennsylvania State University's Smeal College, Fifth Third Bank, ChoiceParts, i-Zone, the Downtown Dayton Partnership, Dayton Development Coalition, Dayton Regional Technology Council, Omega Community Develop

Albert F.Zehnder

Albert F. Zehnder

Chairman and CEO Zehnders of Frankenmuth

Frankenmuth, Michigan

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As Chairman and C.E.O., Albert F. Zehnder directs all strategic planning of Zehnder's of Frankenmuth; the Fortress, Zehnder's 18-hole golf course and Zehnder's Bavarian Haus, a 137- room motel. Zehnder joined the company in 1976. He serves on the company's board of directors as its chairman. A graduate of Valparaiso University (IN), Zehnder earned a bachelor of arts degree in 1976. He is a member of the National Restaurant Association, Michigan Restaurant Association and the Michigan and National Golf Course Owners 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 its president, 1986-87. Zehnder was named a Paul Harris fellow by the Frankenmuth Chapter of Rotary International. He is the past president of the Frankenmuth Historical Museum Board of Trustees. He is currently president of the Library of Michigan Foundation, a board member of the Frankenmuth Convention & Visitors Bureau and Citizens Bank, V.P. of the Frankenmuth Downtown Development Association and is a member of the Board of Governor's for Northwood University. Zehnder, his wife Karen and his two children are residents of Frankenmuth.

23rd Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (2003)

Charles E.Allen

Charles E. Allen

Chairman, President and CEO and Co-founder Graimark Realty Advisors, Inc.

Detroit, Michigan

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Following a distinguished career in commercial banking, Charles Allen co-founded Graimark Realty Advisers, a real estate development, investment and asset management company. For more than five years, Graimark provided asset management and disposition services to the Resolution Trust Corporation and the FDIC during which time it was the country's largest African-American asset management contractor handling portfolios that exceeded $2 billion in 26 states. Graimark is presently engaged in developing single-family communities in underserved urban areas. Mr. Allen is past president of AAA of Michigan and of the national AAA association based in Orlando, Florida. He serves on numerous other corporate and civic boards, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan, the Detroit Branch of the 7th Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Detroit Economic Club, and the United Negro College Fund.

Herbert F.

Herbert F. "Bert" Boeckmann

Chairman, CEO and Founder Owner and CEO Galpin Automotive Group

North Hills, California

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In the world of automobile sales and service, Bert Boeckmann, owner and CEO of the Galpin Automotive Group in North Hills (Los Angeles), California, is a dealer's dealer. Mr. Boeckmann started as a salesman at Galpin Ford in 1953 and bought the franchise in 1960 when the dealership was a 1-acre facility with 55 employees selling 30 vehicles a month. Today, Galpin occupies 55 acres of facilities with more than 1,000 employees. For 32 years, Galpin Ford has been #1 in profit of all Ford Motor Company dealerships and has been the largest volume Ford dealer in the world for 13 years running selling, on average, more than 1,000 new Ford automobiles per month. The Galpin Automotive Group also boasts Lincoln, Mercury, Jaguar, Saturn, Mazda, Hyundai, and Kia franchises and, altogether, Galpin Motors sold nearly 30,000 vehicles last year. In 2000, Mr. Boeckmann became the nation's #1 Saturn and #1 Jaguar retailer. Mr. Boeckmann recently received Ward's Dealer Magazine's first Dealer of the Year Award. In the words of James O'Connor, Ford Division President, “He is the best dealer I have ever met. He is the whole package.”

Joseph C.Day

Joseph C. Day

Chairman and CEO, retired Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership

Plymouth, Michigan

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Joe Day is chairman and CEO of Freudenberg-NOK. He was previously president and CEO of the company after being selected in 1988 to establish the North American partnership between Freudenberg & Co. of Germany and NOK, Corp. of Japan. Under Mr. Day's direction, the Freudenberg-NOK Group has emerged as the global bench-marking company for the practice of “lean” business systems. During his tenure, the company has grown at over 15% per year and has achieved annual sales volume of nearly $4 billion, making the company the world's 16th largest auto supplier and the second-ranked “globally balanced” company. Mr. Day is the founding chairman of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA).

Diane S.Graham

Diane S. Graham

Chairman and CEO STRATCO, Inc.

Scottsdale, Arizona

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Diane Graham is Chairman and CEO of STRATCO, Inc., one of the nation's leading companies in petroleum engineering and grease technology. In the 16 years she has directed the company, revenue has grown tenfold and STRATCO has become the worldwide market leader in alkylation technology, a chemical process essential to the creation of high octane and reformulated gasolines. Ms. Graham is a member of the Committee of 200, a national organization of leading businesswomen. She serves on the national boards of several industryspecific trade organizations and has been appointed to numerous federal programs and agencies. In addition, Mrs. Graham is an accomplished artist and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in psychology.

N. JoeOwen

N. Joe Owen

Vice Chairman General Parts, Inc.

Raleigh, North Carolina

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Joe Owen has spent his entire career in the Automotive Aftermarket beginning as part time while attending Memphis State University where he received a BS and MA degree. He spent 31 years with Genuine Parts Company (NAPA) rising to Group Vice President responsible for all parts distribution in the U.S.. He also served as President and Chairman of the Board at NAPA. He joined General Parts, Inc. (CARQUEST) in 1983 and became President in 1987 and Vice- Chairman in 2001. General Parts Inc. owns 36 CARQUEST Distribution Centers, which serve over 2,900 CARQUEST Auto Parts stores in North America. Mr. Owen is also a past Director of the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) and was selected as AWDA's Automotive Leader of the year in 2002.

Ross E.Roeder

Ross E. Roeder

Chairman, President and CEO Smart & Final, Inc.

Los Angeles, California

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Ross Roeder is chairman, president and CEO of Smart and Final, Inc., which sells food, foodservice products, and professional-quality culinary equipment through warehouse stores, wholesale stores, and broadline foodservice distribution businesses. Mr. Roeder took the helm of Smart & Final after playing a key role as a consultant with the company's Florida store and foodservice distribution operations. The company has operations in the Pacific Northwest, California, Arizona, Nevada, Florida and northern Mexico. Mr. Roeder began his career with Baskin-Robbins where he rose to the rank of vice president, and has been CEO of Denny's restaurants, and Fotomat.

John E. & Margaret MaryShuff

John E. & Margaret Mary Shuff

Co-Owners JES Publishing Company Publishers, Boca Raton Magazine

Boca Raton, Florida

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John and Margaret Mary Shuff launched JES Publishing in 1981 after John, then vice president and CFO of Capital Cities ABC (now Disney), was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. They decided to abandon the demanding New York corporate world and engage in a joint entrepreneurial venture in a more physically agreeable, and yet promising economic, climate. The result was Boca Raton magazine, the award-winning flagship publication of an enterprise that now numbers 12 different titles, including Salt Lake City magazine. Both John and Margaret Mary have a strong commitment to community and to their reader. Both are engaged in numerous charitable and cultural activities, John currently serving on the Board of the Boca Raton Community Hospital and Margaret Mary as Vice Chair of the Board of Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana.

Rajendra B.

Rajendra B. "Raj" Vattikuti

Chairman, CEO and Founder Synova, Inc. Troy, Michigan Co-Chairman and Founder Covansys Corporation

Farmington Hills, Michigan

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Raj Vattikuti is Chairman, CEO and founder of Synova, Inc., an information technology (IT) professional service provider of technical staffing solutions specializing in a wide range of IT services. Mr. Vattikuti is also founder and Co-Chairman of Covansys (formerly Complete Business Solutions, Inc.), a NASDAQ-listed IT service provider with sales in excess of $400 million. Mr. Vattikuti was appointed by Michigan Governor John Engler to sit on the boards of Central Michigan University and the Michigan Virtual University. He is also a member of the Board of the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. The Vattikuti Foundation has contributed $40 million to cancer research.

22nd Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (2002)

Peter A.Blum

Peter A. Blum

Retired Owner Blum's of Boca

Manalapan, Florida

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Dr. Blum was raised in Peoria, Illinois where his father founded Blum's Furniture Store in 1937. He relocated to South Florida in 1963, where he opened "Blum's of Boca" which grew to become one of the region's premier interior design and outdoor furniture stores, expanding to four stores from Boca Raton to Vero Beach. In 1968, Dr. Blum founded Palers Development Corporation, a real estate development business that specialized in condominiums, small shopping centers, and office buildings. Both businesses benefited considerably from the rapid expansion of the region, and Peter Blum considered his move to the area from the Midwest to have been "divinely inspired". Dr. Blum is the former mayor of the Town of Manalapan, Florida (an intracoastal residential community just south of Palm Beach). He has served as Chairman of the Board of the Boca Raton Community Hospital and of the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce, and is a major supporter of many area non-profit organizations. Dr. Blum founded the YMCA in Boca Raton, a facility which now bears his name, and is a member of the Florida Board of Governors of Northwood University in West Palm Beach. In 1998, he received an honorary doctorate degree from Northwood. Dr. Blum and his wife, Teena, are the parents of two adult sons.

James H.Clark

James H. Clark

Chairman, CEO and Founder myCFO, Inc. Also Founder, Healtheon/WebMD, Netscape Communications,and Silicon Graphics, Inc.

Mountainview, California

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Jim Clark is the founder of three of the most successful business start-ups in recent history. His companies, Silicon Graphics, Netscape Communications, and Healtheon/WebMD, have changed the lives of millions. His latest brainstorms with huge potential are Shutterfly (an online photo processing and delivery service), myCFO (a personal financial site for the ultra rich), and involvement with DNA Sciences (a genetic research company). Now a billionaire, Mr. Clark grew up poor in the 1950s in Plainview, Texas. Eager to escape, he dropped out of high school and joined the Navy where he earned his GED and enrolled in college. Moonlighting while working as a associate professor at Stanford University, Mr. Clark designed a computer chip able to process 3-D images in real time. He hired a handful of students and created Silicon Graphics in 1982. The company's high-powered computers and elaborate graphics packages transformed engineering, NASA, and Hollywood. Mr. Clark met Marc Andreesen, the developer of the first web browser, in 1994 and realized the future was on the Internet. The two founded Netscape Communications and later took it public. Also in the 1990s, Mr. Clark was in a motorcycle accident and also diagnosed with a blood disease. Frustrated with the shortcomings of the healthcare system, he devised a way to use the Internet to eliminate paperwork by linking all the healthcare players to a central depository of information. When merged with WebMD, the company became a comprehensive source for information. Mr. Clark chronicles the rise of the Internet and Netscape's role in his book, Netscape Time: The Making of the Billion Dollar Start-up That Took On Microsoft. He was also the subject of The New York Times bestseller by Michael Lewis: The New New Thing.


Anthony Conza

Founder, Chairman and CEO Blimpie International, Inc.

New York, New York

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Tony Conza founded the Blimpie (sub sandwich) restaurant chain in 1964, with two friends in Hoboken, New Jersey, with no money, a simple idea and a lot of passion. Today, Blimpie International has approximately 2000 franchises with system-wide sales approaching $400 million in all 50 states and 12 foreign countries. Mr. Conza is known to millions as the star of Blimpie TV and radio commercials. He has also been a guest on several television business and news programs and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, Business Week, INC., and Entrepreneur. Mr. Conza is a member of the Board of Governors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America where, as chairman of their marketing committee, he has been responsible for creating the popular public service announcements featuring Colin Powell and Denzel Washington. He also serves on the Dean's Council at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He is the recipient of the Ernst & Young/Inc. Magazine "Entrepreneur of the Year" Award, the New York State Restaurant Association's "Chain of the Year" Award, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America's "President's Award" and the Ellis Island "Medal of Honor." Mr. Conza regularly lectures on business, entrepreneurship, franchising, branding, leadership and cause-related marketing. He is the author of the book, Success: It's A Beautiful Thing in which he espouses his principles for achieving success, the most important of which, in his opinion, is to develop a passion for what you do.

Walter E.Douglas, Sr.

Walter E. Douglas, Sr.

President Avis Ford, Inc

Southfield, Michigan

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Walter Douglas is president and majority stockholder of Avis Ford in Southfield, Michigan, one of the premier Ford dealerships in the nation. Mr. Douglas is the former president of New Detroit, the nation's first urban coalition, where he earned an enviable reputation as a civic leader working closely with numerous governmental, foundation, business, labor and community leaders. Prior to that, he spent 13 years with the Internal Revenue Service in Washington, D.C. and Detroit. In addition to his involvement at Avis Ford, Mr. Douglas is majority owner of a school bus transportation company, a cellular telephone license awardee, part owner of a beer distributorship, chairman of the board of an FM radio station group, and one of the original investors in the Motor City Casino, one of the three casinos licensed in the city of Detroit. Mr. Douglas is a former member of the civilian Board of Police Commissioners. He served for fourteen years as chairman of the Health Alliance Plan, the largest HMO in the state of Michigan. He is a trustee and Vice Chair of the Henry Ford Health System, a trustee of the Oakland University Foundation, the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan, the North Carolina Central University Foundation, the Skillman Foundation (of which he is Chair), and the Tiger Woods Foundation. In February 2001, Mr. Douglas was named Chairman of the Board of Directors of AAA of Michigan. He and his wife, Retha, live in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and have three adult children.

Judith R.Haberkorn

Judith R. Haberkorn

President (retired), Consumer Sales and Service Bell Atlantic

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

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Prior to her retirement in June 2000, Judith Haberkorn was president of the Consumer Sales & Service division of Bell Atlantic. She managed 20,000 employees and was responsible for over $10 billion in revenues in the largest and most competitive consumer telecommunications marketplace in the United States, serving more than 24 million customers. Ms. Haberkorn accomplished a number of firsts during the course of her telecommunications career. In 1968, she was one of the first women recruited to participate in the executive management training program of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T). She began her career as a supervisor of operator services and advanced through a number of operations of increasing responsibility including real estate operations, special services, and materials management. Ms. Haberkorn was named an officer of the company in 1990. Active in the promotion of business issues and interests, Ms. Haberkorn is a member of a number of national and international business groups. She is the past Chair of the Committee of 200 and a member of the board of the International Women's Forum. She is a past vice president of the Harvard Business School Alumni Advisory Board. In 1999, Crain's named her one of New York's 100 most influential women in business. Ms. Haberkorn serves on the boards of Armstrong World Industries, the Enesco Corporation, and the advisory board of Norfolk Southern Railway. Now retired, she divides her year between Florida and Maine.

Cleve L.Killingsworth, Jr.

Cleve L. Killingsworth, Jr.

President and CEO Health Alliance Plan, and Executive Vice President Insurance and Managed Care, Henry Ford Health System

Detroit, Michigan

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Cleve Killingsworth became president and CEO of Health Alliance Plan and executive vice president of Insurance and Managed Care for Henry Ford Health Systems in January 1998. Health Alliance Plan (HAP) is Michigan's largest, most experienced managed care company. A non-profit subsidiary of the Henry Ford Health System, HAP serves more than 550,000 members enrolled in commercial and governmental programs. Mr. Killingsworth was previously the president of three regional divisions of Kaiser Permanente, another health care organization. Prior to that, he was senior vice president of health care operations for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rochester where he headed operations for Blue Choice, the IPA-model HMO of that organization. Mr. Killingsworth served as an assistant professor for the School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He also served as adjunct professor in health services administration for the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and as a guest lecturer at Yale University's School of Epidemiology and Public Health. He is a founding member of the Executive Leadership Council in Washington, D.C., a national public policy, economic and business advisor group comprised of African-American executives. Mr. Killingsworth holds degrees from M.I.T. and Yale. He is the father of three children.


Bonnie McElveen-Hunter

President Pace Communications

Greensboro, North Carolina & U.S. Ambassador to Finland 2001

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As founder and president of Pace Communications, the largest custom-publishing company in the United States, Bonnie McElveen-Hunter is one of the nation's most successful female entrepreneurs. Pace Communications is best known for publishing the in-flight magazines of Delta Airlines, United Airlines, and US Airways as well as magazines for companies like IGA, Holiday Inn Express, Radisson Hotels, and others. In addition, Pace produces Elegant Bride magazine and is involved in the in-flight audio and video entertainment business. Pace titles are read by more than 11 million people every month and the company is one of the most award-winning publishing companies in America. Ms. Hunter serves on the international board of directors for Habitat for Humanity and serves on the National United Way Leadership Board. She is a member of the Committee of 200, a worldwide group of prominent women business leaders. Ms. Hunter recently received the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the National Foundation for Women Legislators and is a recipient of the Athena Award, given by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for her business and civic activities. She served on the Department of Commerce Transition Team and the Inauguration Committee for the Women Business Leaders Forum at the White House. The past October (2001), Ms. Hunter was confirmed by the United States Senate as our nation's Ambassador to Finland, a post she assumes in December. Ms. Hunter and her husband, Bynum, reside in Greensboro, North Carolina and are the parents of a college-aged son.

Lynn C.Myers

Lynn C. Myers

General Manager Pontiac/GMC Division - General Motors Corporation

Detroit, Michigan

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Lynn Myers began her career at General Motors in 1973 as a statistician/analyst trainee with the Oldsmobile division in Lansing, Michigan. After holding various marketing and advertising positions, she was appointed to the position of marketing director in 1982, then was named director of planning for Oldsmobile in 1985. In 1988, Ms. Myers joined the GM Marketing and Product Planning Staff in Detroit as general director of North American Truck and Capacity Planning. In 1989, she was named general director of North American Car and Truck Planning. She joined the Pontiac division of the company in 1992, holding various positions there until being named General Manager of the merged Pontiac and GMC divisions in January 1999, the position she holds today. Ms. Myers received the first annual "Outstanding Woman in the Automotive Industry" award in marketing in March 1994. She received Michigan State University's Outstanding Business Alumnus Award in 1989 and the MSU Distinguished Alumni Award in 1999. She was named one of the Top 100 Women in the Automotive Industry by Automotive News Magazine in 2000. The Outstanding Business Leader Awards Program is made possible by a grant from Ford Motor Company and The Alliance Health Plan. These individuals serve as role models for Northwood�s students, all of whom are engaged in the study of business management and who aspire to business careers. In the 22 years since the program�s founding, some 200 business leaders from more than 30 states, representing dozens of industries and fields of business expertise, have received the Outstanding Business Leader Award.

21st Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (2001)


Dave Bing

Chairman The Bing Group

Detroit, Michigan

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Dave Bing Chairman The Bing Group Detroit, Michigan Dave Bing first won acclaim on the basketball court where he was voted an NBA all star in eight of his twelve years with the Detroit Pistons. He has been voted one of the top 50 basketball players of all time. He was inducted into the Michigan Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Naismith Hall of Fame in 1990. However, Mr. Bing is not, and never was, simply an athlete. While attending Syracuse University on a basketball scholarship, Bing earned degrees in economics and marketing. And rather than live it up during off-seasons as a pro, he spent summers training with the National Bank of Detroit and Chrysler Corporation. Mr. Bing retired from the NBA in 1978 and two years later launched Bing Steel, a small steel cutting business supplying the auto industry. He located his business in one of the worst neighborhoods in Detroit, in part because thatÕs what he could afford, but primarily because he intended for his business to provide employment opportunities for the poor and disadvantaged. Today, The Bing Group employs 1,500 people (80% of whom are African- American), and is approaching $400 million in sales. The company supplies everything from metal stampings for car frames to sleek leather seats for the Chevrolet Corvette. Dave Bing serves on the Boards of Directors of Detroit Edison, the Lear Corporation, Steelcase, and several other companies. He also serves on the Boards of Advisors for Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, Junior Achievement, Detroit Urban League, Children's Hospital and many other organizations. Mr. Bing is the father of three daughters and the proud gandfather of three grandchildren.

Connie K.Duckworth

Connie K. Duckworth

Managing Director Goldman, Sachs & Company

New York, New York

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Connie Duckworth Managing Director Goldman, Sachs & Co. New York, New York Connie Duckworth is a Managing Director of Goldman Sachs & Company in New York. She is also Chairman of the Board (and was the guiding force in the founding) of, now a separate business entity, which was an effort spearheaded by Goldman Sachs to bring greater efficiency, transparency, and liquidity to the $1.5 trillion municipal bond market. Prior to being named a Managing Director, Ms. Duckworth was co-head of the Municipal Bond Department at Goldman Sachs where she oversaw the public finance, underwriting, sales and trading efforts. Additionally, she had responsibility for setting the firm's internet strategy as it relates to the municipal space. Prior to that, she was co-head of the Chicago Office and was Fixed Income Regional Sales Manager. During her 19-year tenure at Goldman Sachs, Ms. Duckworth has served on the Compensation, Recruiting, Technology, Diversity, and Contribution Committees of the firm, among others. In addition to her work at Goldman Sachs, Ms. Duckworth serves on the Wharton School Advisory Board, the University of Texas at Austin CBA Foundation Advisory Council, the University of Michigan Business School Advisory Board, and the Board of Evanston Northwestern Healthcare in Chicago. Additionally, Ms. Duckworth sits on the Board of the Committee of 200, the professional organization of preeminent businesswomen, and in 1997 was named to Working Mother magazine's first annual list of the 25 Most Influential Mothers in America. Ms. Duckworth received an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. from the University of Texas.

Gene A.Gardner

Gene A. Gardner

Former President & CEO Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association

Bethesda, Maryland

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Gene A. Gardner Former President and CEO Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association Bethesda, Maryland Gene A. Gardner is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), a Bethesda, Maryland-based, not-for-profit trade association serving the needs of its member companies representing the full spectrum of the motor vehicle aftermarket. AAIA member companies manufacture, distribute, and sell motor vehicle parts, accessories, tools, equipment, materials and supplies. The organization is comprised of manufacturers, distributors, jobbers, wholesalers, retailers, manufacturers' representatives, and other companies doing business in the automotive aftermarket. Mr. Gardner became President and CEO of AAIA in 1999 as a result of the consolidation of the Automotive Service Industry Association (ASIA) and the Automotive Parts and Accessories Association (APAA). He had served as President of ASIA from 1994 to 1999. Prior to that he spent 35 years with the E.I. DuPont Company whose $3 billion automotive business primarily specializes in paint, plastics and elastomers. In his capacity as the Association's Chief Executive Officer, he oversaw the administration of all eight membership divisions of the organization, managed the Association's professional staff, and represented the Association in various coalitions and partnerships within the industry. A 1958 graduate of the University of Colorado, Mr. Gardner is now retired and lives with his wife in Delaware and South Florida.

John W.Henry

John W. Henry

Chairman Florida Marlins Baseball Club

Miami, Florida

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John W. Henry Chairman Florida Marlins Baseball Club Miami, Florida John Henry purchased the Florida Marlins in January, 1999 at which time he expressed his commitment to rebuilding the team and to keeping the Marlins in South Florida and strengthening ties with the community. Mr. Henry has been involved in baseball at the ownership level for over ten years. As a limited partner of the New York Yankees, he has enjoyed the thrill of participating on two World Championship teams (in 1996 and '98). He was also chairman and majority owner of the Class AAA Tuscon Toros of the Pacific Coast League fro 1989 to 1997. In 1989, he formed a co-ownership with the West Palm Beach Tropics in the Senior Baseball League. The Tropics, managed by Dick Williams, posted a League-best 52-20 record and were led by Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers and former all-stars Mickey Rivers, Toby Harrah, Dave Kingman and Al Hrabosky. Away from the diamond, Mr. Henry is chairman of John W. Henry & Company, Inc., which he founded in 1981. JWH is currently among the largest alternative investment firms in the world, managing foreign exchange, financial futures, and commodities for leading money center banks, brokerage firms, multi-national corporations, pension funds, and private clients worldwide. The firm maintains offices in Boca Raton, Florida and Westport, Connecticut. Mr. Henry has served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Futures Trading Advisors and the Managed Futures Trade Association. He currently serves on the Board of the Futures Industry Association. He is a recognized leader in financial product innovation. A strong contributor to local charities, Mr. Henry supports numerous non-profit organizations. Once a professional musician, he resides in Boca Raton with his wife and daughter.

Everett F.Kircher

Everett F. Kircher

Founder Boyne USA Resorts (Deceased)

Boyne Falls, Michigan

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Everett F. Kircher Founder Boyne USA Resorts Boyne Falls, Michigan In the late 40s, Everett Kircher owned a small car dealership in Detroit. He had long been an avid skier, traveling annually to the Rockies to indulge his passion for the sport. And in 1947, he and two fellow skiers purchased an unimposing 500-foot mountain in northern Michigan so they might pursue their favorite pastime a little more easily. From this inconspicuous beginning, building a modest ski retreat while still selling cars in Detroit, Everett Kircher launched an enterprise that was to become one of the largest individually owned resort empires in the world. Today, Boyne USA Resorts consists of five major ski and summer resorts: Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands in northern Michigan, Big Sky in Montana, Brighton Ski Bowl near Salt Lake City, and Crystal Mountain in Seattle. Boyne USA also owns and operates a scenic chair lift in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and ten golf courses from Montana to Florida. The growth of these enterprises has been the result both of determination and innovation. Mr. Kircher is credited with developing the word's first three- and four-person chairlifts and for installing the first detachable six-place chairlift in the United States. Mr. Kircher pioneered artificial snowmaking and co-invented the first efficient device for marginal temperature snowmaking. He patented the snowmaker that is currently used around the world. And he was in the forefront of many of the grooming techniques and much of the equipment used today, including the first snow tiller in 1965. Kircher was among the first to transform ski resorts into year-round recreational facilities by developing beautiful and renowned golf courses on his properties in the late 60s. The opening of "The Heather" course at Boyne Highlands in 1968 signaled the beginning of the golf boom in Northwest Michigan where courses designed by Palmer, Nicklaus, Trent Jones, and others now make this region "America's Summer Golf Capital."

Linda K.Paresky

Linda K. Paresky

Former Co-Chairman and Owner Thomas Cook Travel USA

Fisher Island, Florida

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Linda Paresky Former Co-Chairman and Owner Thomas Cook Travel USA Fisher Island, Florida A pioneer in the industry, Linda Paresky has profoundly impacted the business of travel. In 1965 she co-founded Crimson Travel in Cambridge, Massachusetts and later was co-chairman and owner of Thomas Cook Travel USA, the third largest travel agency in the country. Understanding the value of a skilled industry workforce, she founded the Travel Education Center, a nationally accredited travel school that launched the careers of thousands of travel professionals. A noted industry columnist and advocate, Ms. Paresky served on many travel boards including the Research Issues Task Force of the White House Conference on Travel and Tourism, the Academy of Travel and Tourism and the Travel Business Roundtable. Working Woman Magazine and the National Foundation of Women Business Owners named her one of the "Top 50 Women Business Owners". From her roots as a graduate of a women's college, she has been deeply committed to the notion of women helping other women. She is chair of the board of trustees of Simmons College in Boston; and chair emerita of the Committee of 200 Foundation, an organization devoted to mentoring and supporting the next generation of women business leaders. She is a past chapter president of the International Women's Forum; served as a director of the Thyroid Foundation of America; and served on the Investment and Services Policy Advisory Committee (INSPAC) to the U.S. Trade Commissioner. She was a keynote speaker and national judge for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur-of-the-Year Award. Ms. Paresky holds a bachelor's degree from Simmons College, a master's degree from Harvard University, a Ph.D. from Boston College, and is also the recipient of two honorary degrees.


Anne Stevens

Vice-President, North America Assembly Operations Ford Motor Company

Detroit, Michigan

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Anne Stevens Executive Director - Vehicle Operations, Manufacturing Ford Motor Company Dearborn, Michigan Anne Stevens has been Executive Director for Vehicle Operations, Manufacturing, for the Ford Motor Company since January 2000. Her responsibilities include overseeing the operations of 18 automotive assembly plants in Canada, Mexico and the United States. Prior to this, Ms. Stevens was director of the Manufacturing Business Office for Ford in North America. In that position, she was responsible for capacity planning, new program coordination for manufacturing, business and manufacturing labor strategy. Stevens joined Ford Motor Company in 1990 as a marketing specialist in the Plastic Products Division, Vehicle Exterior Systems, where she progressed to become manufacturing manager for Ford Automotive Components Division's Plastic and Trim Products Operations. In 1995, she became a plant manager in Enfield, England, Ford's first female plant manager in Europe. She was later named assistant vehicle line director of Ford's Small Car Vehicle Center in Dunton, England. While in Britain, Ms. Stevens served on several professional and civic boards and councils. She also served on the advisory boards of Middlesex University Business School and Tavistock Institutes. Prior to joining Ford, Ms. Stevens held various engineering, manufacturing and marketing positions at Exxon Chemical Company. She holds a bachelor's degree in Mechanical and Materials Engineering and has studied business at the graduate level at New York and Rutgers Universities.

20th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (2000)

John W.Barfield

John W. Barfield

Founder & Chairman of the Executive Committee The Bartech Group

Livonia, Michigan

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In 1945, seventeen-year-old John W. Barfield, the son of an Alabama sharecropper, dropped out of high school to enlist in the Army, serving two years in Germany and France. Upon his discharge, he worked as a custodian for $1.75 per hour at the University of Michigan. Hard work and dedication eventually led him to form his own company, the Barfield Cleaning Company, headquartered in Ypsilanti, Michigan which was acquired by International Telephone and Telegraph Company in 1969. In 1974, Mr. Barfield incorporated Barfield Building Maintenance Company, which was acquired by Unified Building Maintenance Services, Inc. of Washington, D.C. in 1986. In 1977, he incorporated John Barfield & Associates (later renamed Bartech, Inc.), and a year later he founded Barfield Manufacturing Company, which was acquired by Mascotech Industries in 1991. Mr. Barfield is currently Chairman of the Executive Committee of The Bartech Group and employs more than 2,300 people. In 1985 Bartech was named "Company of the Year" by Black Enterprise magazine, and "Outstanding Enterprise of the Year" by the Michigan Department of Commerce, and given the "Award of Excellence" from EG & G Mound Applied Technologies in 1989 and 1990. In 1993 Chrysler Corporation awarded Bartech the "Gold Pentastar Award". Mr. Barfield received the 1994 "Laureate Award" by the Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan Business Hall of Fame. The Company has achieved many quality awards, including receipt in 1995 of ISO 9002-94 Registration in recognition of its quality operating system as well as the prestigious Ford Motor Company's Q1 Award in 1996. Mr. Barfield is co-chairman of the regional campaign of the United Negro College Fund. He currently serves on the board of Spaulding for Children, and on the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army of Metropolitan Detroit. He has received numerous honors and awards, including the Tree of Life Award, as well as The George Romney Award recognizing lifelong achievement in volunteerism.

Nathan G.Conyers

Nathan G. Conyers

Founder & President Conyers-Riverside Ford, Inc.

Detroit, Michigan

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Nathan G. Conyers lives in Detroit where he was raised and educated. Through the 1960s, Mr. Conyers pursued a legal career, both in private practice and as an attorney for the Small Business Administration, the Veteran's Administration, and as a Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the State of Michigan. In 1970, Mr. Conyers established Conyers Ford (later renamed Conyers-Riverside Ford) which remains the only African American owned auto dealership within the city of Detroit. During the years since, the Conyers-Riverside Ford dealership has prospered and Mr. Conyers, who is often referred to as the "Dean of America's Black-owned Automobile Dealerships", has helped more than two dozen other African Americans to become owners of their own dealerships. Mr. Conyers has been recognized for business excellence and community service by the Howard University School of Business and Public Administration, by former President Jimmy Carter, and with the keys to the cities of Atlanta, New York, Chicago, and Detroit. In 1996, Ford Motor Company Chairman Alex Trotman presented Conyers-Riverside Ford with the prestigious "25 Year award". The dealership is one of only five businesses to have been listed on Black Enterprise magazine's list of top 100 Black Businesses since the listing was created more than twenty years ago. The magazine named Conyers-Riverside Ford their "Dealership of the Year" in 1995 and recently featured Nathan Conyers as a "Marathon Man" for his long and successful career. In 1998, the dealership was awarded the N.A.C.E. (North American Customer Excellence Award) for excellence in customer service and satisfaction. And in 1999, Mr. Conyers was honored as a recipient of Time magazine's "Quality Dealer Award" which was given to the best 63 dealers out of 21,000 dealers nationwide. Also in 1999, Mr. Conyers was awarded a Jaguar Motorcar franchise, only the second Black-owned franchise in Jaguar history.

Ronald M.Cresswell

Ronald M. Cresswell

Senior Vice President & Chief Scientific Officer (Retired) Warner-Lambert Company

Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Dr. Ronald M. Cresswell was named President of the Worldwide Pharmaceutical Research and Development Division of Warner-Lambert Company in 1988. At that time, he was also elected to Warner-Lambert's Board of Directors as Vice President and an officer of the corporation. One year later, he was named Chairman of the division, now known as Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Research, a position he held until 1998. From 1998 until his retirement in late 1999, Dr. Cresswell served as Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Warner-Lambert Company. Warner-Lambert is a worldwide company devoted to developing, manufacturing and marketing quality health care and consumer products. It employs more than 40,000 people. The company's largest research facility is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Additional research facilities are operated in several other countries, including major centers in Cambridge, England; Fresnes, France; and Freiburg, Germany. Prof. Cresswell joined Warner-Lambert from Laporte Industries, Ltd., London, an internationally oriented chemical company, where he served as chief operating officer since 1987. Prior to joining Laporte, Prof. Cresswell was associated with the London-based international pharmaceutical firm Burroughs Wellcome Company for 25 years, 19 of which were spent in its U.S. research and development organization. His career at Burroughs Wellcome included a broad range of research and development positions, culminating with his responsibility for the company's worldwide research staff of 3,000 people. Prof. Cresswell earned B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in applied chemistry at the University of Glasgow. He completed post-doctoral work in the field of nucleoprotein chemistry at Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York, and is a graduate of the Harvard Advanced Management Program. In July 1997 Prof. Cresswell was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science at The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

Mark VictorHansen

Mark Victor Hansen

President Mark Victor Hansen & Associates Chairman Chicken Soup for the Soul Enterprises, Inc.

Costa Mesa, California

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Mark Victor Hansen has been called "America's Master Motivator", and for good reason. He is in great demand as a keynote speaker by many of North America's top corporation and professional associations. In more than 2,500 presentations since 1974, his message has reached more than 2 million people in 35 countries and virtually every major city across America. Mr. Hansen's credentials include a lifetime of entrepreneurial successes in addition to an extensive academic background. He is the co-creator of the widely successful Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books. The series, which Time magazine has called "the publishing phenomenon of the decade", has collectively sold more than 40 million copies in North America alone, making it one of the most successful publishing franchises in America today. He has been seen by millions of televison viewers on such shows as Oprah, CNN, Eye to Eye, The Today Show, Hard Copy, and PBS and has had his autobiography produced and aired on Nostalgia Good TV. He has been featured in, or appeared on the cover of, dozens of national magazines and newspapers including Entrepreneur, Success, Time, U.S. News and World Report, USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Dallas Morning News, Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Hansen lives with his wife and two teenage daughters in Southern California.

Sydell L.Miller

Sydell L. Miller

Chairman of the Board & Co-founder (retired) Matrix Essentials, Inc.

Palm Beach, Florida

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Sydell Miller began her career as a salon owner with her husband, Arnold. Together, they saw a need for a manufacturer that would offer salons a full spectrum of innovative, high-quality hair products - shampoos, conditioners, hair color and perms - and in 1980 they founded Matrix Essentials which has grown to be the largest manufacturer of hair care products in the professional salon industry. Mrs. Miller's vision of offering women complete beauty services led their salon to be among the first to offer hair services, facials, and nail services in addition to a clothing boutique. In keeping with the Millers' commitment to "total beauty", they added skin care, cosmetics, body care and sun care products to the company's popular hair care lines. As the creator of the "day spa" concept, Mrs. Miller has spearheaded the movement among salons to offer a total one-stop beauty experience known as "Total Image Consulting". Following her husband's death in 1992, Mrs. Miller continued to build the business, doubling sales in two years and exceeding the $300 million sales mark. In 1994, in order to facilitate product development and global expansion, Mrs. Miller sold Matrix Essentials to the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company where she remained active as Chairman of the Board of Matrix until her retirement. Today, more than 7 million use a Matrix product each week. Mrs. Miller has been profiled in Entrepreneur magazine, has been named one of the "Top 50 Women Business Owners in America", and has been inducted into the National Cosmetology Hall of Fame. Sydell Miller serves on many corporate boards and development committees, and she has been instrumental in organizing the salon industry's anti-drug program, S.T.A.N.D. (Salons Tell America No to Drugs). Mrs. Miller is a generous supporter of medical research and children's charities and is a renowned benefactor of the arts.

Larry L.Prince

Larry L. Prince

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Genuine Parts Company

Atlanta, Georgia

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Larry Prince is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Genuine Parts Company in Atlanta, Georgia. Genuine Parts is the parent company of NAPA, the largest automotive replacement parts company in North America. The company also distributes industrial parts, office products, and electrical/electronic materials. Overall sales totaled $8 billion in 1999. Mr. Prince joined Genuine Parts in 1958 while still a student at the University of Memphis in Tennessee. He worked his way up from various clerical, stockroom, and sales positions becoming Vice President for Marketing in 1969. In 1973, Mr. Prince became General Manager of European Operations in Paris, France, and by 1983 was Executive Vice President for overall operations of the company. He became President and Chief Operating Officer in 1986, was promoted to Chief Executive Officer in 1989, and became Chairman and CEO in 1990, the position he still holds today. Mr. Prince serves on the board of directors of several major organizations, including Equifax, Inc.; Southern Mills, Inc.; and SunTrust Banks, Inc. and is Past Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He is a trustee of Campbell Foundation, Tull Foundation, and Westminster Schools. Mr. Prince lives with his wife in Atlanta. They have one son.

Lois E.Silverman

Lois E. Silverman

Founder, Director & former Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer CRA Managed Care, Inc. (now CONCENTRA Managed Care, Inc.)

Boston, Massachusetts

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Lois E. Silverman is a director of CONCENTRA Managed Care, Inc. (formerly CRA Managed Care, Inc.), a publicly owned provider of services to reduce the costs of workers' compensation, automobile, disability and health insurance claims. Mrs. Silverman was the founder of CRA and served as the Chairman of the Board from 1994 to September 1997 and as its Chief Executive Officer from 1988 to 1995. She is the president and chair of The Commonwealth Institute, a nonprofit organization she established in 1997 for the advancement of women entrepreneurs. This Boston-based organization creates and offers educational and mentoring programs that support business growth. Mrs. Silverman is co-founder and a managing partner of Women's Business, the monthly news journal that premiered in October 1998. Women's Business features the advancements of, and opportunities for, women within the business and professional communities in the Boston area. Mrs. Silverman is a director of Sun Healthcare Group and Immunetics and a member of the Dean's Council of the Harvard School of Public Health. She is chair of the board of Community Servings - a Boston-based program providing meals to individuals with AIDS. Mrs. Silverman is a director of CareGroup, an overseer at Tufts University Medical School, and a trustee at Simmons College. She also sits on the Board of Directors of the Women's Studies Program at Brandeis University. She is a member of the Boston Club, a member of The Committee of 200, the Executive Table of the New England Women Business Owners, and International Women's Forum. Mrs. Silverman has been recognized by her peers in the business community for her business acumen and leadership abilities. In 1991, she was named "Businesswoman of the Year" by the New England Women Business Owners Association. Mrs. Silverman was honored by the New England Council with the receipt of the Women's Leadership Award in 1996, and by The United Way of Massachusetts Bay at the Women's Leadership Breakfast in 1997.

19th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (1999)

Irma B.Elder

Irma B. Elder

Owner Troy Ford, Jaguar-Saab and Aston Martin Lagonda of Troy

Troy, Michigan

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One of today's most dynamic businesswomen, Mrs. Elder's story is an inspiration to others. She was born in Mexico and came to the United States early in her teens not able to speak a word of English. She took over the Troy Ford auto dealership upon her husband, James Elder's death in 1983. Although she had experience in the auto industry prior to her marriage, Irma had devoted her time and considerable energy to raising her three children. After her husband's death, she continued to take care of her children and the Ford dealership, watching them all blossom over the years. Mrs. Elder is today not only the successful owner of Troy Ford, but also of Jaguar-Saab and Aston Martin of Troy (MI), Signature Lincoln-Mercury Jeep Eagle of Owosso (MI), and Jaguar Select Editions of Plymouth (MI). She has won many awards for her business achievements, including 1991 and 1992 Ford Motor Company Chairman's Awards for customer service and 1994 Michigan Women's Foundation Entrepreneur of the Year. Troy Ford ranks #6 in Hispanic Business Magazine's Top 500 Hispanic-owned corporations. Mrs. Elder belongs to many civic organizations in the Detroit area and serves on the Boards of Directors of the Detroit Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Club of Detroit, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Detroit Branch, among others. She has also been frequently honored for her many charitable associations. Her accomplishments have been recognized in USA Today, Cram's of Michigan, Working Woman Magazine, and numerous newspaper articles.

George T.Elmore

George T. Elmore

President and Owner Hardrives, Incorporated

Delray Beach, Florida

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George T. Elmore is Founder and President of Hardrives of Delray, Inc. a South Florida heavy construction firm, organized in 1953. From it's beginning as a small driveway contractor, Hardrives has grown with south Florida to include construction of major highway and site development projects. In partnership with affiliates, Mr. Elmore has also developed major residential and golf course communities throughout the area. Mr. Elmore estimates that, during the past 10 to 15 years, perhaps as much as 75% of his time has been committed to civic, education, and cultural organizations in the Palm Beach County area. He has served either as president or chairman of the Associated General Contractors of America (local and state chapters), Florida Atlantic University Foundation, WPBT Miami Public Television, Palm Beach County Council of the Arts, and Crisis Line and Informational Services of Palm Beach County. He is an board member of a great many organizations, including the Economic Council of Palm Beach County, Suntrust Banks of South Florida, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, Boy Scouts of America, United Way of Palm Beach County, Junior Achievement of South Palm Beach County, the Center for Creative Education, and Education Partnership, Inc. Mr. Elmore is a firm believer in the free enterprise system and is a recipient of the Palm Beach Post's John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Business Leader of the Year Award.

Louis J.Furlo, Sr.

Louis J. Furlo, Sr.

Chairman of the Board Morley Companies, Inc.

Saginaw, Michigan

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Lou Furlo began his career in his family's retail hardware store in Saginaw, Michigan. At the age of 28, he left the family business to join Morley Brothers, also of Saginaw, which was, at the time, one of the largest wholesale hardware distributors in the nation. He began in sales and proceeded to hold positions in marketing and advertising. As a territory manager in marketing and sales, Lou recognized the potential of the incentive/motivation business as a natural, high- volume ouflet for Morley merchandise. Acknowledging Lou's success with this endeavor, Morley formed the incentive Division in 1964. Lou was named vice president and general manager of the new group at the age of 36, and one year later was elected to the board of directors of Morley Brothers. in 1975, Lou became executive vice president, sales and marketing of the Morley Brothers Corporation and was elected president and chief executive officer in 1979. Mr. Furlo initiated the sale of the company in 1981, and the following year he and a group of investors repurchased the incentive Division of the company, renaming it Morley incentives, Inc. Lou became chairman and CEO. Several major corporations became clients of Morley incentives, including Buick, Cadillac, Pontiac, GMC, Oldsmobile, Delphi Automotive Systems, NAPA, Ford, Bausch & Lomb, General Electric, Kellogg, Prudential, Andersen Consulting, Kodak, Paine Webber, Whirlpool, ITT, Visa, R.L. Polk, Upjohn and Dow Chemical. In 1991, the Furlo family became the sole owners of the company and, in 1993, the name of the firm was changed to Morley Companies, Incorporated, to more accurately reflect the expanding character of the organization. The company currently comprises five operating divisions: Morley Travel, Morley Incentives, Morley Productions, Morley Direct, and Morley Research. As of 1998, Morley Companies is owned by Mr. Furlo's three sons. Lou remains chairman of the board.


Tom Harken

Owner Casa Ole of Beaumont & Louisiana, Inc. Crazy Jose's Patio and Cafe (Deceased)

Beaumont, Texas

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As a boy, Tom Harken spent a year in an iron lung as a victim of polio. More challenging still was the fact that he grew up illiterate, peddling vacuum cleaners door to door as a young man. With courage, determination, and the loving support of his wife, "Miss Melba," Tom has confounded those who thought him to be among the least likely to succeed. Today, he owns 11 restaurants and is in great demand as a motivational speaker. His message: "If I can do it, so can you." In 1992, along with a former Secretary of State, a business tycoon, a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, and a world-renowned poet, he received the Horatio Alger Award in Washington, D.C. Those "classmates" included Henry Kissinger, Wayne Huizenga, Clarence Thomas and Maya Angelou, among others. In addition to serving as vice president of that association, Mr. Harken serves on the boards of several national and international organizations, including religious, educational, and literacy groups. In over 125 speeches a year, Tom tells his patriotic and upbeat message of overcoming adversity. He has appeared on Good Morning America, Dr. Robert Schuller's popular Hour of Power television ministry, and the Rev. Jerry Falwell's Old-Time Gospel Hour. Tom was featured on the cover of Parade magazine in 1996. His autobiography, The Millionaire's Secret: Miss Melba and Me, was published late in 1998, and a movie of his life is in the works.


Lyda Hill

President Hill Development Company and Seven Falls Company

Dallas, Texas & Colorado Springs, Colorado

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Lyda Hill is an entrepreneur in both the for profit and the non profit sectors. In 1967 she founded Hill World Travel which was the largest travel agency in Dallas and one of the largest in the world when it was sold fifteen years later. She is President of two family businesses - Hill Development Company and Seven Falls Company which operate tourist attractions, a country club, and real estate developments in Texas and Colorado. Investments have included several start up ventures in the healthcare field as well as commercial real estate. The redevelopment of the historic Fort Worth Stockyards as a tourist attraction with extensive retail space received awards for Historic Preservation and the Best Real Estate project of 1992 in Fort Worth. Her most recent business venture is the creation of a public, private, non-profit venture - the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center in Colorado Springs. Lyda was named one of the Gazette's "Top Ten Women in Business in Colorado Springs." Business organizations and memberships include the Committee of 200 (an organization of America's top women business leaders), International Women's Forum, and Young President's Organization (where she was among the first 5 women in the organization). Miss Hill is an extraordinary volunteer and has been frequently honored for her support of educational, healthcare, and other charitable organizations including the Outstanding Volunteer in Texas.

Vincent J.Naimoli

Vincent J. Naimoli

Managing General Partner/CEO Tampa Bay Devil Rays Chairman, President and CEO Anchor Industries International, Inc.

St. Petersburg, Florida

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Mr. Naimoli began his career at Continental Group where he progressed through various management positions, eventually becoming a Vice President and General Manager of Continental Can Company with responsibilities for over $800 million in sales, operation of 52 plants, and employment in excess of 11,000 people. Through the late 70s he held senior management positions with Allegheny Beverage Corp. and Jim Walter Corp. Mr. Naimoli joined Anchor Hocking Corp. in 1981 as a Senior Vice President in the packaging division where, in 1983, he led a group of managers in the purchase of Anchor Glass Container Corp., a money-losing division of Anchor Hocking, where he became Chairman, President and CEO. Within a year, the company went from losing $12 million a year to making a profit. Through a series of acquisitions and productivity enhancements, market share and profitability continued to improve and in 1986, Anchor Glass went public. Additional acquisitions through 1987 resulted in Anchor briefly becoming the largest glass manufacturer in the U.S., ahead of Owens-Illinois. In that year, Forbes Magazine ranked Anchor Glass the nation's third most profitable company based on return on assets. After selling Anchor Glass in 1989, Mr. Naimoli created Anchor Industries International, Inc., an investment and consulting firm specializing in corporate turnarounds. This led, in turn, to his appointment as President/CEO of Harding Services. As part of his Harding overview, Mr. Naimoli became Chairman, President and CEO of various portfolio companies including Electrolux Corp. and accomplished turnarounds of various distressed companies. He then assumed similar turnaround positions with Doehler-Jarvis, Inc. (1991-95), Ladish Co, Inc. (1993-95) and Harvard Industries (1993-97). Most recently, Mr. Naimoli has, perhaps, become best known for his role in bringing major league baseball to Tampa, Florida. He served as managing General Partner and CEO of the Tampa Bay Baseball Group from 1992-94.

O. TempleSloan, Jr.

O. Temple Sloan, Jr.

Founder and Chairman General Parts, Inc.

Raleigh, North Carolina

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Temple Sloan is the Chairman of General Parts, Inc. of Raleigh, North Carolina, one of the nation's largest wholesale distributors of auto parts. Mr. Sloan founded the company in 1961 at the age of 21 while still a student at Duke University. Today, General Parts is a billion-dollar organization with more than 8,000 employees and more than 800 stores and is the supplier of an additional 1,250 owner operated stores which do business across the United States and Canada under the brand name "CarQuest." Mr. Sloan has been active in many professional, civic, educational, religious and other charitable organizations, both local and national. He is, or has served, on the Board of Directors of NationsBank Corporation, the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association, Inc. and the Greater Chamber of Commerce of Raleigh. Mr. Sloan is a trustee of St. Andrews College and Peace College, Presbyterian Homes, Inc. and Boys and Girls Homes, all in his home state. He is a member of Who's Who in America and has received the Distinguished Service Citation from the Automotive Hall of Fame. He has also been recognized for his contributions to the Boy Scouts and is active in his church. Mr. Sloan is an avid hunter and fisherman, activities which he enjoys pursuing on his cattle ranch in southwestern Montana.

Sidney D.Wolk

Sidney D. Wolk

Chairman and CEO The Cross Country Group

Boston, Massachusetts

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Sidney Wolk founded The Cross Country Group in 1972 after creating, building, and subsequently selling several other successful businesses. Among Sid's business objectives was the goal of creating a large national company that would become the recognized leader in its field. With The Cross Country Group, which is today the largest privately-held company of its type, he has successfully achieved that goal. CCG runs and operates multiple state-of-the-art telecommunications centers in Massachusetts, Arizona, Florida, Indiana and Texas serving Canada, the United States and Mexico. The Cross Country Group is the leading provider of private-label customer service programs in North America, operating through five business units, with approximately 2,000 associates. Cross Country helps more than 250 corporate clients in a range of industries to enhance customer acquisition and retention, improve customer service, and create new profit centers. CCG businesses include: Cross Country Automotive Services - the largest privately-held provider of roadside assistance and other automotive Global Positioning System (GPS) services in the United States (over 30 million motorists have access to Cross Country for services and benefits wherever they travel in North America, whenever they need it, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.) Before You Move - an information and marketing services company that helps corporate clients identify, acquire, and retain customers that are relocating. Cross Country Home Services - an administrator of home assistance and home warranty programs.

18th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (1998)

Gordon M.Bethune

Gordon M. Bethune

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Continental Airlines, Inc.

Houston, Texas

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Gordon Bethune is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Continental Airlines, Inc. Bethune joined the airline in February 1994 as President and Chief Operating Officer and became President and Chief Executive Officer in October 1994. Prior to joining Continental, Bethune was Vice President and General Manager of the Boeing Commercial Airplane Group's Renton Division, where he was responsible for the 737 and 757 airplanes. He had come to Boeing in 1988, and also had served as that company's Vice President and General Manager of the Customer Services Division. Prior to joining Boeing, Bethune held a number of senior management positions in commercial airlines, including Vice President Engineering and Maintenance for Braniff and Western Airlines, and Senior Vice President Operations for Piedmont Airlines. Additionally, he has served as a US Navy Aircraft Maintenance Officer. Bethune holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Abilene Christian University at Dallas, and is a 1992 graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program. He is a licensed commercial pilot, type rated on Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft, and the DC-3, and licensed as an airframe and power plant mechanic. Bethune is married and has three sons. “As a leader, you're only as good as the people you lead. You have to empower the people to make the best decisions that they can.”


Herman Cain

Chairman Godfather's Pizza, Inc. Chief Executive Officer & President National Restaurant Association

Omaha, Nebraska

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A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Herman Cain graduated from Morehouse College with a B.S. in Mathematics in 1967. He earned his Master's Degree in Computer Science from Purdue University in 1971. Following employment with the Navy and Coca-Cola, he joined The Pillsbury Company in 1977, rising to Vice President, Corporate Systems and Services in just three years. In 1982, Cain gave up that position to learn the restaurant business at Pillsbury's Burger King subsidiary. He was named Vice President and General Manager, responsible for the Philadelphia region, after nine months with Burger King. In less than three years, Mr. Cain turned the Philadelphia region into one of Burger King's best performing regions. In 1986, Mr. Cain was selected by Pillsbury to assume the presidency of the declining Godfather's Pizza subsidiary. He succeeded in turning around that company's performance in less than eighteen months. In 1988, he successfully led a group of Godfather's Pizza senior management in purchasing the pizza chain from The Pillsbury Company. In addition to chairing Godfather's, he is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Restaurant Association. Mr. Cain serves on several prestigious boards, including Nabisco, Inc.; SuperValu, Inc.; UtiliCorp United, Inc.; Whirlpool Corporation; and Edmonson Youth Outreach Program. He has received Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia; Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi; New York City Technical College, New York, New York; University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska; and Johnson and Wales University, Providence, Rhode Island. He is the recipient of the 1996 Horatio Alger Award, and the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association's Operator of the Year/Gold Plate Award in 1991. Mr. Cain served as a member of the “Economic Growth and Tax Reform Commission” established by Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader, Bob Dole, and chaired by Jack Kemp.

Eileen M.Friars

Eileen M. Friars

President NationsBank Card Services

Charlotte, North Carolina

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Eileen M. Friars is president of NationsBank Card Services in Charlotte. She is responsible for both the cardholder and merchant business. The Credit Card business has more than $9 billion in assets and 2,500 employees. Before assuming this role in January 1992, she was senior execu-tive vice president of Corporate Development for C&S/Sovran Corpo-ration in Norfolk, Va. Prior to that, Ms. Friars was senior vice president of The MAC Group, a strategy and general management consulting firm, from 1976 to 1990. While at The MAC Group, she was managing partner of the Chicago office and co-directed the firm's financial services practice. Also, Ms. Friars was a management associate at the Office of Management and Budget for the U.S. Government from 1974- 1976. Ms. Friars earned her BA in economics and government from Simmons College in Boston in 1972, and her MBA at Harvard Business School in 1974. Ms. Friars has been active in a variety of business and community organizations and serves on the MasterCard U.S. Region Business Committee. She is a member of the Simmons College Board where she co-chairs the Finance Committee, and she is president of the Charlotte Repertory Theatre. In the September 1994, American Banker, Ms. Friars was chosen as one of the 10 card-program executives who made an impact on their institution, their chosen market and their industry. In 1993, Ms. Friars was elected to the prestigious Committee of 200 (an international association of preeminent business women). She is currently a member of the Board. Ms. Friars has published several articles including, “Winning Strategies for Consolidation,” Bank Marketing Association, June, 1989; “Shape of the Future: Banking in 1991,” (with William T. Gregor), The MAC Group, 1987; and “Distribution: A Competitive Weapon,” (with William T. Gregor and Lucille Reid), The Bankers Magazine, May/June 1985. She is co-editor of Financial Services Handbook: Executive Insights and Solutions, John Wiley & Sons, 1987.

Richard M.Hartman

Richard M. Hartman

Senior Vice President ITT Sheraton Corporation. President North America Division (Retired)

Atlanta, Georgia

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Richard Hartman is Senior Vice President, ITT Sheraton Corpo-ration and President — North America Division. In this role, Mr. Hartman oversees the operations of nearly 60 hotels and resorts in ITT Sheraton's North America Division, including members of The Luxury Collection and upscale Sheraton Hotels and Resorts. Prior to his current position, Mr. Hartman served as Senior Vice President, ITT Sheraton Corporation, Director of Operations — North America Division. Previous to this position, he was Senior Vice Presi-dent, Director of Operations — Asia Pacific Division, where he was responsible for all phases of operations for the forty-one ITT Sheraton properties in China, the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the West Pacific and the South Pacific. Mr. Hartman was formerly Vice President and Area Manager in the company's former Hawaii/Far East & Pacific Division. He began his hospitality career with Sheraton in 1968 as Waiter, Cook, and Dining Room Manager at the Sheraton Moana Hotel in Honolulu. He later held General Manager positions at the Sheraton Kauai Hotel, the former Sheraton Volcano House in Hawaii, and Sheraton Hotels in Auckland and Rotorua, New Zealand. Born in Las Vegas, Nevada, Hartman was educated in Seattle, Geneva, Switzerland and Hawaii, and is a graduate of the University of Hawaii School of Travel Industry Management.

Jacques A.Nasser

Jacques A. Nasser

President - Ford Automotive Operations Ford Motor Company

Dearborn, Michigan

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Jacques A. Nasser is a Ford Motor Company executive vice president, president — Ford Automotive Operations, and chairman — Ford of Europe. Before election to his present position on November 1, 1996, Nasser was group vice president — Product Development, Ford Auto-motive Operations, a position he held since May 1, 1994. He was elected a Ford Motor Company vice president and chairman of the board of Ford of Europe on January 1, 1993, after several months in that operation. Nasser joined Ford of Australia in 1968 as a financial analyst and held a number of positions with Ford's international and U.S. operations. In 1973, he was transferred to the United States where he worked with Ford's North American Truck Operations and the company's Finance Staff. He returned to Australia in 1974 as manager — profit analysis, later becoming manager of the product programming and timing area. Since 1975, Nasser has worked in Ford's automotive operations around the world in a number of capacities. His global assignments included several executive positions with Ford's European, Asia-Pacific and Latin American operations. Among these were positions in the Philippines, Thailand, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil and Australia. He was also responsible for developing a business and operating plan for Ford's Hermosillo (Mexico) Assembly Plant in 1983 and developed and assisted in the negotiation of Ford's South African joint venture program in 1982. Nasser, who speaks English, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese, returned to Ford of Australia as president and chief executive officer in February 1990 and ran the company's operations in Australia until he became chairman of Ford of Europe in 1993. Born December 12, 1947, Mr. Nasser is an Australian citizen and graduated in Australia from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Tech-nology (RMIT).

Lowell W.

Lowell W. "Bud" Paxson

CEO and Chairman Paxson Communications Corp.

West Palm Beach, Florida

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Lowell “Bud” Paxson, CEO and Chairman of Paxson Communications Corporation, is a media industry pioneer whose broadcast career spans more than 40 years. Paxson's most notable achievement, to date, is the creation of PAXNET, the nation's seventh broadcast television network, scheduled to launch on August 31, 1998. As the owner of the nation's largest group of television stations, Paxson Communications has, including pending transactions and letters of intent, 66 full power UHF stations located in 19 of the top 20 markets and 44 of the top 50 markets and, including 7 low power television stations, offers distribution to approximately 63.1 million television households, or 67.6% of the U.S. television households. At its launch in August of 1998, Paxson expects PAXNET to reach 83% of all U.S. TV households, greater coverage at launch than any other network in history. Paxson grew up in Rochester, New York where, as a teenager, he held his first job in radio retrieving records and coffee for DJs. During his four years at Syracuse University he was a radio announcer at several local radio stations. The purchase of a radio station, WACK in Newark, New York, in 1954 marked the beginning of Paxson's experience as a station owner and provided a forum for Paxson to develop his signature innovative management style and marketing savvy. Recognizing the value of the broadcast airwaves as a direct sales medium, in 1977 Paxson began selling merchandise on a Florida AM radio station. Out of that experience grew the concept for the Home Shopping Network, which Paxson founded in 1982. By 1985, consumer response to electronic shopping was enthusiastic enough for Paxson to take Home Shopping Network national and create a public company, and in 1986, Paxson established the Silver King Communications group of broadcast television stations, growing the group to twelve stations, eight of which are in the top ten U.S. markets.

Edward J.Robson

Edward J. Robson

Chairman Robson Communities

Sun Lakes, Arizona

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Ed Robson, Chairman of Robson Communities, graduated with a degree in business and banking from Colorado College in Colorado Springs. After college, he played hockey for Team U.S.A. and was an alternate member of the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team. While in the U.S. Marine corps he was designated a naval aviator at Pensacola and served for five years as a helicopter pilot, attaining the rank of Captain. After leaving the Marines, Robson settled in Phoenix working as a salesman for Coldwell Banker and later as Director of Corporate Sales for the Del Webb Corporation. He started his first business in 1965, marketing resort homesites in Bullhead City, Arizona, and then developing the Pinewood Golf Community in Flagstaff, Arizona. In 1972 Robson acquired the original farmland that became Sun Lakes and embarked in a community development program which has grown rapidly into the largest privately held adult resort retirement community in the country. Robson Communities currently includes Sun Lakes, a 3500 acre community with over 10,000 residents; a 2100 acre community in Tucson called SaddleBrooke; SunBird, a 320 acre golf resort in Chandler; and PebbleCreek, 2200 acres in Goodyear which opened in the Fall of 1992. Robson employs more than 820 people and is listed as the 19th largest private company in Arizona. He was the 1993 Heart Ball Honorary Chairman who was instrumental in netting approximately $1,000,000. In 1994 he was the Chairman for the Phoenix Boys and Girls Club and remains active on their Board of Directors. In addition, he serves on a number of civic boards including the Board of Directors of Bank One Arizona N.A., St. Luke's Foundation, United for Arizona, American Heart Association and Chairman of the Cardiovascular Education Committee. The tennis program at the University of Arizona is named after his wife LaNelle. In 1994 he was inducted into his High School Hall of Fame in Arlington, Massachusetts. In 1993 he was selected by Arizona State University as Entrepreneur of the year.


Muriel Siebert

Founder and President Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc. (Deceased)

New York, New York

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Muriel “Mickie” Siebert is the founder and president of Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc. She established the firm in 1967 when she became the first woman member of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and transformed it into a discount brokerage house on May 1, 1975. Today, the New York City-based firm has offices in Florida, New Jersey, Texas, Michigan, Seattle and California, as well as a growing capital markets division. Muriel Siebert & Co. is the only woman-owned NYSE brokerage firm with a national presence. Ms. Siebert took a leave of absence from her firm in 1977 to serve five years as the first woman Superintendent of Banking for the State of New York under Governor Hugh Carey. Prior to becoming a member of the NYSE in 1967, Ms. Siebert worked for several different securities firms, including as a partner with Finkel & Co. and Brimberg & Co. Although she never graduated from college, she has received ten honorary doctoral degrees. She is currently on the boards of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Business Committee), The New York State Business Council, the Guild Hall Museum and the Greater New York Council of the Boy Scouts of America. She was the first woman to serve as a director of the Manhattan Savings Bank and chair the general campaign of the Greater New York Council of the Boy Scouts of America. She was recently appointed to the New York State Commission on Judicial Nomination for a 4-year term. Ms. Siebert has received countless awards and honors throughout her career, including the first woman selected as “one who has made a difference” for the Working Women's Hall of Fame. In 1994 she was inducted into the International Women's Forum Hall of Fame, the National Women's Hall of Fame and The Ohio Women's Hall of Fame. She was recently selected by The Athena Foundation to receive their highest award. In addition, she was selected by Hale House to receive the 1997 Mother Hale Award for Caring.


Shirley Young

Vice-President- China Strategic Development General Motors Corporation

Detroit, Michigan

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Shirley Young was elected Vice President for China Strategic Development and Counselor for Asia Pacific Operations on April 1, 1996. Prior to this, she was Vice President, Consumer Market Development for General Motors Corporation, since June 1, 1988. For the previous five years, she had been a Marketing Consultant to GM, consulting across the GM operating Divisions and Staffs. Prior to that, she spent over 25 years at Grey Advertising. Her work involved strategic marketing and communications for a broad spectrum of companies in a wide range of fields, including food and beverage, drugs and household products, cosmetics and fashion, automotive, appliances, airlines, retail and the U.S. Government. Having started in marketing research, Ms. Young built her reputation on understanding consumer motivations and behavior. Moving through various marketing positions, Ms. Young was Executive Vice President and a member of the Agency Policy Council, and in 1983, became President of Grey Strategic Marketing. Ms. Young serves, or has served, on the boards of many prominent corporate, educational, and cultural organizations, both in the United States and in her native China. Ms. Young has received many awards for outstanding efforts in marketing and advertising. She was named Advertising Woman of the Year by the American Advertising Federation, and received the Women's Equity Action Award for Achievement in Advertising. She received the Catalyst Award for Outstanding Corporate Director, was named 1987 Woman of the Year by the Chinese American Planning Council and received a 1989 Director's Choice Award from the National Women's Economic Alliance. Ms. Young is a founding member of the Committee of 200, an international organization of leading businesswomen. “It is essential that we respect the differences of perspective in every place that we work. In other words, we have to make sure that we are not always convinced that our way is the only way.”

William B.Ziff, Jr.

William B. Ziff, Jr.

Ziff Brothers Investments (Deceased)

New York, New York

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William B. Ziff, Jr. was born on June 24, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois. He joined Ziff-Davis Publishing Company in 1953 upon the death of his father. After a two year apprenticeship, he assumed control of the company in 1955 at age 25. At the time, the company published Popular Photography, Modern Bride and Popular Electronics with revenues under $5 million. Over the next 15 years, Ziff revitalized Flying and Car & Driver, launched Boating and Stereo Review; and acquired Skiing, Yachting and Cycle. By 1970, each of these special interest magazines was first in its field in paid circulation, advertising pages and advertising revenue. In the mid-1970s, Ziff founded a Business Publications Division, comprised of Travel Weekly, Hotel & Travel Index, Meetings and Conventions, and Official Hotel Resort Guide as well as World Aviation Directory and Business and Commercial Aviation. In the mid-1980s, Ziff sold 24 of the company's consumer and business titles, retaining only computer titles including PC Magazine. CBS purchased the bulk of the special interest magazines for $362 million; News America (Rupert Murdoch) bought the trade publications for $350 million. Ziff-Davis soon became the leading publisher of computer magazines in the United States and Europe. In 1991, The Magazine Publishers of Ameria honored Ziff with the magazine industry's highest distinction, the Henry Johnson Fisher Award. Reginald K. Brack, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Time Warner Publishing, said at the award ceremony, “Bill Ziff is legendary among us for many reasons, not the least of which is his double-barreled success. It's tough enough, as we all know, to succeed in this business, but Bill has done something most of us will never be able to claim. In fact, he's done it twice; he's built not one, but two extraordinary publishing enterprises — and that's just so far.” He retired in November 1993 and in 1994 Ziff-Davis Publishing Company and the parent company Ziff Communications were sold.

17th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (1997)

Lambert E.Althaver

Lambert E. Althaver

Chairman, President & CEO Walbro Corporation (Retired)

Cass City, Michigan

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Long considered by many as one of the outstanding corporate managers, Lambert E. Althaver, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Walbro Corporation also has a 35 year history of volunteerism and community service. In his forty plus years with Walbro, he has risen through the ranks steadily, holding numerous positions. In 1982 he became CEO and in 1987 took on the additional role as chairman. He has overseen the manufacturing of high precision, environmentally responsible fuel system products for the global automotive and outdoor power equipment markets. Mr. Althaver coordinates subsidiaries and joint ventures throughout the world including Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan and China. He never forgets his responsibilities to home, Cass City, Michigan. There he has served as Mayor of the Village, Chairman of the Economic Development Corporation, Board Member of the Boy Scouts and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Michigan Jobs Commission. “There is no doubt that the pace of change is greater today than ever before, and a business must…reflect these changes or it will not survive."

Gordon A.Cain

Gordon A. Cain

Chairman of the Board Sterling Chemicals, Inc. (Retired) (Deceased)

Houston, Texas

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The words “caring entrepreneur” seem to fit Gordon A. Cain like a comfortable pair of slippers. He is one of those special individuals that build and define companies by increasing operational efficiencies and encouraging employees improved performance through ownership of the companies and participation in profit-sharing plans. Mr. Cain is currently Chairman of the Board of Sterling Chemicals, Inc. He co-founded The Sterling Group in 1982, a merchant banking firm which specializes, sponsors and invests in leveraged acquisitions primarily in the petro-chemical industry. A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and a graduate of LSU with a degree in chemical engineering, he spent his early years at Merck & Co. and Freeport Sulphur Company. After combat service in World War II, Mr. Cain returned to the chemical industry helping to organize Petro-Tex Chemicals and managed Conoco's operations until 1970. Mr. Cain is a member of the American Society of Chemical Engineers, a director of the CATO Institute and the National Center for Policy Analysis. In recognition of his outstanding contributions to our world's scientific community, Mr. Cain received the Winthrop-Sears Medal for outstanding entrepreneurial endeavors in 1988, and in 1990, the John Fritz Medal for industry leadership. He is also an inductee into the Texas Business Hall of Fame. “Hang loose and don't sweat the small stuff.”


Jerry Colangelo

President and CEO Phoenix Suns; Managing General Partner Arizona Diamondbacks

Phoenix, Arizona

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Highly regarded for his ability to accomplish difficult challenges, Jerry Colangelo, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Phoenix Suns NBA basketball team, has climbed the ladder of success one rung at a time. As a young college basketball player at the University of Illinois, he earned all Big 10 honors, averaging fifteen points per game. He was the captain of the team and later was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame. Mr. Colangelo began his business career as Director of Merchandising and Head Scout for the Chicago Bulls in 1966. He eventually became president and general manager. He assumed the GM position with the Phoenix Suns in 1968 and in 1987 he led a group that purchased the franchise and became president and CEO. Colangelo's vision of a sports arena for Phoenix became a shining reality in 1992. Under his direction and management, America West Arena is the centerpiece of the downtown revitalization process of Phoenix. Consistently recognized for his commitment to do all he can for his franchise and his community, Mr. Colangelo serves on the Board of Governors of the NBA Finance Committee and Long Range Planning Committee as well as The Honors Committee of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. His commitment to the relationship between business and the arts has placed him on the Board of Directors of the Phoenix Art Museum, Southwest Leadership Foundation, and Big Brothers organization. He was recognized in 1990 as the Phoenix Entrepreneur of the Year. “One of the things that I've felt was very, very important in my life was keeping a balance and keeping priorities in place. We can talk about achievements, they come and they go. Fortunes are made and fortunes are lost, but I do believe if you maintain the right balance, you have a better chance to have a successful life. In my case, it's a matter of prioritizing what's most important to me. And that is my faith, my family, and then business."

Linnet F.Deily

Linnet F. Deily

Chairman, President & CEO First Interstate Bank of Texas Currently: President Schwab Retail Group Charles Schwab & Company

Houston, Texas

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Linnet F. Deily is Enterprise President of Schwab Institutional -Services for Investment Managers of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. In this position, she oversees extensive trading, custodial and support services for independent, fee-compensated Investment Managers. This unit now serves more than 5,000 investment managers, whose clients total more than $100 billion in assets in custody at Schwab — almost one-third of the company's total customer assets. Ms. Deily came to Schwab in October, 1996 from First Interstate Bank of Texas, where she was Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. The $6.8 billion institution had 123 branches throughout Texas employing 3,100 people. She was also responsible for line management of First Interstate Bancorp's branches throughout the Western United States as well as for the corporation's government affairs. Ms. Deily began her banking career in 1974 with the Republic National Bank of Dallas, joining First Interstate in 1981 as Vice President of First Interstate Bancorp. She subsequently held leadership positions for First Interstate Bank of California and was named Executive Vice President in 1987. Business Week named her one of the five most senior women in American banking and one of the top fifty women in business in the United States. She just completed service on the nine-member Board of Regents of the University of Texas System and continues to serve on the Board of Directors of Houston Industries, and has been active in many other civic and charitable undertakings in the Houston area. A fourth generation Texan, Ms. Deily received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from the University of Texas in Austin in 1967 and received her Master of Arts degree in International Management from the University of Texas at Dallas in 1976. The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE: SCH), through its principal operating subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., is one of the nation's largest financial services firms.

J. NelsonFairbanks

J. Nelson Fairbanks

President and CEO United States Sugar Corporation

Clewiston, Florida

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Imagine if you can, being the President and CEO of a major corporation that is employee owned, and that as the CEO, you spear-headed the plan in which the employees became the owners. J. Nelson Fairbanks has been President and CEO of United States Sugar Corporation for the past nine years. Since 1978 he has functioned in various positions including vice-president of corporate development and senior vice president. Not only did he institute the Employee Stock Ownership Plan, which placed the largest block of ownership in the hands of employees, his leadership saw the company acquire vegetable acreage, substantially increased primary sugar production, and developed and built Southern Gardens Citrus Processing enabling the company to process more than ten million boxes of fruit per season. Mr. Fairbanks' tireless devotion to environmental issues led the company to support the 1994 Everglades Forever Act and he implemented a program of “on-farm” water quality improvement that has successfully reduced nutrient discharge by 68% in 1996. His leadership also produced the largest and most sophisticated private agricultural research facility in the United States. Through his involvement in the community, Mr. Fairbanks has exemplified to his employee owners what is important … to serve others, instill values and support just causes. Nelson serves as a director for many organizations including the Florida Council of 100, Florida Sugar Cane League and the Florida Council on Economic Education. United States Sugar is one of the nations largest producers of sugar cane, oranges and juice products and is headquartered in Clewiston, Florida. Nelson and his wife have two children and are extremely active in the community. “A high quality education in the context of free enterprise and entrepreneurship, rooted in Judeo-Christian ethics, and an appreciation of the creative spirit should, in my opinion, be guideposts for all education institutions.”

Ann H.Gaither

Ann H. Gaither

Chair The J.H. Heafner Company, Inc

Newton, North Carolina

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Consistently ranked as one of America's Top 50 Women Business Owners, Ann Heafner Gaither, Chairperson of The J.H. Heafner Company, combines her skills as a former teacher with her ability to just get things done. Mrs. Gaither began her ascension to the top of the company as a marketing planner in 1974 and by the early 1980's was coordinating the overall performance of the company. Today, Heafner Tires & Products, along with Regul Tires, operates locations nationally and internationally and is widely respected for service and product quality. Her willingness to serve her fellow man is well known. Ann is a member of the prestigious Committee of 200 and serves on the Board of Directors for NationsBank and on the Governor's Business Council on the Arts and Humanities, the Federal Reserve Bank of Charlotte, Western Girl Scouts Council and the North Carolina Department of Transportation Board. She is married to Albert and they have four children and six grandchildren. She still finds time to enjoy her first real passion, singing, and manages to teach occasionally. “All of us stand on the shoulders of those who went before us, and we also stand on the shoulders of those with whom we work.”

Bruce T.Halle

Bruce T. Halle

Chairman and CEO Discount Tire Company, Inc.

Scottsdale, Arizona

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In 1960, Bruce T. Halle found himself standing in an empty building with six tires (2 new and 4 recaps) and some miscellaneous parts. He had no job, little to no credit and had three children and a wife to take care of. Today, thirty-six years later, Discount Tire Company, Inc., has nearly 300 stores with over $700 million in sales. As Chairman and CEO, Mr. Halle is projecting a goal of 500 stores and one billion dollars in revenues for America's largest independent tire company. A strong believer in servicing the customer with “people who care about people”, Bruce credits his dedicated, enthusiastic and knowledgeable employees for driving the company. Along with his wife, Diane, the Halle's have been ardent supporters of the arts, including the Phoenix Art Museum and the symphonies of Scottsdale and Phoenix. They continue to be involved with their community by supporting the Arizona Boys & Girls Clubs, Muscular Dystrophy Association, and Homeward Bound. “Don't be guilty of dreaming small, dream big and force yourself to achieve.”

Mylle B.Mangum

Mylle B. Mangum

Executive Vice President Strategic Planning Holiday Inn Worldwide

Atlanta, Georgia

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From teaching gifted children in Syracuse, New York to presiding over the prestigious Committee of 200 or speaking to the World Economic Forum in Beijing, China, Mylle Bell Mangum is equally comfortable and eminently qualified. As Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning for Holiday Inn Worldwide, she is responsible for developing Holiday Inn's growth strategy and investment relative to strategic goals in Asia, The Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. A graduate of Emory University, Mylle taught gifted children in the New York School System prior to signing on with General Electric where she developed and integrated marketing systems for distribution. That led her to BellSouth Corporation where she moved from assistant vice president of new ventures to being named first president of BellSouth International and ultimately director of corporate planning and development. Her range of activities is as varied as her professional career. Besides her Committee of 200 involvement, Mrs. Mangum is a board member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Children's Wish Foundation, Reynolds Metals Company and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. “One of our students this afternoon asked how it felt to have arrived and to be there. You have to say that you never arrive, you are never there. It is a continual journey with the excitement of learning and the excitement of accomplishment.”

James M.Moran

James M. Moran

Chairman of the Board JM Family Enterprises, Inc. (Deceased)

Deerfield Beach, Florida

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Look under "pioneer" in the dictionary and it will depict Jim Moran, of the automobile industry. For over five decades, Jim Moran, Chairman of the Board of JM Family Enterprises has been one of the automobile industry's most revered and respected figures. From modest beginnings on the North Side of Chicago, Jim Moran saved $360 to buy a Sinclair Gas Station and turned it into the highest-volume and most profitable Sinclair Station in Chicago. Next, he purchased a Hudson dealership and turned it into the top dealership for Hudson for over ten years. Eventually, he received a Ford franchise and founded Courtesy Ford. Just thirty days after, it was recognized as the world's largest Ford dealership. Jim's quest for innovation and customer satisfaction led him to become the first dealer in the nation to advertise on television. His vision also led him to do something years ahead of it's time... he equipped his cars with seat belts at no charge to the customers. Time magazine has had only one automobile dealer on it's cover - Jim. Jim Moran retired to Florida in the late 1960's after being diagnosed with melanoma cancer. He overcame the disease and went on to build JM Family Enterprises. Today it is the world's largest independent distributors of Toyota vehicles and is a family affair with his wife, daughter and grandchildren taking active roles. His devotion to his fellow man, especially children, is legendary. He founded the Youth Automotive Training Center to train at-risk youth in automotive repair skills and academic education. Jim is a Founding Board Member of the Boggy Creek Gang Camp dedicated to helping chronically ill children and a litany of charities almost too many to list. "The future belongs to those who prepare for it."

John F.Smith, Jr.

John F. Smith, Jr.

Chairman, CEO and President General Motors Corporation

Detroit, Michigan

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Ideally, the person that runs America's largest and most profitable corporation, General Motors, would have a comprehensive understanding of the automobile industry. John F. Smith, Jr., Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of GM, is just such a person. Since 1961, Mr. Smith has ascended the corporate ladder of the company, from the Fisher Body facility in his home state of Massachusetts to comptroller of GM in 1980 to President of GM Canada in 1984. Overseeing European operations in the late 1980's, his pragmatic approach to new products and customers resulted in further growth and profits. He has functioned as the CEO and President since 1992 and became Chairman on New Year's Day of 1996. His tireless devotion to community projects finds him on numerous boards such as Detroit Renaissance, Economic Club of Detroit, United Way and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Mr. Smith is also a member of the Procter and Gamble Company Board of Directors and Chairman of the Government Regulation Task Force. The daily challenges of running the number one company of the Fortune 500 appears to be in the most experienced hands GM has. “Individuals can always make a difference, but when it comes to changing and refocusing an organization the size of General Motors, not much happens without the full commitment of the entire team.”

16th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (1996)

John Y.Brown, Jr.

John Y. Brown, Jr.

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Roasters Corporation Current: Entrepreneur

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida & Lexington, Kentucky

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Nationally noted as an innovative entrepreneur and businessman, former Governor of Kentucky, John Y. Brown is truly the consummate American businessman. His remarkable ability to spot consumer trends in the food industry has led to the tremendous success of the international chain of wood roasted chicken restaurants known as Kenny Rogers Roasters. As founder and CEO, and in conjunction with recording star and longtime friend, Kenny Rogers, Mr. Brown has spearheaded his company to an annual sales average of $1 million per unit, higher than any other chicken restaurant chain. Coincidently, he first made his mark in the restaurant franchise industry by recognizing the appeal of fast fried chicken during the 60's and made “the colonel” famous. As co-owner of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Inc., he established an international reputation by building KFC into the world's largest fast food service company, even bigger than McDonald's, before selling in 1971. In addition to Roasters, since 1990 Brown has also founded and helped develop Miami Subs, Chicken By George, and Roadhouse Grill. As Governor of Kentucky from 1979 to 1983, he reduced the budget by 22 percent and brought record commerce to the state. His work brought him the Democrat of the Year award and was made lifetime Honorary Treasurer of the Democratic Party. He has also been an owner of two professional basketball teams — the Boston Celtics, and the Kentucky Colonels. “To be successful in business, you must believe in yourself, stick with it, and when necessary, build on the footprints of failure.”

Robert J.Eaton

Robert J. Eaton

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Chrysler Corporation

Highland Park, Michigan

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This Kansas bred, soft spoken, shirt sleeve engineer is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chrysler Corporation. He joined Chrysler in 1992 as Vice-Chairman and Chief Operating Officer after a 25 year career with General Motors, where he is credited with playing a significant role in the creation of the Saturn model. The son of a railroad worker and a beautician bought his first car at age 11 (a Chevy) for $10 and spent another $15 to make it run. He obtained a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Kansas in 1963. His pragmatic approach to management helped to propel his way to the top of GM's management team, heading all European operations in 1988. Mr. Eaton is a director of the American Automobile Manufacturers Association, as well as a member of the President's Advisory Committee on Trade Policy. He is involved as a director with Detroit Renaissance, United Way of Michigan, Detroit Symphony and is a member of the board of directors of International Paper Company. Chrysler earnings rose to $3.7 billion with sales of $52.2 billion in 1994, both far above previous records. Mr. Eaton credits the company emphasis of empowering employees and project team members with the responsibility of the assignment. As a result, every single vehicle manufactured since Mr. Eaton arrived at Chrysler has come in below it's total investment projection and its cost-per-car target. “Even for leaders, there really is joy in being part of something larger than self. For me, that means being part of a team working together to accomplish a common goal.”

David R.Holmes

David R. Holmes

Chairman of the Board, President Chief Executive Officer Reynolds+Reynolds Corporation

Dayton, Ohio

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Intensity and hard work are words that first come to mind about David Holmes, Chairman and CEO of Reynolds+Reynolds. Since joining the company in 1984, his continuous “nose to the grindstone” approach has made Reynolds+Reynolds more customer oriented than the competition as well as more innovative. As President of the Computer Systems Division, he led the development of a system that allowed automobile dealerships to integrate information from 1000 individual workstations, combining daily transaction reports from multiple locations. Educated at Stanford and Northwestern University, he began his business career at General Foods, managing the Jell-0 products division. He has held executive management positions at Nabisco Brands and General Electric. Mr. Holmes is continually active with his community, serving on numerous boards and committees. He chaired the 1992 Dayton United Way campaign and is a trustee of the Performing Arts Fund, the YMCA and the St. Elizabeth Medical Foundation. His level-headed approach to business … ”growth through product diversification, good value for the price and never look to increase business by raising prices,” promises that Reynolds+Reynolds will continue as one of America's leading corporations. “Reynolds & Reynolds has seen Northwood graduates in management positions at our customer dealerships, and we've hired many within our own company. It's no accident that their graduates are well prepared.”

Victoria B.Jackson

Victoria B. Jackson

President and Chief Executive Officer DSS/ProDiesel, Inc.

Nashville, Tennessee

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Beneath the graceful and elegant look of this former fashion model lies a creative, decisive mind that constantly strives for maximizing opportunities to increase her company's growth. Forced to take over her father's company upon his untimely death, Victoria, still a few days short of graduating from Belmont University, astonished family and friends by buying the outstanding shares of DSS and assumed her place as CEO. Today, DSS/Pro Diesel, Inc. is considered one of the leading sales and manufacturing companies for diesel parts in the world. Victoria has been the recipient of countless awards and honors, including being named one of the top five business women in America in 1985. Ms. Jackson is a board member of Shoney's and a past director of the Federal Reserve Board in Atlanta. She was appointed by the Governor to the State Alcoholic Beverage Commission and serves on the prestigious Committee of 200 and is heavily involved in community organizations. As President and Chief Executive Officer, Victoria B. Jackson has guided DSS/Pro Diesel through the ups and downs of the trucking and farming industries, doubling the number of employees and pushed the company to a 185% increase in sales growth. Now in over thirty states and seven foreign countries, she continues to begin new ventures, develop new products and remains at the top of the diesel industry. “I believe that when God shuts a door, He opens many windows.”

Herbert D.Kelleher

Herbert D. Kelleher

Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer Southwest Airlines, Inc.

Dallas, Texas

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Often termed outrageous as well as brilliant, Herb Kelleher, Chairman, President and CEO of Southwest Airlines is one of America's best examples of a leader. Educated at Wesleyan University, where he was student body president and an outstanding athlete, he then obtained a law degree with honors from New York University. Hired as outside counsel in 1966 by Southwest founder Rollin King, he became so enamored with the company that he bought an early interest and became it's President in 1978. His leadership defies what other established airlines have done over the last 15 years. Utilizing only one kind of aircraft, the Boeing 737 and refusing to link up with computer reservation systems by travel agents have made Southwest the best “performer” in the industry. It has made a profit for twenty one straight years and was the only carrier to make a profit in 1992. Mr. Kelleher's outstanding accomplishments as an entrepreneur, statesman, and business leader have resulted in numerous awards, culminating in being recognized by Fortune Magazine as CEO of the Year in 1994. He is married to Joan and they have four children and two grandchildren. “Think long, not short term, and realize that ethics, morality, conscience and core values, not expediency, are the keys to prolonged success.”

Robert C.McNair

Robert C. McNair

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Cogen Technologies, Inc.

Houston, Texas

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As a trustee of the Sam Houston Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Robert McNair exemplifies their basic mission … to serve others, instill values and make ethical choices in life. A graduate of the University of South Carolina where he served as President of the Student Body, Mr. McNair, responding to legislation of the early 70's, founded Cogen Technologies. It is the largest privately owned cogeneration developers in the United States and is among the top five companies of this type in the world. He is continuing to develop projects to provide both electricity and thermal energy utilizing a simple formula of one fuel source providing two separate sources of energy. Much of Mr. McNair's time is dedicated to his community where he functions as a trustee for the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston Grand Opera, Museum of Fine Arts and is the Chairman of the Free Enterprise Institute and Founder and Chairman of the Robert and Janice McNair Educational Foundation. A devoted family man, he has four children and five grandchildren, and he and his wife Janice work tirelessly through their foundation to provide opportunities for at-risk young people to assist them in a more productive life. “I believe that the way we help society in the most productive way is to create an economic opportunity for those less fortunate than we are.”

Marilyn CarlsonNelson

Marilyn Carlson Nelson

Vice Chair Carlson Holdings, Inc. Carlson Parkway Current: President, CEO & Vice Chair Carlson Companies, Inc.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

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A second generation American of Swedish ancestry, Marilyn C. Nelson has direct management responsibility for one of the largest privately held corporations in the world, employing over 100,000 people with annual sales of more than $10 billion. One of our nation's most active proponents of healthcare reform, Marilyn graduated with honors from Smith College in international economics and today is Vice Chair of Carlson Holdings, Inc. Her first job was as a securities analyst with Paine Webber. There she flourished and her management skills and decision making qualities prompted her to begin working part-time for her father's Gold Bond Stamp Company. She functioned as the company's community relations and marketing director. In 1971, her business acumen sent her into business for herself when, along with her sister Barbara, they bought a full service bank in Minnesota. She has served as working Chairman since 1975 and now runs an additional bank in Montgomery. Her volunteerism is legendary throughout Minnesota and the United States. Supporting the United Way of America as past president and in 1984 became the first woman to Chair a United Way annual fund drive in a major city — Minneapolis — and succeeded in raising an unprecedented $28.8 million. A positive thinker and master organizer, she is on numerous boards of major corporations, including Exxon and U.S. West, Inc. Her capacity for creativity and enthusiasm places her in high demand as a speaker, motivating others to succeed. “If you hope to succeed in the 21st century you must build on Northwood's foundation through continuing self-education. And that self-education should not be narrowly restricted to your field, but broad and deep.”

Richard D.O'Connor

Richard D. O'Connor

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Campbell-Ewald Advertising Chairman DOD Enterprises Ltd. (Deceased)

Warren and Birmingham, Michigan

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As one of the most respected Chief Executive Officer's in America, Richard O'Connor is regarded by all who know him as a consummate communicator. His enthusiasm for challenges was evident when he joined Campbell-Ewald in 1956 as a trainee on the Chevrolet account. As one of the world's most prestigious advertising agencies, Campbell-Ewald recognized “Dick's” ability to provide solutions and ideas, and by 1976, he was named President and Chief Operating Officer. An alumni of the University of Michigan, Mr. O'Connor serves on the Board of Directors of the Advertising Educational Foundation, former Director of the American Association of Advertising Agencies and is a Constituent Director of the Advertising Council. His community service is legendary, especially as a trustee for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the Menninger Foundation and the United States Space Foundation. After nearly forty years on the job, Dick is currently preparing his international agency to provide solutions for his customers to keep pace with the worldwide communication network. His energy and commitment to excellence remain the single most important factor in his business career. “Northwood University embodies the principles of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and everything that's important to all of us in America in the free enterprise system.”

Dian GravesOwen

Dian Graves Owen

Chairman Owen Healthcare, Inc. Mansefeldt Investment Corp. Dian Graves Owen Foundation

Abilene, Texas

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Consistently recognized as one of the top business women in America, Dian Owens' easy going style, combined with her ability to trust and empower employees has propelled Mrs. Owen to head the nations leading provider of hospital pharmacy management services. Along with her late husband, Jean, she founded Owen Healthcare in 1969, knowing that the concept of managing an in-house pharmacy was practically unheard of in the field. Dian's role was to promote sales and market their services to other hospitals. By 1976, 24 hospitals were contracting with Owen Healthcare, She was able to fend off many suitors who attempted to buy out her up-and-coming company. The gross revenues have risen more than 25% annually, from $6.6 million in 1976 to about $320 million in 1994. Dian's company has over 2,000 employees who service over 500 hospital agreements in 41 states. Her tireless devotion to her community of Abilene, Texas has led to her appointment as chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors for First National Bank, Petroleum Club, Muscular Dystrophy, the Committee of 200 and scores of others. Her gentle style of management and belief that her success is tied to her employees abilities has propelled Owen Healthcare into the top echelon of America's best managed companies. “I'm beginning to think that entrepreneur may be synonymous with unemployed, because so many of us start in desperation, out of money, with a very good idea.”

John H.Perry, Jr.

John H. Perry, Jr.

Chairman of the Board Energy Partners, Inc. (Deceased)

West Palm Beach, Florida

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Not available at this time.

15th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (1995)


J. P. Bolduc

President and Chief Executive Officer W.R. Grace & Company - Boca Raton, Florida Current: Chairman and Chief Executive Officer JPB Enterprises, Inc.

Columbia, Maryland

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J. P. Bolduc was elected President and Chief Executive Officer of W.R. Grace in 1993 after the retirement of J. Peter Grace. Mr. Bolduc joined Grace in 1983 as a senior vice president. In 1986 he was named chief financial officer, elected a vice chairman of the company, and was named president and chief operating officer in 1990. Listed in Fortune 500 as the 83rd largest company, W.R. Grace & Company is the world's largest specialty chemicals company and is also a leading provider of health care services including the world's largest provider of kidney dialysis services, Grace's National Medical Care Unit. The Company's operations include more than 190 plants, 160 offices, 830 sales units and 70 warehouses spread throughout the 48 states, and in more than 50 countries of North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Mr. Bolduc serves as chairman and director of numerous educational, civic and government boards and commissions. A graduate of St. Cloud State University, he received his alma mater's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1993. He served as a presidential appointee for the U.S. Department of Agriculture under Presidents Nixon and Ford and served as Chief Operating Officer for President Reagan's Private Sector Survey on Cost Control from 1982 to 1984. Currently, he serves as a director on several private and public corporations. “America's great power is the freedom of the individual, under our great free enterprise system, to be whatever he or she wants.”

Jerry K.Brown

Jerry K. Brown

President and Chairman of the Board Brown Bunyan Moon & More, Inc. (Retired)

Glendale, California

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Jerry K. Brown, an entrepreneur and the epitome of the American Dream, started a commercial retail environmental design firm, in 1970, with two partners after grasping various skills from painting signs with his father in East St. Louis, Illinois where he grew up. Through Brown Bunyan Moon & More (BBM&M) Mr. Brown created a niche using a unique, total concept marketing strategy, before others even thought of it, by mixing merchandising trends, architectural elements and interior design into one single entity. Through these processes and economic innovation, technological advancements with computer aided design led BBM&M even further into a design/build theory affording his clients tremendous national and international marketing power. In recent years, he has concentrated on other entrepreneurial avenues by founding Olympic Development an affordable housing development. Never losing sight of his meager beginnings, Mr. Brown takes every opportunity to help support many charities and fully understands that philanthropic gestures are as much a part of the American Dream as his business achievements. “People make the wheels of industry go round; in fact, they make the world go round.”

J. KermitCampbell

J. Kermit Campbell

President and Chief Executive Officer Herman Miller, Inc.

Zeeland, Michigan

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Before joining Herman Miller, Inc., Mr. Campbell had been with the Dow Corning Corporation. He joined Dow Corning in 1960 as the Manager of New Products Research; became Technical Director for the European Area; Vice President and General Manager of Fluids, Resins, and Process Industries Business; and Vice President for Personnel, Communications and Governmental Affairs. In 1987, he was elected to serve as Group Vice President. In 1992, he joined Herman Miller as the President and Chief Executive Officer. Originally from Kansas, Mr. Campbell graduated from the University of Kansas and received an advanced degree from M.I.T. He has current affiliations on many civic and educational boards including Hope College, the American Institute of Architecture Foundation, Grand Rapids Opera Board, and the Henry Ford Museum. He chairs the Michigan Cities in Schools Board of Directors and was previous chair for the State of Michigan Partnerships in Education Task Force. “We must join hands and together find real and lasting solutions to our severe societal ills.”

John W.Fisher

John W. Fisher

Chairman Emeritus Ball Corporation (Deceased)

Muncie, Indiana

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John W. Fisher joined the Ball Corporation in 1941 as a trainee. After several years in various manufacturing assignments, he was named vice president of Manufacturing and in 1954 became vice president of Sales. In 1963, Mr. Fisher was elected a corporate vice president and in 1970, was named president and chief executive officer. He was then elected chairman and chief executive officer in 1978. After his retirement in 1981 as chief executive officer, he remained chairman of the board until 1986. With a degree in Business from the University of Tennessee, his home state, he received his Masters degree from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. Through his various positions with Ball Corporation, he became active with the National Association of Manufacturers and has since become a life member. He continues to serve on the boards of many companies and is a past director of several others, including the New York Stock Exchange. The recipient of numerous honorary degrees, Mr. Fisher remains involved with the Associated Colleges of Indiana, University of Tennessee, DePauw University, The Muncie Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Community Chest and the Commission for Higher Education. “The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlive it.”


Carolee Friedlander

President and Chief Executive Officer Carolee Designs, Inc.

Greenwich, Connecticut

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Carolee Designs, Inc., headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut, was founded by Carolee Friedlander in 1972. An entrepreneur to the core, she has been providing retailers — and women — with the highest quality fashion jewelry. Because of her business acumen and creativeness, she is legendary in the jewelry and retailing world for anticipating changing markets and styles. Between her corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility in Greenwich and a sales office located in New York City, Mrs. Friedlander remains an active participant in many organizations outside and relating to her business. A member of The Fashion Group International, American Women's Economic Development Corporation, the Advisory Boards of the Educational Foundation of the Fashion Industries of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), she also serves as president of the Committee of 200, the organization of preeminent business women. She has also developed a continuing company program for support of breast cancer research, environmental protection and other urgent societal needs. She is the recipient of many honors and awards in recognition of her professional achievements and broad public service. "Vision and creativity are absolutely imperative, but so are courage and perseverance."

Charles T.Knabusch

Charles T. Knabusch

Chairman of the Board and President La-Z-Boy Inc. (Deceased)

Monroe, Michigan

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Mr. Knabusch started with the La-Z-Boy Chair Company in 1961, one year prior to his graduation from Cleary College where he earned his Business Administration degree in 1962. Working his way through the corporate ranks he was elected President in 1972. In 1985 he was named Chairman of the Board. During his term at La-Z-Boy, company sales increased from $52.7 million per year to $620 million in 1992. Listed on the NYSE since 1987, La-Z-Boy employs 8,000 people in 220 showcase shops and furniture galleries around the country including West Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico and Canada along with 24 manufacturing facilities in the U.S. In addition to the La-Z-Boy brand of furniture products, the company also manufacturers lines of household and business furniture and accessories. They are also the first US furniture maker to stop using polyurethan foam processed with chlorofluorocarbons which are blamed for eroding the ozone layer. Outside of the office, Mr. Knabusch is active with the Boy Scouts of America, the Monroe Family YMCA, the Monroe Chamber of Commerce; he serves on the Mercy Memorial Hospital Board, the American Furniture Manufacturers Association and he is a Director of the Monroe Bank and Trust. “I am relying on campuses such as Northwood to produce upstanding leaders to take over where we left off for resounding global economy with America leading the way.”

Norman P.McClelland

Norman P. McClelland

Chairman of the Board Shamrock Foods Company

Phoenix, Arizona

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As Chairman of Shamrock Foods Company, Norman P. McClelland oversees a corporation that joined the top 400 U.S. private companies in 1993. The food division is ranked 10th nationally, serving the Rocky Mountain states and southern California; the dairy division is ranked 15th nationally, while serving only Arizona. Shamrock's origins date back to 1914, when McClelland's father and mother, both Irish immigrants, acted on their dreams to start a dairy by purchasing twenty cows in Tucson, Arizona. Shamrock Farms, which is still owned by the McClelland family, is today the largest dairy farm west of the Mississippi. Known for his innovative efforts in the food distribution industry, Norman McClelland was instrumental in forming a produce buying cooperative called Markon, to bring quality produce to the foodservice market. Arizonans credit McClelland for his generosity and civic involvement, noting his active support of many charitable, business and community organizations. He is currently Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, Chairman of the University of Arizona Business School Advisory Board and Director of the Rockford Institute. He has also won many awards for his civic contributions. “I've enjoyed my opportunity to strive mightily with what God has given me, my spark of humanity and the human creativeness that's in all of us.”

F.B.Nutter, Sr.

F.B. Nutter, Sr.

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer F.B. Nutter Leasing Company Pompano Beach, Florida Current: President and Chief Executive Officer F.B. Nutter Leasing Company (Deceased)

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

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After serving the United States Army Air Corps, Mr. Nutter joined the Baldwin Machinery Company, a construction equipment distributor, in Charleston, West Virginia as Vice President and Sales Manager. In 1950 he joined Vecellio and Grogan, a general contracting company, as General Manager. In 1956, Mr. Nutter became Vice President and General Manager of Cecil I. Walker Machinery Company, a Caterpillar equipment distributor in Charleston, West Virginia. In 1964, he was elected President and Chief Executive Officer of Mynu Coals, Inc. and the Hobet Mining and Construction Company of Charleston. The companies operated by Mr. Nutter employed between four to six hundred people with a combined gross volume ranging from $25 million to $40 million per year. These businesses were made up of mining construction equipment, coal hauling equipment, drills, blasting equipment and heavy mining machinery. In 1976, he resigned as president of these corporations and relocated to Florida. He has since become involved in the commercial land development business and constructed a medical center and four-story office building in Pompano Beach. Mr. Nutter continues to be actively involved in the mining business with two new enterprises back in West Virginia. He has served on the Board of Directors for Wendy's International since 1980. “Remember — you never fail until you quit.”

Horst H.Schulze

Horst H. Schulze

President and Chief Operating Officer The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.

Atlanta, Georgia

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Horst Schulze joined the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in January, 1983, as Vice President for Operations. In July of 1987, he was appointed Executive Vice President for Operations and was promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer in 1988. As President, he has operations responsibility and planning involvement for all existing Ritz-Carlton Hotels as well as those currently under development. Before joining Ritz-Carlton Mr. Schulze spent nine years with Hyatt Hotels Corporation as Corporate Vice President in charge of Food and Beverage Operations. Prior to that, he was Regional Vice President with Hyatt and General Manager of Hyatt Hotels in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Detroit, Michigan respectively. Mr. Schulze came to the United States from Europe where he began his career in the hotel industry. He has worked in world-class hotels in Switzerland, France, England and Germany. “Northwood gives companies young people with the proper foundation and we must recognize our responsibility to continue that education.”

James A.Willingham

James A. Willingham

President and Chief Executive Officer Boulevard Automotive Group

Long Beach, California

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James A. Willingham started in the car business after moving to Long Beach, California from his home state of Missouri in 1950. After selling Studebakers for two years, he changed to selling Pontiacs and four years later moved to selling Oldsmobiles as a General Sales Manager for C. Standlee Martin Oldsmobile organization. In December 1960, he joined Campbell Buick as a junior partner and general manager and shortly afterward formed a new corporation christened Boulevard Buick. Mr. Willingham was named President. Jaguar was added to the franchise in May 1961 and the name was changed to Boulevard Buick/British Cars. Under his leadership then and up to the present day, Mr. Willingham continues to be the recipient of many top honors and awards from Buick Motors, the Saturday Evening Post Benjamin Franklin Quality Dealer Awards, (1986 and 1988) a two time winner of Time magazine's Quality Dealer Award and the Grand National Award as the #1 Quality Dealer in the nation. His current automobile franchises include Buick, Pontiac, GMC Truck, Jaguar, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Infiniti and Saab. Mr. Willingham has also been named Long Beach's “Citizen of the Year” because of his tireless community and civic involvements. He co-founded Directors Life Insurance Company and Harbor Bank, serving as Chairman of the Board for these companies. “Don't go to school just to pass the time, go there to learn because knowledge is power.”

14th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (1994)


Wally Amos

Founder Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies Current: Founder The Uncle No Name Cookie Company

Kailua, Hawaii

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As Founder of the Famous Amos Cookies in 1975, he is probably better known as the father of the gourmet chocolate chip cookie industry and has since then become a household word. Born in Tallahassee, Florida, Amos lived with his parents until he was twelve when he then moved to New York, lived with an aunt, and attended the Food Trades High School in Manhattan. During his senior year he dropped out and joined the Air Force; completed his GED high school equivalency requirements; was honorably discharged from the service and began training at New York secretarial school. Besides being an entrepreneur, Wally is also a lecturer, a product spokesman, an actor, a teacher/host for Public Broadcasting as well as the author of his autobiography, The Fact That Launched A Thousand Chips and also collaborated with his son, Gregory, on The Power In You, an inspirational book sharing Wally's life experiences and philosophies. Wally Amos has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards. To name just a few: the Horatio Alger Award, Babson College Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs, the President's award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, the National Literacy Honors Award and an Honorary Doctorate in Education from Johnson and Wales University. He has also given “the shirt off his back” and his trademark battered Panama hat to the Smithsonian Institution's Business Americana Collection. Mr. Amos and his wife and creative partner, Christine, reside in Hawaii. “You can do anything you think of … if you couldn't do it, you never would have thought of it.”


Trammell Crow

Chairman Trammell Crow Company (Retired)

Dallas, Texas

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Trammell Crow was born in Dallas, Texas and attended public schools there. After completing high school, he worked for the Mercantile Bank in Dallas and attended Southern Methodist University evening classes in accounting and law. Mr. Crow became a Certified Public Accountant and joined the first of Ernst and Ernst. Mr. Crow served in the United States Navy and attained the rank of Commander. He is Founding Partner and Chairman of the Trammell Crow Company, one of the most successful real estate development companies in the United States. He established and developed the Dallas Market Center, the largest trade and merchandise mart in the world, and the prototype from which subsequent marts have been drawn — including others which he has built. He originated the concept of atriums in modern edifices, which are common in usage today, and otherwise has been a leader in architectural advancement. Mr. Crow is the Chairman and President of The National Tree Trust and has been a participant in many civic and charitable organizations along with serving on numerous corporate and educational boards. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, both business and civic, including honorary doctorates from the University of North Texas, Southwestern Adventist College, Texas Tech University and Oklahoma Christian College. In 1985, Mr. Crow was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame; and in 1987 he was inducted into the National Business Hall of Fame. Appointed by President George Bush, Mr. Crow served on the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. “Be prepared to grab the ring when it comes by.”

Alex W.Dreyfoos, Jr.

Alex W. Dreyfoos, Jr.

Chairman WPEC - TV12/Photo Electronics Corporation Current: Chairman of the Board The Dreyfoos Group

West Palm Beach, Florida

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Alex Dreyfoos, born in 1932 in New York, is the Chairman of the Board and majority stockholder of Photo Electronics Corporation, manufacturers of electronic equipment for the photographic industry; owners of WPEC TV-12, the CBS affiliate in West Palm Beach, Florida. He holds a B.S. degree from M.I.T., and an M.B.A. degree from the Harvard Business School. He is an inventor, holding ten U.S. patents and numerous foreign patents in the fields of electronics and photography. He formed Photo Electronics Corporation with the late George W. Martens in 1963. The firm occupies a modern 60,000 square foot complex in West Palm Beach. Mr. Dreyfoos was instrumental in forming and served as the first chairman of the Palm Beach County Council of the Arts, now the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. For fourteen years he led the efforts to build a world-class performing arts center in Palm Beach County. That dream became a reality in September 1992 when the $55 million (largely privately financed) Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts opened its doors. He continues to serve as chairman of the 2,200 seat multipurpose facility. He is a trustee of the MIT Corporation, and chairs the Visiting Committee for the School of Architecture and Planning/Media Arts and Sciences. He is a director of the Trudeau Institute, a biomedical research organization in Saranac Lake, New York, doing acclaimed research on the immune system. He is an active member of the World Presidents' Organization and a former member of YPO. “To be able to see what hasn't been seen before drives future entrepreneurs.”

Ellen R.Gordon

Ellen R. Gordon

President and Chief Executive Officer Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc.

Chicago, Illinois

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Ellen R. Gordon, President of Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc., was born in New York, attended Vassar College, Wellesley College, received her BA from Brandeis University and attended the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University. She joined Tootsie Roll Industries in 1968 as a member of its Board of Directors. She became Corporate Secretary in 1974 and Vice President, Product Development and Quality Assurance of that same year. In 1977 she became Senior Vice President and was elected President in 1978. She is also currently serving as a Director of CPC International, Inc., and a Vice President and Director of HDI Investments Corporation. Tootsie Roll Industries' business, headquartered in Chicago, is the manufacturing and marketing of Tootsie Roll products. They also have operations in Tennessee, New York, Mexico, Canada and the Philippines. Some recent acquisitions include Warner-Lambert, the Charms Company and Cella's Confections. Mrs. Gordon's many outside activities include serving on numerous councils and advisory boards for Harvard University, Harvard Medical School, Stanford University and Northwestern University. She serves as a trustee and member of the Committee for Economic Development and serves as a Director of the National Confectioners Association. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Committee of 200, of which she was a founding member, served as President from 1987 through 1989 and recently served as the Chairman of the Committee of 200 Foundation. “Role models are so very important … and often their names are Mom and Dad.”

Paul B.Gordon

Paul B. Gordon

Chairman of the Board Gordon Food Service (Deceased)

Grand Rapids, Michigan

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Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Ben and Ruth Gordon, Paul Gordon earned his degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. He served in the United States Navy, earning the rank of Lieutenant and joined the family business in 1948 as a salesman. Gordon Food Service planted its roots at the turn of the century when Paul's Grandfather, Isaac VanWestenbrugge, started delivering butter and eggs from a horse and wagon. In 1942, the company was incorporated as Gordon Food Service; is family owned and operated, and is one of the largest independent food service distributors in the country. With a marketing area that extends throughout Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois, Gordon Food Service (GFS) operates from three distribution centers, two in Grand Rapids and one in Brighton, Michigan. After Paul Gordon joined the company in 1948, he advanced through many positions to that of President of GFS in 1965 and was elected Chairman in 1990. Mr. Gordon and his wife, Dottie, have four children. His sons, Dan and Jim, are employed with the company, one daughter, Joyce and her husband, Ron, reside in Grand Rapids and daughter Connie and her husband live out of state. “If it's worthwhile, it's worth doing.”

William I.Koch

William I. Koch

Founder and President Oxbow Corporation

West Palm Beach, Florida

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Bill Koch has been referred to by writers of late as "Captain America" owing to his tenacious campaign to keep the America's Cup, the oldest trophy in sport and the grandest prize in yachting, on the American shore. Like his father and two of his brothers, Bill studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning three degrees in chemical engineering, a B.S., M.S., and a Sc.D. Koch helped found and serve as president of several firms, including Koch Venture Capital, which financed high-technology startup companies, and Koch Carbon, Inc., the world's largest trader in petroleum coke. He also served as vice president of development at Koch Industries, one of the largest privately-held oil companies in the United States. In 1981, he left the company founded by his father and established his own petroleum company, along with a foundation that conducts medical research aimed at preventing coronary heart disease. In 1983, he founded the Oxbow Group of companies which was currently listed by Forbes magazine as the 97th largest privately held company in America. He serves as a trustee and member of the executive committee of the University Hospital in Boston. Formerly, he served as trustee of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and as a member of the corporation of Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital. Since capturing the America's Cup, Koch has received numerous significant honors. Some of these include being named "Kansan of the Year" by the Kansas daily, the Topeka Capital-Journal, and "1992 Yachtmans of the Year" by the prestigious YACHTING magazine. "I've had more failures than successes, but what counts in the end is finishing first in the next race," he said.

Norris B.McFarlane

Norris B. McFarlane

President & Owner Macalloy Corporation (Deceased)

Palm Beach, Florida

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Unavailable at this time

James W.Near

James W. Near

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Wendy's International (Deceased)

Dublin, Ohio

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James W. Near, born in Columbus, Ohio, got his start in the restaurant business at the age of 15 as a cook for a Burger Boy Restaurant. After graduating from Hanover College, Hanover, Indiana, he opened his first Burger Boy Food-O-Rama in 1961 and, four years later, was named a Vice President of the company. In 1969, Borden Inc. acquired the chain's 50 restaurants and named Near Executive Vice President of their restaurant division. He served in that capacity until 1973 when he was promoted to President of Borden's retail sales division. James W. Near became a Wendy's franchisee in 1974. His company, Front IV, Inc., built and operated 39 successful Wendy's restaurants in West Virginia and Florida. The organization also operated 18 Long John Silver restaurants. Responsible for the marketing of a chicken and biscuit chain, Near opened the first Sisters Chicken and Biscuits restaurant in 1980 and, one year later, it became a subsidiary of Wendy's International. Mr. Near was named President and Chief Operating Officer of Wendy's in August of 1986 and worked to streamline and organize Wendy's corporate structure and to improve restaurant operations. He was directly responsible for the introduction of several new products, including the Super Value Menu, and put a strategic plan in place to increase Wendy's visibility and market share. In 1989, Wendy's Board of Directors added Chief Executive Officer to Near's other titles in recognition of his outstanding efforts. In 1991, he was named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Love your business, work your business hard and go out and just kill'em.”


Frank Popoff

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer The Dow Chemical Company

Midland, Michigan

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Frank Popoff earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry and his masters degree both from Indiana University in 1959. That same year, he joined Dow in Midland, Michigan in the technical service and development department. After serving in sales, marketing and business management positions, he became General Manager of the Agricultural and Organic Chemicals Department of Dow U.S.A. in Midland. In 1976, he returned to Dow Europe, became Vice President of Marketing, Executive Vice President and in 1981 was elected President. In 1982 he was elected to the Dow Board of Directors and in 1984 became a Vice President of the company. He transferred to Midland as an Executive Vice President of Dow and a member of the company's Executive Committee in 1985. In 1987 he was named President and Chief Operating Officer and, later that same year, was named Chief Executive Officer. He was appointed Chairman in December of 1992. He serves as a director on many corporate boards, including American Express, Chemical Financial Corporation, Dow Corning, and Marion Merrill Dow. He is the Senior Vice Chairman of the U.S. Council for International Business. He also serves on the boards of the Indiana University School of Business Dean's Advisory Council and The National Volunteer Center. He is a member of the Chemical Manufacturers Association, the Business Council for Sustainable Development, the New York Stock Exchange Listed Company Advisory Committee, the Business Council, the Council on Competitiveness and the U.S.-Japan Business Council to name a few. Frank is also a member of the Northwood University Gallery of Distinction, having been awarded an Honorary Degree from the university in 1990. He and his wife, Jean, reside in Midland, Michigan. “Formal education is the beginning of a lifetime of learning.”

Frederick G.Wacker, Jr.

Frederick G. Wacker, Jr.

Chairman of the Board Liquid Control Corporation (Deceased)

Lake Bluff, Illinois

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Frederick G. Wacker, Jr. graduated from Yale University and was first employed by the A.C. Delco Spark Plug Division of General Motors in Flint, Michigan. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1943, and became Senior Fighter Director Officer on the aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Shamrock Bay, CVE 84. Upon his return to civilian life, Mr. Wacker became President of the Ammco Tools Company in 1948. During his 40 year tenure as President, the company grew 50 times due in part to the expanded number of lines of automotive service equipment being offered. Then in 1954, Mr. Wacker founded the Liquid Controls Corporation, which manufacturers a complete line of displacement fluid meters and ancillary devices for the military, petroleum, food and chemical industries. His markets stretch worldwide. He continues to serve as Chairman, his son having become President in 1987. During his career, Mr. Wacker has served as President to the Sports Car Club of America, The Racquet Club of Chicago, The Chicago Presidents Organization and the Illinois Manufacturers' Association. He has also received the Distinguished Service Citation from the Automotive Hall of Fame, an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Northwood University and was elected to the Lake Forest Academy Hall of Fame. He has raced automobiles both in America and abroad — having been the first American to race in the famed International Grand Prix Circuit in 1953 and 1954. He also enjoys motorcycling, painting, tennis, skiing and golf. His wife, Jana, and Fred have three children and reside in Lake Bluff, Illinois. “Northwood graduates have been creators of wealth to the benefit of others, rather than absorbers of wealth to the benefit of themselves.”

13th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (1993)

Randolph J.Agley

Randolph J. Agley

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Talon, Inc.

Detroit, Michigan

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Randolph J. Agley is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Talon, Inc., a privately held investment and management services company which he co-founded in 1973. Located in Detroit, Michigan, Talon's affiliate operations include interests in retailing, manufacturing and real estate that generate sales of approximately one billion dollars through their combined operations. Born in New York City in 1942, he and his family moved to Michigan when Randy was 12. Attending the University of Michigan, he graduated with distinction from the School of Business Administration in 1964 and received his Master's Degree in Business Administration the following year. In addition to heading Talon, Inc., Mr. Agley is very active in the Detroit community and serves on the boards of the Arts Foundation of Michigan; the Detroit Institute of Arts; Michigan Cancer Foundation; Orchestra Hall; Economic Club of Detroit, several colleges and universities, and serves on the boards of several industrial corporations. Mr. Agley and his wife Judy, a retailing entrepreneur, have two sons and make their home in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. “Entrepreneurs, I believe, are daydreamers … and I dream everyday of what can be.”

Henry J.Caruso

Henry J. Caruso

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Caruso Affiliated Holdings Los Angeles, California Current: HJC Investments Corporation

Santa Monica, California

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Henry J. Caruso is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Caruso Affiliated Holdings, an investment company that manages a number of automobile dealerships in the Los Angeles area. Enrolling in the University of Southern California in 1939, Mr. Caruso left his studies to join the U.S. Navy Air Corps and earned the distinction of Navy Pilot Lt. J.G. He returned to the University of Southern California in 1946, completed his studies and entered the car business by acquiring a number of new car dealerships including General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. In 1966, Mr. Caruso founded Dollar Rent-A-Car which grew from its original location to become the fourth largest worldwide car rental company with over 1,200 locations. In 1990 he sold his interests in Dollar to Chrysler Corporation. Mr. Caruso is a recipient of the “Distinguished Diploma of Honor” from Pepperdine University, Malibu, California. Today, Mr. Caruso focuses his time and activities on his investment company, his automobile operations, charitable and educational programs, and serves on numerous public and private boards. Mr. Caruso and his wife Genie make their home in Beverly Hills. “It is our system that allows anyone to have the freedom to choose what they want to be."

Peter C.Cook

Peter C. Cook

Chairman of the Board Mazda Great Lakes (Deceased)

Grand Rapids, Michigan

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Peter C. Cook, a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, is Chairman of the Board of Transnational Motors, Inc., a distributor of Mazda automobile products in the states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin under the name of Mazda Great Lakes. A graduate of the Davenport Business College in Grand Rapids, Mr. Cook began his career with Import Motors Ltd., a Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi distributor, in 1949 and was named President in 1954. He later sold the business in 1980. Active in many areas, Mr. Cook serves on the boards of several colleges and universities, including Northwood in Florida, Comerica and Michigan National banks, the Grace Reformed Church, the Reformed Church of America and several foundations. Mr. Cook has received many honors including Honorary Doctor of Letters, Hope College; Honorary Doctor of Laws, Davenport College of Business; Honorary Doctor of Laws, Northwood University; Honorary Doctor of Humanities, Grand Valley State University; Distinguished Philanthropist, West Michigan Chapter, National Society of Fund Raising Executives, plus a host of others. Mr. and Mrs. Cook are the proud parents of two sons, Tom and Steven, and three grandchildren. "Much of my good fortune is attributed to God's grace and the good people around me."

Charles P.McCormick, Jr.

Charles P. McCormick, Jr.

Chairman of the Board McCormick & Company, Inc.

Sparks, Maryland

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Charles P. McCormick, Jr., is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of McCormick & Company, Inc., an international producer of seasonings, flavorings, and specialty foods, headquartered in Sparks, Maryland. A lifetime resident of Baltimore, Mr. McCormick graduated from the Friends School and majored in Business Administration at Johns Hopkins and Duke Universities. He also holds an honorary doctorate in business administration in food service management from the Johnson and Wales University, Charleston, S.C. He joined McCormick & Company in 1949, and after holding a wide variety of positions along the corporate ladder was elected to the Corporate Board of Directors in 1955 and named President and Chief Executive Officer in 1987. Mr. McCormick serves on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. He is a former Director of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, currently serves as a trustee of the Food Industry Crusade Against Hunger and is a National Associate of the Boys Clubs of America. Mr. and Mrs. McCormick reside in Phoenix, Maryland. “The customer is king and quality means doing it right the first time.”

Frederik G. H.Meijer

Frederik G. H. Meijer

Chairman of Executive Committee Meijer, Inc. (Deceased)

Grand Rapids, Michigan

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Frederik G. H. Meijer is the Chairman of the Executive Committee, Meijer, Inc., a combination general merchandise and grocery store with locations in Michigan and Ohio. A product of very enterprising parents, Fred has worked in all facets of business — retailing, warehousing, management, truck driving, advertising, buying and supervision. This experience, learned at an early age, has brought the Meijer's chain to its position today. The innovation of combining groceries with general merchandise is a credit due solely to the Meijers family. Mr. Meijer is currently active with the Rotary Club, the Grand Valley State University Foundation Board, the Food Marketing Institute Board, as a trustee of the Grand Rapids Art Museum Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors of Second Harvest, a national program to obtain and distribute food to the needy. He received an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Grand Valley State University in 1982, the Outstanding Michigan Citizens Award in 1983, the Liberty Bell Freedom Award from the Grand Rapids Bar Association, and was named Businessperson of the Year by the Economic Club of Grand Rapids. From the National American Red Cross both he and Meijer's, Inc. received the Good Neighbor Award at ceremonies in Washington, D.C. in 1992. “I'm convinced that the ‘Fun' in life is the trip … not just in arriving.”

Patrick L.O'Malley

Patrick L. O'Malley

Chairman of the Board Emeritus Canteen Corporation (Deceased)

Chicago, Illinois

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Patrick L. O'Malley, Chairman Emeritus of the Canteen Corporation since 1981, joined Canteen in 1962 and served as its President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Previously, he worked for The Coca-Cola Company as Vice President and General Sales and Marketing Manager. Highly active in the business and civic affairs arena, Mr. O'Malley is the recipient of numerous awards and citations and serves on the boards of Trans World Corporation, Bally Manufacturing Corporation, First Colonial Bankshares, Inc., and is Chairman of the Board of the Michigan Avenue National Bank. He received honorary doctorates from Illinois Benedictine College, Mundelein College, St. Joseph's College (Indiana), and an honorary Doctor of Science in Business Administration from Bryant College, Providence, Rhode Island. A 1972 recipient of the Horatio Alger award, Mr. O'Malley has been twice named “Sales Marketing Executive of the Year,” has received the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement, Restaurateur of the Year and the Award of Lincoln, presented by the Governor of Illinois in 1988. “The greatest contribution business will make to society in the year 2000 and beyond is the freedom of economic choice.”


Mitzi Perdue


Salisbury, Maryland

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Mitzi Perdue is the immediate past president of the 50,000 member American Agri-Women and is the founder of The Community Environmental Organization (CEO) in Salisbury. Currently she writes a syndicated column for the 385 Scripps Howard newspapers. For eight years prior to her marriage to agri-industrialist Frank Perdue she wrote a syndicated weekly food and agriculture column entitled “From the Farmer to You” for more than 200 newspapers serviced by Capitol News. She is in partnership with her two sons in management of CERES Farms, 1100 acres of top vineyard and rice farms in the Sacramento Valley. From 1980 to 1988 she hosted “Mitzi's Country Magazine,” a 30 minute program broadcast weekly on KXTV, Sacramento's CBS affiliate. Ms. Perdue is affiliated with the American Institute of Wine and Food, International Association of Culinary Professionals, National Federation of Business and Professional Women and the National Speakers' Association. “To quote Henry Ford … if you think you can or if you think you can't, you're absolutely right. Take your pick.”

J. DavidPower III

J. David Power III

Chairman and Founder J. D. Power and Associates

Agoura Hills, California

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J. David Power, III, Chairman and Founder of J. D. Power and Associates, has spent 30 years in the automotive industry with the last 25 years as president of one of the most prestigious automotive marketing information firms in the world. Following his graduation from College of the Holy Cross in 1955, Mr. Power served four years of line officer duty aboard a Coast Guard icebreaker in the Arctic and Antarctic. In 1959, he earned his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Finance. With automotive experience from Ford Motor, GM's Buick division, GMC's truck division, J. I. Case and McCullough Corporation, Mr. Power launched J. D. Power and Associates in 1968 specializing in marketing and research analysis. Today J. D. Power and Associates, headquartered in Agoura Hills, California, with offices in Detroit, Tokyo and Westport, Connecticut, is a premier source of customer satisfaction data and consultancies and has virtually every automobile manufacturer and importer among its clients. Their marketing analysis now includes the tire industry, medium and heavy duty trucks and copier machines. Mr. Power is a frequent speaker to many top management teams and boards of directors of virtually every U.S. and foreign automotive manufacturer. He recently received the Automotive Hall of Fame's Distinguished Service Citation, awarded each year to the industry's most accomplished leaders. “The big kick I get is making an impact and changing the way people see things.”

George P.Rutland

George P. Rutland

Chairman of the Board, President and CEO Northeast Savings, F.A. Hartford, Connecticut Current: Chairman & CEO - TaiPan Corporation (Deceased)

Carlsbad, California

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George P. Rutland is the Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Northeast Savings, F.A. Mr. Rutland joined Northeast Savings in July, 1988 from CalFed Inc., a major California based financial services company, where he served as their President and Chief Executive Officer. CalFed's principle subsidiary, California Federal Savings and Loan Association, is the fourth largest thrift institution in the country. It operates in four states and has insurance subsidiaries in all 50 states. Prior to joining CalFed, Mr. Rutland was a Senior Executive Vice President at Crocker Bank where he headed the division which oversaw Crocker's 360 branch system and had responsibility for their agricultural, commercial and real estate lending and operations division. Mr. Rutland started his banking career in 1954 in the accounting and trust division at Citibank. Mr. Rutland is a graduate of Pace University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in accounting. Mr. Rutland is a member of the Board of Trustees of Pace University, New York, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Aids Research Hospital Foundation. Mr. and Mrs. Rutland make their home in Avon, Connecticut. "This country was built on the premise that any individual who was determined to succeed, could succeed."

Lewis C.Weinberg

Lewis C. Weinberg

Chairman Emeritus Fel-Pro, Inc. (Deceased)

Skokie, Illinois

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Lewis C. Weinberg, Chairman Emeritus, Fel-Pro Incorporated, has been involved as a manufacturer of gaskets, seals, sealants and lubricants supplying the automotive industry for 52 years. A graduate of Northwestern University and the Illinois Institute of Technology, Mr. Weinberg has been an instrumental player in Felt Products Manufacturing's emergence into the 20th century as a world leader with an excellent product reputation and ideal employee relations. His innovative programs with artists in residence on site within the Fel-Pro factory have been featured in many articles and television programs. Mr. Weinberg is active in both educational and community arenas. He has conducted courses at the American Management Association, University of Chicago and the Institute of Industrial Relations. He has also served as a lecturer and advisor at Northwestern University's Graduate School of Management, the University of Chicago and Northwood Institute. He is very active with the Musical Instrument Bank which provides underprivileged areas with musical instruments. He also serves on the Chicago Economic Development Corporation and several charitable foundations. Eight times a grandfather, Mr. Weinberg and his wife reside in Ramona, California. "Northwood cares about our country's future. It is a pleasure to see young people concerned with business, their families, and our environment."

12th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (1992)

John L.Clendenin

John L. Clendenin

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer BellSouth Corporation

Atlanta, Georgia

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John L. Clendenin is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of BellSouth, the largest of the Regional Bell telecommunications companies, and one of the twenty-five largest U.S. public companies. A native of El Paso, Texas, Mr. Clendenin is a 1955 graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and served as a pilot in the US Air Force Strategic Air Command. He began his telephone career with the Illinois Bell Telephone Company and subsequently moved to the Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone Company in Seattle and to the American Telephone and Telegraph Company in New York. He was elected President of Southern Bell in April 1981 and became Chief Executive Officer of BellSouth on January 1, 1984. BellSouth owns Southern Bel, South Central Bell, BellSouth Services and BellSouth Enterprises. He is a member of the boards of Capital Holding Corporation, The Kroger Company, Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., Wachovia Corporation and the New York Stock Exchange. He is a past Chairman of both the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Alliance of Business; serves on the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America, the National Executive Board of Junior Achievement and the National Board of Governors of the United Way of America. He is a Trustee of the Conference Board and the Committee for Economic Development, and a member of the Policy Committee of the Business Roundtable. He has served as a board member and officer of a number of other civic, educational and cultural organizations. “Northwood University represents the free enterprise system of democracy that is now the envy of the whole world.”

Martha A.Gottfried

Martha A. Gottfried

President and Chief Executive Officer Martha A. Gottfried Real Estate (Deceased)

Palm Beach, Florida

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Martha A. Gottfried is President and CEO of Martha A. Gottfried, Inc., the largest owner-managed real estate company in the Palm Beaches with sales exceeding $100 million in each of the past five years. She has been responsible for the company's continuous growth beginning with one sales associate in 1976 to its present day roster of over one-hundred. There are three locations in Palm Beach including the main office on world renowned Worth Avenue. Her client list reads like an international who's who and her inventory of listings range from luxury waterfront property to weekend retreats. Building on endless hours, boundless energy, and confidence in her marketing expertise, Mrs. Gottfried moved her company into its leading position by marketing a unique image along with the properties she represents. This brought her Palm Beach's Business Leadership award in 1987. She is listed in Who's Who of American Women, past Treasurer and present President of the Palm Beach Board of Realtors, a member of the International Real Estate Federation, and the International Estates Club. She is active in many civic and charitable efforts in the community. “Patience and understanding go a long way in determining how successful your life will be.”

Richard H.Grant, Jr.

Richard H. Grant, Jr.

Chairman, Steering Committee The Reynolds and Reynolds Company (Deceased)

Dayton, Ohio

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R. H. Grant, Jr. has been with The Reynolds and Reynolds Company since 1939. He currently serves as Chairman of the company's Steering Committee, and is a member of its Board of Directors. Reynolds and Reynolds, headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, is a major supplier of information processing systems, including business forms and computer systems to automotive, professional, medical and general business markets. Mr. Grant was associated with the former Frigidaire Division of GMC, 1935-1937; was a partner with Grant, Brownell & Co., an investment firm, 1937 to the early 1960s; joined Reynolds and Reynolds in 1939, became President of Reynolds and Reynolds in 1941 and then in 1957 became Chairman of the Board, a post he held until 1982. He is a lifetime member of the Dayton Salvation Army board since 1979 and is a past chairman of their advisory committee. He is also a member of the Dayton City Club; Buz Fuz Club and former member of its board of directors; Moraine Country Club; Miami Valley Hunt & Polo Club, a past president and former board member; Sailfish Club, Palm Beach, Florida; Chub Cay Club, British West Indies and presently chairman of the board; Lyford Cay Club, Nassau, Bahamas; Edgartown Yacht Club, Osterville, Mass. He was a member of the board of Miami Valley Hospital in the 1940s; chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Finance Committee, 1949 to 1959 and 1967 to 1969; Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce and former member of its board of directors. “Be a good delegator … keep your goals high … and with a little luck, who knows.”

Kathryn C.Hach-Darrow

Kathryn C. Hach-Darrow

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Hach Company

Loveland, Colorado

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Kathryn Hach, Chairman and CEO of Hach Company, met the late Clifford Hach while they were students at Iowa State University. They were married in 1943 and began their firm in 1947. They developed reagents and necessary instrumentation for making accurate, easy to use, analyses for water and wastewater. In 1957 Kathryn and Clifford Hach jointly won the coveted American Water Works George Fuller award for distinguished service in the water supply field. In 1987 Hach was elected the Best Company in Colorado, receiving the award for the Northeastern part of the State. Mrs. Hach was President and Chief Operating Officer before becoming Chairman and CEO in 1988. She was the first woman director of the American Water Works Association, later served on numerous AWWA committees including the President's Advisory Council. She was also the first woman to serve as a director of the First National Bank in Loveland, Colorado. In addition to serving as Chairman of the Hach Board, she also is a member of the Board of Directors of Colorado Crystal Corporation. She is a founding member of the Committee of 200, Executive Women, active in her church, philanthropic service organizations and a member of the Ninety-Nines, an International Organization of Licensed Women Pilots. Mrs. Hach has been flying 37 years, is multi-engine and instrument rated, and has accumulated over 6,000 hours flying time. “We must never take our system for granted; we must never allow complacency nor political correctness to dilute our message.”

Ira C.Herbert

Ira C. Herbert

Executive Vice President The Coca-Cola Company (Deceased)

Atlanta, Georgia

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Ira C. “Ike” Herbert is Executive Vice President of The Coca-Cola Company. A native of Chicago, Mr. Herbert had extensive advertising agency experience prior to joining The Coca-Cola Company in 1965 when he was named brand manager for Fanta products. He was elected Vice President of the Company in 1966, named brand manager for Coca-Cola in 1967, director of Brand Development in 1970, and marketing director in August 1971. He was named Senior Vice President, Marketing of Coca-Cola USA in 1973. In 1975 he was named President of Coca-Cola Foods. Elected Executive Vice President of The Coca- Cola Company in 1976, he was named chief marketing officer in 1982, and was appointed Deputy to the President in 1986. In 1987 he was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of Coca-Cola Beverages based in Toronto. In 1988, he was named President of both Coca-Cola USA and the North America Sector which has responsibility for Coca- Cola USA, the domestic soft drink division based in Atlanta, Coca- Cola Ltd., the Canadian soft drink division based in Toronto; and Coca-Cola Foods, the citrus juices and drinks unit based in Houston and he assumed his present duties in 1990. He also serves on the boards of Coca-Cola Nestle Refreshments Company, Commerce Bank and National Data Corporation. “We must instill in future generations the crucial importance of integrity and morality.”

John A.Hillenbrand II

John A. Hillenbrand II

Hillenbrand Industries

Batesville, Indiana

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John A. Hillenbrand II has been active as an officer, member of the Executive Committee and member of the Board of Directors of Hillenbrand Industries, Inc. He is presently serving or has served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Glynnadam, Inc., Chairman of the Board of Nambé Mills, Inc., Chairman of the Board of Able Body Corporation, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Pri-Pak, Inc., Member of the Board of Directors of Merchants National Corporation, Member of the Board of Directors of Merchants National Bank & Trust Company, Member of the Board of Directors of PSI Energy, Member of the Board of Directors of PPM, Inc., Vice-Chairman, Member of the Executive Committee and Board of Southern Cross Club, Inc. He has been active in various business associations including the Indiana State Chamber of Commerce, the Health Industries Association, and the Indiana Manufacturers' Association. He has also served the State of Indiana in several appointive governmental positions and has served in leadership roles in civic, educational and religious activities. His endeavors have earned him wide recognition and numerous awards. “Education is so very important for it's the only thing we can give our children that no one else can take from them.”

Thomas R.Pledger

Thomas R. Pledger

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dynacom Industries, Inc.

West Palm Beach, Florida

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Thomas R. Pledger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, began his association with Dycom Industries, Inc. in 1981 as a member of the board of directors. In 1984 he became President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Under Mr. Pledger's direction, sales have grown from $12.4 million to $166.7 million while net income has risen from $493,000 for FY84 to $9.6 million for FY90. He moved through a number of management positions before becoming President of Burnup & Sims Inc. where he learned the telecommunication services business. He formerly owned Rubin Construction Company, which he sold to Vecellio Contracting Corporation. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Vecellio prior to beginning his association with Dycom. He assumed the duties of President and Chief Executive Officer of Dycom in January 1984. In 1990 he was appointed Chairman of the Board of the Company, in addition to retaining his duties as President and Chief Executive Officer. He is a member of the board of directors of First Union Corporation of Florida and Davis Water & Waste Industries, Inc.; Chairman of the Good Samaritan Inc. Foundation Board of Governors; a member of the Board of Governors of the Palm Beach County Center for the Arts, and The Florida Council of 100; and a trustee of Palm Beach Atlantic College. “Imagination, initiative, integrity and hard work are the principles and tools needed to succeed.”

Gayle B.Price, Jr.

Gayle B. Price, Jr.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Price Brothers Company, Inc.

Dayton, Ohio

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Gayle Price assumed the Chief Executive Officer responsibilities of Price Brothers Company in 1976 after serving for 21 years in a variety of technical and management positions with the company. He received his BS in Engineering from Princeton, served as a Pilot in the U.S. Air Force and then joined this 90-year-old producer of construction materials, primarily concrete pipe for water and wastewater systems. During his term of leadership the company has become a leading international provider of engineered piping systems and operates 12 plants covering the eastern half of the United States. Price Brothers supplied the technology used in the world's largest water pipeline in North Africa, 1200 miles of 13' diameter prestressed concrete pressure pipe. Mr. Price has been extensively involved in community activities in Dayton, as chairman of a number of charitable and business organizations. “Our future managers will need the people and entrepreneurial skills to successfully compete.”

Richard H.Ruch

Richard H. Ruch

President and Chief Executive Officer Herman Miller, Inc.

Zeeland, Michigan

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Richard H. Ruch assumed responsibilities of Chief Executive Officer of Herman Miller, Inc., on January 1, 1988, and also became the President of the company in April 1990. He was elected to the Herman Miller Board of Directors in 1985. He also serves on the board of directors at Milcare, Herman Miller Europe, Paragon Bank, and BIFMA (Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association). Herman Miller, Inc., is an international company engaged primarily in the manufacture and sale of furniture systems, products, and related services for offices, health-care facilities, and factory environments. Herman Miller is listed in the Fortune 500. The company employs approximately 5,000 persons. Mr. Ruch began his career with Herman Miller in 1955 as chief accountant. He became controller in 1958, director of manufacturing in 1963, Vice President of Manufacturing in 1967, Vice President of Administration in 1978, Vice President of Corporate Resources in 1979, Senior Vice President in 1984, and Chief Financial Officer in 1985. He is a member of the board of the Scanlon Plan Associates and has twice served as President of that organization. He is a past board member of Herman Miller of Canada, Ltd., H.L. Hubbell, Inc., Weldun International, and Herman Miller Research Corporation. He is listed in Who's Who in America. “Liberating others to use their strengths and their gifts in an enterprise that supports the common good is the calling of business leadership.”

11th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (1991)

James M.Biggar

James M. Biggar

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Nestlé Enterprises, Inc. Solon, Ohio Current: GlenCairn Corporation

Beachwood, Ohio

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James M. Biggar, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nestlé Enterprises, Inc., oversees the ten food and hospitality companies of Nestlé S.A. in the United States. Collectively these companies produce more than 850 products and services. Nestlé S.A., headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland, is the largest food company in the world. Mr. Biggar began his career with Stouffer Foods in 1960 when he was appointed director of marketing. He was promoted to Vice President in 1963, to General Manager of the division in 1966 and to President in 1967. In 1972, he became President and CEO of the Stouffer Corporation. In 1973, the Stouffer Corporation was acquired by Nestlé S.A. In addition to being former National Chairman and a Director of the American Frozen Food Institute, Mr. Biggar is a Trustee of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and University Schools, a Director of The Sherwin-Williams Company and a member of the Board of Directors of the Grocery Manufacturers of America and of National City Corporation (Cleveland). He is also Chairman of Cleveland Tomorrow (a group of 45 CEOs leading Cleveland's redevelopment) and a member of the Board of Overseers of the Executive Council on Foreign Diplomats. He has been recognized for his contributions to the community with numerous awards. “Good leaders sell their associates on action … and never forget The Golden Rule, it always applies.”


Victor Costa

President Victor Costa, Inc.

Dallas, Texas

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Victor Costa, widely recognized fashion designer, is the son of a Sicilian immigrant. Mr. Costa grew up in Houston with an interest in fashion. Before he was ten, he designed paper-doll outfits which he sold to his friends at school. He attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. While residing in New York he sold sketches to leading designers and worked for bridal companies. From 1965-73 he worked for the firm Suzy Perette. He then returned to Texas and bought into a Dallas dress business. Within a year he bought out the firm and changed its name to his own. Mr. Costa has been the recipient of three Tommy Awards given annually by the American Printed Fabrics Council. In 1987 he received the Dallas Apparel Mart's Fashion Award in the designer dress category. He is a popular participant in charity fashion events as an emcee and commentator. “Much of a businessman's life sometimes requires him to swallow the bitter, but he keeps striving for the sweet.”

William J.Edwards

William J. Edwards

Lake Huron Broadcasting Corporation (Deceased)

North Palm Beach, Florida

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William J. Edwards, Radio and Television Executive, began his broadcast career as an announcer at Radio Station WBRC in his hometown, Birmingham, Alabama. He was educated at Birmingham-Southern College. Over the next several years, he moved to Jacksonville, Florida, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Hollywood as his career advanced. He is the Founder of the Lake Huron Broadcasting Corporation of Saginaw, Michigan and has served as President and CEO of KENR and G.C.C. Communications, Inc., and President of 104 FM Tower Corporation in Houston. He also served as President and CEO of Suncoast Stereo Corporation (WQYK-FM) of Tampa-St. Petersburg. Mr. Edwards has been an active member of communities where he has lived and worked. He is presently a member of the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Birmingham-Southern College and serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Republican Congressional Leadership Council. “Determination, enthusiasm, discipline and courage, mixed with patience can translate dreams into reality.”

Clark A.Johnson

Clark A. Johnson

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pier 1 Imports, Inc.

Fort Worth, Texas

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Clark A. Johnson, Chairman and CEO of Pier 1 Imports, Inc., was raised in Ford Dodge, Iowa and graduated from the University of Iowa as a marketing major. He attended Harvard Business School in 1978. He was with Wickes Companies, Inc. from 1971-82 serving as President of Wickes Lumber and of Wickes Furniture before becoming a Director and Executive Vice President of the parent corporation. He served as Chairman and CEO of MacGregor Golf Company in Atlanta from 1982-85. The firm was acquired as a leveraged buyout with Jack Nicklaus. He became President of Pier 1 Imports, Inc. in 1985 and in 1988 assumed his present position as Chairman and CEO. He is active in Fort Worth community affairs and is a member of the American Business Conference, Washington, D.C. He is a Director of International Sister Cities Association, Albertson's (Boise, Idaho), InterTAN, Inc. (Toronto, Canada), Heritage Media Corporation and Fuqua Industries, Inc. (Atlanta, Georgia). "Successful leadership is the art of getting things done through others..."


Georgette Mosbacher

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer La Prairie, Inc., Worldwide Current: Chairman and CEO Georgette Mosbacher Enterprises, Inc.

New York, New York

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Georgette Mosbacher is Chairman and CEO of La Prairie whose unique collection of skin and hair treatment products is widely considered the “Rolls Royce” of the industry. Mrs. Mosbacher grew up in Highland, Indiana and graduated from the University of Indiana in 1969 with a degree in communications. Moving to Los Angeles, she had her own production company, Muir Productions. In 1977, she moved to New York City and joined Brut Productions, the film-making division of Faberge, Inc. When the film unit was sold, Mrs. Mosbacher was named head of Faberge's newly formed licensing division and over the next seven years she learned every aspect of the beauty industry. She acquired La Prairie in 1988. Her 1985 marriage to Texas businessman Robert S. Mosbacher, Sr., who is U.S. Secretary of Commerce, took her to Houston where she has been involved in charitable, civic and social organizations. Among her other responsibilities, she is on the Advisory Board of the Center for Strategic International Studies and BEAUTY Magazine and she is National Chairperson for Community Development for Child Help USA. “Regardless of the circumstances of their birth, anyone can rise to whatever level of leadership they are capable of filling.”

Stanley R.Navas

Stanley R. Navas

President Concrete Pipe & Products, Inc. (Retired) (Deceased)

Richmond, Virginia

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Stanley R. Navas was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and is a 1941 distinguished graduate of Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia. He entered the United States Army as Second Lieutenant Infantry in December, 1941 serving in the European Theatre and in North Africa, retiring in October, 1945 because of wounds received in action. He then joined Concrete Pipe & Products, Inc. as an engineer and in December, 1949 was elected President of the company. Under his guidance the company has grown from one plant in Richmond, Virginia to a twenty-one plant enterprise operating in the states of Virginia, Maryland, Texas and California. He has been active in his community as Chairman of the Richmond Metropolitan Area United Givers Campaign and Director and Executive Committee Member, Richmond United Way. He is Past President and Director, Virginia Section, American Society of Civil Engineers and of the South Richmond/Chesterfield Branch YMCA. He is Past Secretary/Treasurer and Director, Virginia Manufacturers Association and Past President of both the Virginia/Maryland Concrete Pipe Association and Virginia Concrete Masonry Association. He has participated actively in the affairs of the Virginia Military Institute Alumni Association. “Have the guts, energy and imagination to follow and fight for your dream.”


Jean Nidetch

Founder Weight Watchers International, Inc.

New York, New York

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Jean Nidetch, Founder of Weight Watchers International, Inc. has helped to change the shape of millions of overweight men and women throughout the world. Her story began in 1961 when she found a diet that she could live with and began to share it with others. She knew she had succeeded beyond her dreams when 17,000 Weight Watchers' members from around the world gathered in New York's Madison Square Gardens to celebrate the organization's tenth anniversary. She resigned as President of the company to continue as a consultant to Weight Watchers everywhere. In 1978, Weight Watchers was acquired by the H. J. Heinz Company and today is the world's largest company in the field of personal weight control. Ms. Nidetch has appeared on countless radio and television programs and is a vivacious speaker lecturing to large groups throughout the nation. She is responsible for many best-selling books expressing the unique qualities of the Weight Watchers program. Articles about her life have appeared in numerous publications and she has been the recipient of hundreds of awards and accolades. A few years ago LADIES' HOME JOURNAL honored her as one of "The Most Important Women in the U.S." In 1989 she was honored by the Horatio Alger Association. “There will always be new opportunities for those of us who set no limit in our quest to accomplish our goals, and so we will realize our wildest dreams.”

C. WilliamPollard

C. William Pollard

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer The ServiceMaster Company

Downers Grove, Illinois

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C. William Pollard joined ServiceMaster in December 1977 as Senior Vice President. On January 1, 1980, he was appointed to the position of Executive Vice President of the Health Care Division. In November of that year, he assumed the responsibility of Chief Operating Officer of the company and in May, 1981, he was named President and Chief Operating Officer; in May, 1983, President and Chief Executive Officer; and effective June 1, 1990, he was named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. ServiceMaster is the leader in producing the services of professional cleaning, termite and pest control, maid service, lawn care, and appliance maintenance and repair. Service is provided to over 2.5 million residential and commercial customers, worldwide. Mr. Pollard is a graduate of Wheaton College and received his J.D. degree from Northwestern University School of Law in 1963. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Gary-Wheaton Bank, Herman Miller, Inc., Hospital Research and Educational Trust (an affiliate of the American Hospital Association), The National Committee on Quality Health Care, and a number of charitable and religious organizations. "To grow and succeed in business, people must not only do things right, but also must do the right things."


Vin Scully

Vin Scully Enterprises, Inc.

Beverly Hills, California

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Vin Scully, Broadcaster, is a master of the English language and Dodger baseball. Once teamed with Red Barber on the Dodgers' broadcasting team, Mr. Scully joined his counterpart in the broadcast wing of Baseball's Hall of Fame in 1982, as he was selected the Ford C. Frick Award winner. He also had his star placed on Hollywood's Walk of Fame in 1982. A graduate of Frodham University, he has covered many of baseball's thrilling episodes. Along with his broadcasting duties with the Dodgers, he worked for NBC covering baseball and golf. Dodger fans proved their admiration of him in 1976 when they voted him “Most Memorable Personality” in Los Angeles Dodgers baseball history. Mr. Scully has been named the outstanding sportscaster in the nation three times by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and he has been named the top sports broadcaster in California 17 times. He was named “Broadcasters Association and American Sportscasters Association “Sportscaster of the Year” in 1985. He received the “Ronald Reagan Media Award” from the United States Sports Academy on February 27, 1990. “God gave us memories so we'd have roses in December … to deal with the sometimes harsh realities of the world.”

James R.Winoker

James R. Winoker

President B. B. Greenberg Company Current: CEO Belvoir Properties, Inc.

Providence, Rhode Island

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James R. Winoker is President of B. B. Greenberg Co., a jewelry manufacturer in Providence, Rhode Island. He was born in Providence and graduated from Brown University in 1953. He received his MBA degree from Harvard Graduate School of Business in 1955. He has received an Honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from Roger Williams College. He served in the U.S. Army from 1955-58. Mr. Winoker is the Founding President of the Jewelry Institute and Founding Chairman of the Providence Industrial Development Corporation. He is a National Trustee of the National Conference of Christians and Jews and in 1989, was the recipient of their Brotherhood Award. He is a Director of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, R. I. Hospital Trust National Bank, Original Bradford Soap Works, Narragansett Electric Company and the Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce Federation. In 1986 OCEAN STATE Magazine named him Businessman of the Year. He is a Trustee of Brown University, a Fellow of Brandeis University and serves on the President's Council, Providence College. He serves on the National Campaign Board of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Luck is the crossroads where preparation and opportunity meet … never forget that.”

10th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (1990)

Joseph E.Antonini

Joseph E. Antonini

Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer Kmart Corporation Current: JEA Enterprises, L.L.C.

Troy, Michigan

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Joseph Antonini's election to his current position culminates a rapid rise through the ranks of the nation's second largest retailer. Beginning as a management trainee after graduation from West Virginia University, he learned merchandising, store operations and stock room procedures. Promotions followed rapidly. His regional experience includes positions in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Washington, DC and numerous national division posts. Mr. Antonini spearheaded one of the most dramatic changes that has been implemented as an overall change in Kmart's merchandising direction. He introduced a new, upscaled merchandise mix and physical presentation which incorporates top national brands, strong private label lines and celebrity designed, merchandised and marketed lines. High quality standards and a commitment to a policy of “best everyday price” are components of the highly successful Kmart corporate credo. Mr. Antonini's emphasis is strongly consumer oriented and service oriented in the use of modern technology. “Real success is not measured in dollars and cents, but rather the feeling of self satisfaction with our accomplishments.”

Mary KayAsh

Mary Kay Ash

Founder and Chairman Emeritus Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc. (Deceased)

Dallas, Texas

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Mary Kay Ash started her dream company in 1963 with $5000, determination and perseverance. Under her direction it has grown from small direct sales to one of the world�s largest cosmetics empires, with more than 185,000 independent beauty consultants worldwide. Her company is based on the Golden Rule and was purposely organized to give women unlimited opportunities for success. A unique combination of enthusiastic people, quality products, innovative marketing concepts and an ambitious set of goals has made hers a unique American business success story. Mrs. Ash is a sought after speaker and charismatic leader. She holds the Distinguished Woman award from Northwood Institute, and received the Horatio Alger award among many others. She is active in funding and support for educational research in the fight against cancer and is a highly regarded civic leader in Dallas. She recently received the First Annual National Sales Hall of Fame award from the Sales and Marketing Executives of New York and the Circle of Honor from the Direct Selling Education Foundation. �My philosophy that I cherish � God first, family second, and career third!�

John MackCarter

John Mack Carter

Editor-in-Chief Good Housekeeping Current: President Hearst Magazines Enterprises

New York, New York

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Mr. Carter has been Editor-in-Chief of Good Housekeeping magazine since 1975. He was named to the additional post of Director of Magazine Development for the Hearst Corporation in 1979. Hearst and Mr. Carter personally have been trendsetters in the publishing field and he is credited with many innovative practices which have changed the face of magazine publication in recent years. He has also been the host of the “Outstanding Documentary” nominated cable television program “Good Housekeeping's A Better Way.” Coming to Hearst from American Home Publishing where he served as Chairman, he has enjoyed a distinguished career as Chairman of the Board of Downe Communications Inc., Editor-in-Chief of Ladies' Home Journal, Editor-in-Chief of McCall's and Associate Editor of Better Homes and Gardens. He has been cited often for his distinguished service to journalism by both universities and consumer groups. The National Women's Political Caucus honored him as one of 10 “Good Guys” in 1985 for his commitment to the goals of women. Good Housekeeping is in the forefront of trend analysis for the American family and consumer and is a highly respected forum for national affairs. In January 1990 the Magazine Publishers of America awarded Mr. Carter its highest accolade, the Henry Johnson Fisher award. “Nothing is as important to the success of our country as our entrepreneurial spirit …”

Hugh F.Culverhouse

Hugh F. Culverhouse

Attorney at Law Culverhouse & Bolts (Deceased)

Tampa, Florida

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Hugh Culverhouse is a senior partner in the law firm of Culverhouse & Bolts in Tampa and Jacksonville. He also is active in real estate investment. In 1974 he was awarded the franchise for the NFL expansion team which became the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mr. Culverhouse held the rank of Colonel in the U.S. Air Force. He has served as Assistant Attorney General for the State of Alabama and Special Attorney and Assistant Regional Counsel in the Office of the Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service. He was a member of the advisory Committee of the Commissioner of the IRS in 1962-63. He is a member of the boards of Time Warner, Inc., The Penn Central Corporation, the PGA Tour Policy Board and the National Legal Center for Public Interest. He has been active for years in philanthropic, arts and civic projects throughout Florida. He is a member of the Florida Council of 100, The Governor's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports, The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Council on Economic Education, to name a few. President Ford named him U.S. Ambassador to the 1976 Winter Olympics at Innsbruck. He is the inaugural recipient of the Florida Enterprise Medal, holds three honorary degrees and is a member of several college boards. He has endowed chairs at five colleges and the University of Alabama School of Accountancy is named for him. “It is easy to make a buck, but it is tough to make a difference.”

Robert BeverleyEvans

Robert Beverley Evans

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Evans Industries, Inc. (Deceased)

Detroit, Michigan

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Robert Evans is a well known industrialist and inventor, Chairman and CEO of Evans Industries and the former Chairman and Director of American Motors. He was educated at the University of Michigan and the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. During his business career he has reorganized and saved over forty companies that were faltering, American Motors being one of his outstanding turnaround accomplishments. His own company, Evans Industries, Inc., is a conglomerate of over twenty individual operating manufacturing companies. He also owns R.B. Evans Oil Company, an oil exploration and production company. As an inventor Mr. Evans designed and introduced the first high speed hydrofoil boat and built the first jet powered boat in America. His boats held many official and unofficial world speed records. He formed the first glider club in America and helped design present day gliders as we know them, teaching over 225 students in World War II days to become glider pilots. Among his many awards are the Horatio Alger and Golden Plate Awards for achievement in business. He has been active in the Republican Party and in 1984 was presented the Western Michigan Republican Distinguished Service Award and has received the first Distinguished Republican Award. At the request of President Reagan he became a Commissioner of the German-American Tricentennial. He serves on the board for the Michigan State Chamber of Commerce, is a past president of the City of Detroit's Civic Center Commission and serves on the Advisory Board of the Detroit Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. “The most important thing we have is this remarkable free enterprise system that made this country great.”

Philip H.Geier, Jr.

Philip H. Geier, Jr.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc.

New York, New York

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Philip Geier, Jr. is chairman and CEO of the Interpublic Group of Companies, a parent company of advertising agencies doing business in over 60 countries. The Interpublic agencies include McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Lintas Worldwide, Dailey & Associates and Lowe Marschalk. He started his advertising career in the Cleveland office of The Marschalk Company in 1958 as a trainee. Transferring to McCann-Erickson in 1960 he accepted overseas assignment eight years later and in the course of five years held various posts throughout Europe. He became vice chairman in 1973, vice chairman-international of the parent company in 1975 and president of The Interpublic Group in 1977. He is a trustee of the New York Foundling Hospital, the Boys' Club of New York and the MU of DKE Foundation. He is a member of the Board and Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Advertising Council, a member of the President's Council and Executive Committee of the President's Council of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and also serves as a director of the Coalition of Service Industries, the board of the Council for Commercial Freedom, the School of American Ballet and the International Tennis Hall of Fame. In 1988 he received the Brotherhood Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews. An economics graduate of Colgate University, Mr. Geier received his Master's degree in marketing and finance from Columbia University. “Of the many attributes that make up leadership, ethics is the major one.”


Gerald Greenwald

Vice Chairman Chrysler Corporation Highland Park, Michigan Current: Chairman and CEO United Airlines

Rockford, Illinois

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Gerald Greenwald was named Vice Chairman of Chrysler Corporation on November 8, 1988 joining Lee Iococca on the two-member Office of the Chairman. He had been Chairman of Chrysler Motors Corporation since November 1985. Mr. Greenwald joined Chrysler Corporation in April, 1979 as Controller and has served as a member of the company's board since September of that year. Prior to 1979 he held a number of high executive positions in engineering, finance and in staff functions at the Ford Motor Company and served the company in top posts internationally. He joined that company in 1957 after earning a B.A. in Economics from Princeton. He also holds a Master's degree in Economics from Wayne State University. He is chairman of the “Europe 1992” subcommittee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Internal Policy Committee, a member of the Princeton Club of Detroit and the Chief Executives Organization, and is a director of Honeywell Incorporated, the American Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Club of Detroit, the Detroit United Foundation, the Detroit Renaissance, and the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association. In 1986, Mr. Greenwald and his wife, Glenda, a noted publisher, received the B'nai B'rith International Great American Traditions Award. “America has to muster enough of that good old Northwood-style pragmatism to keep its position as the leader of the free world.”

Thomas S.Haggai

Thomas S. Haggai

Chairman and President and CEO Independent Grocers Alliance High Point, North Carolina Current: Chairman and CEO I.G.A., Inc.

Chicago, Illinois

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Thomas Haggai is Chairman, President and CEO of IGA (Independent Grocers Alliance) which is owned by sixteen wholesale food corporations serving over 3000 stores in 48 states from 54 distribution centers. The owning stores represent almost 45% of the wholesale food distribution in the U.S. Further, he is known for his “warmth, wit and wisdom!” Mr Haggai serves on numerous corporate boards, as a trustee at High Point College and on the Advisory Board of Furman University. He has received three honorary degrees and numerous citings for distinguished service, support of free enterprise and support of youth. In 1980 he received the Horatio Award. Throughout the nation Tom Haggai is heard daily on his sponsored radio show, “One Minute, Please.” He is in constant demand as a speaker worldwide for groups of all ages, formerly averaging some 250 speeches a year! As a writer he has authored Chrissie, I Never Had It So Bad, a book dealing with youth and their problems. His books Today and How The Best Is Won have been published by Ideals. In 1963 he organized, with 250 outstanding national business and professional associates, the THA Foundation which awards college scholarships to young people preparing for a career in non-governmental youth services. “If you are destined to be a leader, you must associate yourself with magnificent patrons …”

Ronald E.Scherer

Ronald E. Scherer

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Scherer Companies Current: Senior Chairman United Magazine Company

Dublin, Ohio

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Ronald Scherer is Chairman and CEO of Scherer Companies, wholesale distributors of magazines and paperback books. He is also the Chairman of the Jefferson Savings Bank, National Wholesale Drug Company (a wholesale distributor of pharmaceuticals and health and beauty aids), the Imperial News Company, which distributes magazines and paperbacks, and National Sign and Signal, manufacturers of fiber optic signage. He is President of the professional Acquisition Corp., a real estate investment and development holding company and Chairman and President of the Muirfield Village Company, real estate developers. He was educated at Northwood Institute and Franklin University. He is a director of the Council for Periodical Distribution Association, the Mid American Periodical Distribution Association, the Periodical Institute and the Independent Distributors of Great Lakes. He is a lifetime member of the Twenty Five Year Club, an industry charitable organization, and a member of the Dublin Youth Athletic Association. He is a sports enthusiast, as well! Mr. Scherer has received the Brandeis University Man of the Year Award and the Anti Defamation League's Torch of Liberty Award. “Success is establishing a goal and working each day to meet that goal, no matter how long it takes.”

Donald G.Soderquist

Donald G. Soderquist

Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Bentonville, Arkansas

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Donald Soderquist joined Wal-Mart in 1980 as Executive Vice President of Administration and Distribution. He served in several other executive positions until his appointment in early 1988 to Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer. Wal-Mart operates over 1300 discount department stores and over 100 Sam's Wholesale Clubs with reported sales of over $20 billion for fiscal year 1989. Prior to joining Wal-Mart he served sixteen years with Ben Franklin in a number of capacities including six years as President and Chief Executive Officer. He received his B.A. degree in Business Administration from Wheaton College, has studied at Stanford Graduate School of Business and has received an honorary degree from Southwest Baptist University. He serves on the Board and Executive Committee of Wal-Mart and on the boards of the International Mass Retail Association of New York and the 1st National Bank of Rogers, Arkansas. He is on the Board of Trustees for John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas and the Stewards Foundation of Wheaton College in Illinois. He serves on the Board of Governors for Children's Miracle Network Telethon of Salt Lake City and is on the National Advisory Board of Skaggs Institute of Retail Management, Provo, Utah and the Medical Assistance Program of Brunswick, Georgia. “An individual is really a reflection of the composite of his life experience and the people he has met along the way …”

9th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (1989)

William F.Austin

William F. Austin

President and CEO Starkey Laboratories, Inc.

Eden Prairie, Minnesota

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William F. Austin, President and Owner of Starkey Laboratories, Inc., has directed the development of the company from a two person basement operation to a position of international leadership in hearing instruments. Starkey's compound annual sales growth since 1970 stands above 55% and today the company provides career opportunities at nineteen manufacturing locations strategically positioned around the world. Mr. Austin's business philosophies have changed the hearing aid industry through free market competition far more significantly than FDA and FTC combined and today Starkey's consumer responsible policies have been adopted by the industry as standard. In 1975 the Starkey Fund, which provides free hearing aids to needy children and adults, was established and thousands have received help in the third world countries. In 1988, for these efforts, Mr. Austin was given the “Leader for Peace Award” by the Director of the Peace Corps. He is also a supporter of many other social causes, and serves on the Board of Directors of Connect US-USSR which promotes cultural exchange with Russia. Mr. Austin is past President of the Hearing Industries Association and has served on its Board of Directors for the last ten years. “To be a leader, you have to work hard to get out in front, then work harder to utilize your newly developed resources.”

Donald W.Brinckman

Donald W. Brinckman

President and Chief Executive Officer Safety-Kleen Corp. Current: Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Safety-Kleen Corp.

Elgin, Illinois

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Donald W. Brinckman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Safety-Kleen Corp. since 1968, has guided the company's growth from initial year revenues approximating $100,000 to 1987 revenues of over $333 million. Mr. Brinckman holds a B.S. degree in marketing and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University and received an honorary doctorate from Judson College. Early in his business career, he was employed by Crane Company and Outboard Marine Corporation, primarily in marketing research. In 1960, he joined CR Industries, Elgin, Illinois, as Market Research Manager. He became Manager of Planning and Distribution in 1962 and was promoted to Vice President of the Replacement Division in 1966. He recommended that CR Industries purchase Safety-Kleen in 1968. Mr. Brinckman became President of Safety-Kleen, retaining his position as Vice President of the parent company until Safety-Kleen's spin-off from CR in 1974. Mr. Brinckman is a founding member of the American Business Conference, a coalition of emerging growth companies. In 1984, he and the company were selected to receive the first annual “Excellence in Corporate Growth Award” by the Chicago Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth. He was inducted into the Illinois Business Hall of Fame in September of 1986. “I believe that within our American system of free enterprise, almost anything is possible.”

E. LlwydEcclestone, Jr.

E. Llwyd Ecclestone, Jr.

Chairman National Investment Company

West Palm Beach, Florida

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E. Llwyd Ecclestone was raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. He started in the construction business in Detroit in 1962 under the name of Hillock-Ecclestone & Company. The following year he became sole owner of the renamed Ecclestone Construction Company and built the first condominium in Michigan (a Detroit urban renewal project). In 1965, he moved to Lost Tree Village, located in the northern part of Palm Beach County. From 1965 to 1968 he was Executive Vice President of Lost Tree Village Corporation, responsible for home construction, land development and sales. In 1968 he organized Florida Realty Building Company and subsidiary companies that developed and built the Forum III office complex, Plaza Centre, Old Port Cove, Lost Tree Village South, Ocean House Condominiums and custom homes in Lost Tree Village. In 1976 he established National Investment Company, which is the general managing partner of PGA National — the home and headquarters of the Professional Golfers' Association — a development in Palm Beach Gardens consisting of 2,340 acres. For relaxation he races and cruises on an ocean going sailboat named KODIAK and is an avid athlete. He is a member of numerous civic boards and councils. “It is important to recognize the difference between acceptable and first rate and to know that the extra push is worth the effort.”

Willard W.Garvey

Willard W. Garvey

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Garvey Industries, Inc. (Deceased)

Wichita, Kansas

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As a young man Willard Garvey worked closely with his father, Ray Garvey, in building family holdings in farming, grain storage, real estate and petroleum. After the war, as President of Builders, Inc. he created a veritable revolution in low-cost housing in Wichita. He also played a key role in arranging the financing that allowed the Garvey Elevators to lead the nation in storage capacity. On the death of his father in 1959, Willard and his three siblings jointly administered the family properties until 1972. Since then he has built Garvey Industries into a seven-division twenty-corporation diversified business group including far-flung finance, grain, agriculture, property development and petroleum operations. His World Homes operation in 29 countries received wide publicity in the 1960s. Garvey is a volunteer activist. He is a founding director of the World Business Council, the International Executive Service Corps, the National Legal Center for the Public Interest, VOLUNTEER — The National Center and the National Center for Privatization. He is a director of Bank IV, Wichita, National Association of Homebuilders and the Council for National Policy. He has been a member and active participant in the Young Presidents and Chief Executives organizations since the 1950s. “Education is key — Northwood is a weapon in the arsenal of those of us trying to arrest and reverse the decline of common sense about business.”

David D.Glass

David D. Glass

President and Chief Executive Officer Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Bentonville, Arkansas

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David D. Glass, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., joined Wal-Mart in 1976 as Executive Vice President of Finance. Formerly with Crank Drug Stores and Consumer Markets, where he served as General Manager, Mr. Glass administered the overall financial and accounting functions of Wal-Mart until his promotion to Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer in 1982. He has served as President since 1984 and as Chief Executive Officer since February, 1988. During his tenure Wal-Mart has grown from 125 stores to its present operation of over 1,000 stores, including the formation of Sam's Wholesale Club in 1983 and Hypermarket* USA in 1988. A native of Mountain View, Missouri, Mr. Glass is a graduate of Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, where he currently serves as an active member of their alumni association. As a result of his long standing support of the college, the recently completed School of Business was dedicated as David D. Glass Hall. In 1986 Mr. Glass was named “Discounter of the Year” by the retail industry. “We must challenge the obvious, we must have the will to compete and we must realize that most of our limitations are self-imposed.”

M. ThomasLardner

M. Thomas Lardner

President and Chief Executive Officer The Lehndorff USA Group of Companies Current: President and CEO The L&B Group (Deceased)

Dallas, Texas

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M. Thomas Lardner has been the United States Partner and President and CEO of Lehndorff Management (USA) Limited, Inc., since 1971. He is responsible for organizing the Acquisition and Management Group of the United States Operations of the Lehndorff Group of Companies, which includes U.S. headquarters based in Dallas, as well as several field offices throughout the United States. He is a partner in LGB minerals, an oil and gas company; a Partner in Texas Pacific Investment Company, engaged in capital promotion in the Far East; a Partner in Central Expressway Holding Venture, real estate investment, downtown Dallas; and Chairman of the Board, Lehndorff and Babson Real Estate Council. Mr. Lardner has a special interest in the Dallas arts community and has served on the boards of the Dallas Ballet Alliance, Dallas Civic Opera, TACA and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. He also actively supports the Dallas Museum of Art and the Dallas Theatre Center. He holds directorships on the boards of several banks and is involved with leading national and international business and trade associations. . “It is essential to enunciate and articulate a business plan in personal and business development. Northwood is allowing their students to do just that.”

E. ColinLindsey

E. Colin Lindsey

Honorary Vice Chairman Belk Lindsey Stores (Deceased)

Tampa, Florida

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Known as the “Entrepreneur's Entrepreneur,” E. Colin Lindsey is the farsighted merchant who became the Florida partner of the Belk department store chain in the South. His first association with William Henry Belk was when he was hired in 1918 to sell shoes in Belk Brothers in Charlotte, North Carolina. The first Belk Lindsey store opened in October in 1935. Belk Lindsey is now a 35 store, $100 million operation. It was Mr. Lindsey who first used his store to anchor a shopping mall not in downtown and who was first to air-condition his stores. He always maintained a “customer-first, quality, affordable prices” approach to his merchandising. His role in the company is now advisory since he has passed on the management to longtime staff members. The success of the business he created is often referred to as the result of his vision and genius. He shies away from the genius connotation. “I had a lot of luck good upbringing, and I guess I wanted to get ahead,” he says. Mr. Lindsey acquired his affectionate nickname, “Kingfish,” as a result of his early political activity. “Integrity is the most important thing you can have in any business.”

Paul P.Rusnak

Paul P. Rusnak

Chairman of the Board and Founder PRM Corporation

Pasadena, California

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Paul P. Rusnak is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of PRM Corporation, which is comprised of three business groups. The retail automotive group consists of 11 leading Southern California automobile dealerships representing 12 domestic and import franchises. The land development/construction/real estate financing group specializes in planning and development of upscale planned unit communities, commercial and residential building and real estate financing. PRM Records is an independent label producing records for world-wide markets. He is a director and president of several business and civic organizations and Chairman of the International AIDS Research Hospital Foundation. “Three of the most important elements in the nurturing of any business leader are freedom, education and opportunity. Northwood's dedication in educating our future business leaders is key to those elements.”

Patrick F.Taylor

Patrick F. Taylor

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Taylor Energy Company (Deceased)

New Orleans, Louisiana

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Patrick Taylor left home at an early age, graduated as a petroleum engineer (in 3-1/2 years) from Louisiana State University (1959) and immediately was employed by John Mecom, Sr., an independent Houston oilman. He worked for Mr. Mecom for 7-1/2 years. After a brief period with another company, Mr. Taylor formed his own consulting engineering company and began acquiring gas and oil properties in 1967. In 1974, Mr. Taylor and Mr. Mecom formed Circle Bar Drilling Company, known for its inshore drilling technology. In 1979, Mr. Taylor sold Circle Bar Drilling and founded Taylor Energy Company. It is now one of the ten largest independents in the United States. Mr. Taylor and his wife, Phyllis, have developed extensive Brangus cattle ranching interests in Foxworth, Mississippi (also a center for research into wildlife-management) and in Ruidoso, New Mexico. He has received the Horatio Alger Award, served the U.S. and Louisiana Olympic Committees, the New Orleans Bicentennial Commission, the March of Dimes and many other civic and professional organizations. “All children, rich or poor, need the opportunity to be challenged in today's higher education system; given that chance, they will achieve success.”


Lillian Vernon

Founder and Chief Executive Officer The Lillian Vernon Corporation Mount Vernon, New York Current: CEO The Lillian Vernon Corporation

New Rochelle, New York

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Lillian Vernon is America's most successful and well known female catalog founder. She pioneered her mail order business in 1951 to supplement her husband's income. With $2,000 and a supply of purses and belts, she placed a $495 ad in Seventeen magazine. The offer included personalization with customer's initials free of charge. Personalization has been a popular customer service ever since. The Lillian Vernon Corporation was founded in 1965 and completed its first million dollar sales year in 1970. Known for her high tech facilities, a new state of the art Distribution Center will be completed in Virginia Beach, VA in 1989. More than nine million customers receive Lillian Vernon catalogs offering some eight hundred items. An average of 30,000 orders are shipped daily. Lillian Vernon remains the company's primary merchant and travels around the world on buying trips. She is an active member of two groups of the nation's most influential business women: the Committee of 200 and The Women's Forum. She is a supporter of entrepreneurs, cottage industries and Third World artisans and the recipient of many awards. “Know yourself and know your product … be true to both.”

8th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (1988)

Bradford R.Boss

Bradford R. Boss

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer A. T. Cross Company

Lincoln, Rhode Island

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Bradford R. Boss joined A.T. Cross Company in 1958. His career began in sales and marketing. He was elected Vice President and Director in 1964; Vice President and Treasurer in 1967; President in 1971; and Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer in 1979. He served as President of the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association during 1969-70 and served as Chairman of the Board of the Association during 1971-72. He continued as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Association. He was elected by his alma mater, the University of Rhode Island, to its Hall of Fame in 1978 and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Commerce Degree in 1982. He is a Trustee of the University. Mr. Boss is a Member of the Board of Governors of The American Stock Exchange and a Senior Member of the American Stock Exchange Listed Company Advisory Committee through 1987. He serves on the boards of several other business, educational and civic organizations. “Have a sense of pride and responsibility in what you do and what you stand for.”

S. TruettCathy

S. Truett Cathy

President and Founder Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Atlanta, Georgia

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S. Truett Cathy rose from humble beginnings to become Founder and President of Chick-fil-A, Inc., a successful coast-to-coast chain of 355 fast-food restaurants in 31 states. Most of the restaurants are located in regional shopping malls. Mr. Cathy went into business for himself when he was eight years old. After military service during World War II, he decided to go into the restaurant business. One of his most outstanding commitments is to young people. He has nurtured this for over 30 years since he began teaching 13 year old boys in Sunday School. Mr. Cathy is the recipient of numerous awards each year. In this past year alone he was named 1987 Entrepreneur of the Year by Business Atlanta, received the Distinguished Service Award from Georgia State University; was named Georgian of the Year by the Georgia Broadcasters Association; received the Community Service Award from the Atlanta Journal and Constitution; the Entrepreneur Award from the Association for Corporate Growth, Atlanta Chapter and the Community Service Award from TV Channel 11—Alive, Atlanta. “We're not in the chicken business, we're in the people business and that is true for all business.”

John J.Cullinane

John J. Cullinane

Founder Cullinet Software, Inc. Dedham, Massachusetts Current: President The Cullinane Group

Cambridge, Massachusetts

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John J. Cullinane is Founder of Cullinet Software, Inc., one of the first computer companies formed to specialize in computer software products. In 1982, 1984, and 1985, Mr. Cullinane was named as The Wall Street Transcript's CEO of the year in the computer software products industry. He was inducted into The Babson College Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs and was honored in 1985 at the Fifty-Seventh Annual Awards Dinner for The National Conference of Christians and Jews. Most recently he was inducted into INFOMART'S 1987 Information Processing Hall of Fame. Mr. Cullinane is a graduate of Northeastern University and a member of its Board of Trustees and is a recipient of The Northeastern University Outstanding Alumni Award for Business and Industry. He is a member of the board of several business organizations and is Chairman of the Board of Directors of The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. “The only true lasting satisfaction in life comes from helping others.”

John Q.Hammons

John Q. Hammons

Chairman of the Board John Q. Hammons Industries (Deceased)

Springfield, Missouri

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John Q. Hammons, a Holiday Inn franchisee for the past three decades, has been involved in the development of more than 80 Inns throughout the western United States. He began his career in residential and commercial development in Springfield in 1949. Mr. Hammons is an outstanding civic leader in his home town and directs his energies and philanthropy to performing arts groups; the development of the Hammons Heart Institute of St. John's Regional Health Center; the Hammons Life Line emergency helicopter; and various educational programs. Buildings at Drury College and at his alma mater, Southwest Missouri State University, bear his name. He was inducted into the Greater Ozarks Hall of Fame alongside former President Harry S. Truman. A main thoroughfare in Springfield has been named the John Q. Hammons Parkway. “We are fortunate to have Northwood and its programs influencing the future by planting the seeds of success and accomplishment in the minds of the brightest of our young.”

Victor K.Kiam II

Victor K. Kiam II

Remington Products, Inc. Bridgeport, Connecticut Current: Chairman Remington Products, Inc. (Deceased)

New York, New York

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Victor K. Kiam II began his career with Lever Brothers, later moving to International Latex Corporation (Playtex). He left in 1968 to join Benrus Corporation, where he became Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. In 1979 Mr. Kiam bought Remington Products, Inc. He credits his wife, who gave him the shaver which he says changed his life. The ads in which he appears have made him a household favorite and his product a runaway success. In 1981 Remington Products received the National Commercial Finance Conference Award as Outstanding Financed Company in the U.S. Mr. Kiam was named National Business and Commerce Father of the Year by the National Father's Day Council in 1982 and in 1984 was given the Golden Plate Award by the American Academy of Achievement. He is in heavy demand as a speaker and television guest. In 1986 his book Going For It! was published. “An entrepreneur assumes the risk and is dedicated and committed to the success of whatever he or she undertakes.”

F. JamesMcDonald

F. James McDonald

Retired President General Motors Corporation (Deceased)

Detroit, Michigan

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F. James McDonald was named President and Chief Operating Officer of General Motors in 1981. Prior to becoming President, he had been an Executive Vice President and member of the General Motors Board of Directors since 1974. He is a native of Saginaw, Michigan and a 1944 graduate of General Motors Institute. He began his career, following serving in the Navy, at the Saginaw Malleable Iron Plant. Mr. McDonald is a member of the Board of Directors of the H. J. Heinz Company; the Georgia-Pacific Corporation and K-mart Corporation. He also serves on the Board of the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association and The Economic Club of Detroit. He is an Honorary Trustee of the Engineering and Science Hall of Fame and past chairman of the National Minority Supplier Development Council. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Northwood Institute in 1981. “Give American youth the right environment and education, their deeds will far exceed those of any previous generations.”

Roger S.Penske

Roger S. Penske

President Penske Corporation Red Bank, New Jersey Current: Chairman Penske Corporation

Detroit, Michigan

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Roger S. Penske is the founder and President of Penske Corporation which is comprised of three business groups, Transportation Services, Retail Automotive, and Automotive Performance. The Transportation Services Group includes Hertz Penske Truck Leasing, Inc. The Retail Automotive Group sells nearly 35,000 vehicles in California and New York. Penske Auto Center of New York and Penske Cadillac in Downey, California are two of the largest Cadillac franchises in the United States. Longo Toyota in El Monte, California is America's largest Toyota dealership. The Automotive Performance Group includes automobile racing facilities in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The Penske Racing Team has won 49 Indy Car Races including six Indianapolis 500 mile races and seven National Championships. He is also Chief Executive Officer of Detroit Diesel Corporation, a venture formed by General Motors Corporation and Penske Corporation to design, manufacture and market diesel engines worldwide. “My father taught me that effort equals success, never forget that.”

Heinz C.Prechter

Heinz C. Prechter

Chairman and President ASC Incorporated (Deceased)

Southgate, Michigan

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Heinz C. Prechter, founder, owner, Chairman and President of ASC Incorporated, a supplier to the worldwide automobile industry, is a native of Kleinhoebing, West Germany. He began his automotive career at the age of 13 as an apprentice in automotive trim, tool and die making, and coach and body building. He studied at Berufs-Oberschule and at Nuremberg's OHM Polytechnic Engineering School. In 1963 he came to the United States as an exchange student. While studying Business Administration and English at San Francisco State College he installed sunroofs and in 1965 formed American Sunroof Company. The small business he began in a two-car garage expanded to include other services and today has 23 facilities in North America. He is a director of several business and civic organizations. He has been honored many times for his accomplishments and in 1987 was named World Leader of the Year by the World Trade Club of the Greater Detroit Chamber of Commerce. “Entrepreneurship is not a solo act … it is blessed with the support of many people.”

John W.Teets

John W. Teets

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer The Greyhound Corporation Current Chairman & CEO J.W. Teets Enterprises, L.L.C. (Deceased)

Phoenix, Arizona

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John W. Teets began his association with Greyhound in 1964 and the very next year was named President of two of Greyhound's subsidiary operations, the youngest person ever to be so named by the company. Although he left Greyhound in 1968 he returned in 1976 as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Greyhound Food Management. He has been in his present leadership capacities since 1982. His philosophy ‘'management's job is to see the company not as it is — but as it can become'' has served him well. Mr. Teets is a director of ConAgra, Inc. and a member of the President' s Association of the American Management Association, the Business Roundtable and the Conference Board, along with a wide range of other business and professional organizations. In 1986 he was chosen Chief Executive Officer of the year by the international business magazine Leaders and received the National Human Relations Award from the American Jewish Committee. “I got my first management position when I was 21 … I knew it was a management position because I had to work seven days a week.”

The Honorable Daniel J.Terra

The Honorable Daniel J. Terra

Ambassador-at-Large for Cultural Affairs Department of State - Washington, D.C. and Founder The Terra Museum of American Art (Deceased)

Chicago, Illinois

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The Honorable Daniel J. Terra was appointed as Ambassador-at-large for Cultural Affairs by President Reagan in 1981. He is well suited to the role because of his long and distinguished career as philanthropist, entrepreneur, and patron of the visual and performing arts. The son of first generation Italian immigrants, Mr. Terra was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and attended Pennsylvania State University. As a young man of 28, he launched Lawter Chemicals, Inc. which manufactures polymer-based products including printing ink vehicles, synthetic resins, and organic colors. Throughout his successful business career, he has devoted a major amount of time to his two favorite pursuits — art collecting and philanthropy. Ambassador Terra's philanthropic activities include his many endeavors on behalf of charitable, cultural, civic, and political organizations. “American philanthropy is a tremendous national achievement and should not only be perpetuated but enhanced.”

7th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (1987)

Edmund F.Ball

Edmund F. Ball

Retired Chairman of the Board & President Chairman Emeritus of the Executive Committee Ball Corporation (Deceased)

Muncie, Indiana

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Edmund F. Ball, son of one of the five founding brothers, has been with the Ball Corporation all of his working life. In 1928 he began in the ranks with various manufacturing assignments and advanced to the office of President and Chairman of the Board, positions he held at the time of his retirement in 1970. He served during World War II with distinction and subsequently published a book, Staff Officer, which recounted his experiences as aide to General Mark W. Clark. He has served on the boards of directors of several major corporations, educational institutions and hospitals. His list of civic involvements is long. He is presently President of Muncie Airport, Inc.; Minnetrista Corporation; the Ball Brothers Foundation and Chairman of the Board of Muncie Aviation Corporation. He holds honorary degrees from five colleges and universities. “Teaching people how to do things is not enough; we also need to teach them why we do things. Northwood does just that.”

E. BenardBlasingame

E. Benard Blasingame

President and Founder Aqua Glass Corporation Current: Owner-President Aqua Enterprises

Adamsville, Tennessee

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E. Benard Blasingame is founder and President of Aqua Glass Corporation, the nation's largest independent manufacturer of gelcoat and acrylic bath and shower units. In 1968 he designed and built a 24-foot houseboat of wood, using small fiberglass units to seal the bottom. His father co-signed a bank note to help him get started and both of his parents worked in the shop to help this fledgling business grow. In 1970, with the market for houseboats shrinking, he added fiberglass tub/shower units to the production line. A year later houseboats were discontinued. An oil embargo and the resultant increase in costs of polyester resin, a derivative of crude oil and the primary chemical used in fiberglass manufacture, created serious problems for the company. From its small beginning however, Aqua Glass today employs over 600 people and has large production and warehouse facilities located on 132 acres of land. “Believe in your employees, produce the finest products, service your customers, work hard and accept God's blessings.”

William W.Blodgett

William W. Blodgett

President Roberts Transportation Services, Inc. Akron, Ohio Current: Entrepreneur

Palm Beach, Florida

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William Blodgett graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and joined Price Waterhouse Inc., later moving to Globe Rubber Products and Emery Air Freight, in positions of corporate finance. He is a C.P.A. Mr. Blodgett acquired a small business operating in the red in 1976 and has developed it into a position of leadership in the expedited transportation industry. Roberts Transportation Services today includes Roberts Express, an expedited trucking service; Pronto Express, a scheduled truckload transportation company; MediQuik Express, an expedited transportation company serving the medical profession and pharmaceutical industry; and Carvan, Inc., a specialized transportation company serving the automotive industry. Mr. Blodgett sold his firm to Roadway Service in 1987 and has since retired. “Try hard and always do your best, — and it pleases me to know that Northwood is doing their best with their students.”

Terry D.Carder

Terry D. Carder

Chairman of the Board, President and CEO The Reynolds and Reynolds Company Dayton, Ohio Current: Chairman and CEO BMS, Inc.

Centerville, Ohio

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Terry D. Carder joined Reynolds and Reynolds as a Sales Correspondent in 1953 and advanced to the position of Manager of Sales Services. After holding various sales and administrative posts, he was appointed Vice President of EDP Services, Vice President of Marketing, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Dealer Services, Vice President of Administration and Strategic Planning, and Executive Vice President. Mr. Carder was elected President and Chief Operating Officer in December, 1982 and was promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer in February, 1984. He was elected to the position of Chairman of the Board in November, 1985. He serves on the boards of several arts, health and educational institutions. “The practical application of education and believing in our free enterprise system is what makes our country great.”

June M.Collier

June M. Collier

President and Chief Executive Officer National Industries, Inc.

Montgomery, Alabama

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June M. Collier heads a company which is one of the Savvy 60 top woman-owned businesses in America. She is responsible for a variety of commercial interests including numerous products to meet automotive and aerospace needs, petroleum exploration and production, and commercial real estate development. She is active in governmental affairs and has been called upon to consult with U.S. government leaders on foreign and domestic trade matters. The Secretary of Commerce and the US Special Trade Representative appointed her as a member of the prestigious Industrial Policy Advisory Committee of the U. S. Department of Commerce. Ms. Collier is also a member of the Committee of 200, an organization limited to the top 200 women business leaders in the U. S . She serves as the only woman ever elected to the Board of Directors of the Automotive Hall of Fame. She holds the 1984 Industry Week Excellence in Management Award for her support of free enterprise. Ms. Collier also devotes a great deal of time to speaking before various business, civic and study groups on economic and trade issues. “Northwood appeals to me because of its strong commitment to the American system of free enterprise. They teach theories which match reality.”

James E.Ellis

James E. Ellis

Chairman, President and CEO J. Ellis, Inc. Current: Chairman, President and CEO American International Apparel, Inc.

Dallas, Texas

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James E. Ellis founded his company three years ago and it has enjoyed unprecedented growth, causing it in this relatively short period of time to become an important force in the dress and sports-wear industry. The business was recently named “Hottest in Dallas” by D Magazine. He began his career with retail positions at Foley's in Houston and at Higbee's in Cleveland. He then became a sales representative for Bobbie Brooks, Inc. After a move to Dallas he held executive positions at Jerell, Inc. for ten years. His creative abilities are not limited to art and design. He worked his way through high school, college and graduate school with his own dance band and music continues to be his number one hobby. He is active in Texas politics and various civic and educational projects. “A simple entrepreneurial profile … a mental toughness combined with a creative flair.”

Irving B.Harris

Irving B. Harris

President Standard Shares, Inc. Chairman of the Executive Committee Pittway Corporation (Deceased)

Chicago, Illinois

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Irving B. Harris entered the business world following graduation from Yale University in 1931. During World War II he served in governmental posts with the Board of Economic Warfare and the Office of Price Administration. He served in executive capacities with several companies during the years 1944-1976. In addition to his 25-year association with Standard Shares, Inc. and Pittway Corporation, Mr. Harris has been Chairman of the Board of the Acorn Fund, Inc. since 1970 and Chairman of the Board of Harriscope Broadcasting Corporation since 1950. He is an active leader in numerous civic and charitable organizations. “Recognize that most of the mistakes you make in business, you can also provide the remedies.”


Leonard Shane

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mercury Savings and Loan Association (Deceased)

Huntington Beach, California

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Leonard Shane describes himself as a “home ownership activist” who believes that the national priority to home ownership and housing in the private sector must not only be continued, but must be extended for social as well as economic reasons. He is the past chairman of the United States League of Savings Institutions, the 4,000- member national trade association for savings and loan associations and other thrift organizations, and is chairman of the League's Legislative Policy Committee. He is past chairman of the California League of Savings Institutions, the statewide trade association for the industry. Active in social and civic organizations, as well as trade associations, Mr. Shane holds over 300 civic awards and citations. “I extend the hand of fellowship in my life to anyone who will even blink once to indicate receptiveness.”

6th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (1986)

WintonBlount, Jr.

Winton Blount, Jr.

Chairman andChief Executive Officer Blount, Inc. Current: Chairman of the Board Blount International, Inc. (Deceased)

Montgomery, Alabama

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Winton Malcolm Blount, Jr. has been head of Blount Inc. since 1974. Blount Inc. is a billion dollar international company with operations in three basic industries: construction and engineering, specialty steel, and machinery and equipment. Mr. Blount began his career in 1941 in association with his Father. In 1969-70 he served as Postmaster General of the United States and member of the President's Cabinet and during 1970-71 he was Postmaster General and Chairman of the Board of the U.S. Postal Service. He was President of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States in 1968. He has been active in Montgomery business, civic, cultural and religious affairs and in 1984 a Governor's proclamation honored him for distinguished service to the State of Alabama. Mr. Blount is a director of Union Camp Corporation; Munford, Inc.; World Mail Center, Inc.; and is a trustee of the University of Alabama, Rhodes College. “The arts are an important part of what makes life worth living, and I am impressed with Northwood's commitment to teach the relationship between business and the arts.”

Helen F.Boehm

Helen F. Boehm

Chairman Boehm Porcelain Studios (Deceased)

Trenton, New Jersey, Malvern, England & Boehm of Llandow, Wales

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Helen F. Boehm, the daughter of Italian immigrants, married farmer-turned-artist Edward Marshall Boehm and began to aggressively market his porcelain. The Studios, founded in 1950, are today internationally acclaimed creators of the finest sculpture in porcelain, bronze and precious metals. Boehm Porcelain is exhibited in museums and institutions throughout the world. Mrs. Boehm has been received and honored by heads of state throughout the world. She is an energetic woman whose wide interests have brought her many honors and awards. Her favorite philanthropies include the Scheie Eye Institute of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and children's hospitals throughout the country. She is known for her sponsorship of winning polo teams in Palm Beach, Florida and in England. Mrs. Boehm continues to serve as director on several corporate boards. The Helen Boehm Autobiography has been called a “chatty life story — great fun to read.” “We must all strive to increase the awareness of the role that free enterprise plays in preserving and improving the American way of life.”


J.B. Fuqua

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Fuqua Industries, Inc. Chairman, Triton Group, Ltd. Current: Chairman, The Fuqua Companies (Deceased)

Atlanta, Georgia

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J. B. Fuqua, a prominent Georgia businessman, served four terms in the Georgia legislature, three in the House, one in the Senate, 1957- 1964. He was Chairman of the House Banking Committee four years and Chairman of the Senate Banking Finance Committee two years. Mr. Fuqua was Chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee of Georgia and the Democratic Party of Georgia, 1962-66 and now he serves on the Board of Directors for several business and educational institutions. Duke University's business school is named The Fuqua School of Business in his honor. He received the prestigious Horatio Alger Award in 1984. In 1985, Mr. Fuqua was the recipient of the Award of Merit for Distinguished Entrepreneurship from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Entrepreneurial Center. “I try to sell capitalism and the free enterprise system at every opportunity …”


Nancy Layman

Co-Founder Frekote, Inc. Boca Raton, Florida Current: CEO ZYVAX, Inc.

Grand Cayman, B.W.I.

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Nancy Layman started her business career in 1962 with an unproven chemical formula that was first produced in a rented garage and is now considered the world leader in semi-permanent mold release technology. She is now a recognized expert in the field. In 1981 Frekote, Inc. became a subsidiary of The Dexter Corporation and Mrs. Layman added the title Vice President, Hysol Division. In addition to Mrs. Layman's business schedule, she is a busy wife and mother of two college-age sons. In 1970 she was honored as wife of the year by the Florida Chiropractic organization. “There are still opportunities for those who are prepared to commit themselves. You've got to give success a chance to happen.”

Frederick J.Mancheski

Frederick J. Mancheski

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Echlin, Inc. (Retired)

Branford, Connecticut

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Frederick J. Mancheski has been at the helm of Echlin, Inc. since 1969. Within the automotive industry, Mr. Mancheski has served as Chairman of the Board and Director of the Motor Equipment Manufacturers Association and Chairman and Director of the Manufacturers Council of the National Automotive Parts Association. In 1982, he was named Automotive Aftermarket Man of the Year by the editors of Motor Magazine and he has been the recipient of numerous other awards from the industry. Mr. Mancheski is currently a Director of the following organizations: The Armstrong Rubber Company; Hartford National Corporation; Russell, Burdsall & Ward, Inc.; Hercules Aerospace Company; The Connecticut Hospice, Inc.; Junior Achievement; and Young Audiences. He is also a Trustee of the Hospital of Saint Raphael, New Haven, Ct., and is serving as Vice Chairman of the Connecticut Committee of the Newcomen Society in North America. “The students of Northwood are highly prized by companies in business. They come to us with so much enthusiasm.”

J. TerranceMurray

J. Terrance Murray

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Fleet Financial Group, Inc. and Fleet National Bank Providence, Rhode Island Current: President and CEO Fleet Financial Group, Inc.

Boston, Massachusetts

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J. Terrence Murray joined Fleet National Bank in 1962 after graduation from Harvard University. He advanced steadily working in several of the bank's branches, the credit department, and the real estate financing department. He was later named a Vice President of the Corporation and a Senior Vice President of the Bank in 1969. He has been a Director of the Corporation since 1976 and a Director of the Bank since 1977. Mr. Murray was elected Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation and the Bank in May, 1982. He has been an active booster for the State of Rhode Island, often serving as a member of business development committees for the state. He currently serves on the Government Relations Council of the American Bankers Association and is a member of the Board of Directors and the Legislative Policy Committee of the Association of Bank Holding Companies. “The Northwood philosophy of teaching its students an understanding of this country's free enterprise system is a service of the highest order.”

Richard M.Pittenger

Richard M. Pittenger

Publisher, Friendly Exchange Magazine Los Angeles, California Current: Founder International City of Care Foundation (Deceased)

Agoura Hills, California

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Richard M. Pittenger founded the Friendly Exchange magazine five years ago for the Farmer Insurance Group of Companies. It has a readership of more than ten million and has won national and regional awards, including a special Presidential Citation. Mr. Pittenger also serves as special management consultant to the Chairman of the Board of Farmers Group, Inc., an insurance management firm and holding company among whose member companies are the nation's third largest automobile and home owners insurers. His career spans more than fifty years during which time he has held numerous executive posts in many areas of the business world with an emphasis on public relations and public affairs. His early work was as a Hollywood publicist. For many years he served as Vice President of Public Relations for the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies. He was also public relations instructor at the University of Southern California School of Public Administration. For the past twenty-six years, Mr. Pittenger has been creating and supervising construction of Farmers Insurance Group's award-winning Tournament of Roses, Portland Rose Festival and Phoenix Fiesta Bowl Floral floats. He is Director-at-large of the Portland Rose Festival and National Parade Chairman for the 1985 Fiesta Bowl. “I am struck by the value of an ongoing exchange of ideas between those who are learning and those who are experienced.”

Jack D.Sparks

Jack D. Sparks

Chairman, President and and Chief Executive Officer Whirlpool Corporation (Deceased)

Benton Harbor, Michigan

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Jack D. Sparks joined Whirlpool in 1940. His career was interrupted by World War II. His first assignment in sales and marketing came in 1948 when he was named Assistant to the General Sales Manager. He was named group Vice President, Marketing and elected to the Board of Directors in 1970. Mr. Sparks serves on the Board of Directors of Meredith Corporation; the Peoples State Bank of St. Joseph, Michigan; and Inglis Limited of Canada. He is a member of many business, educational and cultural groups and is active in the affairs of several trade associations. He is the author of numerous marketing management articles and is a well known speaker and lecturer at colleges and at marketing conferences. He was named by THE WALL STREET TRANSCRIPT as recipient of the publication's gold award as “Best Chief Executive Officer” in the appliance industry in 1982 and again in 1984. In 1985 he was given the Horatio Alger Award. “Today's business market needs people who recognize the difference between acceptable and first-rate, and who know that extra push is worth the trouble!”

Fred C.Tucker, Jr.

Fred C. Tucker, Jr.

Chairman and President F. C. Tucker Company, Inc. (Deceased)

Indianapolis, Indiana

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Fred C. Tucker, Jr. as Chairman and President of the F. C. Tucker Company, Inc., the state's largest firm of realtors and developers, has been associated with the growth and progress of Indianapolis for more than three decades. He has been a leader in state and national real estate organizations, and has served as a Director of the YMCA National Council, and is a Director of the Indiana State Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Tucker is a Director of the Indiana National Corporation, Indiana National Bank, Jefferson National Life Insurance Company, and Jefferson Corporation. He is a Trustee of the Arthur Jordan Foundation and the Benjamin Harrison Foundation. “Our mutual duty and responsibility is to make the torch burn brighter as we pass it along to succeeding and capable hands.”

5th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (1985)


W.O. Bankston

President W. O. Bankston Enterprises, Inc. (Deceased)

Dallas, Texas

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W. O. Bankston has been an automobile dealer since he opened a used car business in 1937, and has owned and operated a number of new car dealerships … Packard, Oldsmobile, Lincoln-Mercury, Datsun, Saab-Scania … since 1941. In 1960 he was the first recipient of what now is the Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award. In addition to his automobile dealerships and farming, ranching and oil interests throughout Texas, and long activity on industry committees and in auto industry associations, Mr. Bankston has participated in numerous public and philanthropic activities, including serving as a charter member and chairman of the Texas Motor Vehicle Commission. He is presently a member of the Texas Department of Water Resources Board and active in the rehabilitation of alcoholics and a wide range of church, chamber of commerce, civic and club activities. “I've been successful in my business and my life because I give of my time to my fellow man … I invite you to do the same.”


Arthur Burck

Owner Arthur Burck Associates (Deceased)

Palm Beach, Florida

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Arthur Burck pioneered the development of expertise in the restructuring of business corporations, mergers and acquisitions, first as a lawyer on Wall Street specializing in bankruptcy reorganizations, then with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Since leaving the practice of law in 1953 he has become a nationally recognized expert in the field of mergers and acquisitions, dedicated to the preservation of the free enterprise system by exposure of abuses that could undermine it. He is the author of scores of articles for major business publications and has spoken throughout the country, including to five Congressional committees, based on his experience with the top-level problems of over a thousand businesses. He has been active in many philanthropic activities since moving his residence, and later his business, to Palm Beach in 1967. He has been cited for “the impact of his energy, expertise and integrity on the world of business.” “It is refreshing that Northwood has made preservation of our free enterprise system as a centerpiece of its business education.”

Marajen StevickChinigo

Marajen Stevick Chinigo

Owner and Publisher The Champaign News-Gazette, Inc. Current: The News-Gazette (Deceased)

Champaign, Illinois

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Marajen Stevick Chinigo has made her mark in the field of publishing and communications far beyond her base in the Champaign-Urbana, Illinois area as owner and publisher of the Champaign News-Gazette, Inc. (owned by the Stevick family since 1915), and as owner of WDWS AM-FM radio and M-NG, Inc., the first 24-hour electronic newspaper in Illinois. Her public and philanthropic interests have centered on advancement of the Champaign-Urbana area and on many aspects of higher education. She has been cited for her contributions toward social, cultural and technological progress and works diligently for the National Conference of Christians and Jews and for the Heart Association. Without relinquishing her daily interests in business and editorial affairs, she splits her time almost evenly among her residences in Champaign, Rancho Mirage, California, and Torre di Civita, a restored monastery near Ravello, Italy. “We must develop a sense of balance — a sense of proportion — the ability to put things first, the realization that there is a time and place for everything.”

Robert H.Dedman

Robert H. Dedman

Chairman of the Board Club Corporation of America Current: Chairman of the Board ClubCorp International (Deceased)

Dallas, Texas

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Robert H. Dedman is Founder and Chairman of the Board of ClubCorp International and Franklin Federal Bancorp. ClubCorp owns and operates approximately 250 clubs, resorts, public fee golf courses, and real estate developments worldwide. Franklin Federal is the largest financial institution headquartered in Austin. Total employees exceed 22,000. A native of Arkansas, Dedman has BA, BS and LLB Degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Laws Degree from Southern Methodist University and a Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of North Texas. Before founding ClubCorp in 1957, he practiced law in Dallas. Dedman College of SMU and Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports at SMU are named after him. 3200 National Merit Scholars at the University of Texas at Austin are named Dedman Merit Scholars because of scholarship funds contributed by him. Dedman Memorial Hospital and Dedman Medical Center in Dallas are also named after him. He was inducted in the Texas Business Hall of Fame in 1987, received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Texas in 1976, the Humanitarian of the Year Award in Dallas in 1980, and the Marketer of the Year Award in Dallas in 1986. In 1989, he received the Horatio Alger Award. He is a director of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and NationsBank Texas Corporation. “I think it's incredibly important in life that you never take yourself too seriously.”

Carl N.Karcher

Carl N. Karcher

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Carl Karcher Enterprises Current: Founder and Chairman Emeritus (Deceased)

Anaheim, California

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After terminating his formal schooling at the eighth grade to help on the family farm, Carl N. Karcher purchased a hot dog cart in Los Angeles for $326 ($15 cash and a $311 bank loan on his Plymouth). After expanding to four hot dog stands, Carl and Margaret Karcher opened their first full service restaurant, a drive-in barbecue, in Anaheim, California in 1945. The first two Carl's Jr. restaurants (named for their smaller size) opened in 1956. Carl Karcher Enterprises, Inc. was formed in 1966, and expansion from a base of 25 restaurants was launched in 1968 to the present operation including over 400 restaruants, sales in the $300 million range, over 10,000 employees, public ownership of the company, and a continuing reputation for innovation, efficiency, nutrition and quality. Mr. Karcher is an active leader in over 20 educational, civic, cultural, religious, health, political and chamber of commerce groups. "We should dedicate ourselves to become involved in our great country's system. Don't take it for granted...there is nothing that supersedes the free enterprise system."

Paul H.Smucker

Paul H. Smucker

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer The J. M. Smucker Company Current: Chairman of the Executive Committee (Deceased)

Orrville, Ohio

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Paul H. Smucker, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the J. M. Smucker Company for 15 years, joined the company as a cost accountant with a degree in business from Miami University. He has worked for 45 years for the company founded by his grandfather in 1897 as a small apple cider mill in Ohio. During this time he has seen sales expand some 50 times and during the period of his leadership Smucker's has become the leader in the preserves and jelly business in the United States, internationally recognized for product quality, processing technology and for product marketing and innovation. There are ten Smucker's plants across the US. Mr. Smucker is a director of the Kellogg Company, the Grocery Manufacturers of America and the First National Bank of Orrville. “I know that Northwood is one of the guiding lights which will help to change the business climate in this country.”

R. DavidThomas

R. David Thomas

Founder and Senior Chairman of the Board Wendy's International, Inc. (Deceased)

Dublin, Ohio

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R. David Thomas started work at the age of 12 and has been in the restaurant business since his days as a busboy in Fort Wayne at 15. After his employer became an early Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in 1956, Mr. Thomas worked closely with Colonel Sanders, instituting now-famous innovations and acquiring his own hugely successful Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in Columbus, Ohio, from stores he ‘turned around.' He later returned to KFC management, in charge of 300 stores. After helping launch Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips as an original investor, he opened the first Wendy's in Columbus on November 15, 1969. “My first love has always been hamburgers,” he states. His dedication to quality, efficiency, flexibility, development of managerial talent and customer relations sparked the growth of Wendy's to its present 3,300 + stores and sales of over $2.4 billion. Mr. Thomas is a dedicated civic leader and free enterpriser. “My daughter went to Northwood … that's how much I think of this college.”

JayVan Andel

Jay Van Andel

Chairman of the Board Amway Corporation Current: Co-Founder and Senior Chairman (Deceased)

Ada, Michigan

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Jay Van Andel and his partner, Richard DeVos, started in business in 1945 with a flying school and commercial air charter service in Comstock Park, Michigan, to which they added a restaurant. After experimenting with import, mail order and direct selling businesses, they founded Amway Corporation in 1959. Amway today offers over 300 Amway products, plus more than 2,000 additional brand name items through its Personal Shoppers Catalog Service, with total revenues of $1.1 billion through more than 1,000,000 independent distributorships in more than 40 countries. Amway also owns the Mutual Broadcasting System, hotels in Michigan and the British Virgin Islands and several businesses. In addition to developing a unique organization and personnel motivation system, Mr. Van Andel is active in numerous business, civic and philanthropic organizations. “A bedrock faith we must have is our economic and political freedom. The two cannot be separated.”


Kemmons Wilson

Owner, Director and Chairman Kemmons Wilson Companies Founder, Holiday Inns, Inc. Current: Chairman of the Board (Deceased)

Memphis, Tennessee

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Kemmons Wilson might be called the father of the modern inn keeping industry. In 1952 he formulated the motor-hotel business idea that has become the Holiday Inn chain of some 1,700 units in over fifty countries; the largest such system in the world. His success formula of standardized rooms, quality control, reasonable prices and family accommodations set a new international standard for lodging. Working since he was 14, Mr. Wilson entered the home building business in 1934 at age 21. Since his retirement from Holiday Inns in 1979 he has been as active as ever, operating real estate, insurance and property management businesses. His many civic activities include the national chairmanship of the 1973 American Heart Association Fund. He has received highest national awards, including the Horatio Alger Award twice. “There are two ways you can get to the top of an oak tree … you can climb it or you can sit on an acorn and wait. I prefer the first way.”

4th Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (1984)

James K.Ashford

James K. Ashford

President & CEO Tenneco Automotive Current: Retired President and CEO J. I. Case Company

Bannockburn, Illinois

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James K. Ashford, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tenneco Automotive, has been an active member of the automotive industry for 25 years, since joining Walker Manufacturing Company (a division of Tenneco Automotive). Most recently, Mr. Ashford served as Vice President of Tenneco Inc. in charge of long-range planning and development. Prior to that, he had been President of Monroe Auto Equipment Company, another Tenneco Automotive division. He became Executive Vice President of Tenneco Automotive when the division was formed in 1977. He holds an accounting degree and is a graduate of two prestigious Advanced Management programs. An active participant in automotive industry associations, Mr. Ashford serves on the Boards of Directors of the Automotive Information Council and the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association and has served the Automotive Service Industries Association, Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association and the Distributors Institute. "The road to success is a lot straighter, with fewer detours, if you embrace a value system."


Wally Findlay

President Wally Findlay Galleries International, Inc. (Deceased)

Chicago, Illinois

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Wally Findlay, a third generation art dealer, is often referred to as the "Merchant Prince of Art." Mr. Findlay's approach to the art business is a rare combination of his grandfather's visionary and idealistic philosophy and his father's business acumen. To these qualities he adds his own enormous energy, resilience and great personal charisma. From his earliest days in the art business, Wally Findlay's philosophy - so like his grandfather's - has been that art is an important element of daily living and should be available to and enjoyed by a broad cross section of the public. With his capacity for being an exceptionally successful businessman (there are five Wally Findlay Galleries), he has remained a very caring man interested in the welfare of others. Wally Findlay's important international stature in the world of art was firmly established when the French Government awarded him the "Legion of Merit," for his great accomplishments in 1979. "The broadening of public appreciation and the utilization of art is a marvelous example of how our free enterprise system works."

Herbert L.Galles, Jr.

Herbert L. Galles, Jr.

Chairman of the Board Galles Chevrolet President Galles Motor Corporation (Deceased)

Albuquerque, New Mexico

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H. L. Galles, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Galles Chevrolet and President of Galles Motor Corporation, is the third generation of his family in the automotive industry in Albuquerque. He is past president of both the National Automobile Dealers Association and the New Mexico Automobile Dealers Association, on the Automotive Advisory Committee of Northwood, and has served on the Cadillac, Oldsmobile and Chevrolet National Dealer Councils. His pride and enthusiasm for his industry are notable and he has been much honored by his profession. Mr. Galles has received the NADA Distinguished Service Award, the Automotive Hall of Fame's Distinguished Service Citation and the University of New Mexico Alumni Award of Distinction. A civic leader, he also has the distinction of receiving both the Albuquerque Sports Hall of Fame and the City of Albuquerque Awards of Distinction. An active pilot, Mr. Galles has over 10,000 flying hours to his credit. Aviation and athletics are his avocations. "The automobile industry is a true exponent of the free enterprise system - which is so much a key part of America's greatness."

Dr. AldoGucci

Dr. Aldo Gucci

Chairman of the Board Gucci Shops International (Deceased)

New York, New York

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Dr. Aldo Gucci, Chairman of the Board of Gucci Shops, Inc., has combined a sense of family tradition, a superior sense of style and a doctorate in economics to design, manufacture and retail products that have become synonymous with elegance, style and status. The Gucci family has resided in Florence, Italy since before the Renaissance and it is here that the current dynasty began nearly 80 years ago. Dr. Gucci's father began a saddle factory from which all else has evolved and from which the distinctive reversed "G's" came. World renowned for distinctive details and elegant designs in his products, Dr. Gucci also displays this excellence in the appointment of his shops. Truly international, there are now Gucci shops from Paris to Hong Kong. Gucci franchises are located throughout the world. The involvement in the business of Dr. Gucci's children and grandchildren insures a continuity of the Gucci family tradition of pride and fine craftsmanship. "The quality of performance of a product, of moral respect for human beings, and of the governing system, is the common denominator that makes for success or failure."

Lawrence R.Herkimer

Lawrence R. Herkimer

President Cheerleader Supply Company, Inc. National Cheerleaders Association, Inc.

Dallas, Texas

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Information to follow

Jerome A.Lewis

Jerome A. Lewis

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Petro-Lewis Corporation Current: President Princeps Partners, Inc.

Denver, Colorado

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Jerome A. Lewis is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Petro-Lewis Corporation. Mr. Lewis was involved as a petroleum geologist and independent oil producer for 18 years in Kansas and Colorado. Using his considerable knowledge, talent and belief in the free enterprise system, he was primarily responsible for forming Petro-Lewis in 1968. He holds a degree in geological engineering and is a member of the American Petroleum Institute, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the Chief Executives' Organization, Inc., the World Business Council, the Board of Directors of the American Business Conference, and the Listed Company Advisory Committee of the American Stock Exchange. In addition, he is a member of the board for Young Life, Inc., Denver Leadership Foundation and the United Banks of Colorado, Inc. "The freedom that our economic system provides is anyone can take a risk to satisfy the unmet needs of our society."


Arnold Palmer

President Arnold Palmer Enterprises

Latrobe, Pennsylvania

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Arnold Palmer has proven time and again that success knows no career boundaries. As adept in the boardroom as he is on the green, Mr. Palmer has a string of victories on and off the course on a par few have achieved. Named Athlete of the Decade for the 1960s by the Associated Press, he has won 85 Championships so far. In the course of amassing these victories, his personal attributes were so appreciated that he also accumulated an army of admirers - Arnie's Army. His business entrepreneurship has taken him into such diverse fields as sports, aviation, automobiles, design and development. Mr. Palmer's civic involvement encompasses the boards of the March of Dimes, the National Aviation Association, a university, a hospital and local government. Arnold Palmer's humanitarianism and dedication to others round out his life to truly make him "a legend in his own time." "When I was young, I worked pretty hard at golf and I learned by observing the business leaders at my dad's club what made them successful, and I knew I wanted to be successful in golf and business. Our system has allowed me to do that."

Roger B.Smith

Roger B. Smith

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer General Motors Corporation (Retired) (Deceased)

Detroit, Michigan

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Roger B. Smith's strong background in financial matters coupled with a dedicated sense of fiscal responsibility have been apparent from his early days with General Motors Corporation. Starting as a general accounting senior clerk, he rose through the fiscal ranks of the corporation to become its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer on January 1, 1981. Throughout Mr. Smith's corporate career he was given additional areas of responsibility outside the normal financial realm, such as Consumer Relations and Service, Environmental Activities, Industrial Relations, Marketing and Personnel Administration and Development. Originator of the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation in 1978, he continues to chair the foundation and oversee its administration. Actively involved in higher education and his local community, Roger Smith brings immense managerial and fiscal expertise to both. He is a member of the President's National Productivity Advisory Committee and is the National Chairman for the 1984 U.S. Savings Bonds Volunteer Committee. "Organizations like General Motors need Northwood's approach with their graduates so that our free enterprise system remains strong and vibrant."

Leo A.Vecellio, Sr.

Leo A. Vecellio, Sr.

President Vecellio & Grogan, Inc. (Deceased)

Beckley, West Virginia

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Leo Vecellio is a civil engineer by training and an eminent businessman and executive by design. Contracting and construction, realty, flight services and, of course, coal are some of the areas of his success. Decorated for his work in the China-Burma-India Theatre during World War II, Mr. Vecellio returned to the U.S. to begin his ascent to the top of several companies and corporations. He is Past President of the West Virginia Contractors Association, the Associated General Contractors of West Virginia and First President of the West Virginia Surface Mining & Reclamation Association. A bank director and college trustee, Leo Vecellio has been honored as Outstanding West Virginia-Italian American of the Year and as Coal Man of the Year by West Virginia University. He is President or Chairman of a number of businesses in both West Virginia and the state of Florida and is actively involved in civic affairs in both states. "The American system ... where freedom allows one to utilize their energies and abilities to achieve results if one exerts the effort and hard work needed..."

3rd Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (1983)

John J.Brogan

John J. Brogan

Industrialist (Deceased)

Palm Beach, Florida

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John J. Brogan is an international industrialist, civic leader, humanitarian and philanthropic leader who has received accolades from every sector of private and public enterprise for his dedicated leadership and spirited involvement. Having once retired from business, he is now again, in the industrial world as board chairman of six corporations with interests in the United States and abroad. Mr. Brogan's voluntary activities, especially in the Greater Palm Beaches, are unsurpassed. He recently led the Saint Mary's Hospital development drive and successfully raised nineteen million dollars. As a member of numerous community organizations, his voice is widely influential in planning for the future. He is recognized for his generosity, business expertise, and unusual vitality and enthusiasm in service to humanity. Mr. Brogan is deeply committed to the welfare of his fellow man. "I am honored and pleased that an educational institution like Northwood is dedicated to assuring the future of our free enterprise system."

Richard M.DeVos

Richard M. DeVos

President Amway Corporation Current: Co-Founder

Ada, Michigan

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Perhaps no more than a handful of men can take a roomful of skeptics and create, within an hour's time, a roomful of informed, energized advocates of the American free enterprise system. Richard DeVos is one of those men. His ability lies not only in becoming a success but in effectively communicating how to do that to others. As president of the multinational Amway Corporation which he and his partner, Jay VanAndel began in 1959, he has shepherded its worldwide sales growth to more than one billion dollars. Mr. DeVos is on the board of more than 25 companies of national and international scope and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Thomas Jefferson Freedom of Speech Award and the Excellence in Management Award by "Industry Week." To a generation of Americans who wish to make the most of themselves, he is "Mr. Free Enterprise." "Challenge your abilities your talents, never give up and you will do great things ...out of that will come a great nation. God uses people to make a difference."


Craig Hall

Chairman Hall Financial Group

Dallas, Texas

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Named as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men in America, Mr. Hall has developed a record as an entrepreneur which is astounding given his youth. As chairman of the Hall Financial Group, founded in 1968 with $4,000 in capital, he has seen its growth to over $3 billion of real estate assets. His expertise at "turn around management" has rescued more than a few failing operations and in the process provided services for the economy, a continued economic base for its employees and a productive instrument for society. His two books and many articles provide a model for success in real estate in the 1980s. He has established and funds the Hall Foundation for Individual Opportunity. His promise for the future will mirror his accomplishments of the past. America will hear much of Craig Hall. "Entrepreneurs choose the hard road, the road of challenge and risk taking. On this road, capability and intelligence pale in comparison to hard work and a passion for success."

Ernest A.Jones

Ernest A. Jones

Chairman, Worldwide Executive Committee D'Arcy-MacManus & Masius, Inc. (Deceased)

Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

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Ernest A. Jones is an advertising executive who moves with easy authority among the world of big business, great music and humanitarian interests. In his over forty years with the same agency, Mr. Jones has held every position from production assistant through the ranks to president and now Chairman of the Worldwide Executive Committee. The agency is a billion dollar corporation with 51 offices in 22 countries, and is one of the ten largest advertising agencies in the world. Not only a leader in advertising, he is a conductor of symphony orchestras, and serves on several art boards. He is General Chairman of the group that brought the 1982 Super Bowl to Michigan. Called "one of the most original thinkers in a create-or-die business," he has the finest qualities of leadership. "Northwood instills in its graduates, a healthy attitude toward the basic values in American life ...I like that!"

Moya O.Lear

Moya O. Lear

Chairman of the Board LearAvia Current: Lear Companies (Deceased)

Reno, Nevada

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The world knows that Bill Lear revolutionized private aviation with the Lear Jet. At his untimely death in 1978 he was part way through the process of single-handedly creating a second revolution with his Lear Fan aeroplane ...a conception so daring no major airframe company dared approach it. It was Bill Lear's dying wish that Moya Lear take over the project and "finish it." No one else could have done it, but Mrs. Lear raised the additional capital, completed the engineering and the remarkable aircraft is now on the edge of that second revolution. Given the affectionate title of "Queen Lear" by the television program 60 MINUTES, Moya Lear has more than fulfilled her promise. More importantly, she has assumed the leading role in general aircraft innovation in the world with a gutsy gamble and determination matched by no one else. She is one of a kind. "I'm not a businesswoman. My job was to keep the gang together. I am a 'people kind of girl'."


Elliot Lehman

President Fel-Pro, Inc. Current: Co-Chairman Emeritus

Skokie, Illinois

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As the winner of the three most prestigious awards for leadership in his industry ...the automotive aftermarket ...Elliot Lehman has been active as well in charitable organizations concerned with enlightened philanthropy. In service to the future, as a member of the Committee for the Education of Business Ethics, he helped establish a curriculum on ethics for use in graduate schools of management. As a national recognized leader in a firm at the forefront of his industry, his management acumen and concern for the responsibilities of the private sector are well known. He is a classical example of the executive who has influence on society beyond his function as a chief executive officer of Fel-Pro, Inc. He sees free enterprise as serving human needs and he reminds those who would operate in that system of their stewardship toward their fellow man. "We should be thankful for our political and economic system that allows the freedom to expound, to experiment, to argue, to compete, to inform, and to be informed."

Edmund J.McCormick

Edmund J. McCormick

Founder and Chairman of the Board McCormick Management Consultants, Inc. (Deceased)

Tarrytown, New York

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Demonstrating the philosophy that arts and business make good partners, Edmund J. McCormick has contributed substantially to the human understanding of the role our creative nature can play. Through assistance to such institutions as Julliard, The Foster Foundation for Artists in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the gift of his American art collection to the Hudson River Museum, he has made his commitment real. As the chief executive officer of an internationally recognized management consultant group, he has also served in government as chairman of the Governors Business Advisory Counsel for Management Improvement in New York and as a member of the Hudson River Valley Commission. His concern for the future of enterprise is well documented by his years of service to his firm, his community and his country. "My success in my business life is the result of my being surrounded by people who are smarter than I am."


Cory Servaas

Editor and Publisher The Saturday Evening Post

Indianapolis, Indiana

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SerVaas is editor and publisher of the SATURDAY EVENING POST Magazine and also chairman and chief executive officer of the Benjamin Franklin Literary and Medical Society. She has been the recipient of many awards for her literary work including the Kappa Tau Alpha (National Journalism Scholarship Society) Award for Outstanding Service, the National Federation of Press Woman of Achievement Award, and a member of the University of Iowa School of Journalism Hall of Fame. As an active columnist for several publications and an author of three books, Dr. SerVaas hosts a weekly health care and preventative medicine program on the CBN network. Her community activities in Indianapolis, her home, reflect the breadth of her interest in community and the arts. In her role as publisher, she has worked to maintain an American institution, the SATURDAY EVENING POST. "How fortunate we are that Northwood encourages its young people to be stewards of their own health for the Glory of God."


Manfred Steinfeld

Chairman of the Board Shelby Williams Industries, Inc. Current: Chairman Executive Committee

Chicago, Illinois

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Manfred Steinfeld's drive and trend-analysis helped build and reshape a company he bought for $10,000 in 1954 into the world's largest manufacturer of public seating and a multimillion dollar enterprise. His exceptional ability to anticipate trends has been responsible for the growth of Shelby Williams Industries, the company he founded and heads as chairman of the board and chief executive officer. Beginning with a bentwood chair company, he innovated service to a newly burgeoning field ...sales to architects and interior designers involving interior specifications for public accommodations. He awakened other manufacturers to the staggering potential of the contract field and is acknowledged as the leader to that industry. He is a classic example of finding a need and fulfilling it. His service to his industry and his community are beyond easy measure. "The real key to success, I have found, is in adversity and how you handle it."

Rose W.Totino

Rose W. Totino

Vice President The Pillsbury Company (Deceased)

Minneapolis, Minnesota

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As the driving force behind the creation and success of Totino's Finer Foods, which became a market leader in the one billion dollar frozen pizza industry after merging with the Pillsbury Company, she continues her involvement with Totino's and The Pillsbury Company in a public relations role. She has long been a generous supporter of the arts, Christian education and the welfare of young people and serves on the boards of numerous religious, financial and educational institutions. She is an example of achievement in an enterprise society and archetype of the stewardship truly successful people make of their lives to others. She is an effective advocate of the American enterprise system and a role model for women in management. "The need for development of people who are capable of managing the ever-increasing demands of an international environment has never been greater."

William T.Ylvisaker

William T. Ylvisaker

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Gould, Inc. Current: President and CEO Corporate Focus, Inc. (Deceased)

Rolling Meadows and Hoffman Estates, Illinois

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In the fourteen years since William Ylvisaker was named president and chief executive officer of Gould, Inc., he has seen the most dramatic expansion of his industry, and its most challenging times as well. Gould, Inc. is a major diversified organization and is at the leading edge of performance because of his foresight and commitment to the highest quality management action His views are carefully considered by professionals throughout the economy because of his dedication to quality and his reputation for perceptivity. He has been actively involved in his state as a member of the Business Committee for the Arts, the Governors High Technology Task Force and, on the national stage, as a member of the American Manufacturers Association. He is an outstanding example of a committed business professional concerned with and aware of the vital connection between the arts, business and quality of life. His service in these and other areas have reflected not only on his firm and the enterprise system, but on humanity as well. "Northwood, through its innovative programs, is providing the type of education required in today's rapidly changing society."

2nd Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (1982)

william H.Burgess

William H. Burgess

Chairman of the Board International Control Corporation Retired (Deceased)

Palm Springs, California

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William H. Burgess' business life exemplifies a commitment to the free enterprise system. Starting with a new product, he built an organization which grew into a major industrial corporation. Expanding through the acquisition of over thirty major product lines or companies, he built a company whose return for shareholders, sales and earnings increased at a rate of 50% annually. Surviving an unfriendly tender offer and take-over, Mr. Burgess triumphed through a subsequent successful proxy contest to return as Chairman of International Control Corporation. Reacquiring control of his company, he re-established the same internal rate of growth and profits previously enjoyed. He is a member of the Young Presidents, the Chief Executive's Forum and numerous business, arts and educational associations. With his family he is a collector and leader in arts endeavors of wide magnitude. "To succeed in business, it is essential to have a long-range plan and also to recognize one's limitations."

Thomas A.Carvel

Thomas A. Carvel

Chairman of the Board Carvel Corporation (Deceased)

Yonkers, New York

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Mr. Carvel, a native of Greece, came to the United States with his parents at age five. Early hardships, disappointments and failures motivated him to achieve the American dream of success. Concentrating his efforts on food chemistry, he turned a one-man operation begun in 1934 into a national chain of 750 licensed retail ice cream supermarkets employing thousands of people and is credited with making ice cream a "grown-up" food. He has received over 500 U.S. design patents, trademark and copyright registrations ranging from mechanical and product designs to methods and technical developments of food equipment. Exemplifying free enterprise, his story has been told repeatedly on T.V. and in film. His entrepreneurial spirit extends to numerous projects benefiting youth and health care. "My advice to young people is to remember that all you get in this country is opportunity ...the rest is up to you."

Zenon C.R.Hansen

Zenon C. R. Hansen

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer (Retired) Mack Trucks, Inc. (Deceased)

Sebring, Florida

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Zenon C. R. Hansen is an outstanding industrialist, civic leader, humanitarian and patriot who has received accolades from every sector of private and public enterprise for his dedicated leadership and great spirit of involvement. His service to the Boy Scouts of America, as example, has served as a role model to youth everywhere. Honored by dozens of countries, cities, educational foundations, military, civic and business organizations, he brings to voluntary endeavors the same exceptional qualities of leadership which marked him for success in business life. From the principle of his business achievements he has been a tireless spokesman for free enterprise, positively influencing thousands by his example and commitment. "It is my feeling that schools like Northwood are the kind of educational institutions that will assure the future of our American free enterprise system."

Muriel I.Kauffman

Muriel I. Kauffman

Vice-President-Director Marion Laboratories, Inc. (Deceased)

Kansas City, Missouri

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Muriel I. Kauffman's career is a chronicle of 'firsts': first woman elected to a major Kansas City bank board; trustee of Union College and St. Benedict's College; Kansas City Business (Wo)man of the Year and first woman "Mr. Baseball"... an award from the Baseball Writers Association! Vice President-Director of Marion Laboratories, developers and manufacturers of pharmaceuticals, health care products and laboratory supplies, she served the company as treasurer for twenty years. She was named McMaster University's most outstanding graduate of the last 50 years and in 1985 the University granted her an Honorary Doctor of Law Degree. She and her husband Ewing M. Kauffman own the Kansas City Royals, upon whose board she also serves. The club won the 1985 World Series, becoming World Champions. Her outstanding leadership has served her community well, earning innumerable awards including the National Heart Association Award and as the first woman to receive the William Booth Award from the Salvation Army. She is a member of the University of Missouri Board of Trustees and in 1984 received the University's highest honor, the Chancellor's Medal. She now is Chairman of the Board of her foundation, Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation. "It is important to help individual ambition to express itself in a framework of loyalty, incentive and intellectual freedom."

Henry S.Miller, Jr.

Henry S. Miller, Jr.

Chairman of the Board Henry S. Miller Companies, Realtors (Deceased)

Dallas, Texas

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The Henry S. Miller Companies, founded in 1914, have progressed through almost seven decades from a one-man commercial real estate operation to a sophisticated organization of specialized divisions and subsidiary companies. From incorporation with a capital investment of $10,000 and less than a dozen associates, the Miller company has entered the 1980s with a staff of more than 700 specialists in every phase of commercial and residential real estate, generating a 1979 sales volume exceeding 800 million dollars. Under the outstanding leadership of Henry S. Miller, Jr., the company is recognized for its innovative national and international real estate and management activities. Demonstrating his philosophy that arts and business make good partners, Mr. Miller has an equally distinguished record of service to arts organizations across the nation. "I personally am a strong advocate of the partnership of business and the arts and I like Northwood's emphasis on this important relationship."


Arthur Rubloff

Chairman of the Board Rubloff Development Corporation (Deceased)

Chicago, Illinois

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One of this country's leading developers, Arthur Rubloff has been instrumental in projects that revitalize existing urban areas and projects which have been innovative and stimulating to the progress and growth of new areas. Creator, sponsor and developer of Chicago's "Magnificent Miler" and the old North Town development project; pioneer and creator of the North Loop redevelopment project comprising seven blocks in downtown Chicago, Rubloff has also changed the face of communities coast to coast. As a founder, director and trustee for several organizations, foundations and institutions which enrich the quality of life for many and as an outstanding businessman and civic leader, Rubloff is a model of ecumenical humanitarianism and public spirited leadership whom others seek to emulate. "My lesson in life is that as you go through life, whatever you attempt, you must give it your all and persist in your beliefs."

Thomas F.Russell

Thomas F. Russell

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Federal-Mogul Corporation (Retired) (Deceased)

Detroit, Michigan

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Thomas F. Russell heads a multinational firm with products that range from a variety of precision parts for the transportation, farm equipment, construction and manufacturing industries, to aerospace and nuclear components. He rose to the chairmanship through a series of financial, staff and line positions, beginning as an office boy in 1942. His special contributions to education and the philosophy of private enterprise are demonstrated with service on the boards of several organizations and institutions; among them the Business/Education Alliance; Institute for Economic Education; United Foundation and numerous civic and arts boards. His sound business judgement and strong moral purpose have made significant contributions to the success of not only Federal-Mogul Corporation, but also to every project and venture he serves. "Our free enterprise system has generated more benefits to more people than any other device of its kind in the history of civilization."

Albert J.Tahmoush

Albert J. Tahmoush

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Frank B. Hall and Company, Inc. Retired (Deceased)

Briarcliff Manor, New York

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Albert J. Tahmoush's career is a classic example of successful American business enterprise. Born and educated in Boston, Massachusetts, he served in Military Intelligence during World War II and returned to employment in the insurance brokerage business. In 1970, he joined Frank B. Hall, one of the world's largest insurance brokerage firms and is now the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the company. Frank B. Hall has 6,000 employees with 100 offices in the United States and 40 offices overseas. Mr. Tahmoush is a member of the Board of Trustees of the College of Insurance in New York and is also a member of the Board of UBAF Arab American Bank, a member of the Federal Reserve System and a Board member of The Reading Company. "It is so important to have a way of demonstrating to the rest of the world, that given freedom, one could direct his energies and abilities to produce results that are equal or better than his peers ...irrespective of origin or environment."

Julia M.Walsh

Julia M. Walsh

Chairman of the Board Julia M. Walsh & Sons, Inc. Current: (Retired) Tucker-Anthony, Inc. (Deceased)

Washington, D.C.

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Julia Walsh has been described in The New York Times as "bigger than life." Head of her own eminently successful financial consulting firm, she is also the mother to twelve. Widowed with four children at thirty-three, Mrs. Walsh determined to pursue an active career as a stockbroker, solving her child care concerns by hiring her mother-in-law as housekeeper ...and 20% business partner! Subsequent marriage to a widower with seven children and new motherhood did not deter her from starting her own business. Super success followed. A financier and businesswoman of international renown, Mrs. Walsh not only serves her clients, a number of national educational, community and industry-related boards but devotes generous amounts of time as a panelist and author committed to the financial education of the public. "The more the private sector is able to contribute to the common good of man and support the principles that make our country great ...the greater the opportunity to further strengthen and enhance our country's greatness."

1st Annual Outstanding Business Leader Award Honorees (1981)

Norman E.Brinker

Norman E. Brinker

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Steak and Ale, Inc. Current: Chairman of the Board Brinker International (Deceased)

Dallas, Texas

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Norman E. Brinker, who founded Steak and Ale, Inc. is credited as the strategic force behind the phenomenal growth of this organization from one location in 1966 to a chain of over three hundred restaurants with nineteen thousand employees today. In 1976 Steak and Ale merged with The Pillsbury Company and is presently operated as a wholly owned subsidiary of that company. Mr. Brinker serves as an officer and director of Pillsbury and on the board of Burger King, Inc. and as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Steak and Ale. An outstanding restaurateur, businessman and civic leader, he has demonstrated a model of entrepreneurial success which numerous others have sought to emulate. "I understand what young people can do when given the proper direction and the proper motivation ...and Northwood is doing that."

William O.Cullom

William O. Cullom

President and Chief Operating Officer Jartran, Inc. Current: President, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce (Deceased)

Coral Gables, Florida and Miami, Florida

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The success of Jartran, Inc. is in large measure a tribute to the strong business and financial leadership of William O. Cullom. Remarkable for its record of nearly unprecedented growth since its founding in 1979, the Jartran company has grown to a position of eminence today as one of the country's foremost transport industry organizations. The expertise and guidance of Bill Cullom is credited highly for this extraordinary achievement within an unusually short time span. Deeply interested in education as well as business, Mr. Cullom serves on the advisory boards of a number of colleges and universities as well as civic associations throughout the state of Florida. "I appreciate our free enterprise system; I believe in America, and I'm looking forward to hiring some Northwood graduates."

Eugene B.Hibbs

Eugene B. Hibbs

President Dura-Container, Inc. (Deceased)

Indianapolis, Indiana

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Eugene B. Hibbs founded Dura-Containers, Inc. in 1946. Basic products were corrugated packaging; metal and plastic closures; plastic bottles; and wood products. Some 14 plants were located throughout the United States. A uniqueness was evident in the colorful graphic design in packaging and including pilfer-evident safety devices on closures. Mr. Hibbs is active in Economic Development, which includes Chairmanship of the Indianapolis Center for Research in relation with Purdue and Indiana University. These activities stimulate inventors in their search for new ideas and enterprises. Mr. Hibbs is a Trustee of Hanover College, an Elder in Second Presbyterian Church, and Director of several business and civic organizations. He was a Charter Member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, and received the Horatio Alger Award in recognition of those who started with little and through entrepreneurship created a successful life and business. "A free enterpriser's greatest satisfaction comes not only in financial success, but in jobs he creates and benefits he spreads for everyone."

Thomas A.Murphy

Thomas A. Murphy

Chairman (Retired) General Motors Corporation (Deceased)

Detroit, Michigan

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Thomas A. Murphy is among the handful of "world-class" enterprise managers known and respected around the globe. His outstanding leadership of the world’s largest manufacturing corporation has been a model for others. His foresight in the early seventies as Chairman of the Board of General Motors in committing the resources of the corporation to massive product redesign strategy is now credited as among the most important positions taken by any manager in the face of the energy crisis. Recently retired, Mr. Murphy joined the corporation as a clerk on the comptroller's staff in 1938. The accomplishments which subsequently led him to the top of his firm exemplify the finest in personal and American enterprise. "I emphasize to the young people today, the importance of our democratic free enterprise system. It does work, and has worked, and with your energy, will continue to work!"

Mary G.Roebling

Mary G. Roebling

Chairman of the Board The National State Bank (Deceased)

Trenton, New Jersey

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Mary G. Roebling's business and professional career is a succession of 'firsts.' Ranging in scope from "first woman to serve as Governor of the American Stock Exchange" (in 1965-66) through some dozen additional 'firsts' in a wide range of business, civic and governmental service endeavors, Mrs. Roebling exemplifies the highest qualities of personal achievement. She is Chairman of the Board of the National State Bank, Elizabeth, N.J. and Chairman of the Board of Women's Bank N.A. of Denver, an institution she helped establish in 1978. Her distinguished career encompasses service to the private and public sectors and she has been the recipient of some forty-two special awards and honorary degrees. "To continue to strive forward, we must use our creativity, resourcefulness, perception, exploration, experimentation, entrepreneurship and certainly, our daring."

Robert T.Sakowitz

Robert T. Sakowitz

President Sakowitz, Inc. Current: Chairman and President Hazak Corporate Consulting

Houston, Texas

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Robert T. Sakowitz is President of one of the last privately held fashion specialty stores of major size in America still to be totally owned and operated by its founding family. Joining the organization in 1962, Mr. Sakowitz has led the firm (founded in 1902) from a position of local prominence in Texas to one of national recognition in the retailing field, an accomplishment particularly notable during a time of extreme economic competition. His creative and innovative methods have been hallmarks in the emergence of the American retailer as an international business force. "Recognition is less important than doing the good deed."

W. ClementStone

W. Clement Stone

Founder and Chairman Combined International Corporation Combined Insurance Company of America Current: W. Clement Stone Enterprises (Deceased)

Northbrook, Illinois and Lake Forest, Illinois

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W. Clement Stone is one of the business legends of our century. His highly innovative and dynamic growth strategy has caused him to be considered one of the fathers of the conglomerate business organization. As founder and Chairman of the Board of the Cast Combined health, accident and life insurance group of companies which today operates worldwide, Mr. Stone also chairs or serves as president of its several subsidiaries and a number of other business enterprises. He is known to millions as a public proponent of a philosophy of enthusiasm and positivism in life and management, and as the author of numerous books, articles and self-help aids to success ... a success epitomized by his own inspiring example. "Learn to recognize, relate and apply principles and then motivate yourself and others to high achievement."

Robert A.Stranahan, Jr.

Robert A. Stranahan, Jr.

President and Chairman of the Board Champion Spark Plug Company (Deceased)

Toledo, Ohio

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Robert A. Stranahan, Jr. literally 'grew up in the manufacturing end of the automotive aftermarket industry' where he now has served for almost three decades as President and Chairman of the Board of the Champion Spark Plug Company. He is internationally recognized as a major voice for the manufacturing sector of the automotive after-market. Like his father before him, he has served in all the chairs in his industry and has consistently taken "the long view" of that industry and the enterprise system. Today, Mr. Stranahan directs a network of manufacturing and sales facilities that spans the world and includes five plants in the United States and ten abroad. "Competition in a free society is a marvelous thing to behold because of its simplicity."

P. ConradWoolwine

P. Conrad Woolwine

President Woolwine Company Current: Coldwell Banker Success Realty (Deceased)

Pratt, Kansas and Phoenix, Arizona

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P. Conrad Woolwine's personal leadership as President of the Woolwine Company in Pratt, Kansas has been remarkable not only for the success it has brought to the Woolwine Company, founded in 1926, but for the contributions to the automotive aftermarket industry which Mr. Woolwine has made from that base of success. The immediate past president of the Automotive Service Industry Association, he served with high distinction as the national voice of the distribution sector of the automotive aftermarket industry. Mr. Woolwine's business innovation and management prowess have made him a highly effective spokesman for this major U.S. industrial group. "Northwood is one of the foremost educational institutions in teaching the philosophy of the free enterprise system."

Edwin L.Zehnder

Edwin L. Zehnder

Owner Zehnder's Inc. (Deceased)

Frankenmuth, Michigan

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Edwin L. Zehnder is engaged in the operation of two establishments which together constitute the largest independent restaurant in the United States, serving over two million meals each year. His business leadership has been responsible for the emergence of the entire community of Frankenmuth, Michigan as a hospitality center of national prominence. State and national organizations have benefited from his expertise in marketing and financial management and he has ably served the development of the National Restaurant Association. His entrepreneurial success has been an inspiration to students as well as colleagues in the food services field. "Be long on support and give encouragement by your very actions. You can do it! It works, it works, it works!"