Roberta (Bobbie) Arnold
President and CEO of Charles J. Strosacker Foundation
Bobbie Nelson Arnold is the President/ CEO of the Charles J. Strosacker Foundation in Midland, Michigan. In her role, she reviews grants, meets with organizations and individuals to discuss their needs and goals, and is active in the community as she guides the family foundation to the next generation. She currently serves on the MidMichigan Health Corporate Board, former chair of the board; DDA of the City of Midland, Session of the Bertha E.R. Strosacker Memorial Presbyterian Church and several committees in the region. She is a past board member of the Council of Michigan Foundations, Michigan Humanities Council and Wolverine Bancorp. She and several friends founded the Midland 100 Club, which serves as a giving circle and currently has more than 300 members. The impact into the community has been more than $400,000.
Bobbie has been married to David Arnold for 44 years and they have three children. Kim, Karie and EJ make Midland their home and they have blessed the family with six grandchildren. David’s job took the family to many different states and they have had more than 20 addresses. David has retired and volunteers at Northwood during the football season and spends the winter in Florida.
Currently Bobbie’s favorite role is grandma and she spends as much time as possible with her family. She gardens, cooks and enjoys time at their cabin at Wixom Lake and time in Florida.
Mary Callaghan Lynch
professional opera singer, founder of Motor City Lyric Opera, and Vocalist with Lynch and Sons Funeral Directors
Mary Callaghan Lynch ’76 has sung for a pope and first lady, for family and friends and thousands of strangers, in Europe and all across America, but bringing music to those who might otherwise have never heard such things is the gift that has given meaning to her life. As the founding director of The Motor City Lyric Opera, Mary has put to highest and best use her God-given talents, her education and the rich legacy of her late parents.
The daughter of Mary O’Brien Callaghan, from whom she inherited her fine soprano, and church organist, John Callaghan, who taught at Marygrove and was Music Director at St. Bernard’s & St. Catherine’s of Detroit and Holy Name Parish in Birmingham, Mary grew up in an Irish Catholic family that observed the liturgical calendar and marked its occasions with song and drama and holy music. Her parents believed in St. Augustine’s dictum: Qui cantat, bis orat - “who sings, prays twice” and with eighteen children, there was never a shortage of song or prayer in the Callaghan home.
A theater major, Mary Callaghan was singing professionally even before earning her Fine Arts degree from Marygrove, appearing in Michigan Opera productions as an undergrad. All through school she would sing for funerals at Holy Name Church. It was there that a young funeral director, Patrick Lynch, first heard her sing and begged the priest for an introduction. They were married on June 17, 1977.
Mary was soon singing major roles with Michigan Opera Theatre, Dayton Opera, Toledo Opera and Glimmerglass Opera of New York. She starred in the hit musical, Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? and performed at the Village Gate Theatre in New York, Northlight Theatre in Chicago and L’Opera de Montreal. She has starred in over forty musical productions while raising a family and assisting her husband at Lynch & Sons.
For more than a decade Mary has served as voice coach for Aretha Franklin. She prepared “The Queen of Soul” to sing Pavarotti’s signature aria, “Nessun Dorma,” at the Waldorf Astoria in 1998 and a week later at the Grammy Awards to great acclaim. Mary has traveled extensively with Aretha for performances across the United States.
Mary has done benefit concerts for Angel’s Place, the Christ Child Society and for Haitian relief among many other charities. As a benefit for the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM), she produced the one-act opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors. The performance at the IHM Motherhouse in Monroe, Michigan, was such a huge success that it was presented again at the Music Hall Center in 2001, the 50th anniversary of its first performance. Mary produced this performance and arranged to bring composer Gian-Carlo Menotti from his home in Scotland to direct. This production was later filmed and broadcast on local Detroit stations. These events gave her the vision for The Motor City Lyric Opera to bring music to the disadvantaged and underserved. Since its founding in 2002, it has taken opera to schools, senior centers, treatment centers and families all over Metro Detroit.
According to Mary’s son, Paddy, his mother established The Motor City Lyric Opera with the primary mission of bringing music—with an emphasis on ethics – to both educate and inspire others. With advance study guides, audiences are able to fully appreciate these presentations from The Goose Girl to Mozart to Les Misérables to Schubert to Showboat. Each performance includes a “talk back” when audience members interact with singers and musicians. Mary emphasizes that the music is never amplified, a first for many who hear it. She has added The Motor City Lyric Children’s Chorus, who, along with local musicians and poets, perform in mid-March at Mary’s annual “Patricktide” celebration. The Motor City Lyric Opera has brought its gifts to over 80,000 children and their families free of charge.
Mary’s husband writes, “With all her successes, Mary still possesses the same angel’s voice I fell in love with years ago... She has used her musical talents to comfort the bereaved at hundreds of funeral masses.”
Daughter Caitlin, also a professional soprano, adds that her mother has appeared in feature films—Whip It, Secrets in the Wall and Salvation Boulevard where she portrays Pierce Brosnan’s secretary. She has done innumerable commercials and radio work throughout her career and is an active member of the Screen Actor’s Guild, The American Federation of Radio and Television Artists and The Actor’s Equity.
Pat’s brother, Thomas Lynch writes, “My sister-in-law lives out the lessons of her education at Marygrove—competence, compassion and commitment—in her personal and professional life. Music as voice of worship, prayer, community and thanksgiving has been the art and practice of her life.”
Karen S. Carter
Chief Inclusion Officer at Dow Chemical
Karen S. Carter serves as the Chief Inclusion Officer for the Dow Chemical Company. Carter is responsible globally for guiding and directing Dow’s efforts to create a more diverse and inclusive environment and workforce, building off the progress the Company has made in recent years. As Dow’s first Chief Inclusion Officer, she will lead a team to drive Dow into the forefront of inclusive companies and integrate diversity and inclusion as a key driver and enabler of the Company’s growth strategy.
Carter has more than 20 years of experience with Dow. Before assuming her current responsibilities, Carter held the role of North America commercial vice president, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics (P&SP). In her role, Carter was a member of the global business leadership team and was responsible for the overall profit & loss of P&SP’s North America region, which is part of Dow’s Performance Plastics Division and represents more than $18.4B in sales. Her responsibilities included developing and driving the business strategy and delivering value creation initiatives that would help better serve customers and the entire industry.
Carter has held the position of global business director for Dow P&SP as well and was responsible for the Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) and Slurry Polyethylene value centers. Prior to that, she was a global marketing director leading the global strategy for all downstream engagements within the packaging value chain to develop new business opportunities and deliver solutions for sustainable packaging. Carter has also held roles with Building and Construction, Gas Phase Polyethylene, Engineering Thermoplastics, Fabricated Products and Information Technology Equipment and Consumer Electronics.
Carter is a board member of Kids’ Meal, a non-profit organization in Houston, TX that seeks to end childhood hunger by delivering free, healthy meals. She is an active member of The Links, Inc. which serves the Houston community through educational, civic and intercultural activities. Carter is also a previous member of the Dow Kakoh Kabushiki Kaisha board of directors, a joint venture between Sumitomo Chemical Company, Limited and The Dow Chemical Company, and was board chair of the Adoption Option, Inc. board of directors. Carter has also been published in the Journal of the American Health Information Management Association and featured in the Huffington Post and MORE Magazine.
Carter has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Howard University and a master’s degree in international business from DePaul University. She has also completed various executive training programs including the Young Executive’s Institute at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Strategic Leadership Program at China Europe International Business School, and the International Program at Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University. In 2014, Carter was named to the prestigious Forty Women to Watch Over 40 list for her innovative leadership contributions. In 2018, Carter was named a Top Executive in Corporate Diversity by Black Enterprise.