2018 Honorees

Mark Davidoff

Michigan Managing Partner, Deloitte LLP

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

Philanthropist and Entrepreneur

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

Founder/President, Cathy’s Concepts

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

CEO and Owner, Holiday World of Houston

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.

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

Business Partner in Raymond Chevrolet and KIA

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

Founder and Chairman, Simon Group Holdings

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.


OBL Executive Committee

Dr. Daniel G. DeVos, Chairman, OBL ‘07

Dr. Lambert E. Althaver, OBL, ‘97

Dr. Albert F. Zehnder, OBL, ‘04

Dr. James Fabiano Sr., OBL, ‘06

Mr. Steve Madincea, OBL, ‘15

Mr. Robert Baidas, OBL, ‘16

Mr. Jamie Massie, OBL, ‘16

Mrs. Carol Williams, OBL, ‘17