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Northwood continues rich tradition of honoring women

March 28, 2022

University seeks nominations for 2022 Distinguished Women Awards

Northwood University is seeking nominations for its 53rd Distinguished Women Awards.

“Distinguished Women provide examples of determination, compassion, ethical business practices and excellence for Northwood University students who aspire to become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and leaders,” stated Northwood University First Lady Mary-Ellen MacPhee. “Distinguished Women emulate the characteristics that are the hallmark of Northwood University: free enterprise, personal responsibility, limited government, rule of law and freedom.”

The Distinguished Women’s (DW) program recognizes the contributions that women make in our global society. The honorees serve as role models for Northwood University students and as ambassadors for the University. Since its inception in 1970, the DW Program has honored over 500 distinguished women, while also raising money for student scholarships.

First Lady MacPhee co-chairs the Distinguished Women’s Committee with Northwood Board of Trustee Member Mary Ellen George Hess. They are supported by an exemplary group of committee members.

“It’s an honor to celebrate women who represent the values and unique position of Northwood University,” MacPhee stated.

This year’s event is scheduled for Oct. 14-15, and Northwood is seeking nominations for this year’s class of Distinguished Women.

Distinguished Women nominees:

  • Are proven leaders and highly respected in their industry.

  • Support the Northwood philosophy of free enterprise, personal responsibility, limited government, rule of law and freedom.

  • Believe in the importance of education and has demonstrated community involvement.

  • Have a sincere interest in helping Northwood students succeed.

  • Can provide inspiration and motivation for students and is willing and able to engage with them.

  • Commit to supporting one or more of the four program initiatives – Scholarship and Enrollment, Internship, Mentorship and/or Teaching Presentations.

  • Promise to attend the DW Awards Gala, held October 15, 2022, at The H Hotel in Downtown Midland.

Nominees must be approved by Northwood University’s Board of Trustees and the President of the University.

The 2021 class of Distinguished Women honorees included:

  • Tina Lynn Hubbard, president, and CEO, HDA Truck Pride

  • Melanie Kalmar, corporate vice president, chief information officer, chief digital officer, Dow

  • Mindie Kaplan, CEO/founder, Rated VR and creator, MaleRoom podcast

  • Martha Reeves, musician, “Martha Reeves and the Vandellas” and President, Martha Reeves Enterprises

In addition, three Midland-area community leaders were recognized with a Distinguished Women’s Group Award for their tremendous assistance to the community following the 2020 mid-Michigan dam failures:

  • Holly Miller, President/CEO, United Way of Midland County

  • Sharon Mortensen, President/CEO Midland Area Community Foundation

  • Jenee Velasquez, Executive Director, Herbert H., and Grace A. Dow Foundation

“It is a privilege to know such incredible women who are making a difference, not only in their organizations but within their broader community,” stated Co-Chair George Hess.

If you know a woman who is an impactful leader and highly respected in their industry; who supports the Northwood Idea of free enterprise, personal responsibility and freedom; and who can inspire and motivate Northwood students, please nominate her on the online DW Nomination Form.

For more information, and to see past honorees, visit the DW awards page.

You also can contact Jessica Hufford for more event details at or (989) 837-4465.

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