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NU unveils Class of 2023 Outstanding Business Leaders

February 28, 2023

Northwood University is pleased to announce this year’s Outstanding Business Leaders Award recipients. This prestigious award recognizes exceptional individuals who have significantly contributed to the business world and their communities.

“Northwood University is honored to recognize these accomplished individuals and celebrate their achievements,” stated Northwood President Kent MacDonald. “Each honoree serves as a mentor and inspiration for students and exemplifies leadership in business and entrepreneurship.”

The following individuals will be honored with the Outstanding Business Leaders Award:

• Grant Baidas, owner of The Exchange Bar & Grill

• Fred Bunting, founder, and chairman, Auto-Wares Group of Companies

• Vinnie Johnson, founder, and chairman, of Piston Group LLC

• Andres Lopez, chief executive officer and president, O-I Glass, Inc.

• Michael and Dianne Morey, founders of Bandit Industries, Inc

• Gina Thorsen, CEO, Jacquart Fabric Products, Home of Stormy Kromer

“These award recipients are recognized as esteemed leaders and innovators, with a commitment to excellence in their respective industries,” stated Murray Kyte, vice president of advancement for Northwood University. “They have also made significant contributions to growth and development in their communities, serving as role models for future business leaders.”

The Outstanding Business Leaders Awards will be presented during an April 15 gala at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn. Before the gala, Baidas will be honored with the 2023 Richard DeVos Young Entrepreneur Award.

If you’d like to celebrate one of our honorees, sponsorships are available. Proceeds from the event will fund endowed scholarships. To learn more, please call Jen Carpenter at (989) 837-4465 or email 

For more information about the Outstanding Business Leaders Awards, visit the OBL event web page.

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