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Outstanding Business Leader Gala Celebrates Entrepreneurship, Business Acumen

February 11, 2015

The Northwood University Outstanding Business Leader Class of 2015 and their student presenters. Students, faculty, staff and friends recently enjoyed the opportunity to gain inspiration and wisdom as they donned evening gowns and tuxedos to attend Northwood University’s Outstanding Business Leader (OBL) awards gala held at The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida.

As they shared their personal stories, the six OBL’s reminded guests of the enormous power of the human spirit to overcome challenges. They also emphasized the ability individuals have to achieve their dreams by leading with courage, grace and integrity, while also recognizing the important lessons one can learn from failure.

“Every year for the past 35 years, Northwood has used the Outstanding Business Leader Awards to honor men and women with tremendous stories of personal achievement and triumph in business. These are people whose accomplishments represent much more than financial prowess or corporate acumen. They are role models and mentors who share their gifts and talents in ways too numerous to count. It’s been said that ‘the life you lead is the lesson you teach.’ With great integrity and remarkable entrepreneurial spirit, our Outstanding Business Leaders teach by example the power of integrity, the reward of hard work, the benefit of embracing a risk-taking mindset and the importance of making a difference in the world around you,” said Northwood President Keith A. Pretty, JD.

Julia Duresky/CAPEHART

The six honorees in the Class of 2015 are: 

Jim Hallett

CEO, KAR Auction Services

Carmel, Indiana


Steve M. Madincea (MI ’82)

Founder & Group Managing Director, PRISM

Surrey, England 


Rollie Massimino

Head Coach, Northwood University Men’s Basketball

1985 NCAA Champion, Villanova University

Tequesta, Florida


Sonu Ratra

President, Akraya Inc.

Santa Clara, California 


John Rotche

President, TITLE Boxing Club

Ann Arbor, Michigan


Melissa Spickler

Managing Director, Merrill Lynch – The Spickler Group

Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Northwood University annually recognizes a select group of men and women for their business achievements and for their support and exemplary leadership of the communities in which they live and work. These individuals serve as role models for Northwood University students, all of whom are engaged in the study of business management and who aspire to successful careers. In the 34 years since the program’s founding, more than 300 business leaders from more than 30 states and several countries, representing dozens of industries and fields of business expertise, have received the Outstanding Business Leader Award.

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