January 20, 2012

Outstanding Business Leaders, Class of 2012

Each year Northwood University honors business leaders who not only exemplify what it means to be “The Best” in their enterprise, but in their capacity as active and engaged citizens as well. To date, more than 300 of these talented people are members of Northwood’s community of Outstanding Business Leaders (OBL).

Tomorrow, Saturday January 21, Northwood will pay tribute to the 32nd class of Outstanding Business Leaders at a special ceremony to be held in Palm Beach, Florida. This year’s class honors nine business leaders for their success and influence in the following categories:

  • Support for the philosophy of private enterprise
  • Business achievement
  • Economic innovation
  • Support of the integration of business and the arts
  • Contributions to education
  • Community involvement
  • Spiritual leadership
  • Philanthropic engagement

The Class of 2012 is:

  • José Maria Alapont, President and CEO, Federal-Mogul Corporation, Southfield, Michigan
  • Keith Crain, Chairman, Crain Communications, Inc., Detroit, Michigan
  • Valerie Freeman, Founder and CEO, Imprimis Group, Inc., Dallas, Texas
  • Jerome Fullinwider, Founder & Vice Chairman, Hillwood International and Founder, VF Russia, Dallas, Texas
  • Peter Georgescu, Chairman Emeritus, Young & Rubicam, New York, New York
  • John Hantz, President and CEO, The Hantz Group, Southfield, Michigan
  • Mike Jackson, Chairman & CEO, AutoNation Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Mary Ellen Sheets, Founder, Two Men and a Truck/International, Inc., Lansing, Michigan
  • Neal Williams, Chairman, N.A. Williams Company, Atlanta, Georgia

Through their hard work and leadership, our honorees have made a positive difference in the world as they espouse our mission to educate the future leaders of a global, free enterprise society. This is a legacy that is not only a long time in the making, but one that continues to be of importance as each new generation emulates those who came before them. As a case in point, 23 years after Gertrude Crain was named one of Northwood’s Distinguished Women (Class of 1989), her son Keith Crain will be honored this year as a new OBL.

Please join me in honoring and congratulating the 2012 Class of Outstanding Business Leaders.

Freedom Seminar 2012

Continuing another Northwood tradition, our 34th Annual Freedom Seminar will explore the principles of American enterprise, including their impact and that of alternative and competing and philosophies on today’s economy, during the seminar in Dearborn, Michigan May 17-20.

As has been its established practice, the Freedom Seminar will provide Northwood students and alumni, as well as the general public, the opportunity to connect with leaders in business, government, and higher education on cutting-edge issues of the day. For Northwood students in particular, the seminar is a great opportunity to earn academic credit while studying with some of today’s most respected leaders in economics, finance, and public policy.

Headlining this year’s prestigious list of speakers is former New Zealand cabinet minister and member of parliament, the Honorable Maurice McTigue. Mr. McTigue advised the Clinton and Bush administrations and the governors and legislatures of over 20 states, and was one of the leading architects behind the "New Zealand miracle," a market-based growth policy which reversed that nation’s declining economy and put it on course to being one of the strongest economies in the world today (see: http://www.heritage.org/index/default). Among his many honors, Mr. McTigue was awarded the Queen’s Service Order in recognition of his public service, one of the highest honors attainable for civil service in New Zealand.

All sessions will be held at the impressive Henry Hotel in Dearborn, MI. Confirmed speakers are:

  • Keynote: The Honorable Maurice McTigue, Vice President, Mercatus Center at George Mason University
  • Dr. Michael Cox, Former Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  • Dr. Richard Ebeling, Professor of Economics, Northwood University
  • Dr. Dale Matcheck, Chairman, Economics Dept., Northwood University
  • Dr. Timothy G. Nash, Vice President and Fry Endowed Chair, Northwood University
  • Richard K. Studley, President & CEO, Michigan Chamber of Commerce
  • Jonathan Williams, Director, Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force, ALEC

You are all encouraged to participate in at least one or two sessions of the seminar. In addition to intellectual stimulation and fellowship, the topics addressed will be particularly relevant to the economic challenges and policy debates before America and the world—challenges and debates in which we must be engaged as we work to restore more and better opportunities for everyone.

Much more will be shared with you on this topic as we confirm our Seminar schedule. For details and additional information, you may contact Dr. Dale Matcheck at (989) 837-4256 or Matcheck@northwood.edu, or visit our website at: http://www.northwood.edu/freedomseminar/.

Have a great week.


Keith A. Pretty, J.D.
President and CEO
Northwood University
4000 Whiting Drive
Midland, MI 48640
989.837.4203 (phone)
989.832.9590 (fax)