January 11, 2013

Digital Media for the 21st Century 

E-Commerce is to the information revolution what the railroad was to the industrial revolution.

- Peter Drucker, Managing in the Next Society

A key component of all five of our Strategic Themes at Northwood University includes digital media, so we are pleased to announce the formation of a new Digital Executive Committee which will lead our efforts on this front going forward.

The importance and scope of this committee and their work cannot be overemphasized. While digital media is by no means new in the world or at Northwood, the proportion of teaching; marketing and public relations; admissions; and alumni and advancement work conducted electronically is growing rapidly.

From the moment we first engage prospective students in the recruitment and admissions process all the way through course registration and delivery, to teaching and alumni and philanthropic activities following graduation, we are engaging our stakeholders on digital platforms which are themselves advancing quickly. While face-to-face interaction in business will never, and should never, go away, increasing consumer demand for commerce, communication, search options, and social engagement in the digital world dictate Northwood must continue to establish and grow a 21st century presence.

In connection with Jacob Sinacola—who will rejoin NU as the Associate Director of Web & Digital Services—and the formation of the Web & Digital Services group, the Digital Executive Committee (DEC) will direct a prioritized agenda for web-based communication, branding, and marketing to all Northwood constituencies. The focus of the DEC includes: 

  • High level approach to project/ROI prioritization and digital strategies
    • Includes web site navigation and social media
  • The integration of NU’s digital brand and marketing
  • Changes in digital privacy and security regulations

The members of the Digital Executive Committee are: 

  • Rhonda Anderson
  • Bill Bateman
  • Arnold D’Ambrosio
  • Tom Duncan
  • Lisa Fairbairn
  • Kevin Fegan
  • Judy Fox
  • Brian Sandusky
  • Jacob Sinacola
  • Bob Wisler, Interim Chair

While the addition of the Web & Digital Services group and the DEC is essential, success on this front is no different than it is on any other at NU: it requires system wide support, encouragement, and communication. If you are aware of, or discover, any ideas or best practices that might better serve all our stakeholders in this area, you may share them with the DEC members.

Please join me in welcoming Jacob Sinacola back to Northwood and in congratulating the members of our Digital Executive Committee.

Remembering Ted Gatzaros (1945-2013)

A true friend to Northwood University, Ted Gatzaros passed away on January 9, 2013. 

Ted epitomized the American Dream. Born in Greece, he came to America and, through hard work, an undying confidence in the human spirit, and a belief that our best days are ahead of us, he and his wife Maria built an enterprise that has been at the heart of Detroit’s resurgence since the ‘70s.

As general contractors, the Gatzaroses renovated some of the Detroit area’s greatest architectural gems including the First National Building, Cadillac Tower, and the Fisher Building. They grew their contracting company into a development and real estate firm, completing acclaimed projects such as Pegasus Taverna, Greektown Casino, Atheneum Suites Hotel, Fishbones, and the world-famous London Chop House.

His belief in The Northwood Idea endeared him to us and us to him, and his support included partnering with Northwood University in hosting our Freedom Seminar. Ted’s son Nico is an ‘01 alumnus, and Ted and Maria were presented honorary Doctor of Laws degrees last September.

To say the least, Ted Gatzaros made the world a better place: Countless people—his employees, their families, and communities—achieved the American dream because of him.

He will be dearly missed, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.

Have a great weekend!


Keith A. Pretty, J.D.
President and CEO
Northwood University
4000 Whiting Drive
Midland, MI 48640