Homecoming Awards Ceremony Brings Distinguished Group to College

Some of the most outstanding business leaders from around the globe will be on campus Friday, Oct. 11, to be honored at the Haworth College of Business Awards Ceremony during Homecoming week.

These alumni and friends represent the very best of the Haworth College of Business and are being recognized for their ethical and visionary leadership.


Haworth College of Business
Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award
Laura C. Kendall, B.B.A.’73
President, Tanner Companies (Retired)

A veteran in finance and an expert in her field, Kendall used the financial skills she learned from WMU to lead her through a successful career in the retail industry. Her work in the areas of acquisitions, financing and technology has been honorable.

 

 

 

 

Haworth College of Business
Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award
Brian P. Thomas, B.B.A.’96
Chief Executive Officer, OtterBox

Known as a rare visionary and leader, Thomas has helped make OtterBox the no. 1 selling case for smartphones in the U.S. He uses his wild curiosity and dedication to stay ahead of innovation and create one-of-a-kind technologies in the smartphone case industry.

 

 



Haworth College of Business
Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award
John C. Valluzzo, B.B.A.’82
President, Valluzzo Companies

A trailblazer in the restaurant industry, Valluzzo owns and operates 31 McDonald’s franchises in southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi and is a past member of the Haworth College of Business Advisory Council.

 

 

Haworth College of Business
Outstanding Service Award
The Zeigler Family
Owners, The Harold Zeigler Auto Group

The Zeigler family is being honored for their continued support of the university and for generously funding the Harold Zeigler Interactive Sales Lab in the Haworth College of Business. The Harold Zeigler Auto Group was founded in 1975 in Lowell, Mich., and since has grown to numerous locations in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. (Pictured left is a student working in the Harold Zeigler Interactive Sales Lab.)

 



Haworth College of Business
Outstanding Young Alumni Award
Antonio B. Neves, B.B.A.’99
Founder, THINQACTION

Entrepreneur and journalist, Neves is a professional question asker with a vision. He has built a career around creating immersive learning experiences for organizations and identifying solutions to their most complex challenges.

 

 

 

Haworth College of Business
Outstanding Young Alumni Award
Kristina L. Sabatos, B.B.A.’00
Program Manager, John Deere

After interning at John Deere while still at WMU, Sabatos has progressed through various positions in supply chain management and has continued to stay innovative and driven while developing and executing new product programs for the industry.

 



Department of Accountancy
Outstanding Alumni Award
Eric Lum, B.B.A.’80
Vice President of Tax, Stryker (Retired)

A driven and focused leader, Lum oversaw financial responsibilities for Stryker Corporation, one of the world’s leading medical technology companies. In his 24 years at Stryker, he helped build the tax organization from the ground up.

 

 

 



Department of Business Information Systems
Outstanding Alumni Award
Joy R. McClendon, B.B.A.’78, M.B.A.’94
Senior Director of Business Technology, Pfizer, Inc. (Retired)

As a 30-year veteran of the IT industry, McClendon was responsible for the redesign and transformation of corporate IT and served as a visionary and leader for Pfizer, Inc., the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical company.

 



Department of Finance and Commercial Law
Outstanding Alumni Award
Darren M. Timmeney, B.B.A.’84
Senior Corporate Banker, Community President and Market Manager, Chase

Active in the Kalamazoo community as well as the banking industry, Timmeney has built his career around working with and helping people succeed. Outside of work, he shows his passion for others through his involvement with non-profits and community activities.

 

 

Department of Management
Outstanding Alumni Award
Rodney L. Faulk, B.B.A.’87
Colonel, U.S. Army
Chief of Staff, 103rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command

During a 30-year career, Colonel Faulk has held numerous assignments from company to brigade level where his leadership has been exemplary. His awards and decorations have been numerous. His civilian career includes experience in banking and technology management.

 

 


Department of Marketing
Marketing Hall of Fame
Rhonda Davenport Johnson,
B.B.A.’84, M.B.A.’93
Senior Vice President and Director of the Loan Center, Comerica Bank

A 25-year veteran of Comerica, Davenport has held positions of increasing responsibility in banking center management and is committed to supporting the success of her Comerica team through building relationships with customers and mentoring and coaching employees.

 

 

Department of Marketing
Marketing Hall of Fame
Bo Miller
, B.B.A.’78
Global Director for Corporate Citizenship, The Dow Chemical Company

Holding a variety of marketing and business management roles during his 30-year career, Miller has formalized global contribution strategies and proactively addresses corporate citizenship issues for The Dow Chemical Company, a world leader in science and technology.

 

 


Food and Consumer Package Goods Marketing
Outstanding Alumni Award
Michael Ross,
B.S.’88
Vice President of Marketing, Pricing and Consumer Insights, Meijer

Ross has helped shape Meijer into the technology-driven, customer-focused superchain it is today. His efforts include the launch of the company’s successful mPerks digital coupon program and the Meijer “find it” smartphone application.

 

 

 


Food and Consumer Package Goods Marketing
Adrian Trimpe Distinguished Service Award
Steve Sholtes
U.S. Country Manager, Advantage International

In more than 34 years in sales and marketing, Sholtes has helped to shape marketing efforts for companies such as Proctor and Gamble and, most recently, Advantage International, a global supplier of retailer perception information.

 

 


WMU ROTC Wall of Fame
Colonel John E. Erickson, B.S.’71
Colonel, U.S. Army
Director of Personnel and Battalion Commander (Retired)

Colonel Erickson served in various command and senior staff positions and received numerous awards and decorations. His successful civilian career includes 30 years in IT where he provided management consulting expertise to Fortune 500 corporations.