WMU News

Three inducted into Marketing Alumni Hall of Fame

June 21, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan University Department of Marketing recently presented Outstanding Alumni awards to three of its graduates.

Former Biggs-Gilmore Communications co-owners Ronald J. Davis and Philip A. Long were honored Thursday, May 24, along with Kenneth W. Kaminski, former corporate vice president at Whirlpool Corp. The three alumni also were inducted into the Department of Marketing Alumni Hall of Fame.

"We created our Hall of Fame as a way to recognize marketing alumni who've achieved great success in the industry," says Dr. Andrew A. Brogowicz, chairperson of WMU's Department of Marketing. "Phil, Ron and Ken have each made a great impact professionally, but they are also tremendous friends to the University and this department. We were pleased to recognize them for all they've done."

Davis is former chairman and chief executive officer of Biggs-Gilmore Communications, the area's largest marketing communications firm. After receiving his bachelor's degree in accounting from WMU in 1966, Davis went on to earn an MBA in marketing at the University in 1973. Following a stint with the U.S. Army Intelligence Corps, Davis became an account executive at William John Upjohn Associates, now known as Biggs-Gilmore Communications. He joined that company's board of directors in 1976, and was named executive vice president in 1985 before rising to his final position. His wide-ranging community involvement has including serving on the boards of the Bronson Healthcare Foundation, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, the American Red Cross and Future Farmers of America, among others. He is director emeritus and a member of the WMU Foundation. In 1985, Davis received the American Advertising Federation's Aid to Advertising Award, in part because of his strong support for WMU's advertising and promotion program.

Long is the former president and chief operating officer of Biggs-Gilmore Communications. After receiving his bachelor's degree in advertising from WMU in 1970, he earned his master's degree from the University in 1975. He launched his career with Sears, Roebuck & Co., joining the company now known as Biggs-Gilmore Communications in 1976. Before becoming president and chief operating officer of that organization, Long served as senior vice president for public relations. His community activities include serving on the boards of directors of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, the Kalamazoo Guidance Clinic Foundation and Michigan 4-H. Within the University community, Long serves on the WMU Foundation board of directors and is chairperson of the Haworth College of Business Advisory Council.

Kaminski retired in February from the Whirlpool Corp., where he served as corporate vice president and vice president for the KitchenAid brand. Whirlpool is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances. A veteran of the U.S. Army, Kaminski earned his bachelor's degree in marketing from WMU in 1961. After beginning his career with General Foods, he joined Whirlpool in 1962, rising through the ranks to become director of kitchen products in 1984. He served the company in a variety of capacities, including president of the KitchenAid appliance group, president of the Kenmore appliance group and head of Whirlpool's portable appliance division. Kaminski has been a fellow of the Aspen Institute, a global discussion forum for leaders in a variety of disciplines, and his community work includes involvement with the St. Joseph High School Soccer League, the YWCA and the American Heart Association. He is a director emeritus and a current member of the WMU Foundation and he currently serves on the Haworth College of Business Advisory Council.

Media contact: Jessica English, 616 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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