WMU News

Three named to Marketing Alumni Hall of Fame

April 13, 2005

KALAMAZOO--Three Western Michigan University alumni, including two prominent Kalamazoo-area businessmen, will be inducted Friday, April 15, into WMU's Marketing Alumni Hall of Fame.

The alumni being honored are Earl R. Jenkins, president and chief executive officer of Beechwood LLC in Washington, D.C.; Kenneth V. Miller, president and CEO of Kalamazoo-based Havirco; and James W. Richmond, a retired Stryker Corp. executive. They will be awarded Outstanding Alumni Awards by the Department of Marketing and inducted into the Hall of Fame during the department's awards banquet at 6 p.m. in the Fetzer Center. The annual event also is designed to honor graduating seniors and MBA students for their academic achievements as well as present a number of academic scholarships to marketing students.

Among scholarships being presented will be a $500 James W. Richmond Sales and Business Marketing Scholarship made possible by honoree Richmond. The scholarship will go to Scott Meyer, a senior sales and business marketing major from Plainwell, Mich., who will graduate in December.

The event is open to the public, and the cost to attend is $20. Those who wish to attend should reserve a spot by calling Gail Orta in the Department of Marketing office at (269) 387-6132.

The three alumni are being honored for their outstanding professional achievements, community leadership and service to the University.

Earl R. Jenkins earned a bachelor's degree in marketing from WMU in 1971 and an MBA in marketing in 1974. As an undergraduate, he was an all-conference player and captain of the WMU basketball team. As a graduate student, he served as a graduate assistant in the Department of Marketing. Raised in Detroit, Jenkins has enjoyed a career that included more than 20 years of successful sales and marketing work for Mobil Oil, Honeywell, General Electric and AT&T before he founded Interior Systems Inc., a nationally recognized professional services company that specializes in network integration and facilities occupancy work for both the federal government and the private sector. He recently sold his interest in ISI and founded Beechwood LLC, a consulting firm that focuses on facilities and commercial real estate. An active youth and community volunteer, Jenkins serves on the board of directors of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

Kenneth V. Miller, a member of the WMU Board of Trustees since 2003, earned a bachelor's degree in marketing from WMU in 1969 and an MBA in finance in 1970. He went on to earn a law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He heads Havirco, a Kalamazoo investment management firm, which he has co-owned since 1983. He also is owner of the Millennium Restaurant Group, which owns and operates restaurants in Southwest Michigan. He currently serves as chairperson of the Haworth College of Business Advisory Council, and he is active in a number of civic and nonprofit organizations. In addition, he has been inducted into the Department of Finance and Commercial Law's Alumni Academy and has been an active member and officer of the WMU Alumni Association.

James W. Richmond earned a bachelor's degree in general business in 1961, the year before the Department of Marketing was established. He later attended the Harvard Graduate School of Business Executive Program. A longtime executive with Stryker Corp., he served as senior vice president of global marketing and development prior to his retirement in 1988. He has since served as a special consultant for Stryker, and came out of retirement briefly in 1995 to assist with reorganization of a major division in the company. He is a well-known Kalamazoo area artist who has a long association with the local arts community. He and his wife, Lois, recently made a major gift to fund a new visual arts center at WMU that will be named for them and for which construction will begin next month. He serves on both the Haworth College of Business Advisory Council and the College of Fine Arts Dean's Cabinet.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
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