Celebrating Alumni and Friends

  • This year, the University honored Jeanne Carlson, B.B.A.’68, and Birgit Klohs, B.B.A.’83, as Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. Carlson and Klohs are both also past college award recipients.

  • Every year during Homecoming week, the college honors alumni and friends of the college who have demonstrated outstanding professional and service accomplishments. These individuals serve as an inspiration and example to our students.

This year, the University honored Jeanne Carlson, B.B.A.’68, and Birgit Klohs, B.B.A.’83, as Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. Carlson and Klohs are both also college award recipients, receiving the Haworth College of Business Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award in 2016 and 2012, respectively.

Every year during Homecoming week, the Haworth College of Business Awards Ceremony honors alumni and friends of the college who have demonstrated outstanding professional and service accomplishments. These individuals serve as an inspiration and example to our students. To read full biographies about each recipient, visit wmich.edu/business/2017awards.

Haworth College of Business Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award

photo of Kay BeneshKay Benesh, B.B.A.’81
Partner, Global Audit Succession and Deployment, Deloitte

“Kay is a true leader, and while she is so many things, including advisor, mentor, visionary and truth-teller, the thing that is the most impressive is her unending care for people. She drops everything to help others and has a sixth sense as to when and how to do this.”
—Lara Abrash, Partner, Deloitte

Haworth College of Business Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award

Robert S. Kaiser, B.B.A.’78
Owner and Chief Executive Officer, Gallagher-Kaiser Corporation

“Bob is a very engaging person and a big personality. Whether you are a corporate executive or a brand new buyer, Bob has the ability to make you feel like he has known you forever. Good leadership starts at the top, and Bob is a great role model for his team.”
—Dave Drouillard, Executive Director for Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, General Motors

Haworth College of Business Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award

David L. Rozelle, M.S.A.’75
Associate Professor of Accountancy (Retired), Western Michigan University

“David represents all of the great attributes of WMU. Anyone who has had the opportunity to interact with him knows his warmth and positive drive are contagious. He has been a relentless advocate for the accounting profession and a resource to past and present students. David is an asset to the University and the Haworth College of Business—an asset that appreciates as each year passes.”
—Doug Roosa, Director of Internal Controls and Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance, General Motors

Haworth College of Business Young Alumni Award

Ryan Blanck, B.B.A.’02
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Deviate

“Ryan is a catalytic agent. He was destined to be a person who helps others ignite their best. The great thing about Ryan is that he doesn’t want his clients to become dependent on him. He has the ability to inspire but doesn’t have an ego or need to ‘be followed.’ Ryan uses his experiences to fuel his next step. He is tomorrow, today.”
—Phil Towle, a leader in the performance coaching area, mentor to Ryan, and Deviate team member

Haworth College of Business Young Alumni Award

Saidal Mohmand, B.B.A.’12
Partner and Director of Research, GrizzlyRock Capital

“While Saidal’s successes far outnumber his struggles, his exemplary character is evident as he tackles challenges head-on by working efficiently to correct setbacks. His positive energy and can-do attitude make us all better professionals and people. I am proud to call Saidal my partner.”
—Kyle Mowery, Managing Partner, GrizzlyRock Capital

Haworth College of Business Young Alumni Award

Psyche Terry, B.B.A.’03
Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer, UI Global Brands

“I have discovered that what distinguished Psyche from others is her ability not only to clearly identify opportunities, challenges and problems that need attention, but also to do something about them. She is a woman of action. Psyche is tireless and fearless in her efforts to succeed.”
 —Erin Wilson, Director of Multicultural Business Development, Macy’s

Department of Accountancy Outstanding Alumni Award

Mark Crawford, B.B.A.’76
Shareholder and Chairman, Doeren Mayhew

“Mark is a leader and a man of integrity whose hallmark is working with people in all facets of his business and his life for the betterment of all. Under his leadership, Doeren Mayhew has grown into a premier accounting and consulting firm that serves its clients with the highest level of quality.”
—Robert Nunez, President, Win Schuler Foods

Department of Business Information Systems Outstanding Alumni Award

Richard Hook, B.B.A.’96
Chief Information Officer, Penske Corporation
Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Penske Automotive Group, Inc.

“Rich is a highly passionate leader who thrives on understanding and driving the business in new directions. His ability to connect with people to inspire and lead is second-to-none. He is the guy you want by your side as a friend and a leader you want to follow behind as he leads the charge.”
—Erik Wille, Director of Information Security, Penske Automotive Group

Department of Finance and Commercial Law Outstanding Alumni Award

David Ellis, B.B.A.’74, MBA’80
Senior Vice President, Wealth Management, West Shore Bank

“Dave is a special individual, with equal parts talent and concern for others. As a fiduciary, trustee, financial advisor, and wealth manager, Dave is quite accomplished professionally. He displays care for the local community in many ways, serving on nonprofit boards and making a positive difference.”
 —Rich Robinson, Managing Partner, Conn, Geneva and Robinson

Department of Management Outstanding Alumni Award

Kevin McManus, B.B.A.’79
President, TECHNI Waterjet

“Kevin has always exhibited thought leadership skills that get translated into actionable activities. Through Kevin’s visionary skills, he has participated in numerous successful business ventures, working closely to mentor team members and always imparting his strong sense of fairness, team spirit and work ethic.”
— Bryan Becker, Partner (Retired), Ernst and Young

Department of Marketing Hall of Fame

Jeff Williams, B.B.A.’83
President, Europe, Middle East and Latin America, Johnson Controls

“Jeff is the most inspirational, charismatic leader I have ever encountered in the business world. His work ethic is unparalleled. He also has the innate ability to connect with every single person within an organization, whether it is an associate working on the production floor or a senior level executive.”
—Jeff Huston, Chief Operating Officer, ConForm Automotive Group

Food and Consumer Package Goods Marketing Outstanding Alumni Award

Trent Weller, B.B.A.’96
Vice President, Consumables, Sam’s Club

“Trent is one of life’s intense competitors. He quickly frames up every challenge as a competition and then defines the key strategies he and his team will use to deliver the win. I’ve seen him deliver wins over and over again, but the real winners are the customers who have benefited mightily from Trent’s commitment to deliver for them.”
—Steve Breen, Senior Vice President, Walmart.com Merchandising

Food and Consumer Package Goods Marketing Adrian Trimpe Distinguished Service Award

Craig Jacobi
Vice President, Strategic Accounts, Constellation Brands

“Craig is a trusted partner who is authentic and delivers a solid combination of industry skills and knowledge. He works diligently to deliver win-win-win solutions to my company, his company and most importantly the customer. He is a wonderful business partner who I value very much.”  
—Steve Massie, Director of Grocery Direct Store Delivery, Alcohol, Bread, Carbonated Beverage and Salty Snacks, Meijer

WMU ROTC Wall of Fame

Colonel Glennie E. Burks, B.A.’91
Assistant Chief of Staff G3/5, 200th Military Police Command

“Colonel Burks distinguished himself by exceptional meritorious service while serving as a Military Police Officer for multiple command groups, expertly leading officers and non-commissioned officers from all services and civilians with superior results. He is a credit to his family, the United States Army, and the Department of Defense.”
—Lieutenant Colonel Danny Blanks, U.S. Army (Retired)