Class Notes 2018


“When WMU’s college of business was located on East Campus, it clearly defined your identity as others knew you were part of the business program. I recall countless hours in the library preparing for exams along with other students. East Campus was a community for many as we lived in close proximity to avoid the long hike from main campus during the winter season!”  
    – Jeff Williams, B.B.A.’83, President, Europe, Middle East and Latin America, Johnson Controls

The college of business had homes in North Hall, West Hall, and East Hall throughout the years, eventually moving to Schneider Hall and officially being christened the Haworth College of Business in 1990, with a formal building dedication in 1991.


Heritage Hall was renovated in 2015 to become the University’s alumni center—it is a place where shared experiences are celebrated. The building offers several spaces available for events and museum-like displays recounting Western Michigan University’s history. The renovation, which was acknowledged with LEED Platinum status, has been lauded with a number of awards.

2018 Class Notes


Raymond J. Rabidoux, B.B.A.’66, has been named president emeritus of Glacier Hills Senior Community in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Rabidoux served as president and CEO prior to his retirement.


Gurubandhu Khalsa, B.B.A.’70, became a certified structural integration (SI) practitioner. SI uses physical manipulation to aid the body in gravitational alignment for more efficient functioning.


DevossJames L. DeVoss, MBA’71, was inducted into the Kalamazoo Air Zoo’s Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame. DeVoss was recognized for his accomplishments as an Air Force fighter pilot, motivational speaker and global business manager.


Charles L. Itt, B.S.’74, has retired after 47 years in the retail industry. Itt spent 30 years of his career in the grocery industry and the final 17 in a management position with CVS Pharmacy.


Debra Dombrowski Jackson, B.B.A.’77, was appointed vice president, business development, with Partners International. Jackson has more than 15 years of proven excellence in the career transition, executive coaching and talent consulting industry.


Thomas O. Schlueter, B.B.A.’78, was appointed vice president of market development for Southern Michigan Bank & Trust. Schlueter previously served as Kalamazoo market president for Mercantile Bank Corporation.


Dr. Patricia J. Daugherty, B.B.A.’80, MBA’81, was named the Debbie and Jerry Ivy Chair in Business and professor of supply chain management at Iowa State University.


Scott W. Steele, B.B.A.’81, was named chief marketing officer for Church Mutual Insurance Company. Prior to joining Church Mutual, Steele spent 29 years as owner of Steele Communications in Chicago, Illinois.


Renee Hudson Allen, B.B.A.’89, was named vice president of marketing and communications at BlueOx Credit Union in Battle Creek, Michigan.


Wayne D. Roberts, B.B.A.’90, was invited to edit the Michigan tax guide for the seventh time. The guide offers accounting professionals a general picture of the impact and pattern of Michigan taxes and provides a first-look reference for accountants.


Jeffrey A. DeBest, MBA’95, was named president, advanced technology group, at Cooper Standard in Livonia, Michigan. DeBest was also appointed a member of Cooper Standard’s Global Leadership Team.


Marcus D. Hamilton, B.B.A.’96, has joined Flexsteel Industries Inc. as chief financial officer. Hamilton most recently served as the global vice president, finance, for Valspar Paints.


Shaquanda S. Gordon, B.B.A.’01, was promoted to vice president of human resources at Gordon Food Service.


Wendy R. Ulrich, B.B.A.’02, M.S.A.’03, earned the Certified Aviation Manager credential from the National Business Aviation Association. Ulrich is the chief financial officer for Air Services Inc. in Traverse City, Michigan.


Brynne Belinger-Rogers, B.B.A.’04, MBA’08, has accepted the position of associate director of strategic planning at Indiana University School of Medicine. Belinger-Rogers previously served as assistant director of institutional accreditation and planning at Western Michigan University.


Joseph P. Champine, B.B.A.’05, was named to the 30 in Their Thirties class of 2017 by DBusiness. Champine serves as executive vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle in Royal Oak, Michigan.


Bob Armbrister, B.B.A.’06, MBA’13, was honored by the Grand Rapids Business Journal as a member of their 40 Under Forty Business Leaders in 2017. Armbrister serves as president of SPARKS Business Works and chief information officer of CSM Group.

Roxanne Speaks Buhl, MBA’06, was named director of community engagement at Western Michigan University. Buhl also renewed her SHRM-SCP and HRCI SPHR certifications.

Anthony J. Salazar, B.B.A.’06, was recently named to the 2017 Forbes/SHOOK America’s Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors. Salazar lives in Chicago, Illinois, with his wife and daughter.

Nicholas A. Skislak, B.B.A.’06, received an award from Corp! Magazine, naming his company, SS Digital Media, as one of Michigan’s Economic Bright Spots. SSDM is a full-service digital marketing and advertising agency in Troy, Michigan.


Ken D. Triemstra, B.B.A.’07, was promoted to executive director at JPMorgan in New York, New York.


Tamara D. Warren, B.B.A.’08, was named to an elite group of 24 individuals as a Michigan State University Class of 2018 Michigan Political Leadership Fellow.


Keely M. Martin, B.B.A.’09, has been promoted to corporate accounting manager at Horizon Global in Troy, Michigan. Martin resides in Dearborn, Michigan, with her husband Antonio and children Zeno and Eliana.

Daniel J. O’Reilly, B.B.A.’09, MBA’11, married Theresa Christopher on October 1, 2017. The event was attended by multiple WMU alumni.


Charles “Chase” C. Bonhag, B.B.A.’12, has joined TechNexus as a senior associate.


Lauren A. Kniebes, B.B.A.’13, was presented with the Young Business Leader of the Year Award by the Southwest Michigan Chamber of Commerce for her work as co-owner of Lazy Ballerina Winery in St. Joseph, Michigan.

Jonathan D. VanderLind, B.B.A.’13, married fellow Bronco Amber S. Daisy, B.S.’14, on July 21, 2017 on Anna Maria Island in Florida.


Michael J. Bower, B.S.’12, B.B.A.’15, graduated from the U.S. Army Flight School at Fort Rucker, Alabama. Bower will begin his career flying the Army’s only fixed-wing aircraft, the C-12, during his assignment to South Korea in summer 2018. Bower also received a promotion to First Lieutenant in April 2018.

Carter B. Nimtz, B.B.A.’15, was appointed a mortgage advisor with United Federal Credit Union in St. Joseph, Michigan.

Cayden K. Sparks, B.B.A.’15, was appointed executive director of the Coldwater Area Chamber of Commerce. Previously, Sparks served as small business consultant for the Southwest Michigan Region Small Business Development Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan.


Keith W. Little, B.B.A.’17, was accepted into the WMU School of Public Affairs and Administration as a master’s degree candidate. Little currently serves as secretary of the Graduate Student Association’s Finance Allocation Committee.