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Dallas-Hamilton Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame

The Dallas-Hamilton Center Hall of Fame (created in 2008) inducts BGSU graduates or honorary degree holders who have achieved excellence in entrepreneurship and have demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit that inspires others.

A select group of accomplished business executives were the first to be inducted into the Hall of Fame at an invitation-only black tie dinner. These highly successful business leaders were selected from an extensive list of possible candidates.

Those who are eligible to be considered for this prestigious honor are either a BGSU alum or honorary degree holder. The Hall of Fame inductees have achieved great distinction for founding, leading, or building a new business enterprise for five years or more and have demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit that inspires others.

Hall of Fame 2015 Recap Video


2015 Inductees


Drew C. Forhan ‘81

In 1984, Drew was a marketing manager at American Hospital Supply/V Mueller. He saw general frustration with the model for getting innovative technologies into ophthalmic surgeries. Surgeons couldn’t access the latest generation laser technologies or had to use different devices in different locations where they practiced. Operating room managers were upset at the high cost of capital and short technology life cycles. Smaller community hospitals couldn’t access expensive technologies at all. Additionally, hospitals struggled to train staff and keep them available to operate lasers during scheduled cases. Drew’s pioneering idea overcame all of these frustrations. 

2015 Hall of Fame Induction Video

Drew C. Forhan ‘81
Founder & CEO of ForTec Medical

Founded in 1988, ForTec Medical was created on the belief that hospitals, surgical centers, medical offices and patients would benefit from mobile access to technology and highly trained technicians on an as-needed basis.

In 1984, Drew was a marketing manager at American Hospital Supply/V Mueller. He saw general frustration with the model for getting innovative technologies into ophthalmic surgeries. Surgeons couldn’t access the latest generation laser technologies or had to use different devices in different locations where they practiced. Operating room managers were upset at the high cost of capital and short technology life cycles. Smaller community hospitals couldn’t access expensive technologies at all. Additionally, hospitals struggled to train staff and keep them available to operate lasers during scheduled cases. Drew’s pioneering idea overcame all of these frustrations. His model transformed a high cost, pay up front, do-it-yourself acquisition model into a turnkey pay-as-you-go service model.


He worked at American Hospital Supply/V Mueller until 1985 when his business unit was sold to 3M. He left there to join Richard Allen Medical where he became Director of Sales and Marketing. After a two-year career with them, he moved back to northeast Ohio to start up ForTec Medical with his wife, Nancy.

ForTec Medical mobilizes surgical technologies—including the broadest array of lasers—to hospitals, surgery centers and physician offices on an as-needed basis. The company recently celebrated ForTec’s 25th anniversary and the opening of its 26th office. Drew currently focuses on growth strategy, business development and strategic acquisitions.

His honors include The Entrepreneurs Edge in 2006 and the Ernst &Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Northeast Ohio in 2013.

Drew earned a business degree from Bowling Green State University in 1981.  He serves on the executive boards for the Hudson Community Foundation, Old Trail School, Ronald McDonald House in Cleveland, and Western Reserve Academy  Dads Club.

The BGSU graduate enjoys golfing, flying and fishing and resides with his wife and their four children in Hudson, Ohio.

 

 


Kathy K. Hunt ‘84

In 1984, Kathy Hunt became the CEO of Elmwood Centers, a family-owned and operated residential and healthcare organization for seniors. Under her strong leadership, she has led Elmwood through many years of expansion and development in Seneca and Sandusky counties. Elmwood has grown to two campuses in Green Springs, and one each in Fremont, New Bremen and Tiffin. 

2015 Hall of Fame Induction Video

Kathy Hunt ‘84
Owner, President & CEO
Elmwood Centers Inc.

In 1984, Kathy Hunt became the CEO of Elmwood Centers, a family-owned and operated residential and healthcare organization for seniors. Under her strong leadership, she has led Elmwood through many years of expansion and development in Seneca and Sandusky counties. Elmwood has grown to two campuses in Green Springs, and one each in Fremont, New Bremen and Tiffin. Services include independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and rehabilitative care, and specialty/long-term acute care. Elmwood Communities has grown their team to more than 700 employees.

Elmwood has a long tradition. It was founded in the early 1900s by someone who believed the world could become a paradise with a belief in love, beauty and respect for one’s neighbor. Hunt’s parents purchased Elmwood Nursing Home in Green Springs in 1972 because of its beauty and rich history of public service.

In 2009, Elmwood Centers purchased the neighboring St. Francis Health Care Centre, a long-term acute care hospital and skilled nursing facility, to create a combined 42-acre campus making it one of the largest senior and rehabilitation care campuses in northwest Ohio.

Hunt graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1984, majoring in nursing home administration and gerontology and she joined the family business. She is a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator.

The BGSU alumna is member of the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Assisted Living Association.



Richard N. Kappel Jr. ‘69

Richard Kappel owned and served as President and CEO of ACS, Inc., a software company located in Dayton, Ohio, that specialized in the development and sale of software products for use by the commercial bank industry.  Its products, Banker and Banker II, by 1993, were one of the most comprehensive and widely installed community bank software applications in the United States.

2015 Hall of Fame Induction Video

Richard N. Kappel ‘69
President & CEO (Retired), Advanced Computer Systems (ACS)

Richard Kappel owned and served as President and CEO of ACS, Inc., a software company located in Dayton, Ohio, that specialized in the development and sale of software products for use by the commercial bank industry.  Its products, Banker and Banker II, by 1993, were one of the most comprehensive and widely installed community bank software applications in the United States.

Kappel began his business career at NCR Corporation as an intern for three summers while attending Bowling Green State University. As a senior, he worked part-time as a programmer/systems analyst at NCR’s Toledo, Ohio, branch office.  After graduation in 1969 with a business degree and specialization in accounting, he was hired by NCR full-time, and later transferred to NCR corporate headquarters in Dayton where he held numerous software development, software support and sales management positions.

He was recognized by NCR as the 1976 Sales Leader for the U.S. and the next year was promoted to Director of U.S. Industry Marketing in NCR’s Financial Systems Marketing Division.

In 1981, he joined a small software company, ACS, in Dayton and put together an experienced team of managers, software developers and support personnel to acquire and develop banking applications for small commercial banks (community banks). The software system ran on mini-computers and microprocessors, eliminating the need for large expensive computers, computer operators and programming staffs. This permitted community banks to bring their processing in-house.

In 1992, and again in 1993, Arthur Andersen and Associates recognized ACS as being one of their ”Dayton 100” of privately held companies in the greater Dayton area, with ACS ranking 35th and 19th, respectively.

In December 1993, BancTec, Inc., of Dallas, Texas, acquired ACS. 


Eugene A. Novak ‘74

Gene Novak and Bob Rosing co-founded Dwellworks in 2007 to deliver innovative, efficient and cost-effective relocation and real estate solutions. Gene actively joined Dwellworks in 2008 as Executive VP and CFO, and is responsible for all aspects of finance and accounting, as well as the oversight of the administrative, human resources and information technology functions.

2015 Hall of Fame Induction Video

Eugene “Gene” A. Novak ‘74
Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President
Dwellworks, LLC

Gene Novak and Bob Rosing co-founded Dwellworks in 2007 to deliver innovative, efficient and cost-effective relocation and real estate solutions. Gene actively joined Dwellworks in 2008 as Executive VP and CFO, and is responsible for all aspects of finance and accounting, as well as the oversight of the administrative, human resources and information technology functions. Dwellworks has seen continued expansion by maintaining service centers in multiple U.S. locations as well as Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Germany, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg and Brazil. In 2013, Dwellworks was recognized as one of the “Top Workplaces” by The Plain Dealer in Cleveland.

Before joining Dwellworks, Novak was chief financial officer and executive vice president for SIRVA Relocation. During his 11 years at SIRVA, he was responsible for mortgage, title and home sale settlement operations, home sale risk management, all treasury and cash management functions, expense management and financial reporting and oversight. He served a similar role with Telxon Corporation, where he directed its initial public offering and two secondary offerings. He began his career with Price Waterhouse and Co.

Novak earned his Master of Accountancy at BGSU in 1974 and his undergraduate accounting degree at John Carroll University. He is a certified public accountant.

Besides his responsibilities at Dwellworks, Novak is on the board of directors for Project Love, a character-building education and training organization that empowers teens and adults to create a culture of kindness, caring, and respect by putting their values-in-action wherever they go.