10 alumni honored at College Alumni Awards event

Honorees represent a variety of disciplines

For more than 100 years, Bowling Green State University has celebrated accomplished individuals for service to their professions, their communities and to the University. On March 18, 10 alumni were honored for their contributions at the 2017 College Alumni Awards.

A committee chose the honorees based on the recommendations of their peers, and each has achieved exceptional accomplishments in his or her career, bringing distinction to himself or herself and BGSU.

“We are pleased to honor each of these recipients and their contributions to their professional communities, and the world,” said President Mary Ellen Mazey. “I am humbled to be surrounded by so many talented and dedicated people. They serve as wonderful role models for our students.”

Outstanding College Alumni were chosen to represent each of the University’s colleges, highlighting the diverse disciplines of a comprehensive university. This year’s honorees are:

George M. Weiss ’63 

College of Arts and Sciences

George M. Weiss is the founder and CEO of Beechtree Capital LLC, a private-investment firm operating in New York; Scottsdale, Ariz.; and the Silicon Valley for almost a quarter century. Weiss is an accomplished board member, attorney, entrepreneur and management adviser with more than 40 years of senior management and investing experience. A company founder, officer and board member, he also is a senior adviser to CEOs and top-level executives in high-growth industries around the world.  

Weiss earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Arts degree and a Juris Doctorate degree with honors from New York University. He is the recipient of many awards, principal among which is the National Football Foundation’s highest honor, its Gold Medal.

William D. McCleave ’82 

College of Business Administration

Bill McCleave is a Findlay, Ohio, native, who earned a Bachelor of Science in human resource management from Bowling Green State University in 1982 and a Master of Business Administration from Houston Baptist University in 1987. After joining Marathon in June 1982 as a contract and division order analyst, McCleave held various nonsupervisory and supervisory positions within the finance and administration organizations.  

McCleave has participated in various Marathon Leadership programs, and is a graduate of the Wharton Advanced Management program and the Oxford Institute for Energy. He served as the executive director of the 2008 Marathon United Way Campaign and on the executive committee and the board of directors for the Boy Scouts of America. He currently is serving on the United Way of Hancock County Board of Directors and the BGSU College of Business Administration Leadership Council.

William K. Northrup ’65

College of Education and Human Development

A native of Rocky River, Ohio, William K. Northrup graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1965 with a Bachelor of Science in education. He later earned a Master of Education in history and a Master of Education in school administration from Kent State University.

Northrup was a history teacher and coach in three Ohio school districts from 1965 to 1980 before becoming a high school principal. In 1998, he entered educational sales with Design Group Architects before starting his own firm, Conrath, Northrup and Minor Educational Consulting, in 2001.

He is active in the community, serving nine years as the president and vice president of the Friends of the Worthington Libraries Board and 12 years as a member of the Partners for Citizenship and Character board. He also has volunteered for PCC's Grandparents Circle and Hilltop House, and is member of Linworth United Methodist Church. He is a sustaining member of the Bowling Green State University Education Scholarship Fund.

William M. Tuttamore ’74, ’76 

Firelands

William Tuttamore began his 40-year career in finance in 1976 shortly after graduating from BGSU. In 1992, he started his 25-year tenure at The Marblehead Bank, as vice president of loans. After serving in various capacities, Tuttamore was appointed a bank director in 1998. He was promoted to president and CEO of the bank in 2010.  

Tuttamore graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science degree in communication after receiving an associate degree from BGSU Firelands in 1974. He also received advanced banking education certificates from the American Institute of Banking and Ohio Banking Schools. He has taught financing, banking and economic classes at BGSU Firelands, OSU Lima, The American Institute of Banking, and Ohio Banking Schools.

He has served on the BGSU Firelands advisory board and on a fundraising committee for a new nursing facility on the Firelands campus. While a BGSU Firelands student, Tuttamore was president of the broadcasting club, a student senator, a campus newspaper sports editor, and a basketball TV announcer.  

Do Khac Nguyen ’75 

Graduate College

Do Nguyen was born in central Vietnam and attended school in the Quang Tri province. In 1974, he traveled to the United States and attended Bowling Green University. Unable to return to Vietnam when the new government took over in 1975, the newly married Nguyen struggled but was finally reunited with his wife and infant daughter in the United States.  

After settling in northern Ohio, Nguyen started several small businesses and became active in community affairs. He joined Maumee Rotary in March 1995. In 1998, he was invited to follow leaders of the Maumee Rotary Club to Matzatenango, Guatemala, to evaluate and dedicate an orphanage for sexually abused girls. He later returned to Guatemala on two additional mission trips with fellow Maumee Rotarians.

In June 1999, Nguyen and other Maumee Rotarians went on a fact-finding trip to Vietnam and he attended his first Rotary International Convention in Singapore. In January 2000, Nguyen and other Rotarians formed the DOVE Fund, a nonprofit charity organization in Vietnam. The DOVE Fund has since built 50 schools, four medical facilities, three water systems, 150 latrines and many other humanitarian projects in Vietnam. In February 2002, Nguyen participated in a delegation to Vietnam, and he was in charge of distributing 100 wheelchairs to people in need in the country.

Thomas J. Ullom ’93 

College of Health and Human Services

Tom Ullom began his career in federal law enforcement in 1993. He has worked with the U.S. Marshals Service as a deputy U.S. marshal in the Chicago field office, as a special agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in the Detroit field division, and the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General in the Chicago field office. In 2011, Ullom was promoted to assistant special agent in charge for the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General, Chicago Regional Investigations. In June 2015, he was promoted to special agent in charge in the same region.

Ullom grew up in Cleveland and graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice.

Joëlle C. Khouzam ’85 

Honors College

Now in her 25th year of practice, Joëlle Khouzam, a partner with Bricker & Eckler LLP’s Employment and Labor group, counsels and defends management clients on complex employment issues. She also conducts in-house training to help clients avoid litigation, and is a frequent author and speaker on developing employment-law topics. She also has testified before Ohio House and Senate committees on various employment-law bills.  

Khouzam’s academic and life experiences, including countless friendships with BGSU international students, have informed her perspectives and life philosophy. As chair of her firm’s diversity and inclusion committee, Khouzam fosters conversations and education about how our unique gifts can collectively advance community goals and the practice of law. Khouzam also makes time for pro bono cases and serves on law-related boards and nonprofit boards in central Ohio, also making time to mentor students and aspiring lawyers.

Jonathan Iten ’78 

University Libraries

Jon Iten entered Bowling Green State University in the fall of 1975 and by the end of his first month at BGSU was already a sophomore, thanks to the University’s experimental studies program, which rewarded students who did well on standardized tests. While at BGSU, he worked at the computational services office, serving as a consultant to faculty in their use of BGSU’s mainframe computers. Iten graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1978.

Iten received a law degree from Stanford Law School in 1981, and later that year began the practice of law in Columbus at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, becoming a partner in the firm in 1986. Across his 33-year career in law, Iten focused on technology transactions and electronic commerce. He also served for 22 years as the legal counsel to the Ohio Library Council. He retired from the practice of law in 2014.

Iten has served on BGSU’s University Libraries Leadership Council since 2005. He is a trustee of Crane Hollow Preserve in Hocking County, and serves as the vice chair of New Albany’s Architectural Review Board.

Gregory Ruffer ’87, ’95 

College of Musical Arts

Gregory Ruffer is president and CEO of the Boston Center for the Arts, which nurtures the development of art and artists across the visual and performing arts spectrum. He oversees a campus that has four theaters, 50 visual artist studios, two restaurants, the Mills Art Gallery, Boston Ballet and Community Music Center of Boston, along with the historic 1884 Cyclorama.

Most recently, Ruffer served as the president and CEO of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee, where he created diverse programming that enabled the organization to operate on a 70 percent earned-income business model. Through ambitious fundraising programs, strategic community partnerships and a renewed enthusiasm from staff and faculty, Ruffer reversed more than a decade of deficit spending to balance the budget within his first three years.

Ruffer holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in music education from Bowling Green State University, and has completed the coursework for a Doctor of Education in college music teaching from Columbia University Teachers College in New York.

Craig L. Anderson ’79 

College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering

Craig L. Anderson is the global director for marketing and sales, oil and gas engineering, for Gates Corp. in Houston. He oversees a newly established oil and gas global business unit responsible for expanding and integrating products and services offering while managing all phases of commercial engagement through key relationships and sales channel management. Previously, he was vice president of marketing and sales of the Australia-based RYCO Hydraulics in Houston, directing customer service, sales and marketing for North and South America.  

A native of Sidney, Ohio, Anderson graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science in engineering technology and management. He served on the BGSU University Alumni Board of Trustees, and is a Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity Alumni Board member. Anderson also is on the board of directors at the Riverbend Country Club in Sugar Land, Texas, is the executive leader of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Light the Night Walk” in Houston, and is a current association member of the Water Jet Technology Association Board.