Michael E. Kuhlin '68
Position: Chair | 2016-2019
Mike Kuhlin is the former senior director of corporate relations for SBC/Ameritech in Chicago. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism-public relations in 1968 from Bowling Green State University. As a student, he was a member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity; Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society; and was selected as the Outstanding Greek Man in 1968. He received the BGSU Distinguished Service Award. Kuhlin previously served on the Foundation Board of Directors from 2006 to 2010. He currently serves as a member of the Student Affairs Leadership Council and is a member of The Presidents Club. He and his late wife, Sara, were Falcon Flames. The Michael & Sara Kuhlin Center is named in recognition of their ﬁnancial support. The state-of-the-art facility is home to the School of Media and Communication and opened in the fall of 2016.
R. Max Williamson '59
Position: Immediate Past Chair | 2013-2019
Max Williamson is the former president and chief operating oﬃcer of Scottsdale Insurance Company, where he also served as chairman of the board. Prior to joining Scottsdale, a subsidiary of Nationwide Insurance Company, he was president and CEO of ACCEL International Corporation. A 1959 graduate of the College of Business, Williamson previously served on the BGSU Foundation Board from 1995-1997 and 2005-2010, the BGSU Alumni Association Board and the College of Business Dean’s Council. He is also a generous supporter of the University with the Max Williamson Scholarship and gifts across campus including the College of Business, Alumni Legacy Scholarship and Athletics. Williamson resides in Dublin, Ohio.
Jan Heppe '74
Position: Chair Elect, Nominating & Governance Committee Chair | 2016-2019
A 1974 graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in home economics, Jan Heppe recently retired as president of Burberry for the Americas, which experienced substantial growth with her leadership. She previously served as vice president of stores for Burberry USA following leadership in the retail industry, including serving as senior vice president and director of stores for Loehmann’s. Heppe previously served on the Alumni Association Board.
Eugene "Gene" A. Novak '74
Position: Treasurer, Financial Affairs Committee
Eugene “Gene” Novak is chief ﬁnancial oﬃcer of Dwellworks and is responsible for all aspects of ﬁnance and accounting, and the oversight of the administrative, human resources and information technology functions. Founded in 2007, Dwellworks has more than 30 years of experience, leadership and service in the relocation and real estate industries. Before joining Dwellworks, he was chief ﬁnancial oﬃcer and executive vice president for SIRVA Relocation. He began his career with Price Waterhouse & Co. and is a certiﬁed public accountant and a member of various professional organizations.
Howard Aldrich '65, '16 (Hon.)
Dr. Howard Aldrich is currently the Kenan Professor of Sociology and an adjunct professor of business at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His main research interests are entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial team formation, gender and entrepreneurship and evolutionary theory. He has won numerous awards for his teaching and mentoring, including the Favorite Professor Award from the senior class at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received his Bachelor of Arts in sociology from BGSU in 1965 and a master’s and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan. Aldrich received an honorary doctor of social sciences degree from BGSU in 2016 and has served as a commencement speaker. Together with his wife Penny, they have established the Penny & Howard Aldrich Scholarship and have documented plans to permanently endow a Distinguished Professorship in Sociology at Bowling Green State University.
Craig Anderson '79
Craig L. Anderson is general manager and director of operations at The Americas, Global Oil & Gas Group, for the Gates Corporation in Houston, Texas. Gates Corporation is a global provider of fluid power and power transmission products, services and engineering solutions through material science. Prior to Gates Corporation he was general manager of the Energy Products Division for the Parker Hannifin Corporation, Fluid Connectors Group in Houston.
Anderson earned a Bachelor of Science in applied engineering and technology from Bowling Green State University in 1979. As a student, he was a founding father of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity and held several officer positions and was vice president of Inter-Fraternity Council, as well as a member of Club Lacrosse and Student Government Association. He was also recognized by Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society, and was a member of the Anteans Society and Phi Eta Sigma.
After graduation, he started the Houston Alumni Chapter, and upon being transferred to the Cleveland area, restarted the North Coast Alumni Chapter. He served on the Alumni Association Board from 1992- 1998. He has also served on the Executive Leadership Committee for the The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Light the Night Walk and served on the boards of Fort Bend County Junior Achievement, Water Jet Technology Association, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and Riverbend Country Club in Sugar Land, Texas. He is currently alumni chapter president for Pi Kappa Phi–Delta Sigma Chapter.
Anderson was awarded the Accomplished Alumni Award from the School of Technology and Applied Engineering in 2017.
Emanuele Conti ’89
Emanuele “Manny” Conti is the CEO of Palo Alto-based Opus Global, having been appointed in September 2016. Opus Global is a provider of SaaS-based compliance solutions, created through a $500 million partnership between GTCR, one of the world's leading private equity firms, and Doug Bergeron, former CEO of VeriFone. Previously, Conti was CEO of Kroll Inc., a leading global provider of investigations, compliance and risk management services, cyber security solutions, ediscovery services, and data and information services. Conti received a Bachelor of Arts in finance from BGSU in 1989 and an MBA from the University of Chicago. As a student, he was a member of Theta Chi fraternity. Conti served as a commencement speaker in 2015.
Alicia Fernandez-Mott ’82
Alicia Fernandez-Mott is former chief of the Division of Seasonal Farmworker Programs, Employment and Training Administration for the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington D.C. From 1991 until her retirement in 2006, she managed job training programs for migrant workers across the nation and developed and monitored performance standards and financial management of funds to state governments, non-profit organizations and educational institutions.
Additionally, in 2003, Fernandez-Mott was asked to work in the Dallas Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Labor as director, Office of Discretionary Programs, director of Systems Support. She returned in 2009-10 as team lead and primary technical adviser to all Department of Labor American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grantees, specifically addressing regulatory and reporting requirements. Prior to her Department of Labor service, Fernandez-Mott was the director of Rural Opportunities Inc., a statewide organization providing training and services to farmworkers and other economically disadvantaged youth and adults.
She received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from BGSU in 1982. In 2014, she received the Academy of Distinguished Alumni award from the University. She and her husband, Dr. Charles Mott, reside in Dayton.
John Gawaluck ’73
A 1973 BGSU graduate with a Bachelor of Science in business administration, John Gawaluck worked for EY, formerly Ernst & Young, for 41 years until his retirement in 2014. During his tenure with EY as a certified public accountant, he held several key leadership positions and served the firm’s top clients, including many Fortune 250 companies. As a student, Gawaluck was active in Beta Alpha Psi, Delta Sigma Pi, Alpha Phi Omega and was a member of BGSU’s varsity lacrosse team. Gawaluck currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
Paul J. Hooker ’75
Paul Hooker was the CEO of SFERRA Fine Linens in New York City for 35 years before becoming board chairman in 2013 when he sold a controlling interest to an equity partner. He graduated from BGSU in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. Upon graduation, Hooker worked for Armstrong World Industries as a marketing representative in Jacksonville, Florida. In 1977, he purchased SFERRA, and the company experienced dramatic growth over the years under Paul’s leadership, selling to over 600 retail stores in North America and internationally.
In 1990 Paul, along with his wife, BGSU alumna Margo Hooker, founded a not-for-profit sports program for children with disabilities known today as RallyCap Sports. The program enables people with disabilities to participate, at a non-competitive level, in sports such as soccer, basketball, golf and flag football. Today, Rallycap Sports flourishes with more than 20 chapters nationwide, 10 of which are at colleges or universities.
In 2010, Paul was recognized as one of the top 100 graduates in BGSU’s first 100 years, and he was inducted into the BGSU Dallas-Hamilton Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame in 2012. The center has since been renamed to the Paul J. Hooker Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership in honor of the Hookers’ substantial bequest for the center and overall longtime support of BGSU.
Holly Horn '83
Holly Horn is the chief surveillance oﬃcer of public finance for Assured Guaranty Municipal Corporation, formerly known as Financial Security Assurance Inc. Assured Guaranty is the leading provider of ﬁnancial guaranty insurance. Previously, she was with Financial Security Assurance Inc. and Ernst & Young. Horn graduated from BGSU in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in education/social studies and received a Master of Health Administration from the George Washington School of Business in Washington, D.C. Horn served as a commencement speaker for BGSU in 2016.
Richard Kappel Jr. '69
Richard Kappel Jr. is the retired president of Advanced Computer Systems in Dayton. Kappel graduated from BGSU in 1969 with a bachelor’s in business and was a member of Phi Delta Theta. Kappel is also a member of the Falcon Club and has active memberships in both the Dayton and Southwest Florida Alumni Chapters. He will inducted into the Dallas-Hamilton Hall of Fame in April 2015. The family has continued the BGSU tradition with Kappel’s daughter, Kimberly, graduating from the University in 1993. Richard Kappel III received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from BGSU in 1996 and 1998, respectively. Outside of the University, Kappel has also been involved with the Children’s Medical Center in Dayton. Kappel and his wife, Alicia, live in Xenia, Ohio.
Charles "Charlie" Kowal '75
Charlie Kowal graduated from BGSU in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in accounting and earned a juris doctor degree from Case Western Reserve University. He joined Ernst & Young following his graduation from law school and rose through the ranks to partner before retiring. While at BGSU, he was a member of Sigma Chi and Omicron Delta Kappa and pitched for two years on the BGSU baseball team.
David Levey '71
Levey is a retired executive vice president with Forest City Enterprises Inc., an $8 billion, publicly traded real estate ﬁrm based in Cleveland. His responsibilities were in the residential, multifamily group, where he handled acquisition and development activities in the eastern part of the country. In his 26 years with Forest City, Levey’s duties also included syndication of public housing projects and development and construction of hotel properties. A nationally recognized expert in Historic Adaptive Reuse Development, he has been responsible for historic redevelopment in Philadelphia; Richmond, Virginia; Washington, D.C.; Boston and Dallas, collaborating closely with the National Park Service to accomplish these urban redevelopment projects. Prior to joining Forest City, Levey was executive director of the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority. A frequent speaker at national conferences, he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from BGSU in 1971.
C. Ray Mullins ’74, ’77
The Honorable C. Ray Mullins was appointed to the bench in Atlanta in 2000, becoming the first African-American bankruptcy judge in the Eleventh Circuit, which consists of all federal districts in Georgia, Alabama and Florida. In 2012, he became the chief judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia. In 2013, Chief Justice John Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court appointed Mullins to a four-year term on the Board of Directors of the Federal Judicial Center, which provides training and research for the federal judiciary. Judge Mullins received his Bachelor of Science in business administration from BGSU in 1974 and his MBA in 1977. As a student, he was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and served as their president. He has been married to his Falcon Flame, Beverly Mullins, for more than 40 years.
Valerie Newell '75
Valerie Newell is the chairman of Mariner Wealth Advisors-Cincinnati, where she serves as a managing director and senior portfolio manager. Mariner Cincinnati is an SEC-registered investment advisor managing investment assets of $3 billion for high-net-worth individuals and families and was ranked the No. 1 financial advisor in the state of Ohio by Barron’s for the last three years. Newell’s particular specialty is investment asset management and financial planning. She works primarily with business executives, entrepreneurs and multi-generational families.
Newell received a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting in 1975 and was honored as the Outstanding Woman graduate of her class by President Hollis Moore. A two-time All-American, she was a three-year captain of the BGSU women’s swim team and a letterman. The Varsity BG club honored her as a Silver Letter Winner in 2005.
Newell previously served on the BGSU Board of Trustees, retiring as chairman in 2004. Prior to that, she was a director of the BGSU Foundation and also served on the Alumni Board. In honor of her service to these three boards, she was awarded the BGSU Leadership Award in 2000. She was inducted into the BGSU Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame and in 2006 was named an Accomplished Graduate of the College of Business. The women’s locker room in the Sebo Center and a student activities office in the Bowen-Thompson Union are named in recognition of her financial support.
Newell resides in Cincinnati (technically on the Ohio River in Covington, Kentucky) with her husband, attorney Timothy Smith. She has two sons, Andrew, a public defender appellate attorney in Chicago, and Parker, a chemical engineering major at the University of Cincinnati.
Eileen O’Neill ’90, ’14 (Hon.)
In 2015, Eileen O’Neill stepped down as the global group president of Discovery Studios, where she had spent 25 years with the company. Formerly the group president for the Discovery Channel, TLC and Discovery Fit & Health, she oversaw the strategic direction at the three networks, including development, programming, production, digital media, marketing, research and communications. Previously, she was president and general manager of The Learning Channel. She led all key business functions at TLC, including development, programming, production, digital media, marketing, research and communications.
O’Neill has received several honors, including Hollywood Reporter’s 2013 Power 100 Women in Entertainment (listed at No. 15), 2012 “Reality Power” list (listed at No. 11) and 2011 Power 100 Women in Entertainment (listed at No. 22). She also was featured by Vanity Fair as an influential woman in cable and by Elle Magazine as a Hollywood power player.
O’Neill received her bachelor’s degree from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland in 1988, a Master of Arts in popular culture from BGSU in 1990 and an honorary doctorate from BGSU in 2014. She was honored at the BGSU centennial celebration as one of the 100 most prominent graduates.
Thomas Orchard '75
Tom Orchard is a retired Senior Vice President for UBS Wealth Management, having served in the investment industry for 43 years. He is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP), and an approved industry arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). He received a BA in business administration from BGSU in 1975. As an undergrad, Tom was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. Tom and his wife served on the National Campaign Steering Committee for the Building Dreams capital campaign, the College of Arts and Sciences Advocates Board and The Presidents Club. This is Tom’s second time serving on the foundation board having been a member from 2004-2013 and was foundation chair from 2009-2011. Tom has also served as a co-chair for the joint trustee/foundation investment committee and on search committees for university and foundation presidents. Tom was a BGSU commencement speaker in 2007. He currently works with multiple non-profit and charitable organizations. Tom and his wife, Martha Anne (Zink) Orchard (’73) reside in Westerville, Ohio.
William Primrose ’74
Bill Primrose is a consultant as well as president of The Metal Marker Manufacturing Co. in northeast Ohio. He is a former president of Primrose Inc., a parent company for the Dickey-Grabler Co., Tremont, Inc. and Metal Marker Manufacturing Co., all in northeast Ohio, and Red Rock Stamping in Phoenix, Arizona.
Primrose received his Bachelor of Science in accounting from BGSU in 1974. As a student, he was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and lettered in swimming. From 2005-2015, Primrose was a member of the BGSU Board of Trustees serving as chairman in 2012, and was previously on the Foundation Board from 1991-2001. He served as an Alumni Board member from 1977-1980.
Judith Pryor '85
Judith Pryor, a 1985 graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in interpersonal and public communication, is vice president for external affairs at Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. government’s development ﬁnance agency. Before being appointed to this position, she ran the global communications operation for WorldSpace Inc., a multi-billion dollar satellite radio start-up serving developing markets worldwide. Pryor held similar positions with COMSAT and Orion Network Systems, and began her career in the Washington, D.C., oﬃces of Gray & Co., continuing with the ﬁrm after it was acquired by Hill & Knowlton Public Affairs.
Damon Ragusa '89
Damon Ragusa is a 1989 BGSU graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in marketing. He is the CEO of Abre.io, creator of the Abre open source education software platform that simplifies the managing and distributing of web-based software to staff, students and parents. Additionally, since September 2016, he is executive in residence at CincyTech USA. One of the most active seed funds in the Midwest, CincyTech is supported by Ohio Third Frontier, more than two dozen foundations, corporations, municipalities and individuals, as well as its founding partners, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the University of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.
John Riedl '65
John Riedl graduated from BGSU in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts in marketing. He is a retired telecommunications consultant having spent a career in television sales and marketing management. Most recently, he served as director of TV advertising sales and marketing for Metro Networks in Los Angeles. While attending BGSU, Riedl was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, serving a term as their president. Recently, as a member of the Class of 1965 50th Reunion Committee, Riedl provided a lead gift for the campaign, making a $1 million commitment to BGSU. His generosity impacted a variety of areas on campus, including student scholarships, the William T. Jerome Library, Athletics and capital projects for the College of Business and School of Media and Communication.
Anthony Rucci ’72, ’76, ’78
Anthony (Tony) Rucci is Clinical Professor of Management at the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University, and a University Distinguished Teaching Professor. He joined the OSU faculty in 2006 following a 25-year career as an executive officer with three Fortune 100 companies: Baxter International, as SVP of corporate strategy; Sears Roebuck and Co., as EVP and chief administrative officer and Chairman, Sears Mexico; and most recently, Cardinal Health, as President of strategic corporate resources and Chief Administrative Officer. He has also been Dean of the College of Business at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His current teaching and consulting activities focus on the areas of Leadership and Strategy Execution. He also maintains an active pro bono advising practice with not-for-profit organizations. He has endowed a number of student scholarships through the BGSU Foundation.
Rucci received a BS in psychology in 1972, an MA in industrial psychology in 1976 and a Ph.D. in industrial psychology in 1978 – all from BGSU. As a student, he was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Antaean Society, Sigma Xi and Delta Tau Delta.
Thomas Shanklin '91
Tom Shanklin graduated from BGSU in 1991 with a BSBA in Marketing. Upon graduation, Tom joined his family’s business, a startup company in the State of Florida, Crestview Aerospace Corporation (CAC). With Tom’s leadership alongside his family, they took CAC from bankruptcy to the foremost aerospace subcontractor in the United States, employing over 1,300 people prior to selling to L-3 Communications in 2006. Currently, Tom is partner in Farran Realty Partners in Missoula, Montana as their Executive Vice President for Business Development. Farran specializes in developing luxurious mixed use, multi-family and student housing projects. Tom is involved as co-founder in two healthcare startups, Natura Health and Wellness Clinics and Ella Functional Medicine, both also based in Missoula. Tom manages his own investment company, Vertex Investments, and currently lives in Missoula part time and on Vieques Island off the coast of Puerto Rico part time, with his wife Myra.
Tom is a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity and remains very active, serving on the Chapter Advisory Board. His father, Charles E. Shanklin ’51, chaired all three leadership boards at BGSU, including the Board of Trustees, Foundation Board, and Alumni Board, while remaining an avid supporter of BGSU and Sigma Chi throughout his life. Four of his five siblings also attended BGSU. There are currently multiple scholarship programs at University funded by the Shanklin Family. Tom loves to hunt, fly fish, and travel with family and friends.
Mark Sirower '83
Dr. Mark Sirower is a principal at Deloitte Consulting in New York and U.S. leader of the ﬁrm’s merger and acquisition strategy practice. He has over 17 years of experience advising corporate and private equity clients in growth strategy and innovation, merger and acquisition strategy and process, target screening, commercial due diligence, valuation, investor relations, pre- and post-close merger integration, and on governance issues related to merger and acquisition decisions. Sirower received his Bachelor of Science in business administration and ﬁnance from BGSU in 1983, an MBA in ﬁnance and statistics from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in strategic management from Columbia University Graduate School of Business. As a student, he received a mascot letter as Freddie Falcon and was a member of the Falcon Marching Band. He served as a commencement speaker for BGSU in 2016.
Scott Slater ’73
Scott Slater is Chairman of Toledo Engineering Co. Inc., a group of companies with over 75 years of experience serving the worldwide primary glass manufacturing industry, where he oversees the administration of the group’s entities. He is involved in customer relations, contract negotiations and coordination of the inter-group activities. He oversees general operations, finance, purchasing, personnel, legal and insurance issues. Slater earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from BGSU in 1973.
The BGSU Ice Arena was named the Slater Family Ice Arena in 2017 in honor of a transformative gift from Slater and his family that was designed to advance the future of the facility. Slater currently resides in Temperance, Michigan.
Judith Sommers ’68, ’95
Judith Sommers has committed her life to the advancement of education, earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1968 and a doctoral degree in school administration in 1995, both from Bowling Green State University. Her professional career includes nearly 40 years of experience in public education and higher education in Ohio and North Carolina. She has been published in several national journals, contributed a chapter on career counseling to a graduate textbook, and has presented workshops at a variety of national, state and local conferences.
Sommers’ commitment to education goes well beyond her professional career. She has been a strong advocate and active participant in the success of BGSU and BGSU Firelands. She served as a BGSU Alumni Board member and an alumni chapter leader, is a past president and member of the BGSU Firelands Advisory Board and past chair and member of the BGSU Firelands Development Board. Sommers has received the BGSU Community Service Award and the BGSU Alumni Service Award.
W. Russ Stewart '69
Russell “Russ” Stewart is managing director and president of Camargo Investment Management Ltd. in Cincinnati. Stewart earned a bachelor’s degree in ﬁnance from BGSU in 1969 and an MBA in ginance in 1977 from Xavier University. He serves on Big Brothers/Big Sisters Board in Cincinnati. He and his wife, Dawn, are Falcon Flames. She is a retired high school business education teacher. They have gifts to BGSU in support of the College of Business, the College of Education and Human Development, The Excellence Fund for BGSU and the Gilbert and Lottie Cooke Fund.
Christopher J. Wade '83
Chris Wade is a senior vice president and residential loan oﬃcer with Boston Private Bank & Trust Company, a commercial, community and investment management ﬁrm. He supervises all loan processes and loan oﬃcers. He is a member of the American Bankers Association, the Bankers' Association for Finance and Trade, the American Institute of Banking and the Institute of Certiﬁed Bankers. Wade earned a bachelor’s degree in 1983 in interpersonal/public communications from Bowling Green State University. As a student, he was a tour guide and is currently a member of The Presidents Club. He was a 2008 Accomplished Graduate for the College of Arts and Sciences and is a member of the Dean's Circle. He has established the Wade Family Scholarship and has a bequest beneﬁtting the Excellence Fund for BGSU. He participated in the pre-campaign consultants' survey interviews in August of 2012. Wade resides in W. Somerville, Massachusetts.
Daniel White '73
Daniel White is the CEO of Norwalk Furniture, a manufacturer of high-end custom upholstery selling to a national and increasingly international market. White was formerly president of Geotrac, one of the largest ﬂood zone mapping companies in the United States and the ﬁrst in its industry to open an operations center in India. Following the successful sale of Geotrac, White formed the Geotrac Foundation. In 1973, White earned his bachelor’s degree in geography with a minor in French. He went on to receive a master’s degree in geography in 1974. White is also a member of the BGSU Firelands Development Board and received an Accomplished Graduate Award from BGSU Firelands.
Michael Winner '85
Michael Winner earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration/accounting from BGSU in 1985 and now serves as president of commercial lines for Grange Insurance. As president, Winner is responsible for the overall growth and proﬁtability of the company’s commercial lines, including product development, underwriting management, risk control and operations. Prior to his move to Grange in 2014, he served as president of Liberty Mutual’s Mid-Atlantic Region for business insurance and was responsible for managing an eight-state regional insurance operation with nearly $700 million in commercial premium. He is immediate past chairman of the leadership council of The Griﬃth Insurance Education Foundation and is a member of the board of directors for the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Red Cross. He and his family reside in Maineville, Ohio