Michael E. Kuhlin '68
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.
Emanuele Conti ’89
Position: Chair Elect
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.
Paul J. Hooker ’75
Position: Interim Chair, Development Committee
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.
Charles "Charlie" Kowal '75
Position: Chair, Audit Committee
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.
Valerie Newell '75
Position: Treasurer; Chair, Financial Affairs Committee
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 Schmidthorst 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.)
Position: Chair, Nominating & Governance Committee
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.
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 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.
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.
Gregory L. Forte '76
Greg Forte is a former associate director for The Procter & Gamble Company. He led P&G’s northeastern sales organization and eventually central operations for the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. After P&G, he became director of consulting for Management Performance International (MPI). At MPI, Forte worked with clients to drive strategic growth through improved work systems, training and organization development. Prior to consulting, he was development director for The Freedom Center in Cincinnati. He is currently president of OE-DE Investment Group.
Forte is a 1976 graduate of BGSU with a bachelor’s in business administration. As a student, he was an active Greek as a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., where he held leadership positions. Forte recently served on the BGSU Student Affairs Leadership Council prior to accepting his role on the Foundation Board of Directors. In 2017, he was inducted into BGSU’s Academy Of Distinguished Alumni.
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.
Jan Heppe '74
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.
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.
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. Raymond Marvin ’60, ’17 (Hon.)
A private investor in the telecommunications field, Ray Marvin graduated from BGSU in 1960 with a liberal arts degree. He went on to earn a law degree from the University of Michigan and embarked on a successful career that included serving as a captain in the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate Corps, Ohio assistant attorney general, assistant director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition and founding director of the National Association of Attorneys General.
While a student at BGSU, Marvin was a member of SICSIC, Omicron Delta Kappa, Falcon Marching Band, Forensics Team, Student Council and Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Since 2010, he has supported students through the Ray Marvin Leadership Awards, which recognize outstanding leadership on campus and in the community, and in 2018 named the C. Raymond Marvin Center for Student Leadership. In 2017, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of liberal arts from BGSU.
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.
Eugene "Gene" A. Novak '74
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.
Emil Ragones ’68
Emil Ragones graduated from BGSU in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in accounting. As a student, he was active in Beta Alpha Psi, Beta Gamma Sigma and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Shortly after graduation, he joined the audit practice in the Ernst & Young Cleveland office and became a certified public accountant. During his 39-year career, Ragones also worked in the Providence, Boston and national offices, and for 20 years was the practice leader for IT Risk and Assurance services for the New England area. For the last seven years of his career, he was a partner in the National Professional Practice office before retiring in 2007.
Currently, Ragones is an independent director for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, where he chairs the Audit Committee and an adjunct professor in the Boston College Carroll School of Management Accounting Department’s Master of Science in Accounting program. He resides in Wayland, Massachusetts, with his wife, Marty (Pryatel) Ragones’69.
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 with a Bachelor of Science in marketing. After three years with Leo Burnett advertising, John joined ABC Television in the stations division. He spent 28 years at ABC with stints at WLS-TV in Chicago, New York national sales and 22 years at KABC-TV in Los Angeles as general sales manager. He then spent 10 years as vice president of West Coast sales for Metro Networks before retiring. John was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, serving two terms as president. Recently, as a member of the class of 1965 50th reunion committee, John provided a generous lead gift for the Changing Lives for the World campaign, supporting the new Robert W. and Patricia A. Maurer Center building, the future home of the Schmidthorst College of Business opening in 2020, as well as generous support for the Falcon Club and the School of Media and Communication. John served as president of a self-managed home owner’s association at his second home in Big Bear Lake in California for 14 years before joining the BGSU Foundation Board.
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, he joined his family’s business, a startup company in the State of Florida, Crestview Aerospace Corporation (CAC). With his 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, Shanklin 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. He is involved as co-founder in two healthcare startups, Natura Health and Wellness Clinics and Ella Functional Medicine, both also based in Missoula. He 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.
Shanklin 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. He loves to hunt, fly fish, and travel with family and friends.
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 finance 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 Schmidthorst College of Business, the College of Education and Human Development, The Excellence Fund for BGSU and the Gilbert and Lottie Cooke Fund.
Marty Stiffler possesses more than 20 years of development experience with a specialization in writing grants and fundraising communications. She has provided foundation and grants management in nonprofit fields including education, health and the arts. Prior to her work in philanthropy, Stiffler founded and was president of a writing service for businesses and professionals.
Before focusing her career on writing in 2015, Stiffler’s most recent position was director of institutional giving at Washington National Cathedral, an organization she contributed to for seven years. In this role, Marty was responsible for foundation and grants management along with major donor and planned giving relationships. One of her achievements was to procure a $5 million grant for building restoration of the earthquake-damaged cathedral from a major national foundation.
Stiffler also served as associate director of development for Ravinia Festival for four years; director of development for Providence St. Mel School for three years; and freelance grant writer for nonprofits such as Columbia College and The Chicago Chamber Musicians for two years. Stiffler started her career as a volunteer and continued to hold volunteer positions, including serving as a member of the community boards of the United Way, Sacramento Valley and the Josselyn Center for Mental Health, where she remains an honorary trustee. Marty also is a founding member of the University Libraries Leadership Council at BGSU.
Stiffler earned her bachelor's degree from Mount Holyoke College and pursued the study of law at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law.
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