Business Administration Profiles
Don Autio began his career with Hanna Mining Co. in Iron River as an electrical engineer. After five years, as the mines were closing, Don moved to E. I. DuPont in their construction division as an instrument engineer. After two years in construction, he accepted a job in Midland, Michigan with Dow Corning Corporation. Don spent the next 30 years with Dow Corning in various engineering and management positions. During this time, he completed the MBA degree at Central Michigan University. Don retired from Dow Corning in 1994. He has been an active volunteer at Michigan Tech, serving on the Advisory Boards for the Electrical Engineering Department, the School of Business and the Career Center.
John Benaglio is a leader in industry and has earned worldwide stature.
Benaglio is the Chairman of the Group Executive Committee and General Partner of the German-based Heitkamp & Thumann Group, which owns twenty-three companies in the metal and plastic-forming industries, as well as battery components.
After graduating from Michigan Tech in 1974, a fortunate incident altered the trajectory of Dave Bernard’s career before it started. “I was set to interview with the accounting department at Kimberly-Clark,” he says, “and just three days before, they called to say the position was filled, but they could offer me a spot as a tax analyst. I took the job and never looked back.”
John F. Calder earned a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1967 at Michigan Tech and went on to earn an MS degree from Michigan Tech in Business Administration in 1976. After graduating from Michigan Tech he started his career as a Design Engineer with Digital Integrated Circuit Systems in 1967.
From 1968-1975 he rose from Application and Field Service Engineer for the east coast to Regional Sales Manager for the Midwest and West Coast Regions. In 1975 he . . .
Clark first worked as a Computer Programmer with A. C. Spark Plug, now Delphi, in Flint, Michigan. After receiving her masters, Clark joined Cummins Engine Company in Jamestown, New York. She became one of the first women shop floor supervisors. At that time, Cummins was developing quality of work life systems and this philosophy matched Clark's skills.
When Michael and Marie Cleveland look in the mirror these days, they see success, financial security, and achievement—as well as prospects for helping others go where they have been.
That wasn’t always the case with Marie. She started out in engineering but found the discipline was not the be-all and end-all for her. She switched to business, a decision that haunted her for years, because, back in her college days, in the early 1980s, there was an attitude among engineering students that other disciplines were an inferior lot. “You felt like a failure,” she recalls.
Life is good for alumnus J.B. Hoyt. He feels gifted to be able to enjoy both professional and personal pursuits. He is an executive at Whirlpool Corp. in St. Joseph, Michigan; away from work, his passions are boating and photography. “I've always been a work-hard, play-hard kind of guy,” he says. “You’ve got to have that balance.”
Tom Irwin, soft-spoken and thoughtful, has “taken a leave of absence” from income-producing activities and redirected his energy to such pursuits as fly-fishing in the West, golf in the South, and travel around the world—when not tending to his volunteer duties on various boards and committees.
Dan graduated in 1970 with a BS degree in forestry and continued his education by earning a master’s degree in business administration from Michigan Tech. While a student at Tech he was active in Xi Sigma Pi, Blue Key, Air Force ROTC and he played football for MTU.
A native of Grand Prairie, a town of 55,000 residents in Northwestern Alberta, Canada, Malekoff came to Tech to play hockey; he says that he left a winner in all ways. He graduated in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in business administration, with a concentration in finance. "I've always been interested in business and entrepreneurship," he says.
Since graduating in 1998, Kristina Marshall has been leading Winning Futures, a nonprofit organization that offers mentoring programs for middle school and high school students. Her “life’s mission,” Winning Futures promotes character, goal setting, career preparation, and strategic planning—all elements of student success.
Paula graduated with honors from Michigan Tech in 1985 with a bachelor of science degree in business administration. Following graduation she relocated to Fort Lauderdale, Florida where she accepted a position with Sensormatic Electronics Corporation (a leader in the electronic article surveillance industry) in their finance department. During her three years with the company, she transferred to the marketing department to focus on national sales support.
Chang Park is an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, a social activist, and a visionary. He is the president and CEO of Universal Remote Control Inc. (Harrison, New York), a world leader in technology, innovation, and quality. Born and raised in Korea, he came to the US alone as a teenager to pursue an education. He soon developed an interest in mathematics—the only language he could understand in his new homeland. Park enrolled at Michigan Tech and . . .
When Ed Robinson was growing up in Chicago, he loved to gaze at the El trains, the streetcars, and the many railroad trains - all of which he encountered on his way to school. The good nuns routinely admonished him for being late to class. "I couldn't help it," he recalls. "I loved to watch."
Rowe was born and raised in Calumet. His father, the late Ken Rowe, was a physician, and he started out following his father's footsteps but soon realized "that wasn't where my heart was." Rather, he was fascinated with the world of finance, the stock market, and entrepreneurial endeavors, including two of his own: a log home construction business and a
Graduating in 1984 with a B.S. in Business Administration from Michigan Tech, few would predict that Jay Ruohonen would become president of an engineering design and product development firm. Ruohonen, the youngest of five children, was the first to graduate from college. After 23 years in the finance industry, Jay now directs the research, development and commercialization of proprietary and external technologies and products for Talon Research. Ruohonen works directly with his wife Dorothy (Daavettila) Ruohonen, also a Michigan Tech Alumna.
Alums Team up to Engineer a Better Beer
Chas Thompson '91, computer science, had a good reason for becoming a brewer. "I was thirsty," he says, pouring beers from the Schmohz Brewery counter at the recent Grand Rapids alumni tailgate party. Jim Schwerin '87, owner and brewer at Schmohz (pronounced shmoes), had a similar reason. "I couldn’t find a beer I liked," he says.
Darnishia Slade ’98 has received a few “callings” over the years. The Detroit native has made a few career shifts, via those epiphanies, before landing as the assistant director of International Programs and Services.
First introduced to Tech through the Minorities in Engineering summer program and legendary recruiter Betty Chavis, she fell in love with Tech.
“It was the exposure of actually being here,” she says. “I was influenced heavily by the counselors, like Derhun Sanders, and enrolled into the electromechanical engineering technology program. I . . .
Ronald Staley, who earned an associate’s degree in civil engineering technology in 1977 and a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1980, has high praise for Michigan Tech.
“I learned how to study hard,” he recalls, “and I remember working hard. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Michigan Tech.”
Fresh out of Tech, Joel Tacey '01 was not enthused by his first marketing or sales rep option. So, he gave himself an ultimatum.
"I told myself, if I could make the same kind of living by doing magic as my friends did in traditional jobs, I would stick it out," he says. "It's been the best decision of my life."
After leaving Michigan Tech, Jan Tervonen joined the Eastman Kodak Company as a Programmer/ Analyst. In 1986 she left Kodak and took several years off to raise her children – two of those years were spent in Paris. She returned to the work force initially as a consultant, and then in 1993 accepted a position with Mammography Reporting System, Inc. (MRS) as a Senior Programmer/Analyst. MRS is the leading provider of mammography information systems in the US. She worked her way through the ranks as a Product Manager, Technical Director, and ultimately became the Vice President, Technology.
Switching from mechanical engineering to business worked out very well for Jim Trethewey. The Ironwood native was inspired to switch by legendary accounting professor Sam Tidwell and never looked back. Beginning his career with Copper Range, a local mining concern, he soon joined Cleveland-Cliffs (now Cliffs Resources) and advanced through management positions over the years.
From Ishpeming to Ontario to Cleveland, Trethewey worked in positions of increasing responsibility and became vice president-controller and chief accounting officer. Along the . . .
Abraham Wagner is not the kind of guy who can sit still. He has this inner drive to contend with.
It started long before he decided to become a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter and step into a cage with huge men intent upon inflicting as much damage upon him as possible . . .
Gerald Ziarno joined the Packard Electric Division of General Motors and left after a short period to fulfill an Air Force ROTC commitment, spending two and a half years in Japan. He joined Dow Corning Corporation in Midland, Michigan, in 1962 and served in a number of management positions in locations as diverse as Belgium, Japan, and Hong Kong. He retired from Dow Corning in 1996 as Corporate Vice President and Director of Global Sales and Marketing. He is a past president and life trustee of Michigan Tech Fund Board of Trustees. Jerry remains professionally active as an independent consultant in international business.
William J. Raduchel, a native of the Keweenaw, attended Michigan Tech before earning a bachelor's degree in economics from Michigan State University and both a master's and doctoral degree in economics from Harvard University. He has served as senior vice president of market development and chief scientist for McGraw Hill, Inc., and vice president for document systems, Strategic Business Office, at Xerox Corp