Alumni Listing

Jim Anttonen, '65

Jim Anttonen '65 became a pioneer in environmentally sustainable construction long before the term “sustainable” became a household word.

John Benaglio, '70

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.

Dave Bernard, '74

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.”

Denise Blankinship, '84

Denise graduated from Michigan Tech with a BS in Management Information Systems in 1984 and since 2004 has served in various senior IT management roles at the Church Pension Group in New York City. Her current role is Vice President of IT Strategic Projects. Prior to that, she worked at Fiserv Life Insurance Solutions, Delta Life and Annuity, CSC Partners, and Retail Management Services, Inc. In her current position, she is accountable for setting strategy, creating and overseeing the budget, maintaining relationships with senior business partners and vendors, and providing ongoing leadership for core transactional applications. She has many current and past industry affiliations including the Alfresco Customer Council, the Oracle Insurance Advisory Board, and was President of the Klopotek . . .

John Calder, '67, '76

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 joined Dorsey-Alexander in Cincinnati, Ohio and in 1987 purchased the company. Dorsey-Alexander is a Manufacturer’s Agent for motion control, sensing and machine guarding safety products. In 1980 he co-founded Cincinnati Controls, Inc. which is a high tech distributor of microprocessors for motion control products and human-machine . . .

Kim Cameron, '05

It’s a moment that won’t soon be forgotten: hundreds of Michigan Tech fans cheering the arrival of the Huskies at Civic Arena in St. Joseph, Missouri, for the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship game.

Dave Chaudier, '93

Dave Chaudier ’93 has a four-part approach to work: “Don’t fear failure, don’t let anything surprise you, learn from your mistakes, and don’t put up with anyone’s negativity.”

Marilyn Clark, '73, '76

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.

Marie Cleveland, '82

Marie Cleveland is currently Worldwide Account Manager for FedEx, responsible for bringing in $70 million in revenue annually. While she advanced through management positions, she received many honors from the company, including the President’s Club, FedEx’s highest sales award; and the Five-Star Award, FedEx’s highest accolade. She’s traveled the globe for FedEx, touching down in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America, making her an expert in cultural issues within international business. Prior to FedEx, Marie was involved in various positions in quality, human resources, and sales for Roadway Package System, which was purchased by FedEx in 2000. For her alma mater, Marie is a member of President Mroz’s Advancement Council, the School of Business and Economics . . .

Michael and Marie Cleveland, '82, '82

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.

John Drake, '64, '69

Hold on Tight to Your Dreams John Drake did that for the duration of his career - what he calls a "forty-four-year run." The ensuing success has put him and his wife, Cathi, in the position of being philanthropists.

Justin Fitch, '05

Justin Fitch was born and raised in Hayward, Wisconsin. An analytically minded student who enjoyed the sciences, computers and math, he arrived at Michigan Tech in 2000. The summer after his first year, Justin joined the Army ROTC program. After his sophomore year, he attended the US Army Airborne School with hopes of being a paratrooper. He graduated Cum Laude in 2005 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Industrial Marketing and Management and a minor in Military Science.

Robert Freimuth, '77

Robert Freimuth has traveled far in a distinguished career with wide-ranging responsibilities in the automotive industry. He has spent his entire career with General Motors Corp.

Kate Hogberg, '02

Kate (Harkins) Hogberg conveys architectural principles in her job as Communications Specialist with HDR, Inc. She also is learning a fair amount about building blocks. Kate, a Michigan Tech SBE graduate, is helping with Duplo instead of Lego sets at home—her child is two years old, and she and her husband are expecting another in June—but communicating about architecture, engineering, and construction is something she does every day. “My typical day consists of communicating with engineers and scientists to tell stories of successful projects around the world,” says Kate. She leads the production, writing, and editing of internal and external publications, as well as developing the storylines, content, and production for internal and external videos. “Communication . . .

Ellen Horsch, '78

Ellen S. Horsch was appointed vice president for administration at Michigan Technological University in 2004. She oversees the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Auxiliary Services, Business Operations, Facilities Management, and Human Resources. From 1991 until 2004, she was director of the university's human resources department, directing the functions of payroll, employment, faculty personnel, labor relations, compensation, classification, and benefits. From 1989-1991, she was manager of employee relations operations. She came to Michigan Tech in 1985 as a part-time instructor in the School of Business and Economics. She became a full-time instructor in 1986. Prior to her appointment at Michigan Tech, she taught at Ferris State University and Central Michigan University. Horsch earned a . . .

J.B. Hoyt, '74

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.”

Kerry Irons, '72, '73

Why did you choose Michigan Tech? I was interested in skiing, and wanted a good engineering school. Tell us about a memorable experience you had with a class or about a favorite professor? I enjoyed racing bicycles on a team with my thermodynamics professor (Davis Hubbard) and two other chemical engineering students. Now, how about a memorable experience outside of class? There is nothing else like skiing through a "field of diamonds" on a crystal clear, cold powder day at Mt. Ripley. How well did Michigan Tech prepare you for your career? I learned the fundamentals of chemical engineering and got hands-on experience. What was your first job after graduation and how has your career progressed? My first job was as a research engineer for Dow Chemical. I had a full career in process . . .

Tom Irwin, '63, '66

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.

Jessica Kaiser, '88

Jessica graduated with a BSBA with a concentration in Operations Management in 1988, and has had a very successful career working in large and small organizations as well as her own consulting firm. Kaiser has an extensive background in Quality Management and has led several organizations to successful ISO/QS registrations. She owned and operated her own consulting firm and has extensive managerial experience including Plant Manager, Regional General Manager and Marketing Manager, and Operations Support Leader. Jessica was inducted into the Presidential Council of Alumnae in 1997, and received the Michigan Tech Alumni Association's Outstanding Young Alumni Award for 2001. Excerpt from the School of Business and Economics Blog, March 30, 2007 Updated November, 2014 to include awards information . . .

David Kneisler, '83

David is a 1983 graduate of the School of Business and Economics. He received his masters from the University of Michigan – Flint.  He began his career with General Motors, Central Foundry Division, in IT and then transferred to Saginaw Steering. While there, he moved into Finance.  He left General Motors and went to TRW Vehicle Safety Systems for 8 years and then moved to Dana Corporation, where he has been for the past twenty years. In 2006 he became the VP of Global Quality and has since taken on the responsibilities of Safety and Reliability. Dana offers high-quality automotive product solutions in three core areas of the vehicle – drivetrain, sealing, and thermal-management systems. This lineup of technologies from one source is designed to offer flexibility to . . .

Daniel Kretz, '70, '72

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.

Mark Malekoff, '08

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.

Kristina Marshall, '98

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.

Chris Moore, '01

Chris Moore has reached out pretty far himself. Instead of looking for a new position in his field when the economy took a downward turn, he took a risk and went back to school to get his degree in physical therapy. In 2007, he opened his own physical therapy practice. This was thanks in no small part to the practical education he gained in physical therapy wedded to the skill, insight, and discipline he learned from the School of Business and Economics. “I got a head start on all of the other physical therapists because I understood the financial world, knew the banks, knew business,” Moore says. “Compared to most physical therapists, I have an enormous business background: marketing, finance, banking, etc. Most PTs are biologically book smart with tons of medical background, . . .

Paula Nutini, '85

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.

Grant and Maureen Nuttall, '59

It’s the helping hand that pulls you up the most when you need it, and Grant Nuttall has never forgotten the hands that have helped him. The retired oil executive and his wife have established the Joseph A. Romig Annual Memorial Scholarship, keeping an important mentor’s name alive and helping the next generation of entrepreneurs. When Grant Nuttall decided to leave Imperial Oil—a colossus of an energy company in his native Canada—to further his education at Michigan Tech, his family had some concern. “They thought it was a bad move,” he explains. “My mother, my sister, they didn’t think school was for me. And I had never heard of the place before talking to my uncle. Never heard of Michigan Tech or Houghton,” he says with a laugh. “I’d . . .

Chang Park, '73, '73

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 graduated in 1973 with dual degrees in electrical engineering and engineering administration. In his first job after graduation, he worked for an engineering consulting firm in Philadelphia, designing and reviewing mass transit systems, including the Washington Metro System, the BART System in San Francisco, and the Northeast Corridor between . . .

Eric Peterson, '70, '71

Eric Peterson, originally from Detroit, completed his baccalaureate degree in civil engineering at Michigan Tech in 1970 and went on to earn a master’s in business administration in 1971.   Following graduation Mr. Peterson focused his career in the railroad industry, the majority of it with CSX Transportation.  After joining the company in 1974 as an Assistant Division Engineer, he rose through the managerial levels including Manager of Engineering and General Manager of Signal Engineering.  One of his major projects was rebuilding the railroad corridor between Chicago and Cleveland to increase capacity and train speeds.   He was promoted to Assistant Chief Engineer of Signal Design and Construction in 1998 and later to Assistant Chief Engineer of Public . . .

Edward Robinson, '66

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."

John Rockwell, '79

In his career as a venture capitalist, John Rockwell ’79 frequently draws on the knowledge he gained in his courses at the School of Business and Economics. He said that he picked up one of his most valuable business skills not in the classroom but on the ice.

Jillian Rothe, '06, '06

Jillian Rothe has established a sterling career at Caterpillar in short period of time, using her mechanical engineering and business administration degrees with a minor in Spanish. She’s also given her time and talents to many worthwhile causes over the years. She is currently Caterpillar’s Energy and Transportation Marketing Support Representative for Asia Pacific based in Singapore. Within this newly created role, she ensures that business partners have the Extended Protection Products to support their go-to-market strategies. Rothe has held increasingly responsible management roles in Peoria; Monterrey, Mexico; Minneapolis; and Nashville. Outside of her job duties, she has been involved in the Caterpillar Latino Connection Leadership Team, Women’s Leadership Forum, Military . . .

David Rowe, '84, '91

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 sailboard business.

Jay Ruohonen, '84

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.

Tina Schmiedel, '84, '84

Tina graduated from Michigan Tech in 1984, receiving Bachelor of Science degrees in both chemical engineering and business engineering administration. Upon leaving Tech, she accepted a position as Operations Manager with Procter & Gamble in Green Bay, WI where she moved through assignments of increasing responsibility over the next 17 years of her career.  In 2002, she resigned from P&G following her assignment as the Operations Leader for North American Towel to focus on her family and earn her MBA.  In 2003, she received her MBA from UW-Oshkosh In 2004 she went to work for Oshkosh Corporation, a leading manufacturer and marketer of access equipment, specialty vehicles and truck bodies for the primary markets of defense, concrete placement, refuse hauling, access equipment . . .

Laurie Schwerin, '87

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

Darnishia graduated from Michgan Tech in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a certificate in International Business. Upon leaving the University, she spent two years with the Up With People - Worldsmart International Leadership Program as a student and the Education and Community Service Coordinator. Following this she worked for the Boys and Girls Republic Treatment Facility in Farmington Hill, MI and then in 2002 worked for Mosaic Youth Theater of Detroit as Youth Support Director. Darnishia returned to Michigan Tech in 2005 and continued her Michigan Tech legacy by accepting a position as Regional Admissions Manager in Southeast Michigan. In 2012 she put her International Business Certificate to good use moving to Tech’s International Programs and . . .

Ron Staley, '77, '80

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.”

Joel Tacey, '01

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."

Joyce Ten Haken, '70

Joyce Ten Haken Strikes a Proper Work/Life Balance As Michigan Tech was suffering with below normal temperatures and above average snowfall, Joyce Ten Haken ’70 was lamenting unseasonable January heat and historically dry conditions in northern California. But, she’ll adapt, just as she has all during her long, successful career in accounting. A partner in the Ten Haken Hinz & Company firm, she’s prided herself on helping clients adapt, too. “I’m more than just a tax or financial advisor,” she says. “I often help them with personal issues, too.” It’s a reflection of how she operates in and out of the office, and it’s a lesson learned from legendary accounting professor Sam Tidwell. “Sam taught us to do a good job but also . . .

Janice Tervonen, '80, '80

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.

James Trethewey, '67

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 way, he also earned his MBA from Baldwin-Wallace College. In his final years with Cliffs, Trethewey was senior vice president of business development and worked with the senior corporate team in reshaping the company, adding international experience . . .

Steve Vizanko, '04

In their classes at the School of Business and Economics, Steve Vizanko ’04 and Caleb Wendel ’07 learned how to craft a detailed business plan and meticulously estimate a new enterprise’s growth.

Abraham Wagner, '02

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 . . .

Caleb Wendel, '04

In their classes at the School of Business and Economics, Steve Vizanko ’04 and Caleb Wendel ’07 learned how to craft a detailed business plan and meticulously estimate a new enterprise’s growth.

JoAnn Brinser, '85

Contemporary automakers integrate wireless technology and fuel efficiency instead of fins and chrome. Knowing what to put into a car and how consumers will respond is JoAnn Heck’s job. She is the director of Consumer and Market Insights for Chrysler Group LLC, and a 1985 graduate of Michigan Tech with a degree in economics. “We try to understand their pain points,” she says of consumers. “Then our findings go to the engineering product planning teams who identify ways to meet those needs. People know what they want and need to function in life, and we have to figure out what tangible things might fill that gap, like a rear backup camera when they tell us they want to back up without hitting anything.” While the look and feel of a car may get eyeballs, customers . . .

William Raduchel, '67

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