Making a Difference

Advice from Successful Business Leaders

The Dean’s Advisory Council is a proactive organization dedicated to helping the School of Business and Economics achieve its mission and be a top choice school for business education among students and employers. The Dean’s Advisory Council provides a link to those individuals and organizations that possess the resources, knowledge, and contacts the School requires to meet its objectives and achieve its mission.

The Dean’s Advisory Council is composed of business professionals chosen for their experience and expertise in leading businesses or public and nonprofit organizations and for their commitment to the School of Business and Economics.

Principally, the Dean’s Advisory Council has the following functions:

  • Advise the School, through the Dean, on issues that have the most significant impact to the accomplishment of the School’s mission and strategy;
  • Communicates and advocates for the School’s interests to external constituencies to raise its profile as a leading business educator, and to raise support and understanding of its goals;
  • Provide an important link between business education within the School and practice within the business community to promote academic excellence and curriculum improvement;
  • Suggest and identify opportunities for students to interact with businesses, public, and nonprofit organizations that will enhance their knowledge, provide internships, provide employment, or enrich their education through other experiential learning endeavors;
  • Provide access to the business community for the Dean and our faculty;
  • Assist in the promotion and recognition of the School and its students locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally;
  • Provide advice and support to strengthen and enhance the financial resources of the School.

Current Members

Name Position

David Bernard, '74


Former VP for Taxes and Real Estate for Kimberly Clark in Oshkosh, Wisconsin
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Michigan Tech, Bernard began an illustrious career at Kimberly Clark in 1974. After earning an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh while continuing his work, and moving around within the tax department, he retired as the VP for Taxes and Real Estate. Bernard has served on Michigan Tech's School of Business and Economics National Advisory Board and currently sits on the Dean’s Advisory Council.

David Brule Sr., '72


President/CEO, Northern Star Industries, Inc.
Following the completion of his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Michigan Tech, Brule joined M.J. Electric as a project engineer and advanced from there. In 1991, he became the CEO and continued as president of the company after Exelon Infrastructure Services, Inc. acquired it in 2000, eventually the name was changed to Northern Star Industries. The company now employs 450+ workers with 350,000 square feet of manufacturing warehouse space and a 90-acre campus for the Boss Snowplow and Systems Control facilities. Brule is a lifelong member of the Michigan Tech Alumni Association and was elected to the University's Electrical Engineering Academy in 1996. He also served on the Board of Control from 2001-2009 as appointed by Governor Engler.

John Calder, '67


CEO, Cincinnati Controls, Inc.
In 1976 Calder completed his master's in mechanical engineering a year after joining Dorsey-Alexander Inc. as a Manufacturing Representative. In 1980, he helped found Cincinnati Controls, where he is now CEO. The firm distributes microprocessors for motion control and human-machine interface. "If it moves, we monitor or control it. My job is more like a hobby than work," he added. Since graduating from Michigan Tech, Calder has made significant contributions to the success of the University through many committee appointments, the establishment of the Calder Systems and Controls Laboratory in Mechanical Engineering, and a planned gift for the Endowment of a Professor in Mechanical Engineering.

Marie Cleveland, '82


Worldwide Corporate Account Manager at FedEX
As a worldwide corporate account manager for Federal Express, Marie Cleveland  handles six major accounts and is responsible for bringing in over $50 million in sales each year. Cleveland found a talent and a passion for the high level of client interaction. She became a regional recruiter for Roadway Package Systems (RPS) in 1988 and went on to hold various positions with the company. When FedEx purchased RPS in 2000, Cleveland was named a corporate account executive. A passionate Michigan Tech supporter and advocate, she has served on the Presidential Council of Alumnae, in various roles for the Alumni Association and gives regular presentations to students on campus.

Joseph R. Dancy, '76


President of LSGI Advisors Inc.

Upon completion of his BS in Metallurgical & Material Engineering from Michigan Tech, Joseph Dancy completed his MBA from the University of Michigan in 1978, and his Juris Doctorate from the School of Law at Oklahoma City University in 1983. Since 1993 Dancy has been an adjunct professor teaching Oil & Gas Environmental Law at the SMU School of Law and more recently at the SMU Cox School of Business. He has published two textbooks and numerous research articles.  In addition to his academic commitments he also manages the LSGI Venture Fund, a private investment partnership that invests in small publicly traded companies. Dancy and the LSGI Advisors Inc. have been long-time supporters of Michigan Tech’s Applied Portfolio Management Program, with his serving on the Program’s Advisory Board since 2000. Dancy has been appointed by the Governor as a Texas delegate to the Interstate Oil & Gas Commission, and also serves on the Finance Committee of the Board of Directors of Arts Way Manufacturing, a public agricultural sector manufacturing firm out of Iowa.

David Hartley, '71


VP of Personal Financial Services for Northern Trust

After graduating from Michigan Tech in 1971, Hartley began his career with Goodyear Tire working as a Sales Engineer in the motor pool division. A few years later he joined the Northern Trust Company in their trust department. In 1985 he moved on to join Citibank as President of their asset management group in Chicago. After a tour with First Chicago Bank, he rejoined Northern Trust in 1998 as a Senior Wealth Strategist. Hartley remains an active part of shaping the future of Michigan Tech and has served as both a Michigan Tech Trust Fund trustee and served as president from 1996-1998. He is also a member of the McNair Society, the 1885 Society and was inducted into the Academy within the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences. Both of David's children are graduates of Michigan Tech.

James Lenz, '74


Director at John Deere

 

 Lenz is currently the Director of the John Deere's Technology Innovation Center located on the campus of the University of Illinois. He is now also starting a similar research center for Deere, which will be located in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Through Lenz's career he has worked for Boeing, Honeywell, and the University of Minnesota, and has been involved with more than 100 new product developments, working with hundreds of innovators and engineers. In the past he has served as a member of Michigan Tech's School of Business and Economics National Advisory board and the Dean's Advisory Council.

Hugh Makens, '61


Of Counsel, Warner Norcross & Judd, LLP

Graduating with honors from Michigan Tech in 1961 with a bachelors in business administration, Makens has been involved in the securities industry for over 35 years as an attorney, regulator and advisor. He was a Director at the Michigan Corporation & Securities Bureau for the Michigan Department of Commerce (1972-1978) and was a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (1966-1972). For the past 24 years he has represented broker-dealers, investment advisors, issuers, regulatory authorities and industry professionals in conjunction with compliance with securities regulatory requirements, investigations and regulatory proceedings. He is chair of the Firm's Broker-Dealer/Investment Advisers Practice Group. Most recently, he has served as an advisor and mentor to the Applied Portfolio Management Program, was inducted into the Academy of Business and Economics (1995) and served on the former SBE National Advisory Board.

Shankar Mukherjee, '86


President/CEO, Dhanni Systems, Inc.

 

Mukherjee is president and CEO of Dhaani Systems Inc. of Cupertino, Calif., which he founded in 2008 to produce energy-saving technologies for electronic systems. In 2000, he founded TeraBlaze, a company that provided switch fabric subsystems and sold it four years later to Agere Systems. Previously, Mukherjee was an engineer and project leader with National Semiconductor and the vice president for engineering of LAN at Enable Semiconductor, a company that was acquired by Lucent. In the past, he joined the Dean's Advisory Council to support and guide the development of the School of Business and Economics

Laura Nagel, '83


Owner/President/CEO, Can Do Promotions, Inc.

 

Laura retired from Ford Motor Company in February 2012, where she held the position of Director of Operations, Ford Component Sales. She is a 1983 graduate of the School of Business and Economics at Michigan Tech with a BS degree in Business Administration. She also holds an MS degree in Global Management, University of Phoenix, 2002. Laura is an MTU Alumni Association Life Member, a member of the School’s Business Academy (2006), and a past member of the School’s National Advisory Board. Laura was inducted into MTU’s Presidential Council of Alumnae in 2004 and remains a very active supporter of Michigan Tech.

Scott Pattullo, '81


Senior VP Sales and Marketing, Wheels, Inc.

Pattullo graduated from Michigan Technological University in 1981 with a degree in electrical engineering and then went on to earn an MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College in 1983. After graduation, Scott held several marketing and management positions with companies that included General Motors, A.T. Kearney, the NutraSweet Company, and Sara Lee Corporation before joining Wheels Inc. in 1998. He served as Vice President of Marketing and General Manager of Four Wheels, a subsidiary, until 2001 when he was promoted to Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Pattullo received Michigan Tech's Outstanding Young Alumnus Award in 1995, has been a Michigan Tech Fund Board Trustee since 1996 and a member of the Founders Society.

Ed Robinson, '66


Transportation Consultant

 

Robinson was an honor graduate of Michigan Tech in 1966 with a bachelors degree in business administration. He began his career as a business consultant with Deloitte Haskins & Sells (now Deloitte & Touche) in Chicago. When he left the company in 1991, he was National Director of Transportation Services. Since then he has worked as a private financial and strategic business consultant to numerous companies within the transportation industry and serves on several corporate boards. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Minnesota Society of CPA's, the Governmental Accounting and Auditing Commission of Minnesota, and has many other professional affiliations. Robinson is a Michigan Tech Fund Life Trustee having served on the Board of Trustees from 1985-1995. He was inducted into the MTU Business and Engineering Administration Academy in 1994. Having a strong commitment to the School of Business and Economics, he was Chair of the Tidwell Center Endowment Campaign.

John Rockwell, '79


Consultant/Venture Capitalist

Rockwell has more than 18 years of experience in venture capital investment and development of companies commercializing advanced material applications and over 23 years of financial investment experience. His primary areas of investment include advanced materials, energy storage, renewable energy, and supply chain management. While at Michigan Tech he served as a goalie for Husky hockey. In 2006 he was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame and has served on the School of Business and Economics Dean's Advisory Council since 2009.

Ross Roeder


Chairman of the Board, Chico’s FAS, Inc., and Chairman/CEO of FSWM, Inc.

After attending Michigan Tech for two years from 1956 - 1958, Roeder completed his business administration degree at Michigan State. In addition, he received an MBA from UCLA in 1965. During his career he served as the president and CEO of many companies, including Morgan Kaufmann Publishers Inc., M.D.R. Inc., and Smart & Final Inc. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Chico's FAS, Inc., in Fort Meyers, FL and Chairman/CEO OF FSWM, Inc., a company that provides equity and management services to emerging growth companies located in Miami, Florida. He was named an honorary alumnus in 2007 and became a Michigan Tech Fund Life Trustee after serving from 1995-2005. Roeder was also inducted into the School of Business and Economics Academy of Business in 1996 and served on the School’s National Advisory Board from 1996 to 2009.

Carrie Schaller, '87


I/T Director for Manufacturing & Engineering at Dow Chemical

 

Schaller has been with Dow for 25 years and is currently leading a team that is implementing the next generation of SAP-based tools and work processes for manufacturing. She is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt, and earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Michigan Tech. Schaller serves on the North American steering team for the Women's Innovation Network (WIN) at Dow. She resides in Midland, MI with her husband and three children.

Dr. Robert S. Tripp    ’66 & ‘67

 

Senior Research Analyst, RAND Corporation
 

Dr. Tripp has over thirty-five years of experience in the areas of military logistics systems design, development, management, and evaluation.  At RAND Corporation since 1996, he currently leads projects that evaluate how support policy, practice, and technology options impact the effectiveness and efficiency of Air and Space Expeditionary Forces. He is the first recipient of the RAND Project Air Force Research Excellence Award. His education includes a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a concentration in business logistics from the University of Minnesota, MS in Business Administration, and BS in Metallurgical Engineering from Michigan Technological University. Dr. Tripp served in the Air Force and retired as a Colonel.  During his Air Force career, he held several key logistics positions. After his military service he held corporate officer positions in industry. Further, Dr. Tripp has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in logistics, and management information systems at the Air Force Institute of Technology and was Chair of the Management Sciences and Management Information Systems Department at the University of New Mexico. In addition, he has served as a trustee for the Michigan Tech Fund and has been appointed to Michigan Tech President’s Council for Advancement.