Academy Of Business Inductees
The Michigan Technological University College of Business (COB) announces its newest inductees to the esteemed Academy of Business. These individuals join a group of leaders in business and civic affairs, as well as those who have contributed significantly to the growth and development of the COB.
David W. McBride ’82, owner, McBride Remodeling Inc. and Northland Self Storage LLC
David McBride leads an award-winning team of highly trained professionals who are leaders in the home improvement and storage industry. His team uses environmentally friendly practices, including solar energy.
McBride has grown the construction division to become one of the top 500 in the country while delivering top-quality remodeling to discerning homeowners. In the storage division, he actively manages three facilities and more than 500 customer relationships.
Highlighted projects include developing a 25-acre industrial park in a former gravel mine, converting a drive-in theater into a commercial center, and receiving the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation in 2017 for the Douglas House renovation. McBride and his spouse Joy are also proud supporters of scholarships for College of Business students and Michigan Tech Summer Youth Programs.
Dale F. Elliott ’79, president and CEO, FCM Advisory Group, Ltd.
Seven members of Dale Elliott’s immediate family have graduated from Michigan Tech.
After earning a TechMBA® in 1979, Elliott joined Brunswick Corporation as an advanced management trainee. He then spent 11 years with Emerson Electric, starting with the Dremel division as marketing manager.
Elliott was promoted to general manager of Dremel and was then selected to be vice president of marketing for the S-B Power Tool business. In 1995, he took a position with Snap-on Tools Inc. as president of the industrial and power tool business. He was named chairperson, president, and CEO of Snap-on Tools in 2001 and developed the strategy and tactical plans that set the stage for their future growth and profitability while addressing the economic impact of the September 11 attacks.
After retiring from Snap-on, Elliott was called on to become president of American Standard’s Global Bath and Kitchen business. Currently, he is president and CEO of FCM Advisory Group, Ltd., a business consulting company he founded in 2007.
Elliott has served on the School of Business and Economics National Advisory Board and is a Michigan Tech Fund Life Trustee as well as a member of the President’s Advancement Council.
Denise Blankenship ’84, retired vice president of business analysis, Church Pension Group
Throughout her career, Denise Blankenship, who earned a BS in Business Administration from Michigan Tech, has held numerous positions in the information technology field with a focus on business analysis and resource management.
Most recently, Blankenship served as the vice president of business analysis at Church Pension Group (CPG), where she was a senior IT manager responsible for partnering with corporate business leaders to define, prioritize, and develop IT strategy for supporting both IT and business projects.
During her tenure at CPG, Blankenship established an enterprise business analyst program. She implemented numerous process improvement projects spanning web self-service, policy administration, document automation, and content management with a focus on efficient workflow automation.
In 2011, she received the Women in Insurance Leadership Notable Achiever Award.
Blankenship has served on numerous vendor customer advisory boards and is a member of the Presidential Council of Alumnae. She has also been active with the New York City alumni association, including hosting Applied Portfolio Management Program students in NYC.
Mark C. Roualet ’81, executive vice president, Combat Systems
Mark Roualet is the executive vice president of General Dynamics for their Combat Systems group. This group includes three companies: European Land Systems, Land Systems, and Ordnance and Tactical Systems.
Roualet held positions of increasing responsibility throughout his employment with General Dynamics Land Systems, including plant manager, vice president of the Interim Brigade Combat Team program, vice president of Wheeled Vehicle Systems, and senior vice president and chief operating officer.
Roualet earned a BS in Business Administration from Michigan Tech and an MBA from the University of Dayton. He was recognized by Crain’s Detroit Business Magazine as one of their “40 Under 40” executives and was awarded the Silver Star by the National Defense Industrial Association.
In 2019, Roualet was elected to the Council of Trustees for the Association of the United States Army, a nonprofit educational and development association serving America’s total Army, soldiers and civilians, and their families.
View the complete listing of Academy of Business inductees: mtu.edu/business/people-groups/academy
Outstanding Students In Business
Jennifer Carolan ’21
Originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan, Jennifer says her experiences in the Michigan Tech College of Business have helped her develop into a business professional while expanding her leadership skills through hands-on experience.
Jennifer is a member of the accounting club Beta Gamma Sigma and Pavlis Honors College. She also serves as an accounting tutor and a tax preparer for the MTU Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program.
After earning a BS in Accounting, Jennifer plans to continue her Tech education as a graduate student in the MS in Accounting program, before achieving her ultimate goal of becoming a CPA.
Jacob Mihelich ’21
A native of Calumet, Michigan, Jacob feels that along with his rigorous education and top-tier professors, his time as an accounting major at Michigan Tech has presented him with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, including traveling to Silicon Valley, visiting a Wells Fargo trading floor, and networking with successful business professionals around the country.
Jacob serves as treasurer for the finance club, is a member of the accounting club, and is a tax preparer for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. He is also a volunteer usher for the Calumet Theatre and a student ambassador for the College of Business. These experiences, along with a tax internship at a local accounting firm and an internship at Auto-Owners Insurance in Lansing, have enabled Jacob to get the most out of his MTU experience.
Upon graduation, he will pursue an MS in Accounting at Tech and plans to earn his CPA designation.
See more opportunities for undergraduate students in business: mtu.edu/business/undergraduate
COB Students Place High In CMU New Venture Competition
Each year, Central Michigan University and Michigan Tech team up to offer students
a chance to compete in CMU’s New Venture Competition. Due to COVID-19, the competition
was moved online.
Four Michigan Tech Husky Innovate students competed in the 10-minute pitch category and three, including two in the College of Business, won top prizes. Congratulations to this year’s MTU winners:
First Prize—Ranit Karmakar with FOCUS, $7,500
Second Prize—Mitch Delong (supply chain and operations management student) with FreightMate, $3,000
Honorable Mention—Jake Soter (TechMBA® student) with SwimSmart, $1,000
Record Year For Student Support
Students in the Michigan Tech College of Business are uniquely supported by generous industry- and donor-sponsored scholarships, which are applied in addition to institutional, federal, and state financial aid.
In 2020-21, funds totaling nearly $150,000 across 60 different sponsored scholarships were made available to incoming and current business students. This represents a 100 percent increase in COB scholarship funds from four years ago. Thanks to the generosity of alumni around the globe, the College of Business can make a high-quality business education accessible to even more hardworking students.
View our extensive list of sponsored scholarships: mtu.edu/business/resources/scholarships
And, read more about the Currey Scholarship and the Brule Business Scholars Award on page 23.
Business Student Earns Second In Bob Mark Business Model Competition
TechMBA® student Jake Soter won big at the 2020 Bob Mark Business Model Competition, taking home second place and $1,000 with his innovation, SwimSmart Technologies. Together with his faculty mentor, Jake aims to make public beaches safer by using technology to communicate swim conditions faster.
A total of 18 students across 13 teams pitched business models to advance their innovation.
Judges from across campus and the community selected the winners and provided the teams with feedback.
This event is a tribute to the late Bob Mark, professor of practice within the College of Business who started the Elevator Pitch Competition at Michigan Tech. The competition recognizes his entrepreneurial spirit and its continuation at Michigan Tech.
Discover more about the Bob Mark Business Model Competition: mtu.edu/business/undergraduate/organizations/bobmarkbusinessmodelcompetition
APMP Takes Third In Quinnipiac Competition
Students in the Michigan Tech College of Business Applied Portfolio Management Program (APMP) placed third in this year’s Quinnipiac University Global Portfolio Competition, earning an annual return of more than 20 percent. Their return proved even more impressive when adjusted for the amount of risk pursued by the team compared to other universities.
The MTU undergraduate investment experience, open to students of all majors, has earned first in this global competition seven times. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, several students planned to attend the New York City-based competition and conference in person.
APMP students manage $1.8 million of real money in the US stock market, where they present to clients and make their own investment decisions.
Learn more or support the program: mtu.edu/business/undergraduate/organizations/apmp
Midsized MTU Exceeding Big Ten Results
Federal College Scorecard data is in and the Michigan Tech College of Business shines! In fact, we are proud to be the top business college in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
When compared to other regional colleges offering similar programs, our graduates pull away from the pack in their early career salaries, which are higher than graduates from many Big Ten schools and 50 percent higher than grads from other UP schools.
The increasing importance of data and analytics has changed the field of accounting and Huskies are responding to the need. A new 18-credit concentration was introduced this year, which leverages accounting, information systems, and math coursework to help accounting students become specialists in databases, data cleaning and visualization, statistical programming, and analytical methods.
Teacher Of The Year
This year’s College of Business teacher of the year is Sheila Milligan, senior lecturer in accounting. Students recognized Milligan for her enthusiasm, interactive teaching style, and dedication. One student remarked, “I was ready to change my major until I had a class with Sheila. She makes accounting easy to understand and enjoyable to do.” Another statement of support said, “Sheila makes an effort to connect with each student and ensures they reach their goals and fullest potential.”
Milligan said receiving the award helps keep her motivated. She also acknowledged longtime College of Business champions Joyce and Richard Ten Haken for supporting her as the Richard and Joyce Ten Haken Faculty Fellow in Accounting/Finance. “Their support of the College of Business and the accounting department is tremendously impactful and helps me do my job to support students,” she said.
Q: Is there a saying you live by?
SM: Be humble and kind.
Q: Where did you work before you were a faculty member?
SM: I was the manager of a CPA firm, as well as the owner of my own CPA firm specializing in forensic accounting. After joining the faculty of the College of Business, I took some time off to be with my children when they were young, then returned full-time.
Q: Why do you think the accounting profession is important?
SM: Accountants are the sheriffs of the corporate world. It’s easy for people to not understand the financial world and to be taken advantage of. It’s our job to make sure people understand the corporate world as it relates to them and their personal financial decisions. A criticism I have of our profession is that it’s too complicated for anyone without a financial background to understand and needs to be simplified; however, the financial world is complicated and it is difficult to make something so complicated simple enough for people without a financial education to understand.
Q: How do you spend your downtime?
"THE REASON I LIVE IN THE KEWEENAW PENINSULA IS BECAUSE I LOVE THE OUTDOORS AND SPEND MY FREE TIME MOUNTAIN BIKING, K AYAKING, HIKING, CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING, AND PLAYING HOCKEY."
Q: How do you think the accounting profession is evolving?
SM: Coming from an auditing background, the standards are changing because everything is so connected. We need to change how we approach our auditing objectives from traditional methods to data-analytics–focused methods. As corporate data becomes readily available through the Internet of Things, we are able to identify false or fraudulent data through anomalies and then investigate, rather than the traditional method of tracing company documents.
Q: How do you stay current?
SM: I am a consultant focusing on forensic accounting. My two largest clients are investigative insurance fraud companies and I have other projects involving the sale of businesses with concerns about fraudulent financial statements.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
SM: My favorite part of my job is being on the College of Business Student Success Committee. One component of that committee is the Professional Blueprint Program, where I focus on getting students ready for their professional life after college. The second component is working with scholarships that help more students access an MTU education.
The financial services industry is associated with continued and rapid technological innovation, and is in the midst of a sea change in terms of the representation, exchange, and storage of value. In response to this opportunity, the Michigan Tech College of Business now offers a minor in financial technology. It is the only FinTech minor in Michigan, and was made available to students beginning in fall 2020.
Heather Knewtson, assistant professor of finance, advises pairing a technological major with the FinTech minor. “The FinTech minor is for anyone, but designed to appeal to computer science, finance, engineering, and mathematics majors,” she said. “Business majors who pursue the minor will benefit from greater technology skills and our most cutting-edge elective in FinTech, while computer scientists, engineers, and mathematicians will benefit from in-depth investments courses, including FinTech Foundations. FinTech differentiates our program, and students University-wide will benefit from the new minor.”
See all of our opportunities to pursue minors in business: mtu.edu/business/undergraduate/minors-certificates
MTU Accounting Ranks Third In State
Prospective students looking for a top accounting program can look no further than Michigan Tech, whose program ranks third in the state among four-year public colleges and universities according to newly released rankings by College Factual.
Michigan Tech accounting has achieved a number three ranking two years in a row.
Dean Johnson, dean of the College of Business, says it’s the focus on technology in addition to attentive faculty that offer superior outcomes for Husky accounting graduates. “The accounting field is being driven by technology and a demand for data management,” he said. “Our grads are uniquely prepared for high-level, high-tech careers in accounting because of our nimble curriculum led by top faculty who care.”
Find out why accounting at Michigan Tech is a smart idea: mtu.edu/business/undergraduate/accounting
New Outreach Program Exposes High School Students To Business
The Husky Investment Tournament hosted this spring by the College of Business at Michigan Tech drew more than 300 high school business students from across the region to compete for a cash prize and scholarships toward a Michigan Tech education.
The competition utilized a virtual stock-trading tool and College faculty-led video modules to help high school educators lead engaging conversations and lessons of their own. Teams of three to four students received $1 million in virtual US dollars to build a portfolio. The group with the highest-valued portfolio earned $1,000 in prize money and all students who actively participated were awarded scholarships to attend Michigan Tech.
“The purpose of the Husky Investment Tournament is to offer more students more pathways to discover business opportunities at Michigan Tech,” said Dean Johnson, dean of the Michigan Tech College of Business. “We want young people to understand that investing is the key to their retirement and we want to help demystify the stock market in a hands-on and dynamic way.”
The Husky Investment Tournament is embedded into high school economics, business, and personal finance classes. Since its launch in September 2019, 600 students across Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois have participated.
High school educators or administrators can register teams online: mtu.edu/business/tournament
Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.