Involvement on campus: I was a nontraditional student. I took one to three classes per semester while starting my first company
Hometown: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Current Location: Richland, Michigan
Current Position: President and owner of Great Lakes Architectural Group. Started the company in 2006 during classes. I also own parts of four other companies that were started or acquired since 2006.
Favorite Campus Memory: My favorite memory is after graduation going to Dallas for the Cotton Bowl after the undefeated season. Interestingly enough, I bought my hotel room and flight half way through the season in the event they may go.
I started at WMU as a transfer student from KVCC and I was married with two small children.
At the time I started at WMU I was in the process of buying a company out of Detroit and a large division was called Unikvea Fabrics from Europe. Not knowing anything about fabrics I started my pursuit of a B.S. in Merchandising and Fashion. (They had the most fabric classes). I learned a LOT about fabrics.
The funny thing is, I had a partner and after my graduation we had a parting of the ways. I sold my shares to my partner and decided to start my own firm that I would own by myself. My firm is now on its 16th year and has offices in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.
I stay involved with WMU with the Gill Club for football and also am good friends with Women’s basketball coach Shane Clipfel.
I am one of the original sponsors and a judge for the WMU PITCH contest in the Haworth Business college. I have participated and been a “celebrity” judge for over five years.
I also am one of the founders of “Hero day,” which started as a Veterans Day at a football game. I got some other die-hard WMU alumni and we bought over 1500 tickets to a football game. We hand these out in person to each of the five local police offices in Kalamazoo. They are honored on the field at the game.