Alumni Weekend, Sept. 7-9

Aug 21, 2012

Ten outstanding Kettering University alumni, including Diana Tremblay of GM and Raj Nair of Ford, will be honored at Kettering’s Bulldog Alumni Reunion Weekend Sept. 7-9.

2011 Alumni Dinner groupBulldog Days Reunion Weekend at Kettering University is a time for Kettering/GMI alumni to reminisce and reconnect with the campus and Flint and honor the achievements of their peers. This year’s Reunion Weekend is Sept. 7-9.

The highlight of reunion weekend is the Alumni Awards dinner when the Kettering University Alumni Association will honor 10 alumni for professional excellence and civic engagement while also celebrating the Bulldog classes of 2002, 1987, 1982, 1977, 1972, 1967, 1962 and earlier.

Activities include tours of campus buildings and laboratory facilities, as well as some familiar haunts, golf at the IMA Brookwood Golf Course, a Greek-Club-Class Mixer at the Capitol Theater in downtown Flint and the Golden Circle Brunch at the President’s Residence.

The Kettering University Alumni Awards represent the highest honors presented by the Alumni Association each year. Awardees are nominated by other Kettering alumni for professional excellence and outstanding service.

More information and registration details are available at:

The Kettering University Alumni Awards recipients for 2012 are:


Diana TremblayDiana Tremblay ’82, vice president of North American Manufacturing at General Motors, will receive the Distinguished Alumna Award recognizing specific and exceptional career achievement, traditionally given to people at the highest level in the corporate structure.

As vice president of North American Manufacturing, Tremblay manages a team of approximately 55,000 employees and has responsibility for 43 GM facilities in North America. During 2011, she led the implementation of more than $3.6 billion of investment in U.S. manufacturing plants, adding almost 10,000 jobs.
Prior to her current position, Tremblay served as vice president for Manufacturing and Labor Relations in 2009 and as GM North America vice president of labor relations in 2006. Additionally, she held various positions in labor relations and manufacturing, including global positions in Luton, England, and Antwerp, Belgium. Tremblay began work at GM at Central Foundry in Defiance, Ohio, in 1977. 

She holds a bachelor's degree in Industrial Administration from Kettering University and, as a Sloan Fellow, received a master's degree in Business Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Tremblay has been featured in Fast Company’s 30-second MBA series and has also shared her views on leadership in the Wall Street Journal and Forbes.  In 2010, she was named one of the “100 leading women in the North American auto industry” by Automotive News.

Tremblay is on the Board of Directors for Focus HOPE and Medical Advantage Group and serves on an advisory board for Kettering University.  She also serves as the executive champion for GM’s African Ancestry Network Affinity Group.

She and her husband, Dan, have been married for 31 years. They have one daughter, Lisa, attending college in New Hampshire.


Kathryn BibersteinKathryn Biberstein ’82, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary, and chief compliance officer for Alkermes plc, will receive the Outstanding Achievement Award recognizing specific, exceptional career achievement.

Alkermes plc is a global biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. Biberstein works in the company’s Waltham, Mass., office. Fluent in three languages, Biberstein is well suited to lead the legal team for a global biotech company.

During the past eight years at Alkermes, she has served the company's legal interests in pacts involving its most important products, such as Risperdal Consta for schizophrenia and the diabetes drug Bydureon.

Additionally, Biberstein made a name for herself nationally during her work on Capitol Hill, where her efforts helped guide patent reforms that strengthened the patent system to safeguard the intellectual property on which companies like Alkermes are built.

She held several senior legal positions prior to joining Alkermes in 2003, including general counsel and member of the executive committee at Serono in Geneva, Switzerland, assembling a worldwide legal department for the European biotech group.

Earlier in her career, Biberstein was a member of the executive board of the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, and practiced law at Goodwin Procter LLC in Boston.

Biberstein received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University in 1982 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School in 1985.

Although she often travels for work, when she is able to make it home, Biberstein lives in Freeport, Maine, with her two sons, Josef, 16, and Pau, 11. The family enjoys skiing, sailing, cycling and running their way through the Maine seasons.


Ron ChaveyRoland (Ron) Chavey ’52, senior Production engineer (retired) for Fisher Guide, will receive the Civic Achievement Award for recognizing significant and unselfish contributions of time and effort that benefit the community.

Chavey’s volunteer credits began with the American Red Cross during his high school years at Georgia Military Academy and continued with service to United Way upon graduation from Kettering/GMI. He served as Community Relations Director for Fisher Guide in Flint for a number of years. During this time, Chavey organized United Way’s Person to Person program, fostering cooperation between the UAW and management.

After retiring from GM in 1987, Chavey continued his community service in Gaylord serving as Otsego County Commissioner for several years. He was named Gaylord’s Buergermeister (Honorary Mayor granted for leadership and contributions to the community) in 1998.

He was recognized with the American Red Cross Top Volunteer Award in 1973 and the E.S. “Pat” Patterson Award for volunteerism in 1985. 

Chavey’s community service includes: United Way (Genesee & Otsego County), Big Brothers, Salvation Army, Mid-Michigan Goodwill, Old Newsboys, Otsego Community Foundation, Rotary Club, Northern Michigan National Ski Patrol, RSVP (Otsego County), Friendship Shelter and Otsego County Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Governor’s Task Force for Human Services, Michigan Department of Social Services Advisory Board, Michigan Heart Association, Society of Die Cast Engineers Michigan Blood Council and the Northwest Michigan Community Health Board. 

Chavey earned a bachelor’s degree in Management and Engineering from Kettering/GMI in 1952. He currently lives in Gaylord, Michigan, and has nine children, 16 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.  His daughter, Karen Anway, is a 1991 graduate of Kettering/GMI and currently serves on the Kettering Applied Mathematics Advisory Board.


Valerie Lewis ColemanValerie J. Lewis Coleman ’87, founder and owner of Pen of the Writer, LLC, will receive the Entrepreneurial Achievement Award recognizing a specific contribution in organizing, managing and assuming the risk of business or enterprise.

After a 26-year engineering career with Delphi Automotive Systems, a plant closure positioned Lewis Coleman to pursue her passion: reengineering lives. She is currently an adjunct math instructor for three colleges and full-time entrepreneur. Her company, Pen of the Writer, was created to publish her books and equip others to do the same. She has helped thousands of aspiring authors navigate the mysterious labyrinth of self-publishing. Having published more than 20 books, her bestselling title, Blended Families An Anthology, has helped families overcome the challenges of step-parenting including child support, visitation, discipline and more.

Lewis Coleman earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering from Kettering University in 1987, and an MBA from the University of Dayton in 1992. Her son, LaShawn D. Lewis, earned a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Kettering in 2007, and is currently pursuing an MBA at Kettering.

Lewis Coleman was recognized with the Heart of Gold Award by Eta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., in 2012, the Literary Achievement Award presented by Omar Gooding for Jo Magazine in 2011and  Pen of the Writer was awarded InfiniPromoter’s Best Publisher in 2008.

She volunteers on her church’s fundraising committee and assists her pastor with his books. She also teaches publishing to inmates. She and her husband, Craig C. Coleman, Sr., have a blended family of five children and four grandchildren.

Centennial Memory


William J. Wildern IVWilliam J. Wildern IV ’92 and ’93, the founder and CEO of Farmington Hills-based HYDRA Professionals, LLC and ReapSo, LLC, will receive the Entrepreneurial Achievement Award recognizing a specific contribution in organizing, managing and assuming the risk of business or enterprise.

HYDRA is a business advisory firm that supports businesses in transition.  It is comprised of Certified Turnaround Professionals focused on stabilizing crisis situations and revitalizing troubled entities in order to maximize economic value to all interested parties.  ReapSo was recently launched to provide an efficient and effective mobile solution to millions of small businesses. 

Prior to founding HYDRA, Wildern was the managing director of the Detroit Office for Resilience Capital Partners, where he specialized in the distressed automotive and manufacturing supplier space.  In this capacity, he assessed investment opportunities, managed purchase and sale transactions of portfolio companies, and advised portfolio companies on sound strategies for recovery and growth.

Before Resilience, Wildern spent five years with the Southfield- based corporate advisory firm BBK, Ltd., as a managing director. During his tenure at BBK, he managed the restructuring, sale or wind down of more than 50 automotive suppliers.

Wildern began his career with General Motors Corporation, where he spent 13 years in various roles including product engineering, manufacturing engineering, portfolio planning, advanced technology vehicles and corporate treasury.

Wildern earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in Manufacturing and Industrial Systems Engineering from Kettering/GMI Engineering and Management Institute.  Additionally, he earned an M.B.A. from the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration.  He holds several U.S. Patents. Wildern lives in Farmington Hills, with his wife and three children.

Centennial Memory


Robert W. RothRobert W. Roth ’85, president and CEO of RoMan Manufacturing, Inc., will receive the Engineering Achievement Award recognizing a specific contribution with a positive and lasting effect in the field in engineering.

Founded in 1980, RoMan Manufacturing is a second generation family business with operations in Grand Rapids and Livonia, Michigan, Burlington, Ontario, and Shanghai, China, specializing in the design and manufacture of water cooled transformers and DC power supplies used in industrial applications such as resistance welding, glass and fiber glass manufacturing, plating and furnace applications. 

Roth joined the business in 1987, after his working at the Hydra-matic Division of General Motors from 1980 until 1987.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Administration 1985 from Kettering/GMI.  Roth is also a graduate of Leadership Grand Rapids (2002) and the Institutes for Healing Racism (2004). 

Roth served as board chair of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce in 2004 and has served on the board of directors of Home Repair Services and the board of managers of the SE YMCA.  He currently serves on the Grand Rapids Community Foundation Board of Trustees, the Family Business Alliance of Grand Valley State University and the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce Advisory Board, the Board of Directors of The Employers’ Association, the American Welding Society Finance Committee, the Board of Directors and Board Chair from 2009-11 of Priority Health, and the Board of Directors of Spectrum Health Systems.  Additionally, he serves his community and citizens of Grand Rapids Township as a member of the Board of Trustees.

Roth and his wife Marcy have two children, Mike, age 24 and Kayla, age 21.

Centennial Memory


Raj NairRaj Nair ’87, Ford Motor Company’s group vice president, Global Product Development, will receive the Management Achievement Award recognizing a specific contribution with a positive and lasting effect in the field of Management.

Nair has overall responsibility for all aspects of Ford Motor Company’s

product development system. In his previous role as Ford Motor Company’s vice president of Engineering for Global Product Development, Nair oversaw all engineering for car, truck, SUV and crossover vehicles for the Ford and Lincoln brands, and was responsible for delivering on Ford’s commitment to offer more new products faster by leveraging greater sharing and reuse of platforms and components globally. He also helped lead the development and implementation of the Ford brand DNA.

Prior to this role, Nair served for two years as vice president, Operations, of Ford Motor Company’s Asia Pacific and Africa region, responsible for Product Development, Manufacturing, Purchasing, Quality and Information Technology within the Asia Pacific and Africa region.

He has held a number of senior positions in Manufacturing, Product Development and Purchasing, including executive director, Commodity Business Planning, and executive director, North American Product Development.

Nair joined Ford Motor Company in 1987 as a Body and Assembly Operations launch engineer and held various positions on more than 11 vehicle programs in 13 assembly plants. On assignment to Europe, Nair was the Vehicle Operations launch manager for the 1996 European Fiesta. He then became responsible for all Ford of Europe launches including the Focus, Transit and Mondeo.

Nair holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with an automotive specialty from Kettering and was previously named the recipient of the 2007 Kettering Alumni Achievement Award in Engineering.

Centennial Memory


Russell EbeidRussell J. Ebeid ’63, formerly president of the Glass Group and chairman of the Board of Guardian Industries Corp., will receive the Human Relations Awards recognizing a graduate who has rendered significant contributions inspiring unity at Kettering University.

At Guardian Industries he was responsible for the company’s worldwide sales, marketing, and manufacturing activities performed by more than 19,000 people employed in 24 countries on five continents.  Guardian Industries is the third largest flat glass producer in the world through its 83 facilities with annual sales approaching $6 billion.

Ebeid’s career began 1963 at General Motors Corporation as a senior mechanical engineer.  In 1970, he joined Guardian Industries at its first glass facility at Carleton, Michigan.  After several engineering and manufacturing assignments, he was named the Plant Manager of the Kingsburg, California, facility.  When Guardian expanded into Europe in 1981, he was named Group vice president. He assumed the presidency of the Glass Group in 1985 and retired as Chairman Emeritus in 2011.

Ebeid earned a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 1963, a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering in 1967, as well as two honorary Doctor degrees in Management and Public Service. He is a Registered Professional Engineer and is listed in “Who’s Who in America” and “Who’s Who in the World” since 1991. 

He sponsors the Ebeid Family Scholarship Fund for disadvantaged Arab American students to attend Kettering University and to honor his parents, he provides scholarships to Lebanese students in their ancestral home.

Ebeid currently serves as a trustee of the National Arab American Museum, ProMedica Health Systems and Lourdes University. He has also served as a director of the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.

He and his wife of 51 years, Carolee, have four children, four grandchildren, and a great granddaughter.

Centennial Memory


Gerald MeierGerald (Jerry) T. Meier ‘61, retired Manufacturing director for Delphi, will receive the Alumni Service Award recognizing outstanding volunteer service to Kettering University.

Meier retired in 2000 after a total of 43 years of service to General Motors/Delphi in Dayton, Ohio. He originally began as a coo-op employee for AC Spark Plug and worked at AC for 25 years in Flint, and four years in Milwaukee. He was transferred to Delco Products in Dayton in 1983 and worked there through 2000.

Meier has been active in volunteerism throughout his career, including with the United Way in Flint, Milwaukee and Dayton, Boy Scouting, Arts Dayton and Marquette University.

He and his wife of 51 years, Barbara, have a daughter and two grandchildren. They live in Bonita Springs, Florida, where they enjoy golf, bridge, theater, travel and spending time with their daughter's family. They are active in the First Presbyterian Church of Bonita Springs, the United Way and Habitat for Humanity.

Cenennial Memory


Joe GallagherJoe Gallagher ’07 will receive the Young Alumnus Award recognizing a graduate (of the previous 10 years) who has rendered significant contributions, exhibited outstanding character, or has achieved marked success in such areas as Alumni Service, Civic Achievement, Engineering Achievement, Entrepreneurial Achievement, Human Relations, Management Achievement or Outstanding Achievement.

Gallagher earned a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. While on campus Gallagher was a Kettering LEADERS fellow, founding member of the Kettering Entrepreneur’s Society and Kettering Student Government President.

After graduation, he co-founded Osmium Development Company, where he worked for three years as a managing partner. In 2009, he exited Osmium and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to be closer to his now wife Mia Gallagher. In Atlanta, he was accepted into the Advisory and Assurance Management Development program at The Home Depot corporate offices. 

He now holds a management position in Home Depot's financial services department where he is part of the new product development team. He remains active with the University as chair of the Kettering LEADERS organization, an organization that mentors and develops current students into leaders on campus and hopefully beyond.

Centennial Memory

Contact Dawn Hibbard