Bulldog Days Alumni Awards

Jun 5, 2003

The Kettering University Alumni Association recognized nine alumni and one long-term faculty member for professional achievement, service and human relations during the Kettering Bulldog Days Alumni Reunion weekend May 30 to June 1.

The Kettering University Alumni Association recognized nine alumni and one long-term faculty member for professional achievement, service and human relations during the Kettering Bulldog Days Alumni Reunion weekend May 30 to June 1.

Karl J. Krapek '72 of Avon, Conn., retired president and COO of United Technologies, received the Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizing specific, exceptional career achievements. Krapek retired as president and COO of United TechnologiesCorporation in January 2000 after 20 years service in various management positions. He served as president and CEO of Pratt&Whitney in 1992, and was the chairman, president and CEO of Carrier Corp. in 1990. In 2002 he became a co-founder ofThe Keystone Companies, specializing in prefabricated modular housing for residential college dormitories as well as otherbusiness investment ventures. He was the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award from Kettering/GMI AlumniAssociation in 1992, the Distinguished Alumni Award from Purdue University in 1990 and was a Krannert Scholar at Purdue.

Rodney O 'Neal '76 of Troy, Mich., president of the Dynamics, Propulsion and Thermal Sector for Delphi Corp. received theEngineering Achievement Award recognizing a specific contribution with a positive and lasting effect in the field of engineering.He is also a member of the Delphi Strategy Board, the company's top policy-making group. Additionally, O 'Neal serves asstrategic customer champion for Delphi's Ford customer team. He began his automotive career at General Motors in 1971 asa student at GMI/Kettering. In 1976 he joined the Inland Division where he held a number of engineering and manufacturingpositions in Dayton, Portugal and Canada. He was named director of Industrial Engineering for the formerChevrolet-Pontiac-GM of Canada Group in 1991, and the following year became a director of Manufacturing for Delphi(formerly Automotive Components Group Worldwide). Recent winner of two prestigious awards, O 'Neal was selected as therecipient of the 2002 Black Engineer of the Year, the top award at the 16th Annual Black Engineer of the Year AwardsConference sponsored by the publishers of "US Black Engineer & Information Technology" magazine. In addition, he receivedthe 2002 Lifetime Achievement in Industry Award by the National Society of Black Engineers National Executive Board. InMay 2000,O 'Neal was inducted into the Shingo Prize Academy, which recognizes individuals who have distinguishedthemselves in the area of manufacturing excellence.

David H.Boerger '72 of Orchard Lake, Mich., retired from Ford Motor Company, received the Civic Achievement Awardrecognizing significant and unselfish contributions of time and effort that benefit the community. Boerger joined Ford MotorCompany in 1973 as a chassis engineer and worked through the ranks to become director of Worldwide Sport Utilityprograms in 1994 and vice-president for Visteon in 1998. He retired in 2000 and joined Kettering on a pro-bono basis asassistant to the President, working with Dr. James E.A. John, the faculty and staff on strategic planning, new master's degreeprograms, alumni affairs and fund raising. Along with outstanding service to Kettering/GMI, Boerger's involvement in the civicand public arena has earned him the reputation as someone who cares for his community. He has served on the board of thePlymouth Chamber of Commerce and is former chairman of the Stanford University Industry Advisory Council. He is avolunteer with the Detroit Executive Services Corp., an organization that helps non-profits in southeast Michigan. He alsoserves on the Finance Committee for the Food Bank of Oakland County, the Tri-City Fire Department Board ofCommissioners and was on the Orchard Lake Planning Commission before his election to a three-year term to the OrchardLake City Council. Finally, Boerger is still active with his fraternity, Theta Xi.

Nelson R. Sharp '66 of Littleton, Col., retired president and CEO for National Technology Transfer received the OutstandingAchievement Award recognizing specific and exceptional career achievement. Sharp operated his own business, NationalTechnology Transfer, from 1983 until his retirement in 1998. Based in Colorado, the company provides more than 2,000engineering-related training programs each year in many technical subjects throughout the U.S. Sharp supports Ketteringthrough the University's Charitable Remainder Trust, allowing him to make a direct impact on the school as one of thebeneficiaries of his estate. He was also a member of the President's Council since 1990 and served on the Kettering/GMIAlumni Board. He is past winner of the Bulldog Award ('96) and was class chairman of his 30th reunion.

Warner G. "Buck" Martin '55 of Longboat Key, Fla., chairman of the board for Nitram Energy, Inc., received theEntrepreneurial Achievement Award recognizing a specific contribution in organizing, managing and assuming the risk of abusiness or enterprise. Martin entered Kettering/GMI in 1951 sponsored by GM-Chevrolet in Tonawanda, New York, wherehis father worked in management. He later transferred to the Cleveland, Ohio, plant as their first business co-op student.Martin went to work for Dressler Industries in 1962 as marketing manager. In 1966, he worked in sales and marketing forBass Industrial Equipment and in 1969 he was with Niabco Equipment Industrial Sales. In 1978, he founded Nitram Energy,Inc. and built the business into a thriving family-run entity. Nitram manufactures shell tubing and heat exchange units and is amulti-million dollar industry. Nitram now owns several other firms, including Burgess Manning, Alco Products and Boss HattenInc. Another, Flow Sage Inc., manufactures and sells safety relief valves worldwide.

Harold B.Wells '53 of Whiteville, North Carolina, retired president of Wells Chrysler Dodge Jeep, received the ManagementAchievement Award recognizing a specific contribution with a positive and lasting effect in the field of management. After twoyears of undergraduate studies, Wells learned of the GMI Dealer Co-op Program and asked Cavenaugh Chevrolet Co. Inc. tosponsor him. After graduation and completion of two years of military duty, he became an Oldsmobile-GMC Dealer in 1956 atthe age of 24. The dealership was named Wells Oldsmobile Inc. American Motors was added in 1958, Jeep in 1976 andRenault in 1978. Other franchises were acquired later and Wells was a dealer in the Whiteville area for 46 years. Wells'Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, GMC dealership was sold in 2001 and Wells Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership wassold in 2002. He has always been active in his community and his industry. He served as president of the North CarolinaAutomobile Dealers Association in 1988, and in 2000 served as Chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association. In1988 he was a finalist for the "Time Magazine" Quality Dealer Award. He is proud that his son is a Buick, Pontiac, GMCdealer in Pinehurst- Southern Pines, North Carolina.

Armen Oumedian '49 Of Grand Rapids, Mich., who retired from General Motors, Rapistan, and Pinnacle Automation,received the Alumni Service Award recognizing outstanding volunteer service to Kettering University. As recently as October2002, Oumedian has been busily supporting Kettering University with his time and talent. He was the driving force behind anenormously successful student recruitment event in western Michigan this fall, with a number of alumni and potential students inattendance. This is the first of what organizers intend to be an annual event. His dedication and creativity are a great asset toKettering. As in his business career,11 years with General Motors, 32 with Rapistan (now Siemens) and finally in a highlysuccessful venture at Pinnacle Automation (known today as Alvey, Inc.). Oumedian has been a person whose energy andinquisitiveness pay big dividends. He and his wife Patricia started a Donor Advised Fund to establish scholarships for studentsfrom Kent and Ottawa counties to attend Kettering University. He enjoys connecting personally with the nine students hecurrently sponsors, taking time to guide and mentor the Kettering undergraduates in their careers.

Richard B.Light '57 Of Lake Orion, Mich., president of EA Services Inc., received the Human Relations Award recognizing agraduate who has rendered significant contributions inspiring unity at Kettering University, in the workplace or in thecommunity. Light worked for 25 years at General Motors, beginning in the payroll department. He earned the position ofdirector of Personnel Administration and was responsible for managing and reorganizing the entire Human Resources staffunder the Chevrolet-Pontiac-Canada group covering more than 150,000 employees. He retired from GM in 1988. Lightestablished Vincam Human Resources of Michigan, which became one of the largest professional employer organizations in theindustry. As CEO, Light built Vincam to over 3,000 employees serving more than 100 corporate clients. Since 1998 he hasserved as president of EA Services Inc., a human resources consulting firm.

Duane McKeachie of Flint, Mich., professor of Mathematics for Kettering University, received a Special Award recognizingoutstanding service to Kettering University. McKeachie has taught mathematics at Kettering University for more than 50 yearsto many top executives in industry. His love of teaching, mathematics and his commitment to the school has never faltered.McKeachie 's unwavering dedication earned him Kettering University's Outstanding Teaching Award in 1968 and 1994. Inaddition to his teaching duties, McKeachie has served the university in a variety of roles during the last five decades. Some ofthese include advisor of the Tau Beta Pi Honor Society, member of the President 's Medal Committee, the Honorary DegreeCommittee, the GMI Independent Association, the GMTE Conference Committee, and the Robot Society, an honors society.

Ann Marie Weitzel-Robinson '99 of Santa Clara, Calif., commodity program manager for Sun Microsystems Inc., received theYoung Alumni Award recognizing a graduate (of the previous 10 years) who has rendered significant contributions, exhibitedoutstanding character, or has achieved marked success in such areas as Alumni Service, Civic Achievement, EngineeringAchievement, Entrepreneurial Achievement, Human Relations, Management Achievement or Outstanding Achievement.Weitzel just completed her third year at Sun Microsystems. She has ventured beyond the world of engineering and has beenworking in the supply chain management organization. She was promoted into Commodity Management and is now working tomanage supplier relationships and Sun initiated programs. Weitzel is actively involved in the promotion of the new KetteringLEADERS Endowment for the development of campus leaders.

Written by Dawn Hibbard