Honoring excellence

Aug 29, 2011

Eight outstanding alumni, including Freedom Skater Austin Szelkowski, Rhonda Winter of the Indianapolis Speedway, Henio Arcangeli of Yamaha Motor Corporation and Carla Bailo of Nissan, will be honored at Kettering's Bulldog Alumni Reunion weekend Sept. 9-11.

Bulldog Days Reunion Weekend at Kettering University is Sept. 9 through 11 this year, giving Kettering/GMI alumni a chance to renew old friendships and honor the achievements of their peers. This year the Kettering University Alumni Association honors eight alumni for professional excellence and civic engagement while celebrating the Bulldog classes of  2001, 1986, 1981, 1976, 1971, 1966, 1961 and earlier.

This special weekend gives alumni an opportunity to reminisce and reconnect with the campus and Flint through tours of new buildings and old, golf with old friends and visit the Cultural Center to see the exciting opportunities students now have to pursue their interest in the fine and performing arts. In addition, the second annual Alumni vs. Kettering Hockey Team game will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Ice Mountain Arena in Burton.

The highlight of the weekend is the Alumni Awards Dinner featuring recipients of the highest awards presented by the Alumni Association each year. Awardees are nominated by other alumni for professional excellence and outstanding service.

The Kettering University Alumni Awards recipients for 2011 are:

Dr. Neil Ressler ’62, of Ethanol Boosting Systems and Fallbrook Technologies, will receive the Distinguished Alumnus award recognizing specific and exceptional career achievement, traditionally given to people at the highest level in the corporate structure.

Ressler retired as Vice President-Research and Advanced Engineering and Chief Technical Officer for the Ford Motor Company in 2001, after serving in a variety of positions including the Non-Linear Optics group and Product Development.

After retiring he formed NWR Consulting, LLC, and returned to Ford as a consultant, helping to put the Ford GT into production. He “retired” from Ford again in 2004. Additionally, he spent time working with Williams Grand Prix, a British Formula One Team and more recently with the IndyCar Series. Ressler is presently part of an MIT start-up group called Ethanol Boosting Systems and he is on a management advisory group for Fallbrook Technologies.

Ressler has served on numerous boards including Ford Global Technologies (intellectual properties), Ecostar (electric vehicles), Jaguar Formula One (motor racing, Cosworth Racing (race engines), Pi Electronics (data acquisition and controls), Ballard Power Systems (fuel cells), Stewart-Ford Grand Prix (motor racing), and the Board of Trustees for Lawrence Technological University.

He earned a bachelor’s of Mechanical Engineering from Kettering/GMI in 1962 and a master’s degree in Physics from the University of Michigan in 1963, followed by a Ph.D. in Physics in 1967. Ressler and his wife Dorene spend winters in Bonita Springs, Florida and summers in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They have three children and eight grandchildren.

Rhonda Robinson Winter ’81, CIO, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will receive the Outstanding Achievement award recognizing specific, exceptional career achievement.

Winter graduated from GMI/Kettering in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Administration. She also earned a master’s degree in Engineering from Purdue University.

Winter is the CIO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home, most famously, to the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.  Her previous roles include leading technology at the National Collegiate Athletic Association during its relocation from Kansas City to its new headquarters in Indianapolis and driving a technology revolution for museum visitors at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. She began her career at General Motors and is an advocate of weaving technology and information into every business process for entrepreneurial, corporate and not for profit organizations.

Her professional affiliations and community service work include: NPower CIO council, Society Information Management vice president of Membership/CIO roundtables, Women and Hi Tech member-presenter, Indiana Eventing Association past president, Midsouth Eventing Association past board member, and Tri Kappa Service Sorority past president.

Winter has previously been recognized with the Women and Hi Tech Leading Light Award and the IUPUI Jaguar “Favorite Professor” Award. She currently lives in Mooresville, Indiana.

Her father, Donovan L. Robinson, is a GMI graduate, class of 1956.

Brian Olatunji ’05, president and CEO of Leadfoot Motorsports LLC, and Leadfoot Media, will receive the Entrepreneurial Achievement Award recognizing a specific contribution in organizing, managing and assuming the risk of business or enterprise.

Olatunji is pursuing his dream of becoming a world-class championship contending professional race car driver in the NHRA Nitro Funny Car Division through Leadfoot Motorsports, LLC, that he founded at the age of 19. He has since established Leadfoot Media as a marketing firm and subsidiary of Leadfoot Motorsports, LLC. The Leadfoot Media team have procured notable global powerhouse partners; Pepsi, U.S. Army and Lucas Oil.

Prior to Leadfoot Motoersports LLC, Olatunji worked for General Motors, and Faurecia Automotive, Inc.

He is currently vice president of the 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit and also the chairman of the Leadfoot Foundation, Inc, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to empower youth through mentorship and education initiatives. In 2011 the Leadfoot Foundation will host its sixth annual school supplies drive, which provides back to school essentials for Detroit area youth.

Previously Olatunji has been recognized by the Michigan Front Page as one of its top thirty professionals under the age of 40.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University in 1999. A native of Detroit, Olatunji enjoys adrenaline induced activities, traveling, reading, enjoying a great bottle of red wine and is currently learning the bass guitar.

Carla Bailo ’83, OEM-BU Divisional General Manager, Program Director for SUV/OEM and also Program Director for the Americas will receive the Engineering Achievement Award recognizing a specific contribution with a positive and lasting effect in the field in engineering.

In her multi-dimensional role, Bailo oversees the overall operations, revenue and profit of four areas of the OEM business for Nissan globally: vehicle, powertrain, technology and intellectual property, and  merchandizing. Additionally, she is responsible for the profitability and product presence of Nissan’s SUVs worldwide, playing a key role in the management committee of the Americas’ business plan not only in continuing to drive profitability of products produced in the Americas and the V-platform cost and quality metrics but also in advancing quality of management and diversity.

Prior to joining Nissan, Bailo worked as a vehicle testing engineer for five years with General Motors Truck and Buses. She joined Nissan at their Technical Center North America as a vehicle testing engineer and manager, where, in 2003, she was promoted to director of vehicle program management. She developed the vehicle program management department from the ground up, establishing all job standards and methodology to make Nissan a world-class project management organization.

She was then transferred and promoted to the global headquarters in Japan as program director for vehicles and to lead Financial recovery efforts of the company. Additionally, she was named general manager for Planning Division Process and Resource Management. Bailo reported directly to the Chief Recovery Officer and supported the measures to offset economic business plan financial risks during fiscal year 2009 such as yen exposure reduction, supplier risks mitigation, etc. that resulted to about 50 billion yen positive net result.

Bailo earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering/GMI in 1983, and inspired with her passion for cars, set a professional goal to deliver a positive impact on the auto industry and to customers. She earned her master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Today, Bailo and her husband Clark Bailo ‘81 live in Yokohama, Japan with their four children ranging in age from 14 to 26.

Henio Arcangeli, Jr. ’86, president, Motorsports Group Company, Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, will receive the Management Achievement Award recognizing a specific contribution with a positive and lasting effect in the field of Management.

Arcangeli has responsibility for Yamaha’s Motorcycle, ATV, Side-by-Side, Snowmobile, and Outdoor Power Equipment business groups as well as Racing Operations.  He has served in the role as president since 2007.  Prior to Yamaha, Arcangeli was president and chief operating officer of Pioneer Electronics’ Strategic Business Services.  Before Pioneer Electronics, he held engineering, manufacturing and marketing roles with the General Electric Company and General Motors Corporation.

Arcangeli earned a bachelor’s of science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University/GMI in 1986.  While at Kettering/GMI, Arcangeli was elected Freshman Class representative and was a member of the Management Honor Society.  He earned a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University’s Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in 1987, and a master’s in Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business  in1991.

Arcangeli currently serves on Kettering University’s Board of Trustees and has previously served on the board of directors for the Consumer Electronics Association, the Electronic Industries Alliance and the National Science Technology Education Partnership.

He and his wife Mary have a daughter and live in Manhattan Beach, California.

Armen G. Oumedian ’49,
retired as senior vice president for Pinnacle Automotive in 2000, will receive the Human Relations Awards recognizing a graduate who has rendered significant contributions inspiring unity at Kettering University.

Oumedian has actually retired twice, from Pinnacle Automotive in 2000, and he also retired as senior vice president and assistant to the president for Rapistan Inc. in 1988 after 32 years of service to the company. Prior to Rapistan he was employed at General Motors for 10 years.

His service to the university includes contributing more than $100,000 in scholarships for students employed in West Michigan, creating the Kettering Technology Award, establishing the Eagle Scout Scholarship at Kettering, founding the “Classroom of the Future” project and committing $20,000 in a matching grant, creating a fund to sponsor two LITE participants from West Michigan and arranging an academic partnership between Grand Rapids Community College and Kettering.

In addition to Kettering he has worked to develop resources in West Michigan including: establishing the Armen Oumedian Innovation Health Fund with Metro Health Hospital Cancer Center  to develop and fund patient navigation and survivorship programs,  establishing a scholarship for high school students to attend GRCC and Kettering, founded the Pat Oumedian Innovative Learning Nursing Fund at GRCC, established a pre-college engineering fund for high schools in Grand Rapids, started the “Armen Innovation Challenge” at GRCC, and working with the Grand Rapids Community Schools who develop Science, Engineering Technology and Math programs.

Oumedian is a member of the Kettering University Alumni Board and the Porter Hills Communities and Services Foundation Board. He is the recipient of the  David Douma Outstanding Leadership Award, the Grand Rapids Community College Alumni of the Year Award and the Kettering University Alumni Service Award.

A veteran of WWII, Oumedian attend Kettering/GMI after being wounded and discharged in 1945. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering in 1949. He and his wife, the late Patricia Oumedian, have three children, 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Dr. Cleamon Moorer, Jr. ‘99,
assistant professor of Management in the Brennan School of Business at Dominican University, will receive the Civic Achievement Award recognizing significant and unselfish contributions of time and effort that benefit the community.

Currently an assistant professor of Management, Moorer’s teaching interests are international business, management, organizational behavior, and a variety of other organizational management topics. In addition to full-time teaching, he is a business researcher and motivational speaker. In the past nine years, he has taught at Saint Xavier University, Trinity Christian College, Roosevelt University and Walden University.

He founded Moorer Customer Care Solutions Consulting (MCCSC), a regional management consulting firm dedicated to serving the organizational design and consulting needs of small and intermediate sized businesses, and is the author of “From Failure to Promise: An Uncommon Path to Professoriate,” in addition to published articles in The Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, the American Journal of Business Education, and the Journal of Business Case Studies.

Moorer founded and sponsors an annual college scholarship contest (From Failure to Promise Scholarship Essay Contest) for high school seniors and college students, and has funded the From Failure to Promise K-12 Literacy Grant to assist K-12 teachers in reducing illiteracy and promoting excellence in math, science, literature and technology.

Moorer earned a bachelor’s degree in Management from Kettering Univeristy in 1999, an MBA from Benedictine University and his doctoral degree of Business Administration in Management from Argosy University. He and his wife of 11 years, Nicole, live in Olympia Fields, Illinois with their four sons. He enjoys traveling, research, speaking and billiards.

Austin P. Szelkowski ’09,
co-founder and Accounts manager of ADEPT Marketing Solutions, will receive the Young Alumni 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, Human Relations, Civic, Engineering, Entrepreneurial, Management or Outstanding Achievement.

Szelkowski’s professional mission is to create a network of entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country as well as a network for teaching socially-consciousentrepreneurship to students from Kindergarten to college by the year 2030. Currently he’s working to develop a results-based and innovation friendly marketing company that will spearhead marketing campaigns for his various projects, both for-profit and not for-profit.

Szelkowski recently completed a 3400 mile in-line skate across America as the “Freedom Skater.” (freedomskater.com) Austin and his team of entrepreneurs used the tour as a vehicle to spread a pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit to young people across the nation.

He obtained his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University in December 2009. During his time at Kettering, Austin worked as a volunteer in the Kagle Mentoring and Tutoring Program for local students. He also spent one semester studying in Esslingen, Germany and is conversationally fluent in German.

Szelkowski enjoys travel, new media marketing and integration, fitness, hiking, philosophy, psychology and writing. He also enjoys spending quality time with his family and friends.