Northwood University Announces Class of 2022 Outstanding Business Leaders

Northwood University will honor the Class of 2022 Outstanding Business Leaders at an April 23 awards ceremony at the Henry Ford Museum.

“This is the first time this ceremony will be held in Michigan, and we couldn’t be more grateful to have the iconic Henry Ford Museum as the setting for our gala,” said Northwood University President Kent MacDonald. . “Our sponsors have been very supportive of the move to Michigan because it’s closer to our Midland campus and has the highest concentration of Northwood alumni in the area.”

The Outstanding Business Leader award honors men and women around the world who have made a difference in their business and community.

The 2022 class of winners includes:

  • Jim Fitterling, Chairman and CEO of Dow
  • Michael LaFontaine Senior President, LaFontaine Automotive Group
  • Bill Long, President and CEO of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA)
  • Ben Manthei, Managing Partner of Redi-Rock International
  • Lisa McClain, U.S. Congresswoman representing the Michigan 10sand District
  • Andra Rush, CEO of Dakota Systems
  • Angela Steele of Publicis Group

Additionally, Manik Thapar, owner of Eco Wise Waste Management in Uttar Pradesh, India, will receive the Richard M. DeVos Young Entrepreneur Award.

Northwood University annually recognizes a select group of business professionals for their achievements, support, and exemplary leadership in the communities in which they live and work. These individuals serve as role models for Northwood University students as they share their experiences and the obstacles they have encountered, in addition to how they overcame them on the path to success.

In the four decades since the program’s launch, more than 300 business leaders from more than 30 states and multiple countries have been recognized. These winners represent a large, diverse group of people from dozens of industries and areas of business expertise.

The Outstanding Business Leader Awards are presented by the Northwood University Board of Trustees. Each recipient is selected based on personal accomplishments that characterize Northwood University’s unique philosophy. Criteria used in the selection of winners include contribution to the philosophy of private enterprise, support for the integration of business and the arts, contribution to education, economic innovation, creative marketing ideas, community involvement, religious leadership, philanthropic contributions as well as business Success. All past and present recipients serve as role models for students at Northwood University.

Northwood University bestows the formidable honor of the Outstanding Business Leader Award during a multi-day celebration culminating in a formal gala where members will receive an engraved crystal acknowledging their honor. The 2022 gala will be held Saturday, April 23 at the Henry Ford Museum, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, Michigan.

Sponsorships are available for those wishing to celebrate one of the winners. Proceeds from the event will fund scholarships. To learn more, call Jessica Hufford at 989-837-4465 or email [email protected] To see event details, visit

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