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Lake Michigan College Seeks Alumni Award Nominations

November 22, 2013

BENTON TOWNSHIP, MI – The Lake Michigan College Alumni Association Board of Directors is seeking nominations for its 2014 Alumni Awards. The College first presented Alumni Awards in 1986. Since then, more than 70 recipients have been honored. Best consideration for the 2014 awards will be given to nominations received by February 24, 2014.

To be considered for the awards, nominees need to have attended Lake Michigan College or its predecessor, Benton Harbor Community College, and have earned at least 30 credit hours through the College.

There are three award categories:

The Clarence Beckwith Distinguished Alumni Award, named in honor of the first president of Lake Michigan College, is given to an alumnus who has accomplished significant success in his or her personal or professional endeavors. Recent winners of the Clarence Beckwith Distinguished Alumni Award include Becky Kliss (business owner and board president of Michigan’s Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum), Richard Schinkel (naturalist), James F. A. Turner (founder/president/CEO of M&T Pradigm Group Financial One), Steven C. Fairbanks (president and CEO, Iowa Mold Tooling Co.), Mamiella Chavis-Brown (counselor, South Bend Community School Corporation), John Miller (former tribal chairman, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians), Dr. Gyl Kasewurm (owner, Professional Hearing Services, Ltd.), Sam Monte (owner, Monte Package Company), Roger Kullenberg (retired, Kalamazoo Gazette) and Theresa Orlaske-Rich (General Motors).

The Alumni Achievement Award is presented to a recent alumnus who attended LMC approximately 10 years ago and has demonstrated significant achievement and distinguished themselves in their career, education or community such that they would be role models to current LMC students. Recent Alumni Achievement Award honorees include Brian Doak (Legacy Wealth Group), Stephanie Henderson (former LMC student athlete and collegiate softball coach), Mary Jo Tomasini (CEO, Competitive Edge), Brad Gorman (Whirlpool Corporation), Melissa Zmyslo (Berrien County Health Department), Dana Harris Slagle (Jet Magazine), Melissa Ruth Garland Hawk (Hunt, Suedhoff, Kalamaros) and C. Jesse Green (Michigan Trial Lawyers Association).

The Alumni Service Award is given to an alumnus who has offered significant personal contributions to the College or community, with community being broadly interpreted as local, the state of Michigan, or the nation. Recent past selections for the Alumni Service Award are Colleen Cullitan (attorney), Barbara Lane (retired executive director of the Berrien County Cancer Service), Diane Curry (principal and special education director, Niles Community Schools), Patrick Lynch (pharmacist and operator, Hill’s Prescription Shop), Nancy Conybeare (formerly of Lake Michigan College), Karen Kolberg Kietzer (Berrien-Cass-Van Buren County Counselors Association), Melissa Stolfo (Goodwill Industries), Paula Wygonik (Competitive Edge), Paul Landeck (Tabor Hill Winery & Restaurant), Sharon Tyler (formerly of the Southwestern Michigan Economic Growth Alliance), Mary Goff (former mayor, City of St. Joseph), Neldine Edwards (We Can Make A Difference) and Gloria Ender (president, Freedom Finishing).

To nominate an individual for an alumni award, access the nomination forms online at http://www. For more information, contact Mary Klemm, Foundation and Alumni Services manager, by phone at (269) 927-6849, or by email at

Upon nomination, an application will be sent to the candidate. Award winners will be recognized at the College's 2014 Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 4.

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