In an emotional, honoring evening, amidst a full house on the Weidner Center stage, six UW-Green Bay alumni were recognized for their outstanding achievement at the Alumni Awards and Recognition Dinner, Oct. 5, 2017.
Those honored for distinguished achievements were Stacey Nellen-Kolze ’98 (Technical Theatre), owner of Nell’s Wigs and Boutique; Marty (Martha) Stanley ’77 (Managerial Systems), president of Dynamic Dialog, Inc.; and John Mathys ’87 (Business Administration) and David Withbroe ’87 (Business Administration and Communication Processes), co-owners of Dental City. Recipients of Outstanding Recent Alumni Awards are Sherry Aaholm ’14 and ’16 (Business Administration and Master’s in Sustainable Management), the vice president and chief information officer of Cummins Inc. and Mary Frank-Arlt ’08 (Business Administration and Psychology), a strategic communications professional with Kohler Co.
Sherry Aaholm returned to UW-Green Bay to complete a bachelor’s degree and also pursued a master’s degree in Sustainable Management. “I am grateful to UW-Green Bay for working with me to achieve both of my degrees and professors who were wonderful to talk to and listened,” she said. “My reasoning for helping to fund UWGB scholarships is to inspire others to recognize that you can do anything you want if you put your heart and mind into it — no matter how old you are. UWGB believed in me and I want to help pay that forward.”
Frank-Arlt thanked UW-Green Bay for giving her the real world experience she needed to succeed, which set her on a successful career path, an internship, a great job and incredible mentors. “Connecting students to real life opportunities in the community,” she said. “The combination of classroom learning and real world opportunities, like facilitating internships and meetings with business leaders, are trademarks of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.”
Nellen-Kolze returned to the stage where she spent much of her undergraduate career and where she married her husband, Dean! “I am elated to share my UWGB experience with all of you,” she said. “Thank you all, for believing in me, and guiding me through a new journey! This honor tonight, is the result of all your dedication and your direction. You are the best family I could have chosen.”
Stanley, who provides funding for a communication internship on campus, shared an emotional time as she prepared to attend college. “My high school counselor said I wasn’t ‘college material’ and my family joked that I was ‘cute, but not bright.’”
“But in August 1975 my whole future was about to change, when UWGB staff members Myron VanDeVen, Jean Wiggans, Bob Pritchard, Mary Baranek and Mary Kay Pankratz saw potential that I didn’t see.” As their student assistant, they provided her projects and guidance that built her confidence and prepared her for a bright career.
“All because Myron, Jean, Bob, Mary and Mary Kay saw potential… it changed my life.” Throughout my career as a corporate executive and for the past 18 years of my own business as an executive coach and consultant, I have tried to model their way — to look for potential in people and provide opportunities. To raise the bar, so others can accomplish things they never thought were possible.”
John Mathys was given a choice as he considered college… Take a full-ride scholarship to play soccer at Marquette or take the “book scholarship” offered by UW-Green Bay and be assured of playing on a team that was a Top 20 contender. Mathys says he has never regretted his decision. His connections — to his tutor and later racquetball competitior and business partner Dave Withbroe — and others, set him on a career path that has taken off. The co-owners have hired more than 40 UW-Green Bay alumni over the years, and stay connected via alumni events and as donors.
To wrap up the night, Withbroe’s acceptance speech summed-up the sentiments of all of the award winners…
“To answer the questions… ‘What role or part did my UWGB experience help get me where I am today? What part did it have for me personally?’ ‘EVERYTHING.’”
See the photos.
See the photos.
Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.
– Photos by Dan Moore and Amanda Jo Danihel, Marketing and University Communication, Awards were handcrafted by UW-Green Bay alumnus Barbi Gossens ’03