UW-Green Bay announces recipients of ‘Distinguished,’ ‘Recent’ alumni awards

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will recognize five meritorious graduates of the institution at the 2014 Alumni Association Awards Night on Thursday evening, May 1.

This year’s honorees are Craig Dickman, Class of 1982, Constance Downs ’96, and Bob Pyle, ’83, each receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award; and JoAnn Miller ’01 and Crystal Osman ’08, recipients of the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award.

The annual program spotlights UW-Green Bay alumni who have made special contributions to the University, their communities and professions. The ceremony takes place in the Grand Foyer of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts on the campus at 2420 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay.
The event is open to the public. It begins with a 5 p.m. social and includes dinner at 6 p.m. followed by the program. The cost is $35 per person. For more information, contact the UW-Green Bay Alumni Office at (920) 465-2074 or alumni@uwgb.edu.

Distinguished Alumni Awards

Craig Dickman Class of 1982

Craig Dickman
Class of 1982

Craig Dickman is a 1982 Business Administration graduate of UW-Green Bay. The founder, CEO and chief innovation officer for Breakthrough Fuel, Green Bay, he has won acclaim for his innovative approach to supply chain logistics and fuel cost management.

In less than a decade, Dickman’s Green Bay company has grown to become a partner to some of American industry’s leading brands. Prominent clients have included Procter & Gamble, Nestle, Heinz, Georgia-Pacific, John Deere, Polaris Industries, SCA Tissue and Shopko, among others. This year, Breakthrough Fuel received the prestigious Kraft Foods “Transportation Partnership Award” and the “External Business Partner of the Year” designation from Procter & Gamble, an award honoring 15 companies selected from among the 82,000 suppliers and agencies with which P&G does business. Breakthrough Fuel has won similar corporate honors bestowed by Unilever and the Whirlpool Corporation. The firm helps its clients analyze their fuel costs using advanced metrics and software, seeking ways to reduce shipping costs including the use of alternative fuels to cut both expenses and emissions. Dickman is the inventor responsible for two patents for energy management and has additional patents pending with the United States Patent Office.

Active in the greater Green Bay community, Dickman has served since 2012 as a member of UW-Green Bay’s Council of Trustees and Foundation Board. Last summer he was elected to the board of directors of the Green Bay Packers organization, and in December he delivered the commencement address at his alma mater.

Constance Downs Class of 1996

Constance Downs
Class of 1996

Constance Downs received her master’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy in 1996. She is an administrator with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., with experience across a range of environmental and public policy issues.

Downs joined the EPA in 1999 with the agency’s Center for Environmental Information and Statistics, where she supported research on U.S. public interest in environmental issues. She has served as branch chief for the EPA’s Records Content Management Branch and, since 2011, as associate director of the agency’s Toxics Release Inventory Program Division — a position that brings her into content with researchers including UW-Green Bay faculty members. Downs also led the EPA’s “E-Docket” initiative and Regulations.gov project which provide online access to all federal regulations and created the ability to review and submit comments on pending policies.

In her previous career, before enrolling in UW-Green Bay’s graduate program, Downs spent nearly 15 years in the private sector, working for a Japanese bank in New York and for a Tokyo-based consulting company, where she provided market research and analysis to companies in the United States, Japan, Australia and other Pacific Rim nations. She addressed a broad array of market areas including agriculture, food service, tourism, manufacturing and the financial sector. More recently, Downs has offered her service as an independent consultant to Japanese production companies developing television documentaries and museum exhibits.

Bob Pyle Class of 1983

Bob Pyle
Class of 1983

Bob Pyle, a 1983 Business Administration graduate and president and CEO of Pioneer Metal Finishing, is active in the Green Bay community in support of the University and local non-profits.

He joined Pioneer in 1998 as vice president of sales and marketing after previous experience with Fort Howard Corp. and KI. He was promoted to executive vice president in 2001 and president in 2002. Under his leadership, the company has grown from 450 employees to over 1,400 and, since 2006, has expanded from three locations in the Midwest to over 14 locations throughout the United States and Mexico. Pioneer bills itself as the North American leader in surface coating, with an extensive client list of manufacturers who use the firm’s corrosion and wear-resistant finishes and adhesive coatings. Pioneer’s services are used extensively in the automotive, aerospace, medical, industrial and electronics industries.

Pyle was a standout member of the Phoenix golf team during his undergraduate days, honored as team MVP in 1983. As a member of the Phoenix golf team, Bob was honored as the team MVP in 1983. He is an assistant coach for the Ashwaubenon High School girls golf team.

Pyle and his wife, Jean (a 1984 UW-Green Bay graduate) have been longtime supporters of the Phoenix Fund and the Green Bay golf and basketball programs. He is an active board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Green Bay and the Wisconsin State Golf Association (WSGA).

Outstanding Recent Alumni Awards

JoAnn Miller Class of 2001

JoAnn Miller
Class of 2001

JoAnn Miller, who graduated from UW-Green Bay 2001 with a major in Biology and minor in Environmental Science, was the 2013 Wisconsin State Teacher of the Year. A National Board Certified Teacher, she teaches college prep biology, Advanced Placement biology, and Intro to Human Biology (for college credit with UW-Green Bay) at Oconto Falls High School. She was named her district’s teacher of the year in 2012 and was recognized statewide with a prestigious Kohl Teacher Fellowship that same year. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Miller has been adviser to her school’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Club and Science Club. In 2007, she founded the annual STEM Symposium, a showcase for students to present original scientific research and projects to classmates, community members, area business leaders and the general public. As a past recipient of the Wisconsin State Teachers of the Year Award, Miller joins other award winners in providing advice and counsel to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and other DPI officials.

Crystal Osman Class of 2008

Crystal Osman
Class of 2008

Crystal Osman, a 2008 graduate of UW-Green Bay’s undergraduate program in Environmental Policy and Planning, is a widely recognized ambassador for Green Bay revitalization as program manager for the non-profit business improvement districts Downtown Green Bay, Inc., and Olde Main Street, Inc. Osman, in addition to advocating for business development, has championed green space, sustainability and cultural initiatives to enhance urban life. She was a founding team member of the New Leaf Market Cooperative and a leading committee member for the East River Trail Task Force to connect the Fox and East River trails. As a student at UW-Green Bay, Osman was active in student government and a member of the team that implemented U-Pass, a program to subsidize free student ridership on Green Bay Metro buses. She continues to volunteer her time for environmental causes including Baird Creek Preservation Foundation, Sustainable Green Bay and the Earth Week Coalition, among others.

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