Photos: UW-Green Bay alumni honored at 2020 UW-Green Bay Alumni Awards

‘Where do you get these great people?’ UW-Green Bay, of course.

Six University of Wisconsin-Green Bay alumni were honored at the 2020 Alumni Awards on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, and Brian Mannering was honored as an honorary alumnus. See their profiles.

Todd Jadin is vice president of Associate Relations and Talent Management at Schneider, and is responsible for corporate recruiting, learning and development, change management, associate relations, employment law compliance and the human capital processes. In his acceptance speech, Jadin incorporated a video of Schneider President Don Schneider, who, Jadin said, regularly asked, “Where in the hell do you get those great people?”

“Well, in my case it was from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. I was a bit of an anomaly back then as the majority of the college hiring that Schneider did in that era came from Don Schneider’s alma mater, St. Norbert College… I will also tell you that in 1984 I was just happy to be an alumni much less a distinguished alumni. I do like the ‘ring’ of that.” Much of the rest of Jadin’s speech is worth repeating…

“Schneider came to campus for screening interviews and had pulled my file from the placement office and requested an interview. I decided to go. I was successful and then invited to the corporate office for a structured interview process. One of those interviews was with Don Schneider and he had me at ‘hello.’ It was then I decided if Schneider offered me a job I would give them a shot. It is the only interview I’ve ever had.

Thirty-five years and 15 jobs later within the organization and I’m still there. It’s because of the education and foundation that I received from UWGB, so thank you for that. To know that someone who was born and raised in Green Bay and never had any interest in leaving the area could get the quality of education I received and work at a world-class company in the same city is something I’ve never taken lightly. I am

Todd Jadin wearing green and orange

blessed in that regard. The tie I’m wearing (orange and green) is a gift from UW-Green Bay as the result of a business award I accepted here a couple of years ago on behalf of Schneider and that night I was wearing an orange tie. I commented on how I would have worn an orange and green tie since both organizations were near and dear to my heart but I didn’t have one. UW-Green Bay fixed that the following week. In addition to UW-Green Bay, I’d like to thank Schneider for taking a chance on a young college grad many years ago.”

Outside of his work, Jadin has served in many leadership roles in the community, including a role on the board of directors for the Green Bay YMCA, the UW-Green Bay Founders Association and the UW-Green Bay Alumni Board, along with his involvement in youth basketball, serving as the President of the Green Bay Area Girls Basketball Association while coaching numerous boys and girls AAU teams. Jadin was one of four alumni recognized with the distinguished alumni award:

Lisa Merkel has been an educator at Green Bay West High School since 2001, teaching Physical Science and Chemistry. Merkel focused her graduate school research on the effects of poverty on learning, something that she is still passionate about today. She contributes her knowledge on poverty related to learning in a variety of programs, including the Green Bay West Building Leadership Team, AVID, Student Council and the Medical College of Wisconsin Equity Team.

Paul Northway is the CEO of American National Bank, responsible for setting the bank’s strategic direction, as well as overseeing the company’s culture. Along with his work, he has had a positive impact on UW-Green Bay. Northway, along with his wife, have established a scholarship at the University for business students. In addition, he serves as a member of the Chancellor’s Council of Trustees and is a season ticket holder for men’s basketball and a supporter of the Phoenix Fund. Northway expressed his passion for UW-Green Bay in his acceptance speech.

“I have been passionate about the University because I truly believe that my education was one of those pivot points in your life that makes a difference,” reflects Northway. “I also believe that our community is stronger because of the University.”

Neil Diboll is a prairie ecologist at the Prairie Nursery in Westfield, Wisconsin, devoting his time and energy to championing the use of prairie plants, as well as native trees, shrubs and wetland plants in contemporary American landscapes. Through his work, Diboll developed the first scientific methodology for designing prairie seed mixes. Diboll was unable to attend the event.

There were two recipients of this year’s outstanding recent alumni award:

Diana Delbecchi, now Green Bay Area Public School’s first-ever Community Schools Resource coordinator, spent time reflecting on her deep connection and love for her alma mater.

“UW-Green Bay is like a magnetic force pulling me back to it, time and time again,” states Delbicchi. “To this day, this campus welcomes me with open arms, just as it welcomes all students… Overwhelmingly, I love this school. It not only gave me the confidence to follow my dreams, but it has always shown me the importance of being rooted in community; through giving back, building others up and committing to the betterment of all.” She ended her speech stating how “this honor feels like UW-Green Bay loves me back.”

Since graduating, Delbecchi has spent time working abroad in a refugee camp providing educational programming for out-of-school refugee youth. This experience led her to conduct research, eventually leading to the implementation of a young education program in a refugee camp of 700 residents.

Fellow award winner Amanda Reitz is the founder of the Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary (HEA), which seeks to pair neglected animals with caring families. Since 2006, Reitz and HEA have paired more than 4,000 companion animals with loving families.

Mannering, the president and CEO of LaForce, Inc., was honored for his continued commitment to the greater Green Bay community and UW-Green Bay. Although not an alumnus of UW-Green Bay, Mannering has demonstrated unwavering support for the University, demonstrated by his long-standing support for various initiatives, such as the Phoenix Innovation Park. Mannering reflected on the connection between LaForce and UW-Green Bay:

“At LaForce, my main role is to guide the company, empower people and cultivate a strong culture of team and community. Those same values are resident in the UW-Green Bay culture, and it’s a significant reason why LaForce employs so many GB grads.”

In the featured photo above, from left to right, Jadin, Merkel, Reitz, Delbecchi, Northway and Mannering. (Missing, Diboll).

Enjoy the gallery. Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.

Alumni Awards 2020

– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication; event recap by Emily Gerlikovski, Marketing and University Communication student assistant.

Reminder: Phi Kappa Phi collecting donations for Happily Ever After

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, UW-Green Bay chapter, is now collecting donations for Happily Ever After (HEA) as its community service project. Happily Ever After is a No-Kill Animal Sanctuary with locations in Green Bay and Marion, Wis. The founder of HEA, Amanda Reitz (Elementary Education) ’08, is a UW-Green Bay alumna and will be honored with an Outstanding Recent Alumni Award on Friday, Feb, 28, 2020. Donations to be accepted include food, toys and more for the dogs and cats. These are the items HEA and PKP are collecting:


  • Purina Puppy Chow – Natural
  • The Loops 2 Leashes (Fleet Farm)
  • The Almost Indestructible Ball
  • Kong, JW Pet & Tuffy brand toys


  • Blue Buffalo Grain Free Cat Food – Salmon
  • Friskies Pate (canned)
  • Purina Kitten Chow
  • Purina Cat Chow – Original

General Care

  • Bath towels, blankets and sheets (new and used)
  • Absorbent paper towels
  • Heavy-duty tall kitchen trash bags
  • Heavy-duty contractor bags
  • Clorox regular bleach

**While HEA appreciates the thought, please do not donate anything not included on this list.

Donation locations include:

  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Office, TH 335
  • College of Science, Engineering and Technology Office, ES 317
  • GBOSS/Financial Aid, SS 1203
  • Psychology Department Office, MAC C310
  • Cofrin Library Hallway, First Floor
  • Cofrin Library Plaza, Second Floor
  • Environmental Sciences Building Hallway, First Floor
  • Instructional Services Building, GAC Lab Entrance
  • Laboratory Sciences Building Vending Area, First Floor
  • Rose Hall Hallway, First Floor
  • Studio Arts Building Vending Area, First Floor
  • Wood Hall, Rosewood Café

Donations will be collected from now until the end of the spring semester. If you have any questions, please contact the Phi Kappa Phi Office, TH 335, at (920) 465-2336 or email

Photos: UW-Green Bay honors most distinguished and outstanding

UW-Green Bay was honored by the return of six distinguished and outstanding alumni who returned to campus Oct. 2, 2018 to accept awards recognizing their contributions to campus, communities and workplace.

This year’s honorees were Daniel Keegan ’72, Sheila Kohl ’96 and ’05 and Doug Wirth ’89, each receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award; and Cordero Barkley ’09 and ’16, Lisa Fay Coutley ’04 and Joshua Kaurich ‘07, recipients of the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award.

Bios for each are available here. The ceremony took place on the Weidner Center stage, with a reception in the newly remodeled Weidner Grand Foyer. Each recipient was given a hand-made award crafted by artist and alumna Barbi Gossens ’03.

Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.

Alumni Awards 2018

– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication

Evening in photos: Alumni Awards and Recognition

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.

Alumni Awards 2017

– Photos by Dan Moore and Amanda Jo Danihel, Marketing and University Communication, Awards were handcrafted by UW-Green Bay alumnus Barbi Gossens ’03

Owners of Dental City and Nell’s Wigs and Boutique, among those to be honored at UW-Green Bay alumni recognition dinner

GREEN BAY –  The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is planning an evening of celebration, recognizing the accomplishments of its distinguished alumni and its outstanding recent alumni. This year’s Alumni Awards and Recognition Dinner begins at 5 p.m., Thursday, October 5 at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts.

Those honored for their distinguished achievements will be Stacey Nellen-Kolze ’98 (Technical Theatre), owner of Nell’s Wigs and Boutique; Marty (Martha) Stanley ’77 (Managerial Systems), president of Dynamic Dialog; 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.

Stacey Nellen-Kolze

Stacey Nellen-Kolze
Stacey Nellen-Kolze

With a background in theatre and cosmetology and a desire to help members of the community find comfort in the devastation of hair loss caused by medical necessity, Stacey Nellen-Kolze opened Nell’s Wigs in March of 2007. After a few years, she saw the need for an expansion of services to offer garments and prosthesis for those who have undergone breast-related surgeries. With help from Urban Hope’s E-Hub program and UW-Green Bay’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC), she realized her dream, expanding to a new (Allouez) location with more services and a new name — Nell’s Wigs and Boutique. Among her many honors and recognitions, she received E-Hub’s Community Impact Award. In addition, her business was chosen as a “Top 100 Small Businesses” in Deluxe Corporation’s “Small Business Revolution” campaign. As she continues to invest in the community, she also navigates business challenges — such as becoming Medicare accredited — by turning to local resources such as E-Hub and the SBDC. The success of Nell’s continues to fuel her passion for serving members of the greater Green Bay community. She shares her theatrical insight with the Next Stage Productions family that brings together performers and crew members from high schools throughout Northeast Wisconsin in a collaborative learning environment. Since 2013, Nellen-Kolze has sat on the planning committee for Prevea’s Runway for Life, an event that celebrates cancer survivors. In 2016, she joined the board of directors for The Ribbon of Hope Foundation, a local breast cancer organization of which $.97 out of each $1 donated is granted back to help those diagnosed with breast cancer in Brown and Kewaunee counties. The proud theatre alumnus has also stayed close to her Phoenix theatrical family. She and her husband Dean Kolze ’97 and their son Joey, reside in Green Bay.

Marty Stanley

Marty Stanley
Marty Stanley

Marty Stanley is an author, Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), facilitator and executive coach. As founder of Dynamic Dialog, Inc. in 2000, she draws on her personal and professional experience to help people transform their lives and their organizations. Her clients range from large (GE Oil and Gas, Marriott Corporation and Bank of America) to medium and small (rural hospitals, mortgage companies, commercial plumbing and law firms) and national associations (U.S. Tennis Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians). Stanley is the author of two books, Get Out of B.E.D. (Blame Excuses and Denial): Change Your Outlook-Alter Your Outcomes and From Type A to Type T: How to Be a Transformational Leader in a Bottom-Line World. Each provides the foundation for personal and organizational effectiveness and success. Her articles have been featured in hundreds of national and international trade and professional publications. Prior to starting her business, Stanley served in leadership roles in diverse corporate environments: As the assistant vice president of human resources at Employers Health Insurance, now Humana, she created a nationally recognized training department and one of the Top 25 Corporate Wellness programs in the country. As vice president of human resources at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, MO, Stanley created and implemented a performance management system based on outstanding customer service. As the first vice president of human resources for AMC Entertainment, and its 12,000 employees, she provided guidance as the company transformed the film exhibition industry. During a three-year period, the company built more than 50 megaplexes, while hiring more than 500 managers and 2,000 staff members. Stanley recently move to La Jolla, California.

John Mathys

John Mathys
John Mathys

John Mathys is president and co-owner of Dental City with fellow alumnus David Withbroe and Roy Stumpf. From humble beginnings as a small infection control products company, Dental City has flourished into a distributor of over 50,0000 dental product units, serving more than 13,000 dental professionals across the United States from their corporate headquarters and 50,000 square foot distribution center in Green Bay. Mathys began his professional career with Shopko Stores, where he gained valuable experience in buying and personnel management in its management training program. From there he moved to Ruffalo Enterprises, a sporting goods business as head of business development/national distribution manager. Mathys helped open distribution flow to national market players such as Cabelas, Bass Pro Shops and Gander Mountain. Mathys entered the dental supply business as head of sales and distribution for PRN Dental Supplies in the mid 1980’s. On the heels of the 1980s AIDS Crisis, PRN was a leader in providing infection control products to service the dental market. Mathys was a key player in this rapid start-up that rapidly grew into a multi-million-dollar dental distribution business. In 1993, with assistance and urging of Stumpf and Withbroe, ICP Inc. was formed to meet the infection control products needs of dental practitioners throughout the United States. Mathys was voted president of the company and the group began the daunting task as a start-up business working out of the basement of his business partner’s parents’ home, selling and invoicing during the day and processing and shipping orders at night. In 2006, following a comprehensive rebranding process, they renamed the business Dental City. The company has since lived through multiple years of double digit growth, in excess of 100 employees, with more than $40 million in annual revenue. The company has received many notable awards, among them the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce “Small Business Growth Award” and 3M Corporation’s “Channel Partner of the Year” award. Mathys received the United Dental Dealers, “Spirit Award” for embracing other dental dealer members and sharing concepts and ideas to better improve each member’s business. Mathys is married and supported by his wife of 17 years, Diane Holschuh. They reside in De Pere, Wis.

David Withbroe

David Withbroe
David Withbroe

In 1993, David Withbroe, along with his business partners John Mathys and Roy Stumpf started Dental City (then known as ICP, Inc.) in the basement of Withbroe’s parents’ house. With just six months of business under their belts they had grown enough to expand to a new location on South Broadway, Green Bay, and expanded again in 1998 with the construction of a new building in Green Bay’s I-43 Business Center. Withbroe says that he, Mathys and Stumpf, draw on each other’s strengths to grow the business, which has rocketed from zero employees and revenue to 100 employees and $40 million in a little more than two decades. Initially working in all areas of the business (sales, shipping and IT), Withbroe now has a more strategic role, helping to shape the sales and marketing departments in the areas of hiring, training and building career paths, while using business intelligence to uncover sales opportunities and increase customer retention. His long-term goal is to continue to be engaged with Dental City and help the business grow further. Prior to his time with Dental City, Withbroe exercised his knack for strategic thinking over the course of a short but exceptional career in radio advertising sales, where his suggestion to place ad spots based on listener demographics and listening habits landed his station the highest advertising spend of any in Green Bay. In a stellar five-year span in sales and sales management at Schneider Communications, Withbroe utilized “business intelligence” before it was called business intelligence to increase sales and reduce lost customers—essentially turning around a failing sales department and leaving it a highly successful model for the rest of the departments at Schneider. He also developed strategic career paths that increased the success of both new and senior reps while drastically reducing employee turnover. Withbroe spends time in his homes in both Wisconsin and Arizona with his wife, two daughters, and four grandchildren and enjoys racing motorcycles and sharing his love for cars with other enthusiasts. Withbroe was also a student-athlete at UW-Green Bay as a member of its cross-country team.

Sherry Aaholm

Sherry Aaholm
Sherry Aaholm

Sherry Aaholm is the vice president and chief information officer of Cummins Inc.— an American Fortune 500 corporation that designs, manufactures and distributes engines, filtration, and power generation products. She oversees mission critical information system resources and leads the information technology (IT) transformation for the company. Aaholm brings extensive professional experience in technology, information security, and digital, combined with executive leadership achievements in both public and private business sectors. She is responsible for driving the company-wide digital transformation, which includes alignment with engineering and human resources to drive digital synergy across the company. Aaholm joined Cummins in 2013, after more than 15 years at FedEx Services, where she served as executive vice president of information technology — steering the IT transformation strategy for the global enterprise to include FedEx Services, FedEx Express, FedEx Freight and FedEx Ground. There she was responsible for the daily operations of the global infrastructure footprint, including all data centers worldwide, overall architecture strategy, governance and IT standards. She previously held roles at GeoLogistics, in Atlanta, Ga. and Schneider National/Schneider Logistics in Green Bay, Wis. Aaholm holds a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Management from the University of Wisconsin. She is also a graduate of the Finance for Executives and Strategic Business Leadership program at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Her work in developing leadership programs has been recognized by Computerworld, and she has spoken at Gartner and Computerworld events on the subject. Aaholm serves on the National Association of Corporate Directors and the Council of Logistics Management. She resides in Indianapolis with her family.

Mary Frank-Arlt

Mary Frank-Arlt
Mary Frank-Arlt

Mary Frank-Arlt joined Kohler Co.’s internal branding agency, The Beacon (recently featured in Advertising Age), in 2016. Frank-Arlt, the associate manager for social media, now develops social media and digital branding strategies for Kohler Power and Kohler Co. She began her career at Wisconsin Public Service, with a focus on maintaining strategic partnerships with nonprofits, managing giving programs and corporate outreach. She then moved into a role for WEC Energy Group (formerly Integrys Energy Group) coordinating digital and social media programs for nine brands. In addition, she led corporate social responsibility reporting initiatives and was one of first people in the world to receive the Global Reporting Initiative G4 certification in 2014. Frank-Arlt has been involved in the Green Bay community since her time as a student. She has held multiple roles within community groups such as the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professional Group, Brown County United Way, Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, UW-Green Bay’s Founders Association and the ARTGarage. Currently, she is an active board member for Encompass Early Education and Care, Inc. She earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from UW-Oshkosh in 2015 and was recognized with UWO’s Outstanding Graduate Award.

About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs to 7,030 students. The University transforms lives and communities through exceptional and award-winning teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities and a problem-solving approach to education. For more information, visit

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2016 Alumni Award Recipients

Five honored at UW-Green Bay’s annual Alumni Awards

Not only are they smart, passionate and forward-thinking, but the recipients of the 2016 University of Wisconsin-Green Bay distinguished and outstanding recent alumni awards are incredibly grateful for their UW-Green Bay experience and humbled by the honor.

The annual Alumni Awards were held October 4 on the stage of the Weidner Center stage for the Performing Arts on the UW-Green Bay campus. Surrounded by family, co-workers and lifelong friends, they shared the stories — some fun and some emotional — of their journeys to, and since attending, UW-Green Bay.

The outstanding recent alumni, Ben Kvalo ’10 and Theresa Okokon ’05 travelled the greatest distances, California and Massachusetts, respectively. Kvalo came to UW-Green Bay, he said, to follow his own path and to experience opportunities he didn’t think he would find at a larger institution. What he found, were faculty members (he named former UWGB Prof. Lucy Arendt, specifically) that impressed upon him how important it was to envision his dream and see himself there.

“My goal in college was to be General Manager of the Green Bay Packers someday, but I’ve readjusted my path, just a bit, since,” the business administration major joked. Kvalo is now the global project manager for 2K, a video game development and publishing company, within Take-Two Interactive, that manages brands such as, BioShock, Borderlands, Mafia, NBA 2K, Sid Meier’s Civilization and others.

“Being a tour guide helped me to step outside my comfort zone and improve my communication and presentation skills. I learned that I should set my goals high, and that I am not going to be defined by my failures, but I will allow them to shape and motivate me.” He says he advised students in the same manner he was advised… “Follow your passion and be willing to risk everything to find what drives you.”

Theresa Okokon is the founder and instructor of (Learn, Emote, Grow, Ignite, Transform), providing trauma-informed yoga for homeless, low-income and at-risk populations in the Boston area. She was recently honored with the Kip Tiernan Social Justice Fellowship Award for her organization.

“Someone asked me today how I came up with the idea to teach trauma informed yoga in homeless shelters,” she said, “and perhaps the root of that is twofold…

“First, I come from a mother whose strength is incomparable,” she said. “When you are raised by a woman like my mother, you begin to believe that absolutely anything is possible. Second, I went to UW-Green Bay. I came to UWGB because of an immature decision to just go to school where my boyfriend was in school. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. As a social work major, I got to study with professors like Loretta Larkey, Judy Martin, Candy Conard and Anne Kok. I was challenged by an internship at Brown County Human Services. I was supported by the team at the AIC, and learned how to engaged in things that mattered to me with the BSU, FMLA, SAGA, SGA, SUFAC and the Social Work Club. The opportunities for international studies here at UWGB made it such that I ended up living in Ecuador for two years after having the thought, ‘hey, maybe I should join the Peace Corps.’  The interdisciplinary approach at this University created the kind of mind that would be in a training about treatment for PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), and think ‘hey, this sounds like a yoga class.’”

“I know I wouldn’t be me, if it wasn’t for you (UWGB),” Okokon said. “I realized that UWGB was the place I was meant to be.”

Receiving the Distinguished Alumni Awards were Mark Fralick ’82, Glen Tilot ’ 81 and Daniel Young ‘80.

Fralick said he was convinced by a couple of teachers to “be more” and they requested that he explore UWGB.

“I was instantly hooked. Somehow I felt more connected, more included here than the other campuses. In fact, the first week of my first year here, some kids set up a waterslide made out of a slip-n-slide. A girl came up to to me as I walked back to the “Bay Apts” and said, ‘You want to try our waterslide?’ It was really cold, really fun and made me feel part of this place in an odd way. Note to my sons. When you go away to college and a cute girl comes up to ask you if you want to try their waterslide — the answer is always ‘Why yes, yes I do.’”

Fralick said he learned about excellence from his roommates— all music and theatre majors — Carl Allen who went on to become a famous drummer, Mike Dubois who went on to dance at Juilliard and Erik Andersen became a great teacher. “They, along with Scott Stewart… showed me that excellence doesn’t just suddenly happen on the stage — it happens because of preparation — in the practice room, the dance floor and the practice field. Preparation has a look to it… it looks like hard work.”

Likewise, Fralick says he was pushed by the UWGB faculty.

“I had a lot of great teachers here but the two that challenged me most were Professors Bill Shay and Bill Conley. Professor Shay was very exact in the way he taught, and very demanding. Then there was professor Conley. Hiding inside the noggin of this mild mannered operations research professor were crazy algorithms for solving problems impossible to solve. These programs were so hard on the system when we ran them — this was back in the day of the mainframe — that we were only allowed to run them at night and on weekends. So, these professors prepared me to be a fearless developer. That, along with my business studies prepared me to co-found SAI (Software Architects Inc.).”

Crediting his business partners, Fralick said SAI had the right blend of mad scientists and brilliant problem solvers.

“But, without everything that I learned here, the challenges placed upon me by a couple of brilliant professors — none of this happens,” he said. “The software that has shipped a trillion dollars of shipments and employees hundreds of IT staffs and helps protect American jobs – would never have happened. Talk about a great return on several thousand dollars in Pell grants so a kid with nothing could go to a great affordable university… For me, a large part of the person I am, is due to this University. So, what I feel is profound gratitude and just leave you with something I’ve discovered… Gratitude is a cyclical formula. A person who leads with gratitude becomes the person for whom others have gratitude.  Make gratitude a big part of your life and you will find it just makes you happier.”

Four years out of high school, Glen Tilot was searching for direction when a near life-threatening accident provided some navigation. After months of therapy and vocational rehab benefits in hand, he enrolled at UWGB. Tilot said he was uncertain of a major until taking Prof. Richard Hansen’s Human Relations Skills class. “It changed my life,” Tilot says.

Tilot majored in social work and has been with the Brown County for 32 years. A familiar face around campus, Tilot says he has had the privilege of working with hundreds of UWGB Social Work and Human Development interns and volunteers through the years. The campus has also delivered some of his best father/daughter moments — particularly sharing Phoenix women’s basketball with his now grown daughters since they were little.

“The social work profession is one that doesn’t have many awards,’ he says, “so tonight I accept this award to also honor all of those social workers who have preceded me and those in the field now that are working in the community with people who are hurting and need someone to advocate for them and the professors like Richard Jansen who inspire us to do this work!”

Dan Young is a CPA and the managing partner of Schenck SC (accounting and tax preparation), Green Bay. He and his friend Mark Schleitwiler first attended UW-Fox Valley and decided to transfer as juniors (in 1978). He said he heard good things about UWGB and met with (faculty members) Karl Zehms and Curtis Graham. In the initial meeting, “Karl was fashionably dressed in his favorite leisure suit and we could barely make out Curtis across the desk with smoke billowing from his big fat cigar…”

The friends decided to enroll at UWGB, and by mid-semester were acing the pop quizzes and feeling pretty confident… until they took Zehms’ midterm.

“It was about one-third of way through a three-hour test when I knew it wasn’t going well,” Young says. “You know that churning feeling in the pit in your stomach? I looked at Mark and he was running his fingers through his hair and his face was white as a ghost. We stepped out and went to vending machine just behind the test room to get caffeine hoping that would turn the tide. But the following Tuesday we had our test results and that churning in the pit of my stomach was confirmed — I had gotten a ‘D.’ Karl called both of us to his office and asked, ‘What happened? I thought you guys new that stuff…’”

I said, “Karl, those pop quizzes were like a slow pitch right down the middle of the plate. That’s what we were expecting on the mid-term. That mid-term was a high, inside fast ball and brushed us back on our fanny. Karl gave us three choices — audit, drop or stay. Apparently there wasn’t a fourth option I was hoping for — that he had mis-graded our test. We stayed, and retook the course the following year, and we received an A. We had handled Karl’s fastball.”

Eventually Young learned that Zehms gave actual old CPA exams to the students. “What better way to prepare us for the real world?” Young said. “I learned that No. 1, your toughest challenges prepare you the most, and that is why UWGB has one of the highest success rate for passing CPA exams in the nation. No. 2, don’t underestimate anything. Be prepared. It was a scary wake-up call and a life lesson I will always remember.

“When one’s ability, determination and effort to positively impact others, shine through his actions, it begins to build a legacy that can’t be measured by only personal success, but rather by how others have been inspired to take action. Just as Karl Zehms, Mike Shinners & Mike Hucovski (who gave him his first job 36 years ago), left a legacy; I hope to do the same.”

Matthew Vanden Avond ’01, President Elect of the UW-Green Bay Alumni Association and Steve Maricque ’78, current president, gave the welcome and served as host, respectively. Chancellor Miller greeted the guests, music was provided by Cheryl Murphy ’95 and alumna Barbi Gossens created this year’s awards that were given to the recipients.

Photos by Dan Moore

Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.
Alumni Awards 2016

– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication

UW-Green Bay Announces 2016 Distinguished and Outstanding Alumni

Green Bay, Wis—The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is planning an evening of celebration, recognizing the accomplishments of its alumni. This year’s Alumni Awards and Recognition Dinner begins at 5 p.m., October 4 at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts.

Those honored for their Distinguished Achievements will be Mark C. Fralick ’82, Glen G. Tilot ’81 and Daniel J. Young ’80. Recipients of the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award are Theresa I. Okokon ’05 and Benjamin L. Kvalo ’10.

Distinguished Alumni

Mark C. Fralick
Mark C. Fralick ’82

Mark C. Fralick is a 1982 UW‑Green Bay graduate with a degree in Business Administration and a dual emphasis in Communication and Computer Science. In the 1990’s, he co-founded Software Architects Inc., a software company that specialized in Warehouse Management Systems (WMS). While there, Fralick and his business partner created a system called MOCA, a widely adopted computer architecture for logistics and distribution automation. The WMS created on this architecture is now used by hundreds of companies such as Hershey’s, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, and more, is recognized as one of the world’s leading logistics applications and has made more than $1 trillion in shipments across the globe. Fralick later sold Software Architects and went on to create another WMS technology space, called Get Us ROI. As of 2015, Get us ROI is among the top 1000 fastest growing companies in the US. Fralick plays an active role in many charitable organizations as a board member, mentor and advisor. He and his wife Patti also operate their own charitable fund, and have additionally created a number of scholarships for students in Northeast Wisconsin seeking computer science or engineering degrees.

Glen G. Tilot
Glen G. Tilot ’81

Glen G. Tilot graduated in 1981 with a degree in Social Work. He recruits, trains, matches and manages volunteers for The Pals Program, the Parent Pals Program, the Supervised Visitation Program and the Volunteer Guardian Program for Brown County Human Services. He began his career as a social worker and volunteer coordinator, first in Outagamie County’s Department of Human Services, and later in Brown County, where he has worked from 1984 to present day. Tilot serves on advisory committees for multiple universities and organizations. He is the chair for Brown County Voices of Men Breakfast, which encourages men to take a stand against violence towards women. Among his multitude of awards and recognitions, Tilot received the UW‑Green Bay Community Partner Award, and the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce’s Daniel Whitney Award. Widely known for his longstanding commitment to the Chamber’s Leadership Green Bay program, he was presented with that organization’s highest honor — the Leo Frigo Award.

Daniel J. Young
Daniel J. Young ’80

Daniel J. Young graduated in 1980 with a degree in Managerial Accounting. During his time at UWGB, he was on the Dean’s List, and received a scholarship for leadership and academic excellence. He began his accounting career at Shinners, Hucovski and Company. In 1999, Shinners, Hucovski and Company merged with the firm Schenck, where he continues as a certified public accountant and certified valuation analyst, and since 2008, has been the managing partner of the Green Bay office. Young holds leadership roles on the firm’s board of directors and operations committee, and in 2014, he was named the firm’s director of industry teams. He serves on several community boards, including the Greater Green Bay Chamber, Downtown Green Bay, Inc., Green Bay Business Improvement District, Heritage Hill and New Community Shelter.

Outstanding Recent Alumni

Theresa I. Okokon graduated in 2005
Theresa I. Okokon ’05

Theresa I. Okokon graduated in 2005 with a degree in Social Work. In 2007 Okokon joined the United States Peace Corps, where she spent two years in Ecuador, coordinating workshops on health and wellness, and promoting, fundraising and networking, for new volunteers for a grassroots neighborhood organization. In the next few years, she worked at several different companies, as a case manager, program manager and house manager, etc. Most recently, she was honored with the Kip Tiernan Social Justice Fellowship Award for her program,, which provides free, trauma-informed yoga classes for homeless, low-income and at-risk populations in the Boston area. has partnered with more than 10 Boston-based programs, and provided trauma-informed yoga to more than 300 unique participants. Okokon, who began yoga instruction in 2014, will soon be taking part in a year-long, intensive graduate-level certificate program to become certified in Nonprofit Leadership and Management, as well as a 300-hour Yoga Therapy Teacher Training program. Outside of her work, she is an active participant with Massmouth, a nonprofit organization that promotes the art of storytelling in Massachusetts.

Benjamin L. Kvalo
Benjamin L. Kvalo ’10

Benjamin L. Kvalo graduated in 2010 with a degree in Business Administration, an emphasis in Management and a minor in Communication. Kvalo is the International Project Manager with a video game publishing and development company called 2K. His company manages some of the most respected and premium video games in the market, including franchises such as NBA 2K, Borderlands, Bioshock, Sid Meier’s Civilization and Mafia. He has focused on improving process and communication in a fast growing company, and helped to create and project manage large presentations to company executives and external parties. Kvalo also helped found, and is on a management group, for an education initiative called 2KEDU, whose focus is internal growth and knowledge-building opportunities within 2K. To date, he is credited in more than 20 AAA published video games.


Tickets can be purchased at and are $50 per person.


Artist Barbi Gossen in the UWGB Art Metals studio holding a piece of an alumni award

Exceptionally special Alumni Awards

For the past few months, inside UW-Green Bay’s Studio Arts Lab 112, jewelry artist Barbi Gossen has feverishly sketched, etched, sanded and soldered her intricate creations to the end result — the 2015 Alumni Awards.

In celebration of UW-Green Bay’s 50th Anniversary year, the Alumni Association commissioned Gossen, a 2003 UW-Green Bay graduate and award winning jewelry artist, to handcraft the beautiful works of art in time for the Oct. 16 awards ceremony.

Gossen was recognized at the annual event, along with the award recipients: Mark King, class of 1981, Barbara Nick ’83 and Jack Potts ’71, each receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award, and Andy Rosendahl, ’07 and Kelly Ruh ’01receiving the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award. Ronald and Suzy Pfeifer were presented with an Honorary Alumni Award.

Gossen says she was honored to be the selected artist for this project.

“I am really proud of these sculptures, and proud to shoulder the reputation of our tremendous art program we have at UWGB,” she said. “To be able to provide a small hand-made sculpture that these distinguished honorees are proud to display and care for is an honor.”

The Outstanding Recent Alumni Award was designed to show the rebirth of the Phoenix. Gossen explains in her artist statement: ”As each new generation goes forth, they go out into the world with the education, experience, and ideas that are unique to UWGB. As the flame rises from the swirled wings (symbolic of a nest), we rise from the safe haven of our professors, mentors, and friends. We grow to meet challenges that arise in our lives and the community around us. This award symbolizes new alumni drawing on their experiences to be reborn in the world and make a positive impact.”

The Distinguished Alumni Award symbolizes the greatness of UWGB’s more experienced alumni. “I wanted the complexity of shape and height to represent greatness and the exalted status of this award’s recipients. This award took far more time to sculpt and plan than the others in this series. Mastery of materials and complexity of technique, to me, are metaphors for the recipients of this award. Only after time, effort, and continued learning have these recipients grown to show there true potential,” she said.

The Honorary Alumni Award was designed to change with every perspective. “The front view shows all various pieces in a line revealing the wing as a whole with the school’s 50th logo as a centerpiece. This symbolizes all the things that must come together just right to make our university great. We need the support of the community around us and recognize those who’s support and commitment to our community and university make us complete.”

Gossen started with research about the idea of a Phoenix and what it has represented through time. She followed with hundreds of sketches until she had a “contender piece” which would be put through “training” — redrawing and redeveloping ideas into a refined design. Each was made more to scale and colored before being submitted for approval from colleagues, and finally for approval through the UWGB Alumni Association.

The tedious construction began with each piece copied or traced from the original. Some parts were easy and others required sawing for hours on end. Each was then carefully filed and sanded, before being cleaned and prepared for etching — a less than perfect process which requires many touch-ups by hand before pounding and shaping, soldering and finishing touches.

“I am really proud of these,” Gossen said. “I think by showing the process, and what really goes into the art, the pieces will be more valued. As an artist, you question your work constantly. There is high anxiety because you put so much of yourself into this…”

More about artist Barbara (Barbi) Gossen

An award-winning jewelry artist, Gossen is also an adjunct professor at her alma mater and has also taught Kent State where she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree, as well as the Cleveland Institute of Art, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, and the Peninsula Art School. She has shown across the country in various Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) shows, enamelist society shows and multiple times at Japan’s International Cloisonné Jewelry Contest. She earned “the award for encouragement” from the 20th International Cloisonné Jewelry Contest, an “emerging artist award” from the Peninsula Art School, and was a student finalist for the 2008 NICHE award. Her work has been published in books including 500 Earrings, and 500 Enameled Objects.

Enjoy the photo gallery featuring Gossen’s work in progress.

Photos by UWGB Marketing and University Communication staff member Kimberly Vlies.

Click to advance slideshow

UWGB Alumni Awards Artist

Reminder: Top grads to be honored Friday

Returning to the UW-Green Bay campus Friday are five outstanding graduates being honored during the Alumni Awards Night dinner at the Weidner Center. Sporting equipment and apparel CEO Mark King, class of 1981, power industry exec Barbara Nick ’83 and noted forensic psychiatrist Dr. Jack Potts ’71 (who consulted on the Rep. Gabrielle Giffords shooting aftermath in Tuscon) will each receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. Additionally, mayoral aide Andy Rosendahl, ’07 and CFO and former Alumni Association president Kelly Ruh ’01 will receive Outstanding Recent Alumni Awards, and Ronald and Suzy Pfeifer will share the Honorary Alumni Award.