Bringing Toledo to Market

October 29th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in From Our Alumni

UT Alumna Lori Dixon and her Team at Great Lakes Marketing Have Made Their Presence Felt Around the World

By Patty Gelb

Toledo area adults have opened, closed and evaluated everything from gas cans to eye-droppers and pill packages to five-gallon buckets. Area children have sampled the flavors and textures of cough syrup, vitamins and pain medications – with none of the actual medicine included in the samples – to help major pharmaceutical companies decide which flavors are the most palatable. Even those flammable lighters you might use – the ones with the thumb-lock safety feature – were tested in Toledo before their approval by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

You may not realize it, but Toledo area residents are at the forefront of innovations for many consumer products and services around the world because of work being done by an internationally-recognized, Toledo based, marketing and research firm owned and operated by a UT alumna.

GLM Full color w gradientDr. Lori Mitchell Dixon (BA ’82, MBA’84) and her company, Great Lakes Marketing Research (GLM), located on Executive Parkway in the Westgate area of Toledo, conducts product testing and market research for some of the largest companies and organizations in the world, as well as federal agencies. GLM is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014.


“I consider us an aid-to-decision-making company,” said Dixon. “We help other organizations make better decisions by understanding their customers. Everything today is about meeting the needs of the marketplace and we provide that information back to our clients.”

GLM offers a full-array of market research services and has extensive experience with consumer and industrial products, the pharmaceutical industry, utilities, healthcare, banking and financial services, community service agencies, packaging and child-resistant packages, and the automotive aftermarket.

LakeSuperiorRoom-NewLogo-440x163GLM’s client list includes companies like Bayer, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, and Johnson & Johnson. They work with local organizations like the Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Zoo and Toledo Mud Hens as well as federal agencies such as the U.S. Postal Service, Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. GLM has clients in over 25 states and 11 countries.

“The main purpose of the research is so that companies are smarter,” said Dixon. “There is so much competition. If you don’t understand your customer, somebody else will. And, they will do a better job.”

Over 20,000 families from Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan already participate in testing that helps shape how companies introduce products to the marketplace. The results of that testing help GLM’s clients determine what works and what causes consumers massive headaches.

Dixon, who purchased the firm in 1985, has been with GLM for 36 years. The owner of the firm at the time was Dixon’s neighbor, who hired the teenager when she was a student at Ottawa Hills High School. Pre-college teens were given the opportunity to work part-time in the afternoon while attending school in the morning.

“I was hired to be a secretary, but I wasn’t very good at typing,” Dixon said with a laugh. “I took a typing class at COM Tech (the former UT Community and Technical College), my freshman year (at UT), to learn how to type so that I could keep my job. They were very patient with me. That typing class was a huge help.”

Dixon originally planned on going away to college, but she enjoyed her job at GLM so much that she decided to enroll at UT so she could continue to work at the market research firm. There was some family history already at UT which helped influence her decision — her three older brothers are all alums.

Reception-NewLogo-440x163“I loved being at UT,” Dixon said. “I joined all of the clubs. I was in a sorority (Pi Beta Phi), the international business club and every intramural sport that you could do — and I loved it! I lived at home and would walk with my coffee down the street to get to classes. I still worked at Great Lakes and would ride my bike to the office. It was perfect! After the end of my sophomore year I thought, ‘Ok, I am here, I am never leaving.’”

Dixon knew when she went to school that she was going into business. She enjoyed the market research classes which coincided with her work at GLM. The more she learned, the more she grew with the company.

Dixon was in the international program while at UT and had the opportunity to go to Europe and do some market research for a company in Amsterdam. She thinks her experience working at GLM, while at UT, is the reason she got the position. While in Amsterdam, she received a letter from the chair of UT’s marketing department asking if she wanted to come back and work on her master’s degree; they could offer her a graduate assistant position.

While working on her master’s, a visiting professor, Dr. John Ryans, spoke to her about the doctoral program at Kent State University. Because of her interest in market research, he felt it would be a good fit. After completing the master’s program, she taught for a couple of quarters at UT then went to Kent State for her doctorate in statistics and marketing. Upon completion of her Ph.D. in 1989, she returned to UT and taught at College of Business and Innovation for nine years while continuing to work at GLM.

As her career burgeoned at the marketing and research firm, so did her family life. She married UT alumnus Mark Dixon (BA,’77) and they had two children, daughter, Karla and son, Mitch.

“Once the kids came along, I just couldn’t do everything, so I decided I would just do the company,” said Dixon.

It turned to be a great decision.

“I went from typing, to research assistant, to project manager, to project director, to owner,” said Dixon. “I bought it in 1985 along with Mark Iott (BA,’69, MBA,’86). Mark and I owned it together until 2010 when he retired.”

Dixon said that her company gets the kind of national and international contracts that they do because part of their growth strategy was specializing in areas like packaging research. The Toledo area has several companies that design packaging. Owens-Illinois (OI) made the first child resistant packaging, which the government said had to be tested before marketing. The relationship between OI and GLM was born and today GLM is the only company in the world, that can test specific categories of child-resistant packaging.

“We grew that relationship with OI and we took it to the next step, then the next step, then the next step and just withstood the test of time,” Dixon said. “Now we are the only ones doing a certain government-mandated testing. So that is one niche.”

The amount of packaging that is required to go through testing is immense. All of the medications that are in the pain relief, cold and flu, and analgesic aisles at your local store are substances regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and are in child-resistant packaging. There are different types of pre-packaged bottles, blister packages, bottles that the pharmacists label, special wallet packs and many more varieties.

“Those are all tested by companies like mine,” said Dixon. “There are very few companies like us in the U.S. So since 1970 when the (Poison Prevention Packaging Act) went into effect, we’ve probably tested everything that you see on those shelves right here in Toledo.”

While working with these large pharmaceutical companies, other opportunities began to materialize. The clients that GLM worked for testing child-resistant packaging realized they had an opportunity to capture more of the consumer thought process. Soon, jobs grew to include testing the packaging to make sure it was consumer friendly. Then GLM would ask consumers if they liked the design of a label. Dixon’s work with these large firms continued to grow.

“If you do a good job, you keep getting more opportunities,” said Dixon. “And if you keep doing more and doing better with those opportunities, you just get more opportunities. That’s how I think we have grown over the last 50 years – making sure every time we get an opportunity, we go above and beyond so there will be more of them.

Package testing is just one small part of what makes up GLM’s services. Probably one of their biggest clients is the U.S. Postal Service. For example, the postal service worked with many different companies to bundle and mail individual trial-sized product samples like shampoo, conditioner, pet food and other items. GLM helped the postal service decide which type of box, brand name and items that should be sent. Nearly 20 years ago, GLM competed with market research companies across the nation to get the contract to study this idea and to do other market research for the postal service.

“For the sample box study, we went to several different markets and asked consumers, ‘Do you want to get samples, would you use them, and do you like the idea of them coming to your home from the post office?’” said Dixon.

GLM also had different designs of boxes to share with panelists. They were looking to find which designs made consumers want to open them.

“We then went to the next step and asked about different names for them,” said Dixon. “This would give it a recognizable brand so when that box came, you knew immediately that it was good, safe and those are high quality products that came from the post office.”

Someday, you may get one of these boxes in your mailbox and you will know that it was designed using input from a Toledo-based company.

But for other projects for the postal service over the years, GLM has done online studies, conducted telephone interviews and even sent staff members into post offices to ask people about their experience as they left the facilities.

“Whatever it takes to get the voice of the customer, we do it!” said Dixon.

GLM uses a variety of tactics to gather information that companies need. Their facility has a fully monitored telephone interviewing center and a state-of-the-art focus group facility that includes both in-person and remote viewing for clients out of the area. They conduct telephone interviews, mail and internet surveys nationally and internationally. It takes a specialized mix of methods to reach the research objective and GLM has all the tools to capture the information and meets the clients’ needs.

Other areas in which GLM specializes are:

Mystery shopping – In order for a company to evaluate how it is doing in terms of customer service, employee performance and customer satisfaction, GLM is often hired to conduct mystery shopping. This is an ideal way to provide their clients’ insight to the company from an outsider’s perspective.

“It could be a franchise organization that has different locations and they want to make sure that each one of those locations has the same quality signage and has the same cross-selling pattern,” said Dixon. “Sometimes they are introducing something new and they want to make sure that if you ask about it, their personnel are able to explain it correctly. Sometimes people will call and want to get information over the phone before they come in, so we mystery shop to make sure prospects are handled correctly on the telephone. You can spend a lot of time having the best marketing plan but if it is not executed, it’s not doing you any good.”

Mock Trials – For some large jury trials, GLM will be hired by law firms to conduct mock trials with a jury made up of people selected from the community just as they would be for a real trial. There is only so much information that a person can absorb and lawyers want to learn how to best prioritize it. Lawyers understand that a juror who is sitting in a court room for hours listening to testimony is only able to retain so much information. They want to understand how their message is coming across and whether jurors are hearing what is most important to the case.

“It is not just spinning it,” said Dixon. “It is as much trying to learn, what do you understand? If I am talking way above your head, you are not going to retain any of this. If I am talking below you, you are going to be insulted. I have to position it so you are getting the truth. That takes understanding of your audience and mock trials give that opportunity.”

Work with political campaigns – Politicians are studying the hot buttons. They are looking to learn if we are more concerned about x, y or z to help them build their platforms.

“You are going to hear 19 political messages in an evening,” said Dixon. “Only a couple of them are going to penetrate and say something that you will remember in the morning. You will only remember the message if they speak to you and the content is relevant. So they may have to test multiple things, all of which they are passionate about, but they might not be what you are passionate about.”

The company is thriving under Dixon’s leadership although she attributes the success 100% to a team effort.

“This is not just my company,” she said. “This company is really about all of us working together and joint decision making.”

Dixon has a strong love for this community and The University of Toledo. She sat on the UT Alumni Association Board of Trustees in 2000 for one term and the family is season ticket holders for Rockets’ football. “We love going to the football games and seeing everyone there,” said Dixon. “We love going to Art on the Mall. We ride our bikes over for games and events; it is just right there. My son is at the University of Cincinnati and he wanted to pick up another class so took classes at UT over the summer. It was so perfect. Everybody was just so easy to work with over there.”

Her company, GLM, has just under 50 employees and a lot of them are UT grads.

Lori and Dayta“We hire as many UT students as we can because that is how I got my start,” said Dixon. “I feel we need to support the University because they are producing the brain power around here. We have been getting interns and part-time employees from UT since the beginning. And actually, two of our senior managers were hired as interns from UT. We have four part-timers right now and they are all UT students. Most of the employees who have been here for a long time all have their degrees from UT.”

A staff member, who is not a UT grad, is of the four-legged variety. Dayta (pronounced data) is a small black mix adopted from a local shelter.

“She came along because we thought it would be nice for her to help us relax or just set a nice environment in the office, and she does that,” said Dixon. “She stops and visits everyone’s office and says, ‘Hello, thanks for the bone.’ We were challenged to a FitBit contest with other companies in town, so Dayta encourages us to go for a little walk.”

Dixon lives a mile and a half from her office, so she and Dayta walk to work most days.

GLM’s work with the Toledo Mud Hens, Toledo Zoo and Toledo Museum of Art have helped those local organizations in a variety of ways. They have done work for the Mud Hens for over 10 years including the research in 2002 to determine if the move to Fifth Third Field in downtown Toledo was right for the community and its fans. They have researched what motivates people to buy season tickets.

“An organization like the Mud Hens wants to make sure the community is satisfied with how they are delivering on their brand promise,” said Dixon. “The Mud Hens deliver entertainment. They want to make sure you as Toledoans are being entertained because that is what they exist to do. It could be, ‘What was your experience?” We might ask ‘Would you come? What would you expect if you came? If you came, did you enjoy yourself?’”

GLM also conducts visitor surveys for the Toledo Museum of Art. They have staff members at every major exhibition to ask visitors about their experience.

“Evaluation of what we are doing is an important priority for our director and board,” said Kelly Fritz Garrow, the museum’s director of communications. “So surveys give us very valuable information on the types of visitors coming to different exhibitions, what their experiences are while they are at the museum and ways we can improve our service or visitor experience. It gives us the feedback that we need to improve our offerings and also our visitor experience.”

GLM recently conducted focus groups for the museum on how it could better message their initiative on visual language and visual literacy, which is the ability to derive meaning from images. The museum wanted to create a message that people understood. The museum was also looking for takeaways from the group on how they could better explain visual literacy in a relatable and understandable way. In the focus groups, participants were shown presentations to get feedback on what they thought the museum was trying to say.

“The focus groups have been amazing for us,” said Garrow. “They are so in-depth. If you are doing messaging, and you hear the same themes over and over, you realize that you need to go back and explain this better. Or, they really grasped this concept, but they are not getting that concept, so how can we better explain it. It is just really helpful to get more in-depth reaction from people on information that is being presented. It’s really helped us craft our message and our teaching in visual literacy and visual language. And that helps us better connect with them.”

Dixon really enjoys working with local companies and shining the spotlight on Toledo whenever she can.

“Toledo is a test market for so many products that are used across the globe and that is exciting,” said Dixon. “I love seeing a television commercial and saying ‘Yes! We tested that product or that slogan.’ And they came here, to Toledo, on a national campaign. They came to Toledo to test those ideas.”

Any why Toledo?

“We are truly a slice of Americana,” said Dixon. “The demographic profile of Northwest Ohio is reflective of the US population. We have tested farm products to lock sets. Whomever the intended customer, we have them in our region.”

One way you and I can get involved in research is through GLM’s Ask Toledo Consumer Panel. When GLM gets a call from a company wanting to use Toledo as a test market, they email everyone on the panel and ask some general questions. If someone from the panel fits the target market, they are invited to go to GLM’s offices and do research.

“If they come in and do a focus group it is $75 for 90 minutes,” said Dixon. “And we talk about something you care about because that is why you got invited. One that we did a couple of nights ago was on pet products for pet owners. You talk with other pet owners and we learn what you like and don’t like about certain products.”

The research can include sitting in a focus group and other kinds of product evaluations.

“For example, we might have you come in and open some cream, have you wear it for a while to see if you like how it feels. We might ask if you liked how the package dispensed the cream or whatever the client wants to learn about how consumers think about their product,” said Dixon

GLM has been doing panel research for about 15 years, utilizing a database they populated with the names of more than 20,000 families available to participate in research.

“We are always looking for more people because the more people that we have, the more test-market friendly Toledo is,” said Dixon. “If someone asks us to do a Midwest market test and we can put that together quickly, then that research comes to Toledo. It allows us to influence the products that make it into the marketplace. It is really beneficial for Toledoans to sign up.”

Toledo has been fortunate to have this internationally known organization right in its own backyard for half a century. And, with Lori Mitchell Dixon at its helm, its success should continue to rocket upward.

“It is great to have a market research firm with a nationwide reputation just a few minutes away that we can work with,” said Garrow. “It is nice to get this national and even international expertise right here in Toledo. Lori is so smart and knowledgeable and she is so easy to work with in terms of helping us on a limited budget get what we need. She is such a strong supporter of the community and places like the museum. She is just a neat person and a real asset to Toledo.”

If you are interested in learning more about Ask Toledo or would like to sign up, click here to be directed to their website.

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Putting On Her Best Face

October 29th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in From Our Alumni

By Patty Gelb

When you hear ‘Vampire Facial,” especially this time of year, you probably have visions of some sort of Halloween costume. However, the Vampire Facial is the more commonly known as PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) therapy in aesthetic medicine. This cosmetic procedure promotes collagen production – while resurfacing the skin. Platelets that are rich in collagen are transferred to treatment areas in an effort to rejuvenate the face and other parts of the body. Julia Smirnov, a two-time UT alum, was the first in Toledo to offers this cosmetic service.

refresh_logoRefresh Center for Wellness & Cosmetic Therapy, owned by Smirnov, (BA ’94, MBA ’06), has been offering specialized, boutique-style services for nearly four years.

“When I decided to do this, I looked for ways we could be unique,” said Smirnov. “I wanted to know what we could do differently, and what no one else in town was doing, in addition to providing exceptional products and services in a boutique-style, green spa.”

Vampire-1PRP therapy is certainly one of those services. You might have heard of it because Kim Kardashian had the procedure done on her reality television show. PRP is unique in that the patients’ own blood drawn and put into a centrifuge for about 10 minutes on a high speed. Through the use of patented technology, plasma that is rich in Collagen is separated from plasma that is poor in Collagen (PPP). Then, with a micro-needling device, the PRP is put back into the dermal layers of the skin by creating micro-channels.

“Through this treatment, cells receive high doses of one’s own Collagen, causing them to go into overdrive if you will,” said Smirnov. “The Micro-Pen resurfaces the skin and allows for Collagen induction. Your skin literally tightens as the procedure is happening, and downtime is minimal. The Vampire Facial and PRP treatments are excellent for scars, acne, uneven skin tones, hyper-pigmentation, aging skin, stretch marks and hair loss. It really gives your cells a huge boost of your own Collagen, which slows way down as we age. The treatment takes an hour and involves either a physician or RN, as well as an trained aesthetician”

IMG_7342Another specialized service offered through her spa is the application of Xtreme Lashes®. Individual lash extensions are adhered to each individual lash to provide additional length, volume and thickness. It took Smirnov eight months of training to get certified in this service, and something she takes very seriously. “Anyone doing lash extensions needs to have proper training, and use glues specific to this service.” Xtreme Lashes is the only medical-grade eyelash extension company in the industry. Smirnov is the only certified Xtreme Lashes stylist in the Toledo area.

It took a lot of moxie to take the step of starting her own business, but Smirnov always had an entrepreneurial spirit.

Born in Toledo, her family moved to Temperance, Mich., where she went to high school. Following high school, Smirnov attended The University of Toledo for her undergraduate degree, then moved to Houston, followed by San Francisco. She started her career in more traditional corporate environments, working for such companies as Arthur Anderson, Mazda and Envirotest.

DSC02960After returning back to Toledo in the late 90s, Smirnov landed a position with the first tele-radiology company in the U.S. in sales. Her position then turned into more of an operational position, opening medical imaging offices, both nationally and regionally. While employed with ProMedica in Corporate Regionalization, Julia decided to return to school for her MBA, after watching her boss go through a similar program, and seeing how much ProMedica supported education.

“It was one of the hardest things I have ever done,” said Smirnov. “I was one of two women in the program at the time. The whole program was tough, but it was designed to be tough. There were many days I felt like quitting, but I am not wired that way”

One area Smirnov struggled with while getting her MBA was finance. The classes were tough, and working full-time made it that much more difficult. She remembered one of her finance professors offering to help when she considered quitting. He started tutoring Smirnov once a week, telling her, “You can do this. Stop allowing this subject to intimidate you.”

“Initially it was just myself and my professor meeting on Wednesday evenings,” said Smirnov. “Then two more people showed up, then four, and by the end of our quarter, the whole class was coming. There were a lot of great professors at UT, and my finance professor was just one of them.”

IMG_7299Smirnov completed her MBA while still working at ProMedica. She really loved her position there but a new opportunity presented itself. Smirnov moved into radiology capital equipment sales in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana, until the economy collapsed and she was one of 75 who was let go.

“As someone who was raised in an entrepreneurial family, I have always been drawn to self-starters and have been an entrepreneur in one way or another since childhood,” said Smirnov. “At the same time, I appreciate the structure of a corporate entity and what it takes to run a successful business.”

She took her years in the healthcare field, which gave her experience in areas including sales, marketing, business development, supply chain management and operations, and decided to open Refresh Center for Wellness & Cosmetic Therapy.

Smirnov wrote a business plan and worked with the Toledo Area Chamber of Commerce SBA (Small Business Administration). Ironically, she ended up working with one of her former UT professors who was there at the time.

IMG_7310“We looked at my business to see if it was viable, and did a feasibility study,” said Smirnov. “When everything on paper looked good, I decided to go for it, and never looked back!”

Smirnov has always been fond of spas and beauty care products. She also enjoys researching and studying new products and procedures, and wanted to marry her passion for business and the beauty industry. The spa is located at 4026 Secor Rd.

makeup bar 2Refresh opened in December of 2011. Julia turned her vision into a reality and created a facility that is inviting and comfortable. The spa includes massage rooms, specialized treatment areas, a makeup bar and a 500 square foot studio space that is now used for yoga, fitness classes, and salsa dancing lessons.

“I designed everything,” said Smirnov. “I literally gutted the building from floor to ceiling, and would be there most days for 15 – 16 hours. I probably drove the construction crew to distraction because I kept pushing, but I had a vision and a timeline”

IMG_7316Refresh Center for Wellness & Cosmetic Therapy offers a variety of specialized massages, organic spray tanning, waxing services, Botox, dermal fillers, PRP therapy, makeup services and more. Smirnov pulled together an incredible team of experienced people to be able to provide high-quality services – many unique to the Toledo market.

One of the things that Smirnov is most proud of is being a “green” spa. All of their products and services are free of parabens, artificial dyes, fragrances, sulfate, lanolin, mineral oils, alcohol and other ingredients that can irritate and even harm the skin.

IMG_7321After three years of being a business owner, Smirnov has a new-found respect for entrepreneurs. She started out doing everything from cleaning toilets to marketing, staffing, handling the books, and providing services. Things are going well for the unique boutique spa and Smirnov hopes that it just continues to grow and thrive. She also has a location in Marblehead, Ohio.

“Owning your own business is a commitment,” said Smirnov. “It is dedication. It is not 8 5 p.m., Monday through Friday with weekends off. It is a lot of hard work, especially in the front end. But, it has been so worth it.”

To learn more about Refresh Center for Wellness & Cosmetic Surgery, click here to visit their website.

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Class Notes/Obits

October 29th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Class Notes

Please submit your class notes to:

Straub_John_300dpi *John L. Straub (Law ’69) has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015, one of the most highly-regarded referral publications in the legal profession. Straub is employed at the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP in Toledo.

**Francis K. (Joe) Holtzman (Bus ’65) retired from McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) as the director of general purchasing and providing senior consulting services for Oracle Corporation. He retired to Estes Park, Colo. but also retains a residence in Mission Viejo, Calif., where he is involved with community activities such as serving on the home owner’s association board, school board assignment and Citizens for Integrity in Government. He will now be pursuing his love of fly fishing in Colorado, Utah and Montana.

Stephen K. Haller (Law ’68) was inducted into the distinguished alumni hall of fame by Carroll High School’s alumni association, located in Dayton, Ohio. The ceremony was held on the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. Haller has had a 39-year career in the prosecutor’s office and has represented the state and county in thousands of criminal and civil cases in all courts in Greene County, Ohio. In August 2006, he was appointed Greene County prosecuting attorney. He was elected to the office in 2006, 2008 and 2012. Haller
Nelson_John_300dpi John K. Nelson (Law ’79) has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015, one of the most highly-regarded referral publications in the legal profession. Nelson is employed at the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP in Toledo.
Jack G. Fynes (Law ’79) has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015, one of the most highly-regarded referral publications in the legal profession. Fynes is employed at the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP in Toledo. Fynes_Jack_300dpi
Pletz_Thomas_300dpi **Thomas G. Pletz (Law ’71) has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015, one of the most highly-regarded referral publications in the legal profession. Pletz is employed at the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP in Toledo.
David W. Wicklund (Law ’74) has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015, one of the most highly-regarded referral publications in the legal profession. Wicklund is employed at the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP in Toledo. Wicklund_David_300dpi
Trudeau_3361_Background_CMYK **Stephanie Dutchess Trudeau (Law ’78) was selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015, one of the most highly-regarded referral publications in the legal profession. Trudeau is employed by Ulmer & Berne LLP, located in Cleveland, Ohio.

Mark McGranaghan (Eng ’77, MEng ’79) was selected by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers as its 2014 Charles Proteus Steinmetz awardee. McGranaghan is the vice president of power delivery and utilization for the Electric Power Research Institute, headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif. The Steinmetz award was established by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and is presented to an individual for exceptional contributions to the development or advancement of standards in electrical and electronics engineering.

Philip Fink (Bus ’70, MBA ’71) was named as the Larry and Kathy Ulrich Endowed Professor in Accounting by Lourdes College. Fink teaches in the College of Business at Lourdes. The endowed professorship in accounting was created to assist Lourdes in attracting and retaining accounting faculty who possess both respected academic credentials and extensive professional experience.

*Bruce Bailey (Law ’70) helped to escort two members of the Return to Normandy Association, a reunion group rooted in Southern California, to France for the 70th anniversary observance of D-Day on June 6. Bailey is CEO of the Mount Soledad Memorial Association based in La Jolla, Calif.

**Michael S. McGowan (Bus ’78, Law ’81) has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015, one of the most highly-regarded referral publications in the legal profession. McGowan is employed at the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP in Toledo. McGowan_Michael_300dpi
Hoffman07_colorJPG Marta J. Hoffman (Univ Coll ’88, Law ’92) was selected to participate in the 2014-2015 Leadership Development Program for the Hospital and Health Systems Practice Group of the American Health Lawyers Association. She works at Plunkett Cooney, located in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and is licensed to practice in Michigan and Ohio.
**Mark A. Urrutia (UTCTC ’88) has been named the 2014 recipient of the Pi Kappa Phi National Fraternity’s Regional Governor of the Year award. Urrutia has served as a volunteer of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity for nearly two decades, working with the chapter at The University of Toledo. Mark_Urrutia
Bell_Neema_300dpi Neema M. Bell (Law ’86) has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015, one of the most highly-regarded referral publications in the legal profession. Bell is employed at the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP in Toledo.
Michael G. Sanderson (Law ’81) has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015, one of the most highly-regarded referral publications in the legal profession. Sanderson is employed at the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP in Toledo. Sanderson_Michael_300dpi

Charles D. Niehaus (Law ’86) was appointed to the board of directors and First Federal Bank board of directors for First Defiance Financial Corp. Niehaus is the managing partner at the law firm Niehaus & Associates, Ltd, located in Toledo.

Simpson_Joseph_300dpi Joseph S. Simpson (Law ’88) has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015, one of the most highly-regarded referral publications in the legal profession. Simpson is employed at the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP in Toledo.
Kathryn J. Woodward (Law ’86) has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015, one of the most highly-regarded referral publications in the legal profession. Woodward is employed at the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP in Toledo. Woodward_Kathryn_300dpi

Susan C. Wajert (Bus ’86) was named as the president of Mercy College of Ohio located in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Michael Valdes (Bus ’87) has been named as the new chief financial officer for Eastern Michigan University. His primary responsibilities are to provide budget management, monitor liquidity positions, exercise executive control over university budgets and safeguard all assets of the university.

Dr. Scott A. Frederick (UTCTC ’88, Ed ’91, MEd ’95, MED ’01, RES ’04) is now an assistant professor in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences at The University of Toledo. Frederick is teaching in the internal medicine department.

Mike Mudrow (A/S ’87) has been the assistant coach for the Logan High School boy’s soccer program, in Logan, Utah. He is now the head coach for the Lady Grizzlies soccer team at Logan High School. Mudrow has been a German and English as a second language teacher there since 2003.

Doug Blackwood (UTCTC ’85) has been promoted to vice president of retail operations manager for First Federal bank in Lima, Ohio. He is now responsible for supporting First Federal’s sales and service goals.

Zimmann Dr. Angela Zimmann (Eng ’94) will serve as advancement and communications executive and will assist in the teaching of preaching to seminarians at Gettysburg Seminary, located in Gettysburg, Pa. She was previously a Jerusalem-based pastor and returned from East Jerusalem in August to begin work in the seminary.
Jenifer A. Belt (Law ’95) has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015, one of the most highly-regarded referral publications in the legal profession. Belt is employed at the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP in Toledo. Belt_Jenifer_300dpi
Rothschild_James_300dpi James I. Rothschild (Law ’93) has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015, one of the most highly-regarded referral publications in the legal profession. Rothschild is employed at the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP in Toledo.

Jon Molter (UTCTC ’91, Univ Coll ’94, MEd ’03) is now the principal of Fayette, Ohio’s Local School’s K-12 complex.

Kevin Molyet (Eng ’94, MEng ’96, PhD ’05) has been promoted from assistant to associate professor of mechanical engineering at Trine University in Angola, Ind.

Brian Greenwell (MS ’92) was appointed as the new chief information officer of Walsh University, located in North Canton, Ohio.

Tom Shafer (MEd ’92) was named as the new superintendent of The Toledo Maritime Academy. Shafer is a Navy veteran and was previously the principal of Evergreen Middle School in Toledo.

Jean Ann Bowman (Univ Coll ’96) was presented with the Award of Excellence by NASCAR. Bowman is the event operations and logistics manager at Kansas Speedway. The Award of Excellence was given to Bowman for her work at ensuring the safety and security of tens of thousands of fans and competitors at the speedway.


Joshua Crites (HHS ’05, MA ’09), is a Seattle housing authority strategic adviser and a member of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Official. He has been named one of 10 U.S. recipients of the prestigious 2014 German Chancellor Fellowship. This fellowship will give him the opportunity to spend a year in Germany exploring new solutions to the global issues of our times. His research will take place in Hannover, Germany and will focus on the German model for providing affordable housing, specifically funding models, program design and administration.

Dr. Andrew Smock (MED ’09) is a new physician at Genesis HealthCare System, located in Zanesville, Ohio. Smock specializes in urology.

Joe Ayers (A/S ’06, Ed ’06) is now the head football coach at Erie Mason High School, located in Erie, Mich. He has been a math teacher at Erie Mason since 2006.

*Garret Garcia (LLSS ’12, MLLSS’14) has been hired as the University of Notre Dame’s video coordinator for the women’s basketball program. Garcia spent four years as a student assistant with the Toledo men’s basketball team and one year working as the video board and ribbon operator for the Toledo Mud Hens and Toledo Walleye. As an undergraduate, he worked for two years as a student videographer for the UT Communications Department covering football, basketball, women’s soccer, tennis and volleyball events for the University. While in graduate school, Garcia spent two years as a graduate assistant video coordinator with the Rockets’ women’s basketball program. Garcia
*Cameron Roehm (A/S ’10, MEd ’13) was recently awarded the prestigious New Teacher of the Year Award from the Clark County School Districted located in Las Vegas, Nev.


He was nominated due to his amazing rapport with students, professionalism with all staff members, advanced technology, integrated lesson deliveries, and passion for education. While Roehm attended UT, he was an undergraduate and graduate assistant at the Student Recreation Center, where he was responsible for operations, intramural sports, sport clubs and summer camp. He currently teaches middle school science and coaches multiple sports at Cram Middle School.

LaSalle Dr. Karen La Salle (MED ’10) has joined New Beginnings Pediatrics in Norwalk, Ohio and will also join the medical staff at the Fisher-Titus Medical Center in Norwalk and the Bellevue Hospital.
John P. Dombrowski (Law ’13, MBA ’13) has joined the firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP as an associate in the Taxation Practice Group. Dombrowski works out of the Toledo office and focuses on business taxation at the local, federal and international levels. Dombrowski_John_300dpi

T.J. Fatinikun (Comm/Arts ’13) signed a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL team.

*Dr. Brooke Donaldson (MED ’11) is a new physician at Genesis HealthCare System, located in Zanesville, Ohio. Donaldson specializes in emergency medicine.

*Nava Paudel (PhD ’14) is currently a medical physics resident in the University of Arkansas for medical sciences. He presented his research carried during his graduate studies at UT at the 56th annual meeting of American Association of Physicists in Medicine in Austin, Texas in July 2014. The title of his talk was “Nanoparticle-Aided Microwave Hyperthermia is Accompanied by Free Radical Generation and Enhanced Cell Kill.”

*Giselle Thompson (MLLSS ’14) wrote a review of a book called Chronic Illness, Spirituality and Healing, and has been accepted to present a paper at the Canadian Sociological Association’s Annual Conference. She also co-authored a book chapter with Dr. Rubin Patterson, UT professor and chair of the Sociology and Anthropology Department, titled “Transnational Factors Driving U.S. Poverty and Inequality” for the Routledge Handbook of Poverty and the United States.

*Ning Xu (MLLSS ’14) reviewed a book titled Caring for Orphaned Children in China, and has been accepted into the PhD program at New School University in New York.

Births and Marriages
Reiner Matthew Reiner (A/S ’09) and Paris Malin were married at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, located in Seaview, Wash., on Saturday, June 21, 2014. They are both second-year medical residents residing in Cleveland. Paris is at University Hospitals Medical Center and Matt at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center.
Jacqueline Baumgartner (Pharm ’05) and Michael Rowan were married on August 16, 2014 at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Oak Harbor, Ohio. The couple resides in North Brandford, Conn. BaumgartnerEngagement

**Jonathan James Nichols (Bus ’07) and Kathryn Nicole Williams were married on September 6, 2014 at Harvest Baptist Church in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

Helm **Christopher Helm (Ed ’64, MEd ’67) and **Judith (Garrison) Helm (Ed ’63, MEd ’84) celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on August 15, 1964.
Emily Rush (HS ’12) and Gregory Peper wed on September 6, 2014 at Light of Christ Catholic Church in Blissfield, Mich. RushPeper
Death Notices

Faculty, staff & friends

*June Stuart, Ann Arbor, Mich. at 85.

Dr. Melvern A. Ayers, Perrysburg, Ohio at 83. He joined MCO in 1968 as an associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology. One year later, Ayers was named associate professor and acting chair of the department and held those positions until 1974, when he was appointed associate clinical professor.

Kimberly A. (Pacer) Horn, Monroe, Mich. at 48. She was a nurse at MCO/MUO/UTMC from 1991-2012.

Martin Bobowick, Toledo at 71. He taught tax law and estate planning in the College of Law.

Flora (Hugg) Benton Poad (MS ’64), Oregon, Ohio at 64. She was a library assistant and taught in the UT Library Sciences Department.


Lucille Meinle (Ed ’37), Venice, Fla. at 81.


**Patricia Vyn (Bus ’45), Highland Park, Ill. at 91.

**Dr. Robert F. Cooke (A/S ’43), Harbor Springs, Mich. at 94.

James D. Madigan (att. ’48-’50), Toledo at 84.


Robert Kreps (Eng ’54), Toledo at 82.

Jack Coyle (Eng ’52), Danville, Va. at 84.

William Rohweder (Eng ’50), at 89.


Mark Joseph Nyitray (att. ’64), Toledo.

Michael A. Warehime (att. ’64-’66), Hanover, Pa. at 73.

Mark S. Derkin (att. ’66-’69), Monclova, Ohio at 66.

Maximilian Hofmeister (A/S ’63), at 57.

Doris Fauble (Ed ’67), Maumee, Ohio at 85.

Joyce D. Pitts (UTCTC ’63, att. ’74-’75), Toledo at 70.


Jack Ferree (UTCTC ’74), Martin, Ohio at 90.

Maureen O’Malley (A/S ’79), Toledo at 84.

**Gregory Siegel (Pharm ’79, Law ’84), Perrysburg, Ohio at 62.

Ahmed Spour (MEng ’75), Herndon, Va. at 71.

**Dr. Peg Smith (A/S ’76, MA ’80, PhD ’83), Toledo at 77.

**Peggy Myers (Ed ’76), Whitehouse, Ohio at 60.

Raymond John Lawniczak (att. ’73-’74), Whitehouse, Ohio at 85.


Kristine Mullen (UTCTC ’85), Findlay, Ohio at 49.

Todd Peake (att. ’88-’90), Toledo at 44.

Norma Jean Pittman (UTCTC ’80, A/S ’85), Toledo at 58.

Robert P. ‘Bob’ Zukowiec (att. ’86-’88), Toledo at 52.


Therese Raymond (MEd ’91), Toledo at 71.

Darvoiress Johnson (Bus ’97), Whitehouse, Ohio at 41.


Howard Young (Univ Coll ‘02, Law ’07), Vancouver, Wash., at 41.

*Annual Alumni Association Member
**Lifetime Alumni Association Member

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UT in the News

October 29th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in In The News
Human Trafficking Conference at UT

UTMC Ebola Training

New Accounting Lab at UT

Engineering Career Expo 2014

Banned Books Vigil

Therapy Dog Casts Her Spell On Cancer Patients

Tricia Maassel was getting anxious as the bag of saline fluid being pumped into her arm slowly emptied. The Oregon resident knew the drugs were next.

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The Ongoing Battle Against Melanoma

Melanoma is the most aggressive of skin cancers, accounting for nearly 80 percent of the 13,000 deaths caused by different types of skin cancers in the United States each year.

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Ken Rosenthal Wears UT Bow Tie in World Series

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UT’s Cellular Program

October 29th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in UT Technology

Rocket Wireless your cellular headquarters


The University of Toledo owns and operates a cellular program for its students, staff and alumni.

Did you know that we offer similar yet unique plans, different than those that you will find at your local AT&T, Sprint or Verizon Stores? For a full listing of our current plans please visit our website To help you stay current with the every changing technology, we offer both one and two year contracts as well as unlimited data plans. Are you already with AT&T, Sprint or Verizon and want to switch, give us a call (419-530-2900) we can assist.

What’s new this Month:

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 may be featured in the near future with a metal body
  • Apple is expected to announce the newest version of the iPhone with the next few weeks
  • Be cautious when texting a person you know is driving. There is a court case in NJ, where lawyers are claiming sender of text message was electronically in vehicle which caused the physical accident.

Apps, Tips & Tricks to simplify:

Batteries: Your battery can be significantly drained by the continual scanning processes looking for 4G. If you know that you will be out of a 4G area or if you are not acquiring a 4G signal as indicated on the task bar, remember to turn your 4G radio OFF – thus saving your battery.

Lost Car Fob: Lock your keys in car, no worries. In three simple steps you can unlock your keyless entry car remotely with your smart phone.

  1. Contact the person who has the extra remote
  2. Hold your cell phone about a foot away from the driver’s side door
  3. Ask the person on line to hold the remote near the speaker of their phone and press the unlock button 3 or 4 times and wait for the car to unlock.
Proudly serving our campus community since July 3, 2002!
1570 Student Union
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