Sales isn’t about selling

February 24th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in From Our Alumni

Alumni, students succeed in sales field through UT’s highly ranked Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales

By Laurie B. Davis

Stepahnie Elkins-ProAm

Stepahnie Elkins-ProAm

Stephanie Elkins never thought she’d be in professional sales when she took her first classes in the field. She had no sales experience, and her vision of sales was that of the stereotypical used car salesman who wants to sell you a lemon as he hounds you in the parking lot. “It’s the guy nobody wants to talk to,” she says.

It wasn’t until Deirdre Jones, Director of the Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales (ESSPS) at The University of Toledo, convinced Elkins to compete in the Internal Sales Competition that Elkins learned what professional selling involves and how it might be her career calling. The image of the used car salesman vanished when she took first place in the junior division of the competition in March 2015. She then continued to collect top sales honors in a Pi Sigma Epsilon Pro-Am Sellathon in November 2015 and a Pi Sigma Epsilon National Pro-Am competition held in March 2016, in which she also was named Top Salesperson of the Day.

Elkins, a Columbus native and a current professional sales student, is one of 200-plus students enrolled in the professional sales program. It offers shared learning experiences, networking and recruitment opportunities, and an open and professional exchange of ideas about industry issues.

Joining Elkins in a class of first-place winners in competitions that took place during the 2016 academic year are Ale Vera and Lexi Jarrett, who placed first in the Graduate Division of the National Collegiate Sales Competition, and Jacob Pawelszyk, who placed first in the Quicken Loans Sales Competition.

“ESSPS is consistently recognized as one of the top sales schools in the country, which is why it is able to attract major sponsors such as 3M, Goodyear, Owens Corning, Quicken Loans and Proctor & Gamble for its annual University of Toledo Invitational Sales Competition,” says Dr. Gary Insch, Dean, UT College of Business and Innovation. “ESSPS’s outstanding educational program has earned the school and its faculty a fantastic reputation among companies who actively recruit our students, resulting in a virtual 100 percent job placement rate for our sales students. The continued success of ESSPS is a perfect example of COBI’s overall mission, which is developing lifelong leaders for the world of business.”

UT sales students learn how to navigate complex sales by building trustworthy relationships with clients and customers. “Students in the program are taught how to be the customer’s consultant and to teach the customer about the value added,” says Jones. “Sales isn’t about selling; it’s about teaching someone how to buy.”

Challenges get personal

Brittany (Meighan) Johnson, (Bus ‘08, Honors ‘08)

Brittany (Meighan) Johnson, (Bus ‘08, Honors ‘08)

Brittany (Meighan) Johnson (Bus ‘08, Honors ‘08), who has worked in sales for the construction tools and equipment manufacturer, Hilti, for four and a half years, wanted a career in which she could use her outgoing personality to meet and talk with different people and help their businesses grow. “Sales is about relationships and asking the right questions. In any career, you’ll have to sell something, an idea, a proposal, and you need to have a clear picture of what that is,” says Johnson.

The Westerville, Ohio, resident says taking the Myers Briggs Personality Test in one of her classes was pivotal in directing her to the sales profession. “The personality test made me understand my thoughts, it really changed my perspective about myself.” She learned she also possesses a knack for details, a skill that complements her ability to easily converse. Those traits meshed well in her role at Hilti, the company that recruited Johnson.

Jones and other faculty members encouraged Johnson, just as they encourage all students, to challenge herself to acquire the sales acumen needed to succeed. The national UT Invitational Sales Competition, which is the only contest in the nation specifically designed for non-seniors, is the prime opportunity to assess one’s abilities and to network with companies for internships and post-graduation careers. One component of the competitions is role-playing, also incorporated into courses. Organized as an exercise in reality—a sales scenario plucked from a real-life situation with a customer and a seller gets played out and recorded for review, feedback and judging. In the mix of negotiation, the seller must focus and evoke their conceptual selling skills.

Jordan Gannon

Alumnus Jordan Gannon (Bus ‘14) role-playing

“Role plays were great, but stressful; that’s the business world,” says Johnson. “You’re always going to be unprepared for things that you weren’t expecting.” But, she adds, “The value of learning sales skills is that you can sell yourself or convince your team about an opinion you hold. They’re applicable skills.”

Johnson likes to return to the Schmidt Professional School of Sales to judge competitions or to recruit and hire new “highly qualified, well-trained” students. “What separates UT sales students apart from their counterparts is their understanding of quality work,” says Johnson. “We expect Toledo to be producing high-caliber students. I’m not sure my colleagues who didn’t attend UT feel the same pride in their universities, as me and my colleagues who did go to Toledo. We really appreciate the quality of the curriculum.” She also expects the best results from her talent search. “I just know that I’m going to find someone good, the right recruit at Toledo.”

Sharpening the rough edges

Mike Steel, (Bus ‘05)

Mike Steel (Bus ‘05)

Mike Steel (Bus ‘05), executive director of global commercial payment-U.S. large markets for American Express, had two genuine aspirations when he first enrolled at The University of Toledo. He wanted to play football for the Rockets and he hoped to one day live on the East Coast. As the first member of his family to attend college, Steel, a native of Cincinnati, arrived on campus with no family or friend connections in Northwest Ohio. When his hopes to walk on the football team didn’t materialize, he channeled his energies into his studies, he says.

“When I went to the University of Toledo, I didn’t know what my major was going to be,” says Steel, who also earned his MBA in 2011 at Howard University. “At the time I was in school, Toledo was one of the only schools offering the major in professional sales. I took an intro class with Deirdre Jones, so I just stumbled upon it.

“I always had sales ability when I was younger, without really being conscious of it. In high school, I used to cut hair to make money. My brother did it and so I did it, too.” He describes those early sales skills as “rough and natural,” but through his tenacity and supportive faculty members, Steel sharpened his ability to sell. “The University of Toledo helped craft and build that in me,” he says. “They used clear philosophies, and professor Jones was vitally instrumental. She made it tangible. We learned how to do probing, where you learn to better understand the client. When we applied for scholarships we had to do interviews, and you had to sell yourself, and be confident.”

Steel describes Jones as “a catalyst,” for recognizing his academic gifts and pointing out specific selling tactics he used in role playing as on target. He says the sales program positively influenced his career path, which took him to New York and now to Philadelphia. His six-year tenure at American Express also took him abroad as an International Marketing Manager. For Steel, the rewards of graduating from UT’s sales program are life-changing. “The opportunity to work globally, doing business in another country,” has been very beneficial, he says, and the roster of companies that recruit UT students comprises an impressive group. “They helped me define what I wanted, and to go after it and get it.”

He advises anyone interested in professional sales to study the successes of the top sellers they admire. “Look at the top sales people and what got them there. What skill set they have. Those are the skills you’re going to be able to hone at Toledo.”

Get out of your comfort zone

Alumnus Jordan Gannon, (Bus ‘14)

Alumnus Jordan Gannon (Bus ‘14)

Alumnus Jordan Gannon (Bus ‘14), agrees that opening oneself up to global opportunities, whether to study abroad or work internationally, is one way to experience the unknown and the uncommon, which can give someone a professional advantage. “You want to be doing something that sets you apart. It’s very important to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

Gannon also considers broadening one’s networks while in school a worthwhile time commitment. “In any career, networking is the most important thing.” He says those opportunities were abundant at UT where he participated in sales contests, career fairs, and networked with alumni in formal and informal settings. He also recommends the Alpha Kappa Psi fraternity, an organization on campus within the College of Business and Innovation. “It’s the largest co-ed fraternity in the country.”

If Gannon had to sell the Schmidt Professional Sales Program to an undergraduate who was interested, yet undecided, he says he would emphasize a few personal perks of being in sales. “If you’re outgoing and like to be in charge, be your own boss,” as cliché as that may sound, he adds, “setting your own schedule is great.” He adds that today’s technology allows you to work remotely, using all things mobile, which provides a sense of freedom and excitement. Gannon also notes that many company CEOs began their careers in sales.

Although his parents didn’t have the chance to enroll in the Schmidt Professional Sales Program at The University of Toledo, they both are UT graduates, and they work in sales. His younger brother, Justin, is now an accounting student at UT. Gannon says Toledo has the best school for professional sales, and for him it was a natural fit. A professional sales and marketing double major, Gannon – based in Louisville – is now a territory representative for 3M, covering Kentucky, Indiana, and southeast Ohio. He says he liked UT’s specialized focus on sales, which differs from traditional sales courses that often are built into a marketing degree.

He will return to campus from Feb. 23 to 25 to judge a competition. The reality-based environment of the contests and internships are first-rate, he says. “There’s a whole elaborate plan, pushing your creativity to do whatever you can to make a good impression,” on the judges.

“Very few colleges have as much prestige as the University of Toledo. It’s one of twelve degrees with a professional sales major offered in the country,” he adds “They give you the tools you need, and it’s up to you to use them.”

Navigating the professional sales landscape

Patrick Witter and Stephanie Elkins

Patrick Witter and Stephanie Elkins

Two current sales students, Patrick Witter and Patrick Shaughnessy, are sharpening their skills as they engage in internships and sales competitions.

Witter spent last summer prospecting for potential new sales in the business-to-business company LiftMaster, which manufactures garage door openers and security gates. He worked out of Elmhurst, Ill., assisting an outside account manager whose territory covered Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. “It was kind of exciting and kind of overwhelming,” Witter admits. But, his ability to develop 220 new sales leads that could bring as much as $1.1 million in profits resulted in a successful pipeline of prospective customers.

Witter enjoyed the territory management course he took in the Schmidt School of Professional Sales, and praises the faculty for sharing not only their academic expertise but also the real-life examples that back up those lessons. Witter also has reaped the benefits of Prof. Michael Mallin’s class, to which Mallin invites alumni who share the steps they’ve taken in their careers.

Part of what attracted Witter to UT’s sales program was knowing he had excellent chances of finding a great job after graduation. “I knew about the College of Business and Innovation’s ability to get students placements,” he says, and that reputation plays out in the placement ratings the Schmidt School of Professional Sales has reached.

For Shaughnessy, an internship with Crown Equipment, began with a serendipitous encounter at the University of Toledo Invitational Sales Competition last year. Shaughnessy was one of the alternate contestants who receive coaching from faculty and company representatives participating in the competition.

Shaughnessy was looking out for a fellow classmate who was set to compete one morning. He knew his friend hadn’t eaten yet, and Shaughnessy didn’t want him competing on an empty stomach. So, he bought him a breakfast sandwich and delivered it. When he jumped on the elevator upon his return, he ran into Chris Schwartz from Crown Equipment, one of the recruiters at the event. Schwartz was looking for the coaching room for the alternates where Shaughnessy was headed. The two talked, and Shaughnessy had the opportunity to give his personal “elevator pitch,” so to speak. “He explained the culture and the camaraderie,” of Crown, says Shaughnessy, and those appealed to him.

The result of that chance meeting was an internship, after Schwartz referred Shaughnessy to a manager in Cleveland. At Crown, which manufactures forklifts and lift trucks, Shaughnessy sat in on sales calls being placed by company staff. He says that out of a dozen or so other interns, he won an internal company competition, in which interns earned points for specific activities, including outside calls.

Shaughnessy says his UT training shows students how to handle objections, and to use a line of questioning that gets into the psychology behind it. “The big takeaway has been learning SPIN selling,” says Shaughnessy. A mnemonic device, SPIN stands for “Situation,” “Problem,” “Implication,” and “Needs payoff,” a method that helps guide sellers through parts of the customer dialogue and decision-making process. The last piece of the method, “needs payoff,” refers to how the seller is aiding the buyer. “You’re selling solutions and not just making another sale,” says Shaughnessy.

Anticipated outcomes

ESSPS Students

ESSPS Students

The one-on-one transactional sales of the used car salesman are not the focus of the Schmidt School of Professional Sales curriculum. Jones and other faculty members teach students how to sell in the business-to-business world of sales. Depending on the product, service or industry, selling begins at the distributor level.

Tenneco, a company that recruits UT students and manufactures Original Equipment and Aftermarket parts for automobiles, produces ride control shocks and struts. “Tenneco market specialists interact with all three levels of parts distribution and sales,” says Jones. “From the warehouse distribution, to the jobber, like an O’Reilly’s, and to the installer, such as a Goodyear. Sixty percent of vehicles go to the graveyard with their Original Equipment ride control,” she says. When the Tenneco market specialist interacts with the installers, “they are teaching shops about safety that they can pass along to the customer by educating them that replacing these parts can resolve safety issues, and they’re a cost-saving measure.” The anticipated outcome is that everyone benefits: revenues are increased, better inventory is developed, and the customer experience improves.

Elkins, who earned top honors in the sales competitions, will be focusing on serving her customers as an employee of Owens Corning, once she graduates in May. When she began school at UT as a freshman, she got to move into her dorm early. That week she took advantage of a tour of Owens Corning, developing a knowledge base and an affinity for the company. Starting school with 15 completed credits also is allowing her to graduate early, and she will move to Dallas to work as a member of Owens Corning’s insides sales support team.

“I always had known I wanted to move out of Toledo,” says Elkins, but moving to Dallas on her own is a big step. “One thing Deirdre (Jones) is really good about is plugging us into an alumni network.” With Jones’ help, Elkins already has connected with UT alumni and residents in Dallas Becca Reidy and Louis Szilagyi, who graduated from the sales program in 2014.

Elkins’ early misconception about the sales profession has faded and her future looks very promising. “My experience has been pretty special,” she says. “The fact that I could accept a job offer before I graduate is amazing.”

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With two UT degrees, Cressman Bronson was banking on future success

February 24th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in From Our Alumni

PNC Arts Alive Press Conference at the PBC Cultural Council May 2, 2016 photos by CAPEHART

PNC Arts Alive Press Conference at the PBC Cultural Council May 2, 2016 photos by CAPEHART

By Laurie B. Davis

For Cressman Bronson, perseverance has become somewhat of a personal mantra. He learned of its importance as a student-athlete and incorporated it into his career trajectory after earning an accounting degree in 1989, and a marketing degree in 1993, both from the University of Toledo.

Bronson, who now is regional president for the Florida East market for PNC Bank in West Palm Beach, Fla., also is a former UT Rocket. A walk-on athlete for baseball and track, Bronson says, “Athletics teaches you hard work, perseverance, resiliency, and a sense of pride.” Those lessons helped him work his way through college and have remained with him throughout his life. “I’m very proud of my education and the degrees I earned at the University of Toledo.”

One of his most memorable experiences at UT happened on the school’s running track. “That’s where I met my wife, Nicole. She was a baton twirler for the marching band, and they would be practicing on the field when I would be running sprints.” The two began dating, then married and now have three children. Cressman and the former Nicole Woodruff have been together for 27 years.

Perseverance became a strong influence in Bronson’s life when he discovered how tough it is to break into the industry of professional sports and had to pursue another career avenue. His dreams of playing professional baseball were not unlike so many other young men with a good pitching arm or a vision of hitting a home run with the bases loaded. After college, Bronson played baseball with a semi-professional team in Orlando, Fla., but the competition to break into the professional leagues was formidable. He left baseball behind and began working in his father-in-law’s construction business in Akron, Ohio. As he gained more experience in entrepreneurial pursuits within the construction industry, Bronson wanted to leverage his accounting and marketing degrees and break out on his own merits to get into the banking industry.

Cressman-NicoleHe took a chance on calling a top executive at Key Bank, Yank Heisler, who had gone to high school with Bronson’s mother-in-law. He says he asked to speak with Heisler, and then was asked if Heisler was expecting his call. He answered, “no,” but that his mother-in-law, Connie Hart, said to say hello to him. Heisler’s assistant then put Bronson’s call through. “I asked him, ‘How do you get into the banking business?’” Heisler advised getting more sales experience, which Bronson then acquired through some work in investments and sales work with Metlife.

That experience and his degrees in accounting and marketing solidified his determination to become a banker. In college, he says, “Accounting was my focus. I liked the balance that it gave me. I liked its structure and symmetry,” says Bronson. He also was fond of the former UT professor of psychology, Ace Lane. “Lane would bring real-life perspectives to his teaching and speak to students in layman’s terms.” For Bronson, it provided a non-business aspect to his learning. “That resonated with me,” he says. “It was about knowing that the psychology of human behavior was going to be critical no matter what you did in life.”

As he continued building his corporate banking portfolio, Bronson was mindful of the value- added proposition, he says. His own business values “came from an entrepreneurial spirit, and a high regard for small business ownership. I wanted to be a source of information and guidance,” says Bronson. Between his wife’s family and his own, five different businesses had been built, from manufacturing to printing, a business his grandfather ran for 35 years, to construction and insurance. Being able to help other businesses succeed and grow through sound financial management was the goal.

Cressman-Nicloe1In 1995, perseverance paid off. Bronson joined Key Bank’s corporate banking program in Cleveland and worked there until 1999. He then moved to National City in Akron, Ohio. In 2007, Bronson moved to West Palm Beach, Fla., with National City, where he became regional manager. In 2009, PNC Bank acquired National City. At that time, Bronson was advising companies across the state that had revenues in the range of $10- $50-million. He also was establishing a Commercial Bank group in four different markets that included Tampa, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. “You embrace change when you know you’re going to be better off,” says Bronson, who welcomed the acquisition.

In 2014, Bronson succeeded Craig Grant as regional president for the Florida East market. In that role, he continues his work in commercial banking, overseeing the areas of wealth management, and corporate and retail banking. Bronson ensures teamwork among his staff members in all business units to meet the needs of local employees, customers and communities as well as PNC’s shareholders.

Bronson serves on the boards of the United Way of the Palm Beaches, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, the Economic Council of Palm Beach County, and is a member of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County and the Association for Corporate Growth. He also heads some of PNC’s philanthropy, chairing the bank’s Florida East foundation, which focuses its charitable giving on early childhood education and community development through the arts. “It’s our responsibility to support these causes, and there’s a joy in being part of your community,” Bronson says.

Step up for StudentsPNC supports early childhood education through its Grow Up Great initiative and partners with Step Up for Students, a tax-deductible donation program that is funding the education of 329 low-income students in either a public or private school of their choice. PNC staff members can form teams and participate in a challenge grant program, in which they can build up 100 Grow Up Great service hours to earn a $3,000 grant to donate to the educational initiative.

“We also support the Arts Alive! West Palm Beach organization and STEAM programs that teach kids science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. Through the arts, we engage those who are under-invited to events such as plays, concerts and exhibitions,” says Bronson, offering opportunities to people who typically are not exposed to the arts.

As a leader in the community, Bronson can now pass on the lessons of perseverance, hard work and resiliency to his own children and those he meets through PNC’s philanthropic endeavors.

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Your Alma Mater by President Sharon Gaber

February 24th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Your Alma Mater

Black History Month helps students find purpose

06262015-7905On Saturday, Feb. 4, The University of Toledo kicked off its annual celebration of Black History Month to an auditorium packed full of UT students, faculty and community members in the Thompson Student Union. The keynote speaker, Dr. Angela Davis – scholar, author and Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz – reminded participants to advocate for others through community involvement.

The primary goal of higher education, and certainly here at UT, is student success. We achieve that through outstanding faculty; nationally recognized research; the on-campus experience in our residence halls and Greek life; myriad student clubs; internships and co-ops; mentorships by leaders, including UT alumni; community service; and lectures by well-known national figures who offer varying perspectives.

More so than when most of us were undergraduates, today’s increasing out-of-classroom activities provide students with hands-on experience that complements coursework and often not only expands their world view, but also motivates them to find their true passion. Do you remember when you found yours?

That sudden “spark” that ignites the fire in your belly is well worth any amount of time spent attending a Saturday luncheon to listen to a lecture; working late at the office; weekend volunteering; or heeding wisdom from a coach, teacher or spiritual leader. It’s your passion that drives a successful career … and helps to ensure lifelong, personal happiness.

Encouraging students to discover their purpose is a profound privilege! That’s why during February, UT annually hosts an array of Black History Month activities to provide students additional ways to raise their awareness of others and of issues they can help to address.

Sincere thanks to UT alumni whose continued support – through attendance at UT events, Foundation donations, co-op offerings, scholarships and other gifts of time, talent and personal resources – further prepare our students to find their purpose and make a real difference. Go Rockets!

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UT in the News

February 24th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in In The News
New campus master plan approved

The University of Toledo is in line for a $275 million overhaul.

The board of trustees on Monday approved a master plan that outlines main-campus renovations and building projects to take place over the next decade.

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Michael Harders named new VP of Advancement

The University of Toledo announced Tuesday a new cabinet-level hire in charge of fund-raising and marketing..

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Hospital leader named UTMC CEO

Dan Barbee has been named chief executive officer of The University of Toledo Medical Center after serving in the role on an interim basis since June 1, 2016.

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UT joins national study of crime data

Criminal justice researchers at the University of Toledo will join a national network studying misdemeanor crimes from arrest to conviction.

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UT students protest immigration ban

University of Toledo students on Monday joined a national wave of protest against President Trump’s ban on immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries.

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University leaders reassure international students amid travel ban

Local university presidents for both Bowling Green and Toledo reached out to their students Monday regarding President Trump’s travel ban. Each wanted to assure their campus communities of their support for international students and faculty.

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7 countries, 7 stories

Commencement ceremony to return to Glass Bowl

The University of Toledo will again celebrate graduation day inside the Glass Bowl this spring in one campus-wide commencement ceremony to recognize all students.

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Dr. Angela Davis speaks at UT to kickoff Black History Month

Climate change impact on plants

After wives suffer stroke, husbands adapt to caregiving role

Being thrust into the role of caring for a spouse or partner who’s had a stroke can be terribly unsettling. But in a small study, men reported more successes than problems in their first year of caregiving.

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Boxing group helps Parkinson’s patients

Women’s golf coach spreads awareness of heart disease

UT associate professor of social work helps establish Hope and Recovery Pets program

When West Toledo resident Robert Samberg loses track of what’s real and what’s not, it’s Kitty that brings him back.

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Engineers week at UT

Engineering students Ian Betz, left, of Whitehouse, and James Smith, right, of Van Wert, with the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers, weight the pins for tire bowling in Nitschke Hall during the first event of 2017 Toledo Area Engineers Week at the College of Engineering at The University of Toledo.

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Algae research paper among most highly cited

Feed my Starving Children event

UT grad’s southern roots deep

Cotton sent Birdel Jackson to Toledo.

Specifically: The acres of Arkansas cotton grown on land purchased after the Civil War by his freed great-great grandfather and passed on to descendants.

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Dogs visit campus for Valentine’s Day

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Class Notes

February 24th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Class Notes

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George-PalovichGeorge Palovich (Ed ’60) has spent the past 25 years in Arizona and has worked at West Valley Art Museum on the west side of Phoenix Valley. His time with the museum, on a volunteer basis and as an employee, spans nearly 20 of those years. Even with the museum losing its building, he was able to continue volunteering for two years when the City of Peoria allowed the collection to be stored and even provided gallery space. Palovich retired from the museum to work on his art, creating several series of paintings and ceramics. In 2015, he was asked to return to the museum to help make changes, update the website, and create new programs. The summer show “Dress and Design in Latin America,” is the largest he has attempted as curator in the city hall space. The exhibit contains many works from the museum collection, but also from two collector friends, Dr. Vicki Berger and Dr. Rebecca Akins, who travel extensively throughout Central and South America. Over the years, the museum brought in many national touring exhibits like “Art and the Animal” and the “National Watercolor Traveling Exhibit.”  West Valley Art Museum also provides support for local artists and artist groups by exhibiting their works. The gallery has held concerts, lectures, classes, and even housed a professional theater for a couple of years.

**Mary Pat (Carroll) Balthaser (Ed ’61, Med ’78) and Don Balthaser (former human resource director at UT for 22 years) have a UT license plate reading WE 4 UT. Mary Pat and Don are large Rockets’ supporters and have had ties to the University for more than 50 years.

Balthaser1 Balthaser2

Robert J. Bahret (Law ’79) has joined The Expert Network, an invitation-only service for distinguished professionals. Bahret has been chosen as a distinguished lawyer based on peer reviews and ratings, dozens of recognitions, and accomplishments achieved throughout his career. He is the founder and managing partner of Bahret & Associates Co., L.P.A., located in Holland, Ohio.

**Dennis Parish (Ed ’72, Law ’81) was reappointed to the Wood County, Ohio Park District Board of Commissioners for a three-year term. Parish is currently an adjunct professor at UT in the College of Law.

Jack G. Fynes (Law ’77) was selected for inclusion in 2017 Ohio Super Lawyers, an annual listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Fynes is employed in the Toledo law office of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP. Fynes

Dr. Daniel C. MillsDr. Daniel C. Mills (RES ’88) is the new president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. “Even now, 28 years into my career as a plastic surgeon, the primary skill I developed under the tutelage of the phenomenal professors while at UT was research,” Dr. Mills said. “It’s a skill I still utilize today on a daily basis, even when it comes to seemingly mundane activities like assessing which surgical tools to employ in my operating room. Research is critical. Having the ability to thoroughly examine, assess, and raise questions about any situation, from a patient’s health to their potential as a surgical candidate, or new technical, new procedures, and new tools, is truly the most essential skill for success. Ultimately, all of my research from the mundane to the scientific and clinical lead to the most important outcome of all, patient safety.”

Spiros Cocoves (Law ’85) was recognized by the Maumee Valley Criminal Defense Lawyers Association with the inaugural Liberty and Justice Award for his contributions, accomplishments, and lasting impact on liberty and justice within the criminal defense profession.

Janis E. Susalla Foley (Law ’86) was selected for inclusion in 2017 Ohio Super Lawyers, an annual listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Foley is employed in the Toledo law office of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP. Foley

John Elchert (Ed ’80) is the new publisher of The Daily Telegram in Adrian, Mich. Elchert has 34 years of experience in the news industry, most recently as publisher of the Mankato, Minn. Free Press.

Murtiff Brad Murtiff (Bus ’87) is now the president and CEO of First Federal Community Bank in Bucyrus, Ohio. Murtiff is also president of the Bucyrus City Schools Board of Education and has also coached at various levels of Bucyrus High School for baseball, basketball, and football.

Diane Scaife (NRS ’85) joined the staff at Gastroenterology Associates, P.A., in Hickory, N.C. as a licensed adult certified nurse practitioner. Scaife began her career as a registered nurse at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo, working in critical care, then later served there as a certified nurse practitioner for trauma patients.

Neema M. Bell (Law ’86) was selected for inclusion in 2017 Ohio Super Lawyers, an annual listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Bell is employed in the Toledo law office of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP. Bell

Denise M. Hasbrook (A/S ’81, Law ’84) was elected as partner-in-charge of Toledo and partner, Labor & Employment Practice Group of Roetzel, a full-service law firm that provides comprehensive legal services of national and international corporations, closely held and family-run businesses, institutions, organizations, and individuals.


Cheree L. Thomas (UTCTC ’97, Univ Coll ’05, MLLSS ’15) has been hired to fill the leadership post of the Douglass Community Association as their new executive director. She will oversee a staff of 12 as they work to provide behavioral health, educational, and recreation programming for youngsters, adults, and families in the Northside community of Kalamazoo, Mich.

Pagnard Jason Pagnard (Eng ’99) was announced as an owner of Burgess & Niple, a firm located in Phoenix, Ariz., that has lead the development of infrastructure in rural and urban regions. Pagnard is a founding member of the Phoenix Sonoran Section of the American Society of Highway Engineers and is active in the American Council of Engineering Companies.
Jacqueline Simon Federico (A/S ’02) is using her health experiences to start a non-profit to give back to sick children in the hospital. Federico started Joyful Smiles Thru Faith in 2015 as a way to bring joy to many children in the NW Ohio area. The mission is to provide Kare packages filled with activities to sick children in Toledo Children’s Hospital. Learn more here. Federico

Dr. Andrew Assenmacher (MED ’09) joined the staff at ProMedica as an orthopedic surgeon. He is accepting new patients at his office, ProMedica Physicians Orthopedic Surgery, located in Toledo.

Shope_Rebecca Rebecca E. Shope (Law ’08) was selected as a 2017 Ohio Rising Star by Super Lawyers. To be eligible for this distinction, a candidate must be either age 40 or under, or in practice for 10 years or less. Shope is employed in the Toledo law office of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP.

Nick Hammond (Law ’09, MBA ’09) is the new manager of business process and risk management at GEM Energy, of the Rudolph Libbe Group. Hammond will manage contracts and business process development, in addition to providing support for GEM Energy’s solar project management team. GEM Energy, located in Walbridge, Ohio, provides comprehensive services and technologies to improve customer business performance and reduce operating costs.

Sharetta Smith (A/S ’08) was appointed as the City of Lima’s new chief of staff. Smith will handle administrative duties for the Ohio city as well as steering projects as needed. web1_sharettaretouch_7432

Melissa Emery (MA ’06) joined Lake Michigan College, located in Benton Harbor, Mich., as the accreditation director. Emery will be overseeing matters relating to Higher Learning Commission guidelines, policies, and practices.

Budzynski Cheri A. Budzynski (Law ’07) was selected as a 2017 Ohio Rising Star by Super Lawyers. To be eligible for this distinction, a candidate must be either age 40 or under, or in practice for 10 years or less. Budzynski is employed in the Toledo law office of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP.

Jason Steele (Bus ’12) was promoted to construction manager for the Bowling Green Model Center of Wayne Homes, an Ohio-based custom home builder that specializes in on-your-lot homes. Steele began working at Wayne Homes in 2012 as a field manager for the Bowling Green office.

Patrick Richardson (Bus ’15) was added to the marketing staff of Kripke Enterprises Inc., a nonferrous metal brokerage based in Toledo.

Dr. Andrew Wassef (RES ’12) has been named the new medical director of MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center at Long Beach Memorial, located in Long Beach, Calif. Wassef is board-certified and fellowship trained in joint replacement. He specializes in hip and knee replacements, robotic-assisted replacement surgery and complex joint reconstruction, including revisions of failed total joints.

Eric Benington (MBA ’11) was selected as a member of the Perrysburg, Ohio, school board. Benington is the chief financial officer of Rudolph Libbe Company Inc. and was chosen unanimously to fill the vacant seat. He has also been treasurer for Citizens of Perrysburg Schools and Perrysburg Orchestra Boosters, and also served on the district’s Strategic Facilities Committee. He teaches annual Junior Achievement curriculum at Fort Meigs elementary, among other volunteer activities.

Sarah Souvanarath (Bus ’13) was promoted to customer service specialist at Kent Elastomer Product Inc., located in Kent, Ohio, an EPA award-winning U.S. manufacturer and distributor of elastomer and latex tubing for the medical, dental, food, sports and leisure, and other industries. Souvanarath began working for Kent Elastomer Products in 2014, where she was responsible for tracking and logging daily production, managing efficiency, and assuring high FDA standards, as well as assembling components into medical products. placeholder

Kay-Lynne Schaller (MEd ’14) was honored by the Ohio Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences with the 2016 Teacher of the Year Award. Schaller, Penta instructor of Family and Consumer Science at Anthony Wayne Junior High, was recognized for providing outstanding career and technical education programs for youth. She has worked for Penta as a satellite instructor since 2007.

Births and Marriages
beck Valarie Christine Beck (Ed ’11) and Lucas David Johnson were married on June 18 at The Chapel in Sandusky, Ohio. Valarie is employed as a developmental specialist with the Huron County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Early Childhood Services. Lucas is a conductor with Norfolk Southern Lake Division.

Katie Jo Petty (Ed ’14) and Jared James Brandewie wed on November 12 in the St. Remy Catholic Church in Russia, Ohio. Katie is employed by the Council on Rural Services as a preschool teacher and Jared is employed by Honda of America EGA as a mechanical technician.

Marissa Espen (NRS ’13) and Kevin Lowe (NRS ’13) were married on May 19 in Negril, Jamaica. Marissa works for St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in the pediatrics and obstetrics units and Kevin works in the ICU at Royal Oak Beaumont. The couple met their freshman year at UT and they now reside in Waterford, Mich. espen lowe

Jacqueline Marie Cobb (A/S ’10) and Bradley Wayne Rush exchanged vows on April 15 at Epworth United Methodist Church in Toledo. Jacqueline is employed as an administrative assistant with Vanguard in Malvern, Pa. and Bradley is a product engineer with Spitz Inc. in Chadds Ford, Pa.

placeholder Douglas Selvey (Ed ’08) and Kimberly Replogle were married on December 17 in the Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Newport, Ohio. Douglas is employed by Wapakoneta High School as assistant principal and Kimberly is a Spanish teacher and also the head varsity volleyball coach at Wapakoneta High School.
Stephanie Pavilonis (HSHS ’09) and Bryce Henchar wed on September 3 at St. Helen Church in Newbury, Ohio. Stephanie is a registered nurse for University Hospitals of Cleveland and Bryce is a senior field examiner for RG Barber Consultants in Beachwood, Ohio. placeholder
Death Notices

Faculty, staff & friends

Dr. John H. Coleman, Potomac Falls, Va. at 88. He was a clinical associate professor of family medicine from 1972 to 2006 and an area physician for more than 50 years.

Dr. Arnold A. Johanson, Clearwater, Fla. at 92. He joined the Department of Mathematics as an associate professor in 1962 and was promoted to professor in 1968. He retired in 1987 and was named professor emeritus. Johanson also wrote a book, “Principia Practica: The Logic of Practice” (2002).

Ralph P. Wymer, Tiffin, Ohio at 82. He was a member of the Satellites Auxiliary.

**Frederick Burgie, Toledo at 89.

**Jill Disher, Toledo at 78.


Lois Medley (Ed ’49), Thousand Oaks, Calif. at 89.

**James Rosin (Eng ’49, MBA ’76), Sylvania, Ohio at 88.

Dr. William Wetherill (Ed ’48), Palm Desert, Calif. at 96.

Jean Allman (A/S ’41), Temperance, Mich. at 97.


Beverly Serke (Pharm ’56), Sylvania, Ohio at 83.

Dorothy Neal (Ed ’55, MEd ’79), Perrysburg, Ohio at 83.

Wyatt Johnson (A/S ’54), Holland, Ohio at 88.

Robert Carson (Ed ’51, Med ’60), Sylvania, Ohio at 87.

Joanne Taylor (Pharm ’58), Midland, Mich. at 80.

Marilyn Turner (Ed ’56), Peosta, Iowa at 82.

Robert Miller (Ed ’53), Maumee, Ohio at 71.

William Haas (Bus ’50), Daytona Beach, Fla. at 89.

**Jacqueline Hainen (Ed ’57, Med ’68), Vicksburg, Mich. at 81.


Mary Miller (Ed ’68), Holland, Ohio at 70.

Thomas Jacobs (Ed ’68), Fort Lauderdale, Fla. at 73.

Wade Shinew (Med ’65), Bowling Green, Ohio at 89.

Gary Ludwig (Bus ’64), Perrysburg, Ohio at 73.

**Sharon Gilchrist (Ed ’61), Toledo at 78.

John Duffy (UTCTC ’62), Del Mar, Calif. at 75.

Norman Spindler (Ed ’64), Waterville, Ohio at 75.


Richard Nagel (Med ’72, Ed Spec ’90), Toledo at 73.

**Mary Curcio (Ed ’73, Med ’78), Toledo at 65.

Eldon Payne (UTCTC ’73), Holland, Ohio at 71.

Harvey Tucker (A/S ’77), Wayne, Ohio at 61.

Barbara Neal (UTCTC ’75, Ed ’97), Lima, Ohio at 72.

Demitre Cassis (UTCTC ’78), Port Clinton, Ohio at 78.

Jeanne Hawkins (Univ Coll ’74, MS ’77), Toledo at 94.

Robert Manion (Law ’73), Temperance, Mich. at 68.

Michael Bodnar (UTCTC ’71, Eng ’75), Chandler, Ariz. at 70.

Marcelene Butler (Ed ’72, Med ’78), Whitehouse, Ohio at 91.

Mary Ann Barkey (Univ Coll ’74), Claremont, Calif. at 81.

Marcia Fitzpatrick (UTCTC ’73), Toledo at 75.


Penny Peters (Bus ’87), Temperance, Mich. at 51.

James Bean (UTCTC ’82), Sylvania, Ohio at 63.

Aurora Sifuentez (UTCTC ’88), Toledo at 69.

James Wiener (UTCTC ’89), Toledo at 69.

Jack Mason (Med ’81), Whitehouse, Ohio at 64.


Jeri Shick (MBA ’93), Maumee, Ohio at 60.

Gregory Smith (UTCTC ’91), Perrysburg, Ohio at 54.

Cheryl Carter (UTCTC ’98), Sylvania, Ohio at 69.

Sharon Weis (A/S ’97), Cleveland, Ohio at 72.

Jay Fleischmann (Eng ’99), Holland, Ohio at 44.

Todd Wallace (Bus ’99), Rossford, Ohio at 46.

Tricia Nagel (A/S ’93), Toledo at 54.

Monica Shoviak (A/S ’98), Toledo at 49.


Capt. Quintin Kuntz (Eng ’08), Toledo at 30.

Cara Roecker (Law ’05), Marquette, Mich. at 40.

John Losey (A/S ’03, MA ’08), Toledo at 42.

Connie Koch (Ed ’00), Oregon, Ohio at 48.

*Annual Alumni Association Member
**Lifetime Alumni Association Member

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