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Models of Creative Leadership: The 34th Class of Outstanding Business Leaders

“Conscious businesses,” contend John Mackey and Raj Sisodi, “can help evolve our world in such a way that billions of people can flourish, leading lives infused with passion, purpose, love and creativity—a world of freedom, harmony, prosperity, and compassion.”

From our founding in 1959 through today, Northwood University has taught and promoted the principles of “conscious capitalism” as outlined by our current Omniquest authors. Since 1981, we’ve gone a step further by annually recognizing those business leaders who epitomize these same principles with our Outstanding Business Leader (OBL) Awards.

To date, over 300 women and men have been recognized for their exemplary efforts and creative leadership in the business world.  This weekend, we’ll pay tribute to our 34th OBL Class in a celebration in Palm Beach, Florida.  This year’s Class is composed of:

  • Lisa Copeland: Managing Partner, Fiat of Austin, Austin, TX
  • Richard DeVos, Jr. (’81): President, The Windquest Group/ Retired President, Alticor, Grand Rapids, MI
  • J Ferron: Chairman Emeritus, Northwood University Board of Trustees - Director, Crain Communications Inc./Automotive News - Bloomfield Hills, MI
  • Richard J. Garber (’78): President, Garber Management Group, Saginaw, MI
  • David H. Gilmour: Founder, FIJI Water/The Wakaya Club and Spa, Palm Beach, FL
  • Jonathan Hage: President & CEO, Charter Schools USA, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Daniel R. Langdon: President, East Penn Manufacturing, Lyon Station, PA
  • Thomas F. O’Hare: President & CEO (retired), WorldPAC, Newark, CA

While each of our 2014 OBLs is chosen in part because of their individual achievements, they are also being honored for their mutual commitment to the following Northwood values:

  • Support for the philosophy of private enterprise
  • Business achievement
  • Economic innovation
  • Support of the integration of business and the arts
  • Contributions to education
  • Community involvement
  • Spiritual leadership
  • Philanthropic engagement

This award and the Gala festivities represent a very special time for our honorees, but they are also an exceptional opportunity for every member of the Northwood community. By celebrating our OBLS, and spreading the word about this year’s Class, we take another important step in sharing all the unique values and benefits we have to offer here at Northwood University.

Have a great weekend.


Keith A. Pretty, J.D. President and CEO Northwood University 4000 Whiting Drive Midland, MI 48640 989.837.4203

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