Distinguished Women’s Gala Welcomes Friends from Near and Far

(L-R) Martha Tiller, Patti Webster Hamilton, Laurie Cunnington, Tammy Darvish, President Keith Pretty, Catherine Rodewald, Lynn Stinson and Donna Niester

Northwood University recently honored the contributions of seven nationally known women at its 45th Annual Distinguished Women Awards Gala held at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa on Saturday, November 8th, 2014.

With the black tie affair officially welcoming the group to the class of 2014, the honorees which include five Northwood alumnae, were provided the opportunity to share their stories as the crowd of approximately 350 guests looked on.

While celebrating business leadership and community service, the event provided the occasion to bring Northwood University to the attention of those who share its dedication to the principles of higher education. The event was preceded by a private reception hosted by 2010 Distinguished Woman Petra Levin at The Mar-a-lago Club in Palm Beach, a student forum held at Northwood University Florida, and a Flower Breakfast with President Keith Pretty and Distinguished Women alumnae at Eau Resort and Spa.

The 2014 Distinguished Women are:

  • Laurie Cunnington, Birmingham, MI and Delray Beach, FL
  • Tamara Darvish, Potomac, MD
  • Patti Webster Hamilton, Tequesta, FL
  • Donna Niester, Fort Gratiot, MI
  • Catherine Rodewald, Frisco, TX
  • Lynn Heinzerling Stinson, Bloomfield Hills, MI
  • Martha Tiller, Dallas, TX

Established in 1970 by the Northwood University Board of Trustees under the inspiration of founders Dr. Arthur E. Turner and Dr. R. Gary Stauffer, the Northwood University Distinguished Women Awards were created to recognize the enormous contributions women make to communities, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and public and private sector services world-wide. The awards are presented annually and never in absentia. Each Distinguished Woman receives a medal that was originally designed by the late sculptor, Giulio Tamassy.


About Northwood University

Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at a full-service, residential campus located in mid-Michigan. Adult Degree Programs are available in multiple states and online. The DeVos Graduate School offers accelerated, evening and weekend programming in Michigan and Texas. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise provides system-wide expertise in family enterprise, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and new business development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in China (Changchun and Wuxi), Malaysia and Sri Lanka.