Northwood recognizes seven Outstanding Business Leaders in 2017

MIDLAND, Mich. – Northwood University will recognize the accomplishments of seven American business professionals at its 2017 Outstanding Business Leaders Awards gala. The awardees are selected for their contributions to education, community involvement, personal and professional success, and dedication to Northwood’s philosophy.

“For 37 years, Northwood University has honored business leaders for their contributions to our nation and to the world,” said Keith Pretty, Northwood University President and CEO. “Honoring these business leaders for their accomplishments in business and in their communities inspires our students to seek their own ways to shape the world.”

The 2017 Northwood University Outstanding Business Leader Award recipients include:

  • Hank Graff, President, Graff Automotive Group;
  • Mary Ann Van Lokeren, Former Chairman & CEO, Krey Distributing Company;
  • Bernie Marcus, Co-Founder, The Home Depot and Job Creators Network;
  • Thomas J. Moran, CEO & Founder, Moran Iron Works and Industrial Arts Institute;
  • Lon Morey, Former Owner & Chairman, Morbark Industries;
  • Lt. Col. (Ret.) Allen B. West, Executive Director and Vice Chair of the Board of the National Center for Policy Analysis, and Former Congressman, Florida’s 22nd Congressional District; and
  • Carol A. Williams, Former Executive Vice President, Manufacturing & Engineering, The Dow Chemical Company.

Recipients exemplify success in business, community and in their personal lives, and are recognized at an awards gala on Saturday, March 4 at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. Proceeds from the annual awards gala contribute to the Outstanding Business Leaders Endowed Scholarship Fund, which provides assistance to students with financial need and academic merit at Northwood University.

For ticket information, to make a donation in honor of an awardee, or for more details about Northwood’s Outstanding Business Leader Awards, visit

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.