Northwood Honors Fisher Family with Community Service Award

Northwood University has awarded Midland community members J.W. and Yvonne Fisher the 2018 Robert and Patricia Neagele Distinguished Community Service Award. The award is given in recognition of efforts that enhance the mission of Northwood University.

“Northwood is proud to bestow this honor which its namesakes, the Naegele’s, inspired,” said Keith Pretty, Northwood president and CEO. “The Fisher family has supported our university in numerous ways, and through their time, talents and financial contributions, our students have benefitted.”

Fisher Companies, founded in 1925, was founded by Ralph and Zelda Fisher and grown by their sons Arthur (Bill) and Ralph. J.W. and his wife Yvonne, are among the third generation of Fisher’s in the business, which provided much of the road and sewer infrastructure to Northwood’s campus. The company was instrumental in numerous projects on the campus including the Gerstacker Athletic Complex, Hantz football stadium and track facility, and tennis courts.

The award was bestowed at the university’s Opening Convocation on Wednesday, August 29 in the Hach Student Life Center. The Convocation is a university-wide event which invites students, staff, faculty and alumni to join together in a ceremony that introduces the new academic year. In addition to the Naegele Distinguished Community Service Award, the ceremony featured a keynote from Cox Automotive Executive Vice President and vAuto founder, Dale Pollak.

Pollak has two decades of experience as a dealer, technology entrepreneur and best-selling author. He has helped over 10,000 automotive dealers in North America make dramatic improvements in their new and used vehicle operations.

Dale Pollak, Cox Automotive.

Pollak pioneered the Velocity Method of Management™. It maximizes a dealer’s profitability through the use of new and used vehicle market-metrics. Pollak crafted this approach during his years as a Cadillac dealer in Chicago in light of his unique circumstances of not being able to physically observe his used vehicle inventory due to blindness. His investment and market based approach served as the foundation for vAuto, Inc., the company that he founded in 2005. In late 2010, AutoTrader.com acquired vAuto, with both companies now operating as a part of the Cox Automotive family. Pollak continues to guide strategic product development/integration for vAuto and other Cox Automotive companies.


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.