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Area executives help GVSU business students

Posted on November 11, 2009

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A group of area business executives are stepping in to help Grand Valley State University's Seidman College of Business fill the gap left when the State of Michigan canceled the Michigan Promise Scholarship and cut the Michigan Competitive Scholarship awards in half.

The 33 executives are members of the Seidman College of Business' Dean's Advisory Board. They have asked Seidman Dean H. James Williams to divert part of their annual dues to a fund that will help make up the difference for some of Grand Valley's neediest students.

Williams said the fund, which totals some $10,000, will be used to provide awards to business students who had been awarded both scholarships. "We want to focus on the students who lost both, because that suggests that they were especially hard-hit by this terrible cut," Williams said.

The Dean's Advisory Board is comprised of executives from prominent companies who provide counsel to the Seidman College of Business and help make sure the college's offerings are responsive to the needs of area firms. "Many businesses — both locally and nationwide — rely on Seidman College of Business ' highly skilled graduates," board chair Mark Olesnavage said. "The board decided we needed to step forward and help ensure that students get the support they need in these challenging times."

Members of the board are: Dwane Baumgardner of Donnelly Corp. (retired); Jeffery T. Bennett of Otterbase Technical Services; Carole Bos of Bos & Glazier, P.L.C.; John H. Bultema III of Fifth Third Bank West Michigan; John Canepa of Crowe Horwath LLP; Edward Clark of American Seating Co.; Brian Cloyd of Steelcase, Inc.; Joseph A. Davio of Comerica Bank; John DeMaria of Quoin Inc.; Harvey Gainey of Gainey Corp.; Robert Grooters of R.G. Companies; Doyle Hayes of Pyper Products Corp.; Thomas W. Hiller of BDO Seidman, LLP; Kevin Holloway of Monsanto Co.; David Hoogendoorn of Ernst & Young, LLP; J.C. Huizenga of Westwater Group; Dawn S. Johnson of Spartan Distributors; Dorothy Johnson of Ahlberg Co.; Fred P. Keller of Cascade Engineering; Robert L. (Buzz) Kersman of Lorin Industries (retired); Mark Olesnavage of Hopen Life Sciences; Jon E. Pike of Beene Garter LLP; David Reglin of Independent Bank West Michigan; Sharron Reynolds of Huntington Bank (retired); Mary Ellen Rodgers of Deloitte and Touche, LLP; John G. Russell of Consumers Energy, Nancy Skinner of Varnum Consulting; Stephen VanAndel of Alticor, Inc.; James V. Walsh of Meijer, Inc. (retired), Curt E. Wells of Huntington National Bank, Michael G. Wooldridge of Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt, & Howlett, LLP.

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