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Recognizing Outstanding Alumni

Established in 1988, recipients are chosen for significant professional achievements and/or exemplary leadership in the local or global community. Honorees are selected in the spring and traditionally, one or more honorees speaks at Commencement,

Three alumni were named the 2019 winners of Northwestern Michigan College’s Outstanding Alumni award at commencement ceremonies May 4. Applications for the 2020 Outstanding Alumni award will be sought in January.

2019 Honorees

Terry Beia, 1983

Terry earned an Associate Degree in Petroleum Engineering Technology and went on to earn a Bachelor's Degree from Ferris State University. With his operations based in Traverse City, he enjoyed a long career in the oil and gas industry and more recently, has been active in the Renewable Energy business throughout Michigan.

In 1998 he made his first real estate investment in downtown Traverse City. In the two decades since the investment, he’s been an active booster and backer of downtown; purchasing and improving several other downtown buildings. The Downtown Traverse City Association chose Terry to receive the 2018 Lyle DeYoung Award presented to the Community member that made a significant contribution to the vitality of downtown Traverse City. He was an original board member of Traverse City State Bank and now serves on the Independent Bank board of directors. He served for 8 years as Vice-Chair of the Downtown Development Authority. He also sits on the advisory boards of Inphastos Manufacturing and North Bay Capital which focuses on providing affordable housing.

Frank Dituri, 1979

Frank studied Parks and Recreation Management and Biology at NMC, graduating in 1979. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degrees in Geography and Planning from Western Michigan University, and River Restoration Science from Portland State University.

Since then he has led a comprehensive career, working both in private consulting, engineering and public service with the New York City Parks Engineering Department, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, and the City of Traverse City, where he currently serves as the Director of Public Services. A major project and passion that he has been serving as the Chairman of the Boardman River Dams Implementation Team, tasked with the restoration of our Boardman River.

Frank’s passion for rivers and community and family has built bridges and productive relationships between dozens of tribal, federal, state and local units of government, educational institutions and even international bodies. He is a team player with an exemplary work ethic that traces back to his days at NMC.

Dr. Marie Socha, 1983

Marie completed a pre-med course of study at NMC, and after earning both a master’s and PhD., went on to a career in public health as an epidemiologist. Her work has spanned agencies from the Centers for Disease Control to the Department of Homeland Security. Since 2008, Dr. Socha's role has been as a lead public health and preparedness consultant for the DHS Integrated Consortium of Laboratory Networks. The Consortium is a system of federal public health laboratory networks capable of an integrated and coordinated response to acts of terrorism and other major public health incidents, which maximizes limited laboratory resources.

Previous Outstanding Alumni

2018: Ed Reynolds (73–78), Dr. Robert Tanis (58–59), Trevor Tkach (95–97)

2017: Judge Kevin Elsenheimer (NMC '85), Wei Cao (NMC ‘09)

2016: Korvyn Hansen (85–87), Therese Renis (Pre-engineering, 77–78), Michelle Witkop (Nursing, NMC '77), Capt. Dean Hobbs, awarded posthumously (Great Lakes Maritime Academy, 76)

2015: Sally Rogers (NMC '81), Gary Seabrook, M.D. (NMC '72), Al Zelinski (NMC '83)

2014: Craig LaFave (NMC ‘01), John Militello (NMC '90), Angela Nahikian (NMC '81)

2013: Paul Britten, Peg Jonkhoff (NMC '76)

2012: Kathleen McManus (NMC '74), Steven Rawlings (NMC '91), Timothy Young (NMC '82)

2011: Ruth Ann LaMott (NMC '66), Glenn Wolff (NMC '73)

2010: Ross Biederman (NMC '59), Susie Janis (NMC '67)

2009: Verna Bartnick (1960's), Bruce Byl (NMC '79), Tim Dunn (NMC '92)

2008: Todd McMillen (NMC '85)

2007: John Robert Williams (NMC '76)

2006: James DeLapa (NMC '56)

2005: Larry Inman (NMC '74)

2004: Jean M. Rokos (NMC '75)

2003: Jason Allen (NMC '83)

2002: Maurie Dennis (NMC '65)

2001: Student Government Association Presidents

2000: John Pelizzari (NMC '75)

1999: Walter J. Hooper (NMC '68)

1998: James Clancy (NMC '55)

1997: Richard Benedict (NMC '84)

1996: Lloyd V. Hackley (NMC '64)

1993: John & Gloria Lyon (NMC '79)

1991: Alexander Galligan (NMC '53)

1990: David & Sally Viskochil (NMC '64)

1989: Morris Thomas (NMC '64)

1988: Charles Kesner (NMC '59)