Outstanding Alumni

Established in 1988, this award recognizes NMC alumni who are noteworthy for their:

  • Significant professional achievements; and/or
  • Exemplary leadership in the local or global community

2017 Honorees

Judge Kevin ElsenheimerJudge Kevin Elsenheimer

Class of 1985

Elsenheimer is a native of Traverse City. After he earned his associate’s degree at NMC he attended Michigan State University and Wayne State University Law School. He served as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Antrim County before forming the firm of Young, Graham, Elsenheimer & Wendling, P.C., based in Bellaire.

After five years as a trustee on the Bellaire School Board, Elsenheimer was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2004. He served for six years, where he was elected Assistant Speaker Pro Tem, Assistant Minority leader, and Minority Leader. He served in Gov. Rick Snyder’s cabinet as Executive Director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA.) In 2017, Elsenheimer was appointed to the 13th Circuit Court bench serving Antrim, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties.

“What a tremendous honor. I know that I was very, very well prepared for a career I never expected, frankly, by my time at NMC, because of the preparation I had from wonderful instructors,” Elsenheimer said in remarks at Commencement. “I am truly humbled.”

Wei CaoWei Cao

Class of 2009

Since earning her degree, Wei has returned to her native China, where she lives in Beijing. There she serves as a major asset to NMC as the college has embarked on its strategic effort to expand international engagement and recruit international students over the last several years.

Currently an entrepreneur and consultant, Wei has served as a liaison with Chinese institutions on multiple NMC visits. She has been a link to Chinese art galleries for the Dennos, and to institutions like the Yellow River Conservancy Technical Institute, with whom NMC has a formal partnership and where NMC instructors will begin teaching in June. Dennos Museum Center director Gene Jenneman presented Wei with her award on a trip to China in April.

“I am greatly honored to have received this award,” she said. “I would like to thank NMC for all the guidance provided throughout these years even after graduation. I sincerely wish the best for NMC and I will keep sharing my experiences with China!”

Previous Outstanding Alumni

  • 2016: Korvyn Hansen (1985–1987), Therese Renis (Pre-engineering, 1977–1978), Michelle Witkop (Nursing class of 1977), Capt. Dean Hobbs (Great Lakes Maritime Academy, 1976 (posthumous))
  • 2015: Sally Rogers (class of 1981), Gary Seabrook, M.D. (class of 1972), Al Zelinski (class of 1983)
  • 2014: Craig LaFave (class of 2001), John Militello (class of 1990), Angela Nahikian (class of 1981)
  • 2013: Paul Britten, Peg Jonkhoff (class of 1976)
  • 2012: Kathleen McManus (class of 1974), Steven Rawlings (class of 1991), Timothy Young (class of 1982)
  • 2011: Ruth Ann LaMott (class of 1966), Glenn Wolff (class of 1973)
  • 2010: Ross Biederman (class of 1959), Susie Janis (class of 1967)
  • 2009: Verna Bartnick (1960s), Bruce Byl (class of 1979), Tim Dunn (class of 1992)
  • 2008: Todd McMillen (class of 1985)
  • 2007: John Robert Williams (class of 1976)
  • 2006: James DeLapa (class of 1956)
  • 2005: Larry Inman (class of 1974)
  • 2004: Jean M. Rokos (class of 1975)
  • 2003: Jason Allen (class of 1983)
  • 2002: Maurie Dennis (class of 1965)
  • 2001: Student Government Association Presidents
  • 2000: John Pelizzari (class of 1975)
  • 1999: Walter J. Hooper (class of 1968)
  • 1998: James Clancy (class of 1955)
  • 1997: Richard Benedict (class of 1984)
  • 1996: Lloyd V. Hackley (class of 1964)
  • 1993: John & Gloria Lyon (class of 1979)
  • 1991: Alexander Galligan (class of 1953)
  • 1990: David & Sally Viskochil (class of 1964)
  • 1989: Morris Thomas (class of 1964)
  • 1988: Charles Kesner (class of 1959)
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