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

2018 Honorees

Ed ReynoldsEd Reynolds


Reynolds is the president and CEO of Quantum Sails, the world’s second-largest sail maker with headquarters in Traverse City and operations internationally, including a high-tech sail manufacturing plant in Malaysia and plant, designers and engineers in Spain. Reynolds turned heads and broke into the elite sailing market in 2008 when on the starting line of the MedCup Circuit, his was the only boat without the then-dominant competitor’s sail. His team dominated the series and won the overall championship sailing under Quantum sails. The company has grown and prospered ever since, achieving double-digit growth from 2007 to 2015.

Robert TanisDr. Robert Tanis


The son of NMC’s first president, Tanis at first floundered in college. With encouragement, however, he achieved a turnaround in his second year and embarked on a career in sciences. Highlights include serving as a researcher at the University of Michigan; as Director of Biochemistry at Michigan State University; at the National Institutes of Health and at Harvard Medical School, where his 27 years with the administrative team included serving as director of Harvard’s Genetics Department. In 2015 Tanis established the President Emeritus Preston N. Tanis Scholarship, a $100,000 endowment providing scholarships for NMC students studying the sciences.

Trevor TkachTrevor Tkach


Tkach is the president and CEO of Traverse City Tourism, a position he began in 2016. Prior to that he spent a decade at the National Cherry Festival, including five years as Executive Director. During his tenure with the Cherry Festival, he earned wide respect for managing the event in a way that was respectful of local concerns while also serving the tourist population who are a lifeblood to the region. Tkach was named to the Traverse City Business News’ 40 under 40, an award recognizing the region’s most influential professionals under the age of 40, for eight consecutive years.


Thank you very much for all of the nominations for the 2019 Outstanding Alumni Award!

The recipient(s) will be officially announced at the 2019 Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 4.

Previous Outstanding Alumni

  • 2017: Judge Kevin Elsenheimer (class of 1985), Wei Cao (class of 2009)
  • 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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