Outstanding Alumni Award Recipients

Outstanding Alumni Award Recipients - Each year the Wright State University Alumni Association coordinates the Outstanding Alumni Awards, allowing each college or school at the university to recognize former students who have gone on to make exceptional contributions to their professional fields while giving back to their communities. 

William H. Pohlman

’76 B.S.B. Accountancy

William H. Pohlman majored in accountancy at Wright State University, graduating in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science in Business.

After graduation, Pohlman joined the accountancy department of the local wealth management firm, CH Dean. Recognizing an unmet need in the firm’s business focus, he left Dean to begin his own accounting firm at a time of great economic uncertainty. He convinced Doug Talmage to come along with him, and five years later, recruited Vicki Prenger as well. Both are Wright State graduates.

Pohlman is a partner in the firm of Pohlman & Talmage CPAs, Inc. He has 35 years of experience working with the medical and professional community in the areas of accounting, tax, financial planning, and retirement plan administration. He attained his CPA certificate in 1979, and became a Certified Financial Planner and a member of the College of Financial Planning in 1989.

Pohlman has mentored, advised, and guided numerous Wright State students through his involvement with the Department of Accountancy in the Raj Soin College of Business. During Pohlman & Talmage’s 20 years in business, they have hired 18 interns and seven graduates from Wright State.

Pohlman & Talmage supports a scholarship awarded each year to two accountancy students and one financial services student. In addition, Pohlman has personally endowed a scholarship to support accounting students.

Pohlman is a member of the American Institute of CPAs (with the designation of Personal Financial Specialist) and the Ohio Society of CPAs. He has served as chair of the Board of Trustees of the Montgomery County Unit of the American Cancer Society and is currently chair of the Wright State University Foundation Board of Trustees.

Alan E. Wolters

’88 A.A. Business Administration, ’90 B.S.B. Accountancy

Alan E. Wolters graduated from Wright State University–Lake Campus in 1988, with an associate degree in business administration. In December 1990, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from Wright State, graduating summa cum laude.

In 2000, Wolters became a partner at Moorman, Harting & Co. in Celina, Ohio. That same year, he obtained his securities and insurance license to become a financial advisor. Wolters helped Moorman, Harting & Co. establish Moorman, Harting Financial Services. Both companies have grown considerably in size and staff. Moorman, Harting & Co. has hired Wright State graduates to fill approximately 75 percent of their staffing needs over the last 10 years.

Active in his local community, Wolters served as the township fiscal officer of Marion Township in Mercer County for 12 years. He is a past parish council president of his church and has served as president of the parish’s finance committee for over 15 years. As both a Sons of the Legion member and Knights of Columbus member, Wolters has volunteered his time to serve as a youth softball coach, and has even helped Santa Claus at Christmas.

Bradley A. Mayer

’76 B.S.B. Accountancy

Brad Mayer has served as vice president of finance and information technology services at Speedway SuperAmerica LLC since January 2001. He graduated from Wright State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in accountancy in 1976 and received his master’s in business administration degree from Miami University in 1977.

Mayer was employed with Marathon Oil Company from 1977 through 2000, holding various managerial positions within the company’s Finance & Accounting organization, Exploration & Production organization (including two international assignments in Cork, Ireland, and London, England), and the Refining, Marketing & Transportation organization. He also served as treasurer from August 1998 through April 2000.

Mayer served two terms on the Board of Trustees of the United Way of Clark, Champaign, and Madison Counties, Inc., from July 2004 through June 2010. Additionally, he was on the United Way Executive Committee and chairman of the Finance Committee. Currently, he serves on the Community Hospital Health Services Foundation Investment Committee.

Mayer values higher education and the importance of partnering with Wright State’s Raj Soin College of Business. From student recruitment and classroom speaking engagements, to the implementation of a Marketing Emerging Leaders Program, he believes in the value of education from Wright State University, and its role in providing leadership and support to the Dayton region and beyond. His role with Speedway has enabled him to convey the importance of scholarships for Raj Soin College of Business students, and he has been influential in establishing scholarship support.

Mayer has two sons, two step-daughters, and seven grandchildren.

Richard P. Davis

’78 M.S., ’78 M.B.A.

Dick Davis is a two-time graduate of Wright State University. In 1978, he earned both a Master of Science degree in social and applied economics and an M.B.A. in finance from the Raj Soin College of Business.

Since graduation, Davis has gone on to achieve outstanding professional accomplishments in the world of finance and money management. He is the founder and former president of Flagship Financial Inc. Flagship, a company that started in 1970 as the money management division of the Mead Corporation, quickly grew in stature and reputation, ultimately managing over $4.4 billion in assets in 31 mutual funds for over 100,000 investors. In 1992, Flagship received the Newcomen Society Award, and in 1993 was honored as “Entrepreneur of the Year” in the Miami Valley Area.

In addition to his business acumen, Davis has been a champion for education, the arts, and health and human services in the Miami Valley. He has served on several not-for-profit boards and committees throughout the community, and has made significant contributions to several of those organizations along the way—including providing a leadership gift for the completion of our own MTC Trading Center (now renamed the Soin Trading Center) in the Raj Soin College of Business. Thanks to his support, our trading room was named one of the top 10 trading rooms in the country in 2008 by BusinessWeek.

Davis exemplifies the spirit of giving and community that Wright State University was built upon, and that we instill in our students each day.

Thomas M. Duncan

’81 B.S.B.

Thomas Duncan currently serves as chief financial officer of Premier Health Partners, a position he has held since October 2007. In addition, he serves as chief financial officer of MedAmerica Health Systems.

Duncan joined the organization in 1985 as director of finance for MedAmerica Health Systems. He has since held various positions within the organization, including vice president and CFO of Fidelity Health Care, president and CEO of Fidelity Health Care, vice president and CFO of Samaritan Health Partners, and most recently, vice president and CFO of Miami Valley Hospital and MedAmerica Health Systems.

As a member of the executive team of Premier Health Partners—a $1.7 billion organization—Duncan serves as a highly respected leader for the second largest employer in the region. As a native of Dayton, he has tremendous pride in his community and his alma mater.

Duncan has served on the local boards of CompuNet Clinical Laboratories, Fidelity Health Care, Vanguard Imaging Partners, Far Hills Surgery Center, Maria Joseph Center, Premier Health Partners International Insurance Ltd., as well as serving as past chair of the Dayton-Montgomery County Scholarship Program.

Duncan is a licensed CPA (inactive). Prior to joining Premier, Duncan served as a senior accountant at Ernst & Whinney in Dayton.

Albert E. Asebrook

’84 B.S.B. Accountancy

Albert E. Asebrook, ’84 B.S.B., a partner in the assurance and advisory services practice of Deloitte & Touche, is the College Outstanding Alumni Award winner from the Raj Soin College of Business.

Asebrook graduated magna cum laude with a B.S.B. in accountancy from Wright State University in 1984. Upon graduation he went to work with the public accounting firm Touche Ross, which later became the present-day Deloitte & Touche with whom Albert has worked for 25 years.

Throughout his career, Asebrook has never forgotten Wright State. He has personally led many recruiting efforts to hire Wright State accounting students and has provided valuable counsel to many alumni once they joined the firm. His involvement with Wright State is not just limited to recruiting, however. Over the years, Asebrook has regularly either maintained or established relationships with accounting faculty to provide them with useful input on how Wright State can enable its accounting students to excel upon graduation. Asebrook’s counsel has also included serving on the Raj Soin College of Business Dean’s Advisory Board.

Diane L. Pleiman

’97 MBA

Diane L. Pleiman, ’97 MBA, vice president of hospital operations for Miami Valley Hospital, is the College Outstanding Alumni Award winner from the School of Graduate Studies.

Pleiman joined Miami Valley Hospital in 1999. She is currently responsible for the Shaw Emergency Trauma Center, CareFlight Air and Mobile services, Level I trauma program, medical imaging services, laboratory, outpatient clinics, and the neuroscience and oncology product lines.

She was previously director of Miami Valley Hospital’s nursing financial operations, patient placement, and staffing. In this role, she helped develop an interactive model to predict nursing staff demand, nurse recruitment, and retention strategies. She also directed the design and implementation of new patient flow standards to increase the availability of patient rooms and speed the transfer of patients from the hospital’s emergency trauma center to inpatient rooms. Prior to this role, she was business manager of nursing and business manager of the emergency and trauma center.

Pleiman began her career as a nuclear medicine technologist at Wilson Memorial Hospital in Sidney before moving to Upper Valley Medical Center in Troy.

In addition to her MBA from Wright State, Pleiman has a B.A. in nuclear medicine technology from the University of Findlay. Her professional presentations and articles include analyses of emergency department management and patient turnover. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at Wright State, where she taught finance for the nursing administrator.

Pleiman’s community involvement has included: serving on the boards of New Choices, Inc., the Covenant Society, and the Epilepsy Foundation of Western Ohio; volunteering with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra; and being a member of the United Way Young Leader’s Circle.

Pleiman was a recipient of the Dayton Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 awards in 2008.

Christina S. Howard

B.A. ’74, M.S. ’80

Christina S. Howard, B.A. ’74, M.S. ’80, vice president of entrepreneurial development for the Dayton Development Coalition, is the Outstanding Alumni Award winner from the Raj Soin College of Business. She is currently focused on the implementation of the Dayton region’s newest entrepreneurial effort, the $22.5 million Entrepreneurial Signature Program, which supports emerging technology companies through grants, equity investments, and entrepreneurial assistance programs. Howard also manages the Miami Valley Venture Funds and the Dayton Investment Network.

Howard has served as a staff economist in the Office of Management and Budget in Dayton, and as assistant director of the City-Wide Development Corporation. She served as vice president of Society Bank from 1982 to 1991, and president and chief executive officer of Concord-Renn Company, a tool and machining company located in Cincinnati, Ohio, from 1991 to 2001.

In addition to her work for the Dayton Development Coalition, Howard serves on the Business Advisory Board of the Wright State Raj Soin College of Business.

Jamie King

'80 B.S.B. Accountancy

Jamie King is CEO of Crowe Manufacturing Services. In 1988, King tapped into her life savings, took out a second mortgage, and borrowed $1 million to buy Crowe Manufacturing Services, a contract manufacturer that also makes valves and linkage assemblies. Under King’s leadership, the company expanded its service, tripled the number of employees, and earned numerous quality awards.

King and her company have been recognized with the Entrepreneur of the Year award; Dayton Small Business of the Year; the Ohio Governor’s Award for Women’s Excellence in Enterprise; and the Toastmaster’s Club Award for Communications Excellence. She has been on the boards of the Dayton Development Coalition, the Ohio Manufacturer’s Association, Key Bank for the Southern Ohio District, and the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

Named one of Dayton’s Ten Top Women in 2002, King is currently a member of the Wright State University Board of Trustees. She has mentored students through the Student-Alumni Connections program in the Raj Soin College of Business for several years. She is on the executive committee and finance committee for the Dayton Foundation, and is a director and chair of the audit committee for Friedman’s Jewelry in Savannah, Georgia.

“We get to be who we are because of the people around us. At Wright State, many contributed to my success. The strong accounting program and faculty at Wright State provided a foundation from which I’ve been able to grow.”

Donna J. Back

'78 MBA Management

Donna J. Back is the recently retired director of financial management and comptroller, Aeronautical Systems Center, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Back was responsible for the multi billion-dollar financial management of weapon systems acquisition and sustainment programs, including B-1, B-2, C-17, F-22, F-15, F-16, and numerous subsystems. She supervised over 700 people at Wright-Patterson and Brooks Air Force Bases. Back's awards include the Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Award and being named the Outstanding Financial Director in the Aeronautical Systems Center.

In her community, Back has served on the Beavercreek School District Advisory Council and Strategic Planning Committee. In addition, she has served in leadership positions for the American Society of Military Comptrollers, the Air Force Executive Enhancement Advisory Group, the Wright-Patterson Heritage Benefit Board, and Culture Works. Back also serves on the Raj Soin College of Business Corporate Advisory Board at Wright State University.

Future plans: After a 33-year Air Force career, concentrate on work-life balance.

Favorite quote: "Count success by not how high you climb, but by how many you take along." Will Rose

Best advice: Find a coach or mentor.

Gregory G. Lockhart

'73 B.S.B.

Gregory G. Lockhart is the United States attorney for the Southern District of Ohio. Appointed by President Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2001, Lockhart primarily works with the prevention and prosecution of terrorist activities, violent crime, drug trafficking, public corruption, and white collar fraud. Prior to his United States attorney appointment, Lockhart was an assistant U.S. attorney and was responsible for the civil defense of lawsuits brought against the United States and its employees. His professional awards include Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Drug Law Enforcement from the Drug Enforcement Administration and Recognition for Trial Success from U.S. Customs. Lockhart has served as president of the Federal Bar Association of Dayton and the Greene County Young Republicans Club. Lockhart is currently a member of the Raj Soin College of Business Curriculum Review Advisory Committee.

Favorite Wright State memory: Participating in Model UN and playing cards in the Student Union.

Guiding motto: Do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason.

Favorite book: Brave New World.

Brian G. Cooper

'81 B.S.B. Accountancy; '86 MBA Finance

As executive vice president of Cox Newspapers, Inc., Cooper manages 17 daily and 26 non-daily newspapers with a total circulation of 1.2 million each weekday and more than 1.6 million on Sundays.

Cooper began his preparations for the deadline-driven, fast-speed world of breaking news as an undergraduate at Wright State. While juggling a full load of classes and a part-time job, Cooper learned “the need to balance things in your life.” As an MBA student, it was “all about teamwork and being able to work with others who were just as busy as I was. It teaches you a good life lesson.”

Cooper is the youngest of four children, all of whom graduated from Wright State. He and his siblings all commuted to campus while working their way through school. Even though he now works at Cox headquarters in Atlanta, Cooper maintains an active interest in his alma mater by serving on the Wright State University Foundation, Inc. Board of Trustees. “I am pleased to see how things have progressed over the years,” said Cooper.

Brian G. Cooper is chief operating officer of Cox Ohio Publishing, Inc., and general manager of the Dayton Daily News. Cox Ohio Publishing publishes the Dayton Daily News, the Springfield News-Sun, The Middletown Journal, the Journal News (Hamilton), five weekly newspapers, and various Web sites in the Dayton/Miami Valley and Southwest Ohio Previously, Cooper served as senior vice president of Cox Newspapers, Inc., a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, Inc., in Atlanta. Cooper was responsible for overseeing Cox's nine community newspapers, the newspapers' financial operations, as well as the company's interest in Cox CustomMedia and PAGAS Mailing Services. Cooper also served as a representative on the boards of Trader Publishing Company and Agora Holdings, corporate parent of Poland's largest daily newspaper.

Active in civic organizations, Cooper has been a board member for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta and the Center for the Visually Impaired Foundation. He is currently treasurer of Inspired Practices in Early Education, Inc., a nonprofit organization working to improve the quality of early care and education in Georgia.

Favorite Wright State memory: My undergraduate time spent working off-campus and going to school. I enjoyed taking some time off in the afternoons and working in a game or two of racquetball in the Physical Education complex.

What I Do for R&R: I'm not very good at rest and relaxation. I always seem to be in motion.

Favorite Quote: Having just returned to Dayton, I've been thinking about one of Yogi Berra's statements: "It's deja vu all over again."

David S. Gutridge

'69 B.S.B. Accountancy; '71 MBA Accountancy

David S. Gutridge is CEO of MTC Technologies, Inc. (MTCT), a $200 million provider of engineering and information technology services to the Department of Defense and various intelligence agencies.

Before joining MTCT, Gutridge spent 10 years at Dayco Corporation (later renamed Day International) that culminated in his serving as president and chief operating officer. After the company was sold to M.A. Hanna in 1987, he served as president and COO for the bulk of the combined company. After joining MTCT, Gutridge assumed responsibility for all manufacturing operations including directing the start-up of a new technology plastics business, and the financing, acquisition, and disposition activities for the seven businesses affiliated with the company. In June 2002, MTCT became a public company after only 79 days, a virtually unheard of feat. Barron's listed the initial public offering as one of the top 10 IPOs of 2002.

Gutridge was founding chair of the Premier Health Partners Board of Trustees and has chaired the boards of Good Samaritan Hospital, the Wright State University Foundation, and the advisory board for the Raj Soin College of Business.

Favorite Wright State Memory: Helping to establish the first student government.

Future Plans and Goals: My immediate plans and goals are centered around making MTC Technologies a great investment for our shareholders. Longer-term goals are centered around retirement and enjoying our grandchildren.

Best Advice: Always have a back-up plan.

Ron Marshall

'76 B.S.B. Accountancy

Ron Marshall was appointed President, Chief Executive Officer and named a Director of the Borders Group, Inc. in January 2009. He brings more than three decades of financial and retail experience to Borders Group, as well as a successful track record of leading company turnarounds.

Immediately prior to coming to Borders Group, Ron was Principal of Wildridge Capital Management, a private equity firm he founded in 2006. From 1998 to 2006, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Nash Finch Company, a $5 billion food distribution and retailing organization. Ron led a successful turnaround of Nash Finch, quadrupling earnings over a six-year period and improving EBITDA by more than 40% over the same period, among other key accomplishments there. Prior to Nash Finch, Ron was with Pathmark Stores, Inc. for four years, where he was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and again drove a turnaround of this $4 billion regional supermarket chain. Preceding that, Ron served in senior management positions in a variety of retail companies including Dart Group Corporation's Crown Books division and Barnes & Noble's college bookstore subsidiary.

Ron is a certified public accountant and earned a bachelor's degree in accountancy at Wright State University in 1976. He serves on the board of directors of the National Book Foundation and Claire's Stores, Inc.

Favorite Wright State Memory: "The faculty members who were role models and prepared me for the internship program. I did so well that I was hired right after graduation."

Best Advice: "Always treat people with integrity, honesty, and sincerity. Across the long term, building credibility with people is the way to be successful."

Last Book Read: John Maynard Keynes: Fighting for Freedom, 1937-1946, by Robert Skidelsky

Richard M. Wegmann

'82 MBA Finance

Richard M. Wegmann is chairman and CEO of BusinessLabs, a provider of leading-edge e-Commerce and enterprise business management solutions to mid-sized companies in the manufacturing, distribution, and service industries.

As a division of Digital Concepts, Inc., BusinessLabs has implemented numerous design and development projects for commercial enterprises. The company provides expertise in the implementation of workgroup technologies, particularly solutions based on Lotus, Microsoft, and IBM products and systems.

Wegmann continues to serve Wright State as a member of the Wright State University Foundation Board of Trustees. He is a lifetime member of the Wright State University Alumni Association and has assisted with the Corporate Appeal in various capacities. Wegmann has also provided guidance and input on the undergraduate and graduate programs of the Raj Soin College of Business.

Wegmann serves on the boards of several community organizations, including the Dayton Ballet, the Engineering and Science Foundation, the Rotary Club of Dayton, and the Electronics Equipment Manufacturer's Group. He is also a member of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, where he received a meritorious Service Award in 1994.

Favorite Wright State Memory: "Receiving the 1999 Wright State University Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award."

Favorite Quote: "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries." Winston Churchill

Future Plans: "To continue to balance family, work, social, and volunteer activities."'

Donald P. Laden

'91 B.S.B. Marketing

Donald P. Laden is the owner of Upnorth Investments LLC, a private equity company. Upnorth focuses on investing in small businesses in the pet industry, where Laden has had a varied and successful career. Laden's career began at age 19 when he joined the first sales team at Iams Pet Foods. He eventually became regional manager, then marketing manager in charge of national sales promotions, and was later promoted to marketing manager, New Product Marketing. After graduating from Wright State, Laden became president of Complete Petmart, a chain of local pet supply superstores. After the company was sold, Laden started Petovations, which aimed at creating new and different products for the pet industry. Laden later acquired Pet Warehouse, a small catalog and Internet marketer of pet supplies.

Favorite Wright State memory: "... graduation...having remembered standing in the courtyard area in 1987 when I first reentered college and thinking 'this is going to be a long haul' and then walking up to receive my diploma! It's a powerful memory!"

Future plans or goals: "I am continuing down an entrepreneurial path and looking to invest in or acquire small businesses. I hope to some day get my master's in Business Administration and maybe become a teacher!"

Best advice I ever received: "...[from] my Dad... work hard, treat people with respect and good things will happen!"

How I relax: "... ride motorcycles and play golf (not at the same time though!)."

Favorite quote: "I'm a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it."--Thomas Jefferson

Raymond L. Umstead, Jr.

'75 B.S.B. Accountancy

Raymond Umstead graduated from Wright State with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy in 1975 and received his Juris Doctorate degree from the University Of Cincinnati College of Law in 1978.

Umstead has served in various positions in WellPoint companies, including General Counsel for the Associated Group (a consolidation of Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky) and General Counsel for Community Mutual Insurance Company (the Blue Cross Blue Shield Plan in Ohio).

Umstead is currently Senior Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Litigation for WellPoint, Inc., one of the nation’s largest health benefit companies with nearly 33 million members in its affiliated health plans and approximately 64 million individuals served through its subsidiaries. He manages all litigation for the WellPoint enterprise and also serves as the company’s Deputy General Counsel. The WellPoint Legal Department has been recognized by Corporate Counsel magazine as one of the best corporate legal departments in the country. Umstead has been featured in legal publications including Indiana Lawyer and Corporate Counsel and has often spoken to law firms about enhancing the partnership between in-house and outside counsel.

Umstead is an active Wright State alumnus. He highly values the education he received from Wright State and his partnership with the Raj Soin College of Business where he has served as a member of the Advisory Board for the past eight years. Umstead credits his decision to go to law school to Wright State professor Dr. William McGrath, Esq., who served as a trusted advisor and mentor while at the university.

Umstead is married with two adult children. He and his wife reside in Indianapolis.