Skip navigation
Return to Issue

State Stars



  • Author:
    Robert Bao
  • Published:
    Winter 2013
James Bredin, ’75, with the Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality, has been named to the White House Council on Environmental Quality.  He will tackle issues focusing on invasive species control such as stopping the invasion of Asian carp into the Great Lakes.  Previously, Bredin worked on Saginaw Bay environmental quality improvement, represented Michigan in the development of the Great Lakes Compact and served as a member of the international team of scientists that recently released the International Upper Great Lakes Water Levels Study.  Bredin is a member of the Presidents Club and Landon Legacy Society.
 
Jeff Bucek, ’81, ’87, has been named operations officer of Van Wyk Risk & Financial Management, Grand Rapids.  Bucek has experience in human resources management and organizational development, having served companies in executive-level human resources positions over the past 20 years.  He previously worked at Zelenka Nursery, LLC, Federal Mogul Camshafts, Dura Automotive and Sparton Engineered Products.  
 
Anessa Kramer, ’92, a partner in the Intellectual Property and Technology Dept. at Honigman, Miller, Schwartz, and Cohn LLP, has been elected to the Roeper School’s Board of Trustees.  Kramer is on the  boards of the Jewish Fund and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.  In addition, she has been recognized as one of Detroit’s “40 Under 40” people to watch by Crain’s Detroit Business, one of 25 “Leaders in the Law” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly and a Super Lawyer in 2010 and 2011. 
 
Harold W. Bulger, ’72, ’73, a principal in the Detroit office of Miller Canfield, has been named one of the Michigan Chronicle’s Men of Excellence for 2012.  Bulger has been a member of the State Bar of Michigan since 1981 and is also a member of the American Bar Association, Wolverine Bar Association and the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association.  In addition, he is a math tutor for the Detroit Public School system and a trustee for the Detroit Summer Finance Institute.
 
Lisa Sewell DeMoss, ’74, an associate professor at Cooley Law School, Lansing, has been named director of the Master’s of Law Program in Insurance, a partnership with Olivet College.  Previously, DeMoss was senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate compliance officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Detroit.  She serves on the Board of Visitors of the Oakland University School of Nursing and the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Foundation where she is currently Secretary -Treasurer.   DeMoss is a member of the State Bar of Michigan.
 
Robert Dowd, ’95, assistant principal and athletic director at Troy Athens High School, was named a recipient of the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s (MHSAA) Allen W. Bush Award for 2012.  Dowd has made contributions to lacrosse for more than two decades, including as host of MHSAA Finals in five sports.  He served as president of the Michigan Scholastic Lacrosse Association from 1990-94 and as executive director from 1996-2004.  He was named the Michigan High School Lacrosse Coaches Association Man of the Year in 2006 and made the MHSLCA Hall of Fame in 2011.
 
Tricia Keith, ’09, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan vice president and corporate secretary, has been recognized by the National Management Association as the 2012 Executive of the Year.  She is the first woman in 75 years to win the organization’s top award.  Keith managed and executed the company’s two-year move of 3,000 employees into downtown Detroit from the suburbs. The move created around $30 million long-term in real estate cost savings for BCBSM.
 
Dean Fealk, ’94, partner and chair of the Global Equity Group at DLA Piper was named to the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal’s 75 “Top Labor & Employment Lawyers in California” and “Top 20 Attorneys under 40.”  He has provided counsel on more than $30 billion in cross-border deals and led over 100 international expansion and structuring projects for Fortune 500 multinationals.  He serves on several advisory groups, including one with the California Economic Strategy Panel.  
Diane G. Gardin, ’07, support services specialist for the Northern Research Station (NRS), USDA in East Lansing, was named the recipient of the 2012 NRS Multicultural Achievement Award.  Gardin also holds the position of Federal Women’s Program Manager for NRS.  She is a contributor to the Lansing State Journal’s community panel and on staff of the Michigan Bulletin, and has been published in the USDA’s Cultural Diversity Newsletter.
 
John M. Barr, ’56, attorney in private practice and Ypsilanti City Attorney since 1981, was honored at the State Bar of Michigan meeting in Grand Rapids with the Frank J. Kelley Distinguished Public Service Award.  The award acknowledges those that serve in public office in a way that strengthens the American system of justice under the law.  Barr’s law firm, Barr, Anhut & Associates, P.C. provides the City Attorney service on a contract basis. Barr is a member of the Presidents Club.
 
Paul R. Hage, ’03, an associate at Southfield-based Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, P.C., has been elected president of the Michigan Chapter of The Turnaround Management Association (TMA).  Hage has been a member of TMA since 2007, and has served on the Michigan Chapter’s Board of Directors since 2010.  He is also a member of Jaffe’s insolvency and reorganization group and has published dozens of articles on bankruptcy.  Hage is a frequent speaker at national industry events. 
Camie R. Heleski, ’88, ’92, instructor and coordinator of animal behavior and welfare at MSU, has received the American Veterinary Medical Association’s 2012 Humane Award.  She has been actively involved in the International Society for Equitation Science.  She coordinated MSU’s Two-Year Horse Management program since 1992, and more recently chaired the Scientific Committee for the National Farm Animal Care Council’s Equine Welfare Code, Canada.
 
Jim Myers, ’61, former coach and teacher at Madison High School, has been honored with the renaming of Madison High School’s stadium as the Jim Myers Stadium.  Myers has been inducted in both the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame and the Michigan Football Coaches Hall of Fame.  Besides being a teacher, Myers was a professional wrestler known as George “The Animal” Steele and an actor who starred with Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood (1994).  He has served 17 years on the board of the Space Coast Spartan club (Melbourne, FL). 
 
Margaret O’Riley, ’84, senior adviser to Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and the Michigan Dept. of State’s chief of staff, has been selected as the new director of the Michigan Film Office by Gov. Rick Snyder.  O’Riley worked with former Gov. John Engler during his three terms and has served as Michigan business ombudsman and senior vice president of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Additionally, she spent about a decade as founder and president of O’Riley Consulting.
 
Colleen Pero, ’77, vice president of Pero Consulting Inc., Laingsburg, was appointed to the Board of State Canvassers by Gov. Rick Snyder.  Pero has also been named to the State Bar Commission by the Michigan Supreme Court.  Previously, she served as Gov. John Engler’s special counsel and director of state affairs, as co-director of the Michigan Political Leadership Program at MSU and as a senior analyst with Gulf Oil Corp.  Pero is an MSUAA Life Member.
 
Jason Sanders, ’03, regional market manager for Fifth Third’s Business Banking division, Lansing, has been named community president for Fifth Third Bank’s Mid-Michigan region.  Sanders previously served in that role for Jackson.  He is very active in community affairs and serves on a number of boards, including the Executive Board of the Lansing Chamber of Commerce, the Enterprise Group of Jackson and the Jackson County Economic Development Corporation.  He is active with United Way, Junior Achievement and the Jackson Symphony Endowment.
 
Jack Schripsema, ’73, former president for the Flint-Genesee County Convention & Visitors Bureau, has been named president/CEO for the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau.  Schripsema spent five years as the vice president of sales and marketing for the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau. Additionally, he spent over 20 years working for the Amway Corporation and Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Grand Rapids.
 
Elizabeth Luckenbach, ’91, a partner at Southfield-based Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, P.C., has been named president of the Oakland County Bar Foundation (OCBF).  Luckenbach specializes in probate litigation, special needs planning and elder law.  She has taught at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law as an adjunct professor.  In addition, she served on several state bar associations for elder law and estate planning and is also active on OCBF’s membership committee and probate, estates and trust committee.
 
Joshua Wenning, ’03, ’08, previously a district administrator in the Waterford School District, was named the executive director of the Region 8 Education Service Center, Decatur, IN.  He has also been appointed to serve on the Executive Board of the Educational Service Centers Risk Funding Trust.  Wenning was recognized as the Waterford Coalition for Youth Citizen of the Year and received the Michigan Association of Secondary Principals President’s Award.
 
Derek Drew Wheaton, ’81, principal of Mattawan Early Elementary, has been named a 2012 National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals.  Wheaton started his career in education as a bilingual teacher in California in 1981.  He became principal of Mattawan Early Elementary in 1995.  Under his leadership, the school has reduced the number of students requiring special education through initiatives that focus on meeting children’s needs through intervention programs.
 
David Nyberg, ’04, ’11, founder and principal of 3rd Coast Strategies LLC, was appointed director of the Northern Michigan Office, Marquette, by Gov. Rick Snyder. Nyberg served as legislative affairs manager for the Michigan United Conservation Clubs and as legislative assistant to former Speaker of the House Craig DeRoche. In addition, he is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Escanaba River Association and Ducks Unlimited.
 
Michael Oltersdorf, ’73, Leelanau County Sheriff, has been elected president of the Michigan Sheriff’s Association.  He represents sheriffs in Michigan and also nationally.  He has served as sheriff of Washtenaw and Leelanau counties.  He is past president of the MSU Criminal Justice Alumni Board and a current CJ Alumni Board member.  In 2008, he was inducted into the MSU Criminal Justice “Wall of Fame.” Oltersdorf serves on the Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice and the Model Policy Advisory Board on Domestic Violence.