Highlights from the June 2014 MBA Commencement Ceremony

Lake Effects Blog

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Dr. Neil Holman, Dean of Corporate Learning Solutions, welcomed the MBA Graduates and opened the commencement ceremony on Sunday June 29th.  John Popoli, President and CEO of Lake Forest Graduate School of Management addressed the Graduates in an opening speech to congratulate the students on behalf of the Faculty, Staff, Board of Directors and Business Advisory Council.

“Your minds have expanded to encompass those new ideas and perspectives that will forever impact your lives and careers – possibly in ways you have never imagined.  You are a different and better person than you were when you started your MBA program.” John Popoli.

The award ceremony that followed recognized outstanding leadership and business achievement.

  • Distinguished Executive Award (DEA) Kenneth A. Hoffman ‘91
  • Distinguished Faculty Award John P. Pappas ‘92
  • Outstanding New Faculty Award Gary A. Conrad ‘91
  • Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement:  Alan J. Spector ‘97
  • Distinguished Alumni Award for Service to the School – David M. Boddicker ‘06


Kenneth A. Hoffman graduated with his MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management twenty-three years ago with honors.   Mr. Hoffman demonstrated leadership in the industrial and consumer packaging niche joining Glenview-based ITW in 1988 as a General Manager.   He became the Vice President and General Manager of the U.S. Signode Industrial Packaging Group and progressed to Group Vice President of North America.   From there, Mr. Hoffman was promoted to Group President for sales for a global unit.

From 2011 to 2014, Kenneth A. Hoffman served at ITW’s Group President of Industrial and Global Stretch Packaging Systems.   The Carlyle Group (a prominent private-equity firm) purchased ITW’s Industrial Packaging Group and chose Mr. Hoffman to lead as President one of five global units of the new Signode Industrial Group.

In addition to his progressive career in consumer and industrial packaging, Kenneth A. Hoffman has remained active in a number of civic and charitable organizations, and non-profit boards including the Les Turner ALS Foundation and Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.   Kenneth has been an elected member of the Board of Directors for eight years, and currently serves as our Vice-Chair.

“When we encourage imagination – in ourselves and in our colleagues – we’re ensuring not only the success of our organization, but also its survival.”-  Kenneth A. Hoffman, DEA Recipient, June 29, 2014.

Dr. Ellen McMahon, Dean of Faculty Relations and Degree Programs noted the value of the ‘practitioner faculty’ at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.   Dr. McMahon discussed the business impact generated by students participating in the online Global Business Simulation (capstone course, Strategic Management).

Dr. McMahon noted that ten Student groups achieved an overall result that placed them in the top 100 highest overall scores worldwide (out of 2,000 teams from 120 different schools) and congratulated the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management faculty and student teams for their accomplished final standing.

  • Joe Stachnik’s, “Adidas” and “Crossword Kicks” teams, tied for 81st place out of 2,000 teams.
  • Remo Picchietti’s, “EKIN” and “Footwear United” teams, tied for 67th place.
  • Joe Stachnik’s, “Blue Ocean” team, tied for 42nd place.
  • Ron Hirasawa’s, “A Company” team, tied for 41st place.
  • Michelle Robinette-Das’s, “Awesomesauce” team, tied for 30th place.
  • Jim Deters & Michelle Robinette-Das’s, “Bazinga!” team, tied for 24th place.
  • Joe Stachnik’s, “B Company” team, tied for 14th place.
  • Jim Deters’, “Daedalus” team, tied for 11th place out of 2,000 teams.

Dr. Ellen MacMahon announced the Distinguished Faculty Award recipient John P. Pappas.  The DFA award recognizes a faculty member who is exceptionally committed to academic excellence, and it is awarded for integrity, enthusiasm and intellectual rigor.  It also highlights a commitment to creating opportunities that generate business impact for MBA students, engagement in the academic community at Lake Forest and educational leadership.

Mr. John Pappas has an undergraduate degree from Drake University in Public Administration and earned his MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management in 1992 (the year he became a member of the faculty).  For more than 30 years Mr. Pappas served in Senior Marketing and General Management for Coleman Cable.

John P. Pappas earned the Distinguished Faculty Award in 2000 and again in 2008, and is a celebrated member of the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management faculty with a long standing commitment to academic excellence throughout his tenure.

‘Through real-life examples hypothetical scenarios, class exercises, business simulations, and case studies, you have honed your critical thinking skills. This vital leadership skill is manifested in the advanced business acumen and the more sophisticated executive decision-making capabilities that each of you now possess.’ –  John P. Pappas DFA Recipient, June 29, 2014.

Jaimita Patel


Dr. Ellen McMahon presented the Outstanding New Faculty award to Gary Conrad, who joined the faculty at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management in 2013.  Mr. Conrad has already received enthusiastic feedback from students and faculty, and demonstrated a genuine passion for academic leadership.  

The Hotchkiss Scholar Award

The Hotchkiss Scholar Award was established in 1984 in honor of Dr. Eugene Hotchkiss, President Emeritus of Lake Forest College and former member of Lake Forest Graduate School of Management Board of Directors. Hotchkiss Scholars are selected on the basis of outstanding academic achievement and demonstrated business impact.

  • Lisa Renee Brown
  • Kelly Marie Begley
  • Steven R. Cramer
  • Bryan David Green
  • Anton Grots
  • Eugene Yauung Leung
  • Jaimita Y. Patel
  • Aristotle Peter Petruleas
  • Matthew Wayne Rawlins
  • Kacey Jeannine Stevens
  • Timothy Lee Tibbals
  • Jamson Woo

The Hotchkiss Scholar designation is the highest honor that Lake Forest Graduate School of Management confers on a graduating student, and celebrates students who have combined applied learning which resulted in meaningful business impact, global awareness and active service to the community at Lake Forest.

Hotchkiss Scholars model the highest levels of competence, confidence, and contribution to be leaders among leaders.  Thirty graduates were recognized.

LFGSM regards the ability to understand and adapt to global management trends and the demonstration of business impact as defining elements of management education. Thirty new graduates were recognized with this distinguished award on June 29, 2014 and were awarded Hotchkiss Scholar medallions in the Pre-Ceremony hosted by the Business Advisory Council.

The 2014 Hotchkiss Scholars     Lake Forest Graduate School of Management MBA Chicago 3

  • Deena J. Ali
  • Marta L. Aranda
  • Steven Allen Barrett
  • Kelly Marie Begley
  • Lisa Renee Brown
  • Sean Patrick Buchanan
  • Crystal M. Cartwright
  • Steven R. Cramer
  • Bryan David Green
  • Kathrina Maye A. Johnson
  • Kimberly O’Malley Kurth
  • Eugene Yauung Leung
  • Adam Andrew Moran
  • Paula Renee Owens
  • Jaimita Y. Patel
  • Siddhartha Paul
  • Aristotle Peter Petruleas
  • Venkata Nagaraju Sayala
  • Larry Allen Schwartz
  • Michael Joseph Slade
  • Timothy Lee Tibbals
  • Dariusz Tyszka
  • Shawn Brandon Winters
  • Patricia C. Wolf

The Hotchkiss Candidates

  • Chad K. Anderson
  • Alicia Niemela
  • Katarzyna Rafalko
  • Soumya Rao
  • Marianela Spung
  • Moria Josette Trautman

The diplomas were awarded by Carol Modlin, Manager, Corporate Learning Solutions and Malcom Douglas, Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer.  The graduates were welcomed to the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management alumni by Mr. Juan Rocha, Faculty and Chairman of the Business Advisory Council.

The Distinguished Alumni Award

Mr. David M. Boddicker and Mr. Alan J. Spector were acknowledged with the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award.   David Boddicker was presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award for Service to the School.  Alan Spector received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement.

Mr. David M. Boddicker is currently an EDI Project Lead and Analyst with Reynolds Leverage Services in Lake Forest.  Both David and his wife are donors to our Scholarship Program and they have a room at our Schaumburg location named in their honor.  Mr. Boddicker remains an active participant in our Global Focus trips, Golf Outings, and Learning Workshops, and has recommended many students to the MBA program at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.

Mr. Alan J. Spector was recognized with the Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement.  He earned his Law Degree from the University of Colorado and describes his current role as “Management Consultant and Social Entrepreneur”.  Mr. Spector has enjoyed a successful career including senior management positions with Grainger, and in the electronics, pharma and telecom sectors and is the philanthropic founder of the Mar-inn Sailing School in San Francisco, which provides teaching for visually-impaired students.


On behalf of the staff, faculty and Board of Directors we congratulate the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management class of 2014. We invite you to view and comment on the Lake Forest Graduating Class of 2014 photo album on Facebook.


(Category: , )