Oct 23

Class Notes – Fall 2012

Ring Finds Its Way Home

This pristine Class of 1964 ring has found its way back to its owner’s family after more than four decades. Recently found in Saginaw, it has been returned to its home in Florida and to a grateful widow.

How powerful is a class ring? This beauty has found its way home after 42 years and some fast thinking by a curious stranger. Attending to his late grandmother’s effects, Cesar Medina ran across this pristine GMI Class of ’64 ring and called the University to see if the initials inside, R.A.G., could help identify its owner.

With just one match, a call was made to Maryann Guy in Florida, widow of Robert “Bob” Guy, and with it a story of love, lost treasures, and a reunion with fond memories for a man who never forgot his roots at Kettering/GMI.

Now the ring, found hidden in the cranny of a classic car, has returned home.

To submit a class note directly to Kettering Magazine, e-mail Patrick Hayes, phayes@kettering.edu. You may also contact your class agent or secretary. Be sure to include your graduation year on any class note you submit.

To update your mailing address or e-mail address, contact Laura DiFilippo at ldifilip@kettering.edu or (810) 762-9883.


Wayne Turton and his wife Mary were recently honored by their local Masonic Lodge in Farmington Hills, Mich. From an article in the Farmington Patch: “Wayne and Mary Turton have been honored by the Farmington Masonic Lodge as they prepare to locate to Village Estates at the Pathways, a Masonic retirement community in Alma. Wayne Turton was involved in the early stages of the development of Pathways and in the creation of an approximately 200-bed nursing facility at the Michigan Masonic Home. The Turtons have both been very involved in the Masonic and affiliated Orders that call the Farmington Masonic Hall their home.”


William F. Probert
recently published a book through Summerland Publishing called, ‘The Lunar Roving Vehicle 1G Trainer.’ The book is described as, “A collection of photographs documenting the configuration of this one-of-a-kind vehicle as it was being built in 1970.”


David F. Merrion received the Franz F. Pischinger Powertrain Innovation Award during the SAE 2012 World Congress held in Detroit.

From the news release: “Established in 2008, this award recognizes exceptional innovation and competence in powertrain design and development through the annual recognition of an engineer who has demonstrated outstanding innovation in the field.

This award honors professor Franz F. Pischinger, who devoted his career to furthering powertrain technology and the education of young engineers as they prepared for careers in engineering.”


Daniel Tablada, a lecturer in the College of Business at the University of Texas San Antonio, was recently one of seven UTSA faculty awarded an Outstanding Teaching Award. From the news release: “Award nominees must demonstrate a clear commitment to teaching and a sustained ability to deliver excellence to the undergraduate learning experience. In the competition for the awards, faculty candidates were subjected to rigorous examination of their teaching performance over three years by campus and external examiners.”



Charles Postlewate sends this update: “When I visited Kettering in October, 2010 Sue Weiss gave me a GMI cap as a souvenir and I wear it almost everywhere I go (this replaced the one that she had given me back in 2004 when I was there for the 40th Reunion of my Class of 1964). When I was recently attending the Guitar Foundation of America International Convention in Charleston, South Carolina, I arrived several days early to visit my fellow GMI buddy and long-time friend Richard Marshall, Class of 1962. Rich and his wife took my wife and I to visit the famous Brookgreen Gardens sculpture garden and nature preserve north of Charleston. Our tour guide, Nancy Kobs, looked at my GMI cap and asked, “Does that stand for General Motors Institute?” and I said, “Yes, have you heard of it?” She replied, “My brother-in-law, Charles Couch, attended GMI for several years in the mid 1950s, co-oping at New Departure bearings in Bristol, Connecticut. And several of his best friends, Clark Island [Class of 1955] and Richard Tomassetti [Class of 1957] also attended around that time and did graduate from there. They both went on to do very well in industry. Pictured in the photo are (L to R) me, Nancy Kobs and Richard Marshall.”


J.T. Battenberg III has joined the advisory board at TTK Partners, LLC. From the news release: “We are excited to have J.T. Battenberg as part of the team at TTK Partners,” said Partner and Co-Founder Stanley Koss.  “J.T.’s extensive experience as a leader in the automotive sector is a tremendous asset to TTK Partners,” Koss added.

Battenberg also sends along this note: “Since retiring from Delphi as Chairman and CEO, I have been working for TTK Partners, LLC as an Advisory Board member. TTK Partners is a mergers, aquisitions and capital structure advisory firm, headquartered in Chicago. We do transactions in automotive, general industrial, business service and consumer, in both the U.S. and International arenas. On a personal note, my wife and I celebrated 50 years of marriage last fall. I came to Kettering after serving four years in the U.S. Air Force, I co-oped with Cadillac Motors.”


Peter L. Clark begins his two year service as president of the Phi Gamma Delta Educational Foundation. Peter has served as a board of director on the Foundation for the last five years. The Foundation raises funds and issues grants for scholarships, leadership programing and alcohol education benefitting Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity’s 140 chapters and more than 8,300 undergraduate members. Clark is the President of Touchstone Development Company, Inc., a commercial real estate development and management company doing business primarily in California. He has spent a lifetime in real estate development. He graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University and an MBA from Butler University. He currently lives in Los Altos, Calif.


John S. Galligher recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Manufacturing Engineering from Meritor. Galligher earned the award for distinguished contributions to the development and advancement of carrier components and gearing manufacturing processes.


Rich Rosen was recently recognized by the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) for his efforts to develop and expand SEEK, also known as the Summer Engineering Experience for Kids. From the news release: “I consider him a visionary,” says Dr. Carl Mack, NSBE Executive Director. “Rich helped raise $350,000 for seed money to begin the program in 2007. We have now raised more than $6 million, and SEEK has expanded to a half dozen cities including Houston, Detroit and San Diego. It truly has become a national program, and it would not have happened without him.”


Gordon Barr has retired from corporate life. He has worked in various mechanical engineering capacities in the Automotive, Electronics and Medical fields. Most recently, he spent several years in Taiwan and even a brief stint in Iraq. He will still be consulting part time to small medical startup companies but will be pursuing long time interests in blacksmithing, antique cars, old engines and metalworking. He teaches blacksmithing and metalworking in both his own shop and a local school. He lives with his wife in Minneapolis and has four children and two grandchildren close by. He can be reached at agbarr@aol.com or www.Metalsmith.org.


Gary Butters sends this note: “I am President of Befour, Inc., a manufacturer of scales for the healthcare, sports and fitness markets, which I have owned for the past 10 years. In additional to our fine line of scales, Befour also makes height measuring devices and portable scoreboards. We are located in Saukville, Wisconsin, just north of Milwaukee and are proud to be a “Made in USA” company. Last summer, I granted myself a sabbatical from work and bicycled 3,800 miles across the country from Astoria, Oregon to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Surprisingly, there’s still some mileage left in these old legs!”


Troy A. Clarke was recently appointed president and chief operating officer of Navistar. From the news release: “Prior to his appointment as President of Truck and Engine operations at Navistar, Clarke, 57, served as President of the Company’s Asia Pacific operations.  Clarke joined Navistar in January 2010 as Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives.  Previously, Clarke spent more than 35 years with General Motors Co. where he served in a variety of roles, including President of General Motors North America, President and Managing Director of GM’s Mexico operation, Vice President of Manufacturing and Labor Relations, and President of GM Asia Pacific. He has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from General Motors Institute, as well as an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan.”


Steve Finch was featured in an article in the Buffalo News for the work he’s done turning around a General Motors plant in Tonawanda, N.Y. From the story: “General Motors was facing desperate times in 2009, and questions were swirling about the future of its Town of Tonawanda engine plant. It all hit home for Steve Finch, a Buffalo native and plant manager of the Tonawanda facility, a cornerstone of the local auto manufacturing industry. “I tried not to show it, but on the inside, the reality was that none of us really knew what was going to happen,” Finch said. He sized up the challenges. He knew GM was going to close plants and that the Tonawanda facility’s location, outside GM’s “hub” in Southeastern Michigan, might make it more vulnerable. Finch managed the situation the best way he knew. “The only amount of influence I felt we really had was whatever the measure was – whether it was safety, quality, meeting our schedules and demand of the customers, as small it was – let’s make sure every metric was as good as it could be, so that the people that were looking at where we’re going to put [GM’s] business in the future would want to consider this plant based on its performance,” he said.”

The Student Alumni Council hosted Darren Heartwell ’00, Clark Bailo ’81 and Ben Coon ’00 to talk with students on Aug. 7 at Kettering.


Diana Tremblay was recently featured in a Reuters article about the auto industry. From the story: “Global manufacturing chief Diana Tremblay is one of the highest-ranking women in the automotive industry. Throughout her 35-year career at GM, she has made her mark in what were regarded as male domains, from directing foundry workers to staring down union labor negotiators. Now she faces an even more critical task for the world’s largest automaker — ensuring the smooth 2013 introduction of the remodeled full-size pickup trucks and SUVs, GM’s high-profile equivalent of a new Apple iPhone.”


Suzette Kandow sends this update: “On December 31, 2011, I retired from General Motors after 30+ years of service. My husband Randy and I have 3 sons; Steven age 26 who is a doctoral student in music performance at Michigan State, David age 24 who will graduate from nursing school at Michigan State this coming December, and Kevin, age 21, who plays football for the Hope Flying Dutchmen and will graduate from Hope College in 2013 with a degree in psychology. I am enjoying retirement both in mid-Michigan and northern Michigan.”


David Kenny, CEO of The Weather Channel, was recently profiled in the Marietta (Ga.) Journal:

“The weather affects everyone, so we need many different formats for both consumers and businesses,” Kenny said.

“I am most proud of how the whole company has mobilized to make sure everybody has an engaging way to know and plan for what’s happening weather-wise in the places that are important to them.”


Mary Barra, senior vice president of global product development at General Motors, was recently featured in ‘Detroit Business’ as one of eight influential female business leaders. “If Mary Barra felt pressure and scrutiny after being named General Motors Co.’s senior vice president of global product development in early 2011, she didn’t show it. She followed two legends: Tom Stephens, who held the position for two years, and Bob Lutz, who wrenched product design out of the hands of engineers,” the article said.

Barra was also featured in a profile in ‘Fast Company‘.


Ron Weber has been named vice president of operations at Phoenix Coaters. Weber will be responsible for directing and coordinating activities to obtain optimum efficiency and economy of operations while offering the best possible product and services to their customers, according to the news release.


Mark J. Bulanda has been named the executive vice president and business leader for Emerson Industrial Automation. “Mark brings strong management skills, industry experience and professional leadership to this new role with Emerson. I’m confident he will continue to drive innovation and growth for Industrial Automation business and our leading brands and technologies,” Emerson CEO David N. Farr said in a news release.


Alma Guajardo-Crossley wrote a guest column for Latino Magazine and discussed Kettering University: “Kettering is a perfect combination of work and student life on a super intensive schedule. As a student, you rotate every 3 months between work and school. While at school your course load is heavier given you have less time than a standard school, and while at work you are being paid and rotated through different departments to gain exposure. It is a five year program (5th year thesis) in which you earn your undergraduate degree, but at the end your chances of securing a full time job with your sponsoring unit is close to 100%, given the investment made and the experience gained.”

Valerie Grubb recently discussed her career counseling the business world. From the story: “Having an undergrad in mechanical engineering, I thought getting my MBA would be a walk in the park as I had taken some really nasty classes for my BSME degree,” she said. “I was surprised that the lessons taught in business school were just as rigorous, if not more so, because the answers were much more complicated. Solving problems in the business world is much more in the gray area because in many instances, there isn’t a completely right or completely wrong answer.”


NASCAR driver Ryan Newman recently discussed Kettering graduate Matt Borland, who is the vice president of competition for Stewart-Haas Racing, in an interview with The Auto Channel: “My very first Cup crew chief was Matt Borland, and he was from Haslett, Mich. So his slogan, whenever we came to Michigan, was, ‘It’s God’s country,’ and that’s because he’s from Michigan. I spent a lot of time in Michigan at my dad’s shop in Niles. So it is like coming home for me.”


Ozzie Zehner’s book, ‘Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism,’ was released earlier this year and has been featured in several prominent publications, including Wired, MSN.com, MLive.com and many others. Find out more about the book.


Tommy Zamberlan will have some historical work he’s done added to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. From the Macomb County Advisor and Source Newspaper: “Tommy Zamberlan, a 1995 graduate of Sterling Heights High School who is now employed as a military writer and editor, will have reports that he worked on with business partner Ben Bryant and others added to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. The men, who co-own the Bryant Zamberlan Group, a communications and outreach strategy firm for the government, nonprofits and businesses, will have their personal copies of the reports “Protecting the Force: Lessons from Fort Hood,” “Every Airman a Wingman,” “The Air Force Follow-On” and the high-profile “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” added to the Smithsonian this month.”

Attorney Todd Barrett was recently featured in ‘Legal News.’ From the story: “There’s a Ford plant in Connorsville, Ind. that played a central role in Todd Barrett’s decision to become a lawyer. It was where he decided he didn’t want to design radiators the rest of his life. He wondered what other opportunities there might be for him to use his engineering degree from General Motors Institute, otherwise known as Kettering University. The question led him to discover patent law and to his eventually attending the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law for his juris doctorate.”


Jeremy Weilnau was recently named Lakewood project manager at Prestolite Performance. From the news release: “Weilnau will oversee the management, development and growth of the Lakewood product lines in addition to QuickTime and Hays products. Weilnau has 13 years of experience in original equipment automotive and aerospace, with a previous position as a program engineer at Tenneco Automotive. The Huron, Ohio, resident is also a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers and has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Kettering University.”


Dr. Benjamin Berry was hired as a member of the veterinary team at Noah’s Landing Pet Care Clinic. Berry has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He received a doctorate of veterinary medicine from Michigan State University.

Ryan and Courtney Garn announce the birth of their daughter, Lucy Catherine. Lucy was born June 14, 2012. She weighed 10 lbs. 5 oz. and was 22″ long. Lucy was welcomed home by big sister Grace and big brother George.





Dean and Lisa Jagielo welcomed their baby girl into the world December 1, 2011. Addison Lynn weighed 8 lbs., 1 oz., and was 20.5 inches long. The picture shows her first Polaris Ranger Ride with her Dad.


Brandon Scanlon has been named a 2012 Kaplan Life Sciences Fellow by Harvard Business School. The news release stated, “Brandon Scanlon, who has spent the last eight years with Stryker Corporation, a medical technology company. His most recent position was business development portfolio manager, where he evaluated medical devices for acquisition. He has a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Kettering University.”

Stacy Thayer (’06 and ’11) received the Consistent Contributor Award when the Society of Women Engineers celebrated its 60th anniversary recently. She is the newly elected president of SWE-Detroit.

Zachary Bylsma and Molly Kearfott


  • Zachary Bylsma and Molly Kearfott
  • Allison K. Vodilko and Matthew F. Cramer
  • David Quintanilla ’05 and Lauren Olsen
  • Emily Klausig and Joshua Maag ‘07

In Memoriam

  • Arlan Rathke, Industrial Engineering Faculty
  • Alex C. Mair ‘43
  • Eugene K. Cook ‘47
  • Stanley W. Edwards ‘48
  • Hubert G. Pitre ‘52
  • Gilbert L. Fairclough ‘54
  • Sheldon E. Thorson ‘54
  • Leon D. Robbins ‘56
  • Donald E. Moore ‘57
  • James Lee Hayden ‘58
  • James Morgan Weber ‘59
  • John L. Aitken ‘61
  • Howard Thomas Walther Jr. ‘61
  • William J. Doerr ‘62
  • Paul Allen Perry ‘69
  • Thomas M. Powell ‘72
  • James Thomas Strahley, ‘76
  • Darrin R. Claussen ‘93