The Bemidji State University Alumni Association and Foundation will honor four individuals with Outstanding Alumni Awards and give the 2014 Alumni Service Award at its 2014 Honors Gala, Oct. 17 at Bemidji’s Sanford Center.
Bemidji State’s newest Outstanding Alumni are Lori (Jones) Carmichael ’86, Kirk Gregg ’81, Robert Krowech ’72 and Dr. Christopher Waller ’81. Randy Bowen ’73 will receive the 2014 Alumni Service Award.
These alumni will be honored at a black-tie optional event in the Sanford Center ballroom. The evening, which will celebrate award recipients, Bemidji State’s most generous donors and Legacy Society members, will begin with a social hour at 5:30 p.m. with dinner and program beginning at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend this event.
Tickets are available for $40, and advance registration is required by Oct. 8. For more information call (218) 755-3989 or visit bsualumni.org.
Outstanding Alumni Award recipients
Lori (Jones) Carmichael ’86 grew up on a farm near St. Francis, Minn. She knew she wanted to attend a small school and BSU was a great fit for her. She graduated with an accounting degree before joining the Internal Revenue Service as a revenue agent. She became a group manager in 2000 and was involved in the hiring and training of new revenue agents. Her responsibilities included resolving a variety of issues facing taxpayers, representatives and the IRS organization.
In 2008, she was selected as a technical advisor to the small business self-employed Midwest area exam director. As the technical advisor, she oversaw and supported staffing, operational reviews and a myriad of other tasks for a 10-state area. In 2009, Carmichael was accepted to the Senior Management Readiness Program, and was selected as a senior manager in 2012. She currently manages a territory of eight groups of revenue agents located primarily in Wisconsin and Northern Michigan.
Throughout her career, Carmichael has mentored her employees and challenged them to develop their skills, confidence and professionalism as they pursue careers, throughout the IRS organization.
Kirk Gregg ’81 has served as Corning Incorporated’s chief administrative officer since 2002. He oversees human resources, information technology, procurement and transportation, aviation, community affairs, government affairs, business services, and corporate security.
Gregg graduated cum laude from Bemidji State with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with minors in economics and business administration. He pursued a master’s degree in industrial relations at the University of Minnesota and is a Sloan Fellow from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
Gregg joined Corning in 1993 as director of executive compensation. He was then named vice president of executive resources and employee benefits and later senior vice president, administration. Previously he held various roles of increasing responsibility at General Dynamics Corporation.
Prior to Corning, Gregg was corporate director, key management programs for General Dynamics Corporation. He was responsible for executive compensation and benefits, executive development, and recruiting. He previously held positions at the operating unit level in labor relations, salaried compensation, human resource information systems, organizational training and development, and information technology.
In addition, he is chairman of the board of directors of Three Rivers Development Corporation and former director and chairman of the New York State Business Council. Gregg also was honored with a distinguished citizen award from the Boy Scouts of America, Five Rivers Council in 2010.
Robert Krowech ’72 founded Eden Prairie-based Heat Recovery System Technology (HRST), Inc. in 1998 and remains CEO.
After growing up on a dairy farm near Roseau, he began at BSU in 1964 but was not motivated. He received a postcard from his uncle who was working at a steel mill in Gary, Ind. Krowech moved to Gary and worked as a materials tester. He was drafted into the Vietnam War and attended training in Georgia. He re-enrolled at BSU much more motivated and earned degrees in math and physics in 1972. Continuing his studies, Krowech earned a masters degree in mechanical engineering from University of Minnesota in 1974.
Krowech started HRST to provide superior boiler engineering and on-site power plant technical service. According to a 2013 profile in Twin Cities Business by Phil Bolsta, Krowech applied a unique approach to motivating and compensating employees as his business grew. According to the company’s website, “rather than offer lucrative salaries to attract people, our company relies on profit sharing, and to have profits, we need to work hard and smart, and have loyal clients.”
Bolsta’s article also highlighted Krowech’s success as a competitive body builder and power lifter. He has won the over 50 Mr. Minnesota bodybuilding contest twice – often defeating much younger participants. He has set state, national and world records in powerlifting.
Dr. Christopher Waller ’81, senior vice president and director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis earned a bachelor’s degree from Bemidji State followed by master’s (1984) and doctorate (1985) degrees in economics from Washington State University.
He began his career as part of the economics faculty at Indiana University. At the University of Kentucky, he served as a professor and C. M. Gatton Chair of Monetary Economics. Waller went on to become a professor and Gilbert F. Schaefer Chair of Economics at the University of Notre Dame where he served as a research fellow with the Nanovic Institute for European Studies and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. Other academic assignments include visiting professorships at the University of Bonn, Germany; University of Canterbury, New Zealand; Kiev-Mohyla National University, Ukraine; and the University of Mannheim, Germany. Waller’s work has been published in a variety of scholarly journals such as the American Economic Review and the Quarterly Journal of Economics.
Dr. Robert Ley, one of Waller’s professor’s at BSU underscores the impressive nature of Waller’s accomplishments as well as the contributions he makes to the field and his community.
“Most economists would agree he has helped in important ways to advance our understanding of monetary and financial economics, as well as effectiveness of monetary policy,” Ley said.
Waller has overseen the development of an educational series for the public, programs for classrooms and resources for consumers to inform people about economics, personal finance and the Federal Reserve.
Alumni Service Award recipient
Randy Bowen ’73 has been a tireless volunteer and advocate for Bemidji State since graduating with a degree in education. He served eight years on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, six years as an officer, with the last two as president. As president, he represented the Alumni Association at numerous events throughout the state and region, including Commencement ceremonies. After completing two terms of service on the Alumni Board, Bowen was asked to help lead the formation of the Alumni B-Club and was a founding member of the National Alumni Football Committee. He currently is the B-Club president and helps host the football reunion held each year during Homecoming.
A popular emcee of the B-Club Athletic Hall of Fame induction brunch and various Beaver Pride Luncheons, Bowen readily offers to dedicate his time and expertise to assist his alma mater.
In addition to his long-time commitment to BSU, Bowen has spent many years volunteering for athletic groups of his hometown of Hermantown, Minn. He coached many youth sports and this year will serve as a volunteer golf coach at Hermantown High School for the second year.
About the awards
Outstanding Alumni Award recipients are nominated by alumni, faculty and staff. They are selected by the Alumni Association Board of Directors for distinguished and professional achievement and recognition to their alma mater through outstanding service and significant contributions to their community, state and nation. Nominees must have graduated from BSU no less than ten years ago.
Alumni Service Award recipients are nominated by alumni, faculty and staff, friends and colleagues. They are selected by the Alumni Association Board of Directors for outstanding achievement in career, public service and/or volunteer activities.
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• Maryhelen Chadwick, communications and marketing specialist; (218) 755-2122