The words of poet Nikki Giovanni served as a touchstone for David Spitulnik ’80, the recipient of the 2007 Kellogg Alumni Service Award, in his May 3 remarks at the Kellogg School’s Alumni Awards dinner.
Spitulnik was among five honorees whose support was recognized during the annual event held at the James L. Allen Center. He emphasized the importance of remaining “focused on what is truly important,” which for him included his family and giving back to the community through institutions like the Kellogg School.
“Giving back for me takes many forms,” said Spitulnik, vice president of business development at Reef Point Systems, a networking solutions provider. “Digging into our pockets for money is one way we give back. Just because it’s the easiest way doesn’t mean we should stop doing it.” Indeed, the Kellogg graduate was among the class leaders responsible for raising a record-breaking $433,000 gift as part of his 25th Reunion campaign.
But Spitulnik also noted the importance of other resources, including contributing time to mentor students or work with faculty and administrators to offer ideas that can enhance the Kellogg School.
Other distinguished alumni and friends receiving awards were Clare Muñana ’89, president of Ancora Associates Inc., a Chicago-based management consultant; Robert P. Wayman ’69, retired executive vice president and chief financial officer at Hewlett-Packard; Marshall M. Bouton, president of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent, nonpartisan organization that strives to advance discussion on global issues; and Ellis M. Goodman, chairman of Allied District Properties, an owner and developer of shopping centers and other real estate investments.
“Tonight, Kellogg shows its gratitude to these people … who are some of the most honored civic leaders in Chicago, some of the most creative business leaders and friends,” said Jeffrey Vender ’98, chair of the Kellogg Alumni Advisory Board and chair of anesthesiology at Evanston Northwestern Healthcare.
“It’s very easy for those of us with formal connections to Kellogg to feel passionate about the school,” Vender added, indicating that two of the awards categories — the Schaffner Award and the Kellogg Alumni Service Award — recognize Kellogg graduates. But it is a sign of institutional strength when others also share this passion.
This year, those people were Bouton and Goodman, recipients of the Friends of Kellogg School of Management Awards, an honor bestowed on non-alumni whose efforts have helped build the school’s success over the years. Muñana and Wayman, meanwhile, were honored with Schaffner Awards, which recognize Kellogg alumni who are prominent in their fields and who have provided outstanding service to the school.
The evening offered plenty of praise, and it went both ways, as the honorees were quick to note how much value their Kellogg relationship had brought into their lives.
“This is an important institution and an important event,” said Wayman, a self-described “man of few words,” whose impressive professional accomplishments at Hewlett-Packard were detailed in an introduction by Professor Kathleen Hagerty, senior associate dean, faculty and research. Quipped Wayman, “Retirement is great because you only get to hear the highlights of your career.”
The Schaffner Award recipient went on to say, “Kellogg gave me a fundamental foundation in business … and a work ethic that fit nicely at HP.”
Wayman, an undergraduate engineering student at Northwestern University, said he was used to working alone on projects, but that Kellogg taught him the value of teams.
Muñana echoed this view, saying: “Kellogg has been an integral part of everything I’ve done. The curriculum, especially the focus on leadership and teams, has helped me enormously.”
In introducing Muñana, Liz Livingston Howard ’93, associate director of the Kellogg Center for Nonprofit Management, said she “truly embodies our vision of a socially responsible global leader.” Howard also indicated the range of Muñana’s service, including roles as vice president of the Board of Education for the City of Chicago, trustee of The Aspen Institute, and board member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, where Bouton is president.
Bouton noted how Kellogg had “extended friendship to me as a brand-new Chicagoan in 2001,” when he arrived after 20 years at the Asia Society in New York, most recently as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Trained as a political scientist, Bouton has been a frequent commentator on South Asian affairs and, among other roles, has served as special assistant to the U.S. ambassador to India. In 2003, he collaborated with the Kellogg School on the inaugural World Trade Summit in Chicago.
He hailed Kellogg as “a beacon” and said the school would prove important to Chicago’s future. “Cities are an agglomeration of individuals and institutions,” said Bouton. “The quality of leadership is key for success.” Kellogg, he said, has a “wonderful reputation” and people look to it as a leader.
“Kellogg is a great reservoir of intellectual capital,” he added. “The human capital here comes together and makes a difference.” Bouton also stated that the Kellogg School’s “extraordinary marketing expertise” would be “critical” to efforts to market Chicago to the world in conjunction with its bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.
The evening’s final honoree, Ellis Goodman, had the “vision and tenacity” to create a relationship between Kellogg and the United Kingdom, according to Associate Dean of Executive Education Stephen Burnett, who introduced the chairman of Allied District Properties. For the last 15 years, the U.K.-born Goodman has overseen the U.S. Marketing Scholarship Programme, an initiative he began and which brings 20 British executives to the Kellogg School each year for an intensive week of management education followed by a week of hands-on training at a noted U.S. company.
Goodman, also retired chairman and chief executive of beverage importer Barton, Inc., called his relationship with Kellogg “a wonderful experience” and said that an array of British executives had enjoyed the opportunity “to be totally knocked out by Kellogg … totally enthusiastic about the week’s course.” Many of these people, said Goodman, likened the chance to meet Kellogg professor and marketing guru Philip Kotler to meeting Beatles legend John Lennon.
“They say the [Kellogg experience] completely changes their business strategy,” said Goodman, who added that he wished he were 50 years younger so he could apply to Kellogg himself.
In concluding the Alumni Awards, Kellogg School Dean Dipak C. Jain lauded the attendees, many of whom had earned distinction for their own service to the school. He particularly thanked the award winners for “helping Kellogg and me personally over the last six years of my deanship.”
With the “outstanding” support and guidance of such people, the future of Kellogg was in good hands, said Dean Jain. He looked forward to continuing the relationship with the school’s alumni and friends, saying “excellence has no bounds” and that together this team could lead Kellogg to many more accomplishments, building on its reputation as a world-class institution.