UF Alumni Association Bestows Honors
The University of Findlay Alumni Association honored seven alumni and one former board of trustee at its Sept. 27 homecoming breakfast.
The following were named as Distinguished Alumni: Peter B. Daub (’70), Marian Lowe (’97), Michael Murphy (’72), Joji “George” Suzuki (M ’99) and Billy Watterson (’96).
Audrey Stoffel (’06, M ’07) received the Old Main Award for outstanding achievement before the age of 36, and the late Geraldine Finn (’90), Ph.D., was honored posthumously with the Gold Medallion award for outstanding service and accomplishments.
Dr. C. Richard Beckett, past chairman of The University of Findlay board of Trustees, received the Arch Award, given for more than 25 years of service by a person who is not an alumnus of the institution.
Daub has had a distinguished career as a tennis player and coach. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Findlay College. He was captain of the men’s team his senior year and was inducted into The University of Findlay Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988.
He played on international world circuits from 1972-1975, winning titles in Australia and New Zealand. From 1991-1993, he coached at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the Australian Open and tournaments in South America, Holland and Austria. At the World University Games in Japan in 1995, Daub served as the United States coach, where the U.S. team won a gold medal.
He also coached tennis at Temple University, the University of Redlands in California and the University of Georgia. In 1993, he joined The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he has been the head men’s tennis coach for 21 years. Daub has received Coach of the Year awards from the Colonial Athletic Association, the United States Tennis Association – Virginia and the United States Professional Tennis Association for the Middle States and Middle Atlantic Sections.
Lowe graduated from The University of Findlay with degrees in biology and pre-veterinary medicine, but she has spent her career working in health care policy. She is a national health care thought leader sought out by the country’s largest health care systems to improve financial performance and business strategies. Lowe has a reputation for building coalitions among competitors to pursue common goals and build more profitable health systems. She is a frequent speaker and media consultant.
Since 2013, she has served as senior vice president for payer and employer strategies for United Surgical Partners International Inc. in Addison, Texas. She directs the development of business strategies and relationships with employers, brokers and third-party companies to increase use of USPI facilities. She previously held positions with Strategic Health Care in Washington, D.C., Federal Health Policy, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission in Washington, D.C., American Organization of Nurse Executives, a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association in Washington, D.C.; and the American Nurses Association/California in San Francisco.
In 2003, Lowe received the Old Main Award from The University of Findlay Alumni Association, which honors alumni under the age of 36 for their accomplishments.
Murphy received his bachelor’s degree from Findlay College and a master’s degree from Xavier University, both in elementary education. He taught sixth grade at Ashton Middle School in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, for 26 years, where he was named the 1996 Outstanding Teacher of the Year. He worked as a part-time elementary school reading and math specialist for nine years before fully retiring in 2010.
Murphy was named Volunteer of the Year in 2012 with Lifeline of Ohio and was named Volunteer of the Year in 2011 by Fore Hope, a group that works with disabled golfers. He also volunteers with Donate Life campaigns with high school baseball teams and Coaches Against Multiple Myeloma baseball tournaments. He also coordinates a golf tournament in memory of his son that funds the Jason Murphy Memorial Scholarship at Reynoldsburg High School, and he also is funding a Jason Murphy Memorial Scholarship endowment at The University of Findlay.
A member of the Alumni Association Board of Governors since 2006, Murphy has served as a representative to the UF Board of Trustees and as a member of the Columbus Regional Alumni Group.
Joji “George” Suzuki
Suzuki is the president of GS Eletech Inc. of Japan, a position he has held since 2013. After graduating from Aichi Gakuin University with a bachelor of arts degree in commercial science in 1984, he began work with Shinsei Harness, where he established a new factory in 1986 in Komono, Japan.
In 1987, he began GS Wiring Systems Inc. in California, before moving to Findlay in 1989 to start GSW Manufacturing Inc., which produces automobile electrical and hose assemblies. He served as president of GSW Manufacturing from 1994-1999 and 2002-2008, returning to Japan each time. He was named a managing director of GS Eletech in Japan in 2001.
He earned a Master of Business Administration from The University of Findlay in 1999. Suzuki helped found the Friends of Findlay in 1993, a consortium of 14 Japan-based companies in northwest Ohio and supported an annual Japan Study Tour for Findlay educators and community leaders. Suzuki has strongly supported the mutually beneficial relationship between the Japanese and Findlay communities, building a foundation of economic prosperity for all through cooperation and understanding between cultures.
Billy Watterson (’96) received his bachelor’s degree in environmental and hazardous materials management and went on to found 16 companies in the past 18 years. He currently owns and operates 13 companies with annual revenues exceeding $25 million annually.
His most recent venture is a recycling company he co-founded in May 2014, called Knightshade™, which extracts nicotine from unsaleable, expired and returned smoking cessation products. In 2008, he founded g2 revolution® LLC. He has submitted multiple patent applications and created more than 20 recycling innovations that provide creative solutions that are both environmentally sustainable and profitable.
Watterson co-founded Martha’s Vineyard Furniture Company in 2007, which manufactures green furniture. The company includes Martha’s Vineyard Interior Design and a retail store, Bespoke Abode. Watterson is the chief financial officer for the firms. He also co-founded the Watterson Environmental Group LLC in 2001, a nationwide environmental consulting firm providing emergency and disaster response services, as well as services dealing with asbestos, lead, indoor air quality and mold.
After college, he worked as manager of hazardous materials and safety for Sear, Roebuck and Co.
Stoffel is the recipient of the Old Main Award. Since 2008, she has taught kindergarten at Jefferson Primary School in Findlay. Stoffel uses innovative activities to aid learning objectives and is adept at developing a differentiated curriculum through incorporating Common Core standards. She has served as a differentiation coach for Findlay City Schools since 2009. Her principal cited Stoffel as being an exceptional first-year teacher, and she was recognized for her excellence in teaching as a semifinalist for the Golden Apple Award in 2013.
Earning her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education in 2006, Stoffel completed a master’s degree in education in 2007, both from The University of Findlay. In addition, she began teaching as an adjunct for UF’s College of Education in fall 2013.
Stoffel organized the Clothe-A-Child program at Jefferson Primary, working with Chamberlin Hill School and Kohl’s. As a result, an evening of shopping gave needy children from Jefferson a new sense of self-confidence. Also, Stoffel volunteered as a board member for Cancer Patient Services, and has served as a Lighthouse team member for “Leader in Me.”
Geraldine Finn, Ph.D.
The late Dr. Finn is the recipient of the Gold Medallion Award. Finn retired as assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies in the College of Liberal Arts in the summer of 2012, before passing away on Feb. 7, 2013.
She was a faculty member at The University of Findlay since 1992, teaching in education, history, gender studies, gerontology, humanities and the social sciences, as well as in diverse settings on campus, online and in UF’s prison program in Lima, Ohio. Finn also managed the government documents collection in Shafer Library for many years, chaired the library committee and promoted information literacy.
She received a bachelor’s degree in history at The University of Findlay in 1990, a master’s degree in history from Cleveland State University in 1991, and a Ph.D. in history and ethnic studies from the Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1998. She was a member of the Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society.
Finn established an endowed scholarship in memory of her son, Michael W. Murphy, a UF English and education major, who died of a construction accident on Dec. 30, 1991.
Dr. C. Richard Beckett
Dr. Beckett, a member of The University of Findlay Board of Trustees since 1985, is the recipient of the Arch Award. Dr. Beckett graduated from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and served in the United States Army Veterinary Corps from 1960-64. After his discharge, he opened a veterinary practice in Findlay, Ohio. He founded Animal Care Centers of America (ACCOA), and in 2002, his Findlay Animal Hospital was named the Hospital of the Year by Veterinary Economics magazine.
He helped establish the equestrian studies program at Findlay College in 1976, the pre-veterinary medicine program in 1982, and the English riding program in 1992, as well as University Equine Veterinary Services, Inc. in 1997. The Dr. C. Richard Beckett Animal Science Building, which opened in 2009, was named in honor of his service and leadership.
As a member of the UF board, Dr. Beckett has served on the Executive Committee since 1994 and was chairman of the board from 2001-2014. Dr. Beckett was named a Distinguished Associate in 1994 and awarded an Honorary Doctor of Entrepreneurial Business Development in 1996.