Applauding Alumni


To submit a nomination for an applauding alumni please send the following to

Full name
Class Year

Professional Headshot (this may be published)


Leslie Alore certainly leads a busy, yet rewarding life. She is the Director of Global Marketing Operations for Iron Mountain and the Managing Partner for the marketing firm, DemandStack.

If you can’t tell, Leslie’s career isn’t just her job, it’s also her extracurricular activity because she loves it so much!


Shaniece founded Accutrak Services, a Michigan based accounting and tax services firm. She combines her 17 year professional expertise with charisma while helping others achieve business, financial, and personal goals. She is noted for her personal approach and going beyond the numbers to add additional value. Her areas of expertise include individual and small business taxation, accounting, payroll, full-cycle cost control, budgeting and forecasting, administration, and training.

Prior to founding Accutrak Services, Shaniece spent nearly seven years at Chrysler where she worked in accounting and finance. She has developed and managed budgets in excess of $70 million, prepared and secured capital appropriation requests exceeding $9 million, and maintained records for capital assets exceeding $320 million. She also worked in public accounting at a local accounting firm. Shaniece was an internal audit intern at General Motors. She also worked as a customer service representative and billing specialist at DTE Energy.

Shaniece graduated with honors from Wayne State University (Bachelor in Finance) and Walsh College (MBA). Shaniece is licensed in the State of Michigan as a Certified Public Accountant. She is a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor and she has taught accounting, financial management and economic courses to future business professionals as an adjunct instructor.


Danielle Crane is the chief administrative officer for GreenPath, Inc. She leads the Human Resources, Training & Development, Education, and Workforce Management functions. GreenPath is a national, non-profit organization, headquarted in Farmington Hills, Mich. It focuses on helping individuals achieve financial wellness. Counselors help clients gain control of their lives and teach the skills that are required for long- term financial success. Out of 500 employees at GreenPath, Inc., 300 are employed in southeast Michigan.

Danielle earned the PHR and SHRM-CP certifications, and is an active member of the National Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She also serves as the College Relations Chair for Detroit SHRM. In 2014, she was a Top 10 Finalist for the Michigan Council of SHRM(MISHRM)’s Top HR Professional award. The award recognizes individuals across the state who exemplify the highest standards of the HR profession.


Brad is founder and CEO of B. Nektar Meadery in Ferndale. He was inspired to pursue his brewing hobby by wedding guests who raved about the hand-crafted mead he made for his wedding toast. After a couple years of planning, the business opened to the public in 2008. The following year B. Nektar Meadery was declared Best New Business by the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce.

Walsh College is applauds Brad Dalhofer for his success!


As the owner of Draska Investments, Michael Draska is able to help people in all communities with a wide range of financial products and services. His goal is to help take the mystery out of investing, help to manage risk and plan for retirement. He has 20 plus years of financial experience and is a registered FINRA Broker. But that is not the only reason Draska is our applauding alumni! From July 22 to July 24, there was a “Quake on the Lake” (, and Draska was at the heart of it all. As the Vice-Chair of Operations Management and Volunteers, Draska made sure that the event was seamless and exciting for all ages. As a Walsh College alumni and a former WCAA Board President, Michael invited alumni to join him on Pontiac Lake for a weekend of fun, food, and hydroplane racing.

Walsh College applauds Michael Draska for his success in the financial industry and service to others.


Walsh alumnus and State Representative Jeff Farrington is demonstrating leadership in Lansing, business, and the local community. He is serving his second term representing the 30th House District, which covers parts of Sterling Heights, Utica, and Shelby Township. Jeff earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in 1988 and Master of Science in Management in 1993 from Walsh College. He has worked hard to eliminate burdensome regulation in Lansing, create a positive economic environment for business, and provide good jobs for the citizens of Michigan. Prior to his election as a State Representative, Jeff owned his own staffing company.


Jesse Ford, BAC ’07, MBA ’10, started his professional career while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Walsh College through an internship with American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM). The internship opened the door to an eight- year career with AAM that gave him promotional opportunities in various treasury and finance roles. During this time he obtained his MBA with a focus on international business and his Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) certificate. After eight years, Jesse left AAM to pursue his own entrepreneurial ventures.


Ivgen graduated from Walsh College with a Master of Science in Accounting in 1984. Upon graduation, she accepted a position with Unisys Corporation. Later she was recruited by Oracle Corporation in California. Her current title is senior vice president, Global Business Finance.

Oracle’s financial operations have been on the forefront of change for more than a decade, starting when managers centralized the core Oracle E-Business Suite into a single, enterprise-wide resource and reduced data centers from 40 to 2 facilities. Beginning in 2005, these efforts have saved the equivalent of 10 percent of revenues each year as Oracle grew from a US$12 billion to a US$37 billion company.


Debby Hopkins, Walsh alum (BAC, 1977), is the Chief Innovation Officer of Citi, a global bank operating across 160 countries. She is also Chairman of Venture Capital Initiatives and Managing Director/Head of CitiVentures. Fortune magazine has twice named her one of the most powerful women in American business, and for three years running she has been named to the Institutional Investors Top Tech 50 list. Walsh College recently had the opportunity to ask Ms. Hopkins some questions about the art and science of innovation.


Alumnus Stephen Johnson loves beer and bikes. So much that in 2009 he created a tour business called Motor City Brew Tours. With the help of the LaunchPad at Walsh College, he was able to start a business that combined his expertise and passion for craft beer, bikes and Detroit history. Year around, Stephen and his team of tour guides takes beer lovers on guided bus and walking tours to breweries in Detroit, its suburbs and beyond. He also offers guided bikes in downtown Detroit. Bike & Brew Tours combines Detroit history, small group bike rides and beer at the end of ride. The success of Bike & Brew Tours lead to a book publishing deal with Arcadia Publishing & The History Press.

“Detroit Beer, A History of Brewing in the Motor City,” was published in May. The book is a history of breweries in downtown Detroit from the 1800’s and forward. The book chronicles the rise and fall of big breweries in Detroit and transitions to the craft beer movement. The book profiles over 40 breweries and brewpubs that have formed since 1992 in Detroit and metro Detroit.


Patrick Killeen is the Michigan Managing Partner for Baker Tilly.

Killeen joined the firm in 2004 and has served in a number of progressive leadership roles including Michigan manufacturing and distribution practice leader. His vast experience serving both manufacturing companies and those with international needs make him exceptionally qualified to lead the office as it works to serve the evolving Michigan market.

“I am very much looking forward to leading Baker Tilly Michigan,” Killeen said. “We have a passionate and talented team that is committed to being valued business advisors. I am proud to lead the team and enable its efforts to deliver even greater levels of service for our clients.”


Bryan Kieler has been promoted to the Director of Lending – Ohio region for IFF. For two years, Bryan has held the reins as the president of the Alumni Association for Walsh College, as well as many other board seats and memberships.

Bryan is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Business Administration specializing in Innovation and Strategy. His goal is to combine his knowledge with his work in community development and think abstractly on how to build sustainable communities from within. He believes in taking a holistic approach in combining small business development, job creation, and affordable housing, with other social services.

Walsh College is very proud Bryan Kieler and his major accomplishments.


Tom Lanni, Jr., MBA ’05, FACHE, is vice president of Oncology, Internal Medicine and Imaging for Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. He is responsible for leading the clinical, operational, financial, research, and quality and safety for these clinical areas. Tom is a member of the Society of Radiation Oncology Administrators (SROA), American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), and Leadership Oakland. He serves on the board of directors for the Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Michigan Gamma Knife, LLC. Tom is a member of the Finance Committee for Leadership Oakland and the Michigan Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (MCACHE). He was a previous recipient of the 2012 Beaumont’s Rising Star Leader Award and was recently recognized as a 2014 L. Brooks Patterson Elite 40-under 40-awardee.


Walsh College is proud to announce the Jeffrey C. Littmann Endowed scholarship, made possible by a generous grant of the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation. The scholarship, established in honor of Mr. Littmann’s long service to Ralph Wilson Enterprises, is intended to assist Macomb Community College transfer students, especially those individuals with children who are balancing the demands of family, work, and academics.


Christopher Mandelaris is the vice president, chief information security and privacy officer for Chemical Bank responsible for information assurance, governance and IT risk for the organization. Areas of responsibility include information security, business continuity and disaster recovery planning, change management, vendor management, IT regulatory compliance, IT risk assessments, audits and examinations, IT policies and procedures, and documentation.


James Murawski, MST ’82, Walsh alumnus, is chief information officer, vice president, Information Technology and Global Business Processes for Lear Corporation. He joined the Lear team in 2003 as the vice president, Internal Audit and has held various positions during his tenure, including vice president, Corporate Controller. Previously, he spent 14 years in public accounting with Deloitte & Touche and has held various accounting and finance leadership positions at Collins & Aikman, TRW, and LucasVarity.


Richard Pagac Jr., is currently a Partner at Pagac & Company, a firm founded by his father in 1975. He started his career in an equity position and worked hard to hone his skills and learn best practices of accounting. Richard enrolled at Walsh College in the Bachelor of Accountancy program and gained his BAC in 1994. Richard believes that hard work and passion pays off. When he took the CPA exam he passed it at first sitting, due to his diligence and commitment to public accounting. After working several jobs including controller for the City of Bloomfield, Richard knew that his love for accounting would lead him into a life-long career and he joined Pagac & Company.

Besides his passion for accounting, Richard has several hobbies and interests. He enjoys weight training, motorcycle riding, reading and all types of music. In addition, Richard loves fast cars. He is a member of the Corvette Owners’ Enthusiasts group.

Walsh College applauds Richard Pagac, Jr. for all of his success in the financial industry and congratulate him as one of our honored alumni!


Brian Pilarski is an independent insurance broker for Brown and Brown Insurance. He has a passion for education. Brian is a partner for the Cornerstone Charter Schools where he donates his time, resources, and energy to further their mission. He also held the position of president for the Walsh College Alumni Association for two consecutive terms: the first and only president to do so in the association’s history. He continues his commitment to higher education by sitting on the Walsh College Foundation Board as the youngest director of the board in March of 2013. He gives back by raising funds for scholarships with his work on the Foundation Leadership Dinner, which has already exceeded its goal of $125K and raised $168K. Brian has been recognized by Walsh College with the Association of Fundraising Professionals distinguished volunteer award.


Christine Potempa serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Auburn Pharmaceuticals in Troy, MI. As a chief executive and long-time employee, Christine has witnessed many changes in various industries, including pharmacy, finance, and leadership. As a leader both personally and professionally, Christine shares her sound advice. She enjoys traveling, golf, her family and planning special events. Christine is a member of the Walsh College Wine Gala committee and her vibrant personality and enthusiasm has helped the committee generate new ideas and support the growth of scholarships.

Walsh College applauds Christine Potempa for her success, service, and leadership! Congratulations on being one of our honored alumni!


Carla Sarti, MBA ’02, Walsh alumna and a director of Global Shared Services and Business Process Optimization for Lear Corporation, is demonstrating leadership in business, locally and globally. Prior to joining Lear, Carla served as Account Executive at ACS, a Xerox company, for six years, where she acted as Chief Strategy Officer and Director of Sales for many large accounts in the Finance and Accounting Outsourcing area. She spent five years at Delphi Corporation in numerous roles of increasing responsibility including managing the SAP environment after implementation and worked as a Lean expert for the Cockpits business.


Jerry Schafer has had a long and illustrious career with the McDonald’s corporation. He grew up on the eastside of Detroit and attended Macomb Community College where he learned about Walsh college and its prestigious yet accessible account degree program. At the same time, Jerry worked for McDonald’s where his strong work ethic and desire to learn about the fast-food industry has spanned over 20 years. Prior to retirement, Jerry held the title of Corporate Vice President Worldwide Development. He is credited with creating the supply chain system for McDonald’s China, which is a huge achievement for the corporation.

Walsh College is applauds Jerry Schafer for his success, leadership and service!


Semanco, a Walsh College trustee and alumni booster, is president and COO of Hennessey Capital, a division of Hitachi Capital America Corp. Through his involvement on community development boards a few years ago, he learned about Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s intention to make an investment that would spark innovation and business creation in Michigan.

With Dave Egner, director of the New Economy Initiative (NEI) for southeast Michigan, he helped make the case for Blackstone partnering with Walsh.


Rebecca Sorensen, BAC ’85, Walsh alumna, is an institutional consultant, senior vice president of Investments, and wealth advisor with UBS Financial Services’ Birmingham, Mich. office. With more than 25 years investment industry experience, she is a CPA, Certified Financial Planner, and Certified Investment Management Analyst. Additionally, she has completed the Wharton School’s IMCA program on Alternative Investments. A specialist in financial and retirement planning, Rebecca assists clients with asset allocation, investment selection, and performance monitoring. Clients include individuals, foundations, endowments, and corporate and municipal retirement plans. Rebecca has lectured frequently on the subject of asset allocation and retirement planning. She has given presentations to the Michigan Association of CPAs and employees of Ford and Chrysler, as well as many other companies in Michigan, and to members of various business groups.


Hannah Thoms, CPA, M.S.T., CFP® is a specialist in the area of estate, tax, and personal financial planning at Gordon Advisors, P.C. in Troy, Michigan. Gordon Advisors is recognized among its peers and in its community as a leader of professional service firms. We serve our customers in such a manner that they recognize our value, know we care not only about assisting them with their professional service needs, but also in helping them accomplish their overall goals and objectives.

Hannah has nearly 20 years of experience in assisting clients in developing strategies to meet their financial planning objectives, while saving current tax dollars and minimizing future tax implications. She is currently a principal at the firm and works to help develop new advisors and consultants grow in the field. In addition to her work at Gordon Advisors, Hannah is a member of the MACPA, the AICPA, and the FEPC.


Mark Winkelman graduated from Walsh College in December 1989 with a Bachelor of Accountancy degree. He started with Better Made Snack Foods, Inc., in 1994 as an accounts receivable clerk. In 2011 Mark became the company’s president. Mark is a proud alumnus who believes in giving back and supporting Walsh College.

Walsh College is very proud of Mark Winkelman and his major accomplishments.