Northwood is soliciting nominations for the 2022 Distinguished Women Awards


Northwood University is inviting nominations for its 53rd Distinguished Women Awards.

“Distinguished Women provides examples of determination, compassion, ethical business practices and excellence to Northwood University students who aspire to become the entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow,” said Mary-Ellen MacPhee, first lady of Northwood University. “The Distinguished Women emulate the hallmarks of Northwood University: free enterprise, personal responsibility, limited government, rule of law, and freedom.”

The Distinguished Women’s Program recognizes the contributions women make to our global society. Recipients serve as role models for Northwood University students and as ambassadors for the University. Since its inception in 1970, the Distinguished Women Program has honored more than 500 distinguished women, while raising funds for scholarships.

First Lady MacPhee co-chairs the Distinguished Women’s Committee with Northwood Board Member Mary Ellen George Hess. They are supported by an exemplary group of committee members.

“It is an honor to celebrate the women who represent the values ​​and unique position of Northwood University,” said MacPhee.

This year’s event is scheduled for October 14-15, and Northwood is seeking nominations for this year’s Distinguished Women Class.

Distinguished Women nominees:

    • Are proven and highly respected leaders in their industry.
    • Support the Northwood philosophy of free enterprise, personal responsibility, limited government, rule of law and freedom.
    • Believes in the importance of education and has demonstrated involvement in the community.
    • Have a genuine interest in helping Northwood students succeed.
    • Can inspire and motivate students and is willing and able to engage with them.
    • Commit to supporting one or more of the program’s four initiatives – scholarships and enrollment, internships, mentorship, and/or teaching presentations.
    • Promise to attend the DW Awards gala, which will take place on October 15 at the H Hotel in Downtown Midland.

Applicants must be approved by the Northwood University Board of Trustees and the University President.

The 2021 class of Distinguished Women winners included:

  • Tina Lynn Hubbard, President and CEO of HDA Truck Pride
  • Melanie Kalmar, Corporate Vice President, Chief Information Officer and Chief Digital Officer of Dow
  • Mindie Kaplan, CEO and Founder of Rated VR and Creator of the MaleRoom Podcast
  • Martha Reeves, musician of “Martha Reeves and the Vandellas” and president of Martha Reeves Enterprises

Additionally, three Midland-area community leaders received a Distinguished Women’s Group Award for their significant community assistance following dam failures in mid-Michigan in 2020:

  • Holly Miller, President and CEO of United Way of Midland County
  • Sharon Mortensen, President and CEO of the Midland Area Community Foundation
  • Jenee Velasquez, Executive Director of the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation

“It’s a privilege to know such incredible women who are making a difference, not just in their organizations, but in their wider community,” said co-chair George Hess.

If you know a woman who is an impactful and highly respected leader in her industry; who supports the Northwood idea of ​​free enterprise, personal responsibility and freedom; and who can inspire and motivate Northwood students, name her on the online site DW Nomination Form.

For more information and to see past winners, visit or contact Jessica Hufford for event details at [email protected] or 989-837-4465.


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