Mendoza School of Business

Mendoza honors graduate alums for service

Published: October 7, 2021 / Author: Carol Elliott

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The University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business honored five graduate alumni for their service to the College and greater community during an awards presentation on Sept. 17 in Mendoza’s Jordan Auditorium.

The event gathered honorees and their families, fellow alumni faculty and staff in a show of appreciation for contributions to the College’s students and programs, which ranged from offering internships during the pandemic to mentoring students to exemplifying Mendoza’s mission to “Grow the Good in Business.”

“The awards are a great opportunity to recognize and celebrate the people who are vital to our success at Mendoza – our alumni community,” said Martijn Cremers, the Martin J. Gillen Dean of Mendoza. “Our alumni are a testimony to the kind of servant leaders that the College has sought to develop since its founding 100 years ago. I am most grateful for their continued engagement and support.”

“What makes Mendoza alumni special is their commitment to a ‘culture of service’ that embraces fellow alumni, faculty, staff and students,” said Ryan Retartha, director of Mendoza Alumni Programs. “Each of this year’s award winners have achieved tremendous success in business as well as service to the college, their industries and their communities.”

The 2021 Mendoza Graduate Alumni Awards recipients include:

Recent Graduate Alumni Service Award: Nicole Jones Senftleben (MNA ’20), executive director of InterVol. The award recognizes a graduate business alumnus or alumna who graduated within the past five years and has demonstrated commitment to the Mendoza mission through local service to the community. InterVol is a nonprofit that provides surplus medical supplies to the developing world. The company provided internship opportunities to Rochester-based Notre Dame students during the pandemic, training them in respirator fitting and safety precautions so they could support the health-care workers on the frontline of the pandemic.

Commitment to Michiana Award: Matthew Logsdon (MBA ’20), president of the Indiana Whiskey Company. The award recognizes an alumnus or alumna who lives in the Michiana area and has made significant contributions to the local community through community service work, civil service work or helping to bring more jobs to this area. Logsdon was recognized for the impact of Indiana Whiskey on the local business community and for pivoting operations to produce hand sanitizer when the pandemic hit. He also completed his third year of medical school rotation by providing frontline pandemic aid.

Distinguished Alumni Award: Charles Florance (MBA ’13), founder of NFINET and chairman of the Indiana Whiskey Company. The award recognizes an alumnus or alumna who has demonstrated achievement in business and a commitment through leadership and service to the Mendoza community or through living the Mendoza mission to “Grow the Good in Business” in his or her local community. Florance was recognized for his many acts of support for Mendoza, such as his years of service and leadership on the Graduate Alumni Board and local championing of the MBA program, and for the overwhelming success and impact of Indiana Whiskey Company.

Grow the Good in Business Award: John Kurtz (EMBA ’08), owner of Kurtz Bros. The award recognizes an alumnus or alumna who owns or leads a company that is successful in its industry and also has a specific goal for making a positive social impact either on its local community or on the globe. Kurtz Bros. is a family company known for its history of growth and innovative, sustainable approach to problem solving in the landscaping and building solutions industries. The company also challenges its employees to serve local charities in Northeast and Central Ohio.

Service to Students Award: Kevin Connors (BSEE ’83), co-founder of Spray Venture Partners. The award recognizes individuals who have dedicated significant portions of their careers to mentoring students and alumni in their career and entrepreneurial endeavors. Connors, an accomplished entrepreneur and venture investor who has co-founded seven health-care technology companies, was recognized for providing career coaching and startup guidance to hundreds of Notre Dame students.

Award recipients are nominated by both peers as well as members of the College community. To qualify, they must be a graduate of one of Mendoza’s degree programs and cannot have received an alumni award within the previous three years.

Visit the Mendoza Alumni Awards website for more information and to view previous winners.