Class Notes Chad Van Sickle ’91, Addison (Mich,) middle and high school assistant principal, retired at the end of the 2016 school year after 25 years with the district. Chad began his career at Addison in 1990 as a basketball coach. He began teaching in 1991 and in August 2011 was promoted to dean of students. Chad was promoted again to assistant principal in June 2012 and assigned the athletic director role in June 2014.
In August 2015, Blagoy Pogoncheff ’97 and family were named Volunteer Family of the Year by the Association of the United States Army. The award recognizes an exceptional Army family whose volunteer service significantly contributes to improving the wellbeing of Army families and the local community. The Pogoncheff family resides at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in the state of Washington.
Laura Gniatczyk Byars ’92 was recently promoted to vice president of human performance at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. In this role, Laura is responsible for enterprise-wide training and development functions, talent management and organizational development. Additionally, in Feb. 2015, Laura’s team at BSBSM was ranked fifth in the nation by Training Magazine for their comprehensive learning and development offerings and impact at BCBSM. Laura, husband David, and son Joshua live in Sterling Heights, Mich. Laura sends thanks to Dr. Hank Cetola for “opening my mind to the world of industrial/organizational psychology. Without you, my career would not be possible.”
Roberta Hiner ’98 and Toni Schmidt were married August 1, 2015, at their home in Tiffin, Ohio, surrounded by friends and family. The couple is enjoying life with their dogs, Lola and Maxine. Roberta was promoted last June to lead recruiter with Cielo, a Wisconsin-based global recruiting firm, and loves working from home.
Lisa Harris ’92 was the featured speaker at Adrian College’s Institute for Career Planning Focus on Your Future event in April. Lisa, a former talent acquisition specialist with Daimler Trucks North America, recently began working with Mercedes Benz Financial Services in human resources shared services. In March, Colleen Kowich ’92 was named the 2015 Kiwanian of the Year by the Saint Joseph, Mo., Kiwanis Club. For the past 10 years, Colleen has been employed as the director of alumni services at Missouri Western State University in Saint Joseph. Karen Baird ’94, former head softball coach at Eastern Michigan University, was named assistant softball coach at Oakland University Athletics in July 2015. Prior to Karen’s tenure at EMU, she spent six years as the head softball coach at Albion College. Karen earned a Master of Arts degree in sports administration from Wayne State University in 2000. She was inducted into the Adrian College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010 as a member of the 1990-91 softball team. Patti Smith ’94 collaborated with the People’s Food Co-op of Ann Arbor to write the group’s background with The History of Ann Arbor’s People’s Food Co-op, recording their 45 year evolution. The book, published in April, is filled with pictures, stories, anecdotes and a comprehensive timeline and tells the story of the Coop’s early days on State Street to its current storefront and wildly successful Café Verde.
Amber Metro-Sanchez ’99 was one of 12 dental hygienists nationwide selected to be a member of Colgate’s Oral Health Advisory Board in 2015. Amber also had her first article published in the January 2016 issue of RDH magazine. She has practiced as a dental hygienist in Fort Wayne, Ind., for the past 10 years.
2000s During their inaugural year 2015, Lambda Pi Eta, Adrian College communication honor society, inducted several distinguished honorary alumni members. These include Jim Mahony ’00, Troy Schmidli ’02, Janet Creque ’06, Courtney Clouse ’12, Amanda Duquesnel ’12, Mike Neal ’12, Emma Brooks ’13, Tim Martuch ’13, Frank Crupi ’15 and Christopher Momany ’15. Michael Bell ’00 and his wife, Sarah Chaffee, announce the birth of their daughter, Elliott Chaffee Bell, in July 2015. The family resides in Hartford, Mich., where Michael is an attorney with Howard & Howard Attorneys LLC. Angela Kreusel ’00 began working in February as a senior project manager with Idle Tools, Inc., in the Raleigh-Durham, N.C., area.