emu... preparing students to serve and lead globally
www.emu.edu | crossroads | 1
vol. 93, No. 3
photo by lindsey kolb
crossroads SPRING 2013, Vol. 93, No. 3
Crossroads (USPS 174-860) is published three times a year by Eastern Mennonite University for distribution to 13,500 alumni, students, parents and friends. A leader among faith-based universities, Eastern Mennonite University emphasizes peacebuilding, creation care, experiential learning, and cross-cultural engagement. Founded in 1917 in Harrisonburg, Virginia, EMU offers undergraduate, graduate, and seminary degrees that prepare students to serve and lead in a global context. EMU's mission statement is posted in its entirety at www.emu.edu/mission. Board of Trustees: Andrew Dula, chair, Lancaster, Pa.; Wilma Bailey, Indianapolis, Ind.; Evon Bergey, Perkasie, Pa.; Myron Blosser, Harrisonburg, Va.; John Bomberger, Harrisonburg, Va.; Herman Bontrager, Akron, Pa.; Shana Peachey Boshart, Wellman, Iowa; Randall Bowman, Archbold, Ohio; Janet Breneman, Lancaster, Pa.; Gerald R. Horst, New Holland, Pa.; Charlotte Hunsberger, Souderton, Pa.; Clyde Kratz, Harrisonburg, Va.; Kevin Longenecker, Harrisonburg, Va.; Kathleen (Kay) Nussbaum, Grant, Minn.; Dannie Otto, Urbana, Ill.; Amy Rush, Harrisonburg, Va.; Jeffrey A. Shank, Sarasota, Fla.; Robert Steury, Goshen, Ind.; Anne Kaufman Weaver, Brownstown, Pa. Associate trustees: Jonathan Bowman, Manheim, Pa.; David Hersh, Line Lexington, Pa.; Chad Lacher, Souderton, Pa.; E. Thomas Murphy, Jr., Harrisonburg, Va.; Mark Prock, Virginia Beach, Va.; Judith Trumbo, Broadway, Va. Loren Swartzendruber, president; Fred Kniss, provost; Kirk Shisler, vice president for advancement; Andrea Wenger, marketing and communications director Bonnie Price Lofton Jon Styer Editor-in-chief Designer/photographer firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Braydon P. Hoover Mike Zucconi Mileposts editor Information officer firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Marcy Gineris Danny Yoder Web content manager Web/social media firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Lindsey Kolb Carol Lown Photographer/proofreader Mailing list manager firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Jessica Hostetler Project & office coordinator/ proofreader firstname.lastname@example.org All EMU personnel can be reached during regular work hours by calling 540-432-4000, or via contact details posted on the university website, www.emu.edu. Cover: Ronald L. Stoltzfus '75 has overseen EMU's accounting program since 1984. He holds a PhD in accounting and is a CPA. Story on p. 4. Photo by Jon Styer. POSTMASTER: Submit address changes to: Crossroads Eastern Mennonite University 1200 Park Road Harrisonburg VA 22802
Loren Swartzendruber '76, MDiv '79, DMin
Doing Good With Our Finances After a couple of decades of massive scandals in the U.S. financial world – Enron, the savings and loan industry, the federal bail-out of this country’s top banks – it has become commonplace at business departments at colleges and universities across the country to speak of the value of “ethics” and of considering “the public good.” At the risk of sounding immodest about EMU, our business and accounting professors have been raising such matters since this institution began offering business classes. Many of those interviewed for Crossroads credited their church-rooted parents for instilling in them the importance of maintaining their integrity and caring for the well-being of others, both at home and at work. But they also credited EMU for reinforcing this ethos. That was certainly my personal experience, growing up in a business-oriented family and then attending EMU. My father owned a farm-implement dealership in Kalona, Iowa, where I worked from an early age through college. My first experience with “fundraising” was going into the fields to find farmers and ask for the payments they owed my father. Dad could not stay in business, and keep supplying farmers with the equipment they needed, if he did not collect on debts. Yet, sometimes, in cases of real hardship, Dad did write-off debts. And my parents always contributed (financially and as volunteers in many roles) to our church, regardless of the economic circumstance, because they believed we were part of a larger church community that also could not survive without regular infusions of money. Dad’s business practices were a bit unusual. He and his business partners paid themselves an hourly wage rather than take a salary. All employees received a bonus after a profitable year. In quite a few years Dad took unpaid “vacation” weeks to teach Summer Vacation Bible School in our home congregation and at a mission church out of state. For most of his 40+ year business career, Dad worked six days a week, but I didn’t mind because I was with him when I wasn’t in school. We need our people in finances and business, and they need the thoughtfulness and ethical foundation that comes from being part of a larger community that asks the hard questions, as does an organization to which I belong, Mennonite Economic Development Associates. I believe this is why EMU was teaching about “ethics” and “the public good” long before many other educational institutions realized the importance of such teachings.
printed on recycled paper
Loren Swartzendruber President Cert no. SW-COC-001635
2 | crossroads | spring 2013
On Being Purposeful
The Passion of Ron Stoltzfus
Country Boys No More
Six Grads at SNL Financial
Alumni and faculty interviewed for this "numbercrunching" issue of Crossroads often stressed the importance of purpose and integrity in their work.
Teacher of many covered in this magazine, Ron Stoltzfus thinks accounting is a high calling – akin to being a skilled physician or a wise pastor.
One of our academics in higher education is the bestselling author of college-level math textbooks used around the world.
Raised in small-town, farm-rooted settings, Kermit Kauffman, Keith Yoder and John Buckwalter long ago became key players in major corporations.
Bright, flexible business grads since '02 have found a home at SNL, provider of breaking news, financial data and expert analysis for businesses globally.
In this Issue
Three grads have discovered the high pay, secure employment outlook, and job satisfaction of being an actuary, though it takes 6-10 years to arrive there.
Two women in different muncipalities have worked to restore public faith in the government’s ability to solve problems.
We all need money, even if we’ve been warned not to love it, not to crave it, and to beware of being rich. www.emu.edu | crossroads | 1
AMONG THE 150 ALUMNI CONTACTED FOR THIS CROSSROADS, this note was struck often: the importance of the integrity of the individual financial expert and, by extension, the company represented by that person. Most interviewees seemed to feel they had secured the right work situation for their skill set and ethical values. But they didn’t always arrive at this point immediately upon licensure as a CPA, completing an MBA, or earning a Certified Financial Planner designation. Perhaps a dozen interviewees parted from jobs at some point in their work journey as a result of feeling compromised or burned for. Employed by Trilogy Global Adviout, eventually finding something that fit sors, a boutique investment managethem better. ment firm that manages $14 billion of Matthew Clemmer ’02, for example, institutional equity assets, Clemmer is an was looking for a way to get a toehold in investment analyst focused on indusasset management when he landed a job trial and material companies domiciled in October 2005 with a Chicago-based in emerging markets – such as those private equity firm. There he joined an in China, Brazil, and Indonesia. He is investment team managing a portfolio part of an investment team in Orlando, of over $200 million worth of real estate Florida, which manages assets for large and commodity assets. Initially Clemmer public and private institutions globally. thought this was his first big opportunity. “We invest so that pension-holders can Yet he left in July 2006 (10 months later) retire,” he says. “We look for high quality – so suddenly that he had lined up no companies that have durability, that are other job – after realizing that his integnot a flash in the pan.” And such comparity was being compromised by dubious nies, by definition in his mind, need to ethical practices. demonstrate high ethical and corporate In August 2008, at the start of the governance practices to be sustainable Great Financial Crisis – about the over the long term. time his former employer was entering receivership – Clemmer was enrolled IMPORTANCE OF “GUIDING VALUES” full-time in the MBA program at Boston Allon Lefever, an adjunct business College, while his wife, Sara Joy Bergey professor at EMU, urges his MBA Clemmer ’03, was a campus recruiting students to start with “guiding values” – manager for KPMG, one of the Big Four put in writing and reviewed regularly accounting firms. – in any enterprise they undertake. “I went underground [i.e., to grad He often offers his own example: He school] for two years, while the financial worked with his son, Rod, and another world unraveled,” Clemmer jokes. business partner in the late 1990s to Today Clemmer loves what he does build an Internet service provider, Oneand, more importantly, who he does it Main.com, that went public in March 2 | crossroads | spring 2013
photo by jon styer
In the Choices One Makes
Matthew Clemmer ’02
1999 with an Initial Public Offering that raised $215 million. They more than doubled OneMain’s customer base in 18 months and then sold it to Earthlink for $308 million in September 2001. Before they did any of this, however, the three business partners agreed upon these five “guiding values,” which were presented to all potential investors: People – we will treat people (our employees, customers and suppliers) with fairness and respect. Quality – we will consistently and continuously exceed the expectations of our customers. Integrity – we will deal honestly and fairly with people in all our business relationships. Mutuality – we will work for the mutual success of our employees, customers and shareholders. Innovation – we will develop innovative solutions to meet our customers’ needs. At a critical stage in the growth of OneMain, Lefever and his partners discovered that a significant client specialized in Internet-transmitted pornography. They ceased carrying his business on their network, despite the financial loss. Lefever said he was fortunate to spend
his first 16 years after college with a food-processing company that demonstrated that it was possible to uphold one’s religious beliefs and be profitable. The company was Victor Weaver Inc. (sold in 1986 to Holly Farms). By age 33 Lefever was vice president of operations, responsible for 2,000 employees. “Victor Weaver and his son Dale were very clear on who we are and why we do what we do. There was no work on Sunday, for example. Even the trucks didn’t get on the road until 12:01 a.m. Monday.” Next Lefever joined the management team of High Industries, then led by two Mennonite brothers, Dale and Calvin High, son of the founder, Sanford. “Sanford would walk around the [steel] bridges being built by his company and tell his workers, ‘Do a continuous weld and give it a good measure.’ He always encouraged his employees to deliver more than the required specifications.” Today Lefever runs smaller businesses – mainly a successful Hampton Inn in the Shenandoah Valley, plus some real estate investments. “I’ll be the first to admit that it’s increasingly difficult to stand for one’s values and implement them in a big company,” he muses. “The bigger you get, the more you lose control.” REGAINING CONTROL ON THE HOME FRONT After a succession of high-level jobs with the two largest privately held companies in the United States – Cargill and Koch Industries – Denise Yoder Miller ’85 and her husband, Luke Miller ’87 (accounting major, followed by an MBA) decided, “One of us is going to have to get off the corporate race track.” They agreed Luke would keep running the race. He is based at the corporate headquarters of Cargill in Minnetonka, Minnesota, where he is a strategist, working to rationalize the ways 70 business units of Cargill interact with customers in 65 countries.* Denise, a CPA, had been feeling ambivalent about her long work hours in the high-pressure Koch environment after she gave birth to their first child, Nicole, in 1999. Yet she also identified strongly with her highly responsible job. * Cargill has 142,000 employees worldwide and gross annual revenues of $133.9 billion.
She was information technology controller, responsible for a $370-million shared service group for which she did financial reporting, budgeting, and forecasts. When Nicole was 3, Denise had an epiphany: “I was at the point in my career where when I looked around, those above me had their secretaries purchase birthday gifts for their children. It occurred to me, why did I have a child if I wouldn’t be able to spend time with her? We had this beautiful daughter, and I decided I wanted to spend two years with her before she started school.” (In 2005 their second daughter, Samantha, was born.)
“It’s increasingly difficult to stand for one’s values and implement them in a big company.” — Allon Lefever, adjunct business professor
Previous to Koch, Denise had been financial analysis manager for Thorn Americas Inc., with annual revenues of $1 billion, and before that, financial analyst for Cargill’s division in Wichita, Kansas, with revenues of $300 million. From Very Important Person in the corporate financial world, Denise rapidly moved to being Somebody Quietly Cherished in her family, children’s elementary school, and church. Denise runs a database of 400 classroom volunteers who serve an elementary school with 700800 students within a district of 10,400 students. She is the volunteer treasurer for Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Previously, she was the volunteer treasurer for the nonprofit Ten Thousand Villages store in nearby St. Paul. “As a unit, Luke and I are balanced – I am able to give back where needed while he does the corporate job. It’s the season of my life. I would not have been satisfied at 23 to do what I am doing now. But now I really want to be able to have a purpose.” She says she’ll likely resume full-time accounting by the time the children leave the nest, but she hopes it will be for a charitable foundation or the like.
BETTER BUSINESS, COMMUNITY Fred Brubaker ’66 can look back on his 34 years as lead accountant for a succession of two companies that produced products for maintaining lawns and gardens, the Steiner Corporation and Ventrac. He helped these companies provide desirable jobs for more than 100 folks in Orville, Ohio (pop. 8,380) – thereby fueling the local economy – while providing good-quality equipment to consumers. Brubaker’s career in Orville began when two acquaintances from EMU, brothers Glenn ’66 and Roy ’68 Steiner, sought someone they felt they could trust to do the finances for Steiner Corp., their family-owned company. Brubaker had been a history major at EMU. He then taught in Honduras with the Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions for three years, before returning to college for an associate degree in accounting. This was in Wooster, Ohio, which led to working for the seven Steiner brothers. “For 20 years, we in the management team would talk every day,” says Brubaker. “I would tell them what the numbers meant, though I can’t say I gave them the best advice at the beginning. I was on a learning curve, along with company.” Today, Ventrac remains in the hands of the Steiner family and does about $15-$20 million in sales annually. Its top-selling product is an all-wheel-drive compact tractor, with over 30 possible attachments. Brubaker is mostly retired, though he works about a half day a week for Ventrac. He also does the books for SpringHaven, a local counseling center, and runs a small tax-return business. In today’s fast-paced world of multinational deals and mergers, Brubaker may be one of a vanishing breed who can look around at the community where he has lived for more than 40 years – where he and his wife raised their daughter, Jacinda (Zook) ’97, where the Steiner brothers lived – and see the impact of his life’s work in his immediate environs, not to mention the usefulness of nearly 8,000 Ventrac tractors spread across the nation. — Bonnie Price Lofton, MA' 04, editor
www.emu.edu | crossroads | 3
STOLTZFUS 4,838,599 ACCOUNTS 6001683 FOR THE ‘PUBLIC GOOD’
IF YOU WANT TO UNDERSTAND the passion of Ronald L. Stoltzfus for accounting – notably getting the numbers right, providing complete and transparent information, and putting the public good first – you need only look as far as the accountant he respects the most in the national arena: Lynn E. Turner. As chief accountant for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from 1998 to 2001, Turner was a leading advocate of auditor independence rules and international accounting and auditing standards. “He’s one of my heroes,” says Stoltzfus, who heads EMU’s accounting program
in the business and economics department. “He understands that accounting information helps investors, creditors and other users make good decisions. This is why accurate, transparent financial information is a ‘public good.’” Stoltzfus admires the way Turner speaks to accounting conventions, “asking the hard questions that need to be asked,“ says Stoltzfus. Turner, for example, has publicly questioned why the investigative budget of the SEC was drastically cut in 2007, hamstringing an agency responsible for enforcing the laws regulating the nation’s banks. (This was at a period when JPMorgan Chase, Citicorp, and Bank of America
(748,935) (476,448) 6001683
4 | crossroads | spring 2013
were implicated in the global financial meltdown.) Unlike Turner, Stoltzfus is not famous – at least not beyond certain university circles – but he shares Turner’s moral outrage at financial reporting practices that harm the public good. This is why Stoltzfus is spending his 2012-13 sabbatical examining the way state governments report on the pension benefits they have promised to their employees. “Most state pension plans were fully funded seven years ago,” he says. “Now they aren’t.” “Instead of following the recommendations of actuaries, many state legislatures have reduced the percentage of funds set
photos by jon styer
aside for the pensions.” In Pennsylvania, for example, Stoltzfus found that the state workers’ pension fund was underfunded by $14.7 billion as of 2011, partly the result of 10 years of sub-par investment returns and partly as a result of the state legislature cutting the set-aside money from 26% to 11% of payroll. (Stoltzfus cites “State Employees Retirement System, Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,” 06/30/11, p.72.) Unfortunately, many states report similar patterns, he says: “Why are they [the legislatures] messing with the pension funds? Is this a short-sighted effort to balance the state budget at the expense of state workers?” Stoltzfus hopes to publish his findings as soon as he wraps up his research. This is not a dry academic exercise; underfunded pensions funds will impact tens of thousands of public employees in the state of Pennsylvania alone. For Stoltzfus, accounting is a high calling – right up there with being a skilled physician or a wise pastor. “To run a business, non-profit or a government agency, you must have properly trained people who know how to collect the right data and present it understandably, giving accurate answers to a host of questions.” “Good CPAs [Certified Public Accountants] are problem-solvers for their clients,” he enthuses. “And auditors are like forensic investigators – they have to be very bright and very astute. Behind every major business reporting failure, there was an audit failure.” Stoltzfus says a flaw in the U.S. audit system is the fact that the auditor is paid by the company being audited. He points to the way Arthur Andersen – one of the “Big Five” accounting firms until 2002 – was getting a million dollars a week from Enron at time when it was fraudulently reporting its financial position, deluding its investors. (Enron filed for bankruptcy in 2001.) In addition to being a CPA and an EMU alum, Stoltzfus holds a PhD in accounting from Virginia Commonwealth University, a master’s in accounting from James Madison University, and a master of business administration from Ship402004-2005 0pensburg 2-3002 University. 302005-2006 02-2002 2006-2007
Ronald L. Stoltzfus '75
“Its very unusual for a university this put at EMU since arriving here in 1984, size to have somebody with a PhD teach- after a decade of being a controller in the ing accounting, “ says Spencer Cowles, private sector. His motivations clearly are PhD, chair of EMU’s business and beyond money. economics department. “It’s also unusual “I believe in the mission of EMU. I to find someone with a CPA and a PhD think we make a difference in young in accounting who also has an MBA. people’s lives,” he says. No accounting Ron doesn’t just have a narrow technical student “gets lost here…. I know if you perspective – he understands how acaren’t prepared and if you’re not in class.” counting fits into business.” The exams that Stoltzfus puts his PhD-holding scholars of accountstudents through are intended to prepare ing like Stoltzfus are in short supply them for the multi-day exam marathons nationally, according to the American that they will need to endure to pass Accounting Association. This may extheir CPA exams. In short, EMU’s acplain the salaries they can command on counting exams are really tough. But, as the academic market. New hires as full dozens of accounting graduates have told professors of accounting received a mean Crossroads, the pay-off is success in gradusalary of $169,200 in 2009, according to ate school and in getting the coveted a 2009-2010 salary survey conducted by CPA license with relative ease. the Association to Advance Collegiate Stoltzfus also stays put because “I have Schools of Business. great colleagues. Our department really “The highest salary you can get as an values teaching in a liberal arts context accounting professor at EMU is probwhere clear thinking and clear writing ably half what you could get at a major are very important,” he says. “And so university with a full-fledged graduate are relationships and understanding the program in accounting,” says Cowles. Yet broader context of business and society. Stoltzfus, long-time treasurer of his Park It’s not just about accounting.” 2007-2008 2008-2009 View Mennonite Church, has stayed2009-2010 — Bonnie2010-2011 Price Lofton, MA2011-2012 '04
www.emu.edu | crossroads | 5
“WHEN I FIRST BEGAN WORKING at Eastern Mennonite College,” recalls professor emeritus Wilmer Lehman ’57, “teaching at EMC was seen as a kind of mission of the church.” Back in the era of Sputnik, math education was a carefully calculated national priority, and teachers of mathematics were in high demand. This small private school struggled to compete with the demand for higher-level mathematicians generated by Cold War anxieties, especially given its status as a Christianpacifist institution that garnered no funding for defense-related work. But being a devout Anabaptist, Lehman opted to take the proverbial “road less traveled” in U.S. academia and returned to teach at his alma mater two years after graduation. “When I came [for the 195960 school year], I did not know what my yearly salary would be,” Lehman says. “I found that it was about $2,500, spread over nine or ten months – all of which it took just to live. We had to scrape by in the summers.” Later, Lehman would earn a master of arts in teaching with a math concentration from Cornell University and become a full professor at EMU. Lehman became the foundation of what has grown into a thriving program in the mathematical sciences. Early in his 40-year career at EMU, he taught Millard Showalter ’62 and then recruited him to be a fellow faculty member. Lehman’s education continued, even as he was educating another generation. In the early 1990s, Lehman earned a second master’s degree (this time an MA in Christian leadership, focusing on counseling) at Eastern Mennonite Seminary in order to prepare himself for leadership roles in his congregation, Mt. Clinton Mennonite Church, and the conference to which it belongs. 6 | crossroads | spring 2013
photos by jon styer
In the Field of Numbers
Wilmer Lehman ’57 and Millard Showalter ’62
Like Lehman, Showalter earned his In the summer 2011 issue of Crossgraduate degrees while working for roads, Lehman displayed his “mission” minimal pay at EMU. Showalter holds approach to teaching in an anecdote two master’s degrees, one in math from recounted by Wayne Lawton ’71. Lawthe University of South Carolina and an- ton had returned to college as an older other master’s in arts (with a math major) adult and was struggling to catch up in from Vanderbilt, and an EdD from the math. Serving as a pastor in Waynesboro University of Virginia. while taking classes, Lawton sheepishly “Millard was quite popular,” said approached Lehman, asking if more Lehman, adding he was gifted at making help might be possible. Lehman replied, math understandable and enjoyable. In “When you pastor a church, do you mind fact, at one point Showalter’s students people coming to you for help?” When wore T-shirts that read “Millard’s MagLawton said no, Lehman replied, “Well, nificent Mathematicians.” I don’t mind helping you!” Lehman and Showalter taught in Showalter recalls his years teaching tandem for decades – serving under four with Lehman at EMU as “the best years presidents and seven academic deans of my life.” Although he struggled both – until Showalter retired in 1998, with to make math interesting to students and Lehman following in 2000. Both were to integrate changes in technology and beloved for their willingness to work teaching methods, he credits his students one-on-one with students having diffor making his career memorable. “I ficulty in math, acting as both tutor and was very fortunate to have had excelencourager. lent math majors. My students not only
numbers challenged me to be a better teacher, but also brought creativity and a desire to develop critical thinking and problemsolving skills.” Perhaps because of his infectious enthusiasm – he once spent an entire sabbatical rewriting lesson plans to adjust to technological changes – it is no surprise that Showalter says: “If I were to again be given the opportunity to choose a life career, I don’t doubt that teaching mathematics at EMU would be my first choice.” Reflecting on the “ripple effects” coming from his lengthy career, Lehman realizes that he’s internalized some aspects of teaching. “I’m always on my best behavior, no matter where I go,” he says. “I never know when I’m going to run into a former student. I’ve run into them as far away as the Nairobi [Kenya] marketplace.” In addition to Lehman and Showalter, four other EMU alumni taught mathematical sciences for extended stints: two members of the class of 1962, Del Snyder and Donald C. Miller (who also attended the seminary in 1976-77); Roy E. Heatwole ’64; and John L. Horst ’60, who taught both physics and mathematics and coached award-winning teams in international math-modeling competitions. When Joe Mast ’64 was a student at EMU in the early 1960s his long-term goal was to be a high school math and physics teacher. “At the time, I did not aspire to teach at the college level,” he says. “[But] I had a great interest in astronomy and electronics.” His physics professor, Robert Lehman, encouraged him to pursue astronomy and return to his alma mater. As a student at EMU, Mast helped to manage the WEMC radio station as chief engineer and station manager and was part of the Astral Society, which focused on astronomy. In the Cold War era, space-race money was available, and he received a special fellowship that allowed him to pursue a master’s degree and a PhD at the University of Virginia, both in astronomy. Upon returning to thenEMC as a faculty member, the college received its first computer under a grant to small colleges. Mast became EMU’s first computer science professor. On sabbatical in 1978, Mast went to JMU, where he studied computer science courses, and later received a second
Robert P. Hostetler ’59 and wife Eloise, class of '61
James L. Rosenberger ’68
master’s degree in computer science. He returned to EMU, where he ushered in a two-year associate’s degree in computer processing, followed several years later by a major in computer science. In response to a need by fellow EMU employees for banking services, in 1969 Mast helped to found Park View Federal Credit Union, an idea originating with Dan Bender and developed by Robert Lehman. Three years later Mast began managing the credit union out of his office in the basement of the Suter Science Center, continuing for 10 years. One of EMU’s best-known math-
ematical sons is Robert P. Hostetler ’59, who retired from teaching in 1996 and only stopped writing textbooks in 2007. He now lives as a retiree within walking distance of EMU. Hostetler holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education (math certification) from EMU, a master’s degree in mathematics, and a doctorate in mathematics education, both graduate degrees from Penn State University. Hostetler is perhaps one of the most successful authors of math education texts in any language; his books have been used widely by students and teachwww.emu.edu | crossroads | 7
ers for decades. About 300 titles with Hostetler’s name as author or co-author reside on the Barnes and Noble website. Google Books puts the total count of books, editions, study guides – anything with his name – at about 2,400. Some of Hostetler’s dozens of textbooks have been translated into Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese; they range from college algebra, trigonometry and calculus to The Mathematics of Buying. One of Hostetler’s challenges as a professor, he says, “was how to share my Christian faith with students,” given the constraints of teaching at a statesupported university, which necessarily is based on the separation of church and state. After consulting with his pastor, Hostetler decided that he would “selfidentify” with the faith when introducing himself to each new class. “I simply stated that I am a Christian; I believe in a living God to whom I pray for guidance in my teaching and relationships with you students,” he told them. “I want to do my best for you.” He says he sometimes learned the outcome of his “sharing of faith” years later, when former students would get back in touch and tell him, “Dr. Hostetler, guess what— I’ve become a Christian! What you shared in that first day of calculus class, I just couldn’t get out of my mind over the years, so I’ve made that decision!” Outside of the university, Hostetler has shared his faith and enthusiasm for teaching and learning as a Sunday School teacher for more than 40 years. In the spring 2006 issue of Crossroads, Hostetler spoke about an unusual sabbatical he took in 1997-98 during which he taught without pay at EMU as a way of “going back to my roots.” In comparing his classes at EMU and those at Behrend College of Penn State University, Hostetler said the classes were similarly sized – about 30 to 32 students, with comparable academic abilities. He used the same textbooks (his own), the same curriculum and grading standards at both universities. Though the percentage of students at the high and low ends of the grading spectrum was the same, it was the middle group of students that surprised Hostetler. “At EMU, the middle group of students went up in their performance [as the semesters progressed]; at Penn State, the middle group shifted downward.” 8 | crossroads | spring 2013
Wendell Ressler ’80
Hostetler attributed the improved performance of the average student at EMU to “a more caring faculty, the work ethic of students at EMU, the community spirit that helped each student to feel valued, and the fact that EMU students act with Christian charity toward one another and help each other out.” Plus, he added, “attention was given to all students equally, rather than just to the excellent or the deficient.” At the University Park Campus of Penn State, James L. Rosenberger ’68 is an internationally recognized statistician, with a master’s degree from Polytechnic Institute of New York and a doctorate from Cornell University. He says that EMU professor Roy Heatwole first sparked his interest in working with statistics. Graduating with a major in math, Rosenberger was able to secure 1-W conscientious objector status during the Vietnam War by working as an analyst and programmer in the Cardiovascular Research Center at New York University Medical Center. Rosenberger, who is now vice-president of the 18,000-member American Statistical Association, believes statisticians are uniquely situated in positions
where ethical decisions are amplified. “We are constantly faced with real data which can easily be misrepresented for the benefit of proving a point. Understanding the importance of integrity informs much of my work,” he says. “I teach students and consult with researchers to honestly represent the uncertainty in the conclusions of a study or research experiment.” During the past decade, Rosenberger has guided the development of an online professional master of applied statistics program at Penn State, aimed at midcareer professionals who cannot return to graduate school full time. “More than 500 students enroll in our graduate courses each semester, allowing us to extend the reach of statistics education beyond the campus,” he says. To Rosenberger, statistics is “a wonderful profession.” Not only is it a challenge learning the language of scientific collaboration, but it is a quest for truth. “We can get involved in so many interesting disciplines and issues, always facing uncertain information and mountains of data,” he says, “to which we apply our tools and skills to uncover the truth.” Rosenberger’s accomplishments
Merle Reinford ’72
include: a 2011 Distinguished Service Award from the National Institute of Statistical Sciences, election to Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, serving as program director at the National Science Foundation, and lecturing around the globe. One of Millard Showalter’s students, Merle Reinford ’72, has gone on to earn a graduate degree in math (where most of his courses were easier than those at EMU, he says) and to devote nearly 40 years to teaching math students at Lancaster (Pa.) Mennonite High School. Some semesters, he also teaches math as an adjunct at Millersville University. Sharpening the minds of his high school students, he has spent 33 years coaching competitive chess, eventually getting elected president of the regional scholastic chess league. Reinford’s coaching successes are dramatic. In 33 years his high school teams won 11 league titles, with runner-up success 13 more times. Reinford’s chess teams have accumulated a plethora of state competition titles, with a record of 315 wins to 90 losses and 23 ties. “I have used my enjoyment of the game to play chess with homeless men,” he says. “I am
not sure if you could call that a ministry now holds a PhD from Temple Univeror not,” given how much fun he has. sity, found himself thirsting for more After graduating from EMU, Larry knowledge. “I loved studying analytic Lehman ’79 got a fellowship at Uninumber theory,” he says. “In retrospect, versity of Virginia, where he earned his it seems that I kept trying to get off doctorate. He credits two of his math the academic track, but curiosity kept professors, Millard Showalter and Del pulling me back. Or, maybe I just liked Snyder, with preparing him for his own being a student.” professorship at University of Mary Now a math professor at Franklin Washington, where he spent six years & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., as chair of the math department. “They Ressler does research in the abstract [Snyder and Showalter] emphasized not stream of his field – automorphic just knowledge of facts, but considerintegrals, Dirichlet series, and Hecke ation of why things are true, how differcorrespondence. He has an obvious affecent mathematical concepts fit together.” tion for proofs and logic, which he says Larry Lehman emphasizes the role was nurtured by his EMU profs. “By far that EMU played in his upbringing from the most important thing I learned from childhood: “It was more than a school, Millard Showalter and Del Snyder was but very much my home community.” how to prove things: how to think about He has embraced the educational spirit proofs, and how to write them,” he says. he saw in his EMU instructors. “Teach“I didn’t have as many fancy courses in ing has its challenges, of course, particumy background as many other students larly with finding new ways to interest in graduate school, but that did not matand motivate students, but so far I am ter because I knew how to prove things.” still enjoying the challenge.” Ressler has also found himself living Wendell Ressler ’80 stayed in Harmany of the core EMU values of peace risonburg to teach high school math and and social justice. “My peace and justice physics after he graduated from EMU, classes with Ray Gingerich and Titus and then earned his master’s degree from Bender influenced my thinking a lot. I James Madison University. Ressler, who volunteered with the Mediation Center www.emu.edu | crossroads | 9
photo by cody troyer Deirdre Smeltzer ’87 (second from left)
and Christians for Peace when I lived in Harrisonburg, and with St. Vincent’s Peace Center in Germantown when I lived in Philadelphia. I did war tax resistance and eventually the IRS garnished my wages.” Ressler is now focused on pursuing environmental justice. He volunteers at Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster, where he pays a voluntary “gas tax” to discourage driving and fund green upgrades for the congregation. He is an avid bicyclist, another love with roots at EMU. “One of my housemates at EMC got me to buy a used bicycle. I loved riding around Harrisonburg and started commuting by bicycle to work. I estimate that I have ridden about 50,000 miles since I graduated from EMC.” Ressler believes that bicycles may help save us from the problems of internal combustion. Deirdre Smeltzer ’87 returned to EMU in 1998 after graduating from the University of Virginia with an MS and a PhD in mathematics. Recalling her undergraduate years at EMU, Smeltzer credits two professors, Millard Showalter in Calculus II and Del Snyder in Discrete Math, for nurturing her interest in higher-level mathematics. “Millard made class interesting, and I found myself doing his homework first,” 10 | crossroads | spring 2013
she says. “In Discrete Math, I discovered Byer, Risser was “hooked” on the idea that I really loved the abstract, logical of grad school, and decided to pursue thinking required – much more than the a PhD in statistics. He is now a dochands-on labs of chemistry, which was toral student at Ohio State University another major that I was considering.” and recently received his MS (also at As an EMU faculty member, Smeltzer Ohio State), where he is also involved has taught courses on more than two in research on HyFlex (hybrid, flexible) dozen topics in her field and is author or education methods. Risser says he hopes co-author of a number of peer-reviewed to have the kind of impact on a future articles and a textbook. In the current aca- generation of college students as his demic year, she has directed EMU’s exten- EMU teachers had on him. sive cross-cultural programs on a part-time A common characteristic of all of our basis. In the late spring, she was named alumni in higher-level, academic studies EMU’s vice president and undergraduate of numbers is a strong appreciation for, dean, effective July 1, 2013. and commitment to, the EMU comDuring his time as an undergrad munity. “Once I joined the EMU faculty at EMU, Mark D. Risser ’07 was and took on its mission,” Mast says, “I involved in student government, the was willing to sacrifice many things to student newspaper, and was recipient of advance the program to the best of my a presidential scholarship award. After abilities.” graduating, Risser worked for EMU in The faculty’s sacrificial efforts seem the admissions department before being to have borne fruit: “My educational pulled back to the discipline of rigorous experiences grounded me in a distincacademics. “Working in admissions was tive Christian understanding where the a fantastic experience, and allowed me things I believe impact my life style and to sink my roots a little deeper into the goals,” says Jim Rosenberger from his greater Mennonite community,” he says. perch as the leading academic statistician “But as I didn’t have an outlet for the at the University Park Campus of Penn mathematical side of my brain, I started State. “In particular, integrity became a feeling the draw of returning to school central core value from lessons learned at for something math-related.” EMU.” After consulting with his former — Evan Knappenberger, class of 2014 professors, Deirdre Smeltzer and Owen
photo by jon styer
Milton Loyer ’67
Stats in the Time of Microsoft HERE’S THE THING ABOUT STATISTICS in this day and age: anyone can enter data into Microsoft Excel and, with a few clicks of the mouse, execute any number of statistical procedures and end up with any number of statistical outputs. Even a kindergartener could do it, right? Indeed, as long as that kindergartner was skilled at detecting and correcting errors in the original data set, knew which specific statistical procedure was most relevant to a particular experimental objective, and could deliver a meaningful interpretation of the resulting output. That means people like Milton Loyer ’67 are still awfully handy to have around at places like the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville, Pennsylvania, where he evaluates research on fertilizers, pesticides and crop management strategies. Loyer spends much of his time combing through enormous sets of data, sometimes up to 10,000 lines at a time, in which there are bound to be keystroke errors (researchers, especially grad students, aren’t always as meticulous in this regard as a statistician would like). Sometimes the errors are obvious, like when a misplaced decimal point throws a figure off by one or more orders of magnitude. Other times, the errors are much more sneaky and subtle, revealed only in patterns that rouse Loyer’s suspicions and send him on the hunt for an explanation. One example was a set of growth measurements from the orchard, in which the shoots appeared to be longer and shorter on alternating trees in a constant pattern – first longer, then shorter, longer, shorter. Loyer wandered out to the field to ask the workers how they’d collected the data.
The orchard is big, they told him, and the job is boring. To keep things interesting, two of them had alternated roles at every tree. One would measure the shoots, and one would write down the numbers. They had used different measuring sticks, and on closer inspection, Loyer found that one of the sticks had an extra 2 millimeters on the end below the true zero mark. The mystery was solved and the data were adjusted accordingly. Excel can’t do that kind of thing. After graduating with a math degree from EMU, Loyer went on to earn his PhD at Montana State University. He later taught at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania (EMU math professor Owen Byer was a student of Loyer’s there in the mid-’80s). In addition to his work as a statistician, he runs the archives of the United Methodist Church’s Susquehanna Conference at Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where he is also an adjunct math professor. He also finds time to manage his own affordable housing ministry in Williamsport, do some occasional statistical consulting, and, recently, “after much thought, several false starts, and helpful insight from colleagues” explain a mind-bending, paradoxical result that turned up in the statistical analysis of an apple defect study.* The real breakthrough came after a summary of this paradox – which he’s trying to popularize as “Loyer’s paradox” – was booted from Wikipedia on grounds of being impossible. The insight that led to Loyer’s explanation of the paradox was sparked during subsequent discussion of the matter with Wikipedia’s statistics editor (although the solution has been published, the entry has yet to be reinstated on Wikipedia). That’s something Excel won’t do either. — Andrew Jenner '04 * Loyer, Milton W. and Gene D. Sprechini. “Can the Probability of an Event Be Larger or Smaller Than Each of Its Component Conditional Probabilities?” Chance: A Magazine for People Interested in the Analysis of Data 24.1 (2011): 44-53. Print.
www.emu.edu | crossroads | 11
To the Major Leagues
John Buckwalter '88
THEY ALL HAVE LAST NAMES that flag them as possibly having SwissGerman-Mennonite roots – Buckwalter, Kauffman and Yoder – and they all majored in business administration. What else do John Buckwalter ’88 in Phoenix, Arizona, Kermit Kauffman ’79 in Tampa, Florida, and Keith Yoder ’77, in Atlanta, Georgia, have in common? Answer: They all were raised in small farming communities, and all ended up being top financial managers in major city-based corporations that had nothing to do with farming. Here are their stories. JOHN BUCKWALTER John Buckwalter’s father owned a small car dealership in John’s hometown of Wellman, Iowa (pop. 1,100), plus another one in Washington, Iowa. “My friends at Iowa Mennonite School viewed me as a city slicker,” he recalls with amusement. He wasn’t, but he wanted to be. After acing the CPA exam at the end of his senior year at EMU(in the 1980s, you could get a CPA without 150 hours of coursework), Buckwalter packed everything he owned into his Chevrolet Cavalier and headed to Phoenix, where his older sister was living. He started as a roofer in the broil12 | crossroads | spring 2013
Kermit Kauffman '79
Keith J. Yoder '77
ing summer sun of Phoenix. His sister, to be unduly difficult. “Ron certainly who was a client of the accounting firm influenced my career,” Buckwalter says. known as Deloitte, passed his résumé Buckwalter started as a “worker bee,” to the firm and, amazingly (he says, as auditing financial statements, but quickhe looks back on matters now), he was ly moved to taxes. The system demanded called in for an interview. much of its lower-level accountants. Normally, a Big Four accounting firm “You are trying to make a lot of people would have finished its recruiting a year happy while doing multi-tasking. It’s earlier and then from the so-called elite rough and tumble at the bottom,” says universities with undergraduate and Buckwalter. graduate accounting programs. But one As one rises in the firm, you shed the of Deloitte’s young recruits for the Phoe- number of bosses you report to, Bucknix office backed out on his commitment walter explains, but ultimately it is a to arrive in the fall, suddenly leaving an pyramid scheme, whereby more than opening. 95% of those originally hired will have no Buckwalter had straight As, but his chance to become a partner in the firm. grades were from an “unproven school.” “A lot go to beauty school,” he says wryly, To the surprise of Deloitte’s bigwigs, “but few get chosen. Would I have been however, he had scored in the top three chosen? That’s one of the questions in in Virginia on the CPA exam he took the my life that I’ll never have an answer to.” previous May and soon would receive In 1998, Buckwalter got a call from a the Elijah Watts Sells Award, a highly recruiter who told him that Starwood, prestigious national honor from the a rapidly growing company in the American Institute of CPAs (in 2011, it hospitality space, would be interested in was conferred on 37 takers of the CPA interviewing him. exam out of 90,000 candidates). Today Buckwalter is Starwood's vice Buckwalter credits his then-EMC president of corporate tax, overseeing accounting professor, Ronald Stoltzfus, 10 staffers and consulting with external for putting his students through “killer lawyers and accountants. He estimates mid-terms” that lasted four hours, folthat he puts in 12 hours a day, 9 a.m. to 9 lowed by equally arduous and long final p.m., organizing “defense” by managing exams. With such rigorous preparation, IRS audits and “offense” by finding ways Buckwalter did not find the CPA exam to reduce the taxes paid by Starwood.
Of the $9 billion in assets held by Starwood,1 Buckwalter has done “creative tax planning” – always within the law – to see that taxes do not have to be paid on all of the billions in asset transactions. “I would never want to take a position that would be embarrassing if discovered,” says Buckwalter. Buckwalter smiles at the recollection that some folks in Wellman wondered why he didn’t simply step into his father’s car business, as his brother did. “One of the things I am most proud of is that I came out here with nothing but what I learned from my parents and the education they supported me through,” he says. “I have earned everything here the hard way.” His father was influential, in teaching him how to handle people – by elevating them and not tearing them down, and treating customers fairly, Buckwalter says. “I believe good things will come my way if I build up my team,” he says. In his department, “we invest in each other and support each other,” in contrast to the counter-model in some parts of Corporate America, where blame is liberally assigned and people often are torn down. Buckwalter and his wife, Pam (a former schoolteacher), have an 11-yearold daughter, Kamryn, and an 8-year-old son, Jack. The family attends Scottsdale Bible Church in the eastern suburbs of Phoenix.
joining the accounting operation of Meadvertising wasn’t going to bounce back.” dia General in Richmond, Virginia, and Automotive advertising was down, real Leroy becoming an academic (MBA at U. estate advertising practically disappeared, of Montana, PhD at Ohio State), who and recruitment went totally to the web. now teaches accounting, finance and eco“In the 90s, we had a downturn, but nomics at Western Carolina University. the economy and the advertising market Media General turned out to be a came back,” he says. “In the early 2000s, great place for Kermit Kauffman to go the problems were more systemic.” fast and far. By global standards, it was Kauffman was part of implementing a medium-sized multi-media company several rounds of layoffs at the Tribune. controlled by the Bryan family of Virgin- There was no choice – the company had ia. From its base of two daily newspapers to stay profitable – but the layoffs were in Richmond, Media General acquired troubling. about 60 more newspapers. It also exGiven the trend lines, Kauffman sold panded into broadcast television, starting his Tribune stock and retired in 2007. “I with WFLA-TV in Tampa, Florida, and was lucky enough to have that option, growing to 18 TV stations, mostly in the but it ended up being smart to do.”2 southeast United States. In 1994, Media Not ready to let him go, Media General embraced the Internet business, General asked Kauffman to work as a partnering first with Prodigy and then consultant in advance of Super Bowl starting tbo.com, in Tampa. XLIII, held in Tampa in 2009. Media General was a sponsor of the local host committee. Kauffman was put in charge of handling the local print and television “If you cut corners or bend interests for the NFL event. the rules, it will come back to He chuckles at the recollection that haunt you; you don’t want to he had 165 choice tickets to the Super Bowl in his office the weekend before the regret what you’ve done.” game, all destined to be used to enhance — Kermit Kauffman, retired Media General v-p ties between Media General and its advertisers. Yet, “the best part of that gig In 1986, seven years after joining Mewas the fact that I was able to take one of dia General, Kauffman was named CFO my brothers and a nephew to the game.” of its chain of California weeklies. In Outside of his paid work, Kauffman 1990, Media General moved Kauffman served for 15 years on the board of a from Anaheim, California, to Tampa, Tampa shelter for victims of domestic KERMIT KAUFFMAN where he started as controller of The violence. When their CFO left unexOn a farm in Kalispell, Montana, grew Tampa Tribune and progressed to vice pectedly, he filled in as its interim CFO up five Kauffman brothers. All of them president of administration, in charge for the last nine months of 2009. He headed east for a year or more at either of the finance and information technolremembers the experience as particularly Eastern Mennonite High School or ogy functions for The Tampa Tribune, eye-opening regarding the tenuousness of College. N. Leroy ’77 was first, followed WFLA-Newschannel 8, and tbo.com, the budgets that depend on government and by Kermit and Galen, both ’79 grads, online operation for the news outlets. private grants. “There were times when and Marlin, class of ’88. Jerry attended “We were an industry leader with I wondered if we could make payroll the high school, graduating in 1981 and what we called convergence – online, or cover the electric bill. But we always eventually marrying Mary Beth Yoder, a broadcast and print operating as one,” managed to make it happen.” ’77 nursing grad. Kauffman says. “We had one finance For fun, Kauffman and two friends Only Marlin returned permanently department and one IT department, and formed an adult kickball league in 2010 to the family farm. Two of the brothers, our news and advertising people worked for which they charged $65 per particiKermit and Leroy, chose financial careers, closely together.” pant for an eight-week season plus a final with Kermit passing the CPA exam and As anyone who has paid attention tournament. When Kauffman extricated in the last decade knows, a workable himself from this venture in January 2013, financial model for delivering news in the league was attracting 600 players per 1 Starwood is the largest luxury hotel owner and manager in the world, with hotels operating under the the Internet age has not yet been found. Sheraton, Le Méridien, Westin, W, and St. Regis brands, Kauffman found himself in a difficult among others. Rivaled only by the Marriott Corpora2 When Warren Buffet announced in May 2012 that he position: “It was tough, especially in tion, Starwood owns or manages 1,100 hotels in 100 was paying $142 million in cash to acquire most of Mecountries, with 170,000 employees, yielding $6 billion dia General’s daily newspapers, he declined to include 2003 and 2004 when you could see that in annual revenues.
The Tampa Tribune in his group of 25 acquisitions.
www.emu.edu | crossroads | 13
season and its revenues were approaching ferred to EMU. actions – keep growing or selling – to $100,000 per year. “Your biggest chalAs a business administration major, maintain your stock price and to keep lenges in that business are lighted fields Yoder thought the health-care arena your investors happy.” This was the late and enough parking,” he says. (For more “could provide value” and would fit well 1990s, Yoder notes, when the market info, see http://kickballsociety.com/) with his Mennonite background. On demanded “growth or get out.” Kauffman had other things he wanted a return visit to EMU he met and later “It was an interesting time, especially to do with his time, like get ready for married Mary Claire, a graduate of James for someone from my background.” a half-marathon in New York City in Madison University (JMU) whom he After a pause, he adds, “You could get March 2013. He’s done 11 full marathons, met when she managed EMU’s public pushed to places you didn’t want to be, including ones in Boston, Berlin, Paris radio station, WEMC. but my background provided the underand New York. Mary Claire was from the Tidewater standing to do things the right way.” Recently Kauffman made what will area, so the couple felt a tug towards Over an eight-year period, Yoder likely be his last career move. He became eastern Virginia. After earning an MBA played a leading role in enabling the CFO of GSP Retail (gspretail.com), a from JMU (and having taken most if not companies in which he was involved to family-owned business in Tampa emall the accounting courses EMU offered), grow their revenues from $100 million to ploying 380. The company is a specialty Yoder got an entry-level accounting job $1 billion, derived from nursing homes, signage and technology company, proat Richmond Memorial Hospital. assisted living facilities, institutional ducing signage for the convenience-store pharmacy and home-health operations. industry across the country. GSP also From 2003 to 2011, Yoder was based in develops and markets software to help Atlanta and Columbus, Ohio, working as “I have enjoyed the its customers manage their store layouts, CFO for Atrium Centers LLC, which he merchandising and signage installation. helped grow from 13 to 43 nursing care experience of growing “I’ve been asked if I got bored [being facilities, with $220 million in revenues. companies, getting the retired],” he says. “Not at all, but it just Family and friend considerations, seemed like something I would enjoy.” right systems in place, and along with a start-up opportunity, Reflecting on his work life, Kauffman weighed heavily in a decision by Keith building great teams.” says: “I think I’ve gotten where I have and Mary Claire to settle in Atlanta in because I had a good grounding in ethics — Keith J. Yoder, former GranCare controller 2011– where they had lived as a family early on. I learned from my parents that from 1995 to 2007 (when he worked it’s important to do things right. If it’s for GranCare and then as executive vice worth doing, it’s worth doing well. By 1981, Yoder had passed his CPA president of a dental and vision insur“I have a strong sense of right and exam, and was director of finance for the ance company, with $240 million in revwrong. If you cut corners or bend the Long Term division of Sentara Healthenues). This is where two of their adult rules, it will come back to haunt you. care Inc. in Norfolk, a large not-forchildren had settled, and where Keith You don’t want to regret what you’ve profit healthcare system. “The skilled and Mary Claire felt most at home. done; you need to feel good about doing nursing side was growing. We had five or Today, Yoder is a consultant bringing things the way you did.” six nursing facilities at that time.” to the table his extensive experience with In 1992, Yoder accepted an offer to financial reporting, regulatory compliKEITH J. YODER be CFO and vice president of Everance, risk management, mergers and “Growing up on a dairy farm, I learned green Healthcare Inc., headquartered acquisitions, investor presentations, systhat hard work and working as a team in Indianapolis. “By late 1994 [when he tems conversions and integrations, and brought success,” said Keith J. Yoder ’77, was managing a financial staff of 55], we operational and capital budgeting. thinking about the 350-plus acres on knew we had to get really big or merge “When I left EMC and JMU, I never which his great-grandfather settled in with somebody else. At the time, we had had any idea that I would have the opwest-central Ohio. 73 nursing homes and $200 million in portunities that I’ve had,” he says. “I was By the mid-1920s, that land had been revenues.” often in the right place at the right time sub-divided into three farms for his Evergreen merged with GranCare – and utilized those opportunities to share children, one of which was eventually with Yoder aboard as treasurer and conwhat I had learned along the way, beginfarmed by Yoder’s father and mother for troller – yielding a system of 230 facilities ning with what my parents showed me more than 50 years outside the town of and $650-$700 million in revenues. “I – hard work and teamwork – on the farm. West Liberty. was doing a lot of traveling to many loca- I have enjoyed the experience of grow“Ultimately, I thought there were options, including Wall Street in New York, ing companies, getting the right systems tions that suited me better than working to raise capital. It could give you a false in place, and building great teams. That on the farm, but what I learned about sense of importance because the reality [team building] has turned out to be one hard work and teamwork would be was you could be one transaction from of my strengths.” integral to success in any career,” Yoder merging yourself out of a job,” Yoder — Bonnie Price Lofton, MA '04 recalls. He headed to Hesston College in says. “It was an environment which Kansas for two years, and then transrequired us to keep completing trans14 | crossroads | spring 2013
GRADS Contribute to SNL Financial’s Data-Collection Work YOU KNOW HOW AMERICANS picture the CIA combing the world to collect data, keeping careful tabs on which political faction is rising or falling in what country, and which dealer is funneling arms to what rebel movement? Now shift to the private sector and picture a corporation that combs the world as intensively, or more, than the CIA. Its mission: to collect and sell financial and market-related data to players in the global economy, including financial institutions, energy companies, real estate investors, natural resource extractors, and media companies. That company is SNL Financial, which bills itself as “the premier provider of breaking news, financial data and expert analysis on business sectors critical to the global economy.” The headquarters of SNL is in a somber-looking building on prime real estate at the east end of the downtown
pedestrian mall in Charlottesville, Va. It’s an hour’s drive from EMU and the home base of four of the six EMU graduates who work at SNL – Isaac Wyse ’10, Braden Long ’08, Amina Auezova Shenk ’07, Enea Rrapokushi ’07, Travis Geiser ’04, and Eric Reinford ’02. (Geiser now works from Chicago and Reinford from London, England, but both started with SNL in Charlottesville. Two grads who started at SNL headquarters – Bradley Hoffman ’02 and Nathaniel “Nate” Overly ’02 – eventually parted amicably with SNL to accept opportunities offered in other geographic locations.) Reinford, a business administration major (like five of his fellow alumni at SNL), was the first EMU graduate to be hired by SNL, upon the recommendation of his EMU business professor Spencer Cowles. SNL chose Reinford to be among its core group of 300 em-
ployees on the eve of starting its global expansion.*1 “We’ve grown to 2,300 FTEs in the past 10 years and hope to grow by 20% or more again this year,” says Reinford, who has officially resided in the United Kingdom for the last six years, but who actually spends much of his time traveling around the world as associate director in the new product research and development team. He focuses mainly on the banking sector, “expanding existing sector coverage to new markets or expanding into new sectors entirely.” In 2011, Reinford circulated among 15 countries in Europe. In 2012, he shifted his attention to Asia, traveling to 15 or so countries. Geiser, now a CFA charter-holder, is * Initially, in 2003, SNL established an operation in Ahmedabad, India. Next, in 2005, in Islamabad, Pakistan – both locations likely chosen for the preponderance of highly educated English-speaking personnel who are adept with computers.
Midday sun at SNL's headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia, frames (from left) Enea Rrapokushi '07, Isaac Wyse '10 and Braden Long '08. (Also at headquarters but missing from the photo is Amina Auezova Shenk '07.)
www.emu.edu | crossroads | 15
16 | crossroads | spring 2013
photos by jon styer
second to Reinford in terms of EMUalumni longevity at SNL. Early in his career, he was building a lot of the financial models that leveraged the Excel application. Two years ago, he shifted into being the product manager for SNL’s MS Excel-based financial database and modeling application. “The application allows investment bankers, equity analysts, lenders, etc., to pump SNL’s data directly into Excel and populate their models,” says Geiser. Enea Rrapokushi credits Reinford and Geiser for “establishing the reputation of EMU graduates at SNL.” Rrapokushi recalls a staff meeting in which SNL president and CEO Mike Chinn commented that if the entire workforce were as productive as the EMU graduates, the company would be 10 times more productive. Even if the compliment was overly generous, it reflects SNL’s receptiveness to hiring EMU alumni. After being hired, EMU alumni have discovered they are able to rise quickly in the ranks of this fast-growing company, receiving as much responsibility as they can handle. Isaac Wyse, for instance, joined SNL as an analyst in sales operations the summer after he graduated in 2010. A year and a half later, he was promoted to senior analyst. Today, at age 24, he is manager of sales operations, overseeing a group of a dozen (or so) analysts of all levels, both local and global. Among other responsibilities, his team develops the system used by sales and client services and builds reports and crunches numbers on both internal and client performance. “All of this is used to improve the quality of our outreach to our clients and to manage our internal teams,” he says. Amina Auezova Shenk ’07, who majored in accounting rather than business administration at EMU, is a senior manager. “I am responsible for leading operations and process improvements to ensure profitable revenue growth,” she says. “I work with various sales and client-services department heads across the organization to improve inefficiencies and to help make sound and timely business decisions to drive short-term and long-term performance.” Braden Long ’08 started his post-
Enea Rrapokushi '07, a native of Albania, travels widely for SNL.
collegiate career as an underwriter and risk manager with an insurance office in Charlottesville. In 2012, he moved to SNL to be an analyst. “It’s challenging work, and there is good variety on a dayto-day basis. In the morning when you come in, you can’t necessarily be sure what will be going on during the day.” So, he is asked, one needs to be flexible to work at SNL? To this, Long laughs agreeably. SNL’s international scope and flavor make it a good fit for Rrapokushi, born and raised in Albania. He came to the United States at age 18 as an exchange student at Central Christian, a Mennonite school in Kidron, Ohio. He was proficient in reading and writing English from his Albanian schooling, but struggled to comprehend American English, with its colloquialisms. By the end of a year at Central Christian, though, he was a strong candidate for any U.S. college. EMU accepted him – he graduated in 2007 as a business administration major – and James Madison University granted him an MBA in 2012.
Employed by SNL since graduating from EMU, Rropokushi is now a senior content manager focused on the collection of metrics for the worldwide media and communications industry. He works with team members around the world, using video conferencing, emails, and lots of traveling, usually to India and Pakistan. The pay at SNL? The alumni at SNL interviewed by Crossroads seemed more than satisfied, though none offered specifics. “SNL follows a very thorough pay-for-performance process where if you perform well you will be compensated more than if you don’t,” says Wyse. “It works out pretty well for those with a good work ethic and a desire to succeed.” — Bonnie Price Lofton, MA '04 For information on employment at SNL, visit www.snl.com. Posted jobs in late March 2013 included copyediting, web design, marketing, sales, and software development, with 40 openings in Ahmedabad (India), 18 in Charlottesville, 15 in Islamabad (Pakistan), and 9 in Denver.
IS FAR FROM DRY
J.C. SHENK '71 // Self-employed CPA, Sarasota, Florida. // At age 70, starting to wind down the business. // Finds that communication skills are at least as important as technical math skills. // “When the rules change every year it doesn’t get very boring.” // Also a serious musician (majored in music education) and competitive track runner. // Being selfemployed allows him the “flexibility to live a full life” while working in a career that is often very time-consuming. www.emu.edu | crossroads | 17
photos by jon styer
ERIC YODER ’11 // CPA at Brown Schultz Sheridan & Fritz, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania // “[Being] a good auditor requires someone with a strong sense of ethics and values. The temptation to overlook problems found during an audit is always present…. Ignoring problems may be easier, but it does not help the organization you are auditing and jeopardizes yourself and your firm.”
ALAN HOSTETLER ’01 // Owner, Hostetler Stott CPA, Charlottesville, Virginia // “Giving tax advice based on a short meeting can be remarkably complex, as it requires us to factor in many uncertainties … and to think broadly yet be able to provide concise answers that are useful.” // After working for hours at a frustrating inconsistency on the balance sheet, he says sometimes the best thing to do is step back, grab a few hours of sleep and come back with fresh eyes. Finding the answer, which sometimes happens immediately, becomes a joy.
18 | crossroads | spring 2013
PHYLLIS NEFF SMITH ’74 // Self-employed CPA in eastern Florida, with offices in Palm Bay and Sebastian. // Bought practice in 2003 when moved to the state. // Practice ranges from auditing to private industry and public accounting at small firms. // Provides eldercare financial service.
photo by bonnie price lofton
BERNADINE STAUFFER ‘87 // Bookkeeper for Agape Christian Church, Stephens City, Virginia, and several Buffalo Wild Wings franchises in Virginia owned by friends // “In a world full of gray, bookkeeping offers comforting certainty. 2+2 always = 4.” // “One of the biggest challenges is keeping up with changes the government makes.”
KENDALL RUTH ’96 // Manager at Acuity Advisors and CPAs, LLP // Raised doing farm work, thus has a heart for the agriculture and agri-business services of the firm, his specialty. // “I enjoy helping clients connect how their daily decisions impact their operation’s overall financial performance.”
DAVID & JOY ELMORE, BOTH ’11 // High school sweethearts, husband and wife owners of Bookkeeping & Management Systems, Inc. and Financial Management Inc., both in Waynesboro, Virginia. // Classmates in EMU’s Adult Degree Completion Program // David: The exciting thing about tax prep and bookkeeping is seeing clients reach their goals. // Joy: Has had clients stay with the company since its very beginning, even after moving elsewhere in the country. “I love my job and my clients .… I feel like I get to know their families. I’ve seen their children go to college, get married, have children.... I think it’s awesome.” www.emu.edu | crossroads | 19
photo by bonnie price lofton
LOWELL MILLER ’85 // Principal and CFO, Hayden, Miller & Nelson, P.C., Lansdale, Pennsylvania // Just launched new firm in January 2013 to provide accounting services and business consulting to clients. // Loves to sink his teeth into the most arduous, complicated corporate tax return he can find. // Daughter Kaitlin plans to begin at EMU in fall 2013.
RYAN SHULTZ ’99 // Self-employed CPA, Lancaster, Pennsylvania // After passing CPA exam in 2001, went with wife (Kara Morton ’00) to Muscat, Oman, for three years, where he was No. 2 man in internationally-staffed finance office for a contractor with over 1,000 employees in region. // Now focuses on supporting small family-owned or startup businesses in Lancaster, such as local restaurants. 20 | crossroads | spring 2013
MONTE GLANZER ’07 // Supervising senior, Hantzmon Wiebel LLP, Charlottesville, Virginia // Recently named “Super CPA” in the under-35 category by Virginia Business Magazine // “While I work a lot with computers, spreadsheets and regular-sized adding machines … a CPA’s job revolves largely around building relationships with clients.”
photos by jon styer
EMU accounting faculty: Marilla Melcher, Ronald Stoltzfus '75, Leah Kratz '00
Accounting Majors Excel by National Standards EMU'S ACCOUNTING STUDENTS rank No. 2 in the state, behind the University of Virginia, for first-time pass rate on all sections of the Certified Public Accountant Exam, according to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). EMU’s candidates passed the sections at a 72.2 percent rate, according to the 2011 NASBA Data and Trends Report, issued in 2012. The University of Virginia (UVa) had an 84.7 percent pass rate in the category of candidates without an advanced degree. Close behind EMU were the students of James Madison University, with a 70.2 percent pass rate, and the University of Richmond with a 68.8 percent pass rate. Nationally, first-time candidates pass the sections at 49.8 percent. The average pass rate for all bachelor-degree-holding students in Virginia was 53.9 percent. NASBA also reported that EMU ranks 18th in the nation in the “Very Small” category. This category includes 239 institutions with five to nine candidates taking the exam. The accounting program at EMU is headed by Ronald L. Stoltzfus '75, who holds a PhD in accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). He has overseen the program since 1984. Other faculty members teaching accounting are Leah Kratz, a 2000 EMU grad who holds a CPA and MBA, and Marilla Melcher, with a CPA and an MS in accounting. “The five graduates from EMU who took this exam in 2011 were a small group of test-takers compared to the testgroups of accounting graduates from much-larger universi-
ties in the state, such as Virginia Tech, James Madison, and William & Mary,” noted Stoltzfus. “But I don’t think our size diminishes our achievement. In fact, it may point to the advantages of the one-on-one attention that our students get.” In a mark of accomplishment in 2012, a four-student EMU team competed against accounting teams from university programs around the United States in a contest sponsored by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). EMU made it into the final round of 20, from which three winners were chosen. AICPA judges ranked the EMU team, along with the other finalists, on its ability to present solutions in 1,000 words or less to the difficulties this nation faces with Social Security, the national deficit and taxes. In the fall of 2010, EMU accounting majors also proved themselves in a regional competition. The EMU team tied for fourth place in the final round of competition with a team from UVa in the ninth annual Goodman & Company Accounting Challenge. The team was one of 33 teams from colleges and universities from Virginia and Maryland. To advance to the final round, the EMU team completed two sets of grueling sixhour business exams. Another team from UVa finished first in the contest, followed by teams from William & Mary and James Madison. To become licensed as a CPA, state licensing bodies typically require 150 hours of coursework. EMU graduates aiming for a CPA typically gain this coursework by enrolling in a master’s program. Over the last 10 years, their favorite next step has been James Madison University’s highly ranked MS program in accounting, but some students have enrolled in similar programs at Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-South Bend, among others. — Bonnie Price Lofton, MA '04
www.emu.edu | crossroads | 21
photos by jon styer
To EMU as Undergrad To JMU as Grad Student "GET BEST OF BOTH WORLDS" One thing EMU recent accounting graduates often mention about the university’s accounting program is how they benefitted from its small size. Ashley Hevener ’10 said the close, first-name relationship with her professors was a key part of the education that serves her well in her job as an auditor in Alexandria, Virginia, with Kearney & Company, a firm that focuses on federal agencies. “EMU is doing a great job of preparing students to get the CPA certification,” said Jonathan Beckler ’07, now a senior accountant with Cherry Bekaert LLP in Atlanta, Georgia, echoing a sentiment expressed by many of his peers. In nearly every state, though, the boards that regulate the accounting profession have adopted policies requiring CPA aspirants to have completed 150 collegiate credit hours – basically a year of academic credit beyond the usual four undergraduate years – before they can be licensed as a CPA, even if they pass the CPA exam. Virginia adopted such a policy in 2005, meaning that accounting majors in the years since who want to become CPAs in Virginia – and pretty much any other state – have needed to continue their education at the graduate level. Enter the master’s of accounting program at James Madison University (JMU), just across town from EMU. JMU has a 30-hour master’s program in accounting. EMU and JMU have formed a strong partnership in recent years, giving EMU accounting majors ready access to a one-year graduate program in Harrisonburg that gives them enough credit to sit for the CPA exam. “Many of our students go to ‘finishing school’ at JMU,” says Ronald L. Stoltzfus ’75, PhD, head of the accounting program in EMU’s business and economics department. “We give them a good foundation, but our offerings are limited. JMU has the resources to offer graduate-level training in taxes, auditing and other aspects of accounting.” Stoltzfus does recall one honors student, Eric Yoder ‘11, who chose not to enter graduate school and is now a CPA employed by Brown, Shultz, Sheridan and Fritz in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. Yoder, however, came to EMU with 20 hours of college credit earned while in high school. This allowed him to take a few extra college courses and continue on to the CPA exam and licensing. “All of the EMU students we have had in our program have been successes,” said Paul Copley, PhD, director of JMU’s School of Accounting. “They have been great in the classroom, have all found jobs, and have all passed the CPA exam. This is a testament to the quality of the undergraduate program at EMU.” Besides his own JMU undergraduate pool, Copley says
22 | crossroads | spring 2013
JONATHAN BECKLER ’07 // Audit senior, Cherry Bekaert LLP, Atlanta // Primarily works with healthcare clients to monitor their accounting and financial reporting practices. // When a client calls for advice, feels as if he’s broken a barrier, from disliked auditor to trusted partner. EMU is the only university from which his master’s program actively recruits candidates; each year one or two EMU graduates typically enroll. The master’s program at JMU allows students to specialize in taxation, audition or information systems. While EMU’s small program size allows students to develop close, beneficial relationships with professors, being small also keeps it off the recruiting radars of large accounting firms. The fact that dozens of employers recruit from the graduate program at JMU – a public university with an enrollment of nearly 20,000 students – makes it an even more attractive option for EMU graduates looking for a first job opportunity. “JMU has superior recruiting power for business and accounting students,” said Monte Glanzer ’07, who connected with his current employer, the accounting firm Hantzmon Wiebel in Charlottesville, Virginia, through one of his graduate professors at JMU. As Copley puts it, the presence of JMU’s master’s program in Harrisonburg gives EMU accounting students access to the “best of both worlds.” Beckler agreed, describing his undergraduate study at EMU as a great foundation on which the master’s program at JMU laid the finishing touches that prepared him for a career in accounting. — Andrew Jenner '04
Becky Holmes '83 and Tammy Major Woods '97
Doing Audits and Budgets at JMU THE “OTHER” UNIVERSITY in Harrisonburg, James Madison University, is now home to two number-crunching graduates of EMU, one directing JMU’s internal audit department and the other serving as associate budget director. Becky Holmes ’83 came to visit EMU with some Mennonite friends from high school and decided she liked it so much that she graduated from EMU twice. In 1981 Holmes graduated with an associate’s degree in computer science, but the economy was slumped and jobs were scarce. So she went back to EMU for more learning. The second time Holmes graduated in 1983, it was with a major in accounting, a field with more opportunity. Holmes began working as an internal auditor for James Madison University in 1987, after becoming a CPA and spending four years in public accounting. While working as an internal audit manager for NTELOS in the early 2000s, Holmes earned an MA in technical and scientific communication from JMU. She returned to JMU in 2004 as an auditor, and was promoted to the position of director of internal auditing in 2010. “I look at processes,” she says. ” I pick an area of the university, then I look to make sure that it is efficient and complies with applicable policies and procedures, that it has appropriate controls in place.” Beyond her career, Holmes credits EMU music professors John Fast and Kenneth J. Nafziger for nurturing her passion for music. “I was one of the original members of the EMU pep band,” she remembers. Today she is the pianist at her
church, McGaheysville United Methodist. Holmes sees a clear connection between her education at EMU and her work at JMU. “I got a sense of community [at EMU]. Community is part of the EMU tradition, and I can take that to another place like JMU.” Tammy Major Woods ’97 came to Harrisonburg in 1987 and took a part-time temp job in the payroll office at JMU. “Twenty-six years later, I am still there." In between raising her two sons and climbing the ranks to the position of associate budget director, Woods managed to earn her bachelor’s degree in management and organizational development. She appreciated EMU’s Adult Degree Completion Program, where she interacted with other professionals who brought their adult work and life experiences into the classroom. “EMU gave me a foundation of confidence,” she says, “to later pursue a master's of public administration from JMU.” “The one area where EMU stands above other educational institutions I have been involved in,” she says, “is the cross-cultural experiences we shared. I spent time out in the community with people and cultures that are much different than my own. “We immersed ourselves in their working environments, attended their religious ceremonies, and were even invited into their homes where they shared a meal with us.” Ethical lessons rank at the top of Wood’s take-aways from EMU. “EMU helped build a foundation of integrity that is the basis on which I make decisions everyday,” she says. Woods has been the treasurer of her church, Verona United Methodist, for over nine years. “This is the role that brings me the most personal satisfaction,” she says. “In this role I am able to use the knowledge, skills and abilities that God has given me to serve him and his church.” — Evan Knappenberger, class of 2014
www.emu.edu | crossroads | 23
photos by jon styer
From Deloitte TO AN NGO SUPPORTING DEMOCRACIES On the National Democratic Institute ’s website (ndi.org), you’ll find all sorts of stories about NDI’s work abroad on behalf of citizen participation in open and accountable governments. Town hall meetings in Yemen, leadership academies for candidates in Kenyan elections, grants to a women’s leadership organization in Mexico – that sort of thing. Making this all happen for this Washington D.C.-based nonprofit, and any other organization, institution or company that plans to thrive or at least remain extant, calls for some decidedly less glamorous number-crunching. Effective support of democratic processes in Yemen requires monitoring and reporting on the funds marked for that end. Clean audit reports are important for continued grant funding from USAID and the State Department, which together account for about 90% of the NDI’s budget. “The people in the field wouldn’t be able to have as much impact with the critical democracy programming without the support from the home office,” says Sherri Kurtz Peters ’93, CPA, manager for budget and special projects at the NDI. Peters joined NDI as a sub-grants manager a decade ago. In that role, she managed a staff that reviewed the finances of partner organizations and evaluated grant applications, a job that took her to Africa, South and Central America, Asia and the Middle East. After the birth of her second child, she switched positions to reduce job pressures. She now concentrates on NDI’s internal finances, reviewing and monitoring, among other things, an institutional budget that includes funding for the organization’s 65 field offices around the world. In her final year at EMU, Peters had an opportunity to pursue a long-standing interest in working for the nonprofit sector through the Washington Study-Service Year (now known as the Washington Community Scholars’ Center). Under the Washington program for 1992-93, she interned at the Churches’ Conference on Shelter and Housing. After graduating with a degree in business administration and a minor in socio-economic development, Peters returned to D.C. to work for Manna, an affordable housing organization. Peters then obtained her CPA license and spent six years as an auditor for Deloitte, one of the world’s “Big Four” accountancy firms, mainly working with nonprofit and real estate clients. She loved the job, but not the 70-hour workweeks it sometimes required, and was starting to feel a yearning to return to the nonprofit sector, perhaps focusing on economic development. (In one of her business classes at EMU, professor Spencer Cowles first inspired her to think about this sort of thing by highlighting the work of Mennonite Economic Development Associates, or MEDA.) A call one day from a job recruiter led to an interview at NDI, where Peters was impressed by what she learned
24 | crossroads | spring 2013
Sherri Kurtz Peters ’93, CPA
about the organization’s mission and work, understanding democracy as a necessary first step to further economic development. She accepted its job offer. “We need people in every kind of job and position for the world to function,” said Peters, on the behind-the-scenes nature of her work. “[Number-crunching] is a very important part of making things happen.” — Andrew Jenner '04
MAN IN BLACK
Kept EMU in the Black
MILD-MANNERED RON PIPER is still remembered for a bold fashion statement he made 20 years ago. As EMU’s vice president for finance, he was getting ready to report to the board of trustees on the university’s budget. Typically his report was scheduled right before lunch. He never had much time. This time he was ready with a dramatic testament to the state of the budget. Piper stood up and said quietly, “I chose my wardrobe carefully today – and this says it all.” He then sat down. Piper was wearing a black suit, black shirt, and black tie. It took several seconds for board members to realize that EMU’s finances were safely in the black. For 24 years, Piper’s primary job was to balance – or at least try to balance – EMU’s budget. He retired in 2010, succeeded by Daryl Bert ‘97. Piper arrived on campus in 1986 at a low point in the school’s history. The Administration Building had been destroyed by fire, the finances were shaky and the enrollment had dropped to a full-time-equivalent of 747. (“I still remember that number,” Piper said.) His
temporary office was above the kitchen in Northlawn. President Richard Detweiler ’49 commented that he was presiding over “a time of austerity.” But two weeks later the gleaming new Campus Center opened on the site of the former Ad Building – “and it was onward and upward after that,” said Piper. The enrollment started going up again. The budget grew from $7 million to $29 million by the time Piper retired. And soon the board of trustees elected Joe Lapp ‘66 as its visionary new president. Piper vividly remembers his $20,000 shopping trip in 1987 to buy EMU’s first personal computers and printers. He put them in the back of his car and delivered them to four different offices on campus. A few years later he proudly reported to the board that telephones had been installed in every dormitory room. It wasn’t long, though, until most students had their own cell phones and the land-line phones were removed. Piper, a certified public accountant, came to EMU after 11 years with a Big Eight CPA firm in Denver and New York
City, three years at a mining and manufacturing company in Colorado, and five years with Mennonite Board of Missions in Elkhart, Ind. A native of Iowa, his undergraduate degree – in accounting – was from the University of Iowa. While Piper was at EMU for 24 years, his wife Myrna worked in the development office at Eastern Mennonite High School for 24 years. Daughter Jenni Piper ’92 is now an associate director of information systems at EMU. Son Mike Piper ’95 is the controller at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community. In retirement, Piper, now 69, is frequently called on to help local organizations with their finances. They include Park View Federal Credit Union, Our Community Place, Eastern Mennonite School, the Auxiliary of Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Lezha Academic Center in Albania, and his church – Zion Mennonite. The man in black is still balancing budgets – or trying to. And he still likes to wear black. — Steve Shenk '73
www.emu.edu | crossroads | 25
THREE DISCOVER photo by bonnie price lofton
Trevor Bare ’06
26 | crossroads | spring 2013
ONE OF THE MOST DESIRABLE JOBS in the United States – being an actuary – has attracted exactly three graduates from EMU, as far as we know. (You’re another one? Let us know at Crossroads@emu.edu.) Christopher Wampole ’96 was the first to achieve the coveted status of Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society, passing the last of nine brutally tough exams in 2007, six years after he took his first actuarial exam on the route of property and casualty actuarial work. John Mark Nussbaum ’83 completed his eight exams, plus 12 required modules, in March of 2013, after investing about 3,500 hours to complete the testing on the route of life, health and pension actuarial work. (And this is someone who already held two impressive credentials – Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Analyst.) Trevor Bare ’06 has made it through the first level of credentialing. After passing seven exams, he became an “associate” in the Society of Actuaries. Bare also passed two additional exams to be credentialed as an “enrolled actuary.” He has two more to go to be a “fellow.” Bare is a retirement actuary. Given that the easier actuary exams may take 200 to 300 hours of prep time, and the harder ones as much as 400 hours of intensive study – amounting to a self-directed graduate program – why would anyone subject himself to such an ordeal? Because, by all accounts, the reward is enjoying a job that pays well, has regular hours that rarely exceed 40
ACTUARIES weekly, and is low stress.* With only about 20,000 actuaries in the United States, the profession is not widely known by those outside the field. Basically, an actuary is the person who works behind the scenes, usually on behalf of the insurance industry (calculating the risks that underlie the sums charged for premiums) and of employers who need sound data to design pension and benefit plans, evaluate assets and liabilities, and generally deal with risk. Some actuaries do government work, helping ensure compliance with regulatory laws. “You have to love math to do this work,” says Nussbaum, who holds a degree in accounting from EMU and an MBA from Ohio State. “And you need John Mark good analytical think- Nussbaum ’83 ing.” Nussbaum liked his math courses at EMU, but didn’t want to be a math teacher. Unaware of the actuary career option, he majored * “Experienced Fellows have the potential to earn from $150,000 to $250,000 annually, and many actuaries earn more than that,” says the “be an actuary" webpage sponsored by the Casualty Actuarial Society and Society of Actuaries. (Each society has its own exam track.) “It could take from 6-10 years to pass all of the exams, but you can begin a career as an actuary by passing the first two exams, and then taking subsequent exams while working as an actuarial assistant.” In addition to the substantial pay, actuaries hover at the top the career list in terms of satisfaction with work environment, employment outlook, physical demands and stress, according to a Jan. 10, 2010, report in the Wall Street Journal.
in accounting and then spent 25 years numbers.” This led to a permanent job at working for what is now called Everence. Conrad Siegel after Bare graduated. In 2005, he stopped managing Ever“We specialize in consulting for retireence’s portfolios and investments and ment plans, investments, health insurembarked on a new career path by ance plans, and other employee benefits,” becoming an actuarial assistant there. Bare says. “How much do they need In January 2013, just before becoming to set aside? Are they over- or underFellow of the Society of Actuaries, he acfunded?” cepted a position at the headquarters of The Conrad Siegel website puts it this RGA Reinsurance Company in Chesterway: “Employee benefits are all about field, Missouri. numbers. As actuaries, we have those Christopher Wampole also took a cirnumbers down to a science. With that cuitous route to being an actuary. Several knowledge, we craft streamlined soluyears after majoring in math at EMU, he tions to your biggest benefits challenges.” entered the architecture program at Ohio Bare says he enjoys the complexity State. But architecture proved to be less and variety of his work, which may interesting to him than another field range from lawyerly study of the tax he discovered at that university, actucode to doing mathematical calculations arial science. Learning that a motivated to working with person could study on his own and pass programmers on the exams without paying for schooldeveloping internal ing, that’s what Wampole did between software. 2001 and 2007 (which is about as fast as Wampole says his anyone can pass all of the exams – many company typically people take up to 10 years). Erie Insurhires summer interns ance in Pennsylvania hired Wampole and pays them well. Christopher after he passed his first exam, and he has To garner an internWampole ’96 been there ever since. ship, it helps to have Of the three alumni-actuaries, only studied for or passed Trevor Bare took a direct path into his at least one actuarial exam. Wampole work. As a prospective student, Bare met suggests that undergraduates interested with Owen Byer, who would become in this path might find it helpful to form one of Bare’s math professors. Byer suga club, where they could support each gested that the young man’s interest in other as they work through sample actumathematics and economics might make arial exams and course material available him well suited to being an actuary. After online. his junior year at EMU, Bare interned at It won’t be easy, but the reward might Conrad Siegel Actuaries in Harrisburg, be securing “a great job,” says Wampole. Pennsylvania – where the company slo“I really enjoy myself.” gan is “up to the challenge, down to the — Bonnie Price Lofton, MA '04 www.emu.edu | crossroads | 27
photos by jon styer
Grads Strive for Spirit of the Law
Jill Goyette Head '02
JILL GOYETTE HEAD ’02 stumbled into public finance as an intern in the city office in Hiram, Georgia, fulfilling a requirement for a master’s in public administration degree from Kennesaw State University. It was 2006, and the City of Hiram, a bedroom community west of Atlanta, was in a desperate position. After the death of a longserving mayor and the departure of several staff members, city affairs were in some disarray. Water bills and checks were still being prepared by typewriter. The city had just one computer in the office and no formal accounting system. Though she had no training in accounting, nor was she particularly good with numbers, Head was bright and motivated. Before long, they’d hired her on full-time as the city treasurer, in charge of a $2.2 million budget and about $8 million in savings the city had 28 | crossroads | spring 2013
tucked away in various bank accounts. “Ethics was always a major focus in my studies at EMU,” says Head, who majored in sociology and earned an associate’s degree in biblical studies. “Many of the early projects that I worked with
“Ethics was always a major focus in my studies." focused on making the financial management and procurement practices for the city more ethical and fiscally responsible.” It wasn’t always an easy task; working in the city office threw Head into smalltown politics at its tawdry, cronyistic worst. Things got even more difficult when the recession hit hard in Hiram, which relied almost entirely on business tax revenue. As staff wages were frozen
and infrastructure and other community projects went unfunded, Head helped organize an economic development group with neighboring localities and worked with a healthcare company on the construction on a new hospital in Hiram. Though her work dealt with numbers, Head discovered that effective teamwork and honest communication – skills that she’d acquired during her undergraduate studies at EMU – were among the most important ones she needed as city treasurer. That’s also been the experience of CAROLYN DULL ’97, the vice-mayor for the City of Staunton, Virginia. While a grasp of basic math is important when working on budgets, she said, an ability to translate those figures into something people can understand is a key skill. “It’s always been important to communicate what the numbers mean without
Carolyn Dull ’97
making people’s eyes glaze over,” said Dull, who spends significant time each spring working with other council members on Staunton’s nearly $100 million annual budget. Dull, who originally fell into accounting because she was tired of paying someone else to do her taxes, works during the day as the business manager for the Augusta Correctional Center, where she oversees its budget and other financial matters. She has also held similar positions at a hospital, the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind, and several social service agencies. She enrolled in EMU’s Adult Degree Completion Program to earn a bachelor’s degree that eventually allowed her to become a CPA. “When I attended EMU, I felt like I was among people who shared many of my values, such as a strong work ethic, honesty and integrity. It was a validation
of my beliefs,” said Dull, whose first run for city council in 2006 was motivated by a desire to apply those values to public service. Out in the wider world of
“I am hopeful that our society will see the importance of accountability in public finance." finance and accounting, taking a stand for those kinds of values “can make you feel like a voice in the wilderness,” she says. Jill Head stepped back to a part-time position at the City of Hiram in 2010, after the birth of her first child. By early 2012, a worsening economic situation and continued upheaval on the city
council culminated in a somewhat welcome layoff. Now a stay-at-home mother of two young children, Head also works part-time in finance and accounting with a small CPA firm. She would enjoy returning to public finance at some point. Dull’s term on the Staunton City Council runs through 2014; she hasn’t decided whether she’ll run again for a third term. In the meantime, she hopes to lead by example and play some part in restoring public faith in the government’s ability to solve problems. “‘Government’ is just people coming together to do things that they can’t do by themselves,” said Dull. “I am hopeful that our society will begin to see the importance of accountability in public finance, and that we should return to admiring those qualities instead of ‘what you can get away with.’” — Andrew Jenner '04 www.emu.edu | crossroads | 29
‘WORK’ VS. ‘PLAY’ Depends on Eye of Beholder
Bonnie and Wes Park '78 found their stately South Carolina home, now also a bed-and-breakfast, in an ad in Country Living magazine.
30 | crossroads | spring 2013
detour through Bennettsville. Within a day, they had submitted a contract, and that September, Wes and Bonnie and their son, 7, and daughter, 4, moved into the Breeden Inn, a grand old house built with cotton money in 1886. Originally built in the Victorian style, the home was remodeled in the Beaux-Arts style in 1906 by Ernest Vincent Richards, a young English architect who’d apprenticed on the U.S. Capitol building. The house, which had served as an inn since 1981, was also once owned by a man who piloted Air Force One for four presidents before moving to Bennettsville to open a McDonald’s franchise. In the 25 years since opening the inn, the Parks have bought and restored three other adjacent 19th-century houses to give them a total of 13 guestrooms that stay busy pretty much year-round. A first-floor office in the old inn is still set aside for Wes’s CPA practice, which he’d started in Florida after earning his
accounting degree from EMU and continued after the move to South Carolina. And then to make sure he doesn’t run out of things to do, he’s fit in a whole other full-time job for the past 23 years, first as the town of Bennettsville’s director of finance, and since 2008, as the chief financial officer for the Marlboro County School District. (“We don’t sleep!” says Bonnie, jokingly, whose inn management duties extend from the kitchen to the office to the carefully tended flower gardens that surround the old home. “We just go from one project to the next.”) Overseeing town finances, Wes had to be concerned about two different things – the utility fund and the general fund. Things are considerably more complex at the school district, where Wes looks after about 120 different revenue streams from local, state and federal sources, each with their own unique requirements and restrictions to keep abreast of. During his first couple years on the photos by jon styer
IN MAY OF 1988, almost exactly a decade after Wes Park had graduated from EMU, he and his wife Bonnie took a trip from their home on Florida’s west coast back to the Shenandoah Valley, in search of a house to use for a bed and breakfast. They loved the Valley, but struck out on the property search, and headed back for home empty-handed. On the way, they spent a night in Black Mountain, North Carolina, at the home of one of Wes’s college roommates. During an idle moment in the living room, Bonnie leafed through a copy of Country Living magazine and was struck by a real estate ad for a beautiful old home in a little town she’d never heard of: Bennettsville, South Carolina. She didn’t mention anything to Wes; they hadn’t considered buying in South Carolina anyway. A while later, Wes picked up the same magazine, saw the same ad, and asked Bonnie if she was thinking what he was thinking, and the very next day, their route home to Florida included a
Wes Parker gives a tour of the grounds (left and right). The entrance hallway (center) displays the home's Beaux-Arts style.
www.emu.edu | crossroads | 31
As chief financial officer for the Marlboro County School District, Wes Parker addresses a Rotary Club luncheon (left) about the district's first new school building (top right) in more than 50 years. The previous classrooms (bottom) resembled a dilapidated motel.
job, administrative turbulence meant a (funded by federal stimulus dollars), prisuccession of superintendents came and vate investment from a French bank and went. Meanwhile, Wes was tasked with local tax dollars. financing construction of the county’s Days begin early. Wes is up at 5 a.m. first completely new school building in for a 30-minute walk through the neighmore than half a century, an initiative borhood, before heading to the kitchen approved by voters in 2008, when the to work on breakfast; Wes handles eggs school division revenues totaled $47.3 and breakfast meats and casseroles, Bonmillion. Reflecting the economic times nie takes care of fresh fruits and other that ensued, those revenues had dropped breakfast responsibilities, and they team to $41.5 million by 2012. up for morning chit-chat with guests. All in all, it’s amounted to an enjoyThen it’s off to work, spent largely in able little challenge for someone like Wes, meetings and on email, keeping tabs on one of those people who was kind of a the Marlboro County schools’ budget, math whiz as a kid and then just stuck answering the money-related questions with number-crunching ever since. that arise from all corners of the district, In January, the new Blenheim Elemen- prepping statements for outside auditors, tary/Middle School opened to about 500 minding the procurements and RFPs students, a $22 million project financed and RFQs and all sorts of other decithrough a Wes-prepared package of sions and processes that require financial qualified school construction bonds know-how. Evenings get a little less 32 | crossroads | spring 2013
predictable, but there are always interesting folks at the inn to hang around with, after which, especially in tax season, Wes holes up in the office for a several-hour nightcap, chugging through tax returns. He wouldn’t really have to do all this stuff if he didn’t want to, and sometimes he does wonder if he works too much. Wes enjoys down time as much as the next guy, and he and Bonnie love to travel. Charleston and Savannah are favorite destinations within easy reach. But then again, he really, honestly has a good time doing it all; one person’s work is another’s leisure. “It’s a very fascinating profession, and really does keep your mind stimulated,” says Wes. “I thoroughly do enjoy it. That’s the reason why I do it.” — Andrew Jenner '04
DAY IN A
48 22 77 1.5 1.8 30 3 600 43.5 50 5.3 4.6 52 6 48 22 77 1.5 1.8 30 3 15 43.5 50 5.3 4.6 81 6 48 2-3 77 1.5 1.8 84 3 6 43.5 1852 5.3
NUMBERS THE FIGURING BEGINS in the sheepfold, where Jim Rittenhouse ’84 feeds his flock of Hampshire sheep each morning. There are 48 of them at the moment, including the lambs that began arriving in February; by early March, 17 of his 22 ewes, or 77 percent of them, had lambed – a proportion directly in line with his flock management goals. Ideally, these lambs will gain one pound of weight for every pound of feed they eat. Each ewe gets 1.5 pounds of feed per day. When lambing season gives way to shearing season sometime in April, he’ll hope to have realized an overall birthrate of 1.8 lambs per ewe, the optimal figure for the Hampshire breed. At the gym there are more numbers to contend with. Rittenhouse spends 30 minutes on the treadmill with the incline set to 3, during which he hopes to cover 3 miles while burning through 600 calories. Rittenhouse drives a hybrid Camry to Detweiler Hershey & Associates, P.C., an accounting firm in Souderton, Pennsylvania, where he’s worked since 1984 and been a partner since 1994. If he gets 37 mpg on the commute, he’ll feel good about it. He unlocks the door, hits the lights, checks his email to see what sorts of accounting emergencies have flared up overnight, and gets on with the day-today work of accounting, which “is about as dry as the Oakwood 3rd dormitory floor after a water battle.” During lamb season, he spends his lunch break back on the farm to check up on the animals. The Rittenhouses have been on this farm in Montgomery County since 1852; Jim represents the seventh Rittenhouse generation working the place; his parents remain active there and help tend the sheep. Lamb season coincides with tax season,
Jim Rittenhouse ’84
a 115-day physical and emotional marathon. Crossroads’ visit to the Rittenhouse farm came on day 50, approaching the halfway mark (technically, about 43.5 percent of the way through). Under normal circumstances, keeping track of the days allows him to gauge progress on the tax returns due by April 15. Under current circumstances, with IRS approval of various tax forms delayed by last year’s fiscal cliff situation, there are some considerable uncertainties at work that complicate trying to figure out how things stand with regard to approaching deadlines. Lamb and tax seasons are preceded by basketball season, which Rittenhouse spends as coach for the middle school girls’ team at Pennview Christian School. The numbers implicated here “can be less confusing than those required by the Securities Exchange Commission” but are still important. He runs the 2-3 zone defense, and wants his girls to shoot at least 50 percent from the free-throw line, and emphasizes the old-school fundamentals that were a big deal during his ’81-’84 career with the EMU Royals. He specialized in aggressive defense, and during his senior year, according to the record books, averaged 5.3 points and
4.6 rebounds per game while making 52 percent of his free-throws. The Rittenhouse family has a streak going at EMU: Jim and Kendra Good ’85 Rittenhouse, plus their sons Steven ’11, Joel ’12 and Justin ’12 (all born within 15 months of one another, making for some interesting parental math). Emily is in the ninth grade and intends to make it a perfect 6-for-6 at EMU. Numbers, numbers everywhere – the easy, black-and-white part of accounting. The people are the real challenge, and here, figures go out the window. Money can do strange things to us. Arguments crop up. Old resentments come roaring back when families sit down to divvy up their inheritances. Sometimes the very richest find themselves in intractable conflicts over trifling things, camels stuck at the eye of the needle. Rittenhouse finds himself playing the role of the mediator sometimes, helping clients explore the feelings that have led to conflicts, helping them figure out what they want, and why. The psychology minor he earned at EMU has been every bit as valuable as the accounting degree, and even better was the way his mind widened and opened at EMU. — Andrew Jenner '04 www.emu.edu | crossroads | 33
photos by jon styer
Changing Times, Changing Businesses: INSURANCE AND THE MENNONITE CHURCH A century or more ago, “insurance” was something of a bad word for Mennonites. Buying an insurance policy implied value on worldly treasure and represented departure from the traditional practice of “mutual aid,” by which the church used its pooled resources to rebuild and restore losses suffered by individual members through accident or other misfortune. Attitudes and circumstances began changing in the church, though, around the middle of the twentieth century, according to Herman Bontrager ’72, the president and CEO of Goodville Mutual Casualty Company in New Holland, Pennsylvania. Several factors were at play. American society was becoming more litigious (a lament with continuing relevance), and while church-based mutual aid could replace a member’s car after an accident, settling a liability to an outside party could become very expensive very quickly. Growing income disparity between church members also presented challenges to the mutual aid model. As some members grew wealthier, their desire not to burden others with the prospect of insuring (through mutual aid) expensive assets, or even a lack of confidence that the church would be able to do so, provided further incentive to purchase underwritten, commercial insurance. (Underwriting – essentially, an assessment of risk – is a key difference between insurance and mutual aid. Under the mainstream insurance model, the underwriting process is used to set premium prices or even to reject coverage entirely. Mutual aid plans extend coverage to all members of a specified group – members of any church in a certain Mennonite conference, for example – without this same risk assessment process.) The shift didn’t happen overnight. Goodville Mutual was founded by Mennonites in 1926, at a time when the church still held a generally skeptical view of insurance. Goodville had no formal affiliation with the church, operating from the start as a licensed, regulated insurance company offering underwritten policies to the general public. Over several decades, it began to expand from Pennsylvania to other states, often at the invitation of small, Mennonite-run mutual aid plans that wanted to add Goodville’s personal liability insurance to the property coverage they offered for homes, farms and businesses. They also wanted to offer Goodville’s auto insurance to their members, Bontrager told Crossroads. By the 1950s, the idea of commercial insurance had gained wide enough acceptance within the Mennonite church that Mennonite-owned insurance brokerages began to appear. In 1952, a man named Emory Layman began selling Goodville home and auto policies in Harrisonburg, Virginia, through his Layman Insurance Agency. Ralph Weaver, class of ’53, founded a similar company – Weaver Insurance – in Waynesboro, Virginia,
34 | crossroads | spring 2013
Herman Bontrager ’72, head of Goodville Mutual Casualty Co.
in 1958. And in Berlin, Ohio, Paul Hummel founded the Hummel Insurance Agency in 1957. Changing times and mindsets led to the establishment of these businesses by members of a church that once looked on the entire insurance industry with suspicion. Continuing change in society and markets means that each of them now offers a far wider range of products and services than they did at the beginning. At the same time, they still maintain close ties to the church in general, and to EMU in particular, as multiple graduates work in management and other areas of each of these companies. “One of the things we really try to emphasize is ‘Do the right thing for the client,’” said Stephen Cavanaugh ’93, the general manager of LD&B Insurance and Financial Services in Harrisonburg, Virginia. (LD&B – Layman, Diener & Borntrager – is the corporate descendant of Layman Insurance Agency, which merged in 1992 with an insurance agency owned by Eugene Diener ’68 and Jonas Borntrager ’70. Today, LD&B is employee-owned.) Building strong relationships with clients, Cavanaugh said, is certainly good business practice. But it’s also done in the service of LD&B’s goals to build and support community in the areas where it works. The company makes a practice of giving a fixed percentage of its gross revenues (not profits) to community organizations and gives its nearly 70 employees a free day each year to volunteer at a non-profit agency of their choice, along with $500 to support it. While LD&B “isn’t a Mennonite company,” said Diener, who serves as president, its values reflect those of the church, and were shaped by his and other alumni employees’ experiences at EMU. “At EMU, I began to realize life is all about relationships,” said Adam Savanick ’06, an LD&B financial advisor. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to work for a firm that is committed to serving and improving the local community.” Savanick’s job title, financial advisor, indicates one of the
ways that these agencies have evolved over the years – offering financial planning services and investment products in addition to insurance policies. While LD&B has offered financial planning to some degree for years, Cavanaugh said, it has become a special focus of the company since he was hired two years ago. Because insurance and financial planning are so closely related (insurance protects assets, financial planning builds them), this diversification made sense for many companies like LD&B. In Ohio, the Hummel Insurance Agency is now known as the Hummel Group, and financial services has become a large and important part of its business, said principal Barry Hummel ’74, son of the company’s founder. The same is the case at the company now known as Weaver Insurance and Financial Advisors, which began offering financial services in the late ‘90s, said Chad Hatter ’97. “One thing that my education at EMU deeply instilled in me was the value of considering the long-term perspective,” said Joe Shenk ’02, a finance and investment adviser at Weaver. “[That’s] challenging to keep in mind, but if you let it guide your investment decisions, history shows that you will have better outcomes.” Shenk also said that one of the things he values about working at Weaver is that it is an independent brokerage (as are LD&B and the Hummel Group) that doesn’t “promote proprietary products at the expense of what is good for clients.” In something of an ironic twist when you take the long view, churches are also among these companies’ clients. At Weaver, Janna Zirkle ’75 specializes in selling property, liability, workers’ compensation and auto policies to congregations, as well as travel policies for church-sponsored trips abroad. “Situations can and do arise that have the potential for devastating results,” said Zirkle. “Making church leaders aware of the possible risks … and providing suggestions to help minimize [them] is what I enjoy most.” Changing times have also prompted Goodville to diversify its product offerings. (As an insurance company, Goodville actually develops policies, sets premiums and pays out claims; the other businesses mentioned in this article are brokerages that sell policies from various insurance companies, including Goodville.) In the ’90s, Bontrager said, it began packaging home and auto policies together to offer more competitive rates to customers – an innovation in the industry that’s aggressively marketed by larger insurance companies. “It’s all about statistics and probability,” Bontrager said. The more that risks are spread out, between different policy holders and different insurance coverages, the smaller the burden placed on each member. And the bigger an insurance company is, the more it can withstand volatility and unpredictability in the claims it will pay out (an example: the “derecho” storm in June 2012 became the single biggest loss event in Goodville history). Today, commercial insurance has almost entirely replaced mutual aid (as defined in its purest sense) as the way that members of the Mennonite church protect their homes, cars and
Alumni at Weaver Insurance and Financial Advisors: (from left) Stu Hatter '99, Joe Shenk '02, Dave Mininger '74, Janna Zirkle '75, Chad Hatter '97
Alumni at LD&B: (from left) Jonas Borntrager '70, Steve Brunk '86, MAL '95, Beth (Swartzendruber) Goertzen (EMU coursework), Stephen Cavanaugh '93, Megan (Hartman) Throngard '00, Adam Savanick '06, Stephanie Mason '12, Jonathan Coddington '02, Fran (Seitz) Justice, class of '70, Eugene Diener '68. Not pictured: Kelly Stauff '97.
bank accounts against disaster. Along the way, new companies with ties to the church and EMU have sprung up, flourished and broadened in scope. Still, Bontrager said, the lend-a-hand motivation behind mutual aid still thrives in a non-commercial way in Mennonite communities. “The way we practice mutual aid has two facets: one is helping people in the community who fall into hard times. The second way it is to extend unconditional aid to people who might not be members of our church, who are in need,” Bontrager said. “That commitment is very much alive and well in our churches.” — Andrew Jenner '04
www.emu.edu | crossroads | 35
photos by matthew styer
LIGHTENING SOMEONE’S LOAD
THROUGH INSURANCE Current and former principals of the Hummel Group of Berlin and Orville, Ohio: Darrick Hummel '99, Barry Hummel '74, Stephen Yoder '74, Vaughn Troyer '93
AFTER HURRICANE SANDY tore along the East Coast in the fall of 2012, employees at Lacher & Associates in Souderton, Pennsylvania, went into overdrive to assist clients whose homes and property were damaged by the destructive storm. “People want to feel heard and valued, especially navigating insurance in times of loss,” says Erin Price ’05, a personal insurance account executive with Lacher & Associates, an individual and commercial insurance company. “[After the hurricane], we were able to shine for our clients.” People filing claims after destructive storms usually have more pressing things on their to-do lists than telling the world about how great their insurance company is, though, and in some ways, working in insurance can feel a bit like being a referee. People don’t generally stand up to cheer a job well done, and are quick to lambast perceived faults. This has led to a misperception of the industry as a heartless, money-grubbing one, say alumni who work in the field. “For every claim that may not go as a client thinks it should, there are many 36 | crossroads | spring 2013
clients that are satisfied with the insurance coverage that they have received,” says Kevin Lehman ’88, co-owner of Kooman Agencies, Ltd. in Red Deer, Alberta. Chad Lacher ’97, partner at Lacher & Associates, describes the “powerful calling” of working in insurance as one that prevents injuries, saves lives and helps communities, families and businesses avoid financial hardship. “Insurance carriers are good at covering large groups but not effective at understanding the individual,” Lacher says. “As an insurance advisor, one of the best parts of my job is to be a real voice and advocate for clients in [difficult] situations.” Like Price, Lehman and Lacher, numerous alumni have entered the field with a sense of service and practical skills developed during their time at EMU. M. Trevor Parmer ’94, vice-president for employee benefits at BB&T Insurance Services in Harrisonburg, Virginia, says lessons about diversity in culture, belief systems and ways of forming opinions have been invaluable in his interactions with clients, colleagues and
insurance carriers. “Communication, mediation and creativity in problem solving are all skills I use every day and ones that were in many ways shaped or learned at EMU,” Parmer says. Julie Mumaw Lambert ’75 did a work-study job as a keypuncher in the science center, which gave her early, practical experience in data entry, a skill central to her job now as an underwriter assistant for Westfield Insurance in West Salem, Ohio. An appreciation for lifelong learning has also been important for Lambert, who had to learn to speak the quirky language of insurance when she began with the company in 2001. “The focus at EMU on integrating service throughout your life was really important to me,” says Price, who was surprised to find a calling in the insurance industry. “The biggest thing for me has been finding a job where I can serve people and feel like I’ve done something to lighten someone’s load … Working for a company that shares these same beliefs as I do is invaluable.” — Andrew Jenner '04
photo by jon styer
Alumni at Lacher & Associates: (from left) Chad Lacher '97, Alyssa Derstine '10, Erin Price '05, Greg Grimm '04
“When a family member requires care, there are serious consequences for those who feel they have no choice but to provide that care .… I enjoy helping clients plan ahead to cover the cost of long-term care in the setting of their choice.” BEULAH HESS-YODER ’74 // Project manager // Retirement Security, Inc. // Wilsonville, Oregon
“My enjoyment comes from helping clients get the coverage that is needed for the risk that they are exposed to at the optimum cost. I find that many prospects are underinsured, and are exposed to risks that aren’t adequately covered.” JOHN ESHLEMAN ’64 // Insurance broker // Jennings & Associates // Ontario, California
“When I got into the insurance business right out of college, it became quickly apparent that [it] had a bad reputation for over-promising and underdelivering. The reason I joined LD&B was because their reputation was different.… I wanted the client to know that they were going to get what they saw.” JONATHAN CODDINGTON ’02 // Employee benefits division manager // LD&B Insurance and Financial Services // Harrisonburg, Virginia
“Insurance companies are often “I have worked for a number of regarded as the bad guys, only insurance companies and have out there to make a profit. I try handled all aspects of insurance to educate people on the coverage claims .… I have worked for “EMU provides a healthy they are buying .… People think companies where ethics and atmosphere of learning that because they have been paying honesty were not part of their premiums for many years, any beliefs or business practices, and tends to put people first rather than just numbers or claims should be covered, not I have worked for companies statistics. Integrity and honesty understanding the exclusions.” where ethics and honesty are stressed as the only way of doing in the business world are very important.” business.” DAVID MININGER ’74 // Auto & home insurance // Weaver Insurance & Financial Advisors // Waynesboro, Virginia
DALE RESSLER ’84 // Litigation specialist // Nationwide Insurance // Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
LUKE DRESCHER ’57 // Independent life & health insurance agent // Harrisonburg, Virginia www.emu.edu | crossroads | 37
EVERENCE TAKES VALUES OF THE CHURCH
INTO THE MARKETPLACE Alumni employed at the Everence office in Souderton, Pa.: (from left) administrative assistant Sabrina Swartzentruber ’09, church relations representative Randy Nyce ’94, and administrative assistant Janine Mason ’03
EVERENCE IS A RARITY in the financial world. It is the only full-service financial institution founded by one of the historic peace churches, and it continues to be a ministry of Mennonite Church USA and kindred churches. Founded nearly 70 years ago as Mennonite Mutual Aid, the company initially offered loans to conscientious objectors who worked as Civilian Public Service workers during World War II. During the years since, it has grown considerably in scope and size. Everence “helps individuals, organizations and congregations integrate finances with faith,” says its website, everence.com. “There is enough for all if we manage our gifts effectively. Becoming an effective steward of those gifts is a lifelong journey – a journey made easier when you join with the faith community of mutually supportive people dedicated to the same ideal” (found at everence. com/difference). After a merger with Mennonite Financial Federal Credit Union and a 2010 name change, Everence now offers life and health insurance, financial 38 | crossroads | spring 2013
advice, investment products and banking services – all fields employing numbersfocused people. Today, almost 30 EMU alumni work in its various divisions and branches. “Numbers serve as signposts – they tell me if we’re meeting our financial goals and if our revenue is going in the right direction,” says J.B. Miller ’70, vice-president for investment services at the company’s headquarters in Goshen, Indiana. And while numbers are critical to evaluating ideas, Miller is most drawn to the ideas themselves: “Good ideas and strategy sustain organizations…. Spending time dreaming about new products or services and then bringing them to market is what I like to do.” After spending more than 20 years as a banker in Florida, Miller took a job at Everence, in part as a way to fully integrate his faith and values with his expertise in finance. In the mid-90s, Miller oversaw development of Everence’s Praxis family of mutual funds, based on the concept of having a positive impact with one’s investment dollars beyond simple
financial returns. Often called “socially responsible investing” – or SRI – this approach at Everence stands on three legs: (1) the screening of companies for sustainable and socially just practices (such as their stewardship of the environment and avoidance of child labor and other abusive practices); (2) using shareholders’ collective voices to promote improved environmental, social, and corporategovernance practices; and (3) applying up to 2% of invested dollars toward revitalizing or building healthy communities. Adjunct business professor Allon Lefever, who has been in the management team of several national corporations (two of them going public in his tenure), says Everence leads the way on socially responsible investing, which includes passing up manufacturers that thrive on the proliferation of weaponry. Lefever is a member of the investment committee of Mennonite Education Agency, through which EMU’s pension funds are invested. “We [at the education agency] work with seven or eight financial management groups that screen for social
responsibility,” he says. “But Everence does the best job.” Lefever applauds Praxis for pushing Hershey Chocolate to agree in 2012 to make its Hershey’s Bliss chocolate products with 100 percent cocoa from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. Since 2009, Everence (via Praxis Mutual Funds) has encouraged Kraft Foods Inc., the world’s largest chocolate manufacturer, and Hershey to strengthen cocoa sourcing policies and local development activities aimed at eliminating forced child labor and increasing income for smaller farmers, according to a March 1, 2012, report in Mennonite World Review. Lefever points out that “socially responsible investing” means different things to different investors. In keeping with the prevailing ethos of the church members they serve, the Praxis funds exclude industries that derive their profits from alcohol, gambling, tobacco, abortion-specific products, and weaponry or military contracting. Praxis seeks to invest in industries that put a high value on environmental sustainability, human rights, positive labor relations, and community development. Investment advisor Glen Kauffman ’82, MBA ’06, working from the office in Harrisonburg, Virginia, sells Praxis funds as well as other investment products to clients. “I make every effort not to use either fear or greed to motivate my clients to take certain actions,” Kauffman says. “I believe that these emotions are contrary to the way God would want us to make financial decisions.” As president/CEO of Everence Federal Credit Union, W. Kent Hartzler ’94 applies a similar values-based approach to his responsibility to keep the credit union “relevant and viable.” He says his education at EMU has helped him balance a “‘bottom line’ corporate focus” with concern for the organization’s impact on the broader faith community. Through church relations representatives like Rhoda Blough ’94, who earned a certificate in pastoral studies at EMU (Aurora, Colorado) and Randy Nyce ’94 (Souderton, Pennsylvania), Everence also supports congregational efforts to promote stewardship of finances through Sunday school curricula, educational materials, seminars and workshops. As repeatedly emphasized by other
photos by jon styer
Alumni at the Harrisonburg, Va., office: Beryl Jantzi '82, MDiv '91; Chan Gingerich '98; Glen Kauffman '82; Patty (Black) Skelton '00; Joseph Lapp '66; Jacqueline (Day) Painter '08. Not pictured: Kimberly Jo (Zook) Showalter '03
“Number-crunching has always made sense to me,” says Leon Miller ’70, a business development officer in Everence’s Belleville, Pa., office. Miller joined the company after spending 30 years teaching math at Belleville Mennonite School.
alumni interviewed for Crossroads, however, Melvin Claassen ’77 notes that communication skills are at least as important for any number-cruncher as math skills. “The most important duty of my job was communicating the sometimes complex financial situations of Everence to other decision-makers,” says Claassen, who retired in 2012 as chief financial officer. In that role, Claassen says he needed both the technical skill to understand pertinent mathematical and financial information as well as the ability to translate it to others in the company. Like all financial institutions, Everence has the fiduciary responsibility – that is, it is morally and legally obligated – to put the interests and desires of each client in the driver’s seat, says Joseph L. Lapp ’66, JD, Everence’s managing director in the Harrisonburg area. There is always room, however, to help people understand how their Christian faith
might shine through their financial choices, he adds. “Much of life is connected to business and finance,” says Lapp. “If left outside the realm of faith, unfortunate things occur by default, [things] that are contrary to being Christian disciples. By being aware of the implication of business and finance decisions, we can care for others, support the church, and benefit ourselves as well.” — Andrew Jenner & Bonnie Price Lofton OTHER ALUMNI WHO WORK AT EVERENCE At Kalona, Iowa, site: Cheryl Martin Miller ’01. Goshen, Indiana: Daniel Grimes ’78, Kevin Strite '95, Elaine Martin '79. Kidron, Ohio: Barbara Reinford '77, Lois Bontrager '72. Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Abram Moyer '74, Elizabeth Mast '11, Alicia Hurst '09, Keith Witmer '87, Michael Zehr, class of '77, Marv Smoker '93, Kevin Nofziger '94.
www.emu.edu | crossroads | 39
Means 80-Hour Workweeks Around September TO EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON, and a time to every purpose under heaven; for those who go into auditing, there’s going to be a time to work, and a time to work so much you can hardly do anything else. “If you’re going to be an auditor, you’re going to work long hours. You just know,” says Ashley Hevener ’10, a staff accountant at Kearney & Company in Alexandria, Virginia. It’s one thing to hear vague references to the “busy season” when you’re studying accounting at EMU, Hevener says, and something else altogether to get out in the real world and experience busy season in its full 80-hour-workweek glory. Because Kearney & Co. specializes in federal agency auditing, busy season for Hevener runs from August to November, on either side of the Sept. 30 end to the federal fiscal year. During busy season, she gets about four hours of sleep on a good night, and finishes off two cups of coffee by the time she makes it to the job site – usually a conference room provided for the audit team by whatever federal agency she’s auditing. Along with the rest of the team, she’ll be in this room from before dawn until after dusk, paging through stacks of paper and pecking away at Excel spreadsheets. They snack on M&M’s and cheeseballs, and the only time they’ll see the sun on these days is when they pause briefly to get some lunch, and another coffee. Usually at least two more coffees are on Hevener’s afternoon and evening agenda. Sometimes people put on headphones to tune out everything else. Other times, there’s usually a sort of easy camaraderie in the audit room. During busy season, members of the audit team spend plenty of time in close quarters, Hevener says, making it pretty important to keep on good terms. “We all are nerds and find the same things funny. It’s not that hard to get 40 | crossroads | spring 2013
Ashley Hevener ’10
along,” Hevener says. After November 15, when audit reports are submitted to the client, things gear down a bit; during the off-season, Hevener works on other auditing projects and helps out with some of the consulting work that Kearney & Company does. Because she grew up in rural Kansas, Harrisonburg felt like a booming metropolis when Hevener got to EMU. After graduation, plus a year earning a master’s of accounting at James Madison University (see story on p. 22), she jumped up another order of population magnitude when her job took her to the Washington D.C. area. And because audits are typically performed on-site, travel far and wide is a regular part of the job. Last year, an auditing gig with the Administrative Office of the United States Courts took her as far as the U.S. District Courts in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Hevener spends her days sifting
through numbers, but considers herself more of a problem-solver than a math person. That means from time to time, she finds problems, and one of the toughest parts of the job is breaking bad news to clients. One example: last winter, she discovered that a client who received federal grant money had failed to meet a matching funds requirement. She had to report the finding, knowing that it would mean the client would probably lose that funding for the upcoming year – news that’s particularly unwelcome in a cash-strapped place at a cash-strapped time. Auditors can’t kick stuff under the rug, though; tough love is part of the job sometimes. On the other hand, pointing out problems that clients don’t know they have is the first step toward fixing them. Her favorite part of all of this? Knowing that those endless hours spent on an audit ends up making a positive difference. — Andrew Jenner'04
Emphasize Community Service & Stewardship At Univest in Souderton, Pa.: (from left) Tim Swartley '94, Bryce Bergey '06, John T. Landes '82
www.emu.edu | crossroads | 41
photos by jon styer Alumni employed at Park View Federal Credit Union. Front row, from left: Sarah Kalichman, Emily Burkholder, Nancy Marcellus, Marcia Weaver, Kayla Miller, Diane Martin, John Beiler, Yvonne Boettger, Pam Martin, Susanah Wideman, Ken Gonyer, Phyllis Liskey, Tanya Holland. Back row: Dustin Stutzman, Chelsea Mast, Jonathan Tieszen, Lisa Lehman, Tim Schmoyer, Julie Yoder, Daryl Brubaker, Melanie Eby, Jason Ropp, Cristina Graber Neufeld, Leo Heatwole, Sue Halterman, Melanie Schlabach, Michele Baker. Not pictured: Molly Boese, Aaron Brydge, Ben Delp, Kathryn Fenton, Karen Gonyer, Dan and Megan Sandberg, Sharisa Zook.
YOU’RE PROBABLY FAMILIAR with the rich subgenre of editorial cartoon art lampooning “fat-cat” bankers, whose status as public punching bags has only grown over the past several years as “mortgage-backed securities” entered the national vocabulary and the economy sputtered. But bankers come in all shapes and sizes, and the fat-catting that goes on at a multinational bank on Wall Street bears little resemblance to the day-to-day operations at a community bank like Univest in Souderton, Pennsylvania, where Tim Swartley ’94 heads the retirement services division. At institutions like these, Swartley says, the mission is quite simple at heart: taking in customers’ money for safekeeping, then lending it back in the community to finance home purchases, business growth and other means to progress and prosperity. “My favorite part of the job is enabling others,” says John Beiler ’87, CEO of Park View Federal Credit Union in Harrisonburg, Virginia. “It is very rewarding to work for an institution that has helped many individuals who might otherwise have been overlooked by the broader financial industry.” 42 | crossroads | spring 2013
SERVING MAIN STREET FOLKS Because the credit union has a lowincome service designation, Beiler says it can provide reasonable and affordable services to members who might otherwise pay high fees and interest rates elsewhere for financial services like check cashing, money orders and pay-day loans. “Financing a home is the largest financial transaction that most people undertake,” adds Jonathan Tieszen, MA ’03, a mortgage loan officer at Park View Federal Credit Union. Tieszen also said helping people realize some of their very practical and exciting goals, like buying a house for the first time or refinancing a mortgage to fund a home improvement project, is one of the most rewarding parts of his job. (This credit union was originally founded to serve EMU faculty and staff in 1969. It was run out of an office in the science center for nearly a decade; for a bit more detail, see story on math-oriented alumni who are in higher education, pp. 6-10.) Vickie Smith ’06, vice-president of human resources and mortgage services at Beacon Credit Union in Lynchburg, Virginia, feels a similar satisfaction
when customers drive by to show her vehicles or invite her to visit homes that they’ve purchased with loans she’s helped them secure. “I’ve always enjoyed helping people,” says Smith, who worked for 18 years at a bank in Harrisonburg and previously served as CEO for three other credit unions in Virginia. Several alumni who work in banking note parallels between the Anabaptist emphasis on service stressed at EMU and the missions of the institutions where they now work. SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY John T. Landes ’82, chief credit officer at Univest, says his job allows him to serve the community by providing financing that helps local businesses grow and employ more people, and by advising and helping commercial clients find solutions to financial and economic challenges. There are other, broader cultural similarities shared between EMU and Univest, where Bryce Bergey ’06 is vice president. An open Bible sits at the head of the boardroom table, and the bank’s directors open each of their meetings
with devotions, a practice that might be viewed as odd in other bank boardrooms. And two of the bank’s five core values – “spirituality” and “community” – will sound familiar to anyone who’s ever spent time around EMU. While exploring job options after college, Swartley was encouraged by leaders at Univest to pursue a voluntary service term before beginning his career. He remained in contact with the bank and was hired there after his return to Pennsylvania, where he now enjoys the variety of his day-to-day encounters: retirement savings presentations, elementary school talks, budget planning, continuing education, and entertaining clients on the golf course, among other activities. “The core values of this organization are very similar to what we had growing up and at EMU,” says Landes. In addition to his work at Univest, Bergey also has opportunity to build on the global perspective emphasized at EMU through his position on the board of Mennonite Economic Development Associates. In this role, Bergey travels to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, four times a year to work on an economic development partnership with a large insurance provider there. BEING GOOD STEWARDS Another EMU value that’s constantly on the minds of alumni who work for banks and credit unions is the concept of stewardship. While his technical title is “President/ CEO,” Gerald Hershey ’82 prefers to describe himself as the “chief steward” at DuPont Community Credit Union, based in Waynesboro, Virginia. “I’m the guy that’s responsible to take care of the assets and culture of the organization,” says Hershey. “I’ve been entrusted to nurture and care for something that doesn’t belong to me. Stewardship is a value that was lived by my parents, taught by the church and certainly presented at EMU.” As the chief steward at the credit union, Hershey tries to popularize his employees’ understanding of stewardship by frequently discussing it, and even asks job candidates to define it as the final question in their interviews.
Gerald Hershey ’82
Philip Rush ’82
A sense of stewardship also motivates Rod Yoder ’86, manager of the commercial credit department at Fulton Financial Corporation in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. As he reviews loan applications, Yoder says he makes decisions as if the money he is considering lending is his own – a strategy that checks any temptation to gamble on risky loans in hopes of turning a bigger profit. “The money we are lending comes from people who trust us with their hardearned money,” says Yoder. “You need to ask yourself, ‘If the money I’m lending was coming straight from my personal savings account, would I still be willing to make this loan?’”
GIVING SOUND ADVICE At First Savings Bank in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, being a steward is close to the heart of Philip Rush ’82, who majored in Christian ministries at EMU. As a trust and investment officer, he advises clients who have trust accounts on their financial decisions. “In many cases, my clients are elderly or have special needs, and they need me to do my best for them to stretch their resources as far as possible,” says Rush. He adds that his conception of stewardship also applies to using his aptitude for numbers and finance to serve his church – it’s a way “to be a steward of the talents and resources that God has www.emu.edu | crossroads | 43
Rod Yoder ’86 at Fulton Financial Corp. in Lancaster, Pa.
given me.” At PVFCU, Tieszen applies stewardship to his work by using his lending expertise to make sure that clients fully understand the implications of a loan they’re considering. “Just because you would be approved for [a specific] loan doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing to do,” says Tieszen. “Many times, people want to know if the financial transaction they are considering makes sense for them. If it clearly does not make sense, I’ll let them know.” TOUGHER REGULATIONS Despite the many distinctions between the EMU alumni working in banking and the fat-cats of popular caricature, the entire industry has had to deal with the fallout of the Great Recession and the tougher regulatory climate that’s ensued. “We brought it on ourselves, but it does put quite a burden on us,” says Yoder of Fulton Financial, who devotes significant time to preparing statements and reports for regulators. (First the bank checks the work, then a bank checker checks the bank’s work, and 44 | crossroads | spring 2013
then a bank checker checker checks the bank checker’s work, Yoder says, adding that the new regulations do make his company stronger.) “It’s a tougher environment today than it was five years ago,” adds Landes, noting that the regulatory burden falls especially hard on smaller institutions, due to the amount of time required for compliance (and Univest’s $2.2 billion in assets puts it in the “small” category). At the same time, increased scrutiny on the industry has created opportunities for banks that have earned, rather than abused, the public’s trust. Beiler, for example, says PVFCU has grown recently, as people increasingly look for a financial institution they can trust. FEELING CALLED TO BANKING In a way, this comes as validation of a lesson from EMU that stands out in Beiler’s mind – the idea of “business as a calling” by which “one can use business as a means for creating good.” “EMU professors taught that building trusting relationships and creating loyal customers was a business formula for
success,” Beiler says. From a practical standpoint, Swartley (of Univest) remembers an internship opportunity with a brokerage in Harrisonburg as one of the most valuable parts of his EMU education. “That internship … sparked my interest in investing and financial planning. I am grateful that I had that exposure as I was sorting out what I wanted to do with my degree,” he says. Yoder says that when he first took his job at Fulton Financial, the year after graduation, he was intimidated by the degrees his colleagues held from more prestigious schools. That soon wore off, though, once it was clear that he was capable of holding his own with them in the workplace – evidence of the fact that EMU prepared him well for the career. He also still sometimes carries (literally) with him a more tangible legacy of his education at EMU: a nondescript black briefcase he bought for $30 at the bookstore when he was a freshman. — Andrew Jenner '04
MATTER So Let’s Talk About It
OUR NUMBERS-FOCUSED ALUMNI consider how to invest pension funds, what benefits employers can afford, whether a financial institution should offer a particular service, how much life insurance to recommend, and how to meet payroll. They support enterprises that provide jobs and, in some cases, they contribute to decisions about layoffs. They serve as private and government auditors, making sure money is going where it should be. They guard against embezzlement and arrange for taxes to be paid. They help municipalities to find the funds to meet common needs – or deliver the news that adequate funds don’t exist. They are, in short, players in matters that affect the well-being of nearly all of us. As an overview for this "numbers" issue of Crossroads, we'll offer some thoughts pertaining to money, give much-deserved credit to Mennonite Economic Development Associates (a group which is not just for Mennonites!), and finish with insights from nine alumni and one long-time professor. THE CHALLENGE OF MONEY In God, Money, and Me – Exploring the spiritual significance of money in our lives (2004), Edwin Friesen wrote: For various reasons, talking about how we personally manage money is frequently a social taboo. Some people struggle with overwhelming debt. Others feel unworthy of or burdened by their wealth. Still others feel entitled to what they have and don’t want to be challenged. We fear each other’s judgment as we voice our opinions. But talking about money with fellow believers will reduce its power over us. Together we can seek to put money in its place, a place where it serves as a tool for God’s purpose, not as a god that rules us.
Friesen mainly focuses on individual financial choices in his 83-page booklet (published by the Mennonite Foundation of Canada, available from Everence). He acknowledges Christians’ traditional discomfort with amassing great wealth, summed up by 1 Timothy 6:9-10: “For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” And what about the three biblical passages that say, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God”?
Yet we all need money, even if we’ve been warned not to love it, not to crave it, and to beware of being rich. So how to strike the right balance between meeting our needs – and those of others – without becoming obsessive about money and making it a false god? Here at EMU, it took money to build this institution, with much of it coming from successful business people like Jacob A. Shenk, who attended Eastern Mennonite School in the 1920s, or from generous professionals, like eye surgeon Paul R. Yoder Jr. ’63. And it will take continued infusions of money – some of it arriving in large chunks and some of it tallied from many smaller donations – to www.emu.edu | crossroads | 45
enable EMU to have the necessary facili- nal, clearly this organization is one with each other, such as social-justice ties and financial aid to keep producing place where Christians who know how advocates and business leaders. In a alumni who are doing good in all walks to make money can find people like provocative piece published in the May/ of life and professions. themselves – that is, businesspeople who June 2004 issue, two economists based Friesen suggests that most of us need are interested in linking their gifts for at Bluffton University, James M. Harder prophetic-spiritual voices, such as Mothbusiness and finance with their religious and Karen Klassen Harder, deconstructer Teresa with her vow of poverty, to beliefs. ed our common way of measuring ecoencourage us “to ignore the all-pervasive Some advice in The Marketplace is not nomic performance, the Gross Domestic cultural influences to buy and consume” too different from that in motivational Product. and to instead “focus on sharing” and on business books, such as an article in the “It is often mistakenly assumed that one’s “relationships with God and others.” March/April 2012 issue, published under growth and development mean the same And yet Mother Teresa welcomed the headline “Failure need not be fatal thing,” they wrote. “But growth does not donations from supporters who had not – When everything looks bleak, rememguarantee development, nor does develtaken her vow of poverty. For instance, ber apostle Peter.” The piece described opment necessarily require growth.” she received $1.25 million from Charles the writer’s experience with a business The Harders (a married couple) went Keating, a key player in the meltdown that went under despite its leaders’ best on to explain: of the savings and loan associations of efforts. GDP calculations not only mask the the 1980s, where about 23,000 custombreakdown of the environment, they actualers (many of them retirees living on ly portray that breakdown as gain. Much of pensions) were left with worthless bonds. “The pendulum must swing to what is routinely called growth is, in fact, Asked to return the money to those from renewed cooperation within merely the repair of past blunders. GDP whom it had been stolen by Keating’s “grows” when hazardous waste is produced strengthened local communities.” and then “grows” some more when money is company, Mother Teresa declined to — James M. & Karen Klassen Harder, respond to the official request from a spent to clean up chemical contamination, U.S. government lawyer. Yet she did send Bluffton University purify water to make it drinkable, or treat a letter advocating leniency for Keating cancers resulting from pollution. when he was facing a prison sentence. These economists argued that there are In short, even Mother Teresa faced But other articles in The Marketplace indeed limits to growth due to the finite messy challenges in terms of money pose questions that might be minimized supplies of most natural resources. “No – where it came from and how it was or sidestepped in mainstream business business that wants to last can afford ultimately used. periodicals, such as: (1) Is there a busito ignore in its financial statements the ness model that addresses the needs of depletion of its productive assets, yet that MEDA: ASKING, AND OFTEN the bottom socio-economic third of our is precisely what the global economy is ANSWERING, THE HARD QUESTIONS society? and (2) What are the downsides doing…. Disaster looms precisely bePondering the sometimes-distant of businesses that go public? cause the current economic model has no relationship between clergy and Stephen Kreider Yoder, a Mennonite built-in limits – no stopping point short folks who generate profits, Canadian who is the San Francisco bureau chief of of a crisis generated by environmental or journalist John Longhurst wrote in The the Wall Street Journal, gave his answer social collapse.” Marketplace, a bi-monthly published to the first question at a 2009 MEDA The Harders asked us all – consumby Mennonite Economic Development convention in San Jose, California: “The ers as well as producers – to correct our Associates (MEDA): “Businesspeople capitalism that flourishes so remarkably myopic eyesight on this matter by emmay be reluctant to talk on Monday to here in Silicon Valley isn’t always good at bracing “smallness and local control.” someone who was preaching on Sunday closing those [have vs. have-not] gaps.” “This will create manageable zones about the evils of money, materialism The second question was addressed of mutual accountability and responand consumerism,” especially if “the only by David Steward, in excerpts from sibility for self, others, and natural time some businesspeople expect to hear his book, Doing Business by the Good surroundings,” they wrote, adding that from their pastors is at budget time.” Book, in the May/June 2004 Market“the pendulum must swing back from Longhurst wryly adds, “Money is the place: “The investment community can the anonymous, individualistic global root of all evil until the annual fundraisapply tremendous pressure to produce economy to renewed cooperation within ing campaign kicks in. An old adage quarterly profits. This outside persuasion strengthened local communities.” about Christians and business goes: ‘If sometimes tempts management to think possible avoid getting into business; but short-term, reduce expenditures, and VALUE-BASED ALUMNI if you do get into business, avoid making forgo quality…. [T]he demand put on KAREN GROSS ’75, a nursing grad, lots of money; but if you end up making management for three-month gains isn’t certainly embodies the small-scale lots of money, the church sure needs it.’” necessarily good for a company’s longapproach to responsibility for self and (The Marketplace, March/April 2011, p. 4) term interests.” others. She works as a nurse-practitioner With views like Longhurst’s in the MEDA seems to enjoy cross-fertilizing one day a week, but the rest of the week pages of MEDA’s Marketplace jourthinkers who are sometimes at odds she juggles three jobs in the business 46 | crossroads | spring 2013
photos by jon styer
Karen Gross ’75 at the Ten Thousand Villages store in Atlanta that she co-founded.
sector of Atlanta, Georgia. She was one of the founders of the first Ten Thousand Villages store in the Atlanta area 20 years ago. Like all stores bearing this name, this outlet is a nonprofit enterprise to provide a living wage for artisans around the world who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed. Gross handles the outlet’s finances – purchasing inventory, paying bills, and doing the payroll and taxes. She also runs “My Mama Had That,” an antique business in the suburb of Decatur, whereby she finds well-made vintage items at yard and estate sales and makes sure they get a second chance at life in somebody’s home. Finally, she helps with Sticky Business, a 12-employee enterprise that produces and installs graphics for vehicles, walls, and buildings. Karen’s husband, Joel Gross ’76, is CEO, but Karen took over reviewing the balance sheets and income statements, plus managing receivables and payables, after the business had a bout with embezzlement. “My home, church, and education at EMU, all stressed values of commitment,
integrity, and stewardship of not just dealing with local banks, analyzing one’s money, but also life work and time,” reports to make recommendations to Karen told Crossroads, by way of explain- “Sonny,” and driving past trees that grow ing the common threads in all four of the Bowman apples on his way to work her jobs. Karen is also active in Berea in Timberville, Virginia, right beside the Mennonite Church. 35,000-square foot packing house. This In the Shenandoah Valley, BILLY is not just a place Leap works; it’s his LEAP ’86, CPA, is chief financial officer second home.* for Bowman Fruit Sales, a 450-employee KEVIN LONGENECKER ’91, a CPA apple-focused company owned by a local who is the chief financial officer at Interbusinessman. Leap had the opportunity Change Group (“warehousing logistics – in fact, he experienced the opportuand development”) in Harrisonburg, nity for 18 months – of being part of a appreciates the collegiality of working much larger enterprise, Bowman Andros in a locally owned business with 135 emProducts, a subsidiary of Andros et Cie ployees, where all six of the management headquartered in France, whose U.S. team members are alumni of EMU. operations are outside Harrisonburg. “Devon Anders [company president, But Leap decided to return to doing ’88 accounting grad] has never – and the finances for a businessman whom he would never – ask me to do something knew well, Gordon D. “Sonny” Bowunethical. Our corporate culture is man II. Under the name of Turkey Knob influenced by Anabaptist values. In a Apples, Bowman is responsible for the small, privately held company like this, largest number of apples grown and it's possible to take the longer view in marketed in Virginia and is No. 1 or 2 in * Leap has a “Valley family.” His wife, Renée ’85, is asthe east for apple production. sociate director of EMU’s financial assistance office; his elder son, Mitchell, is a 2012 graduate of EMU, and his For Leap – a self-described “Valley second son, Parker, is a sophomore at EMU. The family boy”– he derives great satisfaction out worships at Harrisonburg Mennonite Church. of knowing each permanent employee, www.emu.edu | crossroads | 47
building shareholder value, since we're department of Elam G Stoltzfus Jr Inc. (Tanzania) and Asia (Bangladesh) on acnot pressured to deliver quarterly perforwhere he carried 4×8 sheets of plywood counting, microfinance, and job-creation mance on the stock market.” on a framing crew the first day and projects for several church-affiliated Longenecker’s father ran a small retail huddled over a drafting table the next. organizations. Along the way, in 1991, he store near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Though Dula is now one of five ofearned a master’s degree in economic when he was growing up – which is ficers in the company’s leadership team, development. where he got his foundational lessons in he stressed: “Titles mean nothing to us. After his return to the United States, how to approach work, treat employees, Our founder never liked them, nor do Martin discovered a fellow graduate from and make decisions with integrity. The I, nor the rest of the senior management his era, Josephine Histand ’81, who had question, “Why do we do what we do?” staff. Titles merely identify our structure gone on to get an MBA and to work for was always in the air. And the answer to those outside of the organization. the Ford Motor Company. “It was an was not simply: “We do it for the bottom “We believe in a flat non-hierarchical online match. We overlapped a couple of line.” structure, which empowers persons to years at EMU – I avoided the library and In Leola, Pennsylvania, THOMAS unleash their own entrepreneurial spirit she lived in the library, so we didn’t meet VERGHESE ’71 runs his own insurance at all levels of the operation.” then,” he says with amusement in his and financial services firm (with the help Dula focused his MEDA talk on the voice. The two married in 2001, and she of assistant Rebecca Bucher ’86). Verquestion of who we are as human beings, now works as an environmental engineer ghese took the unusual step of topping rather than what we do, though naturally consultant. off an MBA earned at James Madison “My philosophy has always been that University in 1974 with a year back at his I feel best when I am where God wants “Business is simply a way of undergraduate alma mater, studying at me to be,” he says. “The common thread Eastern Mennonite Seminary (EMS). [for all of his jobs] is that I was working producing and distributing the “Faith and values are paramount in for the church. I have liked whatever things we need. Making a profit my dealings with my clients. My training setting I was in. I am not looking to be a is a means to that end. at EMC, the year at EMS, my church CEO of a non-profit. My first priority is As a stockholder, I want my (Forest Hills Mennonite), and the faith to be of service to the church.” community that I am a part of have pro- companies to do well financially, Today he is director of finance for vided me with a sound foundation upon Franconia Mennonite Conference, but I also want them to which to live and work.” handling a budget of approaching $1 milcontribute to the social good.” Specifically, as an “independent lion annually. He and Josephine attend —Spencer Cowles, business & economics chair agent” who can pick and choose among Blooming Glen Mennonite Church. products offered by various companies, Like Conrad Martin, JOHN HESSVerghese says he takes care to “make sure YODER ’74 spent a chunk of his young that the recommendations I make to my we manifest our true selves through our adult years living and working in foreign prospects and clients are in their best inwork. locales – two years in Laos and three terests in terms of suitability, cost, quality “Like many people in business, I live years in Brazil under Mennonite Central of the product, as well as timing.” in a world of doing, producing, conCommittee. He then pastored a MenANDREW “ANDY” DULA ’91 is the structing, expanding and sometimes just nonite church in Oregon for three years CFO/COO of EG Stoltzfus, a consurviving,” he said. “We are often judged before deciding to enter the financial struction company based in Lancaster, by financial metrics and measurable planning arena. Pennsylvania, with 25 subsidiary comparesults, as in, ‘What have you done for Hess-Yoder is a Certified Financial nies. He is also chair of EMU’s board of me lately?’ Planner, plus he holds a law degree trustees, a volunteer position. “In the larger scheme of things, howearned through night school. The CFP is In a 2010 speech to the MEDA ever, a more important question is, ‘Who not a one-shot deal, Hess-Yoder explains. chapter in Lancaster, Dula spoke of his am I becoming?’” “You have to do special ethical training life journey, starting with his birth in For Dula, what truly counts are the per year and you have to sign ethical Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His parents are of “stories of making just choices, going the guidelines. You can be censured by them mixed race and nationality of birth, faextra mile, treating employees as partners, [the Organization of Financial Planners, ther being brown Ethiopian and mother emphasizing our interconnectedness which confers the CFP] for quite a few being white American. Their marriage instead of untamed individualism, and things that regulators cannot get you for.” in the Mennonite Church of Ethiopia practicing moderation instead of excess,” If Hess-Yoder were a customer seeking was “no small feat in the ’60s,” Dula said adding that these “are part of who I am a financial planner, he says one of his wryly in his talk, which is posted on the becoming, rather than anything I am first questions would be, “How indepenEMU website. doing.” dent are you?” He would not be comfortDula traced his post-collegiate journey C. CONRAD MARTIN ’80 returned able with planners who receive comthrough a short-lived family restaurant to his home state of Pennsylvania in 2001 missions or extra compensation based venture to the drafting and design after spending 12 years working in Africa on promoting certain funds, including 48 | crossroads | spring 2013
in-house ones. “My best relationships are fee-based,” he says, in the manner that a lawyer is paid a fee for a specific service rendered. He adds, however, that some clients opt to have him compensated on a commission basis, which may save them money under certain circumstances. An up-and-coming associate of HessYoder, KYLE MAST ’07, hopes to pass his CFP exam in the summer of 2013. Like Hess-Yoder, he prizes being an independent financial advisor: “I am not tied to anyone’s investment products. I can offer what I believe is best to my client, no matter what.” Mast says that half of his clients ask him to help them choose “socially responsible investments” (SRI) – though these entail higher management fees because of the labor that goes into carefully screening companies – and half simply want him to focus on investments that are likely to have the best returns. Mast credits Everence, the financialservices arm of Mennonite Church USA, with doing one of the best jobs of screening companies: “There aren’t many who do the due diligence that Everence does,” he says. The current “hot button” among his SRI-focused clients who are Mennonites? Avoiding companies associated with arms manufacturing and marketing. LARRY NOLT ’65, an investment manager with National Penn Bank Shares headquartered in Allentown, Pennsylvania, says “fiduciary advisor” is a term coming into vogue. The word “fiduciary” highlights the difference between those professionals who are legally obligated to put the needs and interests of their clients first – such as chartered financial planners, chartered financial consultants, and chartered financial analysts – and others. Stockbrokers, for example, usually work on high commissions, benefit from frequent transactions (whether necessary or not), and receive outside incentives, such as trips paid by the companies whose funds they sell. Nolt suggests that prospective clients of financial services ask for “full disclosure” regarding how their advisors or planners will be compensated for their work. It may be difficult to tease out hidden charges, such as those that may be contained in insurance policies or annui-
Tom Verghese ’71
Andrew “Andy” Dula ’91
Conrad Martin ’80
Larry Nolt ’65
ties. Remember, he says, “if a product or cost to our fellow humans. investment sounds too good to be true, it “I view business as an agent for extendprobably is. I wouldn’t go there.” ing God’s providential care to humanJust as most of us need to partner with kind,” says SPENCER COWLES, PHD, healthcare professionals to stay healthy, chair of EMU’s business and economics Nolt believes that the average person department. “Business is simply a way needs the expertise of a well-trained, of producing and distributing the things highly ethical financial advisor to manwe need. Making a profit is a means to age their money. And even these advisors that end. can get it wrong. “As a stockholder, I want my compa“Almost all of us [in the field] were nies to do well financially, but I also want buffaloed by Enron,” he says. You have them to contribute to the social good.” to have strong regulatory bodies keeping If there was a common thread among watch, he adds, “because the crooks the dozens of interviews conducted for always move to the latest area of dethis issue of Crossroads, it was this: We regulation.” are called to be stewards of our resources, Part of the beauty of living a “discipled financial and otherwise, rather than life” as a Christian, and as a member of a being heedless gamblers with them; we church community, says Nolt, is receivmust always consider the wider impact of ing help to curb the human tendency to the financial decisions we make. take advantage of situations and to reach — Bonnie Price Lofton, MA '04 for the utmost profit, regardless of the www.emu.edu | crossroads | 49
photos by jon styer
Five Work With Numbers at Alma Mater BERT OVERSEES $32 MILLION BUDGET Eighteen years before becoming EMU’s vice president for finance, Daryl Bert ’97 came to EMU to play volleyball, recruited by Coach Sandy Brownscombe. In his four-year playing career, he set several school records, earning a place in EMU’s Athletics Hall of Fame. Today, with an MBA degree and corporate finance experience, he oversees the work of 50 staff and manages a budget of $32 million. Bert still plays team sports, just not volleyball: “I’m too old to play at the level I was used to.” He’s on a church-league softball team and plays on the faculty-staff basketball team in EMU’s intramural program. From his third-floor office in the Campus Center adjacent to the president’s office, Bert can see Massanutten Peak in the distance and much of the 90-acre campus below him, including new power-generating solar panels on the roof of Hartzler Library. Bert is responsible for the business office, physical plant department, human resources and auxiliary services. The latter includes the bookstore, dining hall, box office, rental of campus facilities, and summer programs. As for the budget, Bert started putting the massive document together in December for the 2013-14 budget year, which starts July 1. “Student tuition is our biggest source of revenue,” said Bert. “But we couldn’t balance the budget without other sources of income.” Tuition funds two-thirds of the operating budget, with room and board (fees for living in the residence halls and eating in the cafeteria) generating another 14 percent. Seven percent of the revenue comes from the contributions of alumni and other donors. EMU’s endowment fund – which currently stands at nearly $21 million – earns 2 percent for the budget. The remaining 10 percent of the budget comes from rental of campus facilities and other miscellaneous revenue. Bert was living with his family in Austin, Texas, when he was invited by President Loren Swartzendruber to apply for the vice president position. “I wasn’t looking to make a change,” he said, “but we did think we eventually wanted to move back East where our families lived.” Bert is married to Carrie Stambaugh ’97, who also played varsity volleyball for four years at EMU. They live at the edge of campus with their three children – Evan (8), Davis (6) and Maren (3). Carrie, a former elementary school teacher, works part time at EMU as an assistant coach for the women’s volleyball team. As a student at EMU, Bert majored in accounting, taught primarily by Ron Stoltzfus and Karen Burkholder. His first job after graduating was at the Harrisonburg accounting
50 | crossroads | spring 2013
Daryl Bert ’97
firm of McGladrey & Pullen, which later merged with PBGH. He and Carrie moved to Texas in 2000, where he took a job at the corporate headquarters of Dell as a financial consultant in product development. He left the company to earn an MBA at the University of Texas and then returned to Dell to work in the same area. Four other EMU alumni work in the business office: Joan Goodrich ’02 is the assistant controller. She majored in business and organizational development in EMU’s Adult Degree Completion Program, after which she took a job as the accounting supervisor at Rockingham Memorial Hospital in Harrisonburg. Feeling that there were no further growth opportunities for her at RMH, Goodrich responded to an opening for assistant controller at EMU – and was offered the job. Her daily activities include journal entries, account reconciliations, general ledger transactions and oversight of EMU’s credit card program. “The most satisfaction I get from the job,” she says, “is when I am able to respond quickly to questions from other employees and departments.” Judy (Kauffman) Leaman, class of ’79, the cashier, is the face and voice of the business office, greeting customers – mostly students – and answering phone calls, often from parents of students. She is married to Jay M. Leaman ’77. "I really enjoy helping and learning to know students and parents as well as the faculty and staff at EMU,” she says. Tim Stutzman ’95, EMU’s controller and director of finance, heads the seven-member business office staff. He is a certified public accountant (CPA) with 15 years of experience in industry and public accounting in Ohio before joining the EMU staff in 2010. As a student, he was a double major in accounting and business administration. Stutzman is married to Laura (Gillman) Stutzman ’95. Lisa (Brenneman) Crist ’87, student finance manager, is responsible for billing students and managing accounts receivable. In 2010-11, Crist’s older daughter, Rebecca, enrolled in EMU; she forsees her younger daughter, Rachel, enrolling as a first-year student in 2013-14. — Steve Shenk ' 73
Accounting graduate Chrissy Phillips ’04 was the controller for Shenandoah Growers, a leading provider of fresh herbs in the United States. In March 2010, she stepped away from that role in order to give more attention to her family. Today she works as a consultant in Harrisonburg, preparing financial analyses and forecasts, as well as assisting clients with accounting systems setup and accounting processes and procedures.
A Wealth of Alumni IF YOU COUNT THE NUMBER of names in bold in the foregoing articles on EMU alumni whose professional lives are heavily intertwined with “numbers,” you’ll arrive at over 150. And yet many others, whom we were in contact with (or at least fully aware of ), are not in those pages. Here is our supplementary list, loosely organized by area of work. We missed including you? Fill out emu.edu/crossroads/update, and your information will be published in an upcoming Crossroads.
BANKING & FINANCIAL ADVISING
STEVE DANIEL ALTHOUSE, CLASS OF '97, READING, PA // Bank of New York Mellon Fund Accounting Supervisor, King of Prussia, Pa. // “I currently work on the Metropolitan West fund family. Fixed income bonds have been my cup of tea for my entire time in the business.” WENDEL L. KING '93, PETERSBURG, PA // Joined Comprehensive Financial Planning Inc. in 2006 as an investment advisor specializing in 401(k) management and group benefit plan design with Comprehensive Benefit Marketing Services Inc. Also a benefits broker for Comprehensive Benefit Marketing Services, Inc. SID RUTH ’98, TELFORD, PA // Has both CPA and CFP; works for Franconia Insurance and Financial Services. // “Tax preparation and audit work didn’t stoke my fires,” so he did a couple of years of classwork and took two-day exam to become a Certified
Financial Plannner, a designation with the requirement that the client’s interests are put first. JOE SLAGELL ’92, HARRISONBURG, VA // Mortgage loan officer, Wells Fargo.
CONTROLLERS, ACCOUNTANTS, BOOKKEEPERS
RICH BECKLER '79, MECHANICSVILLE, VA // Regional controller, Care Virginia Management LLC B.J. GERBER '04, KIDRON, OH // Does accounting for Gerber Poultry, 60-year-old business begun by his grandparents. The plant processes chickens and employs more than 300 people in the local area. // “Numbers can be manipulated to appear in specific ways or mislead people. Providing accurate data in formats that are helpful for moving the business forward and problemsolving are challenges that I work with regularly.”
KENNETH HERR '72, MORGANTOWN, PA // Controller for Dutchland Inc., which specializes in engineering, designing, and manufacturing water and wastewater storage and treatment systems. It produces and installs structural precast post-tensioned concrete. JENNY BISHOP HUMMEL '94, WEYERS CAVE, VA // Controller, Pactiv LLC in Grottoes, Va. // Treasurer, Shenandoah Valley Autism Partnership. DAN DENTAMORE-HUNSBERGER ’83, HARRISONBURG, VA // Manager, internal control-compliance, Shentel Management Company // “Accounting is far from dry.… The only thing constant in accounting is change: new regulations, processes, products, locations in the business, acquisitions, divestitures, capital projects, personnel, accounting systems, technologies.… In the 30 years since I completed my degree at EMU, the changes in accounting and business are hard to digest.”
JEREMY KRATZ '99, HARRISONBURG, VA // CPA, controller at Ariake USA, subsidiary of a multinational headquartered in Japan that is one of the world’s largest producers of stocks and bases, using meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetable products. // “One unique aspect of my position with Ariake is… dealing with cultural and communication differences. Oftentimes my Japanese counterparts are more direct than we tend to be in the U.S., and respect is very important to them. My cross-cultural experiences at EMU have helped lead to mostly positive interactions and relationships.” E. RICK MILLER ’92, DILLSBURG, PA // CPA, senior living services manager at Padden, Guerrini & Associates P.C. Established in 1984 by H. David Padden, the firm has grown to include four additional shareholders and 19 full-time employees and specializes in serving senior living facilities, credit unions, and small businesses.
www.emu.edu | crossroads | 51
MIRIAM MUMAW '61, ARLINGTON, VA // Controller, Gammon and Grange, PC in McLean, Va., a law firm with national reputation in nonprofit and church law. KAREN DEVERS PARKER '11, RAPHINE, VA // Staff accountant, Augusta County Services Authority in Verona. AMY RUSH ’91, HARRISONBURG, VA // CPA at Clark & Bradshaw, PC, a law firm // Works with attorneys and clients on estate issues, wills and tax preparation, as well as internal accounting for the company. GERALDINE "GERRY" RUSH '63, HARRISONBURG, VA // Learning coordinator, PBMares LLP // CPA who previously worked as senior tax manager, advising on taxes, estate planning and investment planning. // Finished accounting degree from JMU at age 47 after teaching chemistry, physics and math at EMU and EMHS, and then staying home with children, including daughter Amy, also a CPA. ANDY SALTZMAN '95, EAST PEORIA, IL // CPA at the accounting firm of Heinold-Banwart Ltd // “EMU was one of the best times in my life. I was well prepared to sit for the CPA exam with a good foundation of accounting principles.” ISAAC SHELLY ’09, HARRISONBURG, VA // Accounts payable specialist, Rosetta Stone, a globally focused company that specializes in language-learning software. RYAN SIEGRIST ’01, LANCASTER, PA // CPA manager who performs a variety of tax, audit, and accounting services for clients of Hershey Advisors PC, serving clients in Lancaster, Lebanon, York, and Chester County areas of Pennsylvania. LOIS JOHNSON STARK ’81, SPRINGFIELD, OR // Bookkeeper, office manager and CPA // Something to Crow About Quilt Store (Springfield); Bright Knight Property Management and Combined Realty Services (in Eugene) // “Bookkeepers tend to enjoy working alone, they are not necessarily 'people' people. Bookkeepers are methodical.” CLAYTON SUYDAM ’05, LANCASTER, PA // Controller-CPA at Premier Custom-Built, a familyowned company in New Holland, Pa., that specializes in the “ultra high-end cabinetry market.”
52 | crossroads | spring 2013
C. "RICK" WILLIAMS JR. '89, SPRINGFIELD, VA // ControllerCPA at Criterion Systems Inc., a 100% employee-owned IT services company providing high-end information technology and systems integration services for many of the U.S. government’s “mission-critical environments.” LAWRENCE YODER ’87, BROADWAY, VA // CPA, Horizon Accountants // “Marketplace minister & owner” // “You can have the best ideas and concepts that you think are really good, but if the numbers do not support them, they’re worthless.”
GREG BEACHY ’81, LOUISVILLE, KY // Vice president & capital markets managing director of Farm Credit Mid-America, a co-op that provides credit to agricultural producers and rural residents (90,000 borrowing members in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee) // Leads a team that manages $4+ billion in assets. // Has worked for the co-op 30+ years. STEVE BREIDIGAN ’92, DOUGLASSVILLE, PA // CFO and risk manager for Rockhill Mennonite Community; CPA; congregational treasurer; volunteer financial counselor for Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities. ROSS COLLINGWOOD '74, SALEM, OR // Co-owner & financial advisor, Great Oak Financial Group. DONNA (METZLER) GLUNT ’91, WEST LIBERTY, OH // Office manager, Link Engineering Co., which tests brakes on commercial vehicles. // Duties include the local accounting duties, marketing, HR support and DOT compliance management. MARLIN GROFF '79, LANCASTER, PA // CFO, Lancaster Mennonite School // “Schools have multiple bottom lines – enrollment targets, students’ needs, happy staff, attractive buildings… – and maybe that’s both the fun and the challenge of this work.” SHAUN HACKMAN '99, GREEN LANE, PA // CFO & controller, TH Properties , custom home builder serving Bucks, Chester, Montgomery and Lehigh counties. DAVID HOSTETLER '81, GOSHEN, IN // Financial manager, Schrock Homes Inc., a building company. EUGENE KLASSEN, MA '92 (LEADERSHIP), ABBOTSFORD, BRITISH COLUMBIA // CFO, Communitas Supportive Care Society,
a nonprofit, faith-based social services agency providing care in communities in Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, North Vancouver Island and the Okanagan. STEVE MARTIN '88, EPHRATA, PA // Finance director, Eastern Mennonite Missions GARY SOMMERS ’98, NORTH CANTON, OH // CFO and CPA, HRM Enterprises, Inc. based in Hartville, Ohio // Hartville Kitchen Restaurant, Inc., Hartville Kitchen Foods, Inc., Hartville Marketplace, Inc., Hartville Hardware, Inc., Hart Design, Inc., Top Advantage Surfaces, Inc. GRACE WITMER STYER ’79, GREENFORD, OH // CFO-COO, Das Dutch Village Inn; CFO & vice president, Witmers Inc. (farmequipment and construction business); owner, The Dutch Cupboard. JONI YODER, CLASS ’87, WINSTON SALEM, NC // Director of finance, Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County.
HARD TO CLASSIFY RUSSEL "RUSS" KENNEL '71, KEIZER, OR // Insurance examiner – market analyst, State of Oregon // “We regulate all insurance companies doing business in the State of Oregon. I review claims and financial data to ensure compliance with statutes, rules and regulations.” // Board member of Hope Village in Canby Oregon, chair of finance committee (7 years) and also board member of Mennonite Services Northwest, which provides management services to Hope Village, Mennonite Village and other adult and residential facilities. SUSAN MURPHY CARTER '09, STAUNTON, VA // Accounts receivable technician // Blue Ridge Community College. BLAINE DERSTINE, CLASS OF '81, LANCASTER, PA // Inventory manager for all of the Ten Thousand Villages company stores. MELESA "LESA" MCCALLISTER DUNCAN '04, MASSANUTTEN, VA // Financial analyst at MillerCoors LLC in Elkton. ABBY GRIFFITH '12, PINEVILLE, VA // Senior production services analyst at MillerCoors LLC in Elkton. TIM HEDRICK '94, WATERLOO, ONTARIO // Senior financial analyst, Sun Life Financial.
DOUG HORST ’92, PINSON, AL // Program director, Gateway (Financial Freedom program) // “Our role is meeting with families and individuals who have questions or even struggles with their personal finances and we become a financial ‘coach’ for them. This normally includes assisting them with establishing a workable budget and then helping them take steps towards accomplishment of goals – including things like startingincreasing savings, getting out of debt (particularly credit card debt), avoiding foreclosure on a home, etc. “ ARTHUR "ART" STOLTZFUS ’82, ELKHART, IN // Lender, community development, and acquisitions manager, National Equity Fund. J. DENICE "DENNY" SWARTZ, CLASS OF ’64, FLUSHING, MI // Retired financial analyst, property accounting, General Motors, Pontiac, Mich. // Began his career at $2.55 per hour on the assembly line at Fisher Body Plant No. 1 // “One of the most interesting and fascinating aspects of the job for the analyst was to see [a new] asset, inspect the installation process to verify that the accounting is correct and to see the asset in operation. [It] could be a small press or a huge transfer press, a new building, conveyor line, paint booth, robot, dynamometer, forklift truck, highway vehicle or even a new test facility and test track."
INSURANCE ANDREW "ANDY" CLEMMER '92, HAGERSTOWN, MD // Agent for KMS Cumberland Valley Insurance. DANIEL GOYETTE HEACOCK '78, MARYSVILLE, PA // Principal of Daniel G. Heacock Insurance. JIMMY GRANDSTAFF '83, LURAY, VA // Principal of Grandstaff Insurance Agency. JULIE MUMAW LAMBERT, CLASS OF '75, WEST SALEM, OH // Started work at Westfield Insurance in 2001 as a trainee for commercial processors, entering information to provide a printed policy. // Now an underwriter assistant. RODNEY LEHMAN ’99, LITITZ, PA // Licensed manager, commercial lines at Lehman Insurance // Works alongside father, Keith Lehman// Has his CISR and CIC designations. PHILIP SHOWALTER ’92, LYNCHBURG, VA // Executive vice president, Campbell Insurance, 40-person company operating three divisions, commercial, employee benefits and personal insurance.
photo by jon styer
Andrew Eshleman, class of '07 – pictured with his wife, nurse-practitioner Ashley (Chupp) '07, near their home in Hagerstown, Md. – studied under EMU’s pre-engineering program from 2003 to 2005 before transferring to Penn State at University Park to finish a degree in civil engineering. Since 2009, Eshleman has been the structural engineer for Washington County, Md., responsible for maintaining bridge infrastructure. His work includes bridge inspections, designing and reviewing bridge replacement repairs and plans for the county, and overseeing the construction. “Preparing a bridge design,” he explains, “includes calculating the bridge hydrology and hydraulics, bridge structural and roadway design, and determining the quantities and cost estimate.”
Faculty & Staff
Kenton Derstine ‘72, director of field education, has been keeping bees since he was 15 years old. He now maintains 40 hives. In an effort to promote sustainability and introduce students to the responsibility everyone has to the environment, Kenton placed four hives on the hill west of EMU. Beekeeping provides a good metaphor for teaching students to be good ministers. “Beekeeping is good practice in managing your own reactive responses,” said Derstine. “If you can’t manage your own reactions with bees, they are able to sense it. If you move back too quickly, for example, they are attracted to that movement. Good ministry takes similar management of your own anxiety.” David Glanzer ‘71, undergraduate dean, and Annmarie Early, director of MA in counseling, recently published their article “The Role of Edge-Sensing in Experiential Psychotherapy” in the American Journal of Psychotherapy. The article focuses on the point of intersection where implicit or “gut knowing” and explicit or “head knowing” processes meet. Their collaboration began with a shared interest in the process of paying attention to “what our bodies know” and how experiencing something is different from merely talking about it. They then started teaching from that perspec-
tive and presenting their developing ideas at conferences. As they plan their next writing project, they would like to experiment with writing from, not only about, this felt sensing place. Such an exploration contributes to a greater capacity for the integration of these complementary ways of knowing and practice, not only in therapy, but in teaching and everyday life. Amy Knorr, MA ‘09 (conflict transformation), is the new practice coordinator at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pa., Amy has worked in over 15 countries in Central and South America, the Caribbean, Africa and Europe. A specialist in international peacebuilding, she has worked for Catholic Relief Services, World Vision, UNDP/DDR, and Concern Worldwide. James (Jim) Leaman ‘86, associate professor of business and economics, was a plenary speaker at the International Conference on Creating a Sustainable Business: Managerial Implications and Challenges. The conference took place Dec. 7-9 in Jaipur, India. The title of Jim’s presentation was “Leading Organizations Toward Sustainability in a Full-Earth Economy.” Bonnie Price Lofton, MA ‘04 (conflict transformation), editor-in-chief, was appointed by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education to serve as host judge for the 2013 Circle of
Excellence Awards in the Special Issues Magazines category. In this role, Bonnie coordinated the work of five other editorial judges during March and April – one each from American University, George Washington University, and West Virginia University, plus two from Cornell University, in evaluating 39 entries for gold, silver or bronze awards. Catherine (Cathy) Rittenhouse ‘82, associate professor of nursing, was recognized at the Virginia Nurses Foundation Gala on September 29, 2013, for her work with the Virginia Action Coalition (VAC). The coalition seeks to implement solutions to the challenges facing the nursing profession and build upon nurse-based approaches to improving quality and transforming the way Americans receive health care. Cathy, along with several nursing educators and members of the VAC that comprise an education task force for Va., seeks to increase the proportion of nurses with baccaluareate degrees to 80% by 2020. Studies show that patients cared for by baccalaureate-prepared nurses have better outcomes in terms of safety and overall recovery. They have made huge strides toward this goal and Cathy is proud to be a part of this valuable effort. Lynn Roth, director of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, has been appointed as the Mennonite World Conference (MWC) North American representative. As such, he will maintain
relationships and encourage active participation in MWC by the North American member denominations and agencies. Dorothy Jean Weaver ‘72, professor of New Testament, spoke at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Washington D.C. for a gathering of the D.C. chapter of Friends of Sabeel, the North American support group for the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem. Her presentations were “’Is This Your First War?’ On the Ground Learnings from Israel/Palestine” and “Herod, the Child, and a God’s-Eye View of Power: An Advent Meditation on Matt. 2:1-23.”
Pearl Hartz ‘45, Escondido, Calif., began the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) in San Diego after retiring in 1993. VORP is a social program that seeks to bring victims and offenders together in safe mediation or family group conference settings to permit the offender to take responsibility for his or her actions, to make things as right as possible with the victim, and to be clear about future intentions. D. Rohrer ‘45 and Mabel Horst Eshleman, Lancaster, Pa., were nominated and chosen to receive one of eight Everence Regional Journey Awards. The award recognizes people who model Christian stewardship, focusing on their use of resources, including time, talent,
www.emu.edu | crossroads | 53
money, and health given to better serve others. Everence will make a $500 donation to a charity of their choice.
Gerry, class ’72, and Kyle Horst ’02 of Horst & Son Construction. (Photo by Bonnie Price Lofton)
Third Generation Joins Horst & Son Many certified public accountants (CPAs) dream of working in one of the Big Four accounting firms. Kyle Horst ’02 got to live that dream, working at KPMG in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for seven years. Two years ago, though, he left big-time accounting and became the third generation to work in his family’s construction and development business in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Why? For Avery. That’s the simplest answer. Kyle and his wife, Marta (also an accountant), had their first child two years ago, Avery. “When I left KPMG I was a manager, putting in a lot of hours,” says Kyle. “I wanted to be around when Avery was growing up. I didn’t want to sell my soul to the company.” He also wanted to support his father, Gerry Horst, class of ’72, whose company had been hit by the construction downturn. “A lot of people said I was crazy to come in when times were tough,” says Kyle. His father jokingly chimes in, “It was equivalent to buying the last ticket on the Titanic.” The two pose comfortably, one’s arm around the other, for a photo. “He and I get along well working together,” says Kyle. “Grandpa started the business in 1955 as a small custom home builder, with Dad joining him in 1976. With Grandpa retiring in 1989, Dad continued on, riding the building boom up to doing 250 houses per year." Given the impact of the Great Recession, Horst & Son are building fewer than half that number per year now. On the plus, there is built-up demand for starter homes and first-time "move-up" buyers, which Kyle calls their "niche." This year the company is doing 25% better than it did a year previously. The father focuses on being “the big picture guy," setting the direction of the company, while the son is "more of a detail guy, which fits my accounting background well," says Kyle. Gerry grouses good-humoredly, “Before banks begged me to take money, and now we have to prove that we don’t need it, and then they give it to us.” Despite the challenges of returning the family business to its former level of production, Gerry has been chairing the Suter Science Campaign steering committee, charged with raising the $7 million for this major renovation project. Gerry is a long-time member of EMU’s board of trustees. — BPL
54 | crossr oads | spring 2013 54 | crossroads | fall 2007
Donald (Don) Jacobs, class of ‘49, Lancaster, Pa., has released his book titled “What a Life!” published by Good Books in Intercourse, Pa. The book covers Jacobs’ church career and the challenges of planting churches globally. The account is bookended by his reflections on his Johnstown family heritage. Though “I have blown hot and cold on the issue [of being a Mennonite],” he writes, “God used denominational affiliations in my life to bolster my view of the church and the world. For me, that was grace.”
Abram Hostetter, class of ‘51, Charlottesville, Va., is a leading researcher of bipolar disorder. He is a part of a University of Miami team that for four decades has been researching mental illness among generations of Old Order Amish families in Lancaster County, Pa. – ideal subjects for genetic study due to their closed gene pool. “We worked on ‘coding’ cases to detect particular characteristics of each of their manifestations of illness,” Abram said. “We have very detailed medical histories and DNA samples on over 100 bipolar patients.” Currently, his team is on the verge of whole genome sequencing for 80 subjects. Abram was a pre-med major at EMU for two years in the late 1940s, but earned his bachelor’s degree from Goshen College in 1953. He graduated from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and trained in psychiatry at Norristown State Hospital. Clara Landis ‘57, Lititz, Pa., has put the library collection at Landis Homes on the computer. She also completed the same task for Meserete Kristos College in Ethiopia. Arlene Leatherman ‘59, Lititz, Pa., volunteers at Landis Homes as a “friendly visitor.” She routinely visits residents to chat and pray with them. She sees those who are assigned to her as well as other people she meets.
Edwin D. Miller ‘60, Kalona, Iowa, worked in numerous teaching positions before his retirement in 1995, including three years in a one-room K-8 school, before entering EMU and 26 years as an elementary school principal at Mid-Prairie Community School District, four of which were spent at the Amana Colonies in Iowa. After retirement, Edwin volunteered at Jubilee Partners in Comer, Ga., Camp Deerpark in N.Y., and the International Guest house in Washington D.C. He currently is self-employed,
having developed a small sewing machine repair business. Helen Longenecker ‘62 and Samuel (Sam) Lapp ‘60, Harleysville, Pa., are enjoying their retirement. Both retired twice: Helen from activities director at Peter Becker Community and then as executive director of Mennonite Association of Retired Persons; Sam from teaching industrial arts at Wissahickon High School in Ambler, Pa., and then from administration at Camp Men-O-Lan in Quakertown, Pa. Their retirements were interrupted by terms as country reps with Mennonite Central Committee in Jamaica and Egypt. Helen, an avid reader, continues to read aloud to residents of Dock Meadows retirement community. Sam pursues his hobby of sculpting. Both are active at Plains Mennonite Church in Hatfield, Pa., and enjoy their three children and their spouses, and six grandchildren. Rev. Merle Cordell ‘65, Chambersburg, Pa., has always been a bi-vocational churchman, serving as minister for 59 years and active bishop for 25. Among his numerous achievements are serving as chair of the Historical Association of Cumberland Valley, where he was instrumental in purchasing the Historical Center itself and raising finances to write the history of the “Mennonites in Cumberland Valley,” released by Herald Press in 2004; serving as chair of the Menno Haven steering commitee in leading the process for accrediation in the national Continuing Care Accreditaiton Commission, resulting in a five-year certification of honor and accreditation ever since; and performing over 30 weddings and 300 baptisms as bishop and conference secretary. However, perhaps Merle’s biggest accomplishment of all is his desire to not call attention to himself, preferring to give all the glory to God for all that was accomplished through his service. Ellen Shenk ‘65, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, was laid off in 2001 from her technical writing positon in the second large wave of layoffs from Nortel that led to its eventual demise. Currently, Ellen edits papers on a freelance basis for graduate students for whom English is a second or third language. Although the work is sporadic, Ellen enjoys it, particularly as some of these working relationships have extended beyond graduate school. She married Philip Neufeld on August 31, 2012, in the home of their soon-to-retire minister and plans to have a celebration of their marriage in May with family and friends. Samuel (Sam) Weaver ‘66, Harrisonburg, Va., and his wife, Sarah, were chosen to receive the 2012 Lifetime Service Award by the Alumni Board of Eastern Mennonite School. Sam’s visionary spirit, keen business acumen, and engaging leadership in his position as principal of EMHS, along with Sarah’s grace and intuitive sense of truly understanding how
to best connect with others, made the Weavers ideal recipients of the award. Alton Longenecker ‘66, San Jose, Costa Rica, currently volunteers locally as a reading tutor and assists North American work teams helping with various construction projects. His wife, Lois Moyer ‘66 Longenecker, volunteers in the library of Universidad Biblica Latinoamericana. She catalogs books in the library and assists patrons. Helen Kraybill ‘66 Miller, Lancaster, Pa., retired from teaching math at Lancaster Mennonite School in 2007. Currently, she spends her time tutoring, serving as treasurer for the Landis Homes Auxiliary and Mennonite Women of Lancaster Conference, and being an excited and involved grandmother to her two precious grandchildren. Harry King, class of ‘66, Malvern, Pa., retired from administering cash payments, food stamps, and medicaid to low income families through the local welfare office in 2002. He currently takes care of lawns, plows snow part time, and volunteers in the eligibility section of a local free medical clinic. J. Daniel (Dan) Martin ‘67, York, Pa., will assume the newly created position of director of instructional improvement for Lancaster Mennonite School (LMS). This position will focus on developing new tools for the evaluation of instruction, including student and parent surveys, and establishing baselines that will provide a structure for increased instructional effectiveness. Dan was first employed at the Kraybill Campus of LMS as a special education teacher in 1999. He has since been the assistant principal of the middle school. Gary Smucker ‘67, Alexandria, Va., volunteered in the fall of 2012 with Cross Cultural Solutions in a school in Villa El Salvador, a neighborhood of Lima, Peru. He additionally traveled to Paraguay and Bolivia to visit Mennonite colonies during his time in South America. Bruce ‘68 and Anne Landis ‘68 Hummel, formerly of Millersburg, Ohio, are choosing to spend their retirement in service and volunteer work in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Mary Jane Seitz ‘69 Melhorn, Lewisberry, Pa., though she majored in home economics at EMU, currently works part time as accounts payable assistant at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., and part time as office manager and bookkeeper for Melhorn Builders, Inc. Wilbur (Will) Bontrager ‘69, MA ‘99 (conflict transformation), Shortsville, N.Y., was selected to receive the 2013 Community Service for Peace Award by the Center for Dispute Settlement in Canandaigua, N.Y. The award is given to a local citizen who, by word and deed, has promoted the causes of peace and nonviolence, civility and conciliation. Will’s passion for restorative service
work has led him to volunteer with both Mennonite Central Committee in Africa, providing refugee assistance, and Alternative to Violence Project, offering assistance in local correctional facilities. He founded the Finger Lakes Restorative Justice Center in 2000, now Partners in Restorative Initiatives, and currently serves on its advisory board. He also serves on the board of directors for the National Council of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and is active in his faith community’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee.
Richard (Rich) Garber ‘70, Eagle, Idaho, has dedicated his entire career to the promotion and advancement of Idaho and U.S. agriculture. For 20 years, Rich was the third generation owner/ operator of his family’s diversified row crop farm just outside of Nampa. From farm and production agriculture, he moved to the agriculture management and policy arena. He established Garber Associates and for eight years provided association management, consulting, and lobbying services to several Idahobased commodity associations. For the past 12 years, he has been employed by the University of Idaho, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as director of industry and government relations. Jonas ‘70 and Barbara (Barb) Wenger ‘70 Borntrager, Harrisonburg, Va., were nominated and chosen to receive one of eight Everence Regional Journey Awards. The award recognizes people who model Christian stewardship, focusing on their use of resources, including time, talent, money, and health given to better serve others. Everence will make a $500 donation to a charity of their choice. Melvin (Mel) Lehman ‘71, New York, N.Y., is the director of Common Humanity, a nonprofit organization with an all-volunteer staff operating on a shoestring-thin budget which seeks to build friendship, respect, and understanding with the Arab and Muslim world. Most recently, they’ve been attempting to aid Iraqi and Syrian refugee artists by opening exhibits displaying their works of art. The exhibits are extraordinarily beneficial, not only monetarily, but psychologically and academically as well. Esther Kniss ‘72 Augsburger, Harrisonburg, Va., traveled to Albania in October 2012 to visit the Lezha Academic Center and stimulate an interest in an art program there. She traveled with her husband, Myron ‘55, who was asked by Virginia Mennonite Missions to meet with local church leaders and speak in churches. In the two weeks there, the Augsburgers enjoyed how easily and excitedly the students took to exploring various art mediums and were impressed with the dedication and strong faith of the leaders and members of the four churches with whom they worshipped.
Mathematics professor Deirdre Smeltzer has been named vice president and undergraduate dean at EMU. (Photo by Cody Troyer)
Smeltzer Succeeds Heisey as V-P and Undergrad Dean Mathematics professor Deirdre L. Smeltzer ’87, PhD, has been named vice president and undergraduate dean of Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), beginning July 1, 2013. “Deirdre brings a wealth of experience as an outstanding teacher, scholar, and department chair,” said Provost Fred Kniss in an email announcing the appointment to the campus community. “She knows EMU well, having served on the faculty since 1998. She has the skills and dispositions necessary for leading the undergraduate programs into their next stage of growth and development.” Since joining the EMU faculty, Smeltzer has held positions with increasing responsiblily, including chair of the mathematical sciences department, 2005-12. During 2012-13, Smeltzer had dual roles as a faculty member and director of EMU’s extensive cross-cultural programs. Smeltzer has been a member of EMU’s strategic planning council, faculty senate and undergraduate council executive committee. Prior to coming to EMU, she served for four years on the faculty of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. She has taught courses on more than two dozen topics in her field and is author or co-author of a number of peer-reviewed articles and a textbook. “Deirdre is known by her colleagues for her excellent problemsolving and strategic-thinking skills, and for her commitment to high academic standards,” said Kniss. Smeltzer majored in mathematics and minored in Bible at EMU, graduating in 1987. She earned her MS and PhD in mathematics at the University of Virginia. As a scholar, Smeltzer has published articles on topics such as “Edge bounds in non-hamiltonian k-connected graphs” and “Exploring Loci in Geometry” (both with her EMU colleague Owen Byer, PhD) and has given presentations on “applications of circular and spherical inversions,” among other topics. She, Byer and a third mathematician, Felix Lazebnik, are authors of a textbook on Euclidean geometry, published by the Mathematical Association of America in 2010. A second book is in the works. Fulfilling commitments made before her new appointment, Smeltzer will be co-leading an EMU cross-cultural to China in the fall of 2013. She did a sabbatical in China in 2006, where she taught and wrote. Smeltzer succeeds Nancy Heisey, PhD, who wished to return to her previous role of Bible and religion professor. Smeltzer and husband Sherwyn, a 1986 graduate in accounting, are the parents of Meg, a senior at EMU, and Claire, enrolled at Eastern Mennonite High School. — BPL www.emu.edu | crossroads | 55
Jim Smucker has been named the first full-time dean of graduate studies at this university. (Photo by Jon Styer)
New Vice President To Lead Fast-Growing Grad Programs The next vice-president joining the EMU presidential cabinet will bring a skill-set rare in the leadership of academic institutions: decades of success as a business leader and owner. Jim Smucker, PhD, president and major shareholder of the Bird-in-Hand Corporation in Pennsylvania, will be the first fulltime graduate dean of EMU, announced Provost Fred Kniss, on Feb. 26, 2013. “Jim brings a wealth of leadership and entrepreneurial experience to the role, as well as appropriate academic training and experience,” said Kniss. Master's degree students account for about a third of EMU's enrollment. “Our graduate programs are entering a period of growth and organizational development,” Kniss said. “They will be well served by Jim’s leadership experience and organizational expertise.” Smucker is succeeding David Glanzer, who filled the grad dean role on a part-time basis while maintaining his teaching role in EMU’s graduate counseling program. Smucker and his brother John have expanded what began in 1968 as a motel built by their Amish-born father on family farmland. The Smucker brothers now run one of the leading hospitality businesses in Pennsylvania-Dutch country. They are the ultimate managers of 450 employees who run the Bird-inHand Family Inn, Restaurant and Bakery, as well as other places of lodging in the area. Smucker’s master’s and doctoral degrees, earned respectively from University of Scranton and Walden University, were both in management, with a focus on effectiveness in leadership and organizational change. He has taught these subjects on an adjunct basis at Walden, Lebanon Valley College and EMU. Since graduating from Goshen College in 1984, Smucker has defied the mold of the stereotypical Type-A entrepreneur who is narrowly focused on increasing the profit margin while sacrificing all other personal and social interests to that goal. Smucker coached high school basketball for 14 years, as well as youth and high school baseball for 10 years. He has been congregational chair of his church, Akron Mennonite, and has held countless volunteer leadership positions with regional business and tourist organizations, including chair of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry. — BPL
56 | crossr oads | spring 2013 56 | crossroads | fall 2007
Betty Peachey ‘72, Tipp City, Ohio, is the founder of Coldwater Cafe & Catering, Inc. Prior to founding the cafe in 1994, Betty was a corporate accountant for 18 years. After being encouraged to find an occupation that allowed her creative and artistic side to develop, she opened the cafe. She is self-taught in the culinary arts and attributes her Mennonite heritage growing up in Belleville, Pa., with providing her ample practice to cook. The values of integrity, honesty, and quality from her background have contributed significantly to the immense success of the cafe. Though this success is certainly tangible, the real glory goes back to God. “The cafe has been my church and mission field,” Betty states. “It is here that I have an opportunity to model godliness and integrity. I am proud of the success of the cafe, but I know that it is God’s blessings that have made it successful.” Daryl Peifer ‘75, Lancaster, Pa., was hired as director of business development with Landis Communities. He will serve as the first connection to potential residents and will aid in apartment selection, the signing of lease agreements, and generally help to get Steeple View Lofts up and running as a great community. Julia Mumaw Lambert, class of ‘75, West Salem, Ohio, was promoted to underwriter assistant at Westfield Insurance after over a decade of experience there. Dennis ‘76, MDiv ‘79, and Linda Augsburger ‘76 Gingerich, Cape Coral, Fla., planted Cape Christian Church in 1986 in partnership with Southeast Mennonite Conference and Mennonite Mission Network. They recently announced that as of January 2013, the church received $1.28 million in Christmas offerings, which will be used almost exclusively to benefit the Cape Coral community. Specifically, the dollars raised will provide the funds to complete phases two and three of Fellowship Park at the church’s main campus off Chiquita Boulevard, expand mentoring programs in Lee County schools, and launch a health care clinic in the city. They’re also going to cover the start-up costs of a north campus extension for the church in northeast Cape Coral and build four church buildings in Haiti for needy congregations. As a testament to their ministry, the church’s attendance is now averaging about 1,700 each weekend. Steven (Steve) Harder ‘76, Mountain Lake, Minn., along with his wife, Judy Dickerson ‘76 Harder, have instituted Iglesia Evangelica Agape (Agape Evangelical Church), a church plant accepted into the Central Plains Mennonite Conference in July 2012. It offers afternoon services and weekly Bible studies in the First Mennonite Church building in Mountain Lake, Minn. The Harders had been trying to decide what to do with their spiritual lives when they noticed an increase in the city’s Hispanic popula-
tion. Hearing God’s call to address the need, they started taking Spanish classes and attending workshops in order to learn how to be the best church leaders possible. David Boshart ‘86, executive conference minister, said the Harders “are doing important work. They have busy and full lives, but they heeded a call.” David A. King ‘78, Elverson, Pa., was inaugurated as the 13th president of Malone University in October 2012. His inaugural speech focused on the theme “A Community on the Rise” and reaffirmed the school’s mission of preparing students for service to the church, community and world. Trula Gingrich ‘79, Lititz, Pa., is one of four EMU 1979 nursing graduates who lived together in Richmond, Va., after graduation that have now gathered annually for the last 31 years. Most recently, they united in the fall of 2012 in Kentucky and experienced a rich time of reminiscing that proved deep friendships formed at a crucial time in life can remain strong. The foursome includes: Trula, currently working as a hospice nurse in Lancaster, Pa.; Chris Holsopple ‘79 Kauffman in Goshen, Ind; Sue Glick ‘79 Ruth and her husband, Tom ‘79, parents of three young adult children, who spend their time homemaking and gardening in Bucks County, Pa; and Susan Classen ‘79, currently the director of Cedars of Peace, a retreat center on the grounds of the Sisters of Loretto, a Catholic religious community in central Ky.
Twila Berg ‘81, Maysville, W.Va., is in her 29th year of teaching mathematics at her alma mater, Petersburg High School in Petersburg, W.Va. She currently teaches math I at the ninth grade level, conceptual math, and financial algebra. She hopes to retire in June 2014. Bruno Dyck, class of ‘82, Winnipeg, Canada, professor of business administration at the I.H. Asper School of Businesss, University of Manitoba, has authored a book titled “Management and the Gospel: Luke’s Radical Message for the First and Twenty-First Centuries.” It provides a reader-friendly yet scholarly examination of what the Gospel of Luke says about management, based on an understanding of the meaning, trends, and key management debates in the first century, and draws out implications for contemporary management. Thomas (Tom) Garlitz ‘82, Joliet, Ill., was recently appointed as director of the newly created Office for Human Dignity for the Catholic Diocese of Joliet in Illinois. In this role, Tom is responsible for the ministries of Respect Life, Justice and Peace, and Missions. Prior to this appointment, he served for 20 years as the director for the Joliet Diocese Peace and Social Justice Ministry. He continues as executive director of the Partnership in Mission, sending medical, construction,
and university teams to Bolivia, the Philippines, the Navajo Nation, and Kenya. J. David (Dave) Swartley ‘83, Lancaster, Pa., tranisitioned from vice president of finance to CEO of Moravian Manor, a retirement community offering residential living, personal care, and skilled nursing services in Lititz, Pa. William (Bill) Eichelberger ‘83, Wichita, Kan., has been a hospice chaplain for six years with Good Shepherd Hospice in Wichita, after working 20 years as an accountant. Douglas Borg ‘85, Durham, N.C., has been named as Olivet College’s (OC) first-ever Risk Manager in Residence. Douglas will bring to the position a wealth of experience, having been the director of risk management for Duke University Medical Center for 13 years and the current director of insurance at Duke University Health System since 2007. He has served on numerous boards and committees at both the state and national level, and has been elected twice to the presidency of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management. OC is moving toward a more holistic enterprise risk management and is looking to Douglas for leadership and guidance in this new role. Ann M. Landis ‘86, Tallahassee, Fla., began moving up through the administration of Thomas University in Tallahassee, Fla., in 1998 when she was employed as an assistant professor of English. She now serves as both the provost and vice president of academic affairs. As such, she is responsible for the administration of eight divisions and 32 academic programs at the university and its satellite campuses. Her primary responsibilities include the supervision of more than 100 faculty and academic staff; program growth and management; development of satellite, distance, and international programs; community academic partnerships; and operational matters relating to the academic mission. James Wheeler ‘86, Akron, Pa., was employed by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) to be the manager for the Material Resources Center. He has served for a total of 15 years with MCC in the Middle East in Egypt, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, teaching English in a variety of settings. He and his wife, Linda Herr, MA ‘11 (conflict transformation), co-directed the MCC Egypt program from 2003-09 and are currently in Egypt leading a group of Lancaster Theological Seminary students on a cross-cultural experience. Greggory (Gregg) Brubaker ‘88, Klaipeda, Lithuania, teaches mathematics at Lithuania Christian College (LCC), which provides an atmosphere that challenges thinking and incorporates God into every facet of life. In an area where the existing stigma is one where science dispproves God, Gregg challenges his
students to take an in-depth look at the patterns and relationships present within numbers in such a way that allows them to consider the idea that there could be a higher being. “I can see the Holy Spirit wrestling with them, at whatever level they may be on,” he states. Jon T. Wenger ‘88, Harrisonburg, Va., is employed by James Madison University as chief engineer in the College of Media Arts and Design. Prior to this, Jon worked for WVPT-TV for 14 years. Scott ‘89 and Anne Marie StonerEby ‘89, Lancaster, Pa., led eight students from Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., and eight students from Meserete Kristos College (MKC) in Addis Ababa, on a three-week cross-cultural trip to Ethiopia, in the hope that it would elicit ongoing relationships. The students lived and traveled together while studying the political and relgious history of Ethiopia. One of the Messiah students, Sarah Horst, is the granddaughter of Nevin ’53 and Blanche Mohler ‘53 Horst, who were missionaries there for a number of years and led the mission station where Negash Kebede, president of MKC, grew up. Having their granddaughter visit Ethiopia was an extreme blessing for Negash. Susan Thompson ‘89 Obarsky, Johnstown, Pa., completed her MA in social work from the University of Pittsburgh in December 2011 and received a license to practice social work in February 2012. She is a board certified professional counselor through the American Psychotherapy Association and a member of the National Association of Social Workers. She is currently employed as a counselor at Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pa.
Charles (Chuck) Snader ‘90, Oakland, Neb., has launched a new personal website, www.snaderfinancial.com, the primary focus of which is to improve his investing skills and share what he learns with others. A critical component of his investing purpose is to discover valuable companies which are selling today at a discount, compared to future value. “I am striving to invest the resources entrusted to me, both financial and intellectual, in the best way I can, in the service of Jesus and my fellow man.” Gaye Spivey ‘91, Reidsville, N.C., began at Strayer University in Greensboro, N.C., in January 2013 to pursue a master’s in healthcare administration. Keith Lyndaker Schlabach ‘91, ‘08 (conflict transformation), Mount Rainier, Md., is the co-founder of PeaceGrooves, a project centered around the creation of alternative media, stories, and games that reflect an Anabaptist nonviolent perspective. Additionally, Keith writes a monthy column for PeaceSigns, the newsletter of the Mennonite Church USA Peace and Justice Support Network.
Dynamic Duo Chosen To Lead CJP Into New Era EMU's Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) is moving into a new leadership era. J. Daryl Byler, JD, has been named as its next executive director, reporting to Provost Fred Kniss. Jayne Docherty, PhD, has been named as CJP’s first program director, reporting to Byler. Both Byler and Docherty are veteran peace practitioners, focused on conDaryl Byler flict transformation and development efforts both domestically and abroad. Byler comes with extensive experience in leading non-profits and Mennonite church initiatives, including fundraising. Docherty has extensive academic institutional experience, with teaching stints at three universities. Byler has directed programs for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in Washington D.C. and the Middle Jayne Docherty East. He will be coming to EMU in July 2013 from Jordan where he has lived since 2007, coordinating peacebuilding projects run by MCC’s local partners in Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Israel and Palestine. In the Middle East, Byler has seen the work of dozens of CJP alumni. He says he has been inspired by these alumni, noting how CJP “transformed the way they think about conflict and the way they are integrating the principles and experiences learned at EMU in the challenging Middle Eastern context.” As director of MCC’s Washington Office from 1994 to 2007, Byler met regularly with policymakers on Capitol Hill, the State Department and White House. Prior to that, he spent six years as a staff attorney in Meridian, Miss., while serving as senior pastor for Jubilee Mennonite Church, an interracial congregation. Byler holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia, where he also did graduate business coursework. He earned two degrees from EMU, an MA from the seminary in 1985 and a BA in business administration in 1979. On the CJP faculty since 2001, Docherty spent much of 2008-12 working with groups in Burma/Myanmar on supporting the transition from a military dictatorship to a more democratic form of governance. She has led workshops on peacebuilding topics in Lebanon and a dozen other countries. Docherty earned her PhD at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason and holds an undergraduate degree in religious studies and political science from Brown University. Byler is replacing Lynn Roth, who has been named the North American representative to Mennonite World Conference. In the new CJP leadership configuration, both the executive director and program director are three-quarter-time positions. Docherty will continue to teach as professor of leadership and public policy. — BPL www.emu.edu | crossroads | 57
Scott Ramer ‘91, Williamsburg, Va., was recently made co-owner and vice president of finance of the Whitley’s Peanut Factory after being CFO of a medical supply company for 13 years. Whitley’s peanuts are known for their distinctive flavor because they are still roasted the “old-fashioned” way, hand selected for size and freshness, and slowly hand cooked.
Andrea Saner, a doctoral candidate in Old Testament studies, will be teaching Old Testament and Hebrew language. (Photo by Lindsey Kolb)
Saner Named Seminary, Bible and Religion Professor Andrea Saner will help Eastern Mennonite Seminary (EMS) and undergraduate students find connections between the ancient texts of the Old Testament and our modern world and church life. The newest member of the EMU and seminary faculty, Saner has been named assistant professor of Old Testament and Hebrew language. “My favorite moment in teaching is when students realize that even though the Old Testament is thousands of years old, the texts talk about subjects that are still very important to us today,” said Saner. “In these moments students learn that reading these old texts is still a crucial formative and informative practice for the community of faith today.” Saner is the first faculty member to be a joint hire between the undergraduate Bible and religion department and EMS. “During my campus visit, I was impressed and stimulated by the engagement of faculty, students and staff with my research and teaching, which suggests the learning environments of EMS and the EMU Bible and religion department are energetic and exciting,” said Saner. “I’m very excited to get to teach both seminary students and undergraduates, because seminary and college students ask different sorts of questions.” Peter Dula, Bible and religion chair, praised Saner as an Old Testament scholar, “capable of technical exegesis as well as theological interpretation of scripture. She is also a gifted theologian who has written on both sixteenth century Anabaptism and on Augustine. That kind of range is rare anywhere in the academy, not just at EMS.” Saner will enhance EMS’s leading-edge vision, said Michael King, vice president and seminary dean. “Hiring Andrea makes even clearer that EMS is entering an exciting era of developing a core faculty team that integrates the wisdom, experience and mentoring gifts of our longer-career faculty and the energies and visions of early-career faculty,” he said. “I see this contributing to leading-edge perspectives at a time of major transitions in culture, church and higher education.” Saner graduated from Messiah College in 2005 and earned her master of arts in theological studies, Biblical theology and ethics from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in 2008. She is finishing a PhD in Old Testament at Durham University in the United Kingdom. She will begin her new job in August 2013. — Laura Amstutz
58 | crossr oads | spring 2013 58 | crossroads | fall 2007
Alison Birkey ‘95 Sties, Goshen, Ind., is the owner of Sties Design Agency, an organization of seasoned professionals providing graphic design, WordPress web design, and commercial photography to the Midwest. She and her husband, Mark, employ Christian principals in their work to help build brands and create engaging marketing experiences for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Todd Lilley ‘96, Bridgewater, Va., has been hired as director of institutional advancement at Bridgewater College (BC). He enters BC with an extensive background in development and fundraising, having most recently come from Bridgewater Retirement Community, where he served as vice president for development for a number of years. As director, Todd will oversee planning, coordination and implementation of the college’s fundraising programs and alumni activities. He is senior pastor at Mount Olivet Church in Mt. Solon, Va., a member of the Harrisonburg Rotary Club and Shenandoah Chapter of the Association of Fund Raising Professionals, and is currently a doctoral candidate in organizational leadership at Shenandoah Univeristy. Grant Rosenberger ‘99, State College, Pa., is now self-employed, owning and operating an Ace Hardware store in State College, Pa. Ervin Stutzman, MA ‘99 (religion), Harrisonburg, Va., was appointed to a second three-year term as executive director of Mennonite Church USA. The appointment came after a review with input from executive conference ministers, members of the cabinet, and the executive board that showed widespread appreciation for Ervin as a strong servant leader. During his second term, he plans to emphasize the Purposeful Plan, giving attention to youth and young adult ministry, planting more peace churches, and exploring ways the church is engaging people of other-than-Christian faiths.
Gayle Jones ‘00, Woodstock, Va., is now an information technology program manager with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington D.C. Shanti Martin ‘01, Washington D.C., is an immigration attorney for Kids in Need of Defense. As such, she provides free representation to undocumented minors who are in deportation proceedings in immigration court. Should they be
eligible for relief, minors will be given legal status as citizen of the U.S., due to Shanti’s efforts. Zachariah (Zach) Derstine ‘01, Telford, Pa., president of Derstine’s Inc., a foodservice distributor in Sellersville, Pa., has hired alumni Nathaniel (Nate) Overly ‘02 as client services lead and Denis Cela ‘05, MA ‘11 (business), as operations director. Andrew (Andy) Hershberger ‘02, West Liberty, Ohio, recently became the administrator at Logan Acres Senior Community in Bellefontaine, Ohio. The campus includes Logan Acres Care Center, a 95-bed nursing facility, and the Homestead, a 24-unit assisted living facility. Jason Coleman ‘02, Buena Vista, Va., retired from eight years of teaching art in 2011 to pursure a career as a CAD operator in the engineering department at Everbrite, LLC. Additionally, this year marks his sixth year as head baseball coach at Parry Mccluer High School. In that time, the baseball program has advanced to the state semifinals for the first time in school history, as well as won the first regional championship. Mary Jane (MJ) Smith, MA ‘02 (education), Manheim, Pa., currently the middle school leader at the Kraybill Campus of Lancaster Mennonite School, accepted the postion of assistant principal at the Kraybill and Locust Grove campuses. Trenton (Trent) Wagler ‘02, Harrisonburg, Va., prevention educator at the Colins Center, an organization that provides models for the prevention of child sexual abuse, sexual assault response, and treatment, spoke during a community discussion on strategies to prevent child sexual abuse. The forum was held on February 1, 2013, at the Court Square Theater in downtown Harrisonburg, Va. David Brubaker ‘03, Philadelphia, Pa., is employed as the senior IT project leader at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (PENN). As such, he is involved in managing and developing web applications and supporting the IT infrastructure at the external affairs office. David brings a wealth of knowledge to this position from seven years as a web developer for the School of Engineering and Applied Science. As of December 2012, David also finished his master’s in computer and information technology from PENN. Eloy Rodriguez ‘03, Lancaster, Pa., will move to the position of part-time principal and part-time teacher at the New Danville Campus of Lancaster Mennonite School, where he is currently serving as lead teacher. Eric Kennel ‘04, Lancaster, Pa., received his MA in public administration from Penn State University in May 2012. He now works as a grant writer for Liberty Lutheran Services in Philadelphia, Pa.
David ‘04 and Anna Dintaman ‘05 Landis, formerly of Harleysville, Pa., were featured in an ABC News special report with Christiane Amanpour on December 21, 2012. The report took an indepth look at the simliarities, differences, struggles, and common origins of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. As developers of Abraham’s Path, a walking route that traces the footsteps of Abraham’s journey throughout the Middle East, David and Anna were ideal interviewees for the intersecting religions and the Holy Land where each originated. Lam Oryem Cosmas, MA ‘04 (conflict transformation), Kampala, Uganda, led a training for county peace mobilizers from six counties of Jonlei in June 2012 with a project of the Sudan Council of Churches called “Peace from the Roots.” It was intended to organize church leaders, representative of civil society groups, women leaders, and local administrators to form a cohesive group for engaging in transformative peacebuilding in their respective communities, between and among their neighbors. Lorie Hartt ‘04, Bridgewater, Va., teaches information technology essentials at Blue Ridge Community College, dual enrollment courses at local high schools, and part-time computer information systems at JMU. In 2008, she finished her master’s from Nova Southeastern University. Odelya Gertel, MA ‘06 (conflict transformation), Boston, Mass., is a doctoral student in expressive therapies at Lesley University. She completed her MA in expressive therapies and mental health counseling in 2010 and has since worked with victims of gender-based violence as a trauma therapist, trainer, and facilitator for the United Nations Fund for Population Activities in Lesotho, Africa. Odelya has 14 years of experience as a trainer, facilitator, and coach for individuals, couples, and groups in the Middle East, Europe, United States, and Africa. Rosario (Charito) Calvachi-Mateyko, MA ‘06 (conflict transformation), Lewes, Del., a restorative justice consultant and trainer with Latino Initiative on Restorative Justice, Inc. was appointed a member of the Delaware Heritage Commission by Governor Jack A. Markell on January 29, 2013. Additionally, Charito led training sessions on restorative justice at the Instituto de la Proteccion de la Ninez in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, provided a three-day training session on trauma healing and resilience at the Foro de la Mujer por la Vida, delivered a presentation on restorative justice to the family court judges and staff in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and gave a four-hour seminar to the youth in three juvenile detention centers in February 2013. Lena Risser ‘09 Weaver and sister, Leah Risser ‘11, Greencastle, Pa., opened The Baker’s Nook, a homey
bakery in Greencastle, Pa. They offer an assortment of cookies, brownies, cupcakes, sticky buns, breakfast muffins, artisan breads, pies, and soft pretzels. For the time being, donuts are not on the menu due to a shortage of manpower and a deep fryer, though plans to obtain both are underway. The Baker’s Nook also offers a coffee bar, selling fair-trade coffee and tea and a seating area with free Wi-Fi. Jennifer Lynne, MA ‘09 (conflict transformation), Austin, Tex., is the director of thecontractproject, a conduit of resources and information for leadership and community development. Through facilitation, training, consulting, and assessment, she serves individuals, communities and organizations seeking sustainable relationships and solutions. Heidi Konstant ‘09 Findlay, Elkton, Va., is the manager of development operations with the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Va., and the executive director of the Elkton Welcome Center. She plans to graduate from Bay Path College in Longmeadow, Mass., in 2013 with a master’s degree in nonprofit management. Mack Capehart Mulbah, MA ‘09 (conflict transformation), St. Paul, Minn., works as an independent consultant for organizations engaged in transforming conflicts around the world. For the past three years, Mack has worked mostly with organizations and governments in West Africa (Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Liberia), promoting social justice, gender equality, and peaceful coexistence among youth.
Dawn Miller Sander, MA ‘10 (conflict transformation), Harrisonburg, Va., recently retired from a 20+-year career with AT&T in order to pursue her area of passion, addressing conflict within families and organizations using various tools, training, and dialog. She currently leads Conflict Transformation Associates, LLC, an organization that provides comprehensive conflict and security management solutions. Dawn offers mediation, training, and ombudsman services and attributes CJP with providing her the skillset needed to provide such a valuable service. Janelle Freed ‘11 Duerksen, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, is volunteering in the public education department of Winnipeg Harvest, a local food bank distributor. Here, Janelle focuses her energy on research, public speaking, and educating others on issues related to hunger and poverty. Aside from her work at Winnipeg Harvest, Janelle volunteers and is on the board of Project Peacemakers, an organization dedicated to working towards peace from a faith perspective.
Emil El Dik, SPI 2000 & 2001, facilitates workshops training Jordanian and Syrians in peacebuilding concepts and skills, conflict resolution, trauma healing, and needs assessment. (Photo by Jon Styer)
SPI Alumni Help With Syrian Refugee Crisis Syrians are flooding into neighboring Jordan at the rate of more than 1,000 per night, seeking refuge from a brutal civil war. Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has taken steps to supplement its material aid (food, diapers, blankets, school kits, hygiene kits, etc.) with trainings aimed at easing growing tensions, understanding the impact of trauma, and transforming conflicts productively. “Many arrive traumatized by the violence they have witnessed in Syria,” says J. Daryl Byler '79, MA '85, the MCC program co-director for Jordan, Iraq and Iran (who will become executive director of EMU's Center for Justice and Peacebuilding in July 2013). “The influx of refugees is straining Jordan’s budget and infrastructure and, in some cases, increasing social tensions between the refugees and Jordanian host communities.” Can these social tensions be addressed in a non-destructive way? This is where alumni of the Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) at Eastern Mennonite University have come into play. Emil El Dik, SPI 2000 and 2001, was one of three leaders of a series of six-day workshops between Dec. 18, 2012, and Feb. 16, 2013, training a total of 83 Jordanian and Syrians in peacebuilding concepts and skills, conflict resolution, trauma healing and needs assessment. The project was envisioned by Omar Abawi, SPI 2006, a senior staff person with Caritas Jordan. Nader Abu Amsha, SPI 2009, director of the East Jerusalem YMCA, is expected to be involved in future workshops. The 83 Jordanians and Syrians – men and women roughly aged 20 to 30 and representing various religious traditions in the region – are now able to assist Caritas Jordan, which has faced overwhelming demands for emergency response to the Syrian refugee situation. Caritas Jordan is a local partner of MCC, which funded the workshops. Under the leadership of Caritas, the first group of 83 trainees has been setting up joint Syrian and Jordanian committees in three cities that host thousands of Syrian refugees – Irbid, Mafraq and Zarqa. These committees are working at spreading the concepts necessary for dealing nonviolently with the challenges faced by all. — BPL
J. Wilson Roth ‘11, Lancaster, Pa., is the new manager of shipping, property, and
www.emu.edu | crossroads | 59
maintenance at Good Enterprises in Intercourse, Pa. He splits his time between this hands-on occupation and helping to boost social media, marketing, and photography, particularly to increase the company’s online presence. “The kind and friendly staff, the fast-paced and ever-changing work environment, and the knowledge I gained from my visual arts education at EMU has made Good Enterprises an ideal fit,” Wilson states. From left, Carlos Romero (heading to Colombia), Krista Rittenhouse (to Colombia) and Corben Boshart (to Iran). (Photo by Chelsie Gordon)
Undergrads Work at Peace in Colombia and Iran Peacebuilding and development majors at Eastern Mennonite University may now receive financial aid for overseas summer practicums. A two-year, $20,000 grant from the United Service Foundation – an Anabaptist-rooted organization based in New Holland, Pa. – will enable eight students total to do international work, primarily in Colombia, in 2013 and 2014. Gloria Rhodes '88, PhD, who chairs the department of applied social sciences and coordinates the undergraduate major in peacebuilding and development, applied for the grant at the foundation’s invitation. It provides $2,000 each for four students each summer to cover credit hours, airfare, and up to three months living expenses, with remaining funds supporting administrative costs. “This is a marvelous opportunity,” Rhodes said. EMU has 45 students majoring in peacebuilding and development, who are all required to complete practicums, or supervised practical applications of learned skills and theory. This requirement puts pressure on EMU to locate and support appropriate placements. Typically, the practicums are completed in Washington D.C. Three recipients have been named and a fourth is yet to be announced. The grant recipients for the summer of 2013 are: Carlos Romero, Krista Rittenhouse – heading to Colombia – and Corben Boshart, who will be in Iran. The students in Colombia will be under the direction of Terrence “Terry” Jantzi '87, PhD, a former professor of sociology at EMU, who is now Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) co-director for Colombia. Jantzi notes that following 30 years of internal conflict, “Colombia is by far the most violent country in Latin America,” ranking No. 2 worldwide both for internally displaced persons and economic disparities (behind Sudan and Haiti, respectively). “There is still considerable violence, conflict, poverty and displacement,” Jantzi says. As a sign of progress, the Colombian Supreme Court recently ruled that victims may petition the government for reparations. “There is more work being done with local community mobilization,” says Jantzi, including thirty regional communities preparing to demand that their regional government, in Cartagena, comply with the law. Most practicums in Colombia will require fluency in Spanish. Students will live with host families in regions where MCC works with partner organizations. — Chris Edwards
60 | crossr oads | spring 2013 60 | crossroads | fall 2007
Justin Rittenhouse ‘12, Green Lane, Pa., is spending his first year teaching, serving as a volunteer math teacher at the Lezha Academic Center in Albania. The center is a nonprofit organization with a mission statement that encompasses a rigorous academic education, a trusting community of learners, and a biblical worldview. Justin made the decision to go to Albania in the beginning of August 2012, raised the necessary funds, and was on the plane to Albania before the end of August. His mission coordinator from VA Board of Missions did not expect Justin to have his money raised until the end of November, but as his father, Jim Rittenhouse ‘84, put it, “God laughed at that pessimism.” Joel Rittenhouse ‘12, Harrisonburg, Va., is the morning shift manager at the Port Republic location of A Bowl of Good. His responsibilities include greeting customers, preparing food, and managing the breakfast and lunch teams to provide the best possible service. Joel’s primary goal is to have fun and turn strangers into friends so that the restaurant can be a bright spot in the greater Harrisonburg community. Nathan Toews, MA ‘12 (conflict transformation), Bogota, Colombia, is an accompaniment worker with victims of sociopolitical violence with Mennonite Central Committee. His assignment is to develop and conduct research and evaluation initiatives for Inter-Church Coordination for Psychosocial Action (CEAS). The organization is an initiative of the Brethren in Christ, Mennonite Brethren, and Mennonite Church denominations to assist churches in their efforts to provide psychosocial and pastoral support to members in their church communities that are living in vulnerable situations. W. Dale Detweiler, SEM ‘12, Port Allegany, Pa., was installed as pastor of Birch Grove Mennonite Church in August 2012. He was honored with The Disciples’ Cross, a replica of the window at EMS, and with the many congregrants from his home church of Salford Mennonite in attendance.
Nancy Hartzler ‘62 Peachey to Marion G. Bontrager, Dec. 23, 2012. Ellen Shenk ‘65 to Philip Neufeld, Aug. 31, 2012. Brent Showalter ‘88 to Diane Shenk ‘86, Sept. 6, 2012.
Brian Myers ‘97 to Kristen Trout, May 26, 2011. Dawn Ranck ‘99, MDiv ‘02, to Bryan Hower, Mar. 10, 2013. Michelle Burkholder ‘00 to Rebecca (Becca) Haas ‘01, Feb. 10, 2013. Fikir Tilahun ‘00 to Charles E. Sanders III, Oct. 9, 2012. Amy Stutzman ‘05 to Chad King, Nov. 17, 2012. Alyssa Gerig ‘06 to Wyane Scheler, Sept. 23, 2012. Kimberly Siemens ‘07 to Philip Nelson, Sept. 1, 2012. Joy Shaiebly ‘07 to Brad Shelly, Oct. 19, 2012. Kevin Ressler ‘07 to Melissa Sandrock, Nov. 24, 2012. Justin Steiner ‘08 to Lindsey Grosh ‘10, Sept. 15, 2012. Lena Risser ‘09 to Adam Weaver, Feb. 4, 2012. Stephen (Steve) Kniss ‘11 to Monica Stouffer ‘09, June 17, 2012. Janelle Freed ‘11 to Micael Duerksen, Nov. 24, 2012. Julie Weaver ‘11 to Kendall Landis, Dec. 31, 2011.
BIRTHS & ADOPTIONS
Cheryl ‘90 and Daniel Nester-Detweiler, Evanston, Ill., Grace Keri, Feb. 6, 2012. Timothy Martin ‘92 and Kirsten Johnsen, Lancaster, Pa., Kai David Johnsen Martin, Nov. 16, 2012. Jeremy ‘92 and Julie Kauffman Frey ‘03, Tucson, Ariz., Elsie Ray, Sept. 13, 2011. Steve Weaver ‘93 and Magdalen Hess, Manheim, Pa., Layla May Evelyn, Aug. 2, 2011. Manuel ‘94 and Kristie Nunez, Alexandria, Va., Estella Quinn, July 18, 2012. Tim ‘94 and Rachel Smith ‘00 Swartley, Telford, Pa., Ethan James, Dec. 6, 2012. Andrew (Andy) ‘95 and Holly Saltzman, Kalona, Iowa, Christian, Feb. 12, 2012. Terry Hardy ‘95 and James Rodgers III, Verona, Va., Leland James, Jan. 2, 2011. Brian ‘97 and Kristen Myers, Roanoke, Va., Finley Alana, Oct. 15, 2012. Melissa Ward ‘98 and Mike Atkins, Mount Jackson, Va., Seth Allen, Jan. 20, 2012. Ben ‘99 and Anna Yoder ‘95 Wyse, Harrisonburg, Va., adopted Desmond Joseph, Sept. 25, 2012. Jeffrey (Jeff) Eshleman ‘99 and Soila Matute, Lancaster Pa., Frederick Matute Eshleman, Jan. 5, 2013.
Virginia Showalter ‘00 and Timothy Godshall, Harrisonburg, Va., twins Sylvia and Cora Showalter Godshall, Jan. 1, 2013. Bethany Spicher ‘01 and Micah Schonberg, Huntington, Pa., Benjamin David, Jan. 15, 2013. Lynette Weber ‘01 and David Miller, Sturgis, Mich., Kinley Joy, April 23, 2012. Andrea (Annie) Lengacher ‘02 and Morgan Browning, Englewood, Colo., Reuben Lawrence Lengacher Browning, June 15, 2012. Bradley (Brad) ‘02 and Kristen Hoffman, Denver, Colo., Charlotte Rose, Jan. 24, 2013. Glenn ‘02 and Erin Kauffman ‘02 Nofziger, Harrisonburg, Va., Luke William, Mar. 2, 2011. Matthew ‘02 and Sara Bergey ‘03 Clemmer, Winter Park, Fla., Harper Rose, Oct. 30, 2012. Andrea Good ‘03 and Joshua Leaman, Lancaster, Pa., Davis Conrad, Dec. 15, 2012. Obiageli (Oby) Nwankwo-Otti ‘03 and Benson Otti, Maplewood, N.J., Ziva Obioma Nneoma, Nov. 18, 2012. Bettia (Tia) Widmer ‘04 and David Johnson, Goshen, Ind., Sarah Nel, Dec. 23, 2012. Rebecca Reeder ‘05 and Jeremiah Mast, Dalton, Ohio, Kylie Amanda, Oct. 5, 2012. Rodney ‘05 and Janae Yoder ‘05 Hostetter, Ephrata, Pa., Rilynn Faith, June 2, 2012. Anthony, SEM ‘05, and Sarah Siegrist, Three Hills, Alberta, Canada, Elias, July 17, 2012. Daniel (Dan) ‘05 and Megan Yoder ‘05 Sandberg, Linville, Va., Nora Rae, Jan. 21, 2013. Ben ‘06 and Andrea Kniss ‘06 Stutzman, Mount Rainer, Md., Eva René, Nov. 5, 2012. Nicole (Niki) Zahour ‘06 and Josiah Schieck, Douglassville, Pa., Millie Raine, July 29, 2012. Adam ‘06 and Christy Hurst ‘06 Savanick, Harrisonburg, Va., Landon, Sept. 17, 2012. Trevor ‘06 and Jeneé High ‘06 Bare, Mount Joy, Pa., Olivia Louise, April 21, 2012. Lena Risser ‘09 and Adam Weaver, Greencastle, Pa., Aeva Marie, Oct. 28, 2012. Trevor ‘09 and Lauren Byler ‘09 Weaver, Belleville, Pa., Addelyn Rae, Oct. 7, 2012. Aaron ‘10 and Crystal Steiner ‘10 Martin, Canton, Ohio, Benson, Mar. 14, 2012.
Allison Byler ‘11 and Chase Peachey, Belleville, Pa., Joseph Grant, Sept. 7, 2012. Brett, MDiv ‘11, and Cassie Friesen, MA ‘10 (counseling), Klingenberg, Maya Lynn, June 30, 2012. Brice (financial assistance counselor) and Suzy Hostetler (campus ministries program assistant), Harrisonburg, Va., Ivy Jean, Dec. 1, 2012.
Betty Springer ‘35, Goshen Ind., died Oct. 11, 2012, at the age of 95. Toward the end of her life, she worked to improve her local community by volunteering in numerous capacities, including being a leader for Campfire Girls, welcoming international guests to her home, and promoting recycling. Prior to moving to Goshen, Betty worked as a secretary both at the then EMC and Mennonite Central Committee. She served as editor of the children’s paper “Beams of Light” and helped in the admitting department and laboratory at Goshen General Hospital. Ruth Brackbill King, class of ‘40, Ephrata, Pa., died November 30, 2012, at age 90, after dealing with congestive heart failure for several years. After leaving the Eastern Mennonite community in 1940, Ruth was involved in nearly every operation of her parents’ store, Brackbill’s Farm Markets in Malvern, Pa. She was a member of Frazer Mennonite Church, where she was a Sunday school teacher and served as secretary of the Frazer Summer Bible School as well as the Marsh Hill Summer Bible School. In 1986, she moved with her husband to Marsh Hill, Pa., where they enjoyed their retirement years and helped establish Mountain View Fellowship. Ruth was well known for her gracious hospitality and good food as evidenced by her guest books which she maintained faithfully for all of her married life. Her home, where there was always good food and a jigsaw puzzle, was open to everyone. Ruth King Horst, class of ‘45, Lititz, Pa., died January 13, 2013, at age 90. A consummate homemaker, Ruth’s greatest joy was to prepare and serve delicious homecooked meals to family and friends and was widely known for her homemade bread and pumpkin pies. She was vastly influential in the lives of many women through her frienship, mentorship, and her involvement as an active member of Gehman Mennonite Church in Adamstown, Pa. Lester C. Shank ‘49, formerly of Harrisonburg, Va., died December 10, 2012, at Landis Homes Retirement Community at age 96. Until his retirement in 1976, Lester worked in varous administrative positions at EMU for 31 years. He was highly involved in missions both abroad and at home, serving in Zambia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and becoming a charter member for Park View Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Va. Lester enjoyed
Deanna Durham (right), is an assistant professor in the applied social sciences department. The department has joined with the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding to fast track students to an MA.
Be a Peacebuilder With Two Degrees in Just Five Years A new program through Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding and applied social sciences department is designed to give students both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in conflict transformation through a five-year curriculum. The accelerated peacebuilding and development program opens in the fall of 2013. Students can apply to the graduate program during their third year of undergraduate studies. If admission is granted they will continue with the accelerated curriculum. “Students are encouraged to express interest in the program as soon as possible so they can be assigned an advisor to help plan their course of study,” said Gloria Rhodes '88, PhD, chair of applied social sciences. “Nontraditional students who have previous experience in the field but have not completed an undergraduate degree are encouraged to consider this option.” Students must have both a minimum GPA of 3.25 and a faculty recommendation in order to apply. Kaitlin Heatwole '11, office coordinator in applied social sciences, is a great first contact for questions related to the program. She can be reached at 540-432-4450 or by email: email@example.com.
Homecoming 2013 We couldn't find another place to put this delightful photo of Eric Reinford '02 in Egypt – he globe trots developing business for SNL Financial, covered on pages 15 and 16 – but the pic reminds us: Wherever you are in the world, save Oct. 11-13, 2013, to return and celebrate Homecoming and Family Weekend. This year's theme is "Healthy Roots, Thriving Branches." More information will be in the summer issue of Crossroads. www.emu.edu | crossroads | 61
gardening, playing the piano, and camping in the great outdoors; doing so in 49 states. Theodore (Ted) Walter, class of ‘52, Penticton, British Columbia, Canada, died June 15, 2012, at age 83.
The EMU women's cross country team finished the 2012 semester with the highest cumulative team GPA in the nation at 3.76. (Photo by Wayne Gehman)
Women Runners Lead EMU Resurgence Cross Country – In the program’s second season under Coach Jason Lewkowicz, EMU’s runners had a big resurgence to prominence, led by the young women’s team which was ranked as high as No. 5 in the regional rankings. Freshman Hannah Chappell-Dick (Bluffton OH) was named All-ODAC First Team, while senior Alli Eanes (Harrisonburg VA) earned AllODAC Second Team. The women were also honored by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association as the team with the highest cumulative GPA in the country, at 3.76. For the men, senior Dan Nafziger (Harrisonburg VA) earned All-ODAC First Team, while freshman Carlos Orellana (Grottoes VA) took a spot on the All-Region Team. Women’s Basketball – Coach Kevin Griffin was named the ODAC Coach of the Year as he led the Royals to a 21-7 year, including 15-1 in the ODAC. The women, who were incredibly balanced on offense with eight players averaging between 6.9 and 9.7 points, also set a program record with a 14-game winning streak. The Royals lost in the ODAC Championship game but received an at-large bid for their second-ever trip to the NCAA National Tournament. Junior Bianca Ygarza (Conestoga PA) was named All-ODAC First Team and sophomore Shakeerah Sykes (Dumfries VA) earned All-ODAC Second Team. Indoor Track & Field – The winter track teams continued the success of Coach Lewkowicz’s cross country squads, with both men and women again earning recognition in the regional rankings. Senior Michael Allen (Fork Union VA) won the long jump for the fourth time at the ODAC Indoor Championships, while sophomore Jordan King (Dalton OH) won the high jump in his first ever season in the event. Each team also had individuals break a number of program records during the indoor season. Men’s Basketball – Senior Andrew Thorne (Front Royal VA) became the 20th Royal in program history to score 1,000 points in his career, as he finishes with 1,053 points. The athletic wing also just missed the top 15 of EMU’s Career Rebounding list and was named All-ODAC Second Team in one of the most competitive conferences in the nation. Men’s Soccer – The soccer men had a stretch during the season where they earned four straight shutout wins, including a string of 369:00 consecutive scoreless minutes. Senior defender Ryan Eshleman (Harrisonburg VA) was a big reason why and he was named All-ODAC First Team as well as the ODAC/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete of the Year. — James De Boer
62 | crossr oads | spring 2013 62 | crossroads | fall 2007
Ann Keener Gingerich, class of ‘52, Goshen, Ind., died January 18, 2013, at age 81. A 1948 graduate of Lancaster Mennonite High School, she attended EMU in 1952, but gained her BA in secondary education from Goshen College in 1971 and her MA in theology and ethics from AMBS in 1987. Among her numerous achievements, she and her husband Paul M. Gingrich ‘52, SEM ‘53, served as missionaries, teachers, and counselors in Ethiopia and Kenya from 1954-1969, were awarded the 1993 “Distinguished Service Award” in recognition of their lifetime of service from EMU, and she was awarded the 2005 “Alumni Ministry and Service Award” from AMBS for her work with victims of abuse. An active member of Belmont Mennonite Church, Ann facilitated worship leading, sexual abuse survivor groups, and did some occasional preaching. She served on the Mennonite Stewardship Commission, the Personnel Committee of Mennonite Board of Missionaries, and led retreats on marriage and family, women’s issues, and human sexuality. She also served as resource person for Intentional Communities and Christian growth groups. From 1947-91, she was involved with Assembly Mennonite Church as pastoral counselor, elder, worship leader, and trustee. Taizo Tanimoto ‘54, Osaka, Japan, died after a short battle with cancer on March 26, 2012, at age 84. When his home was destroyed during World War II, Taizo aspired to join the Japanese navy and volunteer to be a kamikaze pilot, but was thwarted by his father who insisted Taizo pursue his education. Through the influence of Mennonite missionaries in Japan, he learned of scholarships available to study at Mennonite colleges and was accepted at Messiah College before coming to EMU. His wife, Megumi, recently wrote that “he often told me how the Christian people around him took him in and treated him as a Christian.” Taizo earned his master’s in English from the University of Oregon in 1961. His doctoral studies in American literature were completed at Kwansei Gakuin University in 1975. His dissertation focused on Herman Melville and in 1977 he published “Herman Melville’s Tragic Ambiguity and Beyond.” Later in life, he was an English professor who taught, wrote, and published more than 40 scholarly articles, many of which are related to theological elements in American literature. Upon retirement, Taizo coached an American football team, but will be most remembered for his sense of humor, dedication to his family, commitment to sharing his faith, and the depth of gratitude for the many ways EMU had shaped his life.
Martha Wagner Brubaker, class of ‘54, New Holland, Pa., died November 28, 2012, at the age of 85. Martha worked as an X-ray technician at Ephrata Community and Lancaster General Hospitals, working a total of 30 years until her retirement in 1984. She was a member of Akron Mennonite Church, a volunteer at the Mennonite Central Committee Material Resource Center, and traveled the world with her husband, Christian, doing various mission-related works. Ruth Miller Baugher, class of ‘56, Myerstown, Pa., died December 7, 2012, at age 83. She was an elementary school teacher in both Idaho and Pa., an active member of Swatara Mennonite Church, and a prison ministry volunteer for 21 years. Rachel Stauffer ‘58, Landisville, Pa., died February 3, 2013, at age 79. She received her doctor of dental science degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and owned and operated East Earl Family Dentistry office until her retirement in 2004. Rachel was a member of both Community Mennonite Church in Lancaster, Pa., and the American Dental Association, of which she had been a member since 1967. Anna Zimmerman Wenger, class of ‘58, Goshen, Ind., died after a short battle with cancer on February 2, 2013, at age 79. She served as director of nursing at Goshen College and was an active member of College Mennonite Church. An avid traveler, Anna was extremely interested in different cultures. Mary Louise Miller ‘60, Goshen, Ind., died April 8, 2012, at age 77. A longtime Goshen resident, Mary managed the Goshen High School Cafeteria for 25 years. She was a member of North Goshen Mennonite Church and the Elkhart County Home Extension. Marvin D. Kauffman, class of ‘61, Albany, Ore., died Dec. 6, 2012, at age 76. He attended EMC from 1958-59 until he had to serve his 1-W alternative service with MCC in Haiti. He finished his BS in soils at Oregon State in 1963. After receiving an MA from Cornell University and a PhD in soil science from Oregon State, Marvin became an independent soil scientist/ consultant, an active member of the Oregon Ryegrass Growers Association, a lifelong member of the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants, and a member of Mennonite Economic and Development Association. Paul J. Smoker, class of ‘62, Newark, Del., died June 22, 2011, at age 72. He retired from the Wilmington Trust Company (WTC) in 2001, where he served as assistant vice president for 40 years. Paul was a member of the Quarter Century Club with WTC, treasurer of the Historical Society of Delaware, an employee at the Delaware Center for Horticulture, a volunteer at the Newark Senior Center’s Meals on Wheels, and a member of Ebenezer United Methodist Church
where he held many positions on several committees. Joyce Rutt Eby ‘63, Dillsburg, Pa., died November 24, 2012, after a long battle with cancer at age 71. Before retirement, she worked as a hospice and home care social worker for Lutheran Social Service of Central Pa. Earlier, she worked for Mennonite Mutual Aid and taught mathematics at Eastern Mennonite, Bethany Christian, and Lancaster Mennonite High Schools. With service as a guiding value in her life, Joyce was an active member of Slate Hill Mennonite Church in Camp Hill, Pa., served three years with MCC in Botswana, and was instrumental in founding Bridge of Hope Harrisburg Area, which serves homeless women and their children. She enjoyed reading, skiing, travel, and attending her grandsons’ soccer games. In nearly every community where she lived, she started a book club. Though diagnosed with cancer nearly two years ago, Joyce maintained an active life, showing great courage and perseverance. James (Jim) G. T. Fairfield ‘64, SEM ‘83, Bridgewater, Va., died peacefully on Nov. 19, 2012, at age 86. A native of Canada, he worked for the family woolen mill business, Fairfield and Sons Ltd., based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, until moving to Harrisonburg in 1963 to complete his education. He began his writing career in 1952 with the sportsman’s column “Wings, Woods, and Water,” which was syndicated in newspapers across Canada. This led him to accept a position with Mennonite Broadcasts as a writer, editor, and producer after graduation. Since then, Jim authored several books including “When You Don’t Agree,” “God’s Pace,” and his most recent “Frog Hollow Journal,” which is a combined memoir and meditation on the Beatitudes that traces his and his wife, Norma’s, spiritual journey and their delight in Shenandoah Valley culture. David (Dave) Ponn ‘85, Luray, Va., died August 24, 2012, at age 49 after a long battle with cancer. A graduate of Luray High, David dedicated his life to the school serving as teacher, basketball coach, athletic director, and assistant principal before becoming head principal in 2003. He was an educator through and through, preferring to stay loyal to the students and teachers at Luray though receiving numerous job offers elsewhere, many with higher pay. He is remembered for his strong relationships with his students, staying in contact with them long after graduation. Because of his dedication and love for the school, Luray High is organizing a scholarship in his honor. The David E. Ponn Scholarship will provide money for two well-rounded, hardworking students to use toward their education, whether for tuition, books, or other fees. According to Randy Thomas, acting principal, based on the donations they have received thus far, the scholarship is likely to continue for at
least the next five years. The Ponn family will likely be consulted when choosing the awardees, issuing the scholarship to students who need the money and will use it wisely toward their education “just like Dave would have wanted.” Connie Largent ‘88 Dailey, Stephens City, Va., died February 6, 2012, at age 65. Over the years, Connie had a number of occupations ranging from a beloved waitress at Abe’s Restaurant to an office manager at Community House, Northwestern Community Service; most recently as a facillitator of the Batterer’s Intervention Group in Front Royal, Va. She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Stephens City, Va., the Strasburg Moose Lodge, Winchester Eagles Aerie 824, and founder and co-leader of the Fibromyalgia Support Group, “Daily Pain.” Tasha Kauffman ‘95, Lancaster, Pa., died December 9, 2012, at age 38. She was an analyst in the electronic records department at Lancaster General Hospital and an active member of Mountville Mennonite Church, where she led worship. Tasha led a life full of grace, mentored many young people, and enjoyed traveling, sports, and, most of all, her family and friends.
Krishna Kodukula (center), who holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry and botany, is a member of EMU's Commission for the Sciences and a supporter of the campaign to renovate the Suter Science Center. Kodukula is executive director of SRI International's Center for Advanced Drug Research in Harrisonburg, Va. Also pictured: Kirk Shisler, EMU vice president for advancement (left), and Phil Helmuth, EMU executive director of development (right). (Photo by Lindsey Kolb)
More Contributors Deserving of Our Thanks! We regret that the following donors were omitted from the donor listings in the Annual Report for fiscal year 2011-12, published in the Fall/Winter 2012-13 issue of Crossroads. Jacob and Marlene Alderfer
Loyal and Bertha Klassen
Sanford Alderfer, Sr.
Dr. Krishna and Sarala Kodukula
Richard Alper and Kate Herrod
Jacob and Loretta Lapp
Jacob Baer, Jr.
Clinton and Sue Martin
John and Ruth Bare
Harold and Sylvia Martin
James and Bonnie Beachy
Mary E. Miller
MA - master of arts
Gordon and Velda Beidler
James & Dawn Monger
MDiv - master of divinity
Nancy and Clarence Bupp
Luke and Donna Mosemann
Betty Ann Burkholder
Marcus and Evelyn Rosenberger
Richard and Susan Dean
Degree Key CLASS OF - attended as part of the class of a given graduation year. HS - high school degree from era when high school and college were one
SEM - attended the seminary
Mileposts is compiled by Braydon Hoover '11, who may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 540-432-4294. send news directly to braydon or to email@example.com.
Editorial Policy Milepost entries regarding alumni employment, degrees obtained from other universities, marriages, 50-year and 60-year anniversaries, births, adoptions, and deaths are printed on the basis of submissions from alumni or on the basis of publicly available information. We do not do further research to verify the accuracy of the information that alumni provide us, nor do we make judgment calls on the information that they wish to be published, beyond editing for clarity, conciseness and consistency of style. The information provided to us does not necessarily reflect the official policies of EMU or of its parent church, Mennonite Church USA.
Bruce and Jeanette Flaming
Louis and Esther Seminare
Ken and Karen Sensenig
Harry and Kathleen Graber
Frank and Erica Shirk
Leon and Nancy Stauffer
Philip and Joann Grayson
Richard and Judy Harkins
David and Sandra Hersh
Gary and Debbie Turner
Herb and Joanne High
Diane and Ronald Umble
Michael and Susan Hunsberger
Samuel H. Weaver
Lynn and Kermit Johnson
Sheldon and Mildred Whitmore
Nyle and Lauralee Kauffman
Robert and Dorothy Kauffman
Craig and Nancy Yoder
Margaret Kilby and Martin Rothfield
Denton and Jan Yoder www.emu.edu | crossroads | 63
The Continuing Legacy of the Augsburgers From the mid-1960s through the 1970s – encompassing 15 years of great social change within Eastern Mennonite College and beyond – theologian Myron Augsburger (BA ’55, BTh ’58) led this institution of higher education. “As a well-known evangelist, Myron had the vision and stature to guide EMC from being a rather insular school – one that lacked art, instrumental music, drama and intercollegiate athletics – to rapidly growing into a national player among Christian liberal arts colleges,” says Phil Helmuth, EMU’s executive director of development.
RECENT GRADS MAY NOT KNOW THIS HISTORY… Myron, the author or co-author of 26 books, was named by Time magazine in 1969 as one of the five most influential “preachers of an active gospel.” Before completing a doctorate in theology and becoming EMU president at age 35, Myron led more than 50 evangelical tours in the United States and internationally, with tent meetings that attracted thousands at a time. The woman Myron married in 1950, Esther Kniss, paved the way for EMU’s arts program. She was the first to major in the field of art, earning a degree in secondary art education in 1971, followed by a master’s degree in art at James Madison University. She is recognized as an international leader among Christian visual artists. The freestanding arts building at EMU is named after Esther, and her sculptures are inside and outside of campus buildings. In 1980-81, Esther and Myron planted the Washington Community Fellowship, a church that serves Christians of all stripes in downtown D.C. As lifelong Mennonite church “servant-leaders” garnering modest incomes, one could assume that the Augsburgers were generous givers of non-material gifts. But what might come as a surprise is that they have also been generous in donating money. At EMU, they underwrite the Augsburger Lectureship, which brings noted speakers to campus each year to address topics pertinent to Christian evangelism and mission. They also have contributed to the Augsburger Endowed Chair and two endowed scholarships and give faithfully to the University Fund, Seminary Annual Fund, Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, and Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival. (More examples on facing page!)
THEIR GROWN-UP FAMILY Myron and Esther raised three children – John, Mike and Marcia – who all attended EMU while their father was president. Here are updates on each: With his wife Beverly, John Augsburger ’74 is the founder of Allied Recovery International (ARI), a nonprofit
64 | crossroads | spring 2013
Myron and Esther Augsburger with their immediate family. Clockwise from bottom-left: daughter Marcia Augsburger Goff ’91, her daughter Lara and husband Stephen; son John Augsburger ’74 and his wife Beverly; granddaughter Caitie Augsburger and her father Michael ’80.
that specializes in rebuilding after disasters. Beverly and John headed to Indonesia after the 2004 earthquake and tsunami. Supported by multi-million-dollar grants from Chevron, ARI re-constructed three primary and secondary schools, plus a large vocation training high school. ARI is now building a 48,000-square-foot multi-purpose community and sports facility. In addition, with funds from UNICEF and private donors, ARI has constructed latrines, handwashing facilities, and wells in Indonesia. After Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, ARI drilled dozens of wells, plus septic systems for devastated communities. As the project manager for S. M. Nichols Builders in Blacksburg, Va., Mike Augsburger ’80 has overseen construction of 400 condominiums and other buildings. He has also supported his older brother’s organization, making four construction-focused trips to Haiti. In the late 1990s, he worked on a major project with his mother, helping her weld 6,000 guns into a massive sculpture, “Guns Into Plowshares,” for display in Washington D.C. With a law degree from UC-Davis, Marcia Augsburger Goff ’91 is an attorney-partner in DLA Piper, LLP, Sacramento, Calif., the same firm as her husband, Steve. Marcia specializes in health care dispute resolution and litigation. She has spoken and published extensively on complex litigation, civil discovery, Health Care Reform, HIPAA, consumer-directed health care and wellness programs, women in the law and other legal and business subjects. She has been named a California Super Lawyer. Meanwhile, the senior-aged Augsburgers continue to lead active lives – leading Anabaptist-themed trips to Europe, participating in religious, social and artistic assemblies, and producing books (Myron) and art (Esther). In April and May 2013, Myron is teaching “Romans: A Letter to the Church” at EMU’s Summer Institute for Missional Questions in Lancaster. — BPL
MAKE AN ENDURING GIFT
Yielding Immediate Benefits
Esther and Myron Augsburger (at left) are receiving a secure life income as a result of having a charitable gift annuity with EMU.
“We both have spent much of our lives in relationship with EMU – as students, teachers and administrators, hosts for university visitors, parents of undergraduates, and audience members for music, theater and speakers. It feels only natural that we would continue our relationship by setting up a gift annuity and including EMU in our estate planning. We have additional ideas that we believe would benefit EMU, such as helping EMU to establish a gallery for housing the art we have collected over many years.” SAMPLE ANNUITY RATES FOR ONE BENEFICIARY (Rates at other ages available upon request.) Age 60=4.4% Age 80=6.8%
Age 70=5.1% Age 90+=9.0%
Rates are subject to change. Please contact us for the most current rates. Annuities are also available for two beneficiaries.
In their wide travels, the Augsburgers have collected many pieces that reflect their Anabaptist beliefs and lifestyle. Of particular interest is “Shepherd With Sheep,” a painting by Anton Mauve, a DutchMennonite pastor's son who was a major influence on Van Gogh. Mauve's paintings are in some of the leading collections of the world, including the National Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. EMU’s Menno Simons Historical Library also displays a work by Anton Mauve, courtesy of an on-loan arrangement made by Myron.
TO MAKE YOUR BEQUEST
TO REACH US
please use the following language: “To Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va., I give __________% of my estate.” Or feel free to specify a fixed dollar amount.
Phone: 800-368-3383 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit: www.emu.edu/giving/giving-options
Mail this coupon in a stamped envelope. Or go to our website, www.emu.edu/giving/giving-options to fill out a form there. Or send this information via email to Robyn.Hill@emu.edu.
Yes! Please send me information about an EMU charitable gift annuity!
Birthdate(s) ______________________________________ Minimum age 50. Payments begin at age 60.
Amt: $10,000 $50,000 $100,000 _________Other (Minimum gift is $5,000) Send me information on including EMU in my will. I have already included EMU in my will.
Name ____________________________________________ Address__________________________________________ _________________________________________________ Phone____________________________________________ Email____________________________________________ Mail to: Office of Development Eastern Mennonite University 1200 Park Road Harrisonburg VA 22802
www.emu.edu | crossroads | 65
EASTERN MENNONITE UNIVERSITY 1200 Park Road Harrisonburg VA 22802-2462 Parents: If this is addressed to your son or daughter who has established a separate residence, please give us the new address. Call 540-432-4294 or email email@example.com.
WILL BE ON THE CAMPAIGN FOR THE SUTER SCIENCE CENTER
Send us your stories and memories on the Suter Science Center! emu.edu/crossroads/update
JOIN THE SUTER SCIENCE CAMPAIGN! The Suter Science Center has served EMU well since 1968. To make it possible to continue this tradition for another four decades, EMU is raising $7 million to renovate.
PLANS INCLUDE: Updated, state-of-the-art laboratories and technology Enhanced north and south entrances joined by a spacious concourse Increased natural light and other green features Upgraded heating/cooling and ventilation systems Maximized space to foster interdisciplinary interaction and community building
Alumni, donors, and foundations have already contributed or committed $5.3 million toward the $7 million goal, plus $1.3 million in estate commitments for the Suter Science Center endowment fund.
Get involved today! Find out how by contacting: Kirk Shisler Vice President for Advancement 540-432-4203 firstname.lastname@example.org
THE OUTCOME: High-tech, hands-on learning in a liberal arts environment with Mennonite values of sustainability, social justice, and service. 66 | crossroads | spring 2013
The spring 2013 issue of Crossroads focuses on EMU alumni working in accounting and business economics. The magazine is the alumni outreach...