For more than 35 years, the University of Michigan-Dearborn has honored outstanding alumni for their contributions to the University and community.
These men and women are "Difference Makers" who have continued the University's legacy of leadership in their lives and careers. View past award winners.
College of Business Distinguished Alumnus of the Year
This award honors a UM-Dearborn graduate who most exemplifies Michigan excellence as demonstrated by outstanding leadership in their field and personal commitment to service within their communities. The award winner has distinguished themselves in their field and provides leadership in addressing an important issue in the community. Awardees embrace philanthropic values.
Kris Pfaehler (’77 B.B.A.) has 40 years of executive sales, business development, and strategy experience in the manufacturing industries including automotive, agriculture, and construction. He has led global sales organizations for several manufacturing suppliers, with operations and sales offices in the US, Canada, Mexico, across Europe, Japan, Korea, and China. In June 2016, Pfaehler formed Sand Dollar Global Advisors LLC, a consulting practice focusing on helping manufacturing companies achieve revenue growth. Pfaehler is a member of the College of Business Board of Advisors and established, along with his wife Ruth, the Kris and Ruth Pfaehler Endowed Scholarship. He has lead volunteer efforts at UM-Dearborn and within metro Detroit and southwest Florida communities.
College of Business Alumnus of the Year
This award honors a graduate of the College of Business who has shown outstanding professional accomplishments in his or her field, has demonstrated public service and leadership, and is engaged in the advancement of the College of Business and its alumni.
Early in her career at General Motors Corporation, Nicolette Carlone (’84 B.S.A.) was promoted from corporate financial staff to an International financial analyst before even completing her M.B.A. During her time at GM, she saved the company $3 million by consolidating European insurance policies. She successfully automated and trained 24 North American and Canadian branches. As treasury manager for Pulte Homes, Carlone managed a $300 million investment portfolio. As the CFO/COO of the Public Lighting Authority she helped complete the ambitious project of relighting 65,000 street lights in the city of Detroit. Later in her career, she started her own company, NICA consulting services. Carlone serves as a member of the College of Business Board of Advisors and mentors students through the alumni mentoring program.