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.
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.
James Lico (‘88 B.S.A.) began his career at General Motors, where he held positions in industrial engineering, supply chain, and production supervision. Over 25 years later, he is known as a successful business leader achieving profitable growth and building winning teams across multiple industries. As the Executive Vice President of Danaher Corporation, he led $8 billion corporate procurement functions, oversaw all of Danaher’s corporate initiatives throughout the Asia Pacific/Middle East, and helped transform Danaher from an industrial company to a market leader within the science and technology industry. Lico led the public spin from the Danaher Corporation to create the Fortive Corporation, where he is currently President and CEO. He serves as a member of CEO ACT!ON FOR RACIAL EQUITY, the Seattle Campaign Council for U-M, and the Cocoon House.
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.
Dan Winey (‘82 M.B.A.) is COO and Managing Principal at Gensler, San Francisco. His 40-year career reflects his passion for design, architecture, and international business leadership. Under Winey’s leadership, Gensler expanded their presence in the Pacific Northwest and the Asia Pacific Regions, growing to over 50 international offices. He is passionate about designing livable cities, as well as sustainable building and urbanization principles, which he reinforces with his work. Winey was the lead architect on the $3 billion Shanghai Tower, a vertical city and the tallest building in China. Winey and his wife, Iris, have been faithful supporters of UM-Dearborn since 1989. In 2018, they established the Daniel and Iris Winey Endowed Scholarship fund.
Alumni Service Award
This award will honor a UM-Dearborn graduate who provides important leadership and service to the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Successful nominees will have distinguished themselves by the energy, effort and creativity they demonstrate in addressing a challenge.
Ibrahim Elmezain (‘12 M.B.A.) began his career in event technology management as an Audio-Visual Technician at Marriott Hotel where he managed a million-dollar project portfolio. After earning his M.B.A., he started his own production company, Infinity Creatives, which takes him all over the country executing corporate events and conferences. Elmezain finds time to give back to his alma mater in a plethora of ways including serving for six years as a highly involved member of the UM-Dearborn Alumni Society Board. Elmezain is a faithful mentor to UM-Dearborn students through the 30-Minute Mentor Program and our Career Planning and Development class mentoring sessions. He also volunteers in the Internship and Career Management Center taking part in mock and informational interviews.
Alumni Business of the Year
This award will honor a UM-Dearborn alumni-owned business that has made an impact and has showcased its commitment within the community.
w3r Consulting (Eric Hardy ‘96 B.S.E.M.E. & Patrick Tomina ‘97 B.B.A., B.S.E.M.E.) UM-Dearborn classmates Eric Hardy, CEO, and Patrick Tomina, CFO, established w3r Consulting in 1995. w3r Consulting is a national leader, providing data management and analytics, technology consulting services, and talent solutions across a diverse range of businesses and organizations including Fortune 500 companies. Hardy and Tomina have grown w3r Consulting to be a $55 million enterprise experiencing a more than 400-percent revenue increase over the past four years. The business has been recognized with honors such as Detroit’s “101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work for,” and Inc Magazine’s “5000 Fastest-Growing Companies”. w3r Consulting supports many causes including The Children’s Center, STEM education, and UM-Dearborn Athletics.