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Business and Innovation

Leading Remotely in Times of Crisis

Over the last week, my inbox has been flooded with questions from students, clients and colleagues. The biggest questions involve how to lead employees remotely in times of crisis. There’s plenty of research on how to lead remotely, most of it concentrating on quality over quantity of communication, establishing norms, building trust and monitoring goals. We can still do that in times of crisis.

Most of the problems in the workplace (maybe as much as 80%) are caused by poor communication (low quality and/or not enough). I always tell clients that face-to-face communication is best because that way you get the entire message; only 7% of our message is in the words we say. The rest is tone and nonverbal communication. Really, it’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.

Dr. Jenell Wittmer, associate professor of management, leads a UToledo Staff Leadership Development class.

That immediacy is lost in email and text messages. Communication is going to be more difficult when leading remotely, especially in times of crisis. So here are some tips for communicating remotely in times of crisis to establish norms, build trust and monitor goals:

1. Acknowledge that you are communicating remotely and thus are losing some of the message. Do not try to add tone or nonverbal communication to email. Using emojis or putting something in all caps (“Why are you YELLING at me?” your audience will wonder) is likely to lead to misinterpretation. Best to just use email for its intended purpose: objective, factual, non-emotional information (with no praise, blame, persuasion or otherwise).

2. Acknowledge that people have other responsibilities when working from home. In our current crisis, parents with children are playing the roles of employee, teacher, parent and playmate. Many leaders are facing the same challenges. Let’s just acknowledge that this is going to be tough — for example, my kids are fighting over cereal at the present moment. Establish norms and a schedule; perhaps parents want to work at night, or maybe they want to work in smaller blocks of time throughout the day. Discuss how this will work for you and work for them. Do not assume that they know what you want and vice versa. We are all in this together.

3. Acknowledge that you are going to lose some control. For all you micromanagers out there, this is going to be a crash course in letting go of control. In the office or out of the office, when you ask too many questions about how, when and why to your employees, it leads them to feel like you don’t trust them. Empowering your employees to make decisions and keep their own schedule helps you to build trust in them and them to build trust in you. Win-win. Again, establish norms — how frequently are you going to check in? What is the expected output? How will you measure performance during this time? Establish this up front and then let them figure it out. Freedom and flexibility become the name of the game in leading remotely in times of crisis — trust them.

4. Acknowledge that it is not business as usual. Back to No. 1: If we cannot communicate face to face and we can only use email and text for factual, objective, non-emotion information, how do we communicate the rest? Many leaders are going to be tempted to take full advantage of all the technology we have available. I had one leader tell me that he planned to have a video conference call with each of his employees each day. That’s overkill — and it may feel like micromanaging. If I am going to be a teacher, parent, professor and consultant, I am not going to take time for hair and makeup. We are encouraging comfortable clothes and a relaxed atmosphere at our house; don’t add the additional stress of making employees feel like they need to look professional and have a professional backdrop — this is not business as usual. If there is an important meeting with a client, it may require a video call. Don’t spring this on employees. Give them time to prepare and find somewhere to hide the kids. It’s not business as usual, so again, be flexible on deadlines and day-to-day expectations. When monitoring goals, reassess if they need to be daily goals, weekly goals, or are they goals where you can provide a little more flexibility. Overall, there are going to be many situations where you are just going to have to tell yourself (and probably your employees), “It’s not business as usual.”

5. Acknowledge that some employees are going to be better at this remote thing than others. Currently, students around the globe are being told that they are going to be online learners, but we constantly tell students that online learning is not for everyone. Not everyone is created to be a self-paced, self-managed, self-learning, self-motivating employee. Not only personality and communication style differences make some people better at this, but personal circumstances at the current time also are going to play a big part in remote performance. The best leaders are those who know that not every employee needs the same support, same motivation, same direction or same communication. Now is the time to have a conversation about how much support, what kind of support, how much communication, how much daily, weekly accountability, etc., an employee needs. Be open, be supportive, and be a good listener.

When responding to emails from students, clients and colleagues, my usual response is “We are writing this book together.” None of us knows exactly how to lead in times of crisis. Let’s lean toward each other and be open to the needs of others. Ask for help. It’s OK not to have the answers.

Wittmer is an associate professor of management at The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation.

Students From Across U.S. to Travel to UToledo for Sales Competition

Professional sales students from 36 universities across the United States will visit the University’s College of Business and Innovation this weekend to compete in the fifth annual UToledo Invitational Sales Competition.

The sales competition, which features nearly 200 role plays selling a product and more than 300 interviews, will take place Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21 and 22, in classrooms and meeting rooms throughout the Savage & Associates Business Complex. The awards ceremony will occur Saturday afternoon in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

The Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales in the UToledo College of Business and Innovation organizes this first and only national sales competition dedicated exclusively to juniors, sophomores and freshmen because graduating seniors are typically already placed in jobs due to high corporate demand.

Formed in 2000 and endowed in 2002, the Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales believes in transforming the profession of sales by creating knowledge, shaping people and making connections, and the UToledo Invitational Sales Competition is an ideal platform to accomplish just that.

“The UToledo Invitational Sales Competition plays a central role in increasing sales program enrollments nationwide and fueling the tomorrows of future sales leaders and organizations,” said Deirdre Jones, director of the Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales and the UToledo Invitational Sales Competition.“The competition is the conversation starter for universities nationwide to engage early with freshman and sophomore students, and it is also a vehicle for students to pay it forward and shape their leadership skills as a peer coach.”

The first rounds of the competition will take place from 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Friday, followed by the wild-card round from 1:45 to 3 p.m. and quarterfinals from 4 to 5:40 p.m. The competition will conclude Saturday with the semifinals from 8:30 to 9:20 a.m. and the finals from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Approximately 100 sales leaders and recruiters who participate serve as buyers and judges for the role plays and also interact with the students during coaching and interviewing sessions.

Sponsors include 3M Co., Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Mediasite, Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans and Polymershapes, among others.

Participating universities that will be in attendance at this year’s event include Kansas State University, the University of Cincinnati, Kent State University, Clemson University, the University of Minnesota and the University of Akron. The University of Toledo Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales also will have a team competing.

Volunteers, Donations at UToledo Means More Than 200,000 Meals to Feed Families

For the fourth consecutive year, volunteers will gather in shifts and give back at The University of Toledo as they assemble nearly a quarter of a million meals to feed families around the globe.

The two-day mobile pack, part of the Feed My Starving Children program, will take place Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7 and 8, in the Health Education Building on Main Campus. Shifts will be from 3 to 5 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, and from 9 to 11 a.m. and from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday.

The event is organized by 100 UToledo students who are members of the Klar Leadership Academy in the College of Business and Innovation. The academy was founded in 2015 with the support of Steven Klar, a 1971 UToledo business alumnus and a New York City builder and real estate developer.

More than 1,100 UToledo students, employees and alumni, as well as teams from local companies, will invest some of their free time to assemble nutritious rice meals with vegetable blend, vitamins and minerals. The meals are scientifically formulated for undernourished children.

The organizers raised $48,000 and have a goal to build more than 208,000 meals. Last year, volunteers packed 202,000 meals.

“The University of Toledo has a global impact, and the students are the driving force behind this incredible initiative to fight hunger worldwide,” said Dr. Clint Longenecker, Distinguished University Professor in the UToledo College of Business and Innovation. “This is a very compelling feel-good story of Toledoans coming together to positively impact the lives of those in destitute third world countries.”

The overarching goals of the Klar Leadership Academy are to provide its student participants with a transformational learning experience to build on their UToledo education to enable them to better lead themselves, others, teams, organizations and communities, and change the world for good.

UToledo Student Interns on Capitol Hill Through Congressional Black Caucus Foundation

Emir Moore started his senior year at The University of Toledo in Washington, D.C., interning on Capitol Hill in the office of the youngest black woman ever elected to Congress.

“My capacity to make a change in the world is way higher than I thought,” said Moore, who studies business management and marketing at UToledo and serves as president of the Black Student Union. “The experience of being involved in such important work raised my glass ceiling, in a way. I hope this can be an inspiration for other students of color.”

UToledo senior Emir Moore was one of 25 African-American students in the nation selected by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation for an internship.

Moore is one of 25 African-American college students across the country selected by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation for its internship program sponsored by State Farm. He is the first UToledo student chosen to participate.

During fall semester, he worked in the office of Lauren Underwood, a freshman representative from Illinois and member of the Congressional Black Caucus, which is made up of 55 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

Based with the communications staff, Moore learned the intricacies of the federal legislative process and media relations.

“This is such an incredible learning experience, and we are so glad that Mr. Moore applied and was selected for this prestigious opportunity,” Diane Miller, chief of staff and associate vice president for government relations, said. “This internship gave him an up-close view of our federal government in action that very few get a chance to experience. I hope that his unique experience motivates other students to pursue meaningful experiential learning opportunities as well.”

In addition to meeting Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren and civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, Moore said the highlight of the internship was witnessing Underwood lead two of her bills toward passage in September — H.R. 3525, the U.S. Border Patrol Medical Screening Standards Act, and H.R. 3526, the Counter Terrorist Network Act.

Emir Moore posed for a photo with Lauren Underwood, a freshman representative from Illinois and member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Moore was an intern in Underwood’s office during fall semester.

“I’ve been exposed to aspects of how Washington works and found that you have to think fast and be flexible,” Moore said. “No two days this semester were alike. A work day might include a press conference in the morning and then guiding constituents on tours so they can witness proceedings on the House floor. On the day H.R. 3525 passed, I had the honor of accompanying two young constituents and their mothers. They were survivors of gun violence.”

“Emir is an emerging leader and remarkable intern. His tenacity and positive attitude have helped create an office culture of always striving for the best for our constituents,” said Andrea Harris, chief of staff in the Office of Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14). “During his time in our office, he was resourceful and dedicated to serving the Illinois 14th District.”

After Moore graduates from the College of Business and Innovation in the spring, he plans to continue his education through UToledo’s MBA Program and enhance his civic engagement.

“The friendships I’ve developed with fellow Congressional Black Caucus interns and the experiences we’ve shared are invaluable,” Moore said. “Congresswoman Underwood inspired me and challenged me to grow outside my comfort zone. If I continue to work hard, stay focused and remain determined in my passion for economic development and entrepreneurship, I can be a successful servant leader in my community.”

Associate VP of Alumni Relations to Retire

Dan Saevig has been part of The University of Toledo every day for more than half of his life, first as a student and then as an employee at the institution he loves.

That will change soon: The associate vice president of alumni engagement and executive director of the UToledo Alumni Association will retire Monday, March 2.


“I love The University of Toledo; I know its life-changing powers,” Saevig said.

The native of Oregon, Ohio, received a bachelor of arts degree in communication and a master of business administration degree from UToledo in 1984 and 1989, respectively.

Then Saevig joined the staff at his alma mater as assistant director of alumni relations in 1990. Three years later, he was promoted to executive director of alumni relations. He left the University in 1999, but returned to campus in 2002 as associate vice president of alumni relations.

“Dan has dedicated his life to The University of Toledo. With his Rocket passion and energy, he has helped grow UToledo’s alumni participation, as well as alumni programs and donations,” President Sharon L. Gaber said. “We thank Dan for his tremendous service to the University for 27 years.”

Under Saevig’s leadership, the Office of Alumni Engagement has:

• Upped its annual programs from 40 in 1990 to 200 in 2019.

• Grown UToledo Alumni Association membership five consecutive years; this includes an 8% increase last year and an 8% increase so far this fiscal year, totaling more than 27,000 members around the globe.

• Helped increase alumni donations from 2.59% in 2015 to 5.37% last year as measured by U.S. News & World Report, with a portion of membership dues as a gift to the UT Foundation; 66% of donors last year were members of the UToledo Alumni Association.

“When I started working in the alumni office, we were mostly promoting events in Toledo. Now we truly are a national program,” Saevig said.

He added he is proud of the diversity of the UToledo Alumni Association Board and how the Koester Alumni Pavilion was a project that came together in six months in 2012. “The Koester Alumni Pavilion, a gathering spot just west of the Glass Bowl, is a real point of pride for alumni and friends of the University,” Saevig said.

In addition, he played a pivotal role in the expansion of Art on the Mall, the UToledo Alumni Association’s signature event that started in 1992 and has become a summer tradition. The UToledo Alumni Association also is financially secure, having increased its reserves by 300% during his tenure.

“I can leave UToledo knowing we have the right person to lead the Office of Alumni Engagement for the next 20 years,” Saevig said. “[William] Billy Pierce is that person. He’s an alumnus, he’s well-liked, he’s personable — alumni will enjoy connecting with him.”

Pierce, senior director of alumni engagement, will succeed Saevig.

A longtime UToledo donor, Saevig is giving a $150,000 parting gift to his alma mater — provided there is no official sendoff celebration.

“The donation is a thank-you for the University’s impact on me and my family,” he said. “It’s important for employees to give back. We are blessed to be working at UToledo. I wouldn’t be who I am without the friendships and relationships I developed here over the years. I want to show my support for the institution that I love.”

Families Set to Celebrate Commencement Dec. 14

More than 2,000 students at The University of Toledo will graduate at commencement ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 14, in Savage Arena.

The University is holding two ceremonies to include both undergraduate and graduate students from each of the colleges.

A total of 2,070 degrees will be awarded: 1,474 bachelor’s degrees, 426 master’s degrees, 104 doctoral degrees, 41 associate’s degrees, 15 education specialist degrees and 10 graduate certificates.

The 9 a.m. ceremony will recognize all Ph.D. candidates and graduates from the colleges of Arts and Letters; Engineering; Judith Herb College of Education; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

The 1 p.m. ceremony will recognize undergraduate and graduate students receiving degrees from the colleges of Business and Innovation; Health and Human Services; Nursing; University College; and Medicine and Life Sciences.

Commencement is always a time to celebrate with family. Their support is critical to achieving success. For several students walking across the stage this year, family was literally at their side for the journey.

Lori and Jordan Boyer in 2001 and 2019

At 48 years old, Lori Boyer is set to take the stage and grasp her diploma on the same day as her son, Jordan.

Lori, a preschool teacher, started taking classes at UToledo in 1990, but stopped to raise her three children.

After returning in January to cross the finish line, the UToledo employee at the Early Learning Center is graduating from University College with a bachelor’s degree in an individualized program of early childhood education and educational leadership. Her son is graduating from the College of Engineering with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering technology.

“I am proud to share this special moment with my oldest son,” Boyer said. “It’s important to me to prove to all of my children that you can accomplish anything no matter what point you are in life. I accomplished something I set out to do a long time ago, and it has the potential to take me in different directions in my career.”

Fall commencement also is a family affair for a brother-and-sister duo who worked side by side as undergraduates in the same exercise biology research lab.

Nicole and Dylan Sarieh

Dylan and Nicole Sarieh, two-thirds of a set of fraternal triplets, both chose to study exercise science as pre-med students in the College of Health and Human Services, while their brother studies business at UToledo.

Together, Dylan and Nicole researched the molecular regulation of skeletal muscle growth under the guidance of Dr. Thomas McLoughlin, associate professor in the School of Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, in order to help clinicians develop ways to help patients grow stronger after suffering from muscle loss.

“The opportunity to do real, meaningful, hands-on work in the lab definitely built our confidence and opened our eyes to what is important,” Dylan said about his undergraduate research experience. “My sister and I both plan to next go to medical school. She wants to be a dermatologist, and I want to be a general physician.”

“Whether at home, in the classroom or in the lab, I always had someone I could lean on who was tackling the same challenges,” Nicole said. “Putting our two brains together — even during car rides — made a big difference in our success.”

For some graduates, they found love and are starting their own family.

McKenna Wirebaugh completed a co-op at the BP Whiting Refinery in Whiting, Ind. This photo shows Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline.

McKenna Wirebaugh, who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, met her soon-to-be husband at UToledo. Both she and Travis Mang, her fiancé, will receive degrees Saturday.

Turns out, planning their upcoming wedding is the only item left on the to-do list. Wirebaugh secured a full-time job as a process engineer at BP’s Cherry Point Refinery in Blaine, Wash., located about 40 minutes south of Vancouver. She is scheduled to start her new job in March, about a month after her honeymoon.

“I chose to go to UToledo because of the mandatory co-op program in engineering,” Wirebaugh said. “It guaranteed I would have a paycheck while in school and build my resumé. I’m grateful for my decision because it ended up launching my career.”

Wirebaugh completed four co-op rotations with BP while at UToledo. She also helped build a water purification unit that was sent to Ecuador through the nonprofit organization Clean Water for the World.

Her favorite experience as a student in the Jesup Scott Honors College was a class focusing on creativity. For a group project on the dangers of cell-phone use, they brought in a PlayStation 2 system and challenged students to text and drive on Mario Kart without crashing.

“My professors have truly cared about me inside and outside of my academic career,” Wirebaugh said. “I don’t see the friendships I’ve made here ending anytime soon.”

In the event of inclement weather, the approximately two-hour commencement ceremonies will be moved to Sunday, Dec. 15.

For those unable to attend, the ceremonies will stream live at video.utoledo.edu.

For more information, go to the UToledo commencement website.

Spanish Culture in Business Topic of Nov. 18 Event

Dr. Marcelo J. Alvarado-Vargas, UToledo associate professor of management, will discuss “Spanish Culture and Business Insights” Monday, Nov. 18.

Sponsored by the Beta Gamma Sigma Chapter of the UToledo College of Business and Innovation, the event will take place at 6 p.m. in Stranahan Hall Room 0111.


Alvarado-Vargas will talk about the impact of international business in Latin America and the changing dynamics of the world.

He will present research findings on why women are underrepresented in management in Latin American companies.

Founded in 1913, Beta Gamma Sigma is the international business honor society for Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-accredited institutions, which are the top 5% of business school programs around the world.

Graduate and Professional Program Fair Slated for Oct. 30

Looking to advance your career? Want to learn more about continuing your education? Stop by the Graduate and Professional Program Fair Wednesday, Oct. 30.

The event will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

Attendees can meet with representatives from colleges and programs; learn ways to fund graduate education; and start the graduate program application process.

On hand will be representatives from all UToledo colleges: Arts and Letters; Business and Innovation; Engineering; Health and Human Services; Judith Herb College of Education; Law; Medicine and Life Sciences; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Nursing; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Graduate Studies; Jesup Scott Honors College; and University College.

Go to the Graduate and Professional Program Fair website and register.

The first 100 to attend the event will receive an application fee waiver; J.D., M.D. and Pharm.D. applications not included.

For more information, email graduateinquiry@utoledo.edu.

Day of Giving College Events and Giving Stations

UToledo’s third annual Day of Giving will take place Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 15 and 16.

The 36-hour campaign, “Rocket Forward: You Launch Lives,” will begin at midnight Oct. 15 and end at noon Oct. 16.

Several events are planned Tuesday, Oct. 15:

Day of Giving Fall Festival — 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Centennial Mall

• Student organizations will host booths with games.

• The Rocket Marching Band and UToledo cheerleaders will perform.

• President Sharon L. Gaber will greet students from noon to 12:30 p.m.

• The festival also will offer a dog-petting station, corn hole games, a basketball contest, pie in the face, pumpkin bowling and pumpkin golf.

College of Business and Innovation — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Savage & Associates Business Complex Second-Floor Atrium

• Giving station with ice cream.

Judith Herb College of Education — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Gillham Hall

• Giving station with popcorn.

College of Health and Human Services — 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 16, 8 to 10:30 a.m. in the Health and Human Services Building Atrium

• Giving station with popcorn, other snacks and prizes.

Jesup Scott Honors College — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside MacKinnon Hall

• Giving station with snacks.

College of Law — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Law Center Patio

• Fall Fest hosted by the Student Bar Association: Donate to decorate mini-pumpkins; play corn hole, ring toss and horseshoes; and eat kettle corn, caramel apples and cider.

Student Recreation Center — 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

• Giving station; popcorn from 2 to 6 p.m.

University College — 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 16, 9 to 10:30 a.m. in Rocket Hall

• Giving station with popcorn, snacks, and a chance to spin the wheel to win prizes with a donation.

The University of Toledo Medical Center — starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 15 and 16, in the Four Seasons Bistro

• Giving station in the cafeteria.

Colleges of Nursing; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and Medicine and Life Sciences — 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Collier Building Lobby

College of Nursing will host a Day of Giving party with a giving station, snacks, a pumpkin decorating contest, music and entertainment. President Sharon L. Gaber and Health Science Campus deans will be on hand for Day of Giving selfie photos with students, faculty and staff.

Give online at rocketforward.utoledo.edu Oct. 15-16 and share your UToledo story on social media at #RocketForward.

Spotlight on Alumni at Annual Homecoming Gala Oct. 4

It’s Homecoming and that means The University of Toledo Alumni Association will present its most prestigious honors: the Gold T, Blue T and Edward H. Schmidt Outstanding Young Alum Award.

These three recipients will be recognized — along with distinguished alumni from each UToledo college — at the Homecoming Alumni Gala and Awards Ceremony Friday, Oct. 4, at 6 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

Tickets for the gala are $30 each and may be purchased by calling the Office of Alumni Relations at 419.530.ALUM (2586) or by visiting the UToledo Alumni Association website. A limited number of tickets remain.


The Gold T is presented to a University of Toledo graduate in recognition of outstanding achievement in his or her field of endeavor while providing leadership and noteworthy service to the community.

The 2019 recipient is Alan Barry of Commerce Township, Mich. A 1966 graduate of the College of Business and Innovation with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, Barry is the retired president and chief operating officer of Masco Corp., a Fortune 200 company with interests around the world. Masco’s well-known brands include Delta faucets, Behr paint and KraftMaid cabinetry. Barry spent 36 years with Masco, beginning his career in 1972 with what would become its BrassCraft Manufacturing Division. Named one of the 50 most influential people in the home-building industry by Builder Magazine, Barry was instrumental in creating Masco Contractor Services, the industry’s largest organization for installation of insulation and other products in new home construction. Barry spearheaded the acquisition and internal development of the companies assembled to create this extensive organization.

Named the College of Business and Innovation’s Outstanding Graduate in 2005, Barry and his wife, Karen, a 1964 graduate of the former UToledo Community and Technical College, have been major philanthropists to their alma mater. They have created laboratories in accounting and leadership in the College of Business and Innovation, as well as scholarship and fellowship funds in that college.


The Blue T is presented to a University of Toledo Alumni Association member and UToledo graduate who has made outstanding contributions to the progress and development of the Alumni Association and the University.

Tom Schuster of Maumee, Ohio, is the 2019 honoree. Schuster earned an associate’s degree in industrial technology from the former Community and Technical College in 1965 and a bachelor’s degree in adult liberal studies from University College in 1985. A past member of the Alumni Association’s Board of Trustees, he has served on numerous association committees over the past three decades. Schuster is also a past president of the Downtown Coaches Association, a support group that raises thousands of dollars for the UToledo Athletic Department each year. He and his wife, Marilyn, are members of the President’s Club and Heritage Oak Society, the latter in recognition of a planned gift that will provide support to generations of future Rockets. Since graduation, Schuster has financially supported many areas across campus; these include University College, Savage Arena, the Larimer Athletic Complex and the Koester Alumni Pavilion.

Retired from Daimler Chrysler since 2001, Schuster was a senior manager in charge of IT computer operations for 27 plants in the United States and five in Canada, while overseeing 175 employees.


The Edward H. Schmidt Outstanding Young Alum Award is presented to a University graduate who is 40 years of age or younger in recognition of outstanding achievement in her or his field of endeavor, while providing leadership and noteworthy service to the Alumni Association, University or community. This award is named in memory of Ed Schmidt, a 1942 alumnus and a longtime supporter of The University of Toledo and its Alumni Association.

The 2019 recipient is Bret Babcock of Nashville, Tenn. Babcock earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and organizational development from the College of Business and Innovation, and the Jesup Scott Honors College, in 2010.

Babcock is chief operating officer, chief financial officer and partner at LOGICFORCE, a technology consulting firm that provides eDiscovery, IT optimization and network service consulting, as well as digital forensics to clients in the legal industry. Since joining the company four years ago, Babcock has played a key role in driving success, achieving a compound annual growth rate of more than 40% and helping expand to over 40 employees across 16 states.

Previously an assistant vice president and portfolio management officer at Bank of America, Babcock is involved with several nonprofit causes and organizations, including A Child’s Place, the Orchard and LIFE Fellowship. Babcock earned an MBA from the University of Mississippi and in 2017 was awarded the Ole Miss MBA Outstanding Young Alumnus Award.

For more information, contact Dan Saevig, UToledo associate vice president of alumni engagement, at 419.530.4008.