MEMA CEO Bill Long honored in Northwood University’s 2022 Class of Outstanding Business Leaders 

The Outstanding Business Leader award celebrates men and women from across the world who have made a difference in their business and community.

Northwood University Board of Trustees Vice Chair Steve Madincea; President Kent MacDonald; 2022 OBL William J. Long; and Elisse Richardson, a Northwood student who introduced Long.

The Outstanding Business Leader award celebrates men and women from across the world who have made a difference in their business and community.

Bill Long, CEO of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), was awarded the 2022 Outstanding Business Leaders award. Northwood University celebrated this year’s class of Outstanding Business Leaders and the Richard DeVos Young Entrepreneur Award winner during a weekend that included a gala at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. 

“The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is a perfect venue to celebrate these industry leaders, as this historical museum celebrates American ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation,” stated Northwood President Kent MacDonald. “Like those innovative business leaders who have come before us, we honored this weekend contemporary business leaders who have also contributed to the free-enterprise system Northwood University holds so dear.” 

The 2022 Class of honorees includes:

• Bill Long, President and CEO, Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA)
• Jim Fitterling, Chairman and CEO, Dow
• Michael LaFontaine Sr., President, LaFontaine Automotive Group
• Ben Manthei, Founder and Board Member, Redi-Rock International
• Lisa McClain, U.S. Congresswoman representing Michigan’s 10th District
• Andra Rush, CEO, Dakkota Systems
• Angela Steele, Publicis Groupe

In addition, Manik Thapar, owner of Eco Wise Waste Management in Uttar Pradesh, India, was honored with the Richard M. DeVos Young Entrepreneur Award.  

“What a great honor to be recognized by Northwood University with the Outstanding Business Leaders award and be among such a distinguished class of honorees,” commented Bill Long, CEO of MEMA. “It’s truly humbling share this recognition when considering the long list of distinguished honorees, many of whom I have known and admired throughout my career. And to the Northwood students, this is a time for new thinking, new ideas and new solutions to the issues of our day. We look to you to with hope and inspiration and to your leadership and what you will achieve.”  

Northwood University annually recognizes a select group of business professionals for their achievements, support and exemplary leadership of the communities in which they live and work. These individuals serve as role models for Northwood University students as they share their experiences and obstacles they have encountered, in addition to how they overcame them while on the road to success. 

In the four decades since the program began, more than 300 business leaders from more than 30 states and several countries, have been recognized. These honorees represent a vast, diverse, group of people from dozens of industries and fields of business expertise. 

The Outstanding Business Leader Awards are presented by the Northwood University Board of Trustees. Each awardee is selected based on personal achievements which typify the unique philosophy of Northwood University. Criteria used in the selection of awardees include a contribution to the philosophy of private enterprise, support of the integration of business and the arts, contribution to education, economic innovation, creative marketing ideas, community involvement, religious leadership, philanthropic contributions, as well as business success. All honorees past and present serve as role models for Northwood University students.  

Northwood University bestows the tremendous honor of the Outstanding Business Leader Award over a multi-day celebration ending with a formal gala event where the members receive an engraved crystal recognizing their honor. Proceeds from the event support the Outstanding Business Leaders Endowed Scholarship Fund at Northwood University. This year’s event raised $300,000. 

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