Walsh College Will Honor Four Community Leaders at Annual Awards Dinner at MGM Grand in Detroit

Walsh College will honor the achievements of four key community leaders at its 2014 Leadership Awards Dinner on Saturday evening, November 22, 2014, at the MGM Grand Hotel, Detroit.

Awards will be presented to Matthew Simoncini, president & CEO, Lear Corporation, recipient of the Jeffery W. Barry Award for Educational Excellence and Community Service; Jeffrey Groen, recipient of the Walsh College Distinguished Alumni Award; and George and Elizabeth Seifert, recipients of the Walsh College Distinguished Lifetime Service Award.

“Leadership is an important attribute for success in business and in education. We will honor four outstanding people who model that attribute in their careers and in their communities,” said Stephanie Bergeron, president and CEO, Walsh College. “They inspire others to make extraordinary contributions every day to their firms, to society, and to Walsh.”

Individual tickets for the event are $250. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Simoncini, recipient of the Barry Award, named for third president of Walsh College who oversaw 21 years of its significant growth, has been president, CEO, and a director of Lear since September, 2011. He is responsible for the strategic direction and operational leadership of the company. Formerly, Simoncini was senior vice president and chief financial officer, a role he held since 2007.

His memberships include the board of directors at the, Wayne State University (WSU) Foundation; member of the United Way for Southeastern Michigan Board and Campaign Cabinet Committee, as well as the Detroit Economic Club, Michigan Opera Theatre, and the Detroit Recreation Foundation. Simoncini earned a bachelor’s degree from WSU.

A few years after graduation from Walsh College (BAC, 1976; MST, 1981), Groen opened his own accounting firm, Groen Kluka & Company, in Troy, where he continues to serve as managing partner. The firm recently received the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Specialty Designation with an accreditation in business valuation.

Groen has served as an adjunct faculty member teaching undergraduate and graduate accounting courses at Walsh. He currently sits on the board at Great Oaks Country Club and is the treasurer for the North Oakland YMCA. He belongs to the AICPA and the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants.

George and Elizabeth Seifert created the George and Elizabeth Pyle Seifert Endowed Scholarship at Walsh in the 1990s. They are currently members of the Patron Society of the Mervyn B. Walsh Society.

George Seifert was born in Toledo, Ohio, where he met his future wife, Elizabeth (Betty). They were married in 1956 and have three children, nine grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Following retirement from ATT, George Seifert formed Seifert and Associates. This firm is a consortium of academicians and other professionals who work with non-profit and for-profit organizations. The practice focuses on governance policies, marketing, and strategic planning. He has co-authored and published more than twenty business articles and a textbook, “Practicing Financial Planning for Professionals.”

For more information on the event, contact Andrea Richards, Development Office,
248-823-1204. For more information on the Leadership Awards or Walsh College, visit www.walshcollege.edu/leadershipawards.

Founded in 1922, Walsh College is a private, not for profit institution offering upper-division undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees and certificate programs. One of Southeast Michigan’s largest business schools, Walsh has locations in Troy, Novi, Clinton Township, and Port Huron, as well as online. Walsh’s business services division offers the Walsh Institute, which provides solutions for businesses through training, continuing education, and consulting.

Walsh is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (www.ncahlc.org; phone: 312-263-0456). The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP, www.acbsp.org) accredits specific degree programs.


Brenda Meller/Assistant Vice President, Walsh College bmeller@walshcollege.edu or

Alicia Boltach/Account Supervisor, Airfoil Public Relations boltach@airfoilgroup.com or