The College of Business will honor four people during the Honors and Awards Ceremony to be held Friday, October 28 at 1:15 p.m. in the Scheman Building on the Iowa State University Campus. The event is free and open to the public.
Raisbeck Endowed Dean David Spalding said the annual awards have special meaning. “This is our opportunity to celebrate the many accomplishments of our awardees,” he said. “Each of them have done great things after graduating from the College of Business and Iowa State. We are very proud of them.”
The awardees include:
Citation of Achievement Award (2 recipients)
Established in 1985 to honor distinguished alumni who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in life beyond the campus
BS Accounting ‘85
Jane Sturgeon received her degree in a non-traditional way, starting at another institution and marrying after her freshman year. She chose to stay home and raise her children, but knew in her heart that a career was calling. She transferred to Iowa State University and earned a degree in accounting. When she graduated, Sturgeon was a 32-year-old single mother of three young children. She was excited to begin her career as a certified public accountant for Deloitte, Haskins, & Sells. “I am so grateful for the education I received from Iowa State. I deeply respect the people I have come to know at the College of Business,” she says.
In 1986, she met and married Robert Sturgeon, an entrepreneur who had recently started Barr-Nunn Transportation in Granger, Iowa with four employees. Sturgeon joined the company in 1988 and put her accounting and CPA skills to work. She was instrumental in helping the young company grow. There were more than 500 employees when she retired in 2015. Sturgeon owned the company with her husband, and served as CEO from 2007-2015. She helped navigate the successful sale of the company in 2014, which retained all of the company’s employees, and stayed for another year to oversee the transition.
Sturgeon is also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council where she offers her expert guidance for the college. Jane and Bob currently reside in Urbandale.
Jane is an Order of the Knoll member as well as a life member of the ISU Alumni Association.
BS Industrial Administration
‘77 West Des Moines, Iowa
Nick Henderson joined Holmes Murphy & Associates in 1980 and quickly became a rising star among account executives, becoming chief operating officer by 1992. Henderson is recognized in the insurance industry as an authority on property and casualty risk management, alternative risk financing, and strategically integrated solutions. When Henderson joined Holmes Murphy, there were 65 employees at one location in downtown Des Moines. Today, it’s a thriving business with nearly 700 employees in 13 locations in 11 states. As the company’s vice president, Henderson tells college students the insurance business isn’t what they imagine. “We may not be the Silicon Valley in Des Moines, but it’s a very good paying job where you work in an exciting atmosphere with highly educated people,” he said. Holmes Murphy has an active internship program, which recruits many Iowa State University students.
Henderson served on the college Dean’s Advisory Council (1992-1998), and has been a leader with many civic organizations. He has been a board member of HCI (formerly Hospice of Central Iowa) since 2010, and was chair 2010-2012. He also served as chair for the Greater Des Moines YMCA Board from 2010-2012, and has been a board member of many other organizations. In 1992, he received the Des Moines Register’s Up-and-Comers Award, and in 1983 participated in the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute.
Henderson and his wife, Dee, reside in Clive. He is an annual member of the Iowa State Alumni Association and an Order of the Knoll member.
John D. DeVries Service Award Established in 1985 to recognize individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service to the College of Business
‘84 Urbandale, Iowa
Nancy Dittmer is an Iowa State University alumna through and through, from her office décor to her Iowa State vanity plate (NKD CPA) – her initials, and credentials. She is a committed volunteer, strategic philanthropist and a model citizen within the College of Business and the greater Iowa State community. She has been making donations to Iowa State since 1984, her senior year in college.
In 1993, Dittmer began serving on one of the college’s first alumni committees to provide guidance on fundraising priorities as the college approached its 10th anniversary. She joined the Dean’s Advisory Council in 2010 and continues to be an engaged member. For 25 years, she has specialized in Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), helping numerous companies from coast to coast achieve their goals of becoming employee-owned. She strives to help business owners understand their ownership transition options. Her dedication carries into the classrooms at the college when she meets with accounting students to introduce the concept of employee ownership and to help them understand their employee options after college.
In 2012, she established the Employee Ownership Scholarship for business students to bring greater recognition of employee ownership as a business model. Dittmer, senior vice president of the Newport Group in Urbandale, held leadership positions with two national employee ownership organizations. They describe her as one of the best informed people in the country on employee-ownership. We are proud to call her our alumna.
Dittmer is a life member of the Iowa State Alumni Association and an Order of the Knoll member.
Russ and Ann Gerdin Award
Established in 2009 to honor contributions from valuable corporate partners or individuals who are not College of Business graduates. The award honors Russ and Ann Gerdin, who made the lead gift for the Gerdin Business Building. Neither attended Iowa State
Gail E. Boliver
BS ’71 and MA in Political Science
’01 Marshalltown, Iowa
Gail E. Boliver is a proud Cyclone and Air Force Veteran. After graduating from Grinnell High School in 1967, he enrolled at Iowa State University where he joined the Air Force ROTC. After graduating with a political science degree, he entered the U.S. Air Force pilot training program, which he completed in May of 1972. He was an instructor pilot from 1972 to 1975 and left active duty in 1976. “I absolutely loved it,” he said of his days as a pilot. Boliver joined the Air Force Reserves in 1981 and retired from the Iowa National Guard in 1999.
In 1976, Boliver received his MBA from Arizona State University, and his law degree from Creighton University in 1979. Today, he is the owner of Boliver Law Firm in Marshalltown.
Boliver has been a strong supporter of the college, serving on the Marketing and Management Department Executive Advisory Council since it began. He is currently co-chair. He was elected to the Marshalltown School Board (1983-91), and also ran unsuccessfully for Iowa U.S. House 1st District in 2014.
For 28 years, Boliver served on the board of On With Life, a non-profit organization specializing in brain injury rehabilitation, and was past board president. Boliver also served on the Board of Directors of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association, is a member of the Iowa Association of Justice, the Iowa State Bar Association, and many others.
Boliver has been married to his high school sweetheart, Janeen, for 48 years. The couple resides in Marshalltown.
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