Author Archives: Jim Van Sweden

About Jim Van Sweden

Director, College Communications

Kathryn Lasley Brod ’78

Kathryn is the chief executive officer of LeadingAge Ohio, a trade group for nonprofit nursing homes and other services to seniors. Prior to taking the position at LeadingAge, Kathryn worked as an independent strategic consultant to national nonprofit groups. She has more than 25 years experience advising the senior living sector.

Scott Whitbeck ’04

Scott is the new head coach of the Nazareth College (Rochester, N.Y.) men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams. He has served as the head coach at SUNY New Paltz for the past eight seasons. This past season Scott led both the New Paltz men’s and women’s teams to second-places finishes in the SUNYAC championships, the school’s most successful swim season in its history. Prior to New Paltz, Scott worked as an assistant coach at University of Massachusetts and the College of Wooster. At K he was a two-time Academic All-American, team captain, NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship winner, and team Most Valuable Swimmer. He still holds K records in the 1,000 and 1,650-yard freestyles. Scott majored in economics and business and studied abroad in Madrid, Spain. He earned a M.B.A. and a master’s degree in sports management from the University of Massachusetts.

Bob Brackenridge ’63

Bob and his wife, Sue (Wotila) Brackenridge ’65, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on June 19 with family and friends in Chattanooga, Tennessee. They are still active and healthy, and both attended the 2015 Homecoming in Kalamazoo. They also are planning a Michigan trip in May 2016 that will include stops at the Senior PGA golf tournament in Benton Harbor, the Michigan capitol in Lansing, and the Upper Peninsula. The latter is sure to rekindle memories of Bob’s “Soo to Kazoo in ‘62” cross-country relay with Coach Swede Thomas and Hornet harrier teammates.

Jon Scott ’73

Jon announced his plans to retire in late June as president and CEO of the Greater Reading Economic Partnership (Wyomissing, Pa.). Jon has served in that position for 11 years. His career began in the mid-1970s when he became marketing director of the Public Broadcasting Service station WXXI TV 21, Rochester, N.Y. Jon worked in various areas of the country, including Rochester N.Y., with American TV and Communications, which merged into Time-Warner Cable in the early 1980s. Jon worked for cable TV for a time in San Diego. At K he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science. He studied abroad in Sierra Leone.

Mary Sauer-Games ’83

Mary has been named vice president for product management at Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). She is responsible for OCLC products and services around the world. She comes to OCLC from the American Psychological Association, where she managed PsycINFO database products and led an organization of 70 staff. Mary is a board member of the National Federation of Advanced Information Services, a global organization that serves the information community. She also sits on the board of CrossRef, an association of publishers that develops shared infrastructure to support more effective scholarly communications. She earned her B.A. in economics and studied abroad in Clermont-Ferrand, France. She earned a M.B.A. from the University of Michigan.

David Thoms ’70

David was selected for inclusion in the 21st edition of the Best Lawyers in America. His expertise in law pertaining to trusts, estates, charities, and taxes was cited. Best Lawyers also named him “Lawyer of the Year” (2014-15) for the Detroit area in the practice of charities law. Only a single lawyer in each practice area in each community is so honored. David majored in history at K and studied abroad in Caen, France.

Erick Smith ’67

Erick died on September 3, 2014. He came to K from Addison, Mich., majored in mathematics, and studied abroad in Erlangen, Germany. He later earned a Master’s degree in math from Michigan State University. He served as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War. His life pursuits alternated between his academic interests and farming. He purchased a farm in Brooktondale, N.Y., where he and his family grew strawberries for 17 years. He returned to academia at Cornell University, earning a Master’s degree in agricultural economics and a Ph.D. in mathematics education. He then moved to Chicago and taught math education at the University of Illinois-Chicago. But he missed the rural life and returned to his farm in Brooktondale and taught briefly at Cornell and Ithaca College. He began farming full time with Cayuga Pure Organics, a farm he developed and grew that was committed to locally produced, sustainable, organic food.

Maggie Kane ’13

Maggie is program quality coordinator for the St. Paul (Minn.) Public Schools Foundation, an AmeriCorps position. She’ll spend the next year coordinating tutoring programs that support literacy and math at the public schools, evaluating the success of those programs, and working with the resource library to assist tutoring partners.

Thomas Meyers ’85

Thomas has joined Greenleaf Trust as a trust relationship officer, responsible for day-to-day trust administration and fiduciary compliance. His broad knowledge of trusts and legacy planning adds a valuable strategic perspective to the holistic wealth management plans at Greenleaf. Thomas practiced law for more than 20 years and has more than 20 years of experience in trust administration and fiduciary risk management. He is also a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor.