Tag Archives: Sam Tidwell

Tidwell Outstanding Man and Woman in Business Selected

Sam B. Tidwell is a legend with former accounting students. Gifts given in his memory support the Outstanding Man and Woman of Business award.

Craig Storm and Megan Plis are the 2011-12 recipients of the Sam B. Tidwell Outstanding Man and Woman in Business.  This award is given to students who bring honor and pride to the School of Business and Economics through high scholastic achievement and involvement.  Students eligible for this honor went through an intense interview process that included an essay and interview with faculty.

Anne Warrington of the Undergraduate Scholarship Committee added, “Megan and Craig are two of the most competent, talented, and totally amazing students in the School of Business and Economics. They have everything it takes for professional success after graduation.  It has been a pleasure meeting and working with them in classes and student organizations.”

Outstanding Man in Business

Craig Storm is a senior in the School of Business and Economics who will graduate with his degree in Accounting this spring.  In his time on campus he has been affiliated with Kappa Sigma Iota Accounting Organization (KSI) and an International Business Ventures Enterprise team member while currently holding an internship with Lake Accounting.  Craig has a level of professionalism and maturity that he brings to the community and the classroom which made him a strong candidate and the recipient of this award.

When asked about receiving the award, Craig said, “I enjoy studying how companies function from an accounting and financial perspective. This was the biggest factor in choosing my major and where I want to go professionally. It is an honor to be selected for this award, and I look forward to representing the School of Business and Economics as I advance my career,”

Outstanding Woman in Business

Megan Plis is a senior, Business Management major and Spanish minor who will graduate this spring.  An extremely involved student, Megan makes time for a variety of extracurricular and leadership activities outside of the school environment.  She volunteers at her church leading the music at worship services and singing in the choir.  With three years of diverse sales and marketing experience at a Lolita’s Bridal Boutique, the Wooden Nickel, and River Valley Bank she has been able to put her education into action.

About the Award

The Outstanding Man and Women in Business is awarded annually and the School of Business and Economics is confident that this year’s selections represent the student body well with their efforts in leadership and extracurricular activities.  Undergraduate Scholarship Committee members Anne Warrington, Mari Buche, and William Breffle were heavily involved in the selection of this award.

“The Scholarship Committee has a challenging task to select these award recipients,” said Darrell Radson, Dean of the School of business.  “We, as a school, thank them for their continued commitment to recognizing students who excel in and outside of the classroom.”

When asked about the selection process, Buche noted “the selection process was very difficult this year.  All of the finalists were exceptional candidates: strong academic GPAs, demonstrated leadership skills, and clear commitment to the improvement of the school and Michigan Tech.” Other finalists for this year’s award included: Caitlin Pionke, Rhea-Ann Moses, Jordan Baker, Andrew Loucks, and Spencer Shandonay.


Jim Trethewey ’67 – A Different Route to Success

"A really good education is your ticket to opening up opportunities. When opportunities struck, I was well prepared to take advantage of them.” Jim Tretheway '67

Taking “the road less traveled” takes courage, especially for a college student. Many students come to Michigan Tech for engineering, but an elective can lead to a different career path. Such is the story of Jim Trethewey.

Trethewey, from Ironwood, began as a mechanical engineering major. Then he took an accounting elective from Professor Sam Tidwell. Because he did well in the course, Tidwell encouraged him to change majors. After some soul-searching, Trethewey switched to accounting.

As an undergraduate, Trethewey was involved in Theta Tau fraternity and intramural sports. His academic achievements led to the honorary accounting fraternity Kappa Sigma Iota. “I made many good friends and liked the students’ work ethic,” says Trethewey. “And, in my career, it turned out to be a very good thing to have a mix of business and technical courses.”

After graduating, Trethewey accepted a position as an auditor for Copper Range, a copper mining concern. He next joined Cleveland-Cliffs (now Cliffs Natural Resources), an iron ore mining company in an exciting growth period, as a financial analyst in its Ishpeming office.

Cleveland-Cliffs offered Trethewey a wide variety of opportunities. From Ishpeming to Ontario to Cleveland, Trethewey worked in positions of increasing responsibility and became vice president-controller and chief accounting officer. Along the way, he also earned his MBA from Baldwin- Wallace College.

In his final years with Cliffs, Trethewey was senior vice president of business development and worked with the senior corporate team in reshaping the company, adding international experience to his career. He retired in 2007.

Looking back, Trethewey says, “A really good education is your ticket to opening up opportunities. When opportunities struck, I was well prepared to take advantage of them.”

Being open to different types of jobs within a company is helpful, as many newly learned skills could be transferred to other areas, he says. “Mobility is also important. Don’t tie yourself down to one location.”

Being involved in both professional and community organizations has also been important to Trethewey. He networked with professionals in the American Mining Association, the Society of Mining Engineers, and other industry groups that gave him a broader understanding of his field.

“I worked with community organizations such as United Way and currently serve on the boards of two charities,” says Trethewey. “I was always looking for ways to give back to society. It’s important to stay active in other things besides work so you can expand yourself.”

Trethewey credits a lot of his success to family support, especially from his wife, Dee. The couple divides their time among a winter home in Florida, a summer home in Chautauqua, New York, and a townhouse in Cleveland, where three of their five children and five of their eight grandchildren live.

Trethewey has found time in his busy retirement to continue giving back to Tech. In 1994, he began serving on the School of Business and Economics advisory board, and since 2009 he has served as a trustee of the Michigan Tech Fund.

Trethewey reflects, “My newer role as a trustee lets me deal with the entire University. It gives me an opportunity to participate in activities with other devoted graduates who care where the University is going. We help raise funds for the University, network, and work to form corporate partnerships. These activities are important to maintain sound financial footing and ensure the University continues to advance.”

As an advisor to the School of Business and Economics, he has been involved in AACSB accreditation, which has been particularly gratifying for Trethewey. Providing input on curriculum and meeting with students and faculty have been valuable for him. He is excited about many School and University programs including the Applied Portfolio Management Program (APMP) and Enterprise.

“I like that the School is getting involved directly with corporations and the hands-on nature of these programs,” he says. In addition, Trethewey has started two endowed scholarships for business students from Gogebic County. Other possible contributions are in the planning stages.

“The School of Business and Economics was my foundation, my beginning on the road to success,” he says. “So it’s really important for me to have a part in its growth. The current direction of the School is right on track. Being involved has given me the opportunity to have a voice in where the School is going and ensure it’s constantly getting better. And that’s very fulfilling.”

This article was originally published in Impact, the Michigan Tech School of Business and Economics magazine.


A Tie That Binds: Resurrecting a Business Tradition

The School of Business and Economics is resurrecting the tradition of the red tie. Previously, alumni who passed the CPA exam sent a red tie to Sam Tidwell, who taught accounting at Tech for many years. Approximately 140 made their way to Houghton, where Sam would regale the students with stories about the new CPAs.


Darrell Radson, dean of the School, wants to bring back the tradition. “In honor of Sam, and to keep connected to our alumni, we are reinvigorating it,” says Radson. “And we know [accounting faculty members] Larry Davis and Joel Touriniemi would love to continue this.”

We caught up with some veterans of the tie.

Paula (Kauppi) Seiter ’70 was the first woman to earn the CPA after graduating from Tech.

“I found Sam Tidwell’s enthusiasm for accounting contagious, and it inspired me to pursue a career in accounting,” she says. “I have fond memories of Sam; the enthusiastic professor, Southern gentleman, and all-around great person.”

“I still have hanging on my office wall a letter (a full page, before word processors) that he sent me at the completion of my freshman year,” says Dan Greenlee ’74, Tech’s chief financial officer. “He recognized my good grades and encouraged me to continue within the accounting major. He also invited me to stop by his office anytime and discuss where the accounting field could take me. His closing line always reminds me how he supported and encouraged his students.”

‘I believe that you have all the material necessary to make a significant contribution to the business world, through accounting.’”

Send your ties to Darrell Radson, Dean of the School of Business and Economics, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, Michigan 49931-1295.

This post was written by Dennis Walikainen, a Senior Editor for Michigan Tech’s University Marketing and Communications.


SBE Hosts Grand Opening for Sam Tidwell Student Center

On Thursday, September 13th, the School of Business & Economics is hosting a grand opening for the Sam Tidwell Student Center. The student center was finished in fall 2006, and is now being dedicated and celebrated for its resources.

The grand opening will offer faculty, staff, and students the opportunity to enjoy some light refreshments, mingle amongst themselves, and learn what the center has to offer them. On the garden level of the Academic Offices Building, students can use the student center as a place to study or meet with tutors for various business and economics classes, meet with groups to work on projects at one of the two computer stations, or search the bulletin board for job postings. Also located on the garden level are two conference rooms for student groups or organizations to hold meetings, as well as Brad Wagner’s office, the Advisor for the School of Business & Economics, and Andrea Barry’s office, the Outreach Coordinator for the SBE. The student center is named after Professor Emeritus Sam B. Tidwell, originally from Mississippi, who came to Michigan Tech in 1956 as an associate professor in the School of Business. He also started the Red Tie tradition in 1956, through which each student who passed the CPA exam would send Professor Tidwell a red tie. Various red ties can be seen throughout the School of Business & Economics.