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In December, Hodge Carter '81, Rodney Carter '04, Travis Jones '90 and Tom Leonhardt '70 each started three-year terms as members of the Lakeland College Alumni Association Board of Directors. The board is looking forward to expanding its reach in the coming year and to furthering its mission, which is, To inspire alumni and friends to maintain meaningful, lifelong relationships with the college. Luke Pfeifer '03, the board's president, welcomed these new members to the endeavor, stating, "It is a great pleasure to welcome these four energetic individuals, who hold such a great passion for Lakeland College. We look forward to having them serve."
Here are brief bios of the new members:
Hodge Carter graduated from Lakeland in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in health care administration. In 1986, he received a master's in health services administration from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee. He has worked in health care management since 1981 in various capacities. Since 1995, Hodge has been the executive director of the Mercy of Iowa City Regional Physician Organization in Iowa City, Iowa. Among many duties, he negotiates health plan payer agreements and the credentialing process of all providers participating in PHO health plans. He is involved in a number of professional organizations including the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Medical Group Management Association. He also serves on the board of the Iowa Association of Health Care Leaders. "Lakeland College is a tremendous community, and my years at Lakeland remain as one of the significant milestones in my life. It was a period of growth, maturity, challenge, preparation, fulfillment and accomplishment. I am looking forward to serving on the Alumni Board as a way to reconnect with my alma mater, and contribute in a meaningful way to Lakeland's continued success into the future." Hodge resides in Iowa and has two adult sons.
Rodney Carter graduated from Lakeland in 2004 with a bachelor's in accounting. He is currently a senior investment accountant at Allianz Insurance Company. In 2006, Rodney was elected to the board of trustees at Bright Star Church to serve in an executive level position, and soon after he fulfilled his call to the ministry of preaching. In 2009, he was ordained as a minister and that same year he founded Carter Enterprises, a financial services business that works with small businesses, individuals and religious non-profit organizations. While he was at Lakeland, Rodney was Admissions Public Relations Coordinator, vice president of the Black Student Union, IMPACT and Beta Sigma Omega, a member of the Gold Key Chapter of Mortar Board and the recipient of the Clarence H. Koehler Campus Senior Award. "Lakeland has given me so much, and I owe it to the college and to Dr. Gould to give back to Lakeland in my service and deeds. I believe I can relate to other alumni. I understand the concept of having a busy life and thinking that 'I don't have the time to come to Lakeland.' If alumni return to the college, then, like me, they will re-discover their passion for the college and remember why Lakeland is indeed the 'Place We Can Always Call Home.' " Rodney resides in Chicago with his wife and children.
Travis Jones graduated from Lakeland in 1990 with degrees in business administration and philosophy. He was the president and co-founder of the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity. He played a year of baseball and football, and he was active in student government as freshman class president. He was a resident assistant, a teaching assistant and received the philosophy and religion department's outstanding student award in 1990. His professional highlights include being voted sales manager of the year, and he is a two-time recipient of the AD Q-Award. At 29, Travis became a vice president—the youngest to achieve this level in a Fortune 100 organization composed of 15,000 employees. As a sales and marketing leader, he has amassed sales growth in excess of $65 million over the course of his career. He has created innovative marketing tools which have become industry standards. In 2008, Travis formed Jones Consulting Services, LLC. He is frequently hired for his expertise in leadership training, strategic planning, sales training and organizational development. He is consistently rated as a top national speaker. In September, 2010, Travis returned to Lakeland to deliver the opening convocation address to the incoming freshman. "Thirteen years of executive leadership have taught me how to effectively navigate and unify the desires and strengths of individuals. I am hopeful my skill sets and experience might be an asset to Lakeland College. I'm excited to have an opportunity to give back to my alma mater." Travis is married to fellow Lakeland College graduate Carmen Jones, and they are raising three daughters in Texas.
Tom Leonhardt graduated from Lakeland in 1970. He worked at Kohler Company for 32 years, and upon retirement from his position as senior technical analyst in 2006, he joined the Lakeland College Alumni Association Board of Directors. Volunteerism was not new in his repertoire. Tom served on the Kohler school board, the village board and, in 2005, he accepted the role of Kohler Village President. Tom also served 32 years with the volunteer fire department in Kohler. During his first term on the LCAA board (2006-09), he was active in all aspects of the board including chairing the Board Affairs Task Force, assisting at the "Blasters" golf tournament and helping out at Homecoming. In 2008, Tom received the Lakeland College "Service to the Community" award. He is currently a member of Sheboygan Rotary West, the Salvation Army Board of Directors and on various community committees. Tom expresses his confidence in what he hopes to offer through his board service: "I can help foster the connection between Lakeland College and the community. I also feel that with my previous experience on the board, I can step right in and help the board move forward, meeting the mission of embracing alumni all across the country." Tom and his wife reside in Kohler.