About the Executive in Residence Program

The Executive in Residence Program at Northern Michigan University is designed to enrich student learning and faculty development by introducing accomplished leaders to the university community.

The College of Business’ program began in the fall of 1979. In its 40 years of existence, it has brought to the campus senior corporate executives and professionals, as well as successful entrepreneurs, from organizations near and far, large and small, private and public, manufacturing and service.

Typically, the executive’s visit is several days to a week in length.  During that time he or she meets with a variety of classes, along with student and faculty groups.  The executive usually also provides a public presentation on the topic area of his or her expertise for the NMU campus and Marquette community.

Current Executive in Residence

Martin Heike

Martin Heikel, NMU College of Business Alumnus, is the successful Founder and CEO of Flatiron Apps Company. The New York City-based firm created one of the first-ever mobile transportation apps, ZabCab.

Martin Heikel: Executive Background

Martin HeikelSuccessful CEO and Entrepreneur

Martin began his career at PepsiCo in a fast track sales management program. He eventually moved into sales management in the technology sector at MCI Telecommunications and later Verizon, racking up several one-of-a-kind achievements. One included his negotiating of a $700 million outsourcing contract, the largest ever for MCI Corporation. In fulfilling the contract, Martin built a multi-functional organization (marketing, engineering, client support, sales, finance, and operations) of hundreds of people reporting to him in spearheading the building and operation of the world’s most advanced trading network for The NASDAQ Stock Market. At Verizon, Martin rose to Vice President where he envisioned and created the Verizon Financial NetworkTM, a self-contained business unit that sold an industry-based solution to the financial sector, connecting capital markets around the globe. Martin’s sales strategy and operational execution of these breakthrough businesses generated $1.45 billion in new business.

Martin was 49 when he stepped away from the corporate world to pursue his own entrepreneurial ideas. In one venture, he established a start-up in New York City and launched the first-ever mobile transportation app called ZabCab, capturing media attention across the U.S and solving a major problem for daily cab riders. ZabCab was unique technology that allowed passengers to hail yellow cabs electronically, a feat that had not yet been conquered in the city. Ultimately, ZabCab was undercapitalized compared to competitors such as Uber and Lyft. As a result, Martin now consults for other companies and is pursuing additional startup ideas.




Joan Kimball

Business Development Director

Québec Government Office-Chicago
Dr. Barry C. West President Mason Harriman Group

Suzanne Latvala Johnson

Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing Wolverine Worldwide, Inc.

Robert Hunter

Retired Chief Executive Officer Weatherhead Corporation

Gaylord Freema

Chief Executive Officer First Chicago Corporation

James Duncan

Chairman First of America Bank

Scott Holman

President Bay Cast, Inc.

John Schlueter

Chairman of Board Services Korn/Ferry International

William Jensen

Managing Partner Ernest & Young

Bennett Bidwell

Chairman Chrysler Corporation

Chester Francke

General Director of Education UAW/GM Human Resource Center

Maribeth Rahe

Department Executive Harris Trust & Savings Bank of Chicago

Linda Lindroth

President Computerland of Metro Detroit

Robert Marcell

General Manager Chrysler Corporation

Carl Thiem

Vice President Customer Service Schneider National, Inc.

Esam Trabulsi

President EMT & Associates, Inc.

John Frere

President World Book International ad World Book Publishing

John Berry, Jr.

Chief Executive Officer Berry Investments

Michael H. Nelsen

AMOCO Trading & Supply Co.

T. Dennis George

Denderon Corporation

Robert Jacquart

President Jacquart Fabric Products, Inc.

Thomas Ungrodt

President President, Ideation, Inc.

Paul Essinger

President Hiawatha Log Homes

T. Dennis George

Attorney McNaul Ebel Nawrot & Helgren, PLLC

Steve LaHaie

Senior Vice President, Shaw's Division Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Inc.

Teri List

Vice President, Finance, Global Household Care Procter & Gamble, Inc.

John Withers

Vice President, North America Global Sales & Marketing Edwards LifeSciences, Inc.

M. Steven DeCarlo

Chief Executive Officer AmWINS Group, Inc.

Dr. Matthew N. Songer

President and Board Chair Frontier Medical Devices