Trio of West-End Natives Leading NMU Boards

Tuesday 28, 2017

Sue Bilkey is the new president of the Northern Michigan University Alumni Board of Directors. The Ishpeming native graduated with a degree in office administration from NMU’s College of Business in 1982. With her appointment, Bilkey becomes one of three NMU alumni hailing from the west end of Marquette County to hold a leadership position on a university board. Ishpeming native Scott Holman is chair of the university's Board of Trustees and Negaunee native Mark Pynnonen is president of the NMU Foundation Board of Directors.

Bilkey has held executive leadership roles in sales, marketing and communications during her career. She began serving on the Alumni Board of Directors in 2011.

“I became an alumni board member to reconnect and give back to NMU, and the experience has been more rewarding than I ever imagined,” said Bilkey. “Returning to NMU and meeting with current students and seeing first-hand how NMU continues to be a progressive, forward-thinking university has only given me more reason to be proud of being an NMU grad.”

The Alumni Association Board of Directors has 19 members, primarily residing in the Great Lakes area. The board meets three times each year to provide feedback on alumni-focused initiatives. It also works in conjunction with the NMU Board of Trustees and the NMU Foundation Board of Trustees.

Holman has served twice on the NMU Board of Trustees. He was most recently appointed in 2014 to fill a partial-term vacancy and was elected chair of the board for the 2017 calendar year. Holman is Chairman Emeritus of the Bay Cast Companies, which he founded. He spent 12 years as a director of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society and owns and has restored Granite Island Light Station, which is host to several NMU projects. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business from NMU in 1965, served as NMU Alumni Board President from 1990-91, and received the NMU Distinguished Alumni Award in 1989.

Pynnonen has served on the NMU Foundation Board of Trustees since 2003 and is now its president. He is the owner of Signs Now and Gilmark Properties, both located in the Marquette area. He graduated from NMU in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing/management.

Doug Lindblom
Student Writer