Alumni Outlook Magazine

Class Notes 1970s-1980s


Leader Recognized

Mary Larson Kennedy BS ’77, MS ’92, Delavan, was presented the prestigious Leaders Award by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences in June 2006. Criteria for the award include being published and making significant contributions at the local, state and national levels.

As a member of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, Kennedy is part of a national forum in which K-12 teachers, university educators and corporate executives collaborate to improve the quality of life for individuals and families.

Kennedy has been a family and consumer sciences teacher for more than 25 years with the Elkhorn Area School District.

Thomas Koepp ’71 has joined Bank Mutual, Milwaukee, as director of investment real estate lending. With more than 25 years of experience in investment real estate lending, he joins the bank from the Milwaukee-based St. Francis Bank division of MAF Bancorp, Inc., where he most recently served as first vice president of commercial real estate.

Joan Capilupo Komer ’71, Frankfort, Ill., has retired from Homewood-Flossmoor High School after 32 years as a family and consumer science teacher.

Paul Hayward ’73 retired in January after more than 32 years with Aramark. He was an operations specialist at the time of his retirement and currently does consulting work. He and spouse, Joyce, have moved to Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., and are enjoying life on the lake.

Joan Warden Sprain ’75, St. Paul, Minn., has joined the St. Croix County University of Wisconsin Extension staff as a family living agent.

Patricia Volk ’76, Pleasant Prairie, received the 2006 Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Spirit Award for promoting drug-free lives for children. She teaches 4-year-old kindergarten for Kenosha Unified Schools.

Jeffrey Abbott ’77, Eau Claire, is a marketing coordinator and company spokesperson for Menard, Inc.. He joins Menard Inc. after 26 years as a high school marketing teacher and baseball coach.

Walter Peterson ’78 is the manager of packaging engineering at Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, Bakersfield, Calif.

A Hitting Record

Joe Vavra ’85, Menomonie, is the hitting coach for the Minnesota Twins. This past summer the Twins hit a league-best with .287. The team also won the Central Division title on the final day of the season with a club record 96-66 overall.

Vavra is a UW-Stout Hall of Fame member. He played three seasons for Stout from 1980–82 and currently is ranked second all-time in batting average with a .402.

Vavra played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and then led the team as a coach and field manager until 2000. In 2001, Vavra coached the UW-Stout baseball team to a 22-10 record before he joined the Minnesota Twins.

Richard Blyth ’80 is managing director of Caneel Bay Resort, St. John, Virgin Islands.

Sheila Larson Flodin ’80 is a customer service representative for Dakota Electric, Farmington, Minn.

Richard Hanke MS ’80 has retired from the Manitowoc School District after 34 years of teaching.

Alan Masnek ’80 has been promoted to vice president and general manager at Western Industries Corp., Oklahoma City. Western Industries develops and manufactures engineered protective packaging for the transport industry.

Kirk Stallsmith ’82 was promoted to vice president of Plattsburg operations, Georgia Pacific Corp., Plattsburg, N.Y.

Leslie Kroening-Horst ’84 successfully completed the state board nursing exam in March. She is currently employed as a licensed practical nurse at Samaritan Health Care Center in West Bend.

Mark Moravec ’84 was promoted to senior property claims adjuster at Church Mutual Insurance, Merrill.

Julie Furst-Bowe MS ’86, Elk Mound, was named provost at UW-Stout following a national search. At UW-Stout, she has served as graduate program director, department chair, associate vice chancellor, and assistant chancellor for assessment and continuous improvement prior to assuming her current position.

Gary Johnson ’86, is a project leader in the Victory motorcycle division of Polaris Industries.

Joseph Huftel ’87 has been named the campus administrator at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, New Richmond.

Brian Bergquist BS ’89, MS ’90, Ed.S. ’94, an associate professor in the hospitality and tourism department at UW-Stout, was selected as the College of Human Development’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year. In March, all students in the college were polled to vote for a teacher who displays expertise, enthusiasm, sensitivity and fairness; promotes professionalism and mutual respect; and motivates student learning.

Wendy Heineke ’89, Valencia, Calif., is senior vice president of operations for Ocean Park Hotels.