News & Events
Four Receive Clarkson University's Highest Alumni Honor
[A photo for newspaper use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/goldenknight20 04.jpg
Nelson F. Gibbs of Los Angeles, Calif.; Richard R. Griffith of Utica, N.Y.; Daniel C. Heintzelman of Loveland, Ohio; and Susan McKee McCormick of Schenectady, N. Y., have been honored with Clarkson University's highest alumni honor, the Golden Knight Award.
Presented each year during the Alumni Reunion weekend, Clarkson's most prestigious alumni award is given to alumni who have distinguished themselves either by service to Clarkson through Alumni Association activities or have demonstrated outstanding career achievement, bringing distinction to themselves and to Clarkson.
Nelson F. Gibbs, assistant secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Logistics, graduated from Clarkson with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 1959. He began his professional career as an engineer working with Rouse Engineering in Gouverneur, N.Y. He also served as a combat engineer in the U.S. Army.
In 1973, Gibbs became an audit partner at Deloitte & Touche. Afterwards, Gibbs moved on to become director of Audit Operations in Los Angeles, Calif., and finally a lead client service partner in the firm. In 1987, Gibbs was sent by the company to Tokyo as senior partner to work with Japanese companies doing business in North America. While there, he also assisted U.S. and European clients seeking a presence in Japan.
Gibbs returned to the U.S. in 1991 as a corporate controller at the Northrop Grumman Corporation, an aerospace and defense company. Another career shift occurred in 1999, when after serving on a Congressionally sponsored commission to review operations of the Cost Accounting Standards Board, Gibbs was asked to become executive director of the Board.
As assistant secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Logistics, Gibbs heads three departments that deal at the policy level with Air Force facility and logistic issues. The departments' responsibilities include installation, military construction, base closure and realignment, environment, safety and occupational health, and all logistics matters. Gibbs oversees about 20 percent of the Air Force budget and 400 people are directly in his chain of command.
At Sturges, Griffith started out as a manufacturing engineer, and was appointed vice president of Operations in 1979. He was named president of the company in 1992.
In 1985, Griffith received a master's degree in business administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 1986, he was elected a trustee of St. Luke's Hospital and served as board chairman from 1994—96. In 1996, Griffith served as the trustee representative for St. Luke's working with St. Elizabeth's Medical Center to establish a cooperative program to offer complete cardiac services to the Mohawk Valley. This resulted in the creation of the Mohawk Valley Heart Institute, a hospital "without walls" which coordinates comprehensive cardiac services at three area hospitals. Griffith was named director at the inception in 1997, and in 2004 was named director emeritus.
From 1988 to 1999, Griffith also served as a director and chairman of the Slocum Dickson Foundation, an organization dedicated to funding medical education in the Utica region. Griffith continues to serve as a trustee of Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, which consists of an award-winning art museum, a provider of performing arts programs in the Mohawk Valley and an art school affiliated with the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. In December 2003, Griffith was elected chairman.
In addition, Griffith serves on the board of directors of the Manufacturer's Association of Central New York, Partner's Trust Financial Group, and Commercial Travelers Mutual Insurance Company located in Utica.
Daniel C. Heintzelman, vice president and general manager for GE Aircraft Engines and president and chief executive officer of GE Engine Services, received his bachelor's degree in industrial distribution from Clarkson in 1979. Upon graduation, Heintzelman joined GE Aircraft Engines as a member of the Management Development Program progressing through a variety of leadership roles.
Before being named vice president of GE Aircraft Engines in April 2002, Heintzelman served as vice president and general manager for GE Engine Services' Material Services Operation. Prior to that he was vice president and general manager of GE Engine Services' Operations Division where he was responsible for a global network of overhaul and component repair shops, as well as several other joint ventures. Heintzelman also served as a plant manager for GE's Rutland, Vt. facility and as a general manager of Assembly Operations at GE's Evendale, Ohio, facility.
While a student at Clarkson, Heintzelman was a member of Sigma Tau Iota, the honorary society for industrial distribution majors, and a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.
Since graduation, Heintzelman has maintained close ties with his alma mater. He is currently a member of Clarkson University's Board of Trustees. He is the vice chair of the Physical Plant Committee and led a comprehensive review of the University's deferred maintenance program. Heintzelman also serves on the Finance and Budget Committee and Institutional Advancement Committee. Heintzelman is a member of the Alumni National Executive Council and serves as a member of the Board of Governors.
As an associate environmental engineer and section chief at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), McCormick was responsible for developing the RFQ/RFP process used by NYSDEC for retaining consulting services on Superfund projects, and wrote the technical requirements for the New York State Superfund Standby Consultant contracts.
McCormick was also responsible for hazardous waste investigation projects budgeted up to $2 million and remediation projects budgeted at up to $8 million. McCormick has been the project director for over 100 hazardous waste investigations and remediation. She has been a consultant to regional staff on over 50 similar projects, where she was responsible for the technical and administrative consistency, and program and policy compliance. McCormick has also been the technical lead for developing guidelines for the New York State Voluntary Clean-up Program.
After working for NYSDEC, McCormick moved on to be a business line manager for Shaw Environmental Inc., where she was responsible for financial management, business development, and overall client management for the company.
As a Grant Project Coordinator at Union College, she is responsible for the coordination and management associated with two National Science Foundation grants to enhance retention of underrepresented students in engineering, science, computer science, and math.
Over the years, McCormick's commitment to her alma mater has been outstanding. She has been involved with the Alumni Association Executive Council since 1993, serving as a member-at-large of the executive committee and as president of the Alumni Association in 2002—03. Regionally, she has been involved with the Capital District Chapter since 1988 and has organized many chapter events.
McCormick returns to Clarkson each year for reunion weekend to support and contribute to the women's hockey mini-reunion. Along the way McCormick has been the recipient of the Gordon C. "Stub" Baker '27 Chapter Service Citation, the Alumni Admissions Recognition Award, and the Woodstock Award for young alumni achievement.
PHOTO CAPTION: Four Clarkson University alumni were honored this past weekend with Clarkson University's highest alumni honor, the Golden Knight Award. [L-R] Nelson F. Gibbs '59, Richard R. Griffith '69, Susan M. McCormick '79, and Daniel C. Heintzelman '79.