MMI Preparatory School held its 10th annual Wall of Fame dinner on Saturday, September 19, welcoming seven new members to its Wall of Fame.
Established in 2006, the MMI Wall of Fame honors alumni in addition to current and past faculty, staff, and board members who have distinguished themselves in the areas of athletics, business, sciences, education, government, public service, the arts, or humanities. Wall of Fame inductees are selected in the following categories: Athletic Achievement, Community Service, Service to MMI, and Professional Achievement.
During this year’s dinner and awards ceremony, the following inductees joined the Wall of Fame: Ryan J. Breznak ’88 (Athletic Achievement), James M. Makuch ’60 (Community Service), Atty. Albert F. Maier Jr. (Service to MMI), David G. Gundling ’68 (Professional Achievement), Atty. Tara E. Gutterman ’84 (Professional Achievement), Roy W. Johnson ’63 (Professional Achievement), and Rosalyn V. (Menon) Kennedy ’97 (Professional Achievement).
Ryan J. Breznak ’88 helped MMI make headlines as a two-sport athlete. He was a four-year starter on the boy’s basketball team and led the Hazleton area in scoring during the 1986-87 season. He finished his career with 1,167 career points.
In his senior year, Mr. Breznak posted a 5-3 pitching record with the baseball team and helped guide the Preppers to their first PIAA playoff appearance. He batted .319 as a senior and .372 as a junior. Breznak was invited to try out for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1988 and New York Mets in 1992.
In addition to his successful career in finance, James M. Makuch ’60 has an extensive background in community service. He has continued to support MMI since graduating in 1960. Mr. Makuch was the commencement speaker in 1998 and served as a committee member of the last Capital Campaign.
He graduated with honors from the University of Connecticut and assisted his alma mater as a charitable drive coordinator, a board member, the president of the Professional Employees Association, and the first non-faculty member appointed to University Senate.
Mr. Makuch lives in Willington, Connecticut, and founded Willington Financial, Inc. in 1986. His public service in the town included serving as secretary of the zoning board of appeals, a member of the board of education and board of finance, selectman, and town moderator and parliamentarian.
He has volunteered his time in the medical field as president of the board of directors of Windham Region Homemaker/Home Health Aide Services. He currently serves as vice chairman of the board of directors and chair of the finance committee at Johnson Memorial Medical Center.
Atty. Albert “Whitey” Maier Jr. served on the MMI Board of Directors from 1987-1997, was the chairman from 1993-1995, and now holds a position on MMI’s Honorary Board.
Atty. Maier is a 1967 graduate of Bucknell University with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. He graduated from Duquesne Law School with a jurus doctor in 1970 and immediately went to work as a patent attorney for Alcoa, where he was employed for two years.
He opened his own practice in Freeland in 1972. His pro bono service to MMI has saved the school from great legal expenses numerous times over the past 43 years.
Atty. Maier worked with MMI's Board of Directors to modernize the school. The plan resulted in the construction of the Marotta Hall for Science and Technology, the Athletic and Drama Complex, and the Mildred Kulp Kahler Courtyard, which were dedicated in 2001.
His legal service also included negotiating and accepting land from the Freeland Industrial Development Corporation and helping to secure the closure of Wyoming Street, which led to the construction of the Athletic Field Complex and The Joseph A. Turri ’45 Library and Learning Center.
David G. Gundling ’68 had a long and successful career in the food distribution industry, culminating in a position as the chairman of Spartan Management Group.
He was a member of the board of directors of St. Joseph’s University Academy of Food Marketing, Payless Cashways and Genuardi’s Family Markets.
Mr. Gundling received his bachelor’s degree in history from Allegheny College in 1972.
In 1979, he was hired by SuperRite Foods, the food division of Rite Aid Corporation. He worked his way up the ranks over a 17-year span to senior executive and president of SuperRite, improving sales from $75 million to $1.8 billion.
In 1997, he became the president/CEO of Hagemeyer N.A. where he was responsible for the acquisition of Canadian and Mexican companies valued at $1.4 billion and their integration into one cohesive company. As the CEO, he directed over 5,000 employees and remained at that company until 2003.
After leaving Hagemeyer, Mr. Gundling was named the chairman/CEO of Spartan Management Group, a privately-held consulting firm specializing in providing high level strategic and senior management support to CEOs, COOs, and boards of directors.
His untimely death on February 1, 2009, at the age of 58 was an overwhelming loss to both his family and the MMI community as a whole.
Atty. Tara E. Gutterman ’84 is the founder of Adoption ARC and served as the organization’s executive director from 1994-2009.
After graduating from Bryn Mawr with degrees in English and Spanish and earning a law degree from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, Atty. Gutterman began her career as an attorney with the City of Philadelphia Law Department, where she handled hundreds of child abuse cases, child neglect cases, and termination of parental rights hearings.
She subsequently worked for a private nonprofit adoption agency in Philadelphia before founding Adoption ARC, which works to find safe permanent homes for children. Adoption ARC celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2014 and has offices in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Wilmington, Delaware. They have placed over 1,500 children in homes through the adoption process.
In 2008, Atty. Gutterman was awarded the Congressional “ Angel in Adoption Award” after being nominated by her local Senator.
Atty. Gutterman is a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and a licensed arbitrator with the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia. She is certified to practice law in the dependency and juvenile court system and is licensed in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
She has served as a volunteer for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Volunteer Indigent Program, the domestic abuse section of Philadelphia Family Court, and her synagogue. She also taught classes on termination of parental rights and adoption.
Roy W. Johnson ’63 received his Bachelor of Architecture in 1968 and Master of Science in Architectural Engineering in 1971 from Penn State University.
He moved to Charlotte and joined Odell Associates, Inc. in 1971. Mr. Johnson was project manager on a new airport terminal at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (then called Douglas Municipal Airport) in 1978 and later became principal in charge for Odell. In 1986, he was named the chief operating officer of Odell and served as president beginning in 1988 until his retirement in 1998.
Mr. Johnson continued consulting with Charlotte Douglas International Airport and has been airport architect since 1999. He has worked on every major and most minor expansions to the airport over the past 37 years.
Mr. Johnson taught as a senior fellow at the Advanced Management Institute for Architecture and Engineering, was a peer reviewer at the American Institute of Architects from 1998-2010, and served in the Consulting Engineering Council’s peer review program from 1988 until 2002.
While at Odell, he was a licensed architect in 19 states and currently holds licenses in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was honored in 1993 as Alumni of the Year in the Penn State Architectural Engineering program and was MMI’s 1988 commencement speaker.
Mr. Johnson's public speaking topics include: “The Project Plan,” “How to Create your Firm’s Corporate University,” “Project Budget, Schedules, and Controls,” “Project Planning Management and Scope Creep,” “When your Job is Managing Project Managers,” and “What to do When Things Go Wrong.” He also has published numerous articles on project management.
He has served on numerous boards for organizations such as: North Carolina Transportation Museum Foundation, Opera Carolina, Opera America, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Piedmont Carolinas Chapter, Johnson C. Smith University, and Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.
Rosalyn V. (Menon) Kennedy ’97 graduated from Brown University in 2001 with a bachelor of arts in English literature and from the Columbia School of Journalism with a master’s degree in broadcast and news media in 2008.
She began her career in New York City at CBS News from 2002-2008, where she earned The Investigative Reporters and Editors Award and served as a National News Judge for the Emmy Awards. During her time at CBS, she worked as an associate producer on the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and 60 Minutes.
Mrs. Kennedy served as a producer for CNN from 2008-10 and covered major political, medical, and breaking news. She earned Peabody Honors for her coverage of the 2008 presidential election.
She was a producer of The Dr. Oz Show from 2010-2012 and won two Daytime Emmy Awards for her work. She relocated to Atlanta in 2012 and worked as the director of corporate external affairs for the Coca-Cola Company. While at Coca-Cola, she was a recipient of the Women in Leadership Award.
In 2014, Mrs. Kennedy moved to the West Coast and is currently employed in executive communications for Google. She serves as a board member on the Coca-Cola Scholarship Foundation Advisory Board and remains an active volunteer for the Miss America Organization.