2017 DISTINGUISHED GRADUATES

                  March 22, 2017
Wyandotte Distinguished Graduate
                      Inductees

Bialy, Beth A. (Wagar) - 1981
Dancsok, Lisa A. - 1979
Dudzinski, William C. - 1969
Ruffner, Alphonse Paul - 1967

Beth A. (Wagar) Bialy - Class of 1981
 Beth Bialy distinguished herself as a Certified Public
 Accountant and has enjoyed a successful career of over
 thirty years in Plante Moran’s Governmental Group.  Having  never forgotten her downriver roots, Beth has  stayed active  in the downriver community.

 Beth graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1981 as  
 Valedictorian.  While at Roosevelt she was a member of  the  National Honor Society, of World as a Community  (W.A.A.C.)  and an original member of the Wyandotte  Figure Skating  Club.

 At Wayne State University, Beth received four years paid  tuition through a WSU Merit scholarship. While there, she  received the Aubrey C. Roberts Award which is bestowed  upon an accounting major who demonstrates high overall scholarship and outstanding academic achievement.  She graduated with distinction in 1985 with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree and passed all four parts of the CPA exam in her first attempt - a remarkable feat.

Beth began working for Plante Moran after receiving her Bachelor’s Degree and has risen through the ranks during her 31 years of service to the firm. Beth is currently the firm leader of Plante Moran’s Governmental Group. In this role, she is responsible for client relationships, work quality and staff development. Beth and her team of 200 government auditors specialize in local government auditing and consulting. Beth coordinates the ongoing audit engagements and compliance Single Audits for over 500 cities, counties, townships and special purpose government entities. She is a founding member of Plante Moran’s Women in Leadership initiative as well as past office managing partner and immediate past chair of the firm’s partner compensation committee. Through hard work and dedication, effective July 1, 2017, Beth will join the firm’s management team and become Group Managing Partner – Public Sector and Not-for profit. This team of seven partners manages the firm’s 2,300 staff.

She was appointed to the Michigan State Board of Accountancy by Governors John Engler and Jennifer Granholm. Beth also championed several pieces of legislation as Chair of the Michigan State Board of Accountancy including mandatory peer reviews for all CPA’s and she helped enact legislation for license mobility for CPA’s and whistleblower protections.

In 2014, Beth received the prestigious Being a Difference Award from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) Center for the Public Trust. This award honors individuals for their exceptional contributions in the areas of ethical leadership in business and community impact. Beth recently received the Michigan Association of CPA's Distinguished Service Award for her accomplishments in passing legislation related to Whistleblower Protections and unlicensed activity.

Beth belongs to many professional associations, including the Government Finance Officers Association, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Michigan Government Finance Officers Association among them.

When her sons were younger, Beth was an active volunteer in the Wyandotte Hockey Association, together with serving on the St. Cyprian Church Finance Committee, tutoring math students and participating in high school internship readiness programs. She also advises several downriver communities and the Downriver Community Conference on issues related to fiscal responsibility.

Beth and her husband, John, live in Carleton and enjoy spending time with their family, Jon  (Kim) and Jacob (Alyssa) (printable PDF document).

Lisa A. Dancsok - Class of 1979
  Lisa Dancsok has distinguished herself in the field of
  marketing and communications through her
  commitment to her education and professional life.
  For more than 30 years, she has worked in the
  healthcare and economic development industries
  where she was an integral part of the “Pure Michigan”,
  “Michigan Advantage” and “Opportunity Detroit”
  campaigns; she also found success as part founder of
  the advising firm, D & D Advisors.  In 2016, Lisa was
  appointed Vice President of Marketing &
  Communications for the Community Foundation for
  Southeastern Michigan.

  Lisa graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1979
  where she was a member of the National Honor
  Society and World as a Community Class (WAAC). She remembers the great times with several teachers: Mr. Korowin, Mr. Roddin and Mr. Stuart.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Advertising in 1983 and her Executive Master’s Degree in Business Administration in 1996 both from Michigan State University.

Lisa began her distinguished career at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan holding a variety of positions. She served as Director of Finance & Administration for the General Motors Control Plan from 1995-1996. From there, she became Chief of Staff in Corporate Administration from 1996-2000 where she developed and implemented many programs in the healthcare sector. From 2000-2005, Lisa served as Vice President for the Ford, Visteon & Severstal accounts. Her 23 years at Blue Cross Blue Shield afforded Lisa the opportunity to create positive interactions with customers and provide financial savings for her accounts.

In 2005, Lisa continued her career as Senior Vice President, Marketing Communications & Legislative Affairs at the Michigan Economic Development Savings Corporation. While there, she was able to improve the state of Michigan’s relationship with the media, state legislature and surrounding business community. She implemented over 40 business attraction events that included the PGA, Grand Prix, North American International Auto Show and XPrize. In addition, Lisa led the tourism efforts for the state and implemented numerous international business development opportunities for the governor and the state of Michigan with China, Israel, Germany and Japan.

Lisa launched her own consulting firm, D & D Advisors, in 2010 where she was a Managing Partner, Executive Business Consultant. In this role she advised mid-sized businesses in all areas of corporate business strategy.

Lisa was hired by Rock Ventures in 2012 as Vice President, Corporate Philanthropy, and Marketing & Communications. She worked to improve the overall image of the city of Detroit in conjunction with the Mayor’s office, state officials, business partners and non-profits.

Most recently, Lisa joined the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan as Vice President of Marketing & Communications. She is excited at the opportunity to advance the economic and educational efforts for the Southeast Michigan region. As is evident from her prolific career, Lisa has most definitely distinguished herself in the field of marketing and communications.

Lisa is an active member of several professional organizations where her expertise is welcomed and appreciated. Lisa is also a civic minded professional who has served as a board member at Delta Dental of Michigan, Renaissance Health Services Corporation, Michigan State University Alumni Board, The Knight Foundation and the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Lisa Dancsok and her husband, Daniel, live in Novi (printable PDF document).

William C. Dudzinski - Class of 1969
  William Dudzinski distinguished himself as a skilled
  technician who would become one of two Johnson
  Controls Corporation’s Market Team Operations
  Managers for the entire state of Michigan and as a life-
  long volunteer in his neighboring schools and church.

  William graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1969
  and considered himself an average student. His
  introduction to playing the trumpet in middle school
  under Mr. Stuart resulted in performing with the Royal
  Lancers during his high school years and sharpened his
  musical skills. Other teachers that influenced Bill were Mr.
  Beatty and Miss Jenkins as they both provided much
  needed encouragement when things were tough. Mr.
  Briggs showed Bill that every problem can be solved with
  tenacity and imagination. The electrical and musical skills that were developed at Roosevelt High School provided Bill with a sound foundation and career path.

After taking classes at Wayne State University, Bill started as a drafter with the Barber Colman Company in 1971. His talents were recognized and he soon progressed from a Technician to Control Engineer. In 1984, Bill was offered a position with Honeywell Corporation where he was the Head Engineer and Project Manager. Several of his projects include the Detroit People Mover and the Cobo Hall expansion programs.

In 1990, Mr. Dudzinski began his present day employment at Johnson Controls. Since 1994, Bill has served as Large Project Market Team Operations Manager for the entire state of Michigan. Most portfolio projects are in the $20-$50 million dollar range. During Bill’s career, he has guided Johnson Controls to achieve honors with five Gold Safety Awards, a Top Ten Region Award and a Master Award nomination.

Over the past 18 years, William Dudzinski has supervised and directed five different major projects for Wyandotte Public Schools. His expertise and organizational skills have produced efficiencies and cost savings in every project in the district.

Though Bill’s responsibilities with his employment often demanded much of his time, his interest in children made him into a super volunteer. Bill served as PTA President at Erving Elementary School in Woodhaven for two years. Mr. Dudzinski’s knowledge of building efficiencies encouraged him to serve on several Bond Committees for the Woodhaven School District. Bill volunteered his services on the Evaluation Committee for the repair and reconstruction of Patrick Henry Middle School. Mr. Dudzinski also shared his expertise by serving on the Energy Committee of Our Lady of the Woods Church.

Bill’s musical interests moved him to volunteer as President of the Woodhaven Band Boosters for ten years. Bill served as a Marching Band field staff member for eight years and as an Assistant Marching Band Director for Woodhaven Public Schools for four years. He also established in 1991 a Youth Instrumental Ensemble at Our Lady of the Woods Church and still directs the group today. Bill’s son is a band director at Walled Lake Western High School. Each summer, Bill volunteers to write marching band drills and assists his son in getting the band in shape for the upcoming season.

Bill enjoys several hobbies: photography, woodworking and motorcycling. Those who live near the Dudzinskis enjoy his annual exciting and scary Halloween animated displays at his home.

William Dudzinski and his wife, Bonnie, live in nearby Woodhaven and enjoy their sons, Patrick and Matthew, and their families (printable PDF document).

Alphonse Paul Ruffner - Class of 1967
  Alphonse Ruffner distinguished himself as an
  outstanding athlete, a dedicated Track & Field coach
  and a role model in encouraging and inspiring
  children and his colleagues throughout the state of
  Michigan.

  Al graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1967. At
  Roosevelt, he was an outstanding athlete in Track &
  Field events. He was recognized five times as an All
  State in Cross Country & Track, MSHAA State
  Champion Division I in 1965 and runner-up in 1966 in
  Cross Country. Al is also the school record holder for
  the two mile run – a record that still stands 50 years
  later.

  Though Al was a special athlete, he considered himself to be a very average student. Two teachers, Mrs.Wojtowicz and Mr. Bunnel, made a professional influence on Al. They demanded he also do well in his academic subjects, while taking a special interest in his athletic events. Both teachers attended every home meet that Al participated in for years – even beyond high school and his college years.

Al earned his Bachelor of Science Degree at Eastern Michigan University in 1971 with a major in History. While earning his degree, he was recognized as a three-time All American in Track & Field and was a member of two Eastern Michigan University Cross Country National Championship teams. Al honed his coaching and officiating skills while at Eastern Michigan University.

After college, Al served as the high school coach at Wyandotte, Cabrini and Divine Child for over ten years. In 1986, Al was honored as the first inductee to the Wyandotte Sports Hall of Fame. In 1987, his first year coaching at Wyandotte, the girls Track team won the Downriver News Herald Championship. This was the first Wyandotte girl’s championship trophy in any sport. It is no surprise that Al Ruffner was named the Track Coach of the Year.

Perhaps one of Al’s greatest honors was received in 2016 when he was officially recognized for his 45 years of officiating by the Michigan High School Athletic Association.

Al has been an ambassador for sports of Cross County and Track & Field. He does so much beyond the call of officiating. His sincere work with children and his colleagues has also made Al a favorite guest speaker at middle and high school banquets. Al is proud that a special Roosevelt High School Ruffner Award is presented each year to the outstanding boy and girl Track member.

Al has also been a downriver drivers training instructor for over 30 years. He worked for the Detroit Pistons for 13 years taking care of their plane, “Roundball One” and received a championship ring in 2004 after the Pistons won the title.

When not busy substitute teaching at Roosevelt High School, Al is still involved with driver’s education and officiating track and cross country meets. Al and his wife, Lucy, are involved in community theater, both as actors and behind the scenes working where needed. Al also spends his free time making hospital visits to church members and fellow cancer survivors.

Alphonse Ruffner and his wife make their home in nearby Taylor and enjoy their sons, Matthew and Steven, and their families, especially their seven grandchildren (printable PDF document).