LMC honors woman for outstanding service

Published 9:11 am Friday, April 29, 2016

BENTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Lake Michigan College will present its annual Bernard C. Radde Distinguished Service Award to Joan Smith of St. Joseph during the College’s 69th annual commencement exercise being held at the LMC Mendel Center at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 1.

Smith was tapped three years ago to serve as chair of Lake Michigan College’s Campaign for Tomorrow, which is projected to exceed its goal of raising $7.5 million in private support for emerging careers, student success, and community engagement.

“The Board is thrilled to honor Joan with this award.” said LMC Board of Trustees Chair Mary Jo Tomasini. “She is a phenomenal champion for the college, and has a real passion and vision for LMC to be the best-in-class community college in our region.”

LMC Foundation Board President Jeff Curry added, “Joan successfully guided this important fund-raising campaign, and, as a result, our students will be better-served, our programs stronger and the College is better positioned to help move our region forward.”

Smith has served on the Board of Directors of the Lake Michigan College Foundation since 2010, and her advocacy for the college is driven by concern about support for under-prepared students; she believes that “LMC is helping in a very sophisticated way.”

Along with her business partner, Ann Dahmer, Smith started Smith Dahmer Associates (SD) over 25 years ago based on the simple values of integrity, responsibility, hard work — and fun. Over the years, Joan has been a tireless cheerleader for work that is guided by those values, and a champion for leveraging people’s strengths to deliver the best work for SD’s clients.

Smith brings over 35 years of experience to the company’s considered-purchase clients. Before starting SD, she was the Marketing Manager for Whirlpool’s full line of cooking products sold under the Whirlpool and Roper brand names. Her extensive consumer experience includes management positions in market research, marketing planning, consumer relations, and merchandising.

Smith is also past-vice president of the board of directors of Cornerstone Alliance, and she serves on the Education Committee of Michigan’s Great Southwest Leadership Committee.

She was raised in Cleveland Heights, Ohio and then graduated from Bowling Green State University, Ohio with a BA in the Liberal Arts. Later in her career she received a Master of Arts in Business Management from Nazareth College in Kalamazoo.

Smith is married to Jim Smith and has three grown step-kids and three grandchildren.

The Bernard C. Radde Distinguished Service Award is named in honor of the late Dr. Bernard C. Radde, who served as a member of the Lake Michigan College Board of Trustees for 25 years. It is presented annually by the LMC Board of Trustees to an individual or individuals who have advanced the cause of LMC and higher education.

Past winners include Janice Varney; Emily Foster; Bob Schodorf; Marian and Greg O’Niel; Dr. William Emery; Mary Fowler; Carol and Steve Sizer; the Honorable Mabel Johnson Mayfield; Jeff and Marcia Fettig; Merlin and Carolyn Hanson; James M. Krzyzewski; Steve Silcox; Stephen F. Upton; Senator Harry Gast; Muhammad and Lonnie Ali; and David Whitwam.