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'Duke' of Cass heading college foundation board

The Duke of Cassopolis. Wellington “Duke” Jones III, of Cassopolis, was recently elected president of the Southwestern Michigan College Foundation board of directors. Michael O’Neil, of Buchanan, was elected vice president.

As everyone knows, Duke is vice chairman of the board of 1st Source Corp. He is active in a number of service boards, including Girl Scouts of the Singing Sands, United Way of St. Joseph County, Center for History, South Bend Entertainment Board, Ronald McDonald House, Memorial Hospital Foundation and several more.

Duke said SMC is an asset to the community and fills a crucial need for affordable college education.

Michael is chief administrative officer at Beacon Health Systems, South Bend, and previously served as chief operation officer of Memorial Health Systems. He also is an alumnus of SMC.

Also joining the SMC Foundation Board are Virginia Crawford, Robert Habicht and Robert Kowalewski, all of Edwardsburg; Patricia Patano, of Dowagiac; and William “Chip” Cartwright II, of Chicago.

***

Count on them. Four Manchester University senior accounting majors recently won the Indiana CPA Case Study Competition in Indianapolis. The victors took home $750 each.

Two of the students are from the area. They are Thomas Blake, of Plymouth, and Ben Ellam, of Granger. The other fellows are Benjamin Crim, of Dayton, Ohio, and Dan Maringer, of Fort Wayne.

The teams got details about the project dealing with a furniture company eyeing a $10 million acquisition of a hardwood floor manufacturer. Once they got the information, they had 10 days to research and write a 50-page recommendation. They made an 18-minute presentation that wowed the crowd. The project gives students some practical experience for the accounting world ahead of them.

Placing second was Saint Mary’s College and third was the University of Southern Indiana.

Thomas already has a job beginning after graduation at Umbaugh and Associates in Mishawaka. Ben will complete Manchester’s 150-hour CPA program next fall, just in time for tax season. And that sounds like a great deal of fun.

***

Reporting back on Gabriella Mammolenti. As you may remember Gabby, 6, was going during the Thanksgiving weekend to the National American Miss Pageant in Disneyland, Anaheim, Calif. Her grandmother, Pat Mammolenti, was accompanying her on this journey. Gabby had won the National American Miss Indiana for the 4-6 age group in June.

Gabby won the National Photogenic Award for her age division. Grandmother Pat said she was very proud her. “This was her first time on a plane, first time to Disneyland. She takes everything in stride and is never nervous. The judges were top of the top.”

More than 60 young ladies were in the age category and everyone had a great time. Next up for Gabby? She is part of the Nutcracker Ballet at the Morris Performing Arts Center.

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