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Meet the Recipients

Awards are announced each year in May.

In addition to recognition, the recipient will receive a $1,000 award and a plaque.


John Wendt taught law for more than 30 years at the University of St. Thomas, the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and Hamline University School of Law. A past member of the Ethics and Business Law Department, Wendt served on the panel of arbitrators for the American Arbitration Association, the AAA LPGA Special Anti-Doping arbitration panel, the Special AAA Panel for United States Olympic Committee Disputes, the World Triathlon Union Panel, and had been appointed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland. He had been appointed twice to the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission. He also served on the American Bar Association and Minnesota State Bar Association boards and committees on legal education. He was inducted into the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts Alumni of Notable Achievement and the University of Minnesota Aquatics Hall of Fame.

2016 Recipient: Bill Raffield

Bill Raffield grew up in South Carolina and received a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from Clemson University. He has an M.P.A. in environmental management and received his Ph.D. in industrial management from Clemson University. Raffield has taught classes in operations management for more than 20 years. He was the senior associate dean for the Opus College of Business from the founding of the college in July 2001 until fall 2009. Raffield served as an officer in the United States Air Force, and worked in industry for Michelin Tire Corporation and the Truckstops of America division of Ryder Systems, Inc. His research interests are in work and process flow and capacity management. He is a member of APICS and the Production and Operations Management Society.

2014 Recipient: Richard Rexeisen

Richard Rexeisen is a pull professor in the Marketing department. He has been with St. Thomas since 1990 and earned his Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Minnesota.

Rich Rexeisen has held various administrative and faculty leadership positions since joining the college in 1990 and teaches in both the undergraduate and graduate programs, including the Executive UST MBA program and non-degree courses in the Center for Business Excellence. Rexeisen actively publishes and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice (JMTP) and Industrial Marketing Management (IMM). His current research interests focus on how study abroad impacts the development of cross-cultural sensitivity, attitudes towards the environment and moral reasoning. He also conducts research and publishes in the area of student outcomes assessment. 

Rexeisen has travelled extensively and has served on multiple occasions as the faculty director for the London Business Semester program. He also taught in the Semester at Sea program. Before joining the St. Thomas faculty, Rexeisen owned and operated his own successful business and continues to consult with the business community in the areas of strategic market planning, sales and B2B marketing. 

Rexeisen received his B.A. in psychology and philosophy from the University of Minnesota, his M.B.A. from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in marketing from the Carlson School at the University of Minnesota.

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