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Three to Receive Awards
From UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association

RELEASED: July 16, 2007

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Alumni Association will present awards to three alumni and friends of the university Aug. 4 at a special luncheon and ceremony in conjunction with summer commencement.

"This is a talented, richly deserving group of individuals who recognize the gifts they have received and in turn give back to the community and to UW-Eau Claire," said John Bachmeier, UW-Eau Claire director of alumni relations. "The university is proud to recognize them for their personal success and for their service to others."

Masayoshi Yamazaki
Masayoshi Yamazaki

Masayoshi Yamazaki will receive the Honorary Alumnus Award, presented to non-alumni who have demonstrated great love of and service to UW-Eau Claire.

In 1986, Yamazaki received bachelor of arts degrees in business and economics from Sophia University in Japan. In 1984-85, he attended UW-Eau Claire as an exchange student in the College of Business. While a student at UW-Eau Claire, Yamazaki assisted in arranging programs for visiting Japanese businessmen. From 1986-97, he worked for Morgan Stanley in fixed income sales. He headed the fixed income sales division in Japan for UBS from 1997-2002. Currently, Yamazaki is CEO of Kaigai Aviotech Corporation, which is an AgustaWestland distributor and a support and maintenance center for AgustaWestland helicopters and Honeywell avionics in Japan.

"He was an excellent student and a very dedicated person in helping the exchange programs between UW-Eau Claire and Japan," Lloyd Joyal, professor emeritus of curriculum and instruction, wrote in a letter to the nominating committee of the Alumni Association. "He is very interested in educational and cultural exchanges between the United States and Japan. He has demonstrated this by assisting UW-Eau Claire on several occasions, most recently the visit by Dr. Donald Mash when he was chancellor."

Keith Malmstadt
Keith Malmstadt

Keith Malmstadt will receive the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award, which recognizes distinguished service to the community, state or nation that brings credit upon the recipient and the university.

Malmstadt graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1974 with a bachelor of arts in business. After graduating from college, he joined his father running the family grocery business. In four years, he returned to UW-Eau Claire and earned a master's degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance and accounting in 1980. He became a cost accountant with Kearney & Trecker in Milwaukee, a large manufacturer of machine tools. He became a cost analyst with Haworth, Inc. in Holland, Mich., in 1983 and was awarded his Certified Management Accounting certificate. Malmstadt took a position in 1985 as controller of Vista Business Forms of Oshtmo, Mich., and in 1987 as controller/treasurer at Lippert Furniture in Zeeland, Mich. Wanting to own his own company, Malmstadt purchased a 33 percent interest in Great Lake Woods, Inc. in 1993 and in 1996 expanded his ownership to 50 percent. In 2005, he purchased a majority of the outstanding stock.

Under his leadership, Great Lake Woods, Inc. and GLW Finishing, LLC of Holland, Mich., have grown from a small residential moulding and millwork company with 35 employees and $4 million in sales to more than 160 employees with sales exceeding $25 million.

In 1999, Malmstadt became involved with Wood LINKS, an industry driven woodworking training program for the education system with a focus on high school students. He has served on the board of directors, as secretary/treasurer and in 2004-05 as president. In 2002, he organized a group of industry partners to pay for the Holland, Mich., West Ottawa High School site license and helped develop the West Ottawa High School WoodLINKS woodworking program curriculum and facilities, which now serves over 180 students.

Malmstadt was named Small Business Person of the Year by the Holland Chamber of Commerce in 2005 and in 2006 he was given the United States Small Business Association's Small Business Person of the Year for the State of Michigan title.

Benjamin Licht
Benjamin Licht

Benjamin Licht will receive the Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award, which acknowledges special achievements and great promise of alumni who are within 15 years of their graduation from UW-Eau Claire.

Licht, who is a first generation high school and college graduate, received a bachelor of arts degree in political science in 2002. In 2004 Licht received a master's degree in public administration from The George Washington University. From May 2003 to July 2006, he served as an analyst in strategic issues at the United States Government Accountability Office. He was promoted to senior analyst in strategic issues in July 2006.

As an analyst for GAO he was part of a team that assessed Department of Defense agencies' ability to set goals and measure their performance. As a result, the DOD improved its policies governing agency planning and reporting. Licht and his team also worked with congressional staff and FAA officials to inform the agency's creation of a Web page specifically for Congress. This page contains a variety of FAA performance, budgetary and financial information useful for oversight.

Licht has become one of GAO's experts in strategic planning and performance measurement and is widely consulted for his knowledge. He served as a consultant for efforts to update GAO's strategic plan, and he created a Web-based tool to help other GAO staff evaluate federal agency strategic plans and related materials.

Licht is involved with a program at GAO to help provide holiday gifts and other activities for families through the Central Union Mission. He also uses his hobby of running to help out a variety of organizations by participating in charity races and walks.

"In my view, Mr Licht exemplifies the very best qualities of his generation, with a commitment to public service and a desire to improve the lives of others," wrote Bernice Steinhard, director of strategic issues at GAO.

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KH

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