Walsh College

Leadership Awards Honoree Biographies

Jeffery W. Barry Award for Educational Excellence & Community Service
Matthew Simoncini, President, Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Simoncini is President, Chief Executive Officer and a director of the company since September 2011.  In this role, Mr. Simoncini is responsible for the strategic direction and operational leadership of the company.

Formerly, Mr. Simoncini was senior vice president and chief financial officer, a role he held since 2007.  As senior vice president and CFO, he was responsible for the company's global finance operations, including external financial reporting, corporate business planning & analysis, corporate strateg, and business development as well as information technology activities worldwide.

In August 2006, Mr. Simoncini was named senior vice president of finance and chief accounting officer where he was responsible for the cojmpany's worldwide operational finance, accounting, and financial reporting.

In addition to his responsibilities at Lear, Mr. Simoncini is a member of the board of directors for Wayne State University Foundation, Wayne State University SBA Board of Visitors, the United Way for Southeastern Michigan Board and Campaign Cabinet Committee, Detroit Economic Club, Business Leaders of Michigan, Michigan Opera Theatre, and the Detroit Recreation Foundation.  Mr. Simoncini earned a bachelor's degree from Wayne State University.  To read more about Mr. Simoncini please click here.

Walsh College Distinguished Alumni Award
Jeffrey Groen, BAC '76; MST '81

A few years after graduating from Walsh Mr. Groen opened his own accounting firm Groen Kluka & Company in Troy where he continues to serve as managing partner.  The firm recently received AICPA Specialty Designation with an accreditation in business valuation.

Mr. Groen has served as an adjunct faculty member teaching undergraduate and graduate accounting courses at Walsh. 

He currently sits on the board at Great Oak Country Club, and is the treasurer for the North Oakland YMCA.  He belongs to the AICPA and the MACPA.  To read more about Mr. Groen please click here.

Walsh College Distinguished Service Award
George and Elizabeth Seifert

George and Elizabeth Seifert Foundation is located in Rochester Hills.  Mr. and Mrs. Seifert created the George and Elizabeth Pyle Seifert Endowed Scholarship at Walsh in the 90s.  They are currently members of the Patron Society of the Mervyn B. Walsh Society. 

George Seifert was born in Toledo, Ohio, where he met his future wife, Elizabeth (Betty). They were married in 1956 and have three children, nine grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. He graduated from the Ohio State University with a BBA in Marketing and MBA, and took doctoral studies at the University of Illinois. Following his undergraduate studies, he was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force where he completed flight school. He retired from the Active Reserves as a Captain.

Mr. Seifert’s career with AT&T began when he joined the Ohio Bell Telephone Company. He held several marketing and technical positions before being promoted to District Plant Manager, Division Plant Manager and General Traffic Manager.

He was promoted to assistant Vice President of Marketing and was later appointed General Directory Manager of Ohio. He was assigned to AT&T to assist a master strategy development for the newly formed “Baby Bells.” Appointed as Vice President of Corporate Planning and Development for the newly formed Ameritech Publishing Corp., he later became President of Ameritech Publishing Enterprises. In addition to his AT&T career, Mr. Seifert received appointments as an adjunct professor in the graduate programs at several major universities and taught for more than thirty years.

Following his retirement from ATT, Mr. Seifert formed Seifert and Associates. This firm is a consortium of academicians and other professionals who work with non-profit and for profit organizations. The focus of this practice is on governance policies, marketing, and strategic planning. He has co-authored and published more than twenty business articles and a textbook, “Practicing Financial Planning for Professionals.”

Currently Mr. Seifert serves as Vice Chair of Toccoa Falls (Georgia) College Foundation Inc., and Vice Chair of the Board of Advisors for the Department of Economics at Oakland University, and is President of the George and Elizabeth Seifert Foundation. He serves as a director of the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester (Michigan), the Mayor’s Council for Rochester Hills (Michigan), the Crittenton Hospital Foundation, and the Van Hoosen Museum Project. He also acts as a Trustee for the Cameron Irrevocable Partnership Trust, and is a Managing General Partner for the Cameron Family Limited Partnership Trust. He is a director for Ross Controls Inc., and serves as a member of the Executive Committee. Previously he served as Chairman of the non-profit Michigan Business Enterprise Development Center Inc., and was director for the Center of Science and Industry (Columbus, Ohio), The Dinosaur Hills Museum, and Oakland University Foundation, Inc.