Proceeds from the March 26 dinner event will support Michigan’s leading non-profit executives’ participation in the Harvard non-profit management program

Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications, 248.260.8466,

Bloomfield Hills, Mich. —Jan. 2, 2015 — The Harvard Business School Club of Michigan (HBSMI) announces Gordon E. Krater, CPA, managing partner of Plante Moran, one of the nation’s largest public accounting and business advisory firms, and Sandra E. (Sandy) Pierce, vice chairman of FirstMerit Corporation and chairman and CEO of FirstMerit Michigan, have been selected as awardees of the club’s annual Business Leader of the Year award. A dinner to honor Mr. Krater and Ms. Pierce will take place Thursday, March 26, 2015 at the MSU Management Education Center in Troy. The announcement was made by HBSMI Board Chair Richard Shapack.

“The Harvard Business School Club of Michigan supports the Harvard Business School mission to train business leaders to make a difference in their communities,” Shapack said. “Both Sandy Pierce and Gordon Krater exemplify strong leaders who are able to direct growing and complex enterprises while creating and sustaining a culture of corporate citizenship that fosters community engagement for the betterment of the region.”

Gordon Krater became Plante Moran’s firm managing partner in 2009. He guided the firm through the recession with a solid growth trajectory that included a merger with Chicago-based Blackman Kallick in 2012, opening a Detroit office in 2013, and celebration of the firm’s 90th anniversary in 2014. Prior to becoming managing partner, Krater served as group managing partner in charge of industries, which included real estate & construction, financial institutions, health, human services & non-profits, public sector/governmental, manufacturing & distribution, retail dealers and service companies.

Krater joined the firm in 1980 upon graduation from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, where he received a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Krater is a board member of the Detroit Economic Club, the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, New Detroit, Citizens Research Council, Camp Sancta Maria, the global accounting network of Praxity, AISBL and the United Way Campaign Cabinet (Michigan).

In 2010 and 2011, Krater was named by Accounting Today as one of the “100 Most Influential People” in the accounting profession and in 2014 was named one of the five most admired peers in the accounting profession by Inside Public Accounting.

Sandy Pierce began her career as a teller at National Bank of Detroit (now JPMorgan Chase) while attending Wayne State University. After 27 years in commercial banking, retail banking and private client services, she joined Royal Bank of Scotland in 2005 to oversee its Midwest region subsidiary, Charter One. In 2012, Pierce joined FirstMerit when it acquired Citizens Republic Bank. She was recently named by American Banker as one of the 25 most powerful women in banking. Pierce serves on the boards of Penske Automotive Group and Barton Malow Company. Her civic commitments include chairing the Board of Trustees of Henry Ford Health System and the nine member Financial Advisory Board for the city of Detroit. Pierce graduated from Wayne State University, where she received both a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and a Masters of Business Administration in Finance.

Proceeds from the March 26 dinner will be used to fund scholarships to send Michigan non-profit leaders to the 2015 Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management (SPNM) program, an intensive six-day course presented each July at the Harvard Business School in Boston. SPNM scholarships are offered through a nomination/application process for candidates who exemplify dedication, commitment and pursuit of excellence within the non-profit sector. The 2014 recipients of the SPNM scholarship were Daniel S. Carmody, President, Eastern Market; Hassan Jaber, Executive Director, ACCESS; Juanita Moore, President & CEO, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History; and Leah Rosenbaum, President & CEO, JVS. Including the 2014 class, HBSMI has sent 39 Michigan non-profit leaders to SPNM since 1999, when the club first began awarding these scholarships.

“Members of the Harvard Business School Club of Michigan have a passion for helping those in our community. Our club is proud of these exceptional, dedicated individuals and our ability to support their efforts with this important training,” Shapack said. “The Strategic Perspectives for Non-Profit Management program provides significant opportunities for these outstanding, committed non-profit community leaders to join with their national and international peers to further expand their skills for the benefit of the thousands of Michigan citizens they collectively serve.”

In addition to SPNM participation, scholarship recipients meet together, and with HBSMI club members, on a regular basis to collaborate, to be a resource for each other and to continue their exposure to various management and social enterprise concepts, such as performance measurement and the balanced scorecard. SPNM alumni and HBSMI members also serve together as liaisons with the State of Michigan to collaborate in the application of private sector and non-profit management solutions to state agency issues. For a complete list of all scholarship awardees, please visit

Harvard Business School Club of Michigan Business Leaders of the Year

What: Harvard Business School Club of Michigan’s annual Business Leader of the Year event honoring Gordon Krater and Sandra Pierce; reception, dinner and awards ceremony

When: Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 6 p.m. Private reception for sponsors at 5:30 p.m.

Where: MSU Management Education Center, 811 W Square Lake Rd, Troy, MI 48098 (Google map)

Registration: Tickets begin at $150 and can be purchased online at; For questions, please contact Amanda Schubeck at or 248.930.4614.

Sponsorship opportunities, including Crimson sponsorships, for the Business Leader of the Year event are available and inquiries should be directed to Richard Shapack at or Amanda Schubeck.

About the Harvard Business School Club of Michigan (HBSMI)
With a 70+ year history, the Harvard Business School Club of Michigan (HBSMI) offers diverse business, educational and social activities, including opportunities to network and collaborate with local and national business and civic leaders. Learn more at