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NKU Alumni Award Recipients Announced

Northern Kentucky University announced the recipients of its 2022 Alumni Awards.

An awards dinner is scheduled for February 4 to kick off homecoming week on campus.

“The recipients of the Alumni Awards have shown that they have deep passion for supporting our students and making a positive impact in the community,” NKU President Ashish Vaidya said. “The individuals prove that NKU is a university whose alumni, faculty and staff focus on giving our students success, both while in school and post-graduation.” 

Nathan Smith (’94) is the recipient of the 2022 Outstanding Alumnus Award.

He is the co-founder and chief investment officer of Flagship Communities REIT. In October 2020, his company announced the formation of a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) along with an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The REIT has been formed to own and operate a portfolio of now 65 manufactured housing communities, comprising 11,328 lots located in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois.

Smith’s company is the largest manufactured housing company in Kentucky and among the largest in the Midwest.

He was a member of the Kenton County Airport Board and is the former chairman of the Northern Kentucky University Board of Regents, serving in that role in 2015-16, as well as the former president of the Alumni Association, and is currently a member of the NKU Foundation Board of Directors.

Smith was also involved at NKU as a student leader by serving in the Student Government Association as senator, and eventually president and the student regent before graduating.

Smith graduated from NKU with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. 

Jakki Haussler (’88) is the recipient of the 2022 Outstanding Alumnus Award.

Haussler is the chairman of Opus Capital Management, and served as the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Opus Capital from 1996 to 2019. She is an attorney and CPA (inactive) with more than 39 years of experience in public accounting, investment banking, venture capital, and asset management.

Prior to co-founding Opus Capital, Haussler was managing director of Capvest Venture Fund, LP; partner at Adena Ventures Fund, LP; managing director of an investment banking firm; manager of Blue Chip Venture Company; and mergers and acquisitions at Cincinnati Bell Inc.

She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Morgan Stanley Funds, Board of Directors for Service Corporation International, and the Board of Directors for the Barnes Group, Inc. S

he is also a member of the Salmon P. Chase College of Law Board of Visitors and the Salmon P. Chase Center for Law and Entrepreneurship.

In 2007 at NKU, she was awarded the Salmon P. Chase College of Law’s Professional Achievement Award, and in 2005, Haussler was named one of the YWCA Outstanding Career Women of Achievement.

Haussler received her Juris Doctorate degree from Salmon P. Chase College of Law and received her bachelor’s degree in cccounting from the University of Cincinnati.

Tracy Schwegmann (’95) is the recipient of the 2022 Distinguished Service Award.

Schwegmann serves as the director of marketing and property management at Jeffrey R. Anderson Real Estate, where she has worked since 2001.

Among her responsibilities is overseeing management of the Banks project in Downtown Cincinnati. Locally, she has also overseen the opening of development projects including Crestview Hills Town Center and the various Rookwood properties. 

In November, Schwegmann was elected to the position of Sycamore Township trustee

She is a former president of the NKU Alumni Board of Directors and is a current member of the NKU Foundation Board of Directors, serving on the Governance/Membership and Real Estate Committees. 

Schwegmann graduated from NKU with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and received her M.B.A from Xavier University.  

H. McGuire (Mac) Riley (’86) is the recipient of the 2022 Distinguished Service Award. 

Riley currently serves as president of BAHR Associates, Inc., a boutique provider of signal intelligence services to the U.S. Intelligence Community, and CEO of United Building Services, Inc., a multi-faceted provider of commercial building services.

Professionally, Riley is admitted to the Maryland Bar and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar, and early in his career specialized in commercial litigation with the Washington, D.C. office of Howrey & Simon.

President George H.W. Bush appointed him as special counsel at the Department of the Air Force and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army.

For his service to these departments, he was awarded the Commander’s Public Service and Meritorious Civilian Service medals, respectively.

Riley serves on the Salmon P. Chase College of Law Board of Visitors and NKU Foundation Board of Directors. He graduated class salutatorian with a Juris Doctorate, magna cum laude, and Order of the Curia from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law.

During his time there, Riley was a Chase Scholar, associate editor of the Law Review, and on the National Moot Court Team. As an undergraduate, he attended Loyola College, earning a bachelor of arts degree, cum laude, and was a Presidential Scholar, Maryland Distinguished Scholar, and inducted into the Alpha Sigma Nu, Beta Beta Beta and Phi Alpha Theta national honor societies.  

John P. B. Jose (’15) is the recipient of the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, which recognizes an alumnus who has graduated within the last 10 years.

Jose currently serves as the national director of Asian Pacific American Engagement for the Republican National Committee. Jose’s main role is to engage with Asian communities, stakeholders, and candidates across the country and to build a platform, infrastructure, support, and to make sure Asian communities participate civically and turn out in elections and other community engagements. 

 Jose was involved at NKU as a student leader by serving in the Student Government Association as senator, university improvements chair, and eventually president. Jose also served as a student regent before graduating in 2015.

Jose moved to Spain to teach English as a second language. After three years in Spain, Jose became active in the political scene, working for Sen. Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign before moving to Washington, D.C. to work on Capitol Hill for Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.).

Jose graduated from NKU with a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership. 

Peg Adams (’86) is the recipient of the 2022 Faculty/Staff Strongest Influence Award.

Adams is the director of University Connect and Persist (UCAP) at Northern Kentucky University. Throughout her more than 30-year career at NKU, Adams has worked on a number of student success initiatives, and served on committees and advisory boards.

Adams has served in a variety of roles in numerous departments, including TRiO Student Support Services and Office of First-Year Programs. In addition, she is a veteran instructor of University 101: Orientation to College and Beyond, and has taught introductory writing courses.

As director of UCAP, Adams oversees a number of programs that address the academic, financial, and personal needs of students as they navigate their college experience, such as UCAP Textbook Lending at Steely Library, providing access codes for students with financial need, and supporting LIFT and Educational Diversity scholarship recipients.

Over the years, Adams has received recognition for her work, including Academic Affairs Outstanding Staff Member Award, the Student Affairs Jane Meier Outstanding Service Award, Norse Advising Outstanding Partner Award, Friend of Advising, Outstanding University 101 instructor, Student Affairs Commitment to Excellence Award, and Presidential Ambassador Flame Honoree.

She graduated from NKU with bachelor’s degrees in English and Psychology. 

The Alumni Awards Dinner and Celebration event will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 4 at NKU’s Campus Recreation Center. 

-Staff report