On Feb. 25, 2021, Bob Wollenman ’72 and Lisa Norton were sworn in to six-year terms as Missouri Western Board of Governors members. Both are eager to serve the University and use their experience to continue to advance Missouri Western, as they are both St. Joseph residents with deep-rooted connections to the University.
Wollenman graduated from Missouri Western with a marketing degree. He and his wife, Connie ’72, own Deluxe Truck Stop in St. Joseph, are community leaders and are staunch advocates for the University. “We [Missouri Western] play a key role in serving those that might not otherwise have an opportunity for a college education,” he said, noting nontraditional and first-generation students – like himself – are near and dear to them.
“Our education and interaction with others while we were students helped formulate who we are. Connie and I both enjoy serving the MWSU community and are extremely committed to various organizations at the University,” he said.
In 2017, Wollenman was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Missouri Western’s Center for Entrepreneurship.
Norton, president of BioZyme, Inc., also has strong ties to the University. She takes on this role with an additional sense of pride and obligation. The first woman chairperson of the Board of Governors, Barbara Sprong, was Norton’s mother, her first employer, and the woman she unequivocally counts as her hero. Sprong believed in service to the community, and instilled that sense of duty and commitment in her children. “Serving as a Governor is an honor for me and a job I take very seriously,” Norton said.
Norton is also a former professor at Missouri Western, which gives her a comprehensive view of the University and student interaction. Norton hopes to continue to build greater connections between the University and community. “I have always felt like the University was a gem that few who live in northwest Missouri truly understand as such,” she said.