The West Virginia University Alumni Association will induct an internationally respected business leader, the president of Americas largest physicians organization and a public relations executive into the WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, in the Ruby Grand Hall of the new Erickson Alumni Center.
The 2009 class includes Greg Babe, president and chief executive officer of Bayer Corp. and Bayer MaterialScience LLC ; Dr. Nancy Nielsen, president of the American Medical Association and senior associate dean of the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; and Scott Widmeyer, chairman and CEO of Widmeyer Communications.
The accomplishments of this group are very impressive,said Stephen L. Douglas, president and CEO of the WVU Alumni Association.This is a wonderful testament to what our graduates can achieve with the experiences and education provided by WVU . They are very deserving of this honor, and we are thrilled to recognize them with induction into the academy.
As a young man growing up in New Martinsville, Babe dreamed of running a successful corporation. In October 2008, he reached that goal when he was appointed president and CEO of Bayer Corp. and senior Bayer representative for the U.S. and Canada. In this role, Babe is responsible for the North American activities of the worldwide Bayer Group, an international health care, nutrition and innovative materials group based in Germany. He also serves as president and CEO of Bayer MaterialScience LLC , a position he has held since July 2004.
Previously, Babe was president and CEO of Bayer Corporate and Business Services, where he was responsible for providing expertise and support in engineering, information systems, procurement, materials management, human resources, financial, accounting and other business services to Bayer Corp. and its affiliates.
Babe joined Bayer in 1976 as a student intern in the Polyurethanes Group. During his 30-plus years with the company, he has held several management positions, including manager of the facility in Brunsbttel, Germany; director and general manager of Hennecke Machinery, then a unit of Bayers Polymers Division in Pennsylvania; vice president of corporate quality; and director of a national program to implement Bayers enterprise resource planning system. He was named senior vice president of information services in 1999, and in 2001, that role was expanded to include the North American Free Trade Agreement region. When Babe was named president and CEO of Bayer Corporate and Business Services, he continued his role as chief information officer.
Babe is chair of the Bayer Political Action Committee. For five years, he served as the executive sponsor of the Bayer Diversity Advisory Council.
In addition to his duties with Bayer, Babe is a member of the American Chemistry Councils executive committee and board of directors as well as chairman of its Board Science and Research Committee. In Pittsburgh, he is a member of the executive committee and board of directors at Duquesne University, serving as vice chair of audit and finance.
Babe received a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering from WVU in 1980. As a student, he served as president of Tau Beta Pi and was a member of Pi Tau Sigma. He was also a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and served on several student committees.
Today, he remains actively involved with his alma mater, serving on the WVU College of Engineering and Mineral Resources advisory committee.
He and his wife, Carla, live in Mount Lebanon, Pa., and have four children.
Dr. Nancy Nielsen
Nielsen is one of the nations most passionate health-care advocates. As president of the American Medical Association, she promotes policies and programs that enable physicians to better care for patients. In this role, she also serves as a chief AMA spokeswoman, traveling the country to meet with various groups to promote health-care reform.
Nielsen, an internist from Buffalo, N.Y., was speaker of the AMA House of Delegates from 2003-07 and vice speaker for the three preceding years. She was a delegate from New York and previously served two terms on the AMA Council on Scientific Affairs, where she helped formulate policy positions for AMA House of Delegates debates on the diagnosis and treatment for depression, alcoholism among women, Alzheimers disease, priorities in clinical preventive services, colorectal cancer screening, asthma control, nicotine content of cigarettes and medication safety.
Among other AMA positions, Nielsen has been a member of the National Patient Safety Foundation board of directors, the Commission for the Prevention of Youth Violence and the Task Force on Quality and Patient Safety. She is the AMA representative on many initiatives, including the National Quality Forum, the AMA Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement, the Ambulatory Care Quality Alliance and the Quality Alliance Steering Committee. She serves on the Institute of Medicines Roundtable on Evidence-Based Medicine.
Nielsen was speaker of the Medical Society of the State of New York House of Delegates and a member of the board of directors of the Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Co.one of the largest malpractice carriers in the country. She also was president of the Medical Society of the County of Erie and the Buffalo General Hospitals medical/dental staff.
Nielsen graduated from WVU in 1964 with a degree in premedicine. She also has a doctorate in microbiology and received her medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Nielsen is a clinical professor of medicine and senior associate dean for medical education at SUNY , and she served as a trustee of the SUNY system. She was a member of the Kaleida Health board of directors and chief medical officer of a large regional health plan in the Buffalo area. She currently serves on the WVU School of Medicine board of advisers.
Nielsen, a native of Elkins, is the mother of five children.
Widmeyer, a native of Martinsburg, fondly recalls his days as a reporter and editor for The Daily Athenaeum, WVU s student newspaper. He said the skills and lessons he picked up during his time at the University helped him launch a successful career in communications.
From working as a newspaper reporter in the 1970s to running major media operations for national campaigns, Widmeyer is highly respected in the communications field. His track record of successes in education, health care, politics, campaign finance, technology, trade and other public policy matters illustrate his impact as achange agentin things that matter most to America.
In 1988, Widmeyer founded Widmeyer Communications, which provides strategic counsel on the top issues of the 21st century. The firm, with offices in Washington, D.C., and New York, has a client base that includes Nestle, Pfizer, the College Board, Pearson Education, Coca-Cola, the Association of American Publishers and the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, among others.
During his 30-year career, Widmeyer has advised scores of decision-makers, from presidents to governors to CEOS to union leadersincluding former President Jimmy Carter, former Vice President Walter Mondale and former Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Widmeyer is involved in a number of civic and philanthropic causes. In 2007, he was named a David Rockefeller Fellow, a highly coveted one-year program of the New York City Partnership. He also was the longest-serving board chair of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, and he was on the board of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
His current board memberships include the New York City Leadership Academy, the Education Writers Association (advisory board), Bizbash and Council for Unity. He is active in the Council of Public Relations Firms, Public Relations Organisation International, Friends of the High Line, the National Press Club, the Appalachian Community Fund, St. Gregorys Church and PENCIL .
Widmeyer, a 1974 graduate of WVU s P.I. Reed School of Journalism, remains dedicated to his alma mater. He established two scholarship funds to benefit both black and first-generation West Virginians seeking degrees in journalism. To date, more than 30 students have benefited from these scholarships, and in 2007, the Widmeyer family and Widmeyer Communications endowed a professorship in public relations, the first of its kind in the nation.
He has been a visiting professor at WVU s School of Journalism and a guest lecturer at Brown University, the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University. Continuing his commitment to WVU , Widmeyer chairs the School of Journalism advisory committee. In 2003, he received WVU s most prestigious award in journalism, The Perley Isaac Reed Achievement Award.
In 2005, then-Gov. Bob Wise honored Widmeyer with the Distinguished West Virginian Award, recognizing his outstanding achievements and meritorious service to his home state of West Virginia.
Academy induction ceremony
This is the 22nd annual academy inductions. The event is open to the public. Tickets for the event can be purchased for $60 per person (price includes pre-event reception/three-course dinner). For more information, contact the WVU Alumni Association at 304-293-4731.