Lake Forest Graduate School of Management (LFGSM) has recently honored two alumni with the Distinguished Alumni Awards for 2013. Kimberly (“Kim”) Ruthe (Class of ‘04) received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Service Achievement in recognition of her outstanding service to the school. In honor of his many contributions to the business community, Peter (“Pete”) Cullen (Class of '07) received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement.
The Service Achievement award honors outstanding service to the school. Since earning her Lake Forest MBA in 2004, Ruthe has enthusiastically donated her time and talent to LFGSM. She has served as a volunteer ambassador for the School, as a mentor to students, referred students to the MBA program, served as a panelist at MBA Previews and New Student Kickoff events, and been a consistent donor to the Hotchkiss Scholar Scholarship Fund. Ruthe has made a significant impact on the entire LFGSM community.
Kim Ruthe is currently regional business development director at Bureau Veritas North America, Inc. in Lake Zurich. In addition to earning her Lake Forest MBA and graduating as the Valedictorian Speaker and a Hotchkiss Scholar, LFGSM’s highest honor, Ruthe holds a master's in public health from Benedictine University and earned a bachelor's degree in biology with a minor in chemistry from the University of Akron.
The Professional Achievement award recognizes career accomplishments that also benefit the business community and bring honor to LFGSM. Pete Cullen ('07) retired in 2010 from the Federal Bureau of Investigation after a distinguished 32 year career. During the course of his career, Cullen played a key role in the investigation of the disappearance of Helen Brach, resulting in an international equine investigation of murder, arson, and insurance fraud and which resulted in 35 convictions.
Additionally, Cullen directly coordinated the investigation and arrest of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. During his time as an MBA student, using business strategy principles learned at LFGSM, Cullen developed the Investigation By Design (IBD) process excellence strategy that focuses on achieving results through standardizing the seven critical steps common to all investigations. Today, IBD principles have been presented to law enforcement agencies and security organizations throughout the country.
Pete Cullen holds a bachelor's degree in physical education from Ottawa University in Kansas, in addition to his LFGSM MBA. He has also taken graduate level courses at University of Kansas and Wichita State University. Since retiring from the FBI, Cullen has worked as an investigator and consultant for corporate security and safety at BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois. As a Lake Forest MBA student Cullen earned a specialization in organizational behavior, and has been active as a Lake Forest alumnus, including attending events, participating in focus groups, serving as a mentor, and donating to the LFGSM Scholarship Fund. Cullen is also an active board member at the The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Arlington Heights.