President’s Award Honoree Announced
Each year the past presidents of the McPherson Chamber choose the recipient of this award. The criteria being “a person who has given of his/her time and talent for the betterment of the business community, and whose contributions are readily identifiable and have a long-term impact.” Congratulations Dr. Michael Schneider!
Traditionally the President’s Award honoree would be recognized during the Chamber Annual Meeting. Unfortunately, we will not have the opportunity for an in-person presentation. Be watching for comments from Dr. Michael Schneider within the Chamber Annual Meeting Video to be aired early December. Keep reading to learn about the incredible 2020 President’s Award Honoree.
Michael Schneider started his first enterprise at age 7 – a museum in his bedroom. The museum ultimately closed its doors to the public. But years later one of the collections on display – namely, (36) 1984 Topps Mark McGuire Olympic rookie cards – helped fund Michael’s education at McPherson College, where he graduated with honors in 1996.
“Michael got his early career break when the partners at Summit Publishing invited him to run the company. He was only halfway through his 20s when he found himself leading a company into the electronic commerce era. His list of life adventures has included earning an MBA from the University of Denver, doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and supporting start-ups in everything from information technology to green energy.
In 2002, Michael’s alma mater called him to return, and he made the decision to answer that invitation. He has moved through a list of key positions at McPherson College, helping spearhead increased giving to the college and enrollment numbers now at all-time highs. McPherson College also boasts one of the largest endowments of any private college in Kansas.
Michael’s passionate vision to lift up liberal arts through an entrepreneurial mindset has sparked the imagination of the entire campus. McPherson’s commitment to debt free education and post-graduation placement rates is an important part of the student experience. During his tenure, job and graduate school placement rates have led the nation; while average debt per student at graduation has dropped by nearly $8,000. From niche degree programs in automotive restoration to rural healthcare management, McPherson is reinventing itself as a significant contributor in higher education.
Since becoming president in 2009, Michael has served the higher education community as board chair of the Associated Colleges of Central Kansas and Kansas Campus Compact; executive committee officer of the Kansas Independent College Association; board member of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference; and national advisory board member for Future Business Leaders of America and Distributive Education Clubs of America, .
His contributions since 2002 have rippled out into the greater McPherson Community as McPherson College has added over fifty new jobs and hundreds of new students who boost the local economy. Many graduates start their careers in McPherson because of the career oriented liberal arts program he designed in 2003, which leads to nearly every student completing multiple internships—many within the McPherson community. One of his favorite accomplishments includes six consecutive years of McPherson College named by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of their “Great Colleges to Work For” with recognition in more categories than any other college in the country. Highlights from his past service in the community includes serving as a board member of the McPherson Chamber of Commerce; member of the McPherson Industrial Workforce Enhancement Committee; president of the McPherson Community Education Foundation; and graduate of Leadership McPherson.
Michael and his wife Kandee, who is also a McPherson College graduate, value their life in McPherson. They are proudest of their two daughter’s Hayden and Perrin.”