U-Mary Recognizes 2 Outstanding Alumni | VideoKristin Clouston | 10/19/2011
The school is honoring Kari Block and Mike Mabin as outstanding alumni. They`re both business leaders and active in the community. Block is being recognized as this year`s winner of the Bell Banner Award and Mabin is getting the Harold Schafer Leadership Alumni Award.
Block was looking for a nontoxic way to keep mice out of her tractor and ended up inventing Fresh-Cab. It`s a mixture of corn cob chips and balsam fir oils.
"I discovered if it irritated a rodent`s nose they won`t stay in the same area as that scent," said Block.
Now Fresh-Cab is the only indoor EPA registered botanical rodent repellent.
"I started with a 99 cent packet of garden seeds and today we`ve grown our sales to over $20 million," explained Block.
She`s being recognized for modeling the schools values in life and business.
"I... you know, relied on our values, and said, how can I make it good for the community," said Block. "How can I help our growers? We buy all of our products from family farms, and we employ the handicapped population for about 90 percent of our assembly."
Block`s company is called Earth Kind, and her products are sold in about 30,000 stores nationwide.
The Alumni Association is also honoring Mike Mabin for being a leader his profession.
Mabin said: "Agency MABU is a non-traditional marketing and advertising agency. We do a lot of the same types of services that others do, but I think we`re uniquely defined by our clients we work with. Government agencies, non profits, professional services."
Mabin says he couldn`t have succeeded without the school`s guidance.
"The University of Mary and the sisters of the Annunciation Monastery in particular have been a tremendous influence in my life over the years, and they`ve provided me with the values that I think have enriched my life personally as well as professionally," said Mabin.
Both say they were surprised but very honored to be receiving the awards.