After years of pushing out thousands of witty one-liner T-shirts from his basement, Joe Johnson ’11 will be expanding Obvious Shirts with the launch of a storefront in late July a block from Wrigley Field.
Johnson’s new moves with the business, which he started four years ago, were highlighted in a recent article by the Chicago Tribune. You can read the full story here.
A Chicago Cubs pitcher inspired Johnson’s first Obvious Shirt in 2015 — “Jake Arrieta is Good at Baseball” — and a chance meeting at a Cubs Convention in 2017 led to a deal with Clark Street Sports that put the shirts in dozens of stores across Chicago.
During the baseball season, Obvious Shirts sells roughly 10,000-15,000 shirts per month from online sales, wholesale and distribution in outlets such as the Cubs Team Store and Clark Street Sports locations.
“It’s nonstop, organized chaos in my brain,” Johnson told the Tribune. “What I’m most proud of is just the fact that my girlfriend and I were able to create this out of nothing and make something that we’re proud of.”
While at Wabash, Johnson majored in rhetoric with a minor in economics and concentration in business and entrepreneurship. He was a member of the baseball team and Lambda Chi Alpha.
Riley Lefever ’17 has recently joined as an assistant coach for the Indiana University wrestling program.
“I’m excited to welcome Riley Lefever to our staff,” IU head coach Angel Escobedo said in a report by WANE TV. “Riley had a tremendous career at Wabash College, becoming only the second wrestler in DIII history to win four NCAA titles. Riley also brings international experience to his resume as he trained at Penn State for the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club. Riley will work with our upper weights and will look to help them achieve their goals on and off the mat.”
Lefever, who grew up in Fort Wayne, wrestled at Wabash where he was a four-time DIII National Champion, three times at 184 and once at 197. He posted a 58-6 record at the College, was an independent and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English.
He was a team captain and a CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American. Lefever also earned two NCAA DIII Most Domination Wrestler awards and was also a junior national team member in freestyle.
“My wife and I are very excited to return to the Hoosier state and join the Indiana community,” said Lefever, moved to State College, Pa., to train freestyle with the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club for the last five years. “The university and wrestling program has a great group of staff and faculty who are committed to helping the program and the student-athletes achieve success and also create a culture that is comprised of men of character.”
Peter Kempf ’06 was one of three new board members to recently join the DeKalb Chamber Partnership.
Kempf currently serves as a financial adviser for Credent Wealth Management. He previously worked as the head of the Business and Vocational Department, head football coach, Baron Television director and educator at DeKalb High School.
Kempf serves the community as a member of the Rotary Club and with the Friends of the Eckhart Public Library. He and his wife, Jackie, have two daughters and a son and have family roots that run more than 140 years deep in northeast Indiana.
“The Kempfs are passionate about serving DeKalb County and are excited for the future of our community,” the chamber said in a news release.
While at Wabash College, Kempf studied history, education and psychology, was a member of Sigma Chi and the football and track teams. He earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Western Governors University.
Austin Jarrett ’15 was recently named as the new head coach of Indiana University’s men’s lacrosse program
Jarrett, who currently works as a private client advisor for JP Morgan, has been the defensive coordinator and assistant coach at IU under former coach Peter Nelson since 2018.
“I’ve got some big shoes to fill for sure,” Jarrett said in a Mens Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) news release. “I’ve been around great coaches across a couple of different sports and Pete is right toward the top. He’s got the Xs and Os down as any coach should, but he also really cares for his players and coaching staff like they are his family.
“My only hope is to continue to build upon the foundation that Pete has set for us and become a perennial contender for the UMLC title and a familiar face at the MCLA national tournament.”
While at Wabash, Jarrett was a student-athlete, rhetoric major and biology minor, and a member of Phi Gamma Delta. He attached the College primarily to play basketball, but fell in love with the game of lacrosse his junior year.
He started his lacrosse career as a defenseman on the Wabash MCLA squad and finished as a captain on the Little Giants’ first-ever varsity squad under the direction of Terry Corcoran — one of the winningest coaches in NCAA Division III.
“I won’t be able to achieve any of these goals on my own,” Jarrett said in the news release.
IU will play in the East subdivision of the UMLC along with Miami (Ohio), Purdue University, Michigan State and Western Michigan.
Leo Priemer ’06, an Edward Jones financial advisor, was named a 2021 Forty Under 40 recipient.
The Michiana Forty Under 40 program spotlights 40 of the South Bend/Elkhart region’s most talented and dedicated young executives, leaders, employees, and adults who demonstrate career success and community engagement, all before the age of 40, according to a news release. More than 180 were submitted this year.
Priemer opened his Edward Jones office in 2008, just two years after graduating from Wabash College, where he studied political science and was a member of Phi Kappa Psi. Since then, he has built a thriving financial advisory practice, serving more than 330 clients in 28 states.
For the last five years Priemer’s office has ranked in the top 25% for customer service across all of Edward Jones.
“I’m grateful for this recognition, for my staff who work beside me each day, and the clients who thought to nominate me,” said Priemer, who holds designations as a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Asset Management Specialist.
“My office’s mission is centered on honest, caring, and goal-focused relationships with our clients,” he said. “The nomination alone tells me we are doing something right!”
In 2019, Priemer attended the Barron’s Top 100 Summit sponsored by Barron’s Magazine. This national conference is by-invitation-only and recognizes top financial advisors across all firms based on industry experience, compliance record, total revenue, and the amount of client assets entrusted to them.
Outside of work, Priemer is passionate about giving back to his community.
He is a 2011 graduate of Leadership South Bend Mishawaka, a member and president of the Studebaker National Museum Board of Trustees, a board member of the South Bend Rotary Club, and involved in the Michiana Estate Planning Council. In addition to raising money annually for the Alzheimer’s Association, Priemer’s office delivers Thanksgiving food baskets to those in need as part of a joint Rotary/St. Vincent DePaul Society initiative.
Michael Langford ’91 recently joined The Mediation Group LLC, an Indianapolis-based law firm, as a mediator and arbitrator.
Previously, Langford worked as a trial and appellate attorney. He litigated high stakes civil lawsuits throughout his 27-year career, and regularly tried jury trials nationwide and argued before state and federal appellate courts.
In his new role as a mediator and arbitrator, Langford will help parties achieve successful resolutions of their cases. He mediates all types of civil disputes including trucking, personal injury and wrongful death, products liability, insurance coverage, bad faith claims, employment law, class actions, real estate issues, and commercial and business disputes.
“I will start mediating in August,” Langford said in a LinkedIn post. “I’m looking forward to the new challenge.”
While at Wabash College, Langford was a member of Phi Delta Theta and studied English and speech. He graduated Order of the Barristers from Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington.
Jeff Grabill ’91 will be joining the University of Leeds in England as its new Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education.
“I’m excited to join an institution so clearly leading in educational transformation,” said Grabill, who will be joining the school in August.
Grabill currently serves as Michigan State University’s Associate Provost for Teaching, Learning, and Technology, where he is a professor of rhetoric and professional writing. He is also responsible for facilitating innovation in learning via his role as Director of the Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology. He has worked at the university since 2012.
While at Wabash, Grabill majored in English and was a member of Sigma Chi.
Fairwinds Counseling Center in Nantucket, Massachusetts, has recently named Jason Bridges ’98 as its new executive director. He joins the agency in this role in September.
“I echo what our community feels when I say how grateful I am that Fairwinds is here to serve the critical needs of Nantucket’s residents,” Bridges said in a report by The Inquirer and Mirror. “I am thrilled to do my part along with the dedicated Fairwinds team to build on such a rich legacy of service, and work collaboratively to deepen how this unique mission integrates into our island’s safety net.”
Bridges is the vice chair of the Nantucket Select Board, former owner of the Handlebar Café, and founder of Nantucket Bike Tours. For the past year, he has served as the interim executive director of the Maria Mitchell Association.
“After a national search which yielded numerous candidates, we found just who we were looking for right here on Nantucket,” said Ann Smith, Fairwinds search committee and board vice chair. “Jason’s experience, community engagement, and compassion made him rise to the top of the list of candidates.”
While at Wabash, Bridges majored in psychology and minored in chemistry. He was a member of Phi Kappa Psi, the basketball team and worked at the WNDY radio station.
Rob Love ’05 was recently named as Michigan City Area Schools’ new Coordinator of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He assumed the role on May 3.
Love will lead the district’s efforts to sustain a culture of equity and inclusion for all students, according to a report by The Times of Northwest Indiana. Over the past two years, the school has been intently focused on these issues, working in partnership with the National Equity Project to build a framework for equitable access to opportunities that support the district’s strategic plan and mission.
Previously, Love served as the Founding Dean of Culture for Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis, Dean of Students for Carpe Diem Indiana Innovative Schools, and Director of School Services for the Indiana Charter School Network. He also was a Policy and Research Specialist for the Indiana Department of Education, where he served as Director of the Teacher Incentive Fund.
“We’re pleased to welcome Rob to our district,” MCAS Associate Superintendent Wendel McCollum said in a news release. “He will be closely examining data on student achievement, attendance, involvement, and discipline, helping us to identify and address gaps. He will also lead professional development and recruitment initiatives that will in turn benefit our students.”
Love has a bachelor degree in history, specializing in teacher education from Wabash College and a law degree from the Valparaiso University School of Law. While at Wabash, he was an independent, a member of the Student Senate, Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies, Young Democrats and the football and track teams.
Love said his work with Michigan City Area Schools will be guided by listening and collaboration, and he will be meeting with and surveying students, staff, families and the community.
“I want to ensure that all voices are heard, so we can truly equip our students for success and make sure everyone is comfortable in our spaces,” he said. “I’m excited about making MCAS my new home, and am excited to get started with this important work.”