Dennis J. Schwartz
Outstanding Industrial Engineer (2011)
Dennis Schwartz started his freshman year at Notre Dame and soon determined that he wanted to pursue an engineering degree at Purdue, transferring as a sophomore. In addition to his engineering study his other interest included ROTC and membership in the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. After graduating, he became a lieutenant in the US Army Ordnance Corp in Germany. It was in this first responsibility out of college where he immediately put his IE training to use in the Advanced Weapon Command. During his years in Europe and his service to our country, he was able to experience the European culture which has lead to a lifelong fondness of travel. On return to the United States, he started his career in banking in Elkhart, Indiana focusing on bank systems and data processing. He continued his career in systems development when he moved to a bank in Mishawaka, Indiana where he converted the entire operation into a new computing system. When he and other family members took on an ownership position in the bank, he spent the next 33 years developing and growing the bank. He spent the majority of his time as President of Valley American Bank. Simultaneous with his banking career, his family was involved in the Elkhart, Indiana markets with the supply side of RV, mobile home, and modular housing. Their company develops, manufactures, and supplies products to the leading manufacturers in these industries throughout the country. Today, they operate these companies under the holding company, Dehco, Inc. Dennis is Chairman and his son Jim, '88 BS Management Purdue, manages the operation. Dennis has been on many community boards through the years including Memorial Health System in South Bend, IN, the region's largest medical center, where he served as Chairman of the health system.