Alum Pawlak (‘89) Receives the 2014 Cliff Harkins Distinguished Citizen of The Year Award

Posted: Wednesday, October 15th 2014 at 1:44 PM

The NAU Alumni Association Board of Directors announced their Alumni Award Winners, including two alumni from The W. A. Franke College of Business, during Homecoming 2014.

Timothy Pawlak ('89 ACC) will receive the Cliff Harkins Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award. Also being recognized is Ryan Ewing ('05 FIN) with the Excellence in Achievement by a Recent Graduate Award (Ryan's story HERE). The Recognition Dinner will be held Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 4:30–6:30 p.m. at the High Country Conference Center.

Timothy J. Pawlak Honored with the Northern Arizona University Alumni Association’s Cliff Harkins Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award 

Award Criteria: This award recognizes distinguished service to nonprofit organizations, governmental assignments at the municipal, county, state or federal level, or other outstanding service as a citizen.

Graduated:  1989 Bachelor of Science in Accountancy

Occupation: GDC4S Ethics Officer and Senior Manager, Internal Controls, General Dynamics – Scottsdale, Arizona

Most influential figures: “Dr. Watkins.  His Intermediate Accounting course was the toughest class that I took at NAU.  Being in his class taught me that you always need to work hard, to ask questions, and to strive to do your best.

Favorite memories: “My favorite memory is watching my daughter graduate from NAU with a Chemistry degree and two minors (Biology and Anthropology) in May 2014.  Returning to the Skydome to watch my daughter graduate brought me back to my own graduation in the Skydome in 1989 and the excitement that I had for my own future as an accountant.”

As senior manager of ethics and internal controls for General Dynamics, Timothy is responsible for the company’s Audit Department and heads up the organization’s Ethics Program. In this capacity, he oversees 22 ethics officers in six states and eight international locations. Timothy also is the business unit Sarbanes-Oxley compliance officer and is responsible for the SOX compliance program.  He is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional. In January he will celebrate 25 years with General Dynamics.  

Timothy contributes time and talent volunteering for multiple community groups. He was selected and ordained as a deacon by the members of Gateway Fellowship Church in Gilbert, Arizona. Timothy also has been the director of the church’s Bible quizzing teams for more than three years, where he’s taken students to the regional and national-level competitions.  He has co-facilitated adult couples’ group studies for years, and also provides financial, trust and tax counseling as a volunteer financial advisor. As chairman of the church’s finance committee, Timothy helps to consult and guide economic decision making for the church, and also serves on the church council. In addition, Tim has spent the past three years as president of his neighborhood homeowners’ association.

A global philanthropist, Timothy and his wife Loreen have financially supported a total of ten different children in some of the poorest regions of the world through the relief organizations Food for the Hungry and World Vision. For the past decade, he and his wife have also rendered monthly support for six different missionaries through Gospel for Asia. Throughout the years, Timothy and Loreen have provided support for several organizations, including United Way, Salvation Army, the Southern Baptist International and North American Mission Boards, Casa De Amor of Mesa, Sunshine Acres Children’s Home of Mesa and many others.

Timothy attended NAU with an accounting program scholarship and graduated Magna Cum Laude. As a student he was a member of Beta Alpha Psi, Beta Gamma Sigma, and Phi Kappa Phi. Despite many years passing since completing his degree, Timothy has remained active in the NAU community. For two years he has participated as a guest presenter for internal audit accounting classes.  Since 1999 he has been a member of the NAU Accounting Advisory Council including two years as Treasurer. In 2004 he received the NAU Beta Alpha Psi Outstanding Alumni Award.

In serving as a role model for current students, Timothy seeks to help prepare a new generation for the professional business atmosphere. “NAU provided me with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to succeed as an accountant in the fast-paced global world in which we now live,” Timothy says. “The accounting knowledge I gained as a student enabled me to pass the CPA exam and become a Certified Public Accountant.  Having my CPA license has prepared me to effectively lead the Internal Controls Department and enabled me to manage the Sarbanes Oxley program for a multinational company.”

Ever modest, Timothy’s volunteering and philanthropy isn’t about drawing attention to himself, but rather focusing on what is possible for one individual with a passion for helping others. “I was surprised to receive the call that I was selected,” Timothy recalls.  “I have always tried to give back to the community, NAU, my town and my church.  I’m honored to have been chosen for this award.”

Read this article on NAU Office of Alumni Relations' website, HERE.

Categories: alumni tim pawlak 2014 2014 cliff harkins distinguished citizen of the year award