Northwestern to honor three during Homecoming

Northwestern College will honor three distinguished alumni on Friday, Sept. 30, during the college’s Homecoming festivities. The Rev. Dr. Stephen Macchia, Lexington, Mass.; Steve King, Tucson, Ariz.; and the late Jim Franken, formerly of Sioux Center, will be recognized for their professional, humanitarian and Northwestern service achievements at the Distinguished Alumni Dinner.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. in Vermeer Dining Room. Cost is $10; reservations are required. To make reservations, contact the Northwestern College alumni office at 712-707-7134 or, or visit

Macchia, recipient of the Distinguished Professional Achievement Award, graduated from Northwestern in 1978. The author of “Becoming a Healthy Church,” “Becoming a Healthy Disciple” and “Becoming a Healthy Team,” Macchia is founder and president of Leadership Transformations Inc. in Lexington, Mass. He also directs the Pierce Center for Disciple Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and teaches in the seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program.

A frequent speaker on leadership development, church health, team building, and spiritual vitality, Macchia served as president of Vision New England, formerly known as the Evangelistic Association of New England, from 1989 to 2003. Before that, he ministered for 11 years on the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Mass.

Macchia, who earned M.Div. and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Gordon-Conwell, received the seminary’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2000. A member of the executive committee of the National Association of Evangelicals, he also is on the Mission America advisory committee and serves as a national senior adviser for the National Prayer Committee.

King, who will receive the Distinguished Service to Humankind Award, has led nonprofit agencies serving people with disabilities for more than 30 years. The Orange City native is president and CEO of Beacon Group SW Inc., an organization that provides vocational and developmental training programs for the disabled in Tucson and Phoenix. He was president of a similar agency, Tetra Corporation, from 1980 to 2003.

King began his career when he was hired to start the Plymouth County Work Activity Center—now called Life Skills Training Center Inc.—in Le Mars after graduating from Northwestern in 1972. He credits the developmentally disabled cousin of his wife with sparking his interest in the field.

King holds a master’s degree in rehabilitation administration from the University of San Francisco. He has served as chair of the Governor’s State Rehabilitation Advisory Council and president of the National Rehabilitation Administration Association. In 2001 he received the association’s Guy F. Hubbard Award for Excellence in Rehabilitation Management.

Franken is being posthumously honored with the Distinguished Service to Northwestern Award. A 1975 Northwestern graduate, he served as president of the Alumni Association and on the Board of Trustees from 1989 to 1991. He was reappointed as a trustee in 1995 and served until his death in November 2001. He joined the executive committee of the board in 1998 and served as chair of the finance committee from 1999 until his death.

During Franken’s years as CEO of Harbor Group and the Interstates Companies, he established the Interstates Foundation to provide ongoing support for nonprofit organizations. The company endowed the Interstates Electric & Engineering Scholarship, which is available to accounting, business, communications and computer science students at Northwestern.

His family—wife, Nancy, and children, Jaymi ’01 and Justin ’98 Vandewater and Gabe ’04—and Northwestern College are currently planning to honor Franken’s legacy by funding initiatives that will support Northwestern students who show potential for the kind of entrepreneurial servant-leadership for which Franken is remembered.