Clay Lifto, Professor of Marketing and Management, has served at Kirkwood College since 1982. Previously he worked in Information Systems Branch at Honeywell, Aerospace Division, and later instituted the Supervisory Management Program at the Technical College in New Richmond, Wisconsin. He also founded the North American Management and Investment Company, Inc., managing real estate apartments in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Texas.
Mr. Lifto earned his BS in Business Management from the University of Maryland, as well as completing the requirements for a BA in Russian Studies at the University of New York, and continuing his graduate studies at Bethel Theological Seminary, the University of Wisconsin, Iowa State University, and University of Iowa, Andersonville Theological Seminary (completing a Masters/Doctorate in Christian Ed), and Ashford University (MBA Global Management – in progress).
For 28 years Clay served in the Army, 10 years of which was on active duty in such places as Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey, Washington, D. C., California, Texas (where he taught at the U.S. Air Force School of Applied Cryptologic Sciences), and Vietnam. He has earned 23 service medals and is a life member of the Disabled American Veterans.
During past several years Mr. Lifto has acted as a consultant to Ford Aerospace in the telecommunications field, to the Intelligence and Security Command of the Army regarding administration of Communications Intelligence and training, and to various textbook publishers. For three years (2001-2003) he has been a member of the US Information Agency’s selection committee for educational and development grants for the Former Soviet Union.
Mr. Lifto is active on the Kirkwood Community College campus as a sponsor for the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, The Core, and Friends of Internationals - speaking at church and community organizations, and playing violin solos for charitable groups. In 1996 he earned the distinction as one of the nation’s “Top 10 Picks” as a college professor from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development. He is also listed in Who’s Who in Executives and Professionals
, 2000 Edition
. In 2006 he was elected by his peers as the Tippieendowed Chair for research in Russian business terminology. Based on his extensive travel and living abroad, Clay is currently developing Study Abroad courses and experiences for students, especially in Russia and other countries of the Former Soviet Union.
Since 1993 he and his wife Ruth have been involved extensively with missionary humanitarian aid projects in Ukraine, where they have been teaching and helping establish Family Centers for medical and dental care, clothing and food distribution, and personal counseling, working with orphanages and prisons. In the summer of 2000, he was awarded Armed Forces Medal For
Peace by the Russian Afghanistan War Veterans Association for his humanitarian aid efforts in Ukraine. He and his wife Ruth are Directors of the mission agency New Life Partners. Clay is also an ordained minister, and served as the Pastor of Grace Bible Fellowship of Lisbon, Iowa for nearly 7 years. Clay and Ruth have supported educational and humanitarian efforts, spending extensive time as well in other Eastern European nations, such as, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia, and Montenegro. Clay is fluent in both Russian and German languages, as continues his studies in other languages.
Their daughter Nickie is the former Director of Care Management Services, a family resource organization for children with disabilities in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and is a child development consultant for Grant Wood Area Education Association. Their son Christopher is a CH-47 (Chinook) helicopter command pilot for the US Army, returned from a total of 3 ½ years deployment in Iraq and in Afghanistan, and now stationed in Germany.