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Class of 2008/2009

Early Career Achievement Awards

The Early Career Achievement Awards (ECAA) is presented to outstanding young alumni who have experienced significant professional success.  The award celebrates outstanding young alumni who have demonstrated innovative and responsible professional leadership and the potential for future distinction.

Nicole Albertson ’96 - Business Administration

Nicole Albertson is Human Resource Manager at Heritage Enterprises, Inc., and has over 15 years experience in HR management across several different industries.

Nicole is also a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, Executive Board member of the Bloomington-Normal Human Resource Council and recently completed her MBA at Illinois State University. Nicole enjoys spending time with her husband Eric, and three children Brianna, Jacob and Samuel.

Nicole Alberston

Deborah Christner ‘00 - Business Information Systems

Deborah Christner is a software and infrastructure design analyst with State Farm Insurance Company. Since joining the company in 2000, Christner has served as a financial business analyst, a member of the System’s department governance unit, and is currently involved in design responsibilities.

In this role she displays a broad focus across the organization acting as an expert in agile software design, business and software modeling, infrastructure design, platform migration, and vendor integration. Christner has served as an adjunct faculty member in the COB and supported the work of the Business Information Systems Club. Deb, her husband Scott, and their three cats live in Normal.

Deborah Christner

Kevin Wesley Earley ’00 - Management/Human Resources

Kevin Earley is the Associate Pastor of the Metropolitan Church of God in Detroit. He has worked to impact the spiritual and physical vitality of persons living throughout the United States and in South Africa.

Earley serves on the Detroit Urban League’s board of directors, is treasurer of the National Inspirational Youth Convention, and is the chaplain for the nationally acclaimed Midnight Golf Program, which improves the personal development and educational preparedness of under-served young adults while building their appreciation for the game of golf. Earley earned a Master of Divinity in 2003 and Doctor of Ministry degree in 2008 from the Anderson University School of Theology.

Kevin Earley

Kristen Fitzpatrick ‘95 - Accountancy

Kristen Fitzpatrick is a CPA and an Audit Principal with Miller Cooper & Co. The firm has 200 professionals and services privately held clients in the Greater Chicagoland area. Fitzpatrick joined the firm in 1995 after graduation. She services clients in a variety of industries with a concentration in construction, real estate and service.

In addition to her client service responsibilities, Fitzpatrick is the Head of the Audit Department with direct responsibility for the 90 auditors within the firm in the areas of staff retention and management, professional development, formal and informal continuing professional education, scheduling and recruiting efforts. Kristen is married and has 3 children, Justin, Alex and Emma.

Kristen Fitzpatrick

Nadine Friedman '05 - Professional Sales

Nadine Friedman is an Account Executive at Lemme Insurance Group, Inc., a boutique brokerage firm headquartered in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Lemme specializes in professional liability solutions for accounting, law, and consulting firms nationwide. Since joining the firm, Friedman’s focus has been on new business development, and serving as a team member on the largest regional accounting firm accounts in key geographies including New York and Florida.

Friedman has either directly, or as a part of the team, developed insurance solutions to help clients transfer over $600 million in professional liability exposure to domestic and international markets, generating more than $20 million in premium. Nadine continues her professional development within several industry affiliations and she also remains involved with the Katie School and College of Business.

Nadine Friedman

Andy Hobbs ’02 - Human Resources

Andy Hobbs works as a Lead Systems Analyst for Hewitt, the world leader in human resources outsourcing. Leading a technology team of up to 20 people, Hobbs serves as a technical resource for system problems, as well as a domain resource to answer questions on how different HR processes should work.

Hobbs has provided a number of side functions since starting with Hewitt in 2002, including a four-month stay in India where he trained associates. He also worked on a hand-picked team to complete highly complex projects that had risks of not meeting their deliverables

Andy Hobbs

Alan Kubitz ’94 - Insurance

Alan Kubitz is Director of Risk Management at The HAVI Group LP. With more than 7,000 employees in over 40 countries, HAVI specializes in providing comprehensive, customized supply chain solutions and promotional marketing services to its customers. Kubitz’s current role encompasses a wide variety of risk categories and involves integrating enterprise risk management practices into the culture.

Kubitz is active in the insurance community and serves as the current President of the Chicago Chapter of the Risk and Insurance Management Society. Previously, Alan held risk management positions with increasing responsibility at Abbott Laboratories, General Binding Corporation, and CF Industries. He also has experience in claims management with Specialty Risk Services.

Alan Kubitz

Joseph Lee ’05 - Master of Professional Accountancy

Joseph Lee is a certified public accountant and an audit supervisor for McGladrey & Pullen, LLP. He joined McGladrey & Pullen, LLP in September 2005 after graduating from Illinois State University. As an audit supervisor, Lee facilitates the planning and completion of audits for middle market companies in the banking and insurance industries.

Lee received the ICPAS Silver Excel Award by earning the second highest CPA exam score in the state. Joseph is a leader of the young adult group at Living Faith Baptist Church. He and his wife reside in Springfield.

Joseph Lee

John R. Madera ’03 - Marketing

John Madera is a consulting services/business advisory professional at BearingPoint, a major management and technology consulting firm with over 17,000 employees worldwide. Madera is a part of the company’s Global Energy and Chemicals team where his responsibilities range from leading and developing staff, to providing services to his clients around strategy, process re-engineering, and project management.

Through his work John has traveled to over 15 countries, including Iraq, Kuwait, and the U.A.E. Madera was recently honored by Consulting Magazine as one of 2008’s “30 under 30” top young consultants in the world.

John Madera

Alan J. Medina Jr. ’92 - International Business

Alan Medina Jr. works for Bunge, a leading agribusiness and food company with integrated operations that circle the globe. Bunge has more than 25,000 employees in over 30 countries dedicated to improving the global agribusiness and food production chain. Medina serves as Senior Trader and Logistics Manager for Bunge Deutschland GmbH and Bunge Austria GmbH, and is currently assigned in Mannheim, Germany. He coordinates Bunge Europe’s entire middle protein feedstuffs export business, which encompasses trade from the Iberian Peninsula through Central and Northern Europe and reaching into Ukraine and Russia.

Medina has also worked in various capacities in the international agricultural and trading and crushing industries in Hamburg, Germany; White Plains, NY and NYC, NY, St. Louis, MO, USA; and Montréal, Québec and Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. Medina, who grew up in Towanda, speaks fluent German and French. He frequently shares his international business expertise with the students and faculty in the College of Business

Alan Medina Jr.

Venky Peruvemba ’00 - Masters in Business Administation

Venky Peruvemba joined Motorola, Inc., as a Financial Analyst in August, 2000 after graduating from the ISU MBA program. Currently he serves as Manager-Financial Analysis, supporting Corporate IT functions. Venky manages a budget of over $200M and helps his teams prioritize their activities by creating and validating business cases for various projects.

In previous roles, he helped with financial planning for the entire corporation, and identified and evaluated opportunities to save costs on the Motorola’s $5 billion Indirect Goods and Services Spend Portfolio. Venky previously worked for Siemens Limited and Philips Midden Oosten BV in various technology field services positions.

Venky Peruvemba

Glen Steiner ’02 - Master of Science in Accountancy

Glen Steiner is a Tax Manager for the public accounting firm LarsonAllen LLP in New Ulm, Minnesota. LarsonAllen is a nationwide professional service firm that provides assurance, accounting, tax, consulting, and advisory services to organizations and individuals managing business ventures and finance. Steiner operated a family dairy farm in Central Illinois before graduating with a Master’s Degree in Accounting from Illinois State University in 2002.

Steiner specializes in providing tax, consulting, and accounting advice to agricultural producers and other small business owners. While at LarsonAllen, Steiner earned his CPA license. He is a member of the Minnesota Society of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs. Glen has also taken a lead role in the transition to paperless technologies, holding a position as a Software Champion and conducting software training for new staff.

Glen Steiner

Jessica Thompson ’03 - Integrated Marketing Communication

Jessica Thompson is a Supervisor of Corporate Media Relations with McDonald’s Corporation. In this role, Thompson helps promote and protect brand McDonald’s by managing proactive and reactive media-based issues, and implementing strategic media relations plans, including McDonald’s International Media Days program. Jessica began her career at McDonald's in February, 2004 as Coordinator for the Corporate Media Relations department. She assumed her current position in December of 2006.

Thompson is a founding member and co-chair of McDonald’s Young Professionals Network and is also a member of McDonald’s Women’s Leadership Network. She actively participates in Junior Achievement and was the recipient of McDonald's prestigious President's Award in 2007.

Jessica Thompson

Aaron Vaughn ’95 - Finance

Aaron Vaughn is a senior research analyst with Edward Jones & Company. In that role, Vaughn makes investment recommendations within the health care sector for the firm's more than 10,000 financial advisors and more than 7 million clients. Prior to joining Edward Jones, Aaron worked at Robert W. Baird & Company as an equity research analyst covering the utilities industry.

Vaughn also served as a financial analyst for State Farm Insurance, and was a credit analyst for First of America Bank. Aaron, who earned his MBA from Indiana University, is a Chartered Financial Analyst, and a Certified Public Accountant. He and his wife Sarah have two daughters, Anna and Allison.

Aaron Vaughn

Michael Wesbecher ’02 - Business Teacher Education

Michael Wesbecher accepted a position as a high school business teacher at North Boone High School after completing his degree. Since then he has expanded Boone’s original business course offerings from four to 10 and changed the direction of instruction in his department to a project-based work environment where students are asked to develop solutions to real world business and technology problems.

Wesbecher has coached the Scholastic Bowl team, served a class sponsor, the faculty advisor for the North Boone Global Economic Summit Team, Prom coordinator, the basketball concession stand manager, a member of the North Boone Business Services committee, and vice president of Northern Illinois Business Education Association.

Wesbecher was honored as the Illinois Business Education Association Outstanding New Professional in Business Education in the fall of 2004 and was one of the final 20 semi-finalists in the Rock Valley Golden Apple Foundation competition in the spring of 2007.

Michael Wesbecher
2018-10-09T11:21:49.961-05:00 2018