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Class of 2009/2010

College of Business 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.

From paintballs and gemstones to the American flag – graduates of Illinois State University’s College of Business are leveraging their degrees and earning professional distinction in a wide array of industries.

Here is a brief look at the winners of the 2009-2010 College of Business Early Career Achievement Awards (ECAA) who will be recognized during Homecoming festivities at Illinois State University in October.

John Carter ’99 - Marketing

John Carter ’99 (marketing) began working at Jack Lewis Fine Jewelry as a sophomore in high school and remained there until completing his degree at Illinois State University. Upon graduation, Carter joined Maurice Lacroix Swiss Watches as the upper midwest regional sales director. During his five years on the road, Carter learned the ins-and-outs of the fine jewelry business.

After leaving the wholesale side of the industry he returned to Jack Lewis as a shareholder. Carter is currently the company’s C.O.O. He is a graduate gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America and a Certified Gemologist Appraiser, a distinction currently held by fewer than 500 individuals in the world.

John Carter

Paul Ciesiun ‘06 - Entrepreneurship

Paul Ciesiun ’06 (entrepreneurship) is the holder of three patents, and like most successful entrepreneurs, wears many hats. He is president of Exiled Paintball Inc., an IP holding research/development firm. Ciesiun also owns and manages daily operations of Hydro-Caps LLC which uses a proprietary method for manufacturing paintballs that are environmentally friendly, yet cheaper and more durable than any competing product currently on the market.

Although primarily developed for the paintball industry, there are a wide range of additional applications under development for the technology which are appropriate for the pharmaceutical industry, military, and law enforcement. Prior to earning his degree, Ciesiun served four years in the U.S. Air Force.

Paul Ciesiun

Dawn (Skaggs) Forden ’99 - Insurance

Dawn (Skaggs) Forden ’99 (insurance) is a Vice President at Swiss Reinsurance America Corporation. Since joining the company Forden has had the opportunity to work both in the United States and overseas, including several international projects through the company’s home office in Zurich, Switzerland and in the London insurance marketplace.

Forden earned her Charted Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Associate in Reinsurance (ARe) designations. She continues to stay connected to the Katie School of Insurance and College of Business where she also majored in finance. Forden, her husband Patrick ’98 finance/insurance, and their children, Joshua and Alyssa reside in the Chicagoland area.

Dawn Skaggs Forden

Bob Glazik ’98 - Accountancy

Bob Glazik ’98 (accountancy) is a director of audit services with McGladrey & Pullen’s Great Lakes practice. Since joining the firm in 1998, he has provided audit, accounting and consulting services to clients across various industries, with his expertise in manufacturing and wholesale distribution.

Glazik is an instructor of audit and accounting continuing education for the practice and serves as a career advisor for accounting staff members. He was appointed as the Great Lakes Practice’s representative at the inaugural RSMi Academy, a congregation of delegates from RSM International network firms collaborating to develop ways to better serve RSM clients internationally. Glazik enjoys returning to campus as a recruiter for his firm.

Bob Glazik

Lori (Sacre) Gondry ’98 - M.S. in Accountancy

Lori (Sacre) Gondry ’98 (master of science in accountancy) has served as the director of financial reporting at Stored Value Solutions in Louisville, KY since January 2009. The company provides gift and reward cards and card processing services for approximately 40% of the nation’s largest restaurants and retailers and also serves numerous international customers.

Gondry is responsible for performing accounting functions and ensuring the company’s compliance with US GAAP, including revenue recognition for arrangements with multiple deliverables and GAAP related to foreign currency transactions. She previously provided accounting expertise to clients in the real estate, health care and manufacturing industries, as well as non-for profit entities, colleges and universities.

Lori Sacre Gondry

Josh Gordon ’00 - M.B.A.

Josh Gordon ’00 (M.B.A.) is a national account manager at Brightpoint Inc., a Fortune 500 Company and global leader in the wireless industry. In this role Gordon has achieved 30% annual growth by managing the end-to-end supply chain solutions and fulfillment of mobile products for the nation’s fifth largest wireless carrier.

Prior to joining the company Gordon worked at Accenture where he was responsible for program management on engagements with public sector clients like the States of Illinois, Indiana and Washington, and the Defense Logistics Agency, as well as private sector clients like Thomson Multimedia. Gordon lives in Indianapolis with his wife, Marisa and their children Jake and Katie.

Josh Gordon

Katie Hill-Gottesman ’01 - Marketing - IMC

Katie Hill-Gottesman ’01 (integrated marketing communications) is the founder and COO of Chicago-based Commuter Advertising, the first and only provider of short-form, location-based audio advertising on public transit vehicles. Commuter Advertising creates, manages and sells its proprietary media and shares new revenue with transit authority partners. Currently operating in Champaign, IL, Kansas City, MO and Dayton, OH, the company is poised for growth in multiple new markets.

Prior to founding this venture with her husband, Hill spent seven years managing technical marketing tools and operations for domestic and international clients at Leo Burnett advertising agency in Chicago. A native of Zion, IL, Hill and her husband reside in Dayton, OH.

Katie Hill-Gorresman

Divyesh Jevtani ’04 - International Business

Divyesh Jevtani ’04 (international business) is an online communications specialist with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. Based in New York City, Jevtani leads a team providing web design, brand compliance, editorial, and multi-channel promotion services. He is also a key member of a cross-functional team of web professionals focused on the migration of the organization's global intranet, Deloitte Resources, to a new, state-of-the-art content management platform.

His work has taken Jevtani to Chicago, Mexico City, Lisbon, Cape Town, Mumbai, and Hyderabad. Recently he presented “Leveraging the Intranet in your Internal Communications” at a conference in London. The Nielsen Norman Group recognized Jevtani and his team for developing one of 2009's top 10 intranets in the world.

Divyesh Jevtani

Scott Joyce ‘98 - Finance

Scott Joyce ‘98 (finance) is a director in the Non-Investment Grade Debt Capital Markets group within the Investment Banking & Capital Markets Division at Wells Fargo Securities where he is responsible for originating, structuring and underwriting leveraged syndicated loans and high yield bonds for corporate clients and private equity groups. His primary focus is mergers and acquisitions financing within the industrial, defense and aerospace industries.

Joyce is a member of the Department of Finance, Insurance and Law Advisory Board and previously served on the university’s Board of Trustees as the student representative. JHe also served in the United States Army.
Scott Joyce

Aaron Larsen ’01 - Business Information Systems

Aaron Larsen ’01 (business information systems)is a senior cost engineer in the Oil, Gas, and Chemical Division of Bechtel Corporation, the nation’s top construction contractor. Larsen joined Bechtel in 2008 and works at the Conoco Phillips refinery in Wood River, IL where he coordinates with senior site management to oversee project budgets, identify scope changes, validate subcontractor proposals, track subcontractor commitments, and quantify construction progress on the $1.25 billion coker expansion project.

Previously he was a cost engineer and divisional cost manager at STARCON International. Larsen, who has worked at refineries in Michigan, California, Kentucky, New Mexico, Minnesota, and Aruba, earned his M.B.A. from Lewis University in 2007 with a 4.0 GPA.

Aaron Larsen

Matt Peterson ’04 - Business Teacher Education

Matt Peterson ’04 (business teacher education) is head of the Business Department at Reed-Custer High School in Braidwood. He teaches classes in accounting, computer applications and internet technology. Peterson also serves as an instructor in the computer department at Joliet Junior College.

In addition to his teaching, Peterson is a class sponsor and the head girls’ basketball coach, with a career record of 64 wins and 37 losses. Peterson earned his master’s degree in education and is currently completing a second master’s degree in educational administration. As an undergraduate he was president of Pi Omega Pi and attended the National Business Education Association Conference in Dallas.
Matt Peterson

Carl "Gus" Porter III ’02 - Business Administration

Carl "Gus" Porter III ’02 (business administration) is CEO of WGN Flag & Decorating Co., a fourth generation family-owned business started in Chicago in 1916. After graduation Porter assumed the role of vice president. Two years later his success with the company allowed him to become CEO, supervising all aspects of the business.

In addition, Porter joined the National Independent Flag Dealers Association (NIFDA). He was the youngest member in the organization’s 21-year history to serve on the NIFDA board of directors. Since then Porter has served as the group’s treasurer and vice president. In 2008, he was elected president of NIFDA. Porter and his wife Jessica live in Orland Park, IL.

Carl "Gus" Porter III

Ryan Prevo ’05 - Master of Professional Accountancy

Ryan Prevo ’05 (master of professional accountancy) is the supervisor of the Life/Health Financial Reporting department at COUNTRY Financial. He oversees the preparation of the financial statements for three life insurance companies and six other subsidiaries, researches new accounting guidance, and prepares regulatory filings for various states and agencies.

Prevo began his career at COUNTRY Financial as an intern and worked as an accounting projects analyst and financial accountant prior to assuming his current role. He regularly speaks on accounting and insurance topics to classes and student organizations at the college. A Certified Public Accountant, Prevo, his wife Amber, and daughters, Ava, Kate and Olivia, reside in Normal.
Ryan Prevo

Mike Rizzuto ’05 - Professional Sales

Mike Rizzuto ’05 (professional sales) is a sales management professional at Chicago Office Technology Group, a major office systems and workflow solutions consultancy firm with over 5,000 employees nationwide. His responsibilities range from leading and developing staff expertise, to managing complex consultancy projects.

Rizzuto joined the firm in 2005 focusing on new business development with some of the region’s largest educational, healthcare and non-for-profit institutions. His results led to a series of rapid promotions. Rizzuto, who was most recently honored with the Global Leaders Award, has received several other performance-based recognitions. He continues his professional development within several key industry affiliations and remains actively involved with the Professional Sales Institute and the college.
Mike Rizzuto

Brett Walsh ’01 - Human Resources

Brett Walsh ’01 (human resources) is the Corporate Human Resources Manager for STARCON International, a full service mechanical contractor with operations in over a dozen states and countries including Aruba, Mexico and Trinidad. STARCON serves clients in the refining, chemical, food processing, metals, paper and power industries.

Walsh manages all employee and labor relations, talent management, compensation and benefits, as well as recruiting and staffing. He also serves as an advisor and consultant to line management and senior leadership. Walsh completed his Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification in 2004 and his Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) credentials the following year.

Brett Walsh
2021-05-10T06:39:57.465-07:00 2021