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Class of 2010/2011

Early Career Achievement Awards

The Early Career Achievement Awards celebrate outstanding young alumni who have demonstrated innovative and responsible professional leadership and the potential for future distinction. The pool of nominees was especially strong this year and the College extends its congratulations to all those under consideration for their successes. We are proud of you and appreciate all you do that enhances our reputation for excellence.

Here is a brief look at the winners of the 2010-2011 College of Business Early Career Achievement Awards (ECAA) who will be recognized during Homecoming festivities at Illinois State University in October.

James A. Fielder ‘01 - Organizational Leadership

James A. Fielder ’01 (organizational leadership) is vice president of information systems at Farm Credit Services of Illinois, in Mahomet, IL  where he leads a team of technicians including system administrators, business analysts and network administrators.  He has been the manager of several projects including the deployment of advance Microsoft technologies, Cisco implementations, and Customer Relationship management. 

James completed his master’s degree in religious education in 2009 and earned a master’s of divinity from Liberty University this year. Fielder will soon begin the doctorate of ministry program at Northern Seminary in Chicago.  He is married to Tonya Fielder.

James Fielder

Jamie Goecking ’06 - Integrated Marketing Communications

Jamie Goecking ’06 (integrated marketing communications) is currently an associate media director at Chicago-based Digital Media agency, Fuor Digital where she manages teams within the consumer packaged goods, travel, financial, technology and entertainment industries. Jamie launched her career during the company’s start-up and her resulting breadth expertise in the continuously evolving digital landscape includes search engine marketing, display, mobile and social media.

Goecking’s top priority is leading clients to a clear understanding of the role digital plays within their overall marketing strategies and implementing proper tracking and analytics to measure the advertising return on investment.

Jamie Goecking

Aimee Hale ’02 - Marketing

Aimee (Hale) Butcher '02 (marketing) is vice president at PNC Financial Services Group.  She joined the retail management program at National City Bank after graduation and has earned positions of increasing responsibility within the banking organization.

 Aimee’s current priorities include customer growth and retention, gaining revenue and market share, and developing the professional capabilities of her team members. Butcher is a three-time sales champion and has earned other accolades for her work. She and her husband Dave enjoy working out, gardening, traveling, and cheering on the Green Bay Packers.

Aimee Hale Butcher

Andrew Hoffman ’05 - Accounting

Andrew Hoffman ’05 (accounting) is tax manager for Maui Jim Sunglasses where he oversees tax planning and compliance for operations in twelve countries.  He was recently involved in launching Maui Jim's newest international distribution center in India and has been part of numerous operational teams for the company, including the IT steering committee and the website redesign team.

 Hoffman, who received the Excel Award from the Illinois CPA Society for outstanding performance on the 2005 Uniform CPA Examination, resides in Normal with his wife Elizabeth ('04) and their daughter Alison.

Andrew Hoffman

Amar Kamath ’97 - Master of Business Administration

Amar Kamath ’97 (M.B.A.) is vice president of marketing for BioReference Laboratories (NASDAQ = BRLI), the third largest publicly held clinical laboratory in the US. In addition to leading the marketing function, Kamath is also involved in business development, intellectual property and licensing, new technology acquisition, new market strategies as well as general management of one of the subsidiaries of BioReference.

Prior to BioReference, Amar worked for Athena Diagnostics in various marketing roles. He developed his passion for healthcare while completing an internship at BroMenn Healthcare in Bloomington.
Amar Kamath

Mark Kazzaz ’07 - Master of Professional Accountancy

Mark Kazzaz ’07 (master of professional accountancy) is at State Farm managing the development of a new business intelligence platform for financial reporting and analysis. He also leads State Farm’s Finance Technology Council and teaches colleagues advanced data interrogation skills.

Kazzaz’s previous experiences include IT consulting, IT security, financial advisory, and financial audit. Kazzaz is a CPA, an adjunct professor at Illinois State, and a volunteer in local classrooms. His business philosophy reflects a commitment to continuously challenging the status quo.

Mark Kazzaz

David Nies ’03 - Professional Sales

David Nies '03 (professional sales) is co-founder and president of the national Ballyhoo Mobile Marketing firm, specializing in mobile coupons for restaurants, nightclubs, and auto dealers, to name a few. The firm also develops iPhone applications for internal use by private industry clients. David’s responsibilities include revenue generation, sales management, corporate strategy, and sales training.

Nies volunteers as a board member with Daniel Kids and serves as vice president of southeast initiatives for the Heartland Mobile Council. He currently resides in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL and frequents Ballyhoo’s second office in Denver, CO.

David Nies

Robert Parent ’97 - Insurance

Robert Parent ’97 (insurance) is a director of planning and analysis at State Farm Insurance, with leadership responsibility for cost-benefit and incentive program analysis.  Previously, Rob performed a variety of management roles in the company’s internal audit, expense processing, and general accounting functions. 

Parent earned the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, Associate in Insurance Accounting and Finance, and Fellow, Life Management Institute designations.  He and his wife Jennifer enjoy traveling, attending sporting events, and spending time with their daughter, Emily.

Robert Parent

Mike Patterson ‘05 - Business Teacher Education

Mike Patterson ’05 (business teacher education) teaches accounting, business law, computer applications, cooperative education, and sports and entertainment marketing at Homewood-Flossmoor High School.  Mike has received the Outstanding New Professional Award from both the Illinois Business Education Association and the Illinois Association for Career and Technical Education. He serves as the South Region president of Illinois Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA). 

Patterson is the executive director of student government, the school’s DECA advisor, spring fundraiser concert coordinator, and a football coach. He completed his master’s degree in school improvement leadership from Olivet Nazarene University.
Mike Patterson

Jaime Peters ’02 - Finance

Jaime Peters ‘02 (finance) is a senior equity analyst at Morningstar, Inc. in Chicago where she examines the financial statements of some of the U.S.’s largest banks and judges the merits of making a common stock investment. Before joining Morningstar in November 2005, she was an equity analyst for State Farm Insurance Companies for three years.

Peters earned her M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and is a Chartered Financial Analyst and Certified Public Accountant. Jaime joined the Finance Department’s Educational Investment Fund board of directors in 2009.  She, her husband Josh and their children can often be found fixing up their Bloomington home.

Jamie Black Peters

Nicholas Porter ’05 - Business Administration

Nicolas Porter ’05 (business administration) began sweeping floors at his family’s business at age 13. From warehouse laborer to counter salesman, to chief operations officers, Nick has earned his success. Porter’s innovations, equipment and operational upgrades resulted in sales gains of 37% in 2007-2008 and reduced injury rates from 13 occurrences in 2008, to zero in 2010.

A shareholding owner, Nick says he’s been in love with the company for as long as he can remember. Porter volunteers with the Misericordia Foundation for handicapped adults, the Special Olympics and the Meadows Home for the Mentally Disabled.

Nicholas Porter

Joe Reynolds ’03 - Entrepreneurship

Joe Reynolds '03 (entrepreneurship) is the founder and president of Red Frog Events, which has swiftly gone from a single person company to a thriving $12 million business. With a unique company culture (Lego tables and free office beer) and a revolutionary management style (unlimited vacation days, sabbaticals, etc.).

Red Frog Events recently won the 2010 Stevie award for North American Company of the Year. In 2010 they will hold The Great Urban Race in 23 cities across the country where teams solve clues and complete zany challenges. Red Frog also offers Warrior Dash events for thrill-seeking athletes.

Joe Reynolds

Antonio Rodriguez ’03 - International Business

Antonio Rodriguez ’03 (international business) is video conference coordinator for the law firm of Seyfarth Shaw LLP, which has offices in nine U.S. cities and Belgium. Antonio began as a help desk analyst for the firm.

Since then he has guided the development and maintenance of the internal infrastructure and helped establish the video conferencing capabilities and protocols at the company’s different offices. Currently Rodriguez supports the video interactions of more than 425 attorneys.

Antonio Rodriguez

Tony Ross ’07 - Business Information Systems

Tony Ross ’07 (business information systems) is a lead business analyst at State Farm Insurance.  An agile practitioner, Ross has led project teams implementing online applications, enhancing the digital customer experience and representing State Farm in B2B ecommerce data standards from an architecture perspective.

Currently he is an application architecture lead engaging in strategy and tactical level decisions while working as a liaison to business partners. Prior to launching his business career Tony served for nearly a decade in the Army where he was an aviation electronics mechanic for the Blackhawk helicopter and completed a tour of duty in Iraq.

Tony Ross

Brian Shadix ’00 - Human Resources

Brian Shadix ‘00 (human resources) is the director of career services for DeVry University in Atlanta, GA where he oversees nine campuses in a five-state region and is responsible for building relationships with companies that lead to high employment levels for the school’s graduates.

Brian started his career as an intern with the Spherion Corporation where he held the roles of recruiter, branch manager, senior branch manager, and area manager. Brian, his wife Colette and their daughters, Sophia and Sylvia enjoy exploring Atlanta and spending time with family and friends.

Brian Shadix

Shawn Taylor ’00 - Master of Science in Accountancy

Shawn Taylor ’00 (master of science in accountancy) is an audit manager at Kerber, Eck & Braeckel LLP’s Springfield office. Shawn’s responsibilities include supervising several financial statement audit teams on multiple audit engagements, completing and reviewing corporate tax returns and meeting with clients.

He was previously a staff level auditor for Arthur Andersen LLP in Chicago. Taylor has been involved in volunteering for many different not-for-profit organizations. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Illinois CPA Society. Shawn lives in Springfield with his wife Debbie.
Shawn Taylor

2018-10-09T11:21:49.492-05:00 2018