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Class of 2011/2012

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 2011-2012 College of Business Early Career Achievement Awards (ECAA) who will be recognized during Homecoming festivities at Illinois State University in October.

Aaron Harmon '02 - Insurance, Finance

Aaron Harmon is an assistant vice president within ACE USA’s management liability division focusing on directors and officers (D & O) liability insurance for publicly traded companies. He manages the publicly traded D&O group for the Midwest and Southwest regions.  

Employed by ACE since 2003, Harmon has held leadership assignments in both national and regional account segments, including two years with ACE’s Atlanta office as the Southwest Regional Manager for the management liability division.  He earned his MBA in finance from DePaul University in 2007.

Aaron Harmon

Trevor Chapman '05 - Business Teacher Education

Trevor Chapman is a business teacher and cooperative education coordinator at Normal West High School, where he teaches introduction to business, business management, personal finance and computer applications. 

Chapman also serves as an instructional assistant professor for pre-service teachers at Illinois State. Chapman earned his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at ISU and will complete his master’s in educational administration in December.  He lives in Normal with his wife, Margherita ’06, M.S. ’09, and their daughter Leah.

Trevor Chapman

Eric Cook '00 - M.B.A.

Eric Cook is the online program manager at State Farm Insurance, providing leadership for 35 website and mobile application projects with a combined budget of $43 million. He has completed Charter Financial Consultant and Project Management Professional designations and is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Peoria Air National Guard. 

Cook received the Red Cross Heroes Award for bringing supplies to refugee camps, schools, and hospitals and the Department of Defense Sevens Deals Award for supporting soldiers transitioning to civilian jobs. Cook, his wife and three children live in Normal..

Eric Cook

Jefferson Gilkeson '05 - Master of Science in Accountancy

Jefferson Gilkeson is an information technology audit manager with the NASA Office of Inspector General.  He and his team conduct cyber-security audits of NASA’s information technology security program. 

Gilkeson has won numerous awards during his federal service for his skill in leading people, managing projects, and producing high-quality audit reports including an EPA Bronze Medal (2008), a NASA Superior Service Award (2010) and a NASA Honor Award (2011).  A licensed public accountant and certified information systems auditor, he lives in Arlington, Virginia and enjoys strength training and biking.

Jefferson Gilkeson

Todd Gordon ’00 - Finance, International Business

Todd Gordon is an associate managing director/portfolio manager at The PrivateBank where he is involved in underwriting and the development of a new business banking group. 

Previously, he worked for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch in a variety of roles, most recently as a senior approval officer/vice president underwriting, structuring and approving commercial loans with $5,000,000 of single signing authority.  Gordon, who trains and mentors junior associates, resides in Arlington Heights with his wife and two children. 

Todd Gordon

Lucas Hellmer '03, M.B.A. '05 - Human Resources

Lucas Hellmer is a human resource specialist leading benefits, compensation, performance management, and safety training for Farnsworth Group, Inc., a nationwide full-service engineering and architecture firm.

He received his Professional in Human Resource certification in 2009, and has served as an Executive board member for the Bloomington-Normal Human Resource Council for several years.  Hellmer and his wife, Stephanie, enjoy playing softball, working on their house, and spending time with their two dogs.

Lucas Hellmer

Michael P. Heneghan ’99 - Finance

Michael P. Heneghan is an assistant portfolio manager to Richard Driehaus at Driehaus Capital Management in Chicago.  Before joining the firm in August 2009, he was an equity analyst on the special situations team at Goldman Sachs and worked at Merrill Lynch for four years. 

Heneghan earned his M.B.A. from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.  He joined the Illinois State Finance Department’s Educational Investment Fund Board of Directors in 2009.

Michael P. Heneghan

Tim Holbrook ‘03 - Business Administration

Tim Holbrook is the production accountant for the Lyric Opera of Chicago where he oversees budgeting and contracting for all technical elements (scenery, costumes, wigs, swords, etc.) of Lyric’s eight-production season.

Holbrook earned a master’s degree in performing arts administration from New York University and worked for the producer and general manager of the Broadway productions of The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables and as the business manager for the off-Broadway theatre company Primary Stages.

Tim Holbrook

Ken Kayser ’04 - Entrepreneurship

Ken Kayser is the founder and president of Ken’s Landscaping & Supply Inc., an Illinois Landscape Contractors Association award-winning landscape construction company in the Chicagoland area. 

Kayser started his business at 16 and has grown to more than 15 employees and more than 2 million dollars in annual sales.  The company now focuses on large scale projects involving outdoor living spaces, drainage solutions, and landscape installation. The company also owns and operates its own plant nursery in southern Wisconsin
Ken Kayser

Anthony Knierim ‘06 - Integrated Marketing Communications

Anthony Knierim is a thought leader in the use of Web 2.0 technologies, emerging online social media, and mobile strategies in the HR outsourcing realm. He leads global digital strategy for the Outsourcing business at Aon Hewitt, the largest Human Capital Consulting & Outsourcing provider in the world.

Knierim founded and serves as senior strategic advisor for RadMatter, where students tackle real-world challenges and build life experience to advance their position in the marketplace. He lives in San Francisco and is active in organizations focused on HR innovation including HRMAC, SHRM, and AMA.

Anthony Knierim

Scott Kording '02 - Business Adminstration

Scott Kording is managing attorney of Kording & Hall, LLP, an active general practice law firm representing individuals and small businesses in all manner of cases in state and federal court, including criminal defense, civil litigation, and appeals.  

He also teaches courses in trial advocacy and family law and coaches the Mock Trial Team as an instructional assistant professor with Illinois State’s Politics & Government Department.  Kording received his law degree in 2005 and then served four years there as an adjunct professor of law teaching trial skills.  He and his wife Melanie (’02) live in Bloomington with their daughter Genevieve.

Scott Kording

Alicia Londos ‘04  - Business Information Systems, Finance

Alicia Londos is a senior systems analyst consultant for Accenture where she has managed and participated in internal international consulting projects concerning the SAP platform. These have focused on release management, cutover/deployment management, customization of SAP to meet multi-country, international and local tax requirements, detailed data conversions for fixed assets and financial data, and implementation and customization of new SAP products within the existing SAP application platform. 

A passionate triathlon competitor, Londos previously worked as a financial analyst for Cohen Financial and as a marketing analyst for Motorola.

Alicia Londos

Sarah Loomis '05 - Business Administration

Sarah Loomis is a mining industry field representative for Caterpillar Inc., and is responsible for roughly $150 million annually in mining machine sales. Loomis spends most days in the field with coal mining dealerships and companies in the eastern United States where the majority of the nation's coal used to generate electricity is extracted with Caterpillar equipment.

A member of the Illinois State Golf Team, Loomis was a member of the Illinois State Athletic Board after graduation and currently serves on the Central Indiana Executive Women's Golf Association Board.  She lives in Indianapolis.

Sarah Loomis

Jonathan Nikols ’99 - Professional Sales

Jonathan Nikols is a region vice-president of sales for NCR Corporation where he oversees all services sales planning, strategy and sales execution activities for North America.  He leads and develops sales talent within the IT services industry providing customers with creative solutions to their business opportunities.

Nikols has earned many industry certifications in executive sales leadership and development and has achieved President Club sales awards. He resides in Bourbonnais with his wife, Lesley '98, and their children Emily, Caleb, Mallory and Colton..

Jonathan Nikols

Matthew Schell ’03  - Accounting, Finance

Matthew Schell is a senior manager for Crowe Horwath LLP where he provides audit and consulting services to private and publicly traded financial institutions from less than $100 million to in excess of $100 billion in assets.

Schell has assisted his firm in developing the New York City metropolitan market from a new de novo office to presently in excess of a one-third market share in his target industry. He resides in New York with his wife Barbara and their daughter Ember.

Matthew Schell

Matt Senger ’04 - Marketing

Matt Senger is a research director with Affinnova, which is revolutionizing how the world innovates via a patented IDDEA evolutionary algorithm that identifies top innovation priorities.  Prior to that, he spent five years with Nielsen BASES.

Senger earned a master’s in marketing research in 2006 from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, where he received the Frank Stagger’s Award for Excellence in marketing research.  He serves as adjunct professor of marketing at St. Xavier University, and resides in Chicago, with his wife Meghan and children Emmitt and Maisy.

Matt Senger

Jake Thompson ’07 - Master of Professional Accountancy

Jake Thompson is an audit and tax senior for Sikich LLP. The company has more than 350 employees in 10 Midwest offices. As an auditor, Thompson services clients in a wide variety of industries including manufacturing, construction, and not-for-profit. He is involved in the preparation and review of many individual and corporate tax returns.

Thompson, who received the Excel Award from the Illinois CPA Society for outstanding performance on the 2007 Uniform CPA Examination, resides in Rockford with his wife, Nicole ’07.

Jake Thompson
2018-10-09T11:21:49.024-05:00 2018