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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.

They return to campus to receive their award and share advice with current students through panel discussions during Homecoming Celebrations at Illinois State University.  - See more at:
They return to campus to receive their award and share advice with current students through panel discussions during Homecoming Celebrations at Illinois State University.  - See more at:
They return to campus to receive their award and share advice with current students through panel discussions during Homecoming Celebrations at Illinois State University.  - See more at:

They return to campus to receive their award and share advice with current students through panel discussions during Homecoming Celebrations at Illinois State University on Friday - October 3, 2014.

Panel Discussions — 3:00 - 4:00 pm  Learn from the Award Winners in a Question and Answer session.

Awards Ceremony − 4:15 - 5:00 pm  Mingle with the Awards Winners during a short reception immediately following a brief presentation celebrating their early career success.

Here is a brief look at the winners of the 2014-2015 College of Business Early Career Achievement Awards (ECAA).


Linda Che '01, Marketing

Linda Che

Do what you love.  Love what you do.  That is Linda’s motto for life and for her team.  After graduation, Linda obtained a role as a Financial Business Analyst in the State Farm Systems family.  In that role, she learned that she loved being the communication portal between various departments and was able to continue to enhance her communication skills through State Farm’s Toastmaster’s program.  She soon received an opportunity to join Leo Burnett in their database department.  Having graduated with both a marketing and a business information systems double major, this opportunity seemed to be the perfect fit for her education and skill set. 

In just eight short years, she moved from associate analyst, making her way all the way up to Vice President of Marketing Operations where she is tasked with ensuring flawless execution of her brand’s promotions.  She has had the opportunity to work with so many great clients including Disney, McDonalds, United, Allstate, P&G and Kelloggs.  She believes creativity can transform behavior and is proud to call Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide her home. 

Andy Finks '04, Finance

Andrew Finks

Andy graduated cum laude from Illinois State in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance. He worked as a financial analyst at Caterpillar Inc. for three years and in various wealth management roles at Northern Trust for six years, before joining COUNTRY Financial in 2013. He is currently an Investment Officer in the Wealth Management department at Country Financial with responsibilities in both equity research and portfolio management.

Andy earned an MBA, with distinction, from the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University. He is a CFA Charterholder, and a member of the CFA Society of Chicago.

Sarah Fulk '08, Business Administration

Sarah Fulk

Sarah Fulk is Regional Property Manager for Realty Consulting Services, a Chicago-based real estate investment interest with significant multi-family property holdings. She is specifically responsible for the management of properties in Central Illinois generating more than $4 million annually in revenue.

Sarah oversees leasing and clerical staff, rent collections, vendor and contractor relationships, and maintenance operations, as well as prioritizing and arranging mid and long range capital improvements, aiming to create beautiful places to live from distressed multi-family investments. Additionally, as a licensed real estate broker, she searches for and evaluates potential investments, looking for properties to which her training and skills can bring value. She lives in Normal with her husband, Jake, and two dogs.

Gerald Gugerty '01, Financial Accounting/MPA

Gerald Gugerty

Bill Gugerty is a Financial Management Officer in the Foreign Service of the US Agency for International Development. After graduating from Illinois State with a Masters in Professional Accountancy, he worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers as an auditor in the financial services industry during the global financial crisis.  Injecting a more international focus, he pursued a second masters in International Relations at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, following that with Fulbright research on microfinance institutions in Chisinau, Moldova, where he also taught Accounting and Public Finance at the Free International University of Moldova.

As a Financial Management Officer at USAID, he is currently based in Washington, DC, with a wide range of responsibilities that have included addressing Agency audit findings, assisting in developing and implementing Agency operational reform initiatives, and participating in management assessment teams for several USAID Missions abroad.

Bill Gugerty's spouse currently resides in Zambia, also working in the field of international development as an evaluation specialist.


Stacey Hinterlong 09, Finance and Insurance/MBA

Stacey Hinterlong

Stacey Hinterlong graduated from Illinois State University with a BS in Finance/Insurance and her Master in Business Administration. She graduated in May 2011 and started as an Assistant Broker at Benchmark Management Group in Naperville, IL.

This past September she began working as a Senior Account Executive at Regional Excess Underwriters; Berkley's wholesale broker, in downtown Chicago. Within 4 months she was promoted to Associate Broker and began writing her own book of business. Part of Stacey's duties include meeting and working with independent insurance agents and helping them place their hard to write, higher hazard risks. She holds the pen for a few companies where she underwriters the risk, and also works with 80+ surplus lines carriers to place the risks. Stacey writes all lines from GL, Property, Professional, Pollution/Environmental, Transportation, Umbrellas, and even some aviation.

Stacey completed her CIC in June of this year and is currently working on her CPCU. She is in the process of getting certified to facilitate the CIC designation courses. She is also working on a committee that works with InVest, an organization that works to promote insurance as a career to high school students.

Elliot Kammeyer, '06,  Financial Accounting/MPA

Elliot Kammeyer

Elliot Kammeyer is a Senior Accounting Supervisor for Caterpillar Inc. where he supports the R&D function and participates as part of the company's accounting talent acquisition process.   He started his career at Caterpillar in 2006 after successfully passing the CPA exam while using the Becker review course provided by Illinois State University Faculty.

Elliot has held various staff accounting positions at Caterpillar supporting budgeting, forecasting, planning and analysis, internal controls and cost and decision support for Caterpillar's Global Purchasing, Customer Services Support, and Product Development and Global Technology Divisions.

Elliot is a recipient of the Institute of Management Accountants 2014 Young Professional of the Year award. He is a past President of the Central Illinois chapter of the IMA and actively participates on the Chapter's Board as the VP of Communications. Elliot is happily married, and he and his wife Ginger are active members of The Vineyard Church in Peoria where they are part of the financial ministry team providing guidance and counseling to anyone in need of personal finance education.

 Chris Reisinger '11, MBA

Chris Reisinger

Chris Reisinger is a Financial Analyst for 1st Farm Credit Services, an agricultural lender headquarted in Normal, Illinois. He helps the company by making sense of company data in visually appealing ways using several different programs. Chris also facilitates the creation of the annual corporate budget for the yearly business plan and the quarterly reforecasts.

Outside of his career with 1st Farm Credit Services, Chris is an adjunct instructor in the College of Business at Lincoln College at the Normal Campus.  Chris has lived in Normal, IL for seven years. He and his wife Karen have four amazing kids ages 4 through 10. Chris is also a 2014 graduate of Leadership McLean County with the McLean County Chamber of Commerce.

Anna Reutter '07, Marketing

Anna Reutter

After graduating from Illinois State in May 2007, Anna started her career at Progressive Impressions International as a Jr. Account Executive here in Bloomington, IL. She worked with marketing professionals from one of the top 5 insurance companies in the US to centralize their direct marketing efforts for their field reps. After 3 years in this role, Anna was promoted to an Account Executive, and then Sr. Account Executive which added the responsibility of 2 other programs accounting for over $10MM in revenue for the company.

Most recently, after working for Progressive Impressions for 7 years, she was promoted to Marketing Manager, where she oversees multi-channel marketing plans to support sales reps in growing business with existing clients and gaining new business. She still resides in Bloomington, IL with her fiancée, Rob Francisco where they enjoy boating, camping, and traveling with their friends and family.

Kimberly Reynolds '08, Business Teacher Education

Kimberly Reynolds

Kimberly Reynolds currently teaches Business and Computer courses in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. She is also new high school AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) teacher. AVID is a nationally known program that helps prepare students for a rigorous class schedule along with providing them the skills necessary to prepare them for college and apply for scholarships and to colleges after high school.

While previously teaching at Elk Grove High School, Kimberly created a club called the Girls Involved in Real-Life Situations Club (G.I.R.L.S.). This group targeted first generation college bound females and helped them with goal setting, and ultimately achieve the goal of going to college. She also helped prepare students from Streamwood High School to attend the International Career Development Conference in Atlanta competing with over 17,000 students from around the world.

Kimberly has coached Badminton, was the Diversity Club Sponsor, and currently the Class of 2016 Sponsor. Additionally, she helped students organized and participate in Powder-Puff, supervised the Homecoming Dance, organized and implemented a Valentine's Day Dance, and Prom making sure to help the students participate in fundraising activities.

Kimberly is an adjunct professor at the College of DuPage in the Office and Technology Department. She is currently working to earn a Master of Curriculum and Instruction with an endorsement in ESL from Concordia University Chicago. She also chose to continue her educational knowledge and credentials by earning a Special Education LBS1 Endorsement from Roosevelt University during the summer of 2013. Kimberly is also involved in numerous professional organizations.

Ryan Schaumburg '11, Marketing - Professional Sales

Ryan Schaumburg

Ryan Schaumburg, a 2011 Illinois State Alum, graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing-Professional Sales and a Minor in Organizational Leadership. He is the son of Anne and Scott Schaumburg and has four sisters: Lauren, Cassidy, Abigail and Emma.

Immediately after graduation, Ryan moved to Minneapolis and began his career with News America Marketing. Ryan started as an Account Coordinator and was then promoted to Account Associate within 15 months. A short 4 months later, Ryan was promoted to his current position as an Account Director.

He has recently moved to the Chicago office where he is responsible for accounts, such as Mondelez, Kmart and Hillshire, while also managing 2 Account Coordinators.

Emily Wehrmeyer '03, International Business

Emily WehrmeyerEmily Wehrmeyer is currently a Sr. Financial Analyst at Energizer Holdings. She is responsible for financial reporting and analysis for global IT operations. Since graduating from Illinois State University in 2003, Emily has had several roles. She has gain expertise in foreign currency exposure analysis and accounting treatment. She also worked and traveled to Switzerland and Brazil.

Through these opportunities Emily was able to work with colleagues from around the world and still has strong friendships with many of them. In her free time, Emily enjoys hiking, bicycling, and spending time with her niece and nephew.


Rachel Wilwerding '03, Finance and Business Information Systems

Rachel Wilwerding

Rachel Wilwerding (Romba) graduated from Illinois State in 2003 with honors and a double major in finance and accounting. Today Rachel works as a Global Talent Strategist at LinkedIn. She partners with LinkedIn's largest strategic Talent Solutions customers (Dell, PepsiCo, and State Farm to name a few) to ensure success and solution optimization through technology, consulting, and education.

Prior to LinkedIn, Rachel worked in business consulting and 3rd-party agency recruiting honing a skillset well-suited for helping clients succeed. Passionate about social media, Rachel's interest extends beyond LinkedIn to all venues of social information exchange and conversation. Rachel and her husband live in Barrington, Illinois and just welcomed their first child in August of this year.


2018-10-09T11:21:48.774-05:00 2018