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 on Friday - October 12, 2018.
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 2018-2019 College of Business Early Career Achievement Awards (ECAA).
REBECCA BOULDIN '14
BS | Accountancy
Rebecca (Kingery) Bouldin is a 2014 graduate of Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy. She is a Certified Public Accountant. Upon graduation, Rebecca began working at BKD, LLP as an audit associate. During her time at BKD, LLP, Rebecca conducted financial statement audits on both private and publicly-traded clients in various industries including financial institutions and governmental entities. In this role, her primary responsibilities included managing and performing all aspects of the audit engagement, supervising and training staff, ensuring profitability goals were met, and building strong client relationships.
In August 2018, Rebecca joined Eck, Schafer & Punke, LLP in Springfield as a Senior Associate to further develop her auditing and tax knowledge. She considers herself a continual learner and is excited for this new chapter of her career, as well as for the opportunity to serve new clients.
Rebecca lives in Chatham with her husband, Jake Bouldin, a 2013 Illinois State graduate with a degree in Criminal Justice, and their two dogs. They enjoy travelling and experiencing new cultures as well as spending time together at home with their pups. Rebecca also enjoys returning to Illinois State to participate in recruiting and community service events
KYRAN CAHILL '15
BS | Professional Sales
Kyran Cahill is currently an Account Executive on the Google Cloud team covering financial services and health care in the NYC area.
Kyran assists companies in getting the most out of the current and future computing needs and data.
BLAINE CURCIO '11
BS | International Business
Blaine Curcio is currently the Founder of Orbital Gateway Consulting, a boutique consulting and market research firm focused on the satellite telecommunications industry. After graduating ISU in 2011, Blaine moved to Shenzhen, China, where he worked for 1 year as a Project Manager at Shinerich Industrial Ltd., doing international business and market development for a Chinese BBQ manufacturer.
He then spent 5 years working at Northern Sky Research (NSR), a market research firm focusing on space and satellite telecommunications, during which time he lived in, among other places, China, Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia. After 5 years at NSR, Blaine started his own consulting firm in February 2018, with work focused on global satellite operators, and also the rapidly evolving Chinese space industry.
Blaine is currently completing his MBA at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), the #15 MBA program in the world (FT rankings). He is based in Hong Kong, where he is married with no children (yet). He speaks English, Mandarin, and still understands much Italian from the two years of courses he took at ISU, under the phenomenal Professor Lisa Rosenthal. His Spanish, while rusty, is still fairly strong.
HARRISON GOODMAN '06
BS | Human Resource Management
Pastor Harrison Goodman received his BS from Illinois State University in 2006, and his Master's Degree from Concordia Theological Seminary in 2010. He currently serves as a pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Winside Nebraska and St. Paul Lutheran Church, Carroll Nebraska. He is a presenter, writer, and content producer for Higher Things, a national youth organization.
Harrison has served as a circuit visitor, where he supervised a region of congregations, assisting the district president, and currently serves on the nominations committee of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod Nebraska District. He is married to Lisa, who he met at ISU, and has two children.
STEVE HARMS '07
BSMPA | Accountancy
Steve Harms started his career with internships at Caterpillar, Country Financial, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. He began full time employment with the Chicago office of PwC after graduating with his Bachelor of Science, Summa Cum Laude, and Master of Professional Accountancy. At PwC he has specialized in the banking and capital markets sector, and specifically provided external audit and advisory services to banks and lending institutions.
He has assisted clients with multi-billion dollar acquisitions, transactions, and initial public offerings. He has worked with multiple clients during the challenging times of identifying and remediating material control weaknesses, as well as helping them design internal control structures in preparation for first year external controls opinions.
In 2017, PwC moved Steve and his family to Pittsburgh, PA to be the lead senior manager on one of the firm's largest banking clients. His day to day responsibilities include managing more than 40 audit professionals. In his role, he is responsible for communicating and working with the client's executive management and the audit committee of the board of directors.
Outside of work he enjoys spending time with his wife, Colleen, also an ISU graduate, and their son Artie. They love spending time outdoors, whether it's going for hikes, playing tee-ball, or even landscaping. The couple is expecting a new addition to their family in late September.
JONATHAN JANDA '10
BS | Business Administration
Jonathan Janda is a 2010 graduate of Illinois State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. Upon graduation, Jonathan moved to Chicago and took a job as an Account Executive at CareerBuilder. In his 6.5-year tenure at CareerBuilder, he qualified five times for President's Club, and in 2013 he received the honor of Sales Rep of the Year.
In 2016, Jonathan left CareerBuilder to become one of the first Senior Account Executives in Chicago for Mill Valley, CA based Glassdoor. He was tasked with working with some of the largest global brands in North America, Europe, India, and Australia. In his first two years with the company, he surpassed his annual quota, and was recognized as the Rookie of the Year. He is also the back to back winner of the Integrity Award, which is awarded to the sales rep who exemplifies exceptional integrity with their clients as well as peers within the organization. Jonathan currently is an Enterprise Sales Manager leading a team of seven account executives working with organizations to hire the right talent.
Outside of his professional career, Jonathan received his MBA in Management from St. Xavier University in Chicago in 2013. He is a 10-year cancer survivor who volunteers with his family for both the Ronald McDonald House and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He also volunteers for an annual fundraising campaign at a local elementary school in Palos Hills, Illinois to raise money for cancer research, while also educating the students.
He currently resides in Chicago with his wife, Allison, and their dog Bosun.
NICHOLE KELLEY '03
BS | Finance & Insurance
Nichole Kelley is an Asset Manager within Wells Fargo Commercial Mortgage Servicing. She is one of the youngest female Directors on the team. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Nichole manages a $19.7 billion portfolio consisting of over 920 loans across 33 securitizations. She is the primary point of contact for all servicing related issues to the assigned portfolios, and is responsible for maintaining positive and profitable relationships.
Nichole gives back to her community by volunteering at Classroom Central and leading build days for Habitat for Humanity. Nichole is a member of CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) and serves as Secretary and Board Director to the CREW Charlotte Member Recognition Committee and Co-Chair of the CREW Network Member Education Committee.
Nichole's contributions to her workplace and community have earned her numerous local and national awards, including the 2015 Wells Fargo Golden Spoke Award, the "Top" performer award given to team members in recognition of their significant contributions to the organization, 2017 Real Estate Forum 50 under 40, and 2017 Mecklenburg Times 50 Most Influential Women, to name a few.
Nichole currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband Kyle (also an ISU graduate), and their children Aubrey and Keegan.
SPENCER KELLY '14
BSMPA | Accountancy
Spencer Kelly, CFA, CPA, is an investment professional based out of Chicago for the last four years. Currently, a senior fundamental credit analyst at Magnetar Capital where his research informs and influences a variety of credit strategies.
After graduating from Illinois State University's B.S./M.P.A. program in May of 2014, Spencer began his career at CNA Financial in the Finance Leadership Program where he would gain valuable experience in accounting, investments & treasury, and corporate development roles. He would ultimately become responsible for managing the $2 billion short-term bond portfolio and liquidity of the overall enterprise while continuing to work with the corporate development group. In the spring of 2017, Spencer moved to Magnetar Capital, a hedge fund in Evanston, IL. Since joining Magnetar, he has assumed a more senior role and is now responsible for the fundamental credit research covering consumer staples & discretionary, real estate, healthcare, and transportation sectors.
Spencer is an active member of CFA Society Chicago and volunteer on the Professional Development Advisory Group, a member of Illinois State University's Finance, Insurance & Law Department Advisory Board, a CFA® Charterholder and a Certified Public Accountant. He also volunteers in a variety of community outreach programs and attends charity events.
VENKATA KISHORE '10
Dr. Venkata Kishore is deeply committed to improving agriculture and improving lives. Watching farmers struggle as they worked to feed their families and neighbors in India, inspired Venkata to study agriculture to improve the lives of those around him. He has 20 yrs. of experience in research and development across Field crops and Vegetables in Americas, Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Venkata has a Ph.D. in Crop Science from Oregon State University with a specialization in Plant Molecular Breeding and he also has an MBA from Illinois State University.
He is currently the Director of Solanaceous crops Breeding in Bayer Crop Science and is on an international assignment in the Netherlands. He is the managing Director of Research and a Board Member in five legal entities of which four of them are in the Netherlands and one is in Israel.
Venkata is a deeply committed and a prolific researcher, he has been named as an inventor on six granted patents and published 16 articles in scientific journals and presented at numerous national and international conferences. Besides his technical achievements, his dedicated focus of developing people and teams, managing complex partnerships and divestitures has had a positive impact on the Vegetable business at Bayer Crop Science. His passion in helping to improve local communities through projects focused on providing fresh water to schools and villages and supporting women in agriculture has been rewarded through numerous global awards at Bayer Crop Science.
KEVIN KOWYNIA '13, '15
BS | Intergrated Marketing Communication
MS | Sports Management
Kevin Kowynia is a two-time graduate of Illinois State University (2013 BS in Integrated Marketing Communication and 2015 MS in Sport Management). Kevin is currently a Ticket Sales Account Executive for the Chicago Blackhawks, focused on revenue generation through a full menu of ticket packages including partial season tickets and group tickets.
Kevin has been a sports industry professional for seven years and has held previous positions with Northwestern University Athletics and Illinois State University Athletics.
He is an Eagle Scout and remains active serving as an Assistant Scoutmaster with his childhood Boy Scout Troop, Troop 979, in the Jefferson Park neighborhood of Chicago. Kevin is originally from Buffalo Grove, a northwest suburb of Chicago, and currently resides in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago with several proud Redbirds.
OLIVIA MATOS '07
BS | Organizational Leadership
Olivia Matos oversees the Arizona Coyotes Foundation and the Community Relations department for the team. She is in her sixth year with the franchise. She also serves on the Board of Directors for local Arizona nonprofits, Foundation for Blind Children and Feeding Matters.
She joined the organization as the manager of the Foundation and Community Relations from Recruiting.com/Jobing.com, where she worked in Public and Social Services Solutions Sales, managing and developing nationwide clientele within the following industries: government, education, associations and social service organizations.
Prior to Recruiting.com, Olivia spent five years at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, where she sold, planned and executed events of all kinds. She graduated Suma Cum Laude from Illinois State University in 2007 with a Bachelor's degree in Business Management with a focus on Organizational Leadership.
LAURA MAYER '13
BS | Marketing
Laura Mayer graduated from the College of Business in 2013 with a major in Marketing. After graduation, Laura moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in advertising at TBWA\Chiat\Day. Specializing in marketing data and strategy, she helped brands like Airbnb and Twitter build their creative campaign strategy through a data-driven approach. Laura started as an intern and left the Los Angeles office leading the data strategy team.
Her next opportunity brought her to New York City, to lead and build the data strategy team for TBWA\Chiat\Day's New York branch. She later took a position with Neo@Ogilvy, a social and digital performance marketing agency. She currently leads a team and works with brands like Showtime and TD Ameritrade to drive user acquisition through their social and digital marketing channels.
Missing the outdoors and sunny weather, Laura recently made the move back to the West Coast and resides in LA continuing her work with Neo@Ogilvy.
CAMERON MCGUIRE '12
BSPMA | Accountancy & Finance
Cameron McGuire is currently a tax advisor with RSM's Chicago-based national real estate practice. What began as an internship during the spring semester of his senior year has progressed into him being a manager and continually contributing to the many successes of his group. Cameron's current responsibilities consist of providing comprehensive federal and state tax compliance and consulting services to various real estate clients, including acquisitions, developments and dispositions of various real estate projects across a range of product types (i.e. commercial, multi-family residential, student housing, etc).
In addition to providing external client services, Cameron places significant importance on giving back to those just starting their career with RSM. He has continually assisted in developing and presenting various training sessions for staff level positions, including being a presenter for RSM's national training program for first year associates and interns.
PARKER SCHEUERMANN '97
BS | Business Administration
Parker Scheuermann is the founder of Zero Waste Logistics, a consulting and management services company. Zero Waste Logistics was launched in 2009 and specializes in design and management of efficient logistics networks. ZWL's client base includes Caterpillar, Reynolds Consumer Products, Thyssenkrupp, Pactiv, Dunkin Donuts, Napa Auto-Parts and many others.
Parker began his career at Deloitte Consulting and held several positions within Caterpillar, before founding Zero Waste. He lives in rural Bloomington with his wife, Ilona, and 5 kids; Parker Samuel, Jordan, Joshua, Ethan and Adalena.
Parker is on the board of Can-Do-Kids International, a Christian Missions organization, and is a member of Eastview Christian Church, where he volunteers in the children's ministry.
GENESIS SMITH '15
BS | Business Administration
Genesis Smith is the CEO of Luxurious Lathers, a thriving, upscale natural body products boutique located at Orland Square Mall in Orland Park, IL. Genesis has become an inspiration to many of all ages - and women of all colors - as she works closely with her mother, and others in her family, to organically build and grow Luxurious Lathers into a successful online and retail location.
Today, she takes on a majority of the responsibility for designing new products and scents while also carefully selecting ingredients and working with manufacturers to maintain high-quality standards.
DEANDRE TILLMAN '08
BS | Marketing
DeAndre D. Tillman, the oldest of four, grew up in Calumet City, Illinois, where sports played a pivotal role in developing his character. At Thornwood High School he became an all-state athlete in track and field which provided him with a 4-year athletic scholarship to Illinois State University (ISU). While at ISU he was often awarded the State Farm's prestigious outstanding Student-Athlete Award. In 2006, he was named the captain of Illinois State's Varsity Track and Field team while also serving as the president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. He earned his Undergraduate degree in Business Marketing and graduated in 2008 with honors.
Upon graduating from ISU, DeAndre worked in the Marketing field before deciding to go to law school to earn his Juris Doctor Degree. He enrolled in law school in the fall of 2011 and graduated from DePaul University College of Law in 2014. While at DePaul, he served as the Student Director of Affairs to work with transferring students. While serving as the Director he organized several events where transferees received an opportunity to do community service and become more engaged with their new environment. He also worked with the Pro Bono and Community Service Initiative at DePaul assisting homeless individuals with their legal needs.
DeAndre has been an attorney with Evergreen Legal Services since 2014 and has served as lead counsel on hundreds of cases. In 2016, he earned a promotion after a success stint of highly contested cases and became a partner in the firm. He is now a part owner of Evergreen Legal Services.
In December of 2016, he launched a campaign to run for Alderman of his hometown, Calumet City, IL. After favorable election results, he was sworn in on May 1, 2017, to serve a four year term on Calumet City's City Council. He is currently the chairman of the Ordinance and Resolutions Committee and has received a lot of praise for assisting the city in passing ordinances aimed at protecting the interest of the immigrant community and lower income communities.
DeAndre's professional affiliations include membership with the Cook County Bar Association and the Illinois Bar Association. His personal affiliations with Real Men Read to Youth, Horizons for Youth, Cabrini Connections Tutoring Program, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America speak to his passion for serving and helping others within the community.
PAUL TIMMERMANN '12
BS | Business Information Systems & Insurance
Paul Timmermann is a Senior Product Manager with Toptal, an elite talent network that connects innovative organizations with Top 3% of talent in the world. He owns the strategy and execution of products that helps Toptal clients interview and hire experts in less than 48 hours. He graduated in May 2012 with a double major in Business Information Systems and Insurance - Business Information Systems.
After graduation, Paul was an analyst at Caterpillar and McDonald's before discovering a career in product management at GrubHub, where he managed several products from initial concept to market launch for thousands of restaurant partners. Most recently, Paul transitioned to Toptal where he was presented the challenge of leading the development of various products at a 100% remote company with employees spread throughout the entire world.
Paul currently lives in Dallas, TX with his spouse, Mira, also an ISU College of Business graduate, and their properly named golden retriever, Reggie.
MARK WHITAKER '08
BS | Finance & Business Education
Mark Whitaker is a vice president of the Institutional Sales and Trading group at Mesirow Financial. He focuses on research and strategy for trading municipal securities and high yield bonds.
Mark has nine years of experience in asset management, and five years in municipal credit research. Prior to joining Mesirow, Mark was a municipal bond research analyst at Northern Trust Asset Management, where he provided fundamental credit research in support of tax exempt fixed income products. He worked in the municipal bond department when the department received the Institutional Investor's Investment Manager of the Year - Municipal Fixed Income Award in both 2013 and 2014. Mark is a member of the National Federation of Municipal Analysts, Chicago Municipal Analyst Society and the CFA Society Chicago.
Mark earned a BS in Finance and Business Education from Illinois State University. He is a CFA® charterholder. Additionally, he played football for the Illinois State University team, and is a volunteer assistant varsity football coach for Farragut Career Academy, a Chicago Public School.
Mark is married to ISU alumna Kristy (Brzuszkiewicz) Whitaker, a Biology major, class of 2013.