Talent Management Newsletter, February 2018

Welcome to the Talent Management Update. This update is sent out periodically to Gies College of Business faculty and staff to welcome new staff and to provide updates and information on what is happening in the College. If you have content you would like to suggest for a future update, please send your requests to lwilkins@illinois.edu. Thanks and enjoy!


What’s New at the College of Business?


New Employees


Please join us in welcoming new employees and congratulating existing employees on new roles within the College over the last couple of months.

Brooke Bear, Business/Administrative Associate, MS Strategic Brand Communication
Brooke joined Gies College of Business from the Office of University Counsel where she held a variety of support roles. She also spent time in the Department of History and in the hotel and apartment management field. In her current role, Brooke provides high-touch customer service for current and prospective students for the MS in Strategic Brand Communication online degree program. She reports to Dilip Chhajed and Jacqueline Hitchon.


Cindy Curtiss, Project Manager, Marketing & Communications
As the Marketing & Communications Project Manager, Cindy manages the project requests that Gies College of Business staff submit to marketing and communications. Before joining Gies College of Business, Cindy worked on campus for over 20 years in a variety of positions. Most recently, she was assistant to the Dean within the College of Media. Outside of work, Cindy enjoys being entertained by her two canine friends.


Manu Edakara, Associate Director for Entrepreneurial Communities
Manu recently joined Gies as Associate Director for Entrepreneurial Communities. His responsibilities will include the strategy, planning, and execution of the iVenture Accelerator. He will also assist with supporting the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership’s other programs, including Social Innovation at Illinois, EntreCORPS, and Entrepreneurs Without Borders. Manu is a two-time startup founder with a background in psychology research and experience in marketing and design, leading operations, and executing large-scale initiatives with multiple, high-priority stakeholders. His hands-on experience as an entrepreneur while a student at the University of Illinois—which included a project management role in EntreCORPS—and within the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Chicago will contribute greatly to his success in this role.


Allison Frees-Williams, Coordinator, Business Career Services
Allison Frees-Williams has worked in higher education for eight years, with the past six of those being within career services units at different institutions. She comes to Gies College of Business from Eastern Illinois University, where she was the Assistant Director of Career Services for three years, and acted as the Interim Director of Career Services during the 2016-2017 academic year. Allison has experience working with both undergraduate and graduate students, and enjoys assisting them in their professional development while preparing them for the workforce in their chosen industry. She attended Indiana University for her undergraduate degree, Argosy University for her master’s degree, and is now completing her PhD at Indiana State University. Allison is very excited to be joining Gies College of Business Career Services and looks forward to this new adventure on her journey.


Katrina Hagler, Associate Director, Recruiting and Admissions, MBA & PMBA Programs
Katrina comes to us from the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, where she has worked for the last seven years, most recently as Associate Director Of Student Recruitment and Admissions. During her time at Mechanical Science and Engineering, she had grown applications by 65 percent and enrollment by 11 percent. She brings a great deal of admission experience, including improving processes, managing data and statistical analysis, and leading strategy. Katrina received her MBA through Illinois’ Professional MBA Program in 2010.


Yolanda Jackson, Office Support Specialist, Finance
Yolanda joined Gies College of Business with over 18 years of administrative experience under her belt. Yolanda has been on campus for over 14 years, most recently Computing Services (now Technology Services). She has also worked in the Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering undergraduate programs office. In her role, Yolanda provides general administrative support to the Department of Finance. She currently reports to Shelley Campbell.


Jason Johns, Associate Director, Instructional Video Design Specialist, eLearning
Jason’s video production career began with digitizing VHS tapes and cataloguing ancient media for the eLearning office of The Ohio State University, all the while honing his camera and editing skills as a videographer for live events and marketing. As the office grew, he became integral in producing educational videos for eLearning, working to create MOOCs and flipped classroom experiences. At Gies College of Business, he provides video production support for online courses, creates intriguing and informative videos, and innovates new ways to engage online students with dynamic storytelling and video production. In his spare time, Jason enjoys rock climbing, brewing beer, and making short films. He reports into Grant Czadzeck.


Adam King, Assistant Director, eLearningAdam joined Gies College of Business from UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School where he blended their Executive MBA programs and deployed admissions, learning management, and collaboration systems. Passionate about entrepreneurship and design, he co-founded Cuberis, an agency that creates websites for museums. Adam enjoys traveling and just returned to the US from spending a year and half living and traveling in Europe. In his current role, he helps manage the eLearning team and course development. Adam reports to Norma Scagnoli.


Heather Mihaly, Office Support Specialist, Online Programs
Heather recently joined Gies College of Business’ online programs office. As an office support specialist, she has experience as an optician, in quality control, and as a bookkeeper. In her role, she provides general administrative support to online programs. She enjoys camping, hiking, watching movies, and spending time with her kids.


Kristen Sackley, Associate Director, Recruiting and Admissions, PMBA and MS Programs
Kristen has over nine years of experience working in project management, recruiting, sales, marketing, strategy, and communications. Most recently, she was the Director of Brand and Communications Strategy at Agrible, Inc. She is extensively involved in the community, holding leadership positions in a number of organizations including Junior League of Champaign-Urbana, Girls Go For It, Leadership Illinois, and Champaign County Humane Society, to name a few. In addition, Kristen was named a 2017 Central Illinois Business Forty Under 40 recipient. Kristen received her MBA through Illinois’ Professional MBA Program in 2012 and also received a bachelor’s degree in Advertising from Illinois.

Tara Smith, Administrative Assistant, Advancement
Tara is an Administrative Assistant in the Advancement group, reporting into Molly Tracy. Tara has been on campus for 23 years and joined Gies College of Business after 10 years in the College of Engineering. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, going on vacations to warm/tropical locations and going to concerts.


Valeri Werpetinski, Visiting Associate Director for Entrepreneurial Education
Valeri’s responsibilities will include the strategy, planning, and execution of an Innovation, Design, and Entrepreneurship Academy (IDEA) Faculty Fellows Program – fellowships that create more innovation, design, and entrepreneurship courses and research across campus. She will also help to support the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership’s other programs, including Social Innovation at Illinois, the iVenture Accelerator, EntreCORPS, and Entrepreneurs Without Borders. Valeri is an ideal fit for this role given nearly 20 years of multidisciplinary experience in community-engaged teaching, program management, instructional development, and student mentoring at the University of Illinois.


Jordan White, Brand Manager, Marketing and Communications
Jordan White recently joined Gies College of Business as a Brand Manager after  four years in the Office of Enrollment Management, where she developed data-driven marketing strategies that aligned with enrollment goals. She also spent seven years with Young Innovations, where she developed strategies and programs that maintained the brand’s commitment to clinical advancement. In her newly created role, Jordan will work to maintain brand integrity across all college marketing and communications initiatives. Jordan enjoys spending time with family, baking, and yoga.


New Roles


Kacie Jones, Coordinator, Admissions & Recruiting
Kacie joined the iMBA team from the Department of Accountancy, where she was previously working within the PwC student center and the VK Zimmerman Center for International Research and Education in Accounting. She also has experience working in Marketing. In her current role, Kacie recruits, evaluates and advises applicants for iMBA and iMSA programs. She reports to Rob Towner.


Cindy Kehoe, Data Scientist, Advancement
Cindy Kehoe recently joined Gies College of Business full-time as a Data Scientist. Her major responsibilities include data mining and information management on behalf of the Office of Advancement and managing the AACSB accreditation process. Cindy has worked in higher education at large public research universities for more than 20 years as an information consultant, grant project manager, proposal writer, and instructor. In addition to Gies, she has spent time working at the iSchool, the Office of Technology Management, and Illinois Business Consulting. Cindy likes reading in her spare time.


Terrance Stevenson, Academic Advisor, Online Programs
Terrance recently joined the Gies College of Business as a full-time academic professional (he was previously an academic hourly). Prior to accepting his new role, Terrance worked at the Office of Minority Student Affairs for eight years. In his current role, he assists students with academic planning. He is a professional DJ and loves to read. Terrance reports to Jodi Miller.


Professional Development Opportunities


New Employee Onboarding

College of Business New Employee Onboarding has arrived! Whether you are new or want to see your colleagues in action, you can access the online onboarding course by clicking here. Click “enroll” and use the password “business” to join the course. We encourage you to reiterate course availability to all new employees.


Upcoming Workshops


Thank you for your participation in the Inclusive Culture Advocate Series last year. We had over 100 faculty and staff attend at least one of the sessions! 2018 topics and updates to the series will be distributed in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for dates and times. Also, keep an eye out for other Career Development Workshops that are coming soon.