2015 Leadership Conference Details

2015 Alumni Leadership Conference
Friday Evening, November 13
Saturday, November 14, 2015

All events will be held in the Cerf Center

Registration deadline is November 6

Register today!

Questions? Call 877-892-7823

The conference is free to all EC alumni, thanks to the generous sponsorship of a friend and supporter of EC alumni initiatives.

Friday Evening Alumni & Senior Student Track

Business Attire


5:30 pm: Registration

6–7:00: Opening session: The Art of Connecting


Kelly Harris

Director of Career Services, Eureka College

Kelly Harris, Eureka’s own Director of Career Services, has 20 years of Career Services, Employer Relations and Development, Recruitment Services and Experiential Education experience in higher education. Prior to her arrival to EC, Kelly most recently served in senior leadership roles at Florida State University in Tallahassee and Bradley University. Kelly has extensive experience in the research, development and management of programs, events and marketing plans that create linkages between students, alumni and employers as well as provides individualized career advisement to both students and alumni.

Kelly has held key leadership roles in various regional and national organizations and served on the Executive Boards of the National Association of Colleges and Employers and Midwest Association of Colleges and Employers. Kelly is considered a leader in her field and has conducted national webinars, served on various committees and taskforces, presented at regional and national conferences, served on leadership panels and published articles pertaining to all areas of career services. Her leadership and volunteer activities resulted in being recognized by the Peoria Chamber of Commerce as one of the “25 Women in Leadership” in 2003.

Kelly is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield and resides in Washington, IL.

7:00 pm: Alumni/Senior Leaders Opening Reception

7:30 pm: Dinner featuring alumni spotlight Mia Stortzum-Scott ’03


Mia Stortzum-Scott ’03

Founder & CEO, Preferred Events

Mia Stortzum-Scott is the founder and CEO of a boutique corporate event and planning and destination company located in Las Vegas and Nashville. She opened Preferred Events in 2009, to pursue her passion for event planning and the opportunity to create unforgettable events for her clients. Mia grew up on a thoroughbred race horse farm in a small town of Southern Illinois and attended Eureka College on the Ronald W. Reagan fellowship where she had the privilege of traveling across Europe and studying abroad in London. While in college she worked at Walt Disney World and then made the move after college to work for the Las Vegas Gladiators, and is grateful for the journey which led her to open Preferred Events. She remains inspired by her loving family: Michael—her smart, charming and funny husband, Michael, Mavin—her witty, beautiful and smart 3-year-old daughter and lastly Teddy—their lovable dog.

Mia is excited about the company’s expansion with the Nashville office so Preferred can better serve our growing clients nationwide. In Nashville, Mia is involved in the community as a mentor for Youth Villages, a CASA advocate in Davidson County where she advocates to give children a voice who are in foster care and also serves on the planning committee for their annual “Red Shoe” event.

With every project Mia is very compassionate and appreciative for the business. “I am so gracious and thankful to get to do what I love in planning and creating events with a team I truly love and respect, in an industry with so many talented professionals and with clients that I truly admire and am continually humbled by.” As a constant reminder for the blessings and responsibilities she has been given, she keeps the scripture on her desk – “To whom much is given, much is required.” Luke 12:48

To follow: Dessert reception with student leaders

Alumni Track Saturday

Eureka Gear Attire

8 am: Combined deluxe continental breakfast


8:30: Joint opening session with alumni spotlight: Pat ’75 & Laury Patwardhan

Pat Patwardhan ’75

Past president & CEO, Dale Carnegie Training/Patwardhan Center for Leadership and Management, India

Laury Patwardhan

Past Marketing & leadership executive, IBM

Pat and Laury Patwardhan are a dynamic duo who are treasured by many for their expertise in coaching business leaders to be empowered, inspired and more confident as they use their strengths in their professional lives.

Pat is a professor of Business at the Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio. Pat has taught Business, Human Resources, International Business, Marketing, Management and Organizational Behavior. He was the mentor and coach of the Business Focus Club bringing in CEOs and senior executives to speak, teach, and interact with students.

Pat established a Leadership and Management center to launch “Dale Carnegie Training” in India. He has firsthand experience in starting an International Business in a foreign country. Key clients included Ford India Ltd, Intel Corporation, Cisco Systems, AT & T, Hindustan Lever (Lever Group), Ltd, Kimberly Clark, and Tata Group.

Pat has worked as a consultant with several Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies helping them to build business in Southeast Asia and other overseas markets.

Pat attended and received a degree from the Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management which is has been considered the number one graduate school in the world for international business for many years. He also attended Illinois State University, where he received a master’s degree in communication and business. He attended Eureka College and received a Bachelor’s degree in communications. In 2002, he was nominated by the President of Eureka College with an Alumni Award of Merit. Pat has another bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Pune located in Pune, India. Currently he is pursuing his doctoral degree at University of Toledo. His dissertation is focused on Cost Containment Strategies for Private Non Profit Colleges and Universities.

Pat’s path after Eureka took him to Illinois State University as a graduate speech communication student. There he met Laury Taylor while working in the Fell Hall (International House) dining center. They started dating and eventually married.

Laury Patwardhan holds a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University in German and Business. She also has a Master’s in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management. In her first job with Nordson Corporation Laury was the first female hired in the salesforce. Mastering sales, Laury moved into marketing and helped find the market to put superabsorbents on diapers. She worked with her colleague from Japan and transferred the technology to apply conformal coatings on circuit boards with a robot. A market development plan for electronics was developed and is now the fastest growing division of Nordson.

Laury has worked for IBM since 1989 starting there as a Professional Services Sales Specialist and retiring last year as a Marketing Leader and Executive with the company. Laury sold millions of dollars of services to clients and helped transform the salesforce to sell solutions. She developed marketing plans, programs, and events for Telecommunications, Healthcare, Pharmaceutical, Industrial, and Government industries and C-Suite executives in North America. Laury was given the Leadership award in 2002, multiple 100% Clubs for sales, and a group award for developing programs and insights for IBM Strategic Outsourcing clients.

9:15 am: Joint keynote: Eileen Ruby Setti ’93 & Harriett Sullivan Steinbach ’02

Eileen Ruby Setti ’93

Partner, Ruby & Associates

Eileen Ruby Setti began her career working in the nonprofit sector in resource development in 1996. She has led communities in organizing new nonprofit agencies, directed program and agency mergers and expansions, facilitated strategic plans, trained board and staff members, created development programs, coached chief executive officers and has been instrumental in rebuilding agencies on the verge of closing their doors.

Eileen is a professional facilitator, strategic planning specialist and trainer for staff and boards. Her passion is teaching nonprofit leaders strategic management skills, developing the capacity and efficiency of boards, strategic planning and fund development planning. Eileen is a Partner of Ruby & Associates where she works with a diverse client base in the United States and abroad.

Eileen holds a bachelor’s degree from Eureka College and a master’s degree from Loyola University-Chicago. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Political Science at Northern Illinois University with an emphasis in public administration and nonprofit management.

Eileen was raised in central Illinois and spread her wings in Chicago and Denver. She returned to her roots in 2003 with her husband Chris (a Los Angeles native) to raise their family. They have two daughters, Kate (14) and Liz (11). They enjoy serving the community and an active life on the West Bluff.


Harriett Sullivan Steinbach ’02

Coordinator of Leadership and Community Connections, Illinois State University

Harriett graduated from Eureka College in 2002 with a degree in Political Science and History. She currently works for Illinois State University in the Dean of Students Office as the Director of Leadership and Community Connections. As such, she oversees three full-time staff and five graduate assistants who deliver programs and services related to community service, civic engagement, leadership development, off-campus students, transfer students, and nontraditional students.

Harriett also earned a Master’s of Science degree in 2005 in Politics and Government from Illinois State University. She has volunteered for eight years with the Bloomington-Normal Asahikawa Japan Sister Cities Commission where she currently serves as Chair. This relates back to her 2000 study abroad at EC to Tokyo, Japan, one of the most pivotal experiences of her life. Harriett has been married to Lew Steinbach (class of 1999) for 12 years and is the proud Mom of Lewis who is nine months old.

10 am: Break

10:15: Alumni focus session with Eileen Ruby Setti ’93

To follow: Break-out sessions with students and alumni: featuring the four StrengthsFinder Themes: Executing, Influencing, Relationship, Strategic Planning

11:30: Closing and wrap-up

11:45 am: Break


12 noon: Alumni Luncheon: “Ronald Reagan ’32, and the Art of Influence” with speakers Bill King ’71, Dr. Jamel Santa Cruz Bell, and John Morris

Bill King ’71

State Farm Executive VP (Ret.)

William K. (Bill) King, Jr. is a 1971 Alumnus of Eureka College. During his senior year he was elected as the first Eureka College Business Intern with State Farm Insurance in Bloomington, IL.

Bill’s career at State Farm began as a Personnel Interviewer. He earned the Fellow, Life Management Institute (FLMI) designation in 1974, the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation in 1978, and the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation in 1995. He retired November 1, 2010 as Executive Vice President of State Farm Mutual Automobile Company.

Bill and his wife Katy have been married for 44 years, have two children, Bill III and Samantha, and one very special grandson, Ryan. Bill and Katy have been longtime supporters of Eureka College and Bill has served on the Board of Trustees several times since 1998.

Jamel Bell

Vice President for Strategic & Diversity Initiatives, Eureka College

Dr. Jamel Santa Cruze Bell is a skilled communicator and scholar whose training and expertise is in public relations/strategic communication and intercultural communication and competence. In addition to being a well-published scholar, Dr. Bell is a respected trainer and consultant on current issues related to communication, leadership development, and diversity & inclusion. Her expertise is sought out regularly to facilitate dialogues and workshops, and to assist in the creation of training modules. Dr. Bell was recently called upon to serve in Ferguson, Mo. as part of a Ferguson Commission’s Citizen Law Enforcement Working Group on community policing, racial profiling, use of force and mass demonstrations.

Dr. Bell is a first generation college student from St. Louis, Mo. with over 16 years of experience in higher education that ranges from full-time faculty member to administrator. She currently serves as the Vice President for Strategic and Diversity Initiatives responsible for overseeing strategic planning, communications, diversity & inclusion efforts and Title IX compliance.

Dr. Bell received a doctorate and a master’s degree, from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kan. and a bachelor’s degree from Missouri Western State University, St. Joseph, Mo., all in communication studies.

John Morris

Director, The Ronald W. Reagan Society of Eureka College

John D. Morris is the director of The Ronald W. Reagan Society of Eureka College. The Ronald W. Reagan Society raises money, builds relationships, and does programming in support of the mission of Eureka College. The Reagan Society has held events in Illinois, Washington, D.C., New York, San Francisco, and Phoenix, and has attracted financial support from more than 1,000 new donors to Eureka College. The Reagan Society has helped host more than 75 campus speakers including former Soviet President Michael Gorbachev and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. He has produced executive education seminars, organized travel experiences, and generated national media attention. The Reagan Society has produced 80 online videos and connected with 65,000 followers on social media.

A 25-year veteran of philanthropy, major gifts, and strategic communications, John D. Morris previously served from 1997-2008 as vice president for development for WTVP-TV (PBS) where he managed a team of eight to raise more than $22 million dollars and led the trustees through two capital campaigns to convert to digital, high definition capacity and build new studio facilities. His team received ten national PBS awards. Named by PBS as a “master teacher” in capital campaigns and major gifts, he was also appointed chairman of the national PBS Foundation Station Advisory Board. Morris also served as director of development for Lakeview Museum of Arts & Sciences where he created the first major gifts society of its kind, raised underwriting for 25 exhibitions, and laid early groundwork for the eventual move to the downtown museum block.

Morris was twice elected as an at-large member of the Peoria City Council serving for eight years. He served as mayor pro tem and a member or chairman of official commissions and boards involving regional economic development, educational choice, growth cell planning, GIS technology, neighborhood revitalization, tourism promotion, emergency public response, and healthcare cost containment.

Morris graduated with honors with a M.P.A. and B.A. in communication and political science from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. At GW, he was president of the student association.

John Morris is married to Cindy R. Morris, the president of the Peoria Public Schools Foundation in Peoria. Their daughter, Taylor, is a senior at Richwoods High School and their son, Jordan, is a sophomore at Eureka College. They are active members of First Federated Church of Peoria, where Morris has been lay leader of the board.

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