Lakeland College names new CFO
Lakeland College has named Carole Robertson vice president for finance and chief financial officer. She will manage the college’s business operations and oversee several departments including finance, facilities, information technology, financial aid and dining services.
Robertson is an experienced administrative leader with a track record of success in both the public and private sectors. She possesses extensive experience working with boards and senior leadership in developing strategic plans and guiding their implementation. Throughout her career, she has led cross-functional teams resulting in efficiencies, enhancement of services, diversification of revenues, institutional cooperation and goal attainment.
"Ms. Robertson not only has the requisite experience as a chief financial officer in higher education, but we also believe she will be a fantastic fit with our Lakeland community," said Lakeland Interim President Dan Eck. "Her open, collaborative style of leadership will be invaluable as we restructure how we create, implement and manage our budgets and our overall financial operations to support our developing strategic plan."
She comes to Lakeland from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, where she has worked as vice president, finance and administration for the past three years. She has more than 30 years in various finance roles, including finance director/treasurer for the Village of Lakewood, Ill., vice president of finance and administration/treasurer at Elgin (Ill.) Community College, and assistant vice president of finance at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Ill.
She has a master's degree in finance and a bachelor's in accountancy from Dominican University in River Forest, Ill.
She has received a number of honors for her work, including Regional Outstanding Business Officer from the Community College Business Officer Association (CCBO).
Experts share insight, experience at Business Student Week
For five straight days last week, business leaders and successful graduates visited Lakeland College to share their expertise and insight with current Lakeland business students.
"Business Student Week" featured everything from a resume workshop to speed networking to mock interviews and many other exercises designed to prepare students for their career search after graduation.
"It went very well," said Kay Voss, Lakeland's assistant director of career development. "Our students had the opportunity to connect with employers, while building their skills as they think about what path they want to pursue for their future.
"The employers were very happy as well. They said our students will go far and were impressed with our students' professionalism."
Sponsored by Lakeland's Accounting Club and the Career Development Office, the week kicked off on Monday with a resume workshop, during which students were given tips on how to make their resumes stand out and catch employers' attention.
On Tuesday, human resources representatives from Bemis Manufacturing, ACUITY, SME Partners Inc. and Old Wisconsin Sausage facilitated a panel discussion with about 20 students. The HR reps gave advice on how to best separate from the pack when applying for a job, and the keys to a strong interview.
"Everyone smiles in the same language," said Mike Klein of Bemis. "If you're personable, and I feel good about our conversation, you're in a good position. What I will remember above all else is how our conversation made me feel."
Lakeland sophomore Kelly Swart, who is majoring in accounting, said the panel was outstanding.
"I thought this was great," said Swart. "I am looking for a job locally, and these were employers I could potentially interview with some day. They provided great advice."
On Tuesday night, employees from more than a dozen dynamic local companies took part in the high-energy two-hour "speed networking." Students got four minutes to talk to a company representative seated across from them. After that time elapsed, each student moved one spot over to get to know a new company rep. Local companies represented included Kohler Co., ACUITY, Community Bank & Trust, Orion Energy Systems, Schenck SC, The Osthoff Resort, Van Horn Dodge, Dynamic and more.
Robyn Guerts, HR Generalist-Rotational at Kohler Co., said, "I'm very impressed with how prepared the students are, and the fact that they have business cards and LinkedIn accounts."
On Wednesday, Lakeland grad Mark Kelly, an expert on money management and financial planning who works with Raymond James, had lunch with and advised students throughout the day.
Thursday featured the business colloquium, featuring five successful Lakeland graduates in another panel discussion with current students. The guest graduates were:
- Pratikshya Bhandari, a 2011 grad with a degree in international business, who is an investment risk management specialist at Northwestern Mutual in Milwaukee.
- Janeth Diaz, a 2009 graduate with a degree in international business, who is a market analyst for the Latin American Division of Kohler Co.
- SarahAnn Eskridge, a 2012 graduate with a degree in business management, who is an executive team leader for guest experience and sales floor at Target in Racine, Wis.
- Markus Savaglio, a 2010 graduate with a degree in hospitality management, who is the general manager of The Inns of Geneva National Golf Club at Lake Geneva.
- Shawn Voelz, a 2008 graduate with a bachelor's degree in business and marketing who also earned his MBA in 2010, is a professional recruiter with QPS Employment Group.
The five Lakeland graduates discussed their time at the school, as well as the things that made their experience great and the way the school helped launch their successful careers.
Friday was mock interview day, as representatives from Huberty & Associates certified public accountants, Aurora and Orion Energy Systems conducted mock interviews with Lakeland students.
More than 60 Lakeland students participated in Business Student Week, with many taking part in multiple events.
"I think the week was very successful for our students and area employers, and we met our goal of preparing students for future employment," Voss said. "We host events like this throughout the school year as a way for all of our students to build themselves professionally and connect with employers."
The What If? founder to speak at Mission House Lecture
The founder of a nonprofit that provides food and educational opportunities to Haitian children will deliver the 2013 Lakeland College Mission House Lecture. The lecture is Nov. 5 at 11 a.m. in Lakeland’s Bradley Theater.
Margaret Trost, founder of The What If? Foundation, will give a talked “Piti piti na rive” (Little by little, we will arrive): A Journey of Faith and Hope in Haiti. The lecture is free and open to the public.
The What If? Foundation has worked with Haitian members of the Ti Plas Kazo Community to serve impoverished children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, for more than 13 years.
Inspired and transformed from her experience, Trost comes to Lakeland to share her journey to Haiti and what her Haitian friends have taught her about courage, hope and putting faith into action, even amidst the most difficult of circumstance.
The What If? Foundation serves an average of 6,000 meals to hungry children and some adults each week. In addition, the foundation provides more than 200 school scholarships annually and supports after-school and summer camp programs. The group recently launched a $1.2 million building project to build a school and cafeteria to allow more children to be served. Learn more online at www.whatiffoundation.org.
Lakeland women’s tennis team delivers on a promise
Safe Harbor of Sheboygan County Executive Director Laura Roenitz had tears in her eyes as she talked about what the Lakeland College women’s tennis team has done for the community.
“I can’t tell you how incredibly in awe I am of these young women,” Roenitz said. “Young women helping other women. I get a little bit choked up when I talk about it. They’re amazing.”
Lakeland’s women’s tennis team took a van to Sheboygan last week to present Roenitz with a check for $2,064. The Muskies raised the money for Safe Harbor, a shelter for abused women and children, through pledges they earned by scoring points in their final match of the season last month.
Roenitz said after news of the fundraiser got out in the community, she received three phone calls from citizens who pledged personal checks of their own for the cause.
During the team’s visit, the eight players and Lakeland head coach Casey Carr sat with Roenitz and listened intently as she described Safe Harbor’s mission and work in the community. Roenitz stressed that the team’s donation will go a long way toward providing food, shelter and other necessities for those who turn to Safe Harbor for help.
Carr, who conceived the fundraiser idea, told Roenitz this would be an annual event moving forward.
Great Lakes Writers Festival bringing two authors to Lakeland
Two authors will visit Lakeland College to share their talents as part of the 16th annual Great Lakes Writers Festival, the college’s annual celebration of the written word.
Nick Lantz and Allyson Goldin Loomis will be spotlighted throughout the two-day event, which features readings and workshops with the guest authors and members of Lakeland’s faculty.
The festival welcoming, including readings by the featured writers, is Thursday, Nov. 7, at 11 a.m. at Lakeland College’s Bradley Theatre. The event is free and is open to the public. Area high school students will attend programming with the authors on Friday, Nov. 8.
Lantz authored two recent collections of poetry. “We Don’t Know We Don’t Know” (Graywolf, 2010) won the Bead Loaf Writers’ Conference Bakeless Prize, the Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award and the Larry Levis Reading Prize. “The Lightning That Strikes the Neighbors’ House” (University of Wisconsin, 2010) was selected by Robert Pinsky for the Felix Pollak Prize. A native of Berkeley, Calif., he currently teaches in the MFA program at Sam Houston State University, where he is the poetry editor of the Texas Review. Learn more online at http://www.nick-lantz.com.
Goldin Loomis’ fiction and nonfiction have appeared in “Glimmer Train,” “Pleiades,” “Harper’s Magazine” and the “Nashville Review” among other fine publications. For the past 10 years, she has served as a professor of English and creating writing at The University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. A Los Angeles native, she began her Wisconsin career as the J.C. & Ruth Halls Fellow with the Institute for Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She specializes in teaching creative writing and contemporary literature. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Montana and bachelor degrees in English literature and philosophy from Boston University.