2013 Career Session Speakers

Meet the Professionals


Angie Kooiker

Angie KooikerDirector, XBRL Professional Services – WebFilings


Session Title:

Accounting in the Cloud – Business Opportunities in a Tech Company


Session Description:

Angie will talk about her accounting career and the ways technology has changed to make accounting a very different experience today than 20 years ago. She will demonstrate this with some examples and discuss the many ways WebFilings solution helps accountants in their jobs and talk about the environment at WebFilings – not the stereotypical view of an accounting career or what it has to be.



Angie Kooiker is a founder and Senior Director of Professional Services at WebFilings. She works with accounting professionals who use WebFilings software solution to draft and file their various financial reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and helps them comply with the SEC’s tagging mandate using Extensible Business Reporting Language (“XBRL”). Angie graduated from Iowa State University with a BA in Accounting and has over 20 years of accounting experience working in various industries including financial institutions, insurance, manufacturing, and software technology.



Abby Croll

Abby CrollTax Manager – Roth & Company, PC


Session Title:

Accounting – Beyond the Numbers


Session Description:

Do you think accounting is all about math? Come learn why this career goes far beyond the numbers and why accountants are often the main decision makers in businesses. We’ll explore the many different career paths available in accounting, what skills are needed for the job, and how you can get there.



Abigail (Abby) Croll, CPA, is a tax manager at Roth & Company, P.C in Des Moines. She has worked in public accounting since her graduation from Iowa State in 2002 first at Deloitte and now at Roth & Company. At both firms she has specialized in tax compliance and consulting for a wide variety of closely held businesses and individuals. Since graduation Abby has remained involved at Iowa State through serving as a representative on the Young Alumni Board of the Alumni Association and the Accounting Advisory Board, volunteering as an Alumni Ambassador through the Department of Admissions, and recruiting accounting students on behalf of her employer. Abby also is a member of both the American Institute of CPAs (serving on the New Member Forum) and the Iowa Society of CPAs (serving on the board of directors and various committees) and has been involved in the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Young Professionals’ Connection and United Way’s Emerging Leaders’ Initiative.




Kim Iiams

Kim IiamsVice President, Residental Mortage Originator – Bankers Trust


Session Title:

From Student Housing to Homeownership


Session Description:

From the housing boom to housing crisis, and recovery… How to make the dream of homeownership a reality in today’s market place



Vice President Residential Mortgage Originator with nearly 20 years of experience in the banking and mortgage industry, a widespread finance background, and strong leadership abilities.

Kim’s lead experience is in managing multi-million dollar pipelines, meeting specified closing dates and always maintaining strict deadlines, combined with my sales and marketing efforts, database management, providing effective and efficient customer service, as well as managing a team that consistently produces high results.


Shellie Haluska

Shellie HaluskaFinancial Advisor – Edward Jones


Session Title:

Leading in Our Communities


Session Description:

Shellie will describe the day in the life of a financial advisor and discuss the opportunities for women in a finance career.



Shellie began her career at Edward Jones in 2010 as a financial advisor in Carroll, IA. She attended Iowa State University and graduated summa cum laude in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, while playing basketball for Iowa state. She earned her master’s degree in accounting from Iowa State University in 2010.




Karen Schumacher

Karen SchumacherLearning & Development Manager/Owner – Crescendo Leadership Development, LLC


Session Title:

Coaching Others – No Sport Necessary


Session Description:

If you enjoy team sports, this session will put teamwork and coaching into a whole different perspective – the corporate world. Learning & Development is more than just training. You get an opportunity help other people grow and impact an entire organization.



Karen is a dynamic speaker and coach with 20 years experience in learning and development, talent management, performance and career coaching, and public speaking. She is proficient at facilitating workshops and engaging audiences and fosters environments of open communication, self-discovery, and creative thinking. She has created training programs; is certified in several training programs; understands the learning transfer and how to measure the success of a development plan; and has coached employees at every level in an organization. Her greatest strengths are building relationships; gaining and maintaining trust; assessing individual’s skills and gaps; seeing the big picture for organizations, and providing coaching and feedback.


Mary Livingston

Mary LivingstonVP of Global Sales – AT&T


Session Title:

Your Big Bang or It’s your Runway!


Session Description:

This will be an experiential session that will allow the students to experience developing a product that solves a problem they have, and marketing or selling it to another group.


The girls will be divided into 2 or more groups and each group will develop a product and get a sales pitch. (If the group is large we will do a fish bowl approach and have some teams who do the exercise, and the remainder will have some observation questions about how the team works, and they can also be judges.


Learning points will be 1. a solution selling model: problem, cause, solution, benefit. 2. leveraging the resources of the team



Mary Livingston is the Vice President of AT&T’s Global sales for the Canada, Caribbean and Latin America (CCLA) region. Her sales organization focuses on selling AT&T solutions to multi-national corporations headquartered or operating in the CCLA region. Mary assumed this position in July, 2008.


During her tenure with AT&T, Mary has held various leadership positions in Sales and Network, including National Account Manager and Sales Center Vice President for the Financial accounts in New York and Regional Vice President for Small Business, Premier Accounts and now Global. She has led sales organizations in all of AT&T segments. She has been selected for the top tier sales recognition, “Leader’s Council” five times.


As Change Management Director, Mary led several significant initiatives to improve the effectiveness of a 12,000 person sales force, and reengineered sales management processes in the sales organization. Her work as Change Manage was featured in Katzenbach’s book, Real Change Leaders.


Outside of sales, Mary also has managed AT&T’s international operations center in New York City and was a key member of the product team for digital services, and led the Headquarters Leadership Development program for high potential managers.


Mary is involved in mentoring programs and working with Employee Resource Groups, and is an active member of the International Women’s Forum.


She is an avid tri-athlete and competes all over the U.S in short and long distance events and was the founder of an all women’s triathlon team focusing on women age 16-60+.


Mary graduated from Iowa State University with a BS in Industrial Administration and University of Missouri with an MBA.

She lives in New Jersey with her husband, Ray. Mary and Ray have two sons.



Management Information Systems

Erica Ebensberger & Erika Willi

Boston Scientific


Session Title: Mobility: Then and Now


Session Description:

We will be going through the history of mobile access (think Zach Morris brick-style cell phone!!) to what we have now, including iPads/tablets and how they are utilized within the business industry.


Erica Ebensberger

Erica Ebensberger

Business Systems Analyst II



Erica Ebensberger is an IT Business Analyst at Boston Scientific Corporation. She graduated from Iowa State University in May, 2011, and started with BSC in June, 2011. Since then she have been a member of iDEAL (Investing in the Development and Education of Aspiring Leaders) Rotation Program which is given me the opportunity to change my position every 6 months. Through this program she has had experiences in 4 different information systems departments at BSC including Quality Information Systems, Infrastructure, Corporate Services and Sales & Marketing Information Systems. Some of her favorite activities she’s been involved in at work include leading Iowa State Recruiting, participating in iDEAL workstreams and getting involved in our Mobility Review Board. She loves coming back to ISU and sharing the BSC story on campus and very much look forward to joining you for the Young Women in Business Conference!


Erika Willi

Erika WilliSoftware Developer



Erika Willi is a software developer at Boston Scientific. She has worked there since her graduation from Iowa State in May of 2011. She studied under a technical focus and received her degree in Management Information Systems. As a developer she builds applications that further enable the business units at Boston Scientific. She has worked on a number of unique projects, supporting a variety of business units including Sales and Marketing, Learning Services, Clinicals, Manufacturing, and Operations.


Paula Bell

Paula BellBusiness Analyst Mentor/ Coach/Speaker/Author – Wells Fargo


Session Title:

The Wonderful World of Opportunity Through Management Information Systems.


Session Description:

Most of the time when individuals think of management information systems a lot of people think of technology; however, this particular degree has a lot of leverage in all areas of technology and business. This session showcase the different journeys of this degree and the many opportunities this degree can afford as well as discuss how this degree has helped Paula Bell along her journey to ultimately make it into management.



Paula Bell is a Business Analyst, mentor and coach known for consistently producing exceptional work, providing guidance to aspiring business analysts (including those that just want to sharpen their skills), as well as, providing creative and strategic ways to build relationships for successful projects.


With 14 years in project roles to include business analyst, requirements manager, technical writer, project manager, developer, test lead and implementation lead), Paula has experience in a variety of industries to include media, courts, carpet manufacturing, banking and mortgage. Paula has had the opportunity to speak on a variety of topics to include business analysis, project management, relationship building, diversity and software methodology to name a few.


The events and locations in which she has spoken are as follows: 2008 Professional Development Day for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, iterative development and testing training at Well Fargo Home Mortgage in 2007 and 2008, 2009 Iowa Business Analysis Development Day, co-presented at the 2010 Wisconsin Business Analyst Development Day as well as conducted a Time Estimation Webinar for Cuna Mutual in November of 2010.


Paula’s passion and dedication to help others succeed in their career goals and aspirations has provided exceptional value to those she has mentored, coached and trained. Paula holds a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems (MIS) from Oral Roberts, University and is Business Analyst Certified through B2T Training. Paula has also written an article for the B2T Training Magazine, “The Bridge” on the Importance of Requirements Management Planning. Paula is looking to pursue her CBAP certification in the near future.




Angela Wagner

Angela WagnerMarketing & Sales Account Representative – Union Pacific


Session Title: The Recipe for Sales and Marketing Success


Session Description:

Sales and marketing is fun and dynamic! Come learn about the essential qualities and skills in order to achieve success in these roles. This session will involve an interactive activity and discussion on how to blend the best “ingredients” to create the perfect “recipe” for sales and marketing success.



Angela Wagner is a Marketing and Sales Account Representative at Union Pacific Railroad headquarters in Omaha, NE. Angela has worked with industrial product customers who primarily ship paper and lumber. She now manages a group of agriculture product accounts that ship an assortment of rice, sugar, and tomato paste. Her main roles include maintaining positive relationships with customers, pricing shipments, performing market research, and putting together business development initiatives.


Prior to joining Union Pacific as a full-time employee, Angela held an internship with Union Pacific in the Marketing and Sales Department where she performed an independent market research project. This assignment contributed to the overall creation of a Chemicals Business Development (CBD) search tool used by Union Pacific employees that was recently implemented in July 2012. She also has experience working at Enterprise Rent-A-Car as a Management Trainee Intern and at Rockwell Collins as an International Marketing Services Intern.


Angela recently graduated from Iowa State University in May 2012 with a degree in Marketing and minors in Management and Speech Communications. She currently lives downtown Omaha with her Iowa State sorority sister and is still an avid Cyclone fan. Since graduating, she has taken on new hobbies such as experimenting with cooking, learning yoga, and training for a half marathon.


Michelle King

Michelle KingMeeting Coordinator – Krell Institute


Session Title:

Here’s the Pitch, Tips on Getting a Homerun in Sales.


Session Description:

Everyone is a salesperson even if it isn’t in their title. Whether we are “selling” ourselves, our organizations or our products we all need to be sure to put our best food forward. We will devote sometime to developing your own “elevator” pitch that will help you network your way to the top. Also I will share some other tips and tidbits that will help you start your sales and marketing career on the right track.



Michelle King is the meeting coordinator for the Krell Institute where her responsibilities include logistical planning, coordination and execution of events such as meetings, conferences, dinners, sponsorship solicitation, and staffing and designing floor exhibits at major conferences.


Additionally, she manages event planning, negotiations and coordination efforts with hotel and conference staff, and she plans and executes many corporate events.


Prior to joining the Krell Institute, Ms. King worked at the Iowa State Center in Ames for ten years. Serving as sales and program fund coordinator, her responsibilities included meeting and event planning, sponsorships and advertising sales, group ticket sales and fundraising.


Active in the Ames community, Ms. King is a Leadership Ames graduate and former president of the Young Professionals of Ames.


Currently Ms. King serves on the Iowa 4-H Foundation gala committee, serving as gala chair for the past three years; and serves on the Ames Chamber of Commerce membership committee and is an active member of the Heartland Chapter of Meeting Professionals International. Recently Ms. King was appointed to serve on the Heartland Senior Services Fund Development Committee.


In 2004, Ms. King was awarded the Governor’s Volunteer Award for her work as president of the Central Iowa Tourism Region.


Ms. King received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Iowa State University.



Supply Chain Management

Rachel Christensen

Rachel ChristensenOperations Manager, JB Hunt Transport, Inc.


Session Title:

Operations Management – Where Ideas Become Action


Session Description:

We will discuss what a career in Operations Management is. We will also talk a little about the transportation industry and what my daily job entails. I will also mention the unlimited possibilities that a young female has entering the operations field and overall keys for success for young women in business, particularly in male-dominated industries.



Rachel Christensen graduated from the University of Iowa with a BS in Management. She started off her professional career as an Account Executive for a third-party logistics company in Cincinnati, OH. Moved to Chicago in 2008 and began working at JB Hunt as a Fleet Manager. Has since had the opportunity to manage all of our crosstown operations and work as an Area Service Manager, planning the customer freight to be picked up by drivers in the field. She is currently the Operations Manager for Non-Asset Fleets, managing all 150 of our owner operators in Chicago and our outside dray carrier partnerships. Rachel lives downtown Chicago and in her free time she enjoys running, golfing, and dining out with friends at the many different restaurants Chicago has to offer.


Elizabeth Vartabedian

Elizabeth VartabedianProject Launch Manager – John Deere


Session Title:

Be the Connection, not the Drill Sergeant!


Session Description:

Marketing is more than advertising and promotions. Learn about how to connect all aspects of marketing as a project manager. Working with various functional groups throughout the organization, the project manager gains experience and exposure to different opportunities in Sales and Marketing. I will discuss the functional groups involved in taking a new product to market.



I am the Product Launch Manager for the Sales and Marketing organization at John Deere. I manage all new models that go to market for any construction or forestry product. I started my career with Deere 8 years ago in Supply Management. I’ve had the opportunity to work in three different locations and four positions within Deere.


I graduated from Iowa State University with a double major in Marketing and Logistics & Supply Chain Management. Later I pursued an MBA from the University of Iowa while working fulltime at Deere.


In addition, to working, I enjoy being active and getting involved in the community. I am involved in the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization serving as a “Big” to a 13 year old girl. I also serve meals at Kings Harvest on Saturdays. Outside of volunteering, I love to run, travel, and meet new people.