2018 Bursars Speakers




Keynote Speaker Karim Ellis

Karim Headshot.jpg

Karim R. Ellis is a Dynamic Motivational Speaker with 10 years of experience in the field of speaking, training, and coaching. Karim takes pride in developing both leaders and champions. His sole desire is to create an atmosphere of greatness in the lives of the people he connects with on a daily basis. He is also an active member of both the National Speakers Association and Past President with Toastmasters International.

As a certified member of the John Maxwell Team, he has spoken and taught Leadership and Team Building principles to a multitude of companies and organizations like General Electric, Anthem, Kroger’s, The United States Postal Service, The Dept. of Defense DFAS, SHRM and many more.

All successful organizations understand that effective leadership is at the heart of every business and The John Maxwell Team prides itself on Leadership Creation and Development. As a Leadership trainer, Karim has several engaging group programs specifically designed to help take your Leaders to the Next Level.

When Karim delivers a message, he absolutely makes sure that the room “gets it”. If you are looking for a fun, engaging, entertaining, and inspiring motivational speaker that will leave your group amazed...Karim R. Ellis is definitely it!

Are You Making the Right Connections?
Karim R. Ellis speaks at the Project Management Instititute

Additional Speakers

Jason Beard

President & CEO, Professional Development Group II, Inc.

Jason is President and CEO of Professional Development Group located in Bloomington, Indiana. Mr. Beard graduated from Indiana University in 1994 with a BS in Marketing from the Kelly Business School. He also graduated with a Minor in Spanish and still enjoys using his Spanish.

Mr. Beard started at PDG in 1996 as the General Manager. He managed all aspects of PDG’s largest annual events including: hotel contract negotiations, web site development, sales, brochure design and production, registration management, on-site logistical support, and event presentations and facilitation. Jason became the Vice President in 2000 and facilitated the development of the association and event management departments of PDG. In 2004, Jason purchased PDG and oversees all aspects of event management, staffing, sales, web production, literature production, event logistics, finances, and administration.

Laurie Beets

Bursar & Director of Debt Management/Student Loans, Oklahoma State University

Laurie Beets is currently the Bursar/Director of Student Loans & Debt Management at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater with 24+ years of experience in higher education. She is a CPA and has a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership Studies with a higher education emphasis. Laurie is also a Certified Fraud Examiner. She has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organization (COHEAO). Laurie is a graduate of the SACUBO College of Business Management Institute and is a recipient of the OSU Staff Advisory Distinguished Service Award. Prior to joining OSU in 1994, Laurie worked in the banking industry and with the Resolution Trust Corporation.

Melissa Berube

Business Development Manager, Tuition Management Systems

For 20+ years, Melissa has been working directly with schools to provide solutions that are tailored to each one. Melissa has a keen understanding of schools needs and will ensure the appropriate strategy is in place for your campus to meet your goals and objectives. She has helped countless numbers of schools with strategic plans to implement 3rd party managed solutions across campus while providing best-in-class customer service. She is a graduate of Providence College and has a B.S. in Business Management.

Betsy Burton-Strunk

Vice President, Director of Sales, BankMobile Disbursements

As Vice President, Director of Sales, Betsy Burton-Strunk leads BankMobile's sales team and overall strategy and focus on the Refund Management product offered to colleges and universities. Burton-Strunk has worked with college and university business, financial aid and enrollment offices for over 25 years, starting with Wachovia Student Financial Services and through transitions with AMS and Sallie Mae. She frequently speaks at industry events and enjoys connecting with industry colleagues. Burton-Strunk enjoys volunteering and helped launch Dress for Success Winston-Salem. She also volunteers with Crosby Scholars, a local scholarship program that encourages students starting in 6th grade to plan for college and develop strategies to pay for college. Burton-Strunk holds a bachelor's degree from Miami University of Ohio. She lives in Winston-Salem, NC with her husband Elliot and 10-year old son Evan.

Dave Carlen

Senior Account Executive, Blackboard Transact / Cashnet

As Senior Account Executive, Dave Carlen is responsible for working with universities and colleges throughout the Western United States. He is responsible for business development and sales for Blackboard's Campus Enablement Solutions, Payments Product. Carlen works with a close-knit team of professionals that implement and maintain the many partnerships that Blackboard enjoys. Prior to joining Blackboard in 2015, Carlen worked as Vice President of Business Development providing online program management solutions to higher education institutions for Pearson/EmbanetCompass. Carlen also provided educational solutions for k-20 working at Dell and Apple.

Cheryl Cooper

Business Development Manager, Tuition Management Systems

With over 20 years of nationwide experience within the education finance arena, Cheryl has helped hundreds of schools develop and implement strategies to help with recruitment, retention, collections, cash flow, and affordability. Cheryl has a keen understanding of all phases of our work with schools and brings with her a commitment to providing ongoing support to your entire school community. Cheryl is adept at developing new and expanding existing relationships with school administrators and staff, ensuring high customer service levels while developing strategies to increase efficiencies. Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and Human Resources from Eckerd College.

Charmaine Daniels

Associate Vice President, Morehouse College

Charmaine Daniels is currently the Associate Vice President for Student Financial Services at Morehouse College. She has over sixteen years of higher education experience with subject matter expertise in the areas of student financial services, strategic planning, operations, and managing enterprise technology. Over her career Charmaine has developed and led the implementation of innovative award-winning initiatives to help students and parents better manage their finances. Prior to joining Morehouse College, Charmaine was the Director of Student Accounts at Georgia State University for over seven years. While at Georgia State, Charmaine led successful implementations of several projects including an online billing and payment system, a debit card refund program, and an internal collections due diligence system. During her tenure at GSU she was appointed to an interim position leading their financial literacy initiatives including opening their Student Financial Management Center that focuses on using data to develop financial interventions to support student success. Prior to joining GSU, Charmaine worked for the University of Illinois system in various roles for almost nine years with her last position being Associate Director of Student Financial Services. Charmaine is a frequently requested conference presenter and currently serves on the National Association of College and University Business Officers Student Financial Services Council and the Ellucian Customer Advisory Board for Accounts Receivable. Charmaine has earned a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Florida A&M University, a Master of Public Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and an MBA from Georgia State University.

Sarah Dillard

SGA President at Savannah State University, Savannah State University

Ms. Dillard is a senior at the illustrious Savannah State University, from Atlanta, Georgia studying civil engineering and technology with a minor in transportation studies. In 2014, she was inducted into the first cohort of HBCU All-Stars for the White House Initiative on HBCUs. In the same year she served in the Residence Hall Association, to develop a successful proposal, to furnish underclassmen residential facilities common areas on campus to evoke unity within the residential facilities. During the 2015 National HBCU All Star Conference she spoke as a panelist for the Reach Higher Luncheon under an initiative by former First Lady Michelle Obama. Currently she is President of the Student Government Association a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. and volunteers at the Inner-City Night Shelter, Savannah Second Harvest Food Bank, Frank-Callen Boys and Girls Club and many more. Ms. Dillard honors include: Women in Transportation Atlanta Chapter Scholarship, AABE Scholar, Dwight D. Eisenhower Fellowship, Professional Women in Building Atlanta Chapter Scholarship and more. Ms. Dillard lives by the mantra, every opportunity is an opportunity. She is focused on continuing to upon graduating Magna Cum Laude in May 2018.

Bob Dixon

Director - Grants & Contracts Financial Administration, Oklahoma State University

Robert Dixon is the Director of Grants and Contracts Financial Administration at Oklahoma State University, and has served in various administrative capacities at Oklahoma State University and Mercer University. A member of the University of Kentuck's CMBI faculty, Bob has also presented various topics at state, regional, and national workshops and conferences for several organizations as well as served in various positions with regional and national organizations including a term as President of the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers (SACUBO). He has participated as an U.S. Department of Education trainer for Blue Book, Reauthorization, and Compliance. Bob received National Association of College and University Business Officer's 2007 Professional Development Award. He holds degrees from Andrew College, Georgia College & State University, Mercer University, and a doctorate from Oklahoma State University.

Brenna Dixon

Manager, Business Processes, Oklahoma State University

Brenna Dixon currently serves as the Manager of Business Processes at Oklahoma State University. She spent the first half of her career in public and private accounting. At OSU, Brenna has worked in several areas including fiscal and administrative compliance where she was responsible for the Universit's fraud deterrence and detection program. Brenna has a Bachelor's degree from Georgia College and State University and an MBA from Oklahoma Christian University. She is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Fraud Examiner, a Certified Internal Control Auditor, and is Certified in Financial Forensics.

Renae Doyle

Director of Billing, Indiana Wesleyan University

Renae Doyle currently serves as the Director of Billing for Student Account Services at Indiana Wesleyan University “ National & Global. Renae began her experience in higher education in 2009 as a student account representative for National & Global students. Since 2011, she has held various management positions within the same office. Renae completed her Bachelor's degree in General Studies at IWU in 2008 and earned her MBA specializing in Accounting at IWU in 2015.

Daniel Durazo

Director, Communications, Allianz Global Assistance

Daniel Durazo is Director of Communications for Allianz Worldwide Partners USA, a global leader in consumer specialty insurance. Paris-based Allianz Worldwide Partners Group has operations in 35 countries with more than 17,000 associates and is a unit of Munich-based Allianz, one of the world's largest integrated financial services and insurance companies. Allianz Worldwide Partners covers more than 25 million Americans each year with travel insurance, tuition insurance event ticket protection and registration protection products. The compan's products are offered to consumers directly and via partners that include most major U.S. airlines, leading online travel agencies and ticketing and event companies. Dan has nearly 20 years of public relations experience, focusing on media relations, crisis communications and reputation management. He has spent most of that time in public relations and integrated marketing agencies working for clients that include Coca-Cola, Target Stores, Honda Motor, Anheuser Busch, Toshiba and many others. For Allianz Worldwide Partners, he manages all external communications, which includes media relations, reputation management, influencer outreach and more. Dan developed and manages the Allianz Tuition Insurance College Confidence Index, which measures American confidence in successfully navigating the college experience. Dan is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College of Journalism.

Bill Edmunds

President, Gentleman's C Higher Ed Consulting

Bill Edmunds is President and Principal Consultant of Virginia-based Gentleman's C Higher Ed Consulting and is a Higher Education efficiency consultant and conference speaker specializing in business process improvement, corporate turnarounds, and organizational strategic planning. Throughout his 30-year professional career and in his current roles, he helps organizations achieve quality, efficiency, and process re-engineering excellence in order to enhance revenue, control costs, improve service levels and create Continuous Improvement cultures. He has acted as a change management leader in Higher Education as well as aerospace, professional services, defense, healthcare, state & local government business segments. As Acting Administrative Operations Officer at Old Dominion University (ODU), Bill led all of the Universit's process improvement initiatives as part of a three year Banner Revitalization project. Bill was the primary author of ODU's first place submission for SunGard's 2012 Award for Institutional Performance. In addition, under his project leadership, ODU received a 2013 Best Practice Award from University Business. In his work at ODU, Bill founded an internal student consulting organization, the Monarch Project that was the Grand Finalist for SACUBO's 2013 Best Practice Award. He is a former member of Ellucian's Finance Client Advisory Board and received grant funding from Bank of America, Ellucian and Higher One to found a successful student financial literacy program, Monarch Millionaire.

John Fees

Founder & Managing Director, GradGuard - Next Generation Insurance Group LLC

John Fees is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of GradGuard™ - the leading student benefits and insurance solution specifically designed for the collegiate market. Fees is recognized as an authority at designing and implementing student benefit programs that help schools to attract and retain students. He leads GradGuard on its mission to help students & families protect their investment in higher education.

As a result, more than 200 colleges and universities trust GradGuard to protect their students with our tuition and renters insurance programs. Since 2008, GradGuard’s insurance programs have have helped more than 630,000 students protect their investment in a higher education.

Fees is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he received a bachelors of science degree in History and is also a graduate of Harvard Business School where he completed a Masters in Business Administration. John Fees lives in Phoenix, Arizona and is married to Melissa Soza Fees, Ph.D. and is the father of five children. He is the Treasurer for the Arizona College Scholarship Foundation, a Director of College Parents of America, past treasurer of the Foundation for Blind Children, a past Director of the Spitzer Center for Ethics. He is also an active member of University Risk Management and Insurance Association and the Professional Insurance Marketers Association. You can follow him @johntfees.

Keith Fitzsimmons

Director, Student Accounting, University of Kansas Medical Center

Keith Fitzsimmons has been the Director of Student Accounting for the University of Kansas Medical Center since 1986.  This Washington, DC native spent eleven years in the Army as "Sergeant Fitz" before his path wound through Kansas State University and the Kansas City office of Arthur Young, (an old Big 8 CPA firm). Starting with stacks of old ledger books, he introduced computers to the Med Center's Fiscal Office. Keith has been involved with KASFAA (Kansas Association) since he started at KU Med. He has been the association treasurer, committee chair, and co-chair numerous times and has used his unique style of humor and questions to move the fiscal officer committee forward. His natural charisma may explain why he seems to present at almost every conference.  He has also presented at state, regional, and national conferences with COHEAO, ESCI, TouchNet and this conference last year. Keith is an MVP with the Missouri association as he introduced fiscal officers to the association meetings and mentored the association members. He has been awarded several KASFAA and state awards including the Hall of Fame award. Keith produced and starred in the award winning video, A Day in the Life of the Bursar. Keith and his wife Laura are empty nesters, live in Overland Park, Kansas where they are remodeling their brand new 81-year old home. They are very active with their church, several pet rescue missions, and various other civic and faith based organization. They were part of a work group that went to Joplin, Missouri after the 2011 tornado to help with disaster relief clean-up. Keith is also the Chaplin Emeritus of Boy Scout Troop 201 in Overland Park.

OnPlanU by Flywire

Judith Flink has served as a senior-level higher education administrator for over 30 years with nationally acclaimed expertise in student financial services operations including bursar/cashier operations; student loan repayment improvements and student retention and government relations. She possess an unusual blend of strategic thinking and operational savvy with proven experience in creating process improvements that accelerate cash flow and increase student satisfaction and retention. Judith has a keen insight for identifying untapped talent and building high-impact teams that conquer difficult goals. Judith is recognized nationally for the establishment of best practices and for making a positive impact on legislation relevant to all aspects of student financial services. In her leadership role as Executive Director of University Student Financial Services and Cashier Operations for all three University of Illinois campuses (combined full-time student population of over 70,000), Judith managed a staff of 80 with an annual budget of $5.5 million. She facilitated and shaped the legislative agenda for the University of Illinois Office of Business and Financial Services, identifying the highest priority changes and proposed means of accomplishing optimum and strategic change. As a part of this role, Judith examined proposed legislation to determine possible effects and intended outcomes for the Office of Business and Student Financial Services and the University of Illinois system. It was a part of Judith's fiscal DNA to initiate and lead strategic alliances with peer schools and industry experts to promote legislation favorable to students, the higher education community and the University of Illinois system. Judith established and administered the Illinois College Advising Corps (ICAC), a mentoring program promoting college access for low-income high school students across Illinois. She conceived the concept and implemented the program which raises seed funding for low-income high school students. The Illinois College Advising Corps has expanded and grown by 400% throughout the K-12 system of the State of Illinois since Judith's inception of the initiative. Judith served on a number of National Higher Education Committees (NHEC) including serving as the President Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations (COHEAO). Judith was a member of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) Committee on Veteran Affairs and Committee on Third Party Billing Systems. She has held leadership responsibilities and presented professional papers for the National Council of Higher Education Loan Programs (NCHELP); the Illinois Student Loan Association (ISLA); the Illinois Bursars Organization (IBO); the Big Ten Bursars Association; and the Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC) where she was a Board Member from 2000-2007. As a Consulting Director for focusEDU Judith looks forward to offering her expertise and services to the leadership of the higher education community in all aspects of student financial services. Judith also works as a sales consultant with OnPlan U a leader in higher education payment processing. Judith holds a BS in Business Management from Northeastern Illinois University and has completed coursework toward her graduate degree in Management. She has been selected to participate in several leadership development programs through the Harvard Institute for Management and Leadership. Judith has been married for 34 years and has three grown children.

Amanda Flurry, MBA

Director of Student Accounts, Millersville University of Pennsylvania

Amanda Flurry serves as the Director of Student Accounts at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. She has over ten years of experience in financial analysis, budgeting, accounting and receivables management through serving in various roles in higher education and private industry. Amanda oversees all university billing and collection functions including oversight of receivables. She has introduced significant efficiencies and cost saving measures by implementing paperless solutions for the majority of office functions. She enjoys utilizing data and analytics to inform process improvement. Amanda has earned an MBA from Alvernia University, a post-baccalaureate diploma in accounting from Elizabethtown College and a BA in Psychology from Millersville University.

Darla Freeborn

Bursar, Student Accounting Services, Whitworth University

Darla Freeborn has been the Bursar at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, for over 17 years. She holds a Bachelor's degree in History Education and a Master's degree in Education Administration. Darla oversees the operations of the University cashier, student accounts and collections, and the Perkins and Institutional Loan office. She has overseen the development and implementation of a number of electronic and paperless applications. She currently serves on Whitworth's Educational Review Board, Retention Task Force, Financial Literacy Team, and several other committees. She regularly presents information at on-campus student financial literacy and orientation sessions.Prior to joining the staff of Whitworth University, Darla was involved in business and industry. She was the staff accountant for a heavy highway construction company and the plant manager in a manufacturing facility.

Robert Harpool

Higher Education Administration Consultant

Dr. Robert Harpool became actively involved in distributed ledger technology in 2011 while employed as an administrator and faculty member at King Fahd University in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. What initially began as a quest for low-cost, expeditious, international remittance led to the creation of numerous cryptocurrency investment groups and his advocacy of DL technology through multiple Internet mediums. Dr. Harpool holds a doctorate in educational administration specializing in higher education leadership from Indiana State University. He has served in various capacities at universities in the U.S., Australia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and Qatar. His most recent academic work focuses on the impact of passive and active DL adoption as it pertains credit card and ACH payment systems. However, Dr. Harpool interests include every use case of DL technology on campus, including asset management, event ticketing, credential issuance, etc.

Lori Hartung

Regional Sales Manager, Todd, Bremer & Lawson, Inc.

Lori S. Hartung is the Regional Manager for Todd, Bremer & Lawson, Inc. a collection firm that specializes in assisting colleges and universities with the recovery of accounts receivable and student loans. Her responsibilities include vending the firm's services to the Midwest region and training educational institutions on the campus based loan programs. In addition to her core responsibilities at Todd, Bremer & Lawson, Inc. Lori is the Firm's primary representative to the Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations (COHEAO). COHEAO is a partnership of education and commercial members with a shared interest in fostering access to post-secondary education. Lori has been elected as the Vice President on the Board of Directors of COHEAO. This organization maintains a sharp focus on legislative and regulatory advocacy, educational access, and interactive communication for all federally funded student loan programs. In addition to her position on the Board of Directors she is also the a member of the Perkins Loan Task Force, Agenda, and Commercial Committees. COHEAO awarded Lori the 2012 Commercial Member of the Year. Lori is a member of several regional organizations such as the, Michigan Association of Student Financial Services Administrators (MASFSA), Wisconsin Association of Student Business Office Personnel and Administrators (WASBOPA), and the Minnesota Collections Network. She currently serves on the Board of all three organizations. Ms. Hartung has been involved in the student Loan industry in various capacities since 1991. Prior to joining Todd, Bremer & Lawson, Inc. she was the Senior Manager of Government and Industry Relations for University Accounting Service (UAS). Lori is a 1989 graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor degree in Political Science. She lives in Dousman, Wisconsin with her husband and three (3) children, two (2) dogs, two (2) cats, and 40,000 honey bees.

Jan Hnilica

Student Financial Services Manager, Wheaton College

Jan Hnilica graduated in 1997 from Calvin College with a B.S in Psychology. She has worked at Wheaton College since 2000 in various roles; Librarian, Financial Aid Counselor, Financial Services Manager, and currently Student Financial Services Manager. Jan manages all billing and collections for the Student Financial Services office. Notably she served on the COHEAO Board of Directors from 2013-2017 and remains as an active member on Perkins grassroots committee. Jan has spoken at several conferences on a variety of topics: COHEAO, PDG, and Minnesota Collections Network. Jan has been married for 12 years and has 2 kids, Caleb 7 and Kaylee 6.

Dwight Horsey

Millersville University of Pennsylvania

Bio coming soon.

Craig Jeffery

Managing Director, Strategic Treasurer LLC

Craig Jeffery formed Strategic Treasurer LLC in 2004 to provide corporate, educational, and government entities direct access to comprehensive and current assistance with their treasury and financial process needs. His 20+ years of financial and treasury experience as a practitioner and as a consultant have uniquely qualified him to help organizations craft realistic goals and achieve significant benefits quickly. He is primarily responsible for relationship management and ensuring total client satisfaction on all projects. Mr. Jeffery was previously a Senior Vice President and Practice Leader for Wachovia Treasury & Financial Consulting from 2000 through 2004. Prior to joining Wachovia, Mr. Jeffery worked with a major regional bank as Vice President and worked in the Information Management, Investment and Treasury Divisions at The Hartford. Mr. Jeffer's experience in finance, treasury, consulting information technology, and process redesign encompasses numerous industry segments. He has extensive cross-functional project management experience and has aided many organizations on a variety of projects, including strategy formulation, financial transparency and system implementation efforts. His project experience ranges from multi-year, multi-million dollar efforts to rapid assessments. He is often quoted in, and has written articles for, finance and treasury management publications, such as Treasury & Risk, Financial Executive, Business Finance, and CFP magazines. He is also regularly requested to present both in the U.S. and internationally. He is the author of a book for Treasury, The Strategic Treasurer: A Partnership for Corporate Growth, published July 2009. Mr. Jeffery graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.S. in Accounting. He is a permanent Certified Cash Manager and a Fellow of the Life Management Institute with distinction.

James Jones

Executive VP of Sales & Marketing, Reliant Capital Solutions, LLC

After nearly 20 years in the hospitality industry, including owning a Bed & Breakfast, James began his career in the collections industry with Higher Education more than 30 years ago. Currently he is the Executive VP of Sales & Marketing for Reliant Capital Solutions where he has successfully partnered with nearly 200 institutions. James co-founded HEARO more than 10 years ago, as well as co-founding ECHEAO just over 2 years ago (both of which he is still an active committee member of). He is the creator of the Perkins Forum, partnering with ECSI, in presenting a couple of dozen workshops across the country discussing Perkins from birth to grave. He also served on the PacWest SFS steering committee for 2 terms and is now one of the first commercial partners to serve on the Massachusetts Bursar Association steering committee. James also enjoys being married, his 4 adult children and 4 grandchildren, and running mountain trails and on the beach.

David King

CTO, OnPlanU by Flywire

David has made his mark in the billing and payment processing industry with his unmatched technical knowledge, transparent and direct approach to customer communication, and innovative software solutions that consistently exceed expectations. In 1997, David co-founded infiNET Solutions, Inc., which in 2000 became one of the first companies to deliver software-as-a service to the higher education market. David was the CTO of infiNET, responsible for the architecture and management of an automated tuition billing and commerce system for colleges and universities. David sold infiNET to Nelnet in 2006 where he served as president of the higher education division. David has re-entered the higher education market with his new and innovative platform OnPlanU by Flywire that is focused on automating and improving receivables management for higher education. David holds a master's degree in physics from Miami University. He served as an advisory member to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards Council (PCI-DSS). He also served as a member of the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) Council for Electronic Billing and Payments.

Geri Landwehr

Bursar, University of Northern Colorado

Geri Landwehr is the Bursar at the University of Northern Colorado. She has been in higher education for nineteen years, five years as the State Fund Accountant at the University and the last fourteen as the Bursar. Prior to that she worked in the K-12 environment. She has implemented Banner, eBilling, and payment plans at UNC as well as being the first university to waive out of the State of Colorado's collection system to be able to use outside agencies to collect Perkins and AR accounts.

Darrnell Long

Assistant Director, Student Loans, Collections & Outreach, Georgia State University

Darrnell Long is the Assistant Director responsible for Student Loans, Collections, and Outreach at Georgia State University. A native of Atlanta, Darrnell is joined GSU in 2014 after spending seven years in the banking sector. Darrnell works daily to offer a soft approach to collections in an already difficult time for students and parents. Darrnell holds a Bachelor's degree from Morehouse College and a Masters of Accounting and Financial Management degree from Keller Graduate School. Currently Darrnell is completing his seminary degree, Master of Divinity at Mercer University. Darrnell shares his life with his wife Shaleece and their new addition to the family baby Serenity

John McElroy

Regional Sales Manager, TouchNet Information Systems, Inc.

A graduate of the University of Missouri in Columbia, John has been working in the electronic payments industry for more than 25 years, the last 16 of which with TouchNet. John has held several roles while at TouchNet, including Product Management, Business Development, Sales, and is currently the Senior Manager of Product Strategy. John continues his quest for industry knowledge by regularly attending industry conferences, including: NACUBO, AFP, NACHA Payments, ETA (Electronic Transaction Association), the Treasury Institute Symposium and PCI workshop, and of course PDG's Bursars, Student Loans and PCard Conferences. John has attended and presented at hundreds of conferences and seminars over the past 15+ years.

Bruce McGee

Senior Assistant Bursar, Miami University

Currently the Associate Bursar at Miami University, Bruce McGee has sixteen years of experience in higher education. Throughout his career, his hand has been in many cookie jars: compliance and accreditation, registration and records, student accounts/business office management, operations, database development, education and training, and customer service. He currently oversees student accounts and regulatory staff, and serves on the Steering Committee for the One Stop, for which he is also the Bursar liaison, and on the Advisory Board for the Mini University child development center. A graduate of Western Illinois University, Bruce is also a storm chaser, enjoys long road trips, and collects all things kitschy Americana.

Tom Metcalf

VP of Sales, North America, Flywire

Tom Metcalf has been helping campuses create efficiencies and improve services to students since starting in education sales in 2004. Joining Flywire just a few months after the platform's launch, he was soon planting Flywire flags all over the Central U.S. and Canada. Tom now oversees the sales team in North America and can often be found traveling around the States and Canada with his wife and four kids, for both work and play.

Jeane Olson

Director of Student Financial Services, University of North Texas

Jeane Olson is the Director of Student Financial Services for University of North Texas (UNT). UNT is a Tier One Research University located in North Texas that offers 103 bachelor, 86 master’s and 38 doctoral degrees. With 18 years of experience in Higher Education, Jeane’s experience has been in the positions of Bursar or Director of Student Financial Services operations. Her volunteer experience in Higher Ed. includes being a Board Member for 6 years for the MN Collection Network and a Board Member for COHEAO for 8 years, currently in the position of Member-At-Large; Chairing the Student Tuition and Accounts Receivable task force.

Jeane holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from Hamline University, St. Paul, MN.

Miranda Paredez

Executive Director of Bursar Data Operations, Touro College and University System

Miranda Paredez is currently the Executive Director of Bursar Data Operations for the Touro College and University system. She has over 20 years' experience working in student financial services and management ranging from Financial Aid, to Institutional Loan Management, to Student Accounts. The experience in working in three closely related student financial areas has given Miranda a unique perspective on the impact of processes on fellow colleagues and students. Miranda has implemented electronic refunds, billing, payment plans and paperless technology during her career in Higher Education. Miranda earned a Bachelor's and Master's degree summa cum laude in Business Administration and Management with an emphasis in Accounting.

Howard Polack

Vice President of Product Strategy, Tuition Management Systems

Howard Polack has served as a Vice President of Product Strategy for TMS for over five years in addition to having 25 years of hands-on experience delivering innovative payments products in both entrepreneurial start-ups and one of the nation's largest and most innovative banks. Additionally, Howard has built a strong foundation in his career managing Card and Cash management operations and compliance for a top 20 bank. He has played a key role in rolling out one of the nation's first web-based cash management products, and later managed and developed Payment businesses in various stages of their life cycle including Merchant Acquiring, Card Processing, and Card Issuance. Howard has a BA and MBA in Banking and Finance.

Richard Robitaille, Ed.D.

Program Manager, Link Solutions Inc., United States Military Academy at West Point

Dr. Richard Robitaille is a 28-year combat veteran of the United States Army, having served in numerous leadership positions in 13 Countries in a long military career, additionally he is a published author and an award-winning college administrator with over two decades of program management and executive level experience in all areas of higher education administration including academic affairs, veterans' affairs, information technology and governmental affairs.  He has been on TV in One on One, Caucus NJ, Push Pause and State of Affairs and currently leads an information technology team at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He strives to focus on team building, turning visions into reality and showing leaders of all levels how they can excel and exceed all expectations by focusing on people and processes. Dr. Robitaille has earned the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Expert Infantryman's Badge, Airborne Wings, Air Assault Badge and is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and Association of the United States Army. There is still sand from Iraq and Kuwait in a duffle bag in his attic and a piece of the Berlin Wall on his desk.  And the memories of hundreds of good people he led in the desert, in sniper's alley in Macedonia and the forests of Germany remain with him.

Jessica Sabourin

Manager of Student & Loan Receivables, Harvard University

Jessica Sabourin joined Harvard University in May of 2016 as the Manager of Student Loan Operations. In July 2017, she was promoted to Manager of Student & Loan Receivables. Presently she provides daily operational management, leadership and strategic planning for a team of 12 staff comprised of the Student Loan Department and the Student Account Customer Service Team under the umbrella of Student Financial Services. Jessica has over thirteen years of experience between higher education administration and corporate financial services - ten years specifically in higher education including nine years of progressive management experience. Ten years of sales experience within the real estate industry. Prior to her arrival at Harvard University, Jessica was most recently with Babson College overseeing their gift processing and data management operations in the advancement services department within the fundraising group of the College. She also spent a combined eight years at two Central Massachusetts institutions in the student financial services departments. Jessica holds her bachelors of science from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst as well as her Master's in Business Administration and Certificate in Advanced Graduate study (Non-Profit Management) from Anna Maria College and Clark University respectively. She is also involved in the Massachusetts Bursar Association Steering Committee, MASFAA Financial Wellness Committee and is the treasurer of House Corporation for the Theta Mu Chapter of Chi Omega Sorority at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Matt Schaefer

Assistant Director Compliance, Indiana University

Matt Schaefer is the Assistant Director of Compliance for Treasury Operations at Indiana University. Matt helps departments around the University navigate financial compliance across multiple revenue channels, including PCI DSS. He also oversees the revenue processing activities and training for all 8 campuses. Prior to working at I.U., Matt spent 10 years in retail banking. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Management from Purdue University.

Torri Williams

Accounts Receivable Operations Supervisor, Georgia State University

Torri Williams has worked in higher education for sixteen years. Her experience ranges from Admissions, Registration, and Orientation at Georgia Southern University where she also earned her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. In 2009, Torri joined the Student Accounts team at Georgia State University. She is currently the Interim Director of Student Accounts where she oversees daily operations. She has successfully worked with her team to implement several projects and policy improvements related to Fee Assessment, Sponsored Billing, Refunds, Payment Plans and most recently Outreach and Collections. Torri currently serves on several committees at Georgia State to include the Technology Roadmap team, Quality Assurance, and the Risk Assessment taskforce. She believes in leveraging technology to deal with the continuous demands of higher education in order to assist student and parents in managing their finances. Torri’s motto is simple, Have HEART: Hear the Student, Earn their trust, Analyze the situation, Relate to the Student, and Thrive to resolve their concern. She believes this can be accomplished by creating processes that will promote Student Success.

Dee Wilson

Bursar/Treasury Manager, Portland Community College

Dee Wilson has served as the bursar and treasury manager at Portland Community College since 1994. During her tenure with the college, she has played a pivotal role in the successful implementation of multiple system and policy improvements related to efficacy, student success and financial preparedness. Dee has been a presenter at multiple national and regional conferences. She possesses a strong record of dedication to her work and successful project implementation. Dee is particularly interested in streamlining processes, creating transparency, and building partnerships to promote student retention and financial success. Prior to her work in higher education, Dee was an Associate Vice President at a large regional bank.

Michael Wilson

Manager, Payment Processing Services, TouchNet Information Systems, Inc.

Michael Wilson has been at TouchNet for five years and manages the Transaction Services team, working with colleges and universities to simplify and strengthen their back end payment systems. He brought with him more than a decade of experience in banking, financial platforms, and hacker-proofing corporate networks. Whether he's visiting a campus, working with software developers, or talking to credit card companies, he loves creating "light bulb" moments in audiences and helping them connect the dots in understanding how payments actually work. Michael has a BBA in International Business from Harding University and an MBA from Rice University. He works every day to prove that you can be a payments geek and still have personality and a soul!