2019 Student Loans Speakers
Our advisory committee is hard at work developing the 2019 agenda. Additional speaker information will be added as it becomes available. Subject to change.
Bursar/Director of Student Loans & Debt Management, 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.
Vice President, Revenue, Thurgood Marshall College Fund
Betsy Burton-Strunk is the Vice President of Revenue for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. As the Vice President of Revenue Betsy is responsible for creating partnerships with companies to support scholarships, internships, full-time employment and entrepreneurial and leadership opportunities for students at TMCF's 47 publicly-supported HBCUs. Prior to this new role, she was the Vice President of Sales at BankMobile leading her sales team and overall strategy and focus on the Refund Management product offered to colleges and universities.
Betsy 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 13-year old son Evan.
Assistant Bursar, The Ohio State University
Bio coming soon.
Senior Institutional Relationship Manager, Ascensus Government Savings
Lisa Connor is the Senior Institutional Relationship Manager at Ascensus Government Savings for the state of Nevada. She promotes the SSGA Upromise 529 Plan – Nevada’s 529 College Savings Plan providing workshops and seminars to businesses as well as school and community groups.
Lisa is a member of the Northern NV Human Resource Association, SHRM, NCET (NV Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology), and the Professional Saleswomen of Nevada (being nominated, and a finalist, in 2016 for Saleswomen of the Year). She also served as emcee for the 2016 Women’s Money Conference.
Prior to joining Ascensus Government Savings in 2010, Lisa worked as a Financial Aid Director for 16+ years working at such schools as, the University of New England (ME), Chatham University (PA), and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MA). Lisa also worked for 10 years in student loan marketing for such companies as Citibank, and US Bank. She has conducted numerous workshops on, Managing Student Loan Debt, Financing your Education, Understanding Credit Scores, and The Pro’s and Con’s of Loan Consolidation.
Lisa was appointed by Maine’s Governor to the state’s College Savings Board in 1998, working with Board members and the State Treasurer in creating Maine’s initial 529 College Savings Plan.
Lisa brings over 30 years of experience in educational financing when she talks to groups about the importance of saving for college. She holds a B.S. degree in Communications/Management from Westfield State University, is FINRA Series 6, and Series 63 licensed, and currently resides in Reno, NV.
Associate Vice President for Student Financial Services, Morehouse CollegeCharmaine 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.
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.
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.
Executive VP of Sales & Marketing, Reliant Capital Solutions
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.
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.
Director of Student Loan Service Center, State University of New York
Maria Livolsi has been with the State University of New York for 29 years, serving as the Director of the Student Loan Service Center for the past 23 years. Prior to joining SUNY, Maria worked as an accountant in both public and private industry. Maria has a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Siena College and a Master of Science degree in accounting from the State University of New York at Albany.
Maria oversees several federal financial aid programs for 31 SUNY campuses with annual expenditures in excess of $325 million. The majority of the services provided by the Student Loan Service Center pertain to the $160 million revolving loan funds for the Federal Perkins, Health Professions and Nursing student loan programs, which currently contain more than 61,000 active borrower loans.
Maria just completed 6 years serving as president of COHEAO, the Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations, and is now serving as past president. COHEAO is a national association addressing many of the challenging areas within student financial services including the federal campus-based loan programs, financial literacy/wellness, institutional loan programs and legislative and regulatory advocacy.
Associate Director for Student Financial Services, Morehouse College
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, Masters of Accounting and Financial Management degree from Keller Graduate School and a Master of Christian Ministry from Mercer University. In addition to GSU, Darrnell also serverves as Associate Pastor at his home church, Silver Leaf Baptist Church. Darrnell shares his life with his wife Shaleece and their daughter (Princess) Serenity!
Associate Registrar, Student Finance & Client Services, Wilfrid Laurier University
Necia is the Associate Registrar, Student Finance & Client Services at Wilfrid Laurier University. In this role, she is responsible for ensuring a positive student experience when it comes to Enrollment Services, as well as the management of awards, Financial Aid programs, launching a financial literacy program, Dollars and Sense, and Student Accounts Receivables, inclusive of fee assessment, invoicing, and collections. To this end, Necia launched a ‘virtual queue’, improved and expanded methods of communication and helped implement service improvements across multiple campuses. Her past experience at Laurier was in Enrollment Services as the Manager, Service Laurier (the University’s One-Stop), where she assisted in the growth and refinement of a department consisting of 7 full time unionized staff, 3 student employees and managed a budget of $800,000. Service volumes were approximately 100,000+ interactions and in-person payments topped $9 million annually. Prior, Necia worked for three years in Student Affairs in the Department of Residence as a Residence Life Area Coordinator. Necia’s areas of expertise include service improvements, project management, refining the One-Stop experience, staff management, student accounts and financial literacy initiatives. Necia holds a BSc from Western University, an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University, and is pursuing her EdD in Educational Leadership from Western University.
Assitant Bursar, Xavier University
Mason Rick is the Assistant Bursar at his alma mater, Xavier University, located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mason earned his Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs & Business in 2009. That same year he commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. Mason was stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii with the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment (The Wolfhounds). During his time with The Wolfhounds, Mason served as a Company Fire Support Officer where he was responsible for integrating and synchronizing fire support assets (artillery, mortar, fixed and rotary wing aircraft) for a 120-man company. Mason deployed to Afghanistan and led a training mission with the Philippine Army Artillery Regiment at Fort Magsaysay, Philippines. During his military tenure, Mason was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation, the Bronze Star Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, the Army Achievement Award, Combat Action Badge, and Air Assault Badge among other awards.
After separating from the military, Mason returned to Cincinnati to work at Xavier University. He has been the Assistant Bursar since 2016, where he manages customer service operations, federal government third party payor accounts, and business processes among other responsibilities. Mason used his Post 9/11 GI Bill to return to school and will graduate with his MBA from Xavier in December 2019. Mason lives in Cincinnati with his wife, Liz (also a two-time Xavier graduate) and his daughters, Nora (Xavier class of 2038) and Greta (Xavier class of 2040).
Chief Risk Officer, ConServe
As a nationally recognized expert on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regulation, Jim is a leader in navigating the consumer financial risk environment. In fact, he was the key architect in establishing the CFPB's complaint process via their company portal. While consulting with ConServe over the past year, Jim was so impressed with the company's commitment to compliance and regulation adherence that it was a natural progression for him to join the organization on a more permanent basis. In his new role as Chief Risk Officer, he brings proficiency and knowledge of the intelligent business application of complex consumer financial rules and regulations and has broad experience in Research, Markets and Regulations (RMR).
As the previous owner of his own consulting consumer financial company, Jim has profound understanding of compliance management systems. He has extensive professional experience in the consumer financial environment, is a graduate of Minnesota State University and has earned professional certifications from George Washington University and the Wisconsin Bankers Association Graduate Banking School. As a devoted father of 3, he currently divides his time between his home in California and his new opportunity in New York.
President, Williams and Fudge
Bob Perrin, CEO, has been with Williams and Fudge since 1993. Prior to being promoted in October 2014 to CEO, he served since 2005 as President of Williams and Fudge.
Since 1980 Bob has been directly involved in the operations of Student Loan Management He began his career in Higher Education at the University of South Carolina where he managed fourteen Federal loan programs at the University of South Carolina’s nine campuses for eleven years.
As a past president of COHEAO (Coalition Of Higher Education Assistance Organization) Bob currently serves on the board as the Legislative Co-Chair with a focus on regulatory issues, and Chairs the working groups of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). He has been involved on the national scene along with many other members of the Education Community to work with Congress and the Department of Education to preserve the Federal Perkins Loan Program. Those efforts include meeting with Congressional members and their staff as well as providing testimony on behalf of COHEAO and the industry during Congressional hearings. Bob has spoken at numerous national conferences on topics relating to higher education issues currently faced by loan administrations.
Bob is also involved on the national scene with industry leaders in an effort to modernize the Telephone Communication Practice Act (TCPA), and has done recent presentations on the Future of Financial Aid, TCPA, Smart Phone Applications, Electronic Payments, Web Usage For Collection Agencies, as well as presented updates on Washington Regulatory and Legislatives issues.
David has been employed at Williams and Fudge full time since August of 2000, previous to that spending time as an account representative. After spending six years in the sales and marketing area, David moved inside to become a part of the executive management team and help with all facets of the company. These include, but are not limited to finance, compliance, human resources, technology, client services, and overseeing projects related to the growth of the organization.
Cathy Resh Poiesz
Director of Student Financial Services, Messiah College
Cathy Poiesz is currently serving as the Director of Student Financial Services at Messiah College. With 24 years of experience in higher education, Cathy served in Student Financial Services, Financial Aid and Student and Residence Life. She enjoys using her work experience to assist students and parents holistically, guiding them through the various processes and helping them determine the best way to pay for college. Her goal is to help students graduate with as little loan debt as possible. Retention is one of Cathy’s passions and she works creatively to minimize financial stress for students and their families. Cathy believes a college education is a serious investment, and that students will one day become our future leaders - so it is important to help this next generation.
Vice President, Business Development, National Credit Management
Karen is a graduate of Webster University in St. Louis. She has over 24 years of higher education experience. Karen began her career as an Admissions Officer for seven years with Missouri College, working with all aspects of student services. She has been with National Credit Management, servicing colleges and universities, for 18 years. In addition to her current duties, Karen currently serves on the Board of Directors for COHEAO (Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations) as the Internal Operations Chair and a member of the COHEAO Task Force to help preserve the future of the Perkins Loan Program.
Karen is a co-founder of the Michigan Association for Student Financial Services Administrators (MASFSA) and served as both Membership Committee Chair and Director of Associate Members. She has held positions on the Kentucky Association for Student Receivable Officers (KASRO) Board of Directors as the Membership and Professional Development Chair. She has recently been appointment as the Agenda Chair for the New York State Organization of Bursars and Business Administrators (NYSOBBA) Conference Committee planning this year’s agenda. Karen presents at several regional and national industry conferences on topics such as, Compliance in Higher Education, Identity Theft and represents COHEAO with Legislative and Washington updates.
Karen has been recognized by several organizations for her passion and dedication as evident in her receiving the KASRO Lou Darnell Award in 2009, the COHEAO Commercial Member of the Year Award in 2010 & 2015 and the CAASLAR Prestige Member Award in 2014. Karen has also earned both the CAP and CAP Scholar Certification through COHEAO.
Deputy Chief Information Officer, Arizona State University
John Rome is the Deputy CIO at Arizona State University (ASU) and currently leads the Data Intelligence team within the University Technology Office (UTO) at ASU. He is an experienced Information technology leader, consultant and educator with a long history of working in higher education. John is a pioneer of data warehousing and analytics in higher education, building ASU’s data warehouse in the mid 1990’s. He is also a part-time instructor in the ASU W.P. Carey School of Business, teaching big data concepts.
His areas of expertise include analytics/business intelligence, information technology strategy, public cloud, and voice-enabled technologies. His interests include student mentoring, learning science and voice enabling the world. John did a TEDx talk on voice technology in April 2018. He was instrumental in securing a partnership with Amazon to locate a Smart City Innovation Center at ASU’s Skysong campus, which opened March 2019.
John holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Clarke University (Iowa) and a MBA from Arizona State University and is a two-time recipient of ASU’s President’s Award for Innovation.
Director of Student Aid and Financial Literacy, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Jessica Sabourin is the Director of Student Aid & Financial Literacy at WPI located in Central Massachusetts. Prior to that, she was at Harvard University managing the student accounts customer service team and student loan operations team. Jessica holds a Master’s in Business Administration as well as Certificate in Advanced Graduate Study – Non-Profit Management. Jessica has over twelve years of experience in higher education – including student accounts, student loans, collections, financial aid and fundraising operations. She enjoys spending time with her family, running and the beach.
Founder and Lead Attorney, Schuerger Law
Mr. Schuerger is the founder and lead attorney for the Law Offices of Robert A. Schuerger Co., LPA, a top performing Collections Law Firm with a nationwide presence. His 10 plus years of experience in debt collection includes large and small government and private clients, including public and private universities, the State of Ohio and U.S. Departments of Education and Justice. His collection experience includes handling a variety of matters including student debt, tax, medical and general receivables. Robert Schuerger is invested in ensuring the success of his staff and the firm through an emphasis on customer service, performance and accountability.
In addition to his collection and litigation experience, he has spent extensive time in International Business, Government Relations and Business Development. He frequently is a speaker on topics including collection law and best practices. He graduated from The Ohio State University and received his law degree from Capital University and is licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio.
Director, One Stop Student Services & University Veterans Services, University of Minnesota
Dr. Julie Selander has worked in higher education administration and finance for over 30 years and her experience includes a variety of leadership positions in student services and service operations. Julie has worked at the University of Minnesota for 19 years and has served as the Director of One Stop Student Services Office and University Veterans Services for the past eight years. Julie assisted in the creation of the “One Stop” model, providing seamless and integrated student services in the areas of enrollment, registration, financial aid, billing, academic records, and veteran services. She has been pivotal in expanding and enhancing student services in the areas of financial wellness, diversity and inclusion, retention, and student degree progress outreach.
Julie presents frequently on various topics related to higher education student services and has written several articles for publication, including a chapter for NACUBO’s Student Centered Financial Services: Innovations That Succeed. She is a founding board member and has served as the President for the Institute for Student Services Professionals (ISSP) for the past nine years.
Julie has consulted with a wide variety of public and private colleges and universities around the country, including some from around the globe (Sweden, Australia, China, Japan, Canada, and England), on topics of “one stop” student services and customer service. Creating a “one stop” model of integrated services is Julie’s subject matter expertise and she has provided reassuring guidance and advice to all levels of staff and leadership for hundreds of inquiring institutions who want to seamlessly transition to this model of service delivery, improve student satisfaction, and enhance student success.
She has her bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees from the University of Minnesota. Her PhD is in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development with an emphasis in Higher Education. Julie has also served as a part-time instructor for several years at the University of Minnesota and has taught Strategic Customer Relationship Management and Customer Service Training.
Director Student Loans and Collections, Boston University
Vinny has been employed by Boston University for over 38 years in a variety of positions, currently as Director of Student Loans & Collections. Over the years, he has been actively involved with all Loan-related compliance and audit issues, the implementation of BU’s collection philosophy and the continued enhancement of the “in-person” Exit program. He has designed and presents Financial Literacy seminars and has served as a member of the Board for the University Credit Union.
On the lighter side, Vinny has completed four mystery novels (written not read) and is hopelessly stuck in the middle of a fifth.
Brad Waldron is a five-time winner of the Vistage International CEO OutPerformer Speaker of the Year and is the author of Present Naked – How to Deliver Any Presentation with Substance and Sizzle!
Brad is a real business all-rounder. His is known for his room filling energy, infectious humor and battle proven insights that deliver immediate real-world applications. He provides a unique perspective in that he reigns from a dual exposure to winning – winning in business and winning in the sporting arena.
As a Strategist he provides winning formulas that take individuals and organizations to the next level. He has positively impacted and accelerated the performance of leading global brands such as Microsoft, L’Oreal, Sony, Warner Bros and Diageo.
As a MD and CEO, he is a high achiever with a proven track record of delivering outstanding financial results, leading and driving change, transforming customer relationships and creating a high-performance culture in teams. His unique blend of strategic commercial thinking and creative practical flair is highly valued by all with whom he works.
As a Trainer and Coach, he works with C-Suite leaders to front line sales people across a range of emerging and mature industries to help them identify their most important needs and opportunities and equip them with the skills, strategies and resilience to lead a performing business.
As an Athlete, he has competed Nationally and Internationally in three differing sports winning three National Titles and one International Championship.
He is the CEO of 99 RainMaker - dedicated sales growth consultancy and the Chairman of the LVK Group - a brand based business development agency. Previously he was the CEO of Oxygen Learning and Regional Managing Director of the Covey Leadership Centre. His career in the Business Growth industry started in sales working for internationally renowned speaker and author, Anthony Robbins in the USA and UK.
Scott F. Walterbach
Partner, Bessine Walterbach, LLP
Scott Walterbach is a Partner at the Kansas City, MO law firm where he’s worked for almost 10 years with 3 other attorneys and about a dozen staff members. His practice is focused primarily on high-volume collections and creditors’ rights throughout Missouri and Kansas. A portion of the practice is dedicated to collection of student accounts and student loans, which have unique characteristics as compared to other types of debt. Scott is a regular presenter at the Kansas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (KASFAA) on topics such as bankruptcy, statutes of limitation, FDCPA, civil procedure, etc.
Scott holds a B.A. in journalism from Truman State University in 2003, a Master's in Public Administration from University of Missouri – Kansas City in 2006, and a J.D. from Indiana University School of Law in 2007. He is the past president of Missouri Collector’s Association, Missouri Creditors Bar, and Kansas Creditor Attorney Association, as well as a proud Rotarian. Scott lives in Kansas City with his wife Katie, and their four awesome kids, Nash (6), Bo (4), Judd (almost 3), and Hannah (1). In his spare time…well with that many kids there is none. Scott would provide more details, but someone’s crying and he had to run…
Senior Account Executive, Transact by Cashnet
Bio coming soon.