The inaugural “Top 40 Under 40” was so well received that we felt compelled to expand this program to include all alumni. Beginning in 2014, we transitioned this prestigious society from simply the “Top 40 Under 40” to an all-encompassing “Who’s Who Among Benedictine University Alumni.”
Each year, the Office of Alumni Development will honor select Visionaries and Rising Stars who display leadership and innovation in their career fields as well as a personal dedication to philanthropic endeavors. This group will continue to include a mix of professions, personal histories and achievements. The alumni selected will serve as representative pillars to the campus and surrounding community of the strength of the foundation on which Benedictine University has flourished. To nominate an alumnus for 2015, please click here.
A special event was held on Friday, March 21, 2014 to honor the 2014 Visionaries and Rising Stars. View photos of the 2014 Who's Who Among Benedictine University Alumni Awards Dinner here.
Manuel Barbosa earned his B.A. in English Literature from St. Procopius College in 1969. He attended John Marshall Law School and worked as an assistant state’s attorney before going into private practice.
In 1980, with the creation of the Illinois Human Rights Commission; after being recommended by a blue ribbon committee, Governor James Thompson named Barbosa the chairman of the commission and was confirmed by the state senate. He was subsequently reappointed several times after also being selected by Governor Jim Edgar, serving in that post a total of eighteen years.
In 1998, Barbosa was appointed to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois by the Seventh Circuit Judicial Council. After fifteen years, he retired and was recently named to the Board of Directors for METRA. During this time, Barbosa has remained active in numerous community affairs. Over the years, he has traveled to Mexico where he has lectured at various universities and has been recognized by the Mexican government and institutions for his efforts. He was named a distinguished member and counselor to the National Bar Association of Mexico. He has volunteered for the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative and has traveled to Panama, El Salvador and Ecuador as an instructor consultant for judicial reform.
Barbosa plans to release a published book which chronicles his family’s history in the Mexican Revolution and their migration to the United States.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Donna Hrozencik, M.D. graduated cum laude in 1982 with a B.S. in Biochemistry from Illinois Benedictine College. She attended Rush Medical College, earned her M.D. in 1982 and went on to complete a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan Medical Center in 1990. She has been on staff at Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital and a partner at Canton Obstetrics and Gynecology since 1990.
Hrozencik has been actively involved in teaching both medical students and residents. She has also conducted research through Clinsite, an independent research arm of her physician's association. She has served on many committees in her hospital and has been involved in fundraising on a yearly basis. Hrozencik is a certified fitness specialist and a member of the American College of Sports Medicine. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Saint Louis Center in Chelsea, Michigan, a residential center for children and adults with intellectual developmental disabilities and remains active at Benedictine University, where she received the Outstanding Alumni Award in 2005.
Hrozencik currently resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her husband, Mark Ouimet.
Raymond Konopka earned a B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics from Benedictine University in 1989. He later attended Northwestern University and earned his M.S. in Computer Science in 1990.
After graduation, he began his career at AT&T Bell Labs in Naperville where he began writing articles for a computer programming magazine called PC Techniques. While working with the magazine, he followed a pre-released version of a revolutionary new software development tool called Delphi. He published the first technical articles on Delphi six months before the product had shipped, and decided to take a chance on this new tool. On Feb 7, 1995, Konopka started Raize Software to provide Delphi consulting services. Shortly thereafter, Delphi 1.0 was released, and he published his first book, "Developing Custom Delphi Components". The success of that book led to the creation of Raize Components, a commercial software product designed to help other developers create better software.
In 2002, he began consulting for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and has worked on several software projects; most notably, the FASTPASS System. FASTPASS is used in all of the Disney Parks worldwide. In October of 2011, he transitioned from consultant to part-time Disney employee.
Using his passion to help other software developers, he avidly speaks at software developer conferences in North America, Europe and Australia. During his career, he has authored two books, co-authored two more and has written several magazine articles on software development.
Konopka also established the Raize Software Scholarship in Computer Science for Benedictine University students. In February of 2012, he received the Alumni Achievement Award in Mathematical and Computational Sciences from Benedictine University’s College of Science.
Konopka resides in Naperville, Illinois with his wife, Elizabeth (Marquardt) Konopka, C89, and their two sons, Christopher and Jack.
Jeffrey K. Swallow, Ph.D. is the President and CEO of Magnetrol International, Inc. in Aurora, Illinois. Magnetrol is an 80-year-old; family owned and operated business that manufactures industrial liquid level and flow control instrumentation for process industries. The company currently operates in 11 countries and has grown to eight manufacturing facilities and nine direct sales offices worldwide.
Swallow earned his Associate of Arts degree from Lincoln College; a B.A. in Organization Communication from North Central College; a C.B.A. from the University of Illinois, Chicago and the Center for Enterprise Development; an M.B.A. from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University; and a Ph.D. in Organizational Development from Benedictine University.
Swallow is currently a trustee at Lincoln College in Lincoln, Illinois and on the Board of Trustees at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. He is a founding member of the Center for Values Driven Leadership at Benedictine University. He is also a past board member of the East West Corporate Corridor Association and the Naperville Heritage Society, and he is currently a board member of Choose DuPage Regional Alliance.
Swallow is also a lifelong resident of Naperville, where he lives with his wife of nearly 28 years. They have three children: Emily, Heston and Connor.
Joseph Baldino, D.C. earned his B.S. in Biology from Benedictine University in 1999. He is the founder of Integrative Neurology and Athletic Performance Clinic in Elgin, Illinois. He also works as the Functional Neurological Rehabilitation Specialist at his practice and specializes in functional and rehabilitative neurology, fibromyalgia and functional blood nutrition.
In addition to his practice, Baldino is an advisory board member of the International Association of Functional Neurology and Rehabilitation. He is also a military specification medical consultant and an independent contractor for the Department of Veteran Affairs.
Baldino credits Benedictine University for developing his passion for learning, teaching and seeking knowledge. Baldino resides in Hampshire, Illinois with his wife, Dana (Witczak) Baldino, C99, and their children.
Bridget Cale earned her B.A. in Accounting and Finance from Benedictine University in 1998. She is a certified public accountant with more than 15 years of professional experience in both public accounting and private industry.
Cale has also worked for Arthur Andersen LLP, specializing in financial statement audits and reviews of clients in the financial services industry and employee benefit plans. Currently, she is a vice president at JPMorgan Securities LLC, specializing in legal entity and regulatory accounting. She is also a member of the Illinois Certified Public Accountants Society.
Cale currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois with her husband, Dave, and their three children, Alaina, Jake and Josephine.
Born and raised in Highland, Indiana, Mark Connelly graduated from Bishop Noll Institute in 1996. With a music scholarship, he attended Benedictine in the fall of 1996. During Connelly’s four years at Benedictine, he was a starting pitcher for the Eagle’s baseball team. Upon graduation, he accepted a position as an undergraduate admissions counselor.
Later in his career, he was promoted to Associate Director of Admissions, and three years later he went on to pursue other professional challenges. Connelly held other positions in many facets of human resources, and for the past eight years, he has been the Corporate Recruitment Manager for First Midwest Bank, an 8.2 billion dollar financial institution with its corporate headquarters located in Itasca, Illinois.
He currently resides in Schaumburg, Illinois with his wife of 10 years, Sabrina (Foley) Connelly, C01, and their children: Noah, Avery, Nate and Logan.
David Do earned his B.S. in Health Science from Benedictine University in 1998 and earned his J.D. at Northern Illinois University College of Law in 2001. During his time in law school, he studied abroad at the University of Bordeaux IV-Montesque in Agen, France, earning a certificate in transitional law. In 2004, Do earned his M.B.A. from Northern Illinois University College of Business.
Do is a financial advisor based out of the Deerfield wealth management office of Morgan Stanley. Through meaningful partnerships that he builds with individuals, families and business owners, he takes a proactive, holistic approach in developing a plan to ensure that the appropriate solutions are coordinated with client-specific strategies for investment planning, estate planning and tax planning. He also works in conjunction with estate planning attorneys, accountants and other professionals to provide clients with a comprehensive perspective on their long-term plans.
Do joined Morgan Stanley in 2013, after spending three years as an estate planning and business attorney in his own practice. Prior to establishing his own law firm, Do’s professional experience included private law firms and stints with two financial institutions, JPMorgan Chase and Ayco Company LP, a Goldman Sachs company.
Do resides in Buffalo Grove, Illinois with his wife, Jonelle, and their three children.
Nina Goyal, M.D. earned her B.S. in Biology at Benedictine University, where she competed on the tennis team. She then went on to earn her M.D. at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She returned to Chicago to complete her residency in ophthalmology at Rush University Medical Center, where she served as Chief Resident. During this time, she earned a research grant from the Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness.
In 2003, Goyal became a member of the Rush ophthalmology team and joined the University Ophthalmology Associates after completing her glaucoma fellowship with University Eye Specialists in 2007. She performs complex cataract surgeries and specializes in the medical, laser and surgical management of glaucoma. Goyal is a member of numerous professional and community organizations, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Glaucoma Society and Chicago Ophthalmologic Society. She actively raises money for lymphoma research and participates in a myriad of free health fairs for the under-privileged. Goyal is the Director of Illinois Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons and is currently investigating new surgical procedures for the treatment of glaucoma.
She has served as a course instructor at several national academy meetings and is an assistant professor in the Rush Ophthalmology department, where she lectures and provides surgical education.
Tim Hayden graduated magna cum laude from Benedictine University in 2006 with a B.A. in Political Science. In 2009, he graduated from Marquette University Law School where he was the co-founder and vice president of the Legal Writing Society. After law school, Hayden was admitted to the Wisconsin and Illinois Bar in 2009. Additionally, Hayden’s article, “Can Summer Training Camp Practices Land NFL Head Coaches in Hot Water,” was published in the 2010 Marquette Sports Law Review.
Hayden is the founder and CEO of the software technology company 14PT, LLC. 14PT, LLC’s flagship product is 14IE, a software solution designed for high school guidance counselors, administrators and students. 14IE ensures that every high school student is eligible for NCAA competition and athletic financial aid. 14IE is the first and only software program to fully automate the entire initial-eligibility process and require no data entry.
Prior to 14PT, LLC, Hayden was engaged in private practice and worked as a campaign researcher for Jim Ryan’s gubernatorial campaign. He also served as a compliance administrator in the athletic departments of Northern Illinois University and Northwestern University.
Hayden resides in Addison, Illinois.
Kate Loritz earned her B.A. in Communications from Benedictine University in 1996, and in 2000, she earned her M.S. in Management and Organizational Behavior. After graduation, Loritz took on the role of sales account manager at Praxair, a large international industrial gases company. During her time with Praxair, she excelled as a Six Sigma Black Belt and sales excellence manager.
Loritz left Praxair to work at Molex as their Manager of Sales Systems. Using her Six Sigma Black Belt skills, she transitioned into her current position of Lean Specialist and Site Deployment Lead.
In 2004, Loritz started a cycling team to fight multiple sclerosis. The purpose of the team is to raise money for the Illinois chapter of the National MS Society. Her team has consistently been in the Top 10 fundraising teams with over $500,000 raised in the last 10 years.
Loritz also mentors a small group of project leaders on a day to day basis. These project leaders are accountable for both people leadership and implementing process improvements.
Loritz currently resides in Naperville, Illinois.
Daniel Martinez earned his undergraduate degree in Management and Organizational Behavior with a Minor in Communication Arts from Benedictine in 2006. In 2010, he earned his M.B.A in Health Administration.
Martinez is a regional compliance manager for Centene Corporation, a Fortune 500 company based out of Saint Louis, Missouri, specializing in managed health care. He is a Fellow of the Life Office Management Association, in addition to being a certified compliance professional within the Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals.
Martinez joined the Benedictine University Alumni Association Board of Directors in 2010 and was voted in as President of the Board in 2012. He has supported many initiatives during his time on the Board and has helped develop a strong foundation for the Alumni Association to grow.
He is an active parishioner with SS Peter and Paul Parish in Naperville where he has been serving as an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist since 2011. Dan also competes on a men’s softball team in Elmhurst and has played with the team for seven years.
Martinez currently resides in Oswego, Illinois with his wife, Kate (McDonough) Martinez, C03, and his two-year-old daughter, Lucy Michelle.
Keeli Mickus earned her B.A. in Literature from Benedictine University in 1997. She started her career at DraftFCB, an international advertising agency in Chicago. She was a senior art director working with clients ranging from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to Microsoft. Her proudest moment at the agency was her contribution to an award-winning international campaign for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The campaign appeared on a London Tube billboard.
Currently, Mickus is a creative director who collaborates with clients to produce strong and creative strategies to increase their brand awareness. Recently, she worked with the Joffrey Ballet, The Great Books Foundation and Network Health.
In 2013, she won the highest brand award at the 33rd Annual Telly Awards for her work with Network Health. Mickus resides in Chicago, Illinois with her husband, Christopher, C96, and their two children.
Cleamon Moorer, D.B.A., earned a B.S. in Management from Kettering University. In 2001, he went on to earn a M.B.A. and a M.S. in Management & Organizational Behavior from Benedictine University. Moorer also earned a Doctorate of Business Administration from Argosy University in 2004.
Moorer is currently an assistant professor of management in the business department at Kettering University. He teaches international business, management and strategic management. He has also held faculty positions at Dominican University, Saint Xavier University and Roosevelt University. His corporate experience stems from serving as a consultant, service executive, project manager and telecommunications engineer at two Fortune 100 corporations.
Moorer is active in the civic community as founder and executive director of Dr. C Moorer & Associates, Inc. His foundation offers annual scholarship awards to high school seniors, college students and stipends to K-12 educators.
He is the author of a best-selling memoir, From Failure to Promise: An Uncommon Path to Professoriate. His memoir has held the #1 top-rated spot on Amazon in the U.S. and Canada on several occasions in the genre of memoirs/biographies of educators. He is also a published author of several peer-reviewed articles.
Moorer sits on the board of the Strategic Decision Education Foundation and is an academic advisor to the Better Man Than Me Foundation. He is a member of the Midwest Academy of Management, the Organizational Development Institute and the Genocide Intervention Network. Moorer is also a motivational speaker with the Young Black Minds, Speaker’s Bureau, LLC.
Mario Parker graduated from Benedictine University in 2005 with a B.A. in Communication Arts. He also completed a fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, earning a M.S. in Journalism in 2006.
Parker is a Chicago-based correspondent for Bloomberg News, writing about global energy markets and major news stories across the U.S. Midwest. His assignments have ranged from investigating Chicago's deadly connection to drug cartels, the dashed hopes of a scrapped biofuel plant in Ford Heights, Illinois, economic decline in Appalachia and how a billionaire amassed his fortune in coal to covering NFL Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.
Parker started his journalism career in Bloomberg's Washington D.C. bureau as an intern and then a general assignment reporter, where he participated in White House press pool duty and also covered stories on Capitol Hill. He is a three-time recipient of the Chicago Headline Club's Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism and a 2011 winner of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers' features award for Magazine writing. His byline has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, International Herald Tribune and publications around the globe. He is also a contributing writer to ``Dear Dad: Reflections on Fatherhood.''
Parker speaks to schools across Chicago and has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and the News Literacy Project.
Betsy Petrovic earned a B.B.A. in Business Administration at Benedictine University in 2001. In 2003, she earned her M.B.A. in Marketing at Keller Graduate School of Business. She has been a guest speaker at the LinkShare Symposium, Channel Advisor’s Catalyst Conference and DeVry University.
Petrovic is the Vice President of Strategic Services at e-commerce service firm Grand River Interactive. While managing the Chicago office of marketing and IT staff, she oversees client relationship management, project management and customer engagements, while building long-term strategic support and marketing programs for clients through consulting and new service offerings. Due to her outstanding performance in driving new revenue, Petrovic was made a partner of the successful e-commerce startup.
Petrovic spent five years in the industry building and managing large, profitable e-commerce solutions. Prior to joining Grand River, she served as the e-Commerce Manager for Collections Etc., Inc. She also worked in e-commerce marketing management for several years at the Professional Education Institute and Lucent Technologies.
She volunteers at St. Mary Immaculate Parish in Plainfield as a cantor and Eucharistic minister; St. Peregrine Liturgies; Imerman Angels; fundraising for Cystic Fibrosis, the American Cancer Society, the Leukemia & Lymphoma society; and as a partial caregiver to her brother David, a six-year cancer survivor.
She currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois with her husband, Adam, and their two children, Andrew and Lucy.
Christopher Pohlman earned a B.B.A. in Finance in 1999. In 2004, he joined Mesirow Financial as a managing director where he works with public and private corporations, public sector entities, high net worth individuals and not-for-profit organizations. He is also responsible for proposing strategies and plan design, vendor searches and monitoring investments.
In addition to the role of managing director, Pohlman is a member of the firm’s Managed Money Advisory Board. He is also a chartered retirement plan specialist and an accredited investment fiduciary designee.
In 2012, he received the firm’s Norman Award for Collaboration. The award recognizes outstanding employees for their achievements and contributions in categories the firm has identified as critical to their client relationships and culture.
Pohlman is also a board representative at Choose DuPage and is on the Board of Directors at The DuPage County Children’s Museum.
Jeff Shields is a graduate of the class of 2000. He earned his B.A. in History from Benedictine University and went on to earn his M.S. in Social Science from the University of Chicago. Shields is currently the business unit CFO for multiple corporate teams at JPMorgan Chase Bank, where he supports the Global Security, Aviation, Dining, Conference Centers and Veterans Affairs teams in a joint finance and business manager role.
Shields enjoys taking new employees under his wing to give them the same mentor experience that he was fortunate enough to receive when he joined the bank in 2001. Outside of his work life, Shields gives back to the community through one-off volunteer opportunities through the Sisters of Saint Joseph and chaperoning field trips and other events at Evergreen Park High School, where his wife, Maria, teaches Spanish.
Omer Sultan earned a B.S. in Biology from Benedictine University in 1997 and went on to earn a Master of Health Administration from Cornell University in 2000. He established the Muslim Alumni Endowed Scholarship at Benedictine and has also served as a mentor for students who are interested in healthcare administration.
Sultan currently serves as Finance Director for Northwestern Memorial HealthCare (NMHC), the parent corporation of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital and Northwestern Medical Group. In this role, he is leading strategic financial initiatives that are designed to advance Northwestern’s vision of being a global health care leader.
Prior to his current role, Sultan served as Senior Staff to the Executive Vice President and CFO of NMHC. In this position, he managed a variety of initiatives including financial reporting, planning and budgeting for Northwestern Medicine strategic priorities. He also served as a project director in Business Development and Planning, in which he facilitated the completion of the Northwestern Medicine Strategic Plan.
Before joining Northwestern, Sultan spent seven years in management consulting, advising multi-state health systems, academic medical centers and community hospitals across the country on healthcare strategy and financial operations.
Michael Ulleweit earned a B.B.A. in Accounting from Benedictine University in 1992. While a student, he was captain of the baseball team and on the Dean’s List. In 2002, Ulleweit went on to earn his J.D. with the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Currently, he is a partner in Deloitte Tax’s Chicago Business Tax Services Group, with approximately 19 years of experience in the industry. Ulleweit functions as the lead tax partner for clients representing multiple industries, including consumer products, manufacturing and distribution, pharmaceutical, retail and personal services.
Ulleweit has substantial experience in reviewing the tax posture of large multi-national public companies and delivering valuable tax projects. He also serves as the lead tax partner on several public and private company attest clients with regard to ASC 740 matters. Ulleweit specializes in developing and implementing Federal income tax accounting method strategies as well as with certain areas that are relevant to manufacturers. Representative engagements include Strategic Tax Reviews and Assessments, Federal Tax Accounting Reviews, ASC 740, and Corporate Compliance Management. He has also served as Tax Director of a publicly-held company for two years while concurrently attending law school at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Lastly, Ulleweit is an adjunct professor in DePaul University’s MST Program.
Kimberly Waichulis attended the University of Iowa with a focus in English and then went on to earn her M.S. in Management and Organizational Behavior from Benedictine University.
Waichulis is the Vice President of Central Region Sales at Tapad and is leading the company’s aggressive expansion throughout the region. She joined Tapad with more than 13 years of experience in pivotal sales roles for emerging technology companies and has already established new Tapad offices and robust teams in Detroit and Chicago. She recently served as Regional Vice President at MediaMind (DGIT). Prior to that, she held senior roles at TradingPartners and VisaNow.