LEAD Forward Alumni Fellows

2015-2016 Fellows

Marks Cannon Jr.

B.S.B.A. in Global Business and International Studies
Graduation: May 2018
Current Employer: BKD, LLP

Through my experience in LEAD Forward, I was able to learn more about the world of commerce and about myself. With a mix of introspective and teamwork-oriented activities, I gained a better understanding of my strengths and challenged my weaknesses. This has helped me become who I am today and drives me to become a better me tomorrow.

Marks Cannon Jr.

Aaliyah Gaines

B.S.B.A. in Business Management and Sports Management
Graduation: May 2018
Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN

I joined the leadership program to help me gain skills that could be very useful to me in my future. I want to be the CEO of a fortune 500 company one day and hopefully what I gain from this program can help me get to where I am trying to go. After I graduate, I plan to go to grad school to get my MBA. After I complete my masters, I plan on climbing a corporate ladder to get to the CEO position.

Aaliyah Gaines

Anna Kalt

B.S. in Economics and Applied Mathematics
Graduation: December 2019
Current Employer: Accuride Corporation

The woman I am today was shaped through many pivotal experiences including the LEAD Forward program. I first joined as a member of the pilot class in 2015, followed by the privilege of working as a Program Assistant in 2016 & 2017. During this time, the program pushed me outside my comfort zone. Through hands on experiences in negotiations, seminars on emotional connection/vulnerability, and conducting interview round robins with regional executives, I not only learned key skills, but had the opportunity to practice them first hand. This experience and the immediate feedback following were a unique setup and fundamental in further developing the skills I had been working on. Mindy has proven to be a great mentor, and those I worked alongside have become an ever expanding network of friends and colleagues!

Anna Kalt

Morgan Langhammer

B.S.B.A. in Entrepreneurship
Graduation: May 2018
Current Employer: C Space (Associate Consultant, Design, & Innovation)

LEAD Forward provided me with a variety of opportunities. I had the opportunity to learn about leadership on a more concrete level. I had the opportunity to meet like-minded, driven individuals. I had the opportunity to meet high level executives and interact with them on a one-on-one basis. I was a part of LEAD Forward my freshman year, and it really laid a strong foundation for the years to come.

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Morgan Langhammer

Wade Mobley

B.S.B.A. in Finance and Marketing
Graduation: May 2017
Current Employer: Montana Screen Doors

The LEAD Forward program helped me get to where I am today by gaining a holistic business skillset ranging from management, to marketing and everything in between. Being surrounded by such great peers and a terrific mentor in Mindy has given me the confidence to take risks and not to be afraid to fail. The LEAD Forward program gave me an unparalleled experience as an undergrad to network with respected business leaders, and most importantly, it challenged me to think outside of the box and test my true potential. I believe these are important skills for any entrepreneur. Being a member of the inaugural LEAD group was an absolute privilege, and I am excited to see what the future of the program holds for the next generation of business leaders!

Wade Mobley

Kirsten Patrick

B.S.B.A. in Business Management and Marketing
Graduation: May 2013
Current Employer: TJX Companies, Inc.

LEAD Forward has become a valuable resource from college for me. I work in management now and lot of the skills I learned from the group have translate; my favorite one being how to bring people together as a team. Team building played a huge role in the LEAD group – especially the idea that everyone brings something different to the table. That notion allows each person to contribute in their own way and feel as though they have accomplished something individually as well as meeting an overall goal. This is important now because of the ability to help people be a part of a team and achieve goals is a large part of managing a successful business, and it is a skill that I am very grateful to have gained more knowledge about while in LEAD.

Kirsten Patrick

Kerilynn Pitocco

B.S.B.A. in Business Management
Graduation: December 2016
Current Employer: Target Corporation

LEAD Forward helped me to refine my leadership skills while I was in school, preparing me for the start of my professional career. This organization has provided me with an amazing group of young professionals to connect and network with since graduating from UE in 2016.

Kerilynn Pitocco

Hassan Taki Eddin

B.S.B.A. Finance and B.S. in Accounting
Graduation: May 2017
Current Employer: PwC

The LEAD Forward program was a one-of-a-kind experience that allowed me to grow as a professional and as a person. It gave me the opportunity to expand my network and build leadership/team skills. Looking back, it was also a program that added many memorable and fun experiences to my collegiate career. I cherish the memories and the long-lasting friendships that blossomed from this program.

Hassan Taki Eddin

Benjamin Woolems

B.S.B.A. in Marketing and Management
Graduation: May 2017
Current Employer: Cintas

The most impactful experiences of being a LEAD Forward Fellow was immersive exposure to influential peer and professional leaders. Listening to and interacting with an array of different campus leaders, world famous entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and business experts allowed me to absorb the brilliance of a variety of leadership styles. It is this seeded emotional intelligence that has helped propel my professional career as a manager with Cintas. I can draw on my experience as a LEAD Fellow to discover, inspire, and develop the strengths of my professional partners in a manner that catapults our team toward financial growth and individual excellence. My experience has set me apart from other young professionals and I can see my fellow alumnus’ career paths taking exponential trajectory too.

Benjamin Woolems

2016-2017 Fellows

Kyle Brown

B.S. in Accounting
Expected Graduation: May 2019
Hometown: Fenton, MO

LEAD Forward was an experience that allowed me to develop my leadership skills alongside a group of exceptional students, and future professionals. The experience allowed me to understand and shape my individual goals, as well as provided me with a strong sense of how to transition what I learned in the LEAD Forward program to a professional business environment!

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Kyle Brown

Cameron Gilreath

B.S.B.A. in Business Management and Marketing
Graduation: May 2018
Current Employer: IBM

LEAD Forward was one of the most influential experiences I had during my tenure at UE. It turned me into a better leader, a better business professional, and a better person. Under the mentorship of Mindy Sagez, an established business leader, I was able to discover the keys to what makes an exceptional leader not only by learning the content, but by taking part in activities like leadership retreats, simulations, debates, and much more. Also, being surrounded by eight fellow students passionate about leadership inspired me to get the most out of the program, and develop relationships I will carry on for the rest of my life. LEAD Forward gave me the confidence to present in front of unfamiliar faces, and lead a team of people. These two skills are vital in my job as a sales professional, and I credit much of my success at these abilities from my time in LEAD.

Cameron Gilreath

Jacob Jewell

B.S. in Accounting
Graduation: December 2017
Current Employer: Crowe Horwath LLP

LEAD Forward was instrumental in helping me land my first full-time job. One of the many activities that we did was a “Professional Prep Day” that focused on resume creation and interviewing skills. After building my resume and doing practice interviews with real-life executives, I interviewed with Crowe Horwath and received my first full-time job offer. LEAD Forward thus made my job search successful and helped me easily transition into life after graduation.

LEAD Forward also plugged me into a network of other successful students from the Schroeder School of Business that I may not have met without the program’s help. The strong alumni network that LEAD Forward creates is a valuable resource. Although my class has gone their separate ways, we continue stay in touch and support one another.

Jacob Jewell

Matthew Keller

B.S. in Accounting and a B.S.B.A. in Finance
Graduation: May 2018

As an accounting and finance major, I believe the LEAD Forward program will provide me the opportunity to develop my skills in team collaboration. Through experiential learning, I will be able to directly apply leadership skills I gain from the program and seamlessly apply them to my future career demands. My ultimate goal is to build relationships with my fellow Schroeder School peers while simultaneously developing both my leadership abilities and empowering those in the group to achieve their personal goals.

After obtaining my graduate degree, I plan to become a certified public accountant and pursue a career in public accounting with a big four firm. This will allow me to gain experience in public accounting and an understanding of financial concepts that will assist in serving both personal and corporate clients.

Matthew Keller

Riley Maynor

B.S.B.A. in Finance
Graduation: December 2017
Current Employer: American Integrity Insurance

LEAD forward immediately displayed its ROI the minute I started my career at American Integrity. Ranging from the emphasis I placed on understanding the concept of Emotional Intelligence to leveraging the lessons learned in effective communication, the grooming the LEAD program offered me has been perceived by key stakeholders in the organization and constantly cited as a strength in performance reviews. The LEAD Forward Program teaches you what cannot be taught in the normal curriculum and should be a prerequisite for EVERY young professional about to embark on their career path.

Riley Maynor

Michael Novak

B.S.B.A. in Finance
Graduation: May 2017
Current Employer: First Merchants Bank

Having completed LEAD back in 2017, I continue to use many of its core concepts in my daily work, being personal responsibility, business engagement, and community impact. With my role at First Merchants, it is my job to oversee my teammates and the branch's cash positions, ensuring everything is both balanced and processed correctly. Additionally, part of my role as a banker is engaging with my clients, leaning about their individual and unique needs and how we can enhance their business operations. Lastly, I volunteer my time with one of the local Boy Scout troops, helping the scouts advance in rank and inspiring future leaders. In closing, although my time with LEAD Forward has past, I still do my best to implement the lessons I have learned and pass them on to others.

Michael Novak

Jon Pick

B.S.B.A. in Marketing
Graduation: May 2017
Current Employer: Prophix Software

LEAD Forward helped me tremendously. From resume workshops to engaging and learning from real world business leaders LEAD prepared me for my professional career.

Mindy is a fantastic leader with amazing business and leadership experience. This program gives you a huge advantage going into a very competitive workforce. I felt a bachelors degree wasn't going to be enough to get the job I wanted and joining LEAD was the step I needed to take me to the next level. I hope to see continued success in the program.

Jon Pick

Nicholas Riffel

B.S.B.A. in Finance and B.S. Economics
Graduation: May 2017
Current Employer: UBS

The LEAD Forward Program has prepared me with great leadership and team building skills that have helped me excel in the professional work environment. Like many companies, my employer operates in a team setting. LEAD Forward helped advance my team building skills which have allow me to perform better in my team as well as take on more leadership roles during my career. The program has also taught me how to utilize my soft skills to interact better with my coworkers as well as the clients I serve daily. It has also benefited me by networking with more people in my firm which has helped build better connections to progress me through my career.

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Nicholas Riffel

Carmen Rojas

B.S.B.A. in Finance
Graduation: May 2017
Current Employer: UBS

LEAD Forward program allowed me to believe in myself and know that everything is possible if we put effort and passion. The program taught me that communication is the basis to achieve a goal and that acknowledging everybody's comments is the key. Thanks to Mindy Sagez, the director, I am able to persevere during challenges because I remember her stories of courage and determination.

Carmen Rojas

2017-2018 Fellows

Tegan Britt

B.S.B.A. in Finance
Minor: Computer Science
Expected Graduation: May 2019

LEAD Forward provided me with an opportunity to surround myself with young professionals who shared similar values and aspirations. The community of fellows pushed me to develop better interpersonal skills and taught me the importance of networking. The experiences that are provided and the leadership skills taught are first class and are required for entering the business professional world. The business and emotional intelligence I developed in LEAD Forward have proven to be invaluable and they shaped the person I am today, personally and professionally.

Tegan Britt

Sydney Fritch

B.S.B.A. in Global Business
Minor: Spanish
Expected Graduation: May 2020

The experiential learning, team building, and Mindy Sagez’s mentoring throughout the course of LEAD Forward fostered self-growth and confidence in myself and my own abilities as both a leader and as a member of team. I gained friendships and made memories with the other fellows that I will treasure forever. There is no other program on campus that pushes you out of your comfort zone while also preparing you for life beyond college. I feel privileged and thankful that I had the opportunity to be a part of LEAD Forward and will forever use the skills and knowledge learned from the program in both my daily life and future endeavors as a business professional.

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Sydney Fritch

Solomon Hainna Jr.

B.S.B.A in Finance
Graduation: May 2018
Current Employer: Pursuing MBA

LEAD taught me and exposed me to more business experiences than ever possible as the average student. With seminars, business dinners, and workshops, I have been conditioned and prepared to outshine my peers, which has launched me forward on my career path.

Solomon Hainna Jr.

Torrin Madden

B.S.B.A. in Marketing and Management
Graduation: May 2018
Current Employer: Merrill Lynch

LEAD Forward allowed me to grow as not only a business professional, but as a person too. I have obtained relationships and skills that will last a life time. I now have the confidence to lead any group to success in tough situations. LEAD has taught me how to help others become better business leaders too, which to me is the most important aspect of this wonderful program.

Torrin Madden

Kelsey Mayer

B.S.B.A. in Marketing and Management and B.S. in Accounting
Expected Graduation: May 2020
Hometown: Evansville, IN

The LEAD Forward program has helped me grow as a person both personally and professionally. Through the LEAD Forward Program, I have learned to be confident in my decisions and in my actions as well as learn necessary skills of professionalism for the workplace, interviews, and more. Along with this, the program has also helped me widen my network with the people I have met through workshops, luncheons, and the alumni of the LEAD Forward program. The LEAD Forward program is an experience that I know prepared me for the workplace, and I am thankful for all that I have learned and continue to learn from the program.

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Kelsey Mayer

Alvaro Navarrete del Carpio Bellido

B.S.B.A in Management
Expected Graduation: May 2019
Hometown: Lima, Peru

LEAD Forward has given me the chance of developing leadership and other work related skills, and expand my connections. These have allowed me to excel in classes, and have caused curiosity during interviews. Moreover, it has been applied in daily life, for example, by decision making.

The knowledge from this program is highly valuable, as it is often looked for by professionals. Because of the mentoring, connections, and fellowship, I feel highly prepared to get into the workforce, and life after graduation. Thank you so much Mindy!

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Alvaro Navarrete

Kashaf Oneeb

B.S. Economics
Expected Graduation: May 2020
Hometown: Faisalabad, Pakistan

I joined LEAD Forward to experience and understand the business world more closely which I did, but in the end, I got more than just that out of the program. It helped me fully understand who I am and what I am looking for in a workplace. At the same time, I learnt who the the other 11 members on my team were and how despite being so different, we were capable of making unanimous decisions while addressing every member's concerns. This program not only taught me how to present myself in the professional world, but also how to conduct myself effectively while remaining true to my beliefs. I am very thankful to LEAD Forward and Mindy Sagez for enabling me to become a better version of myself.

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Kashaf Oneeb

Montana Portenier

B.S.B.A. in Management and B.A. in Political Science
Expected Graduation: December 2018
Hometown: London, Ontario

LEAD has impacted me both personally and professionally. From a self-growth standpoint, I have developed confidence and an understanding of what I am truly capable of. It has given me a great mentor, Mindy, as well as some new friends. Professionally, LEAD has provided me with skills that have helped me land two internships. It has also taught me what it means to be a leader and how to best utilize my strengths. Thank to LEAD, my resume, presentation ability, and interview skills have dramatically increased. With one more semester left at UE, I am looking forward to utilizing all that I have learned both in the classroom and in the real world as I begin to pursue a career.

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Montana Portenier

Austyn Stierwalt

B.S. in Accounting
Expected Graduation: May 2020
Hometown: Newburgh, IN

LEAD Forward allowed me to dive head first into personal growth as a freshman at the University of Evansville. I had always considered myself to be a “leader,” but this program changed my perspective on how to lead effectively and good—and that may be in a silent, listening role at times.

My year in LEAD Forward challenged me to be uncomfortable in situations, be vulnerable to my own weaknesses, and to learn to work as a team. Looking back on my experience, I would not change a thing—I have become a better, individual, team player, and made some awesome friends and connections that I never would have without this opportunity.

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Austyn Stierwalt

Peighton Tindle

B.S. in Accounting
Minor: Sociology
Expected Graduation: May 2019

LEAD Forward has helped me develop my interview, communication, and leadership skills through mock interviews, simulations, and exercises. Mock Interview Day in the Fall is a great way to get real-time feedback from local business leaders on what makes a strong interviewee as well as a great way to network yourself to them and with other LEAD alumni. Having the opportunity to develop interpersonal skills and learn how to communicate in an array of scenarios to people from so many different walks of life helped me tremendously because no matter where you go or what you do you are always going to be selling yourself and your company.

Peighton Tindle

Robert Waggoner

B.S.B.A. in Finance
Expected Graduation: May 2019

LEAD has been an amazing opportunity for me to get out of my comfort zone and improve my ability to listen, speak, and work together as a team with others. My commitment to the program has immensely improved my confidence as a business leader and I could not be happier with the experience and knowledge it gave me.

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Robert Waggoner

Andrew Wahl

B.S. in Accounting
Minor: Mathematics
Graduation: May 2018

I joined the LEAD Forward Program for three main reasons. First, to develop my public speaking and presentation skills. Second, to learn from and network with some of the most prominent business leaders in our community. Finally, I joined to represent the Schroeder School of Business and to show our community the tools and skills we have obtained during our time in college, through meaningful work and projects.

This summer, I will be working in the Financial Institutions group of CliftonLarsonAllen. During this internship, I hope to gain valuable accounting and auditing knowledge which will help prepare me for my future career in public accounting. After graduation, I hope to get hired by one of the Big Four Accounting Firms, obtain my Certified Public Accounting license, and work my way up to a partner position.

Andrew Wahl

View the current LEAD Forward Fellows

Office Phone:
812-488-2851

Office Email:
businessadmin@evansville.edu

Office Location:
Room 152, Schroeder School of Business Building