Five alumni will lend their expertise to Business Week. The following alumni, hosted by College of Business student organizations, will participate in a panel discussion at 3:30 p.m. and will give individual presentations at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 5.  These events are free and open to the public.

Jeffrey Cavanaugh ’90 Business Administration

Chief of staff to the Under Secretary for International Trade
United States Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C.

“Managing and Serving in the Political Arena”

As chief of staff to the Under Secretary for International Trade in the United States Department of Commerce, Cavanaugh is responsible for the management of the Under Secretary’s office operations and is a member of the senior management team of the International Trade Administration, a federal agency with a budget exceeding $400 million and more than 1800 employees located in over 80 countries. He has previously served as a special assistant to the administrator of the Research and Special Programs Administration in the United States Department of Transportation, assistant to the Secretary of Transportation for policy and chief of staff to a member of the National Transportation Safety Board. Before joining the Bush administration in Washington, D.C., Cavanaugh managed the district office for State Representative Dan Rutherford, was elected precinct committeeman in Bloomington and volunteered as an advance team member for vice presidential-nominee Cheney during the 2000 presidential campaign.

Brett Ellis ’88 Finance

Member, RE/MAX Hall of Fame and partner in the Ellis Team
Ft. Myers, Florida

“Thriving in a Changing Market or Industry”

Using his background in finance to shape business decisions, Brett Ellis has reached the highest levels of professional success and recognition in the real estate industry. Ellis and his family are among the Top 50 teams at RE/MAX International out of more than 124,000 top-producing agents and have been listed as one of the Top 100 Teams by the National Association of Realtors. Brett is a RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame. Leveraging his finance and business expertise, Ellis has developed powerful systems and strategies that are now used by agents from around the world. He enjoys sharing with industry professionals as a Star Power University instructor and as a speaker at state, national and international conventions. Ellis also serves as a consultant to the National Association of Realtors. He appears regularly on television news reports, using his finance background to interpret real estate trends and provide data analysis. His comments have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, USA Today, CRS Magazine, Realtor Magazine, Florida Realtor Magazine and California Association of Realtors Magazine. Ellis also hosts his own real estate radio show.

Greg Heerde ’91 Finance, M.S. ’93 Accounting

Senior vice president
Aon Re Global

“Insurance Industry Opportunities and Challenges”

With offices in 40 countries, Aon Re Global is the world’s largest provider of reinsurance brokerage and integrated capital solutions. The company offers traditional treaty and facultative placement services and a range of advisory and consulting services such as catastrophe modeling and dynamic financial analysis, to maximize the economic benefit of their risk transfer programs. As senior vice president, Heerde developed and leads the global practice group that delivers rating agency and accounting modeling and consultative services. Their guidance enables insurance and reinsurance companies to achieve desired Financial Strength Ratings. The service provides timely analysis of changes in ratings agency criteria and ongoing analysis of the qualitative and quantitative factors important to their rating, including detailed modeling of current and projected results. The group also delivers independent views of the efficiency of various available reinsurance structures by evaluating the capital credit the structure would provide in the rating agency models. Heerde joined Aon Re Services in 2000 after seven years with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he specialized in the audits of insurance and reinsurance companies. He is a certified public accountant and a registered representative of Aon Securities Corporation.

Greg Monigold ‘91 Organizational Leadership

Manager of information systems
Harris Alternatives

“Management Success – Building and Leading Successful Teams”

Greg Monigold is the manager of information systems for Harris Alternatives, a fund-of-funds hedge fund with more than $9 billion in assets under management. After graduating from Illinois State he earned an MBA in 2003 from DePaul University, with concentrations in financial analysis and management information systems. Heerde has worked in the technology field for 20 years. He built and leads a team of developers and network engineers that strive to provide the firm with the finest IT systems and services available. Within his department, Monigold attempts to foster an atmosphere of creativity and collaboration where his employees have the opportunity to continuously develop their business and technical skills. His current responsibilities include process development and strategy planning, talent selection and development, budgeting and project management, risk management and auditing, security and business continuity and responsible and ethical operations.

Eileen Ni  M.A.  English ‘87, M.B.A. ’91

Division marketing manager and Asia-Pacific sales manager
Adalis Corporation
Vancouver, WA

“Opportunities and Challenges of Doing Business in China”

Eileen Ni has dual responsibilities of division marketing manager and Asia-Pacific sales manager at Adalis Corporation, a business-to-business company providing packaging solutions to consumer and industrial manufacturers in more than 40 countries around the world. She is in charge of brand development and marketing communication as well as managing sales of the Asia-Pacific region with a focus on China business development. Prior to joining Adalis, Ni worked for more than a decade at Kraft Foods in marketing and marketing research, with responsibilities in the U.S., Canada, Brazil and China. Her last expatriate assignment at Kraft was as marketing director in China, managing the company’s megabrands, including Maxwell House coffee and Nabisco biscuits, in a fast-growing consumer market. In addition to her business career, Ni is an educator. She taught English and published several educational books in China before immigrating to the United States. She has taught business classes part-time at Concordia University and Cardinal Stritch University in Wisconsin.