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2014 Award Winners
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2014 Award Winners!

The Midwest ACE 2013-2014 Award Winners were announced the at the 2014 Annual Conference and the winners are as follows:

High Five Gratitude Award

Matt Berndt
Jacqueline Coverick
Megan Dino
Nancy Dugan
Wes Erwin
Sally Harmon
Jeff Hudnall
Heather Kahl
Willow King-Locke
Jessica Leach
Val Matta
Patricia Neiman
Jessica Paski
Kirsten Prange
Jennifer Pugh
Lisa Snodgrass

Applause Gratitude Award

Brian Collingwood
Emily Drake
Mary Kate Garner
Amy O'Donnell

Standing Ovation Gratitude Award

Drew Butts
Katie Kennealy
James Mitchell
Crystal Stockdale

J.W. Paquette Superior Leadership Award

Nell Madigan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Bio: Nell is the associate dean in the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In this leadership role, she is the primary contact for corporate relations and all career-related activities and holds the primary responsibility for building relationships with new companies to become partners with and recruit at the School in addition to managing ongoing relationships with long-time partners across a variety of industries. She played a key role in establishing the ongoing Hire Illini marketing campaign, targeting employers for enhanced recruiting relationships with the University, and is involved in ongoing activities to enhance the campaign.

In addition to other professional activities, she serves on the Boards of Directors for JB Training Solutions and RecSolu. Nell holds a Master's of Science in Advertising from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and also earned a BS in Speech Communication there.

Nell has presented at NACE, Midwest ACE, and Illinois ACE on a variety of topics ranging from ethics to etiquette. She has held a variety of leadership positions with MWACE: she served on the assembly from 2006-2008 and has been a member of the Executive Board since 2009. Currently, she serves as our President, immediately following her role as President-Elect for the organization, and she received the 2010 Midwest ACE President's Award for meritorious leadership and service. Nell has also held the roles of Director, College Membership and Director for what is now known as Advancement and Communications on our Board. She's even co-chaired Trends and provides an excellent voice of reason in our leadership team.

Diversity Advancement Founders Award

Laura Kestner-Rickets, Marquette University

Bio: Laura Kestner-Ricketts is a supportive encourager who assists students and alumni in preparing now for future professional career success. She has served as the Director of Career Services at Marquette University since 2002. Prior to that she “cut her teeth” working at small liberal arts colleges throughout the Midwest.   Part of her professional success and satisfaction has come from her involvement in the Midwest Association of Colleges and Employers where she has developed skills, knowledge, and lasting friendships.
Laura collects antique etiquette books and appears on a local morning show as an etiquette and job search expert. She enjoys cooking, gardening, and singing karaoke (in her living room). She is a daughter, wife, and mother with a blended family full of young adults, teenagers, one lively preschooler, and a naughty cat. She happily lives in a friendly neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Involvement with MWACE:

1995-97 New Professional Workshop Facilitator
1996-98 Professional Development Committee Co-Chair
Professional development committee co-chair
Assembly member, voting member
Annual Trends conference presenter, Wacky Ways to Win Students
Annual conference presenter, Data Management on a Shoestring Attendee: MBTI Qualifying Program
Assistant Coordinator: professional development Myers-Briggs Type Indicator training
1999-2000 Professional Development Committee Chair
Assembly member, voting member
Coordinator: professional development Strong Interest Inventory/Myers-Briggs Type Indicator training
Professional development committee chair
Assembly member, voting member
Recruiting Trends conference co-chair
VP College, Midwest ACE Executive Board
Annual conference presenter, Career Development: A Crash Course for Employers
Recruiting Trends conference co-chair
Annual conference presenter, Connecting with…anybody! Using Improv Games,
Recruiting Trends conference co-chair
NACE/Midwest ACE joint annual conference committee
2005-06 Annual conference committee member, registration chair
2006-07 Annual conference presenter, Multicultural Competence: Think you have it? Think again!
Annual conference committee member, professional development chair
2010-11 President-elect, Midwest ACE Executive Board
2011-12 President, Midwest ACE Executive Board
Past-president, Midwest ACE Executive Board
Annual conference presenter, Everyone wants to feel special! Delivering concierge service through Corporate Partnerships

Founders Distinguished Service Award

Jerry Donahue, Northwestern University

Bio: Jerry comes to Medill after a long career, 30+ years, in higher education career services. He has been a director of career services offices at Indiana University Northwest, Canisius College, Moraine Valley Community College, and St. Norbert College. His experience as a civil engineer in the headquarters of Navistar, formerly International Harvester Co., in Chicago provided some solid background for his work with the Archdiocese of Chicago as their science consultant after ten years of teaching middle school science in the Chicago area. He also has used his technical background working with engineering and computer science students at the State University of New York at Buffalo and the University of Michigan - College of Engineering.
His involvement in professional associations has included leadership roles in the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in their Northwest Indiana and Green Bay, WI chapters. He has been co-author of a National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) formerly CPC monograph on “Small Employers Connection to College Career Centers.” In addition he has been in leadership roles with the Midwest Association of Colleges & Employers (MWACE) including co-chairing both an annual conference and a recent Trends in Recruiting Conference held in Chicago.

Involvement with MWACE:

1982 First conference attended, Brown County, Indiana
1986,87,88 Speaker presenter at annual conference
1984-88 Research Committee member
1986-91 Small Business Ad Hoc Committee, Chair
1988-90 Assembly - Colleges - Two-year term
1989-90 Constitution Committee, Vice Chair
1990 Fall Annunal Conference, subcommittee member
1992 Spring Conference, Co-Chair
2006-12 Membership Committee Member
2008-14 Professional Exchange Committee Member
2012-14 Membership Committee Co-Chair
2013 Trend Conference, Co-Chair
2013 Annual Conference, Employer Colloquium, Chair
2014 Annual Conference, Employer Colloquium, member
2014 Trends Committee member




Congratulations again to Midwest ACE's Award Winners!

Thank you to all who participated in the Awards process.





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