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2015 Award Winners
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2015 Award Winners!

The Midwest ACE 2014-2015 Award Winners were announced the at the 2015 Annual Conference and the winners are as follows:

High Five Gratitude Award

Bernice Allegretti 

Rena Becker

Tara Coffell 

Stephanie Farlow

Morgan Hewitt

Barbara Koeth 

Rachel Kraft

Andrew LeMarbe

Catherine Lund

Lillian Nguyen

Nancy Niebrzydoski 

Kristin Nisbet-White

Kelsey O'Rouke

Zach Pavol

Alicia Rigoni

Applause Gratitude Award

Nancy Dugan

Jessica Hogue

Standing Ovation Gratitude Award

Kristin Adler

Katie Kennealy

Amy O'Donnell

J.W. Paquette Superior Leadership Award

Instituted in 1991, this award recognizes active members who have made a consistent and significant leadership contribution to Midwest ACE.


Kerri Boivin, University of Michigan

Kerri is the Director of the Career Center within the Engineering Career Resource Center at the University of Michigan where she has held this post for nearly 6 years. At Michigan, her key responsibilities include developing employer relationships, guiding students through career counseling, and helping students realize their full potential. In 2012, her Michigan colleagues officially recognized her achievements and contributions by awarding her the distinguished “Excellence in Staff Service Award” for her commitment to the college and community.


Since returning to her alma mater in 2005 and exercising her natural leadership skills in her work, Kerri has also dedicated much of her time to MWACE. Through serving on the Executive Board for MWACE, Kerri plays an instrumental role for our communal benefit. Her recent leadership of our association’s finances and her current work around our college membership efforts have complemented the goals of our Board and subsequently advanced our practice as an association.


Last year, Kerri accepted the MWACE President’s Award for her outstanding work and collaborative spirit. She is a previous recipient of the Standing Ovation Gratitude Award (2012), the Applause Gratitude Award (2011) and if there were an award for “profound kindness” she would have that accolade in her hands before she could blink twice.


Other members of the Board have described Kerri as a dependable, reliable, and great person who “gets stuff done!”


Kerri: your dedication to MWACE and your leadership style are gifts that keep on giving! Thank you!

Diversity Advancement Founders Award

The Diversity Advancement Founders Award was established in 2004 in recognition and honor of the founding members of the MCPA Affirmative Action Committee (Thelma Cook, Linda Bates-Parker, Tony Proctor, Vance Shaw, and Mike Shin). These five (5) pioneers provided wisdom and perseverance in the quest to diversify our organization. This award honors their legacy and the continuation of this mission. The purpose of this award is to recognize outstanding contributions of Midwest ACE members who provide consistent and significant leadership related to issues of diversity.


Andres Garza, Illinois Institute of Technology

Andres is the Executive Director within the Career Management Center at Illinois Institute of Technology where he leads a robust career center in multiple ways. Prior to this post, he directed the Career Services unit at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Before moving into leadership roles in career services, Mr. Garza served as both a counselor and as an assistant director for the Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services Program with the Illinois at Chicago team.


With over 20 years of dedication to MWACE, Andres has held leadership roles within our association ranging from a post on the Prospective Members Committee to Co-Chairing past conferences in both Oakbrook and Lombard. He has a distinguished collection of honors and awards including a MWACE Award for Outstanding Contributions (2004), an Applause Gratitude Award (2010), and a High Five Gratitude Award (2009). He was also recognized through several other organizations for his inspirational work. In 2003, Andres was awarded the Budweiser Hispanic Hero Award and in 2011 he was granted a UIC Inspire Award—to name a couple.


While others have continued to recognize Andres for his outstanding work and service, he took it upon himself to ensure that shining stars can also be recognized for their commitment to matters of diversity within our association. He continues to contribute funds out of his own pocket in support of the MWACE Diversity Advancement Scholarship. His enthusiasm has spurred others, including, most recently, Ball State University, to also participate in the funding of this scholarship. Andres’ dedication will allow us to continue to support this initiative for years to come.


Since the onset of my affiliation with MWACE, I have heard others praise Mr. Garza for his thoughtfulness, services, and true commitment to this wonderful organization. As a member of the Board, I have witnessed his generosity and interest in advancing our efforts to recognize outstanding contributions related to issues of diversity. I am humbled by this opportunity to present this award to a key leader within our community. Thank you, Andres!


Diversity Advancement Scholarship

This scholarship allows the recipient to attend this conference,  to present at the conference, to network with current professionals in the field, attend workshops and seminars for professional development, report on their experience in the Midwest ACE newsletter, and much more. This award also covers one free year of membership to the association. 

Theresa Green-Ervin, NOVA

Nova Southeastern University

Working towards: Organizational Leadership/Human Resources Development - Ed.D

Graduation date: 2017

Read her story here


Founders Distinguished Service Award

In honor of the six Founders of Midwest ACE, a special recognition award will be given to active Members (which includes current Honorary membership status) of the Association who have made a truly distinguished contribution to the Association and the profession over their careers. The Midwest ACE Founders Distinguished Service Award bears the names of the six Founders as well as the name of the recipient.


Julie Bartimus, University of Illinois Alumni Association

Julie has nearly 20 years of experience working in career services and alumni relations and to say she has been an active member of MWACE is an understatement! As the Vice President of the Alumni Career Center with the University of Illinois Alumni Association, she supports her community in matters related to career transitions, recruitment strategies, and career plan implementation.


From reviewing presentation proposals for the MWACE Annual Conference, to participating on taskforces and committees—since the late nineties—to co-chairing the Trends Conference Planning Committee last year, Julie has charted an inspiring course for herself within this association and as a career practitioner.


If I was a betting person, I might bet that Julie has a trophy case full of MWACE hardware representing her dedication to this association and the causes linked to our identity as a membership. As a recipient of multiple Gratitude Awards, Julie also received the President’s Award for Service and Leadership in 2006, and took home the J.W. Paquette Superior Leadership Award in 2010.


Over the past few years, I began associating words like “spirited”, “dedicated”, and “teammate” with Julie as these words are often uttered by my Executive Board colleagues and others from this association when describing her presence within our MWACE membership.


Julie: We are thankful for your stellar service, can-do attitude, and your positive contributions toward MWACE. Congratulations and we look forward to partnering with you for many more years to come!


President's Award

Kelly Harris, Eureka College
For outstanding contributions to leadership development and to our profession.


Honorary Membership

John Gerrard, Arcelor Mittal USA

John Gerrard retired last fall following 36 years of dedicated service to ArcelorMittal USA and its predecessor companies. He began his career with LTV Steel in 1978. During his career, he held positions of increasing responsibility within Human Resources, including management development, salaried and hourly hiring, and college relations. In August 2009, John was named Division Manager of Talent Acquisition where he played a lead role in the ongoing management of the Campus Partnership Program for ArcelorMittal USA.


His lifelong commitment to talent acquisition and development was obvious through his involvement with Midwest ACE, where he’s a past president, as well as the recipient of the 1999 JW Paquette Superior Leadership Award and the 2010 Founder’s Distinguished Service Award.


Doing our research for this award, we talked to a number of our “old school” members about why John was a good selection for our Honorary Membership, and former MWACE member and current President-Elect of NACE, Kathleen Powell of William and Mary said …


John Gerrard is the real deal.  He has been a pillar within Midwest ACE and I can’t say enough good things about him.  I watched him work his magic as president, guide the association is a thoughtful and strategic way, and always with inclusion.  He’s a practiced professional that is genuine.  I am so pleased for him and regret I won’t be there to see him receive this most deserving reward!





Congratulations again to Midwest ACE's Award Winners!

Thank you to all who participated in the Awards process.





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