Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Past Events
Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mark Sturgell

Mark Strugell is a real “Go-Giver” certified coach, facilitator, and speaker who LOVES helping businesses grow by helping business people do what they must, to become who they want, to get where they really want to go. Mark will demonstrate how the fundamentals of greater success and growth are in the questions we ask, questions that stretch our assumptions, beliefs and the results we can produce.  He is founder and principal of Performance Development Network, a Midwest human development firm since 2002. Previously, he directed Millikin   Institute, a business and corporate training and development organization, and was a career coach before that. It all adds up to 25 years’ experience, if anyone is counting. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014 

Reaching Higher in Decatur 


Panel: Midwest Inland Port – A Game-Changing Opportunity

  MDEA presents a special evening session – a panel presentation and discussion focused on the Midwest Inland Port. What’s going on out there? How big are the economic opportunities? What does it mean to my business? Panelists are Ryan McCrady, Decatur City Manager; Scott Fredericksen, President of ADM Transportation; and Larry Altenbaumer, Interim President of the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur and Macon County and co-founder of the Grow Decatur movement. Each panelist will provide insights on the Midwest Inland Port from his unique perspective, and then the group will field questions from the audience about specific issues of interest.


2011-2012 Events

Sherrin Ross Ingram 

"Focusing on the Future"
Reaching Higher"

Despite having smart goals and comprehensive strategies, even the most motivated can still have a hard time staying focused and making consistent progress in their goals. This is mainly due to the failure to understand the true essence of strategy and to use that understanding as a starting point in their strategy development. In this inspiring program, Sherrin teaches the audience how to take a step back and examine their strategy development process to get to the hear of what really drives achievement. In doing so, they will be able to build a solid foundation for accelerating achievement while enjoying the ride of their life.

Sherrin Ross Ingram is Chief Executive Officer of the International Center for Strategic Planning and Chief Strategist for The Strategic Thinker’s Mastermind. She is also an attorney, best-selling author of several books, and   founder of The Foundation for Real Nutrition and Sustainable Living, an organization she founded after witnessing the positive effect   nutrient dense foods had on her sons’ recovery from  autism. As an attorney and advisor to   entrepreneurs and executives and professionals at some of America’s most successful privately held companies, Sherrin confidentially helps business and thought leaders develop breakthrough strategies, gain insight into professional challenges, and enhance their strategic thinking skills to improve performance.

Thursday, September 26th 2013

Rory Vaden 

"Leadership in the New Normal"

Rory Vaden MBA is a Self-Discipline Strategist, Cofounder of Southwestern Consulting, and New York Times bestselling author of “Take the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success”.His insights on improving self-discipline, overcoming procrastination and enhancing productivity have been shared on Oprah radio, Fox News, CNN, CNBC, CBS, in Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, USA Today, The Wall St Journal and in SUCCESS™ Magazine.Rory relates profound truths coupled with humorous anecdotes that empower professionals to conquer their fears and take immediate action in all aspects of their lives. He is the perfect speaker for increasing employee engagement, overcoming procrastination, raising productivity, growing sales, maintaining better work life balance, managing change, having more effective time management and motivating people to do the hard work necessary to achieve success in life.

A two-time world champion of public speaking finalist for Toastmasters International, Rory has shared his compelling “Take the Stairs” message on the same stage as John Maxwell, David Allen, Keith Ferrazzi and he’s done special programs for both Zig Ziglar, and for Dave Ramsey’s companies. His speaking client list includes: Bank of America, Trane, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Shaw Worldwide, YPO (Young President’s Organization), The Direct Selling Association, American Income Life, Wells Fargo Advisors, Mary Kay, AFLAC, and others from all over the world. Rory is a regular contributor for The Huffington Post, American Express Open Forum and he is also the weekly radio host of Take the Stairs Talk on the Lifestyle radio network. His book Take the Stairs is a #1 USA Today, #1 Wall St Journal, #1 Amazon, #1 Barnes and Noble and #2 New York Times bestseller.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Jim Boomer

Jim Boomer is a shareholder and the CIO of Boomer Consulting, Inc.  Jim is ranked by Accounting Today as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Accounting.  He is the director of theBoomer Technology Circles ™ and an expert on managing technology within an accounting firm. He also serves as a strategic planning and technology consultant and firm adviser in the areas of performance and risk management. In addition, Jim is leading a new program, The Producer Circle, in collaboration with CPA2BIZ and the AICPA. Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Management Information Systems from Kansas State University in Manhat-tan, Kansas and a Masters of Business Administration from the
University of Texas at Austin in Austin, Texas.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sandy Geroux

With over 27 years of speaking and training experience, national speaker and author Sandy Geroux presents motivational keynote and training programs that focus on re-kindling employee engagement and delivering exceptional (WOW!”) customer experiences. A former Business Systems Consultant, award-winning salesperson and business owner, Sandy has
helped corporate clients dramatically increase employee engagement and bring their customer service to never-before-attained award-winning levels.Sandy’s program will challenge you to Turn Your Workplace into a WOWplace™ and asks the question: Do your employees have to
come to work because they make a paycheck… or do they love to come to work because they make a difference? Your WOW products and services attract customers, but do your employees drive them away?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Harry Bond

Harry has led Monical’s, a regional restaurant company operating in the Midwest. Currently he is Chairman and prior to May 2008 as the president since 1993.  He is proud of the growth and success of the great Monical’s team. In addition to his duties as president of Monical’s, he is past Chairman of the Financial Officers Study Group ofthe National Restaurant Association, a Hotel and Restaurant Trainers,and past Vice Chairman of the Certification Governing Board of theNational Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Mr. Bond has a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Millikin University and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Illinois. Over his thirty-four years with Monical’s, he has served in marketing,accounting/finance, information systems, training and for the last several years as Chairman.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Jim Edgar

Governor Jim Edgar’s career in government spans 30 years. He workedin the legislative branch of government for 10 years, which included hiselection to the Illinois House of Representatives. Governor Edgarserved for 20 years in the executive branch of government including 10 years as Secretary of State and 8 years asIllinois’ 38th Governor. He was first elected Governor in 1990 andreelected in 1994 by the widest margin in Illinois history. Upon leaving office, the Chicago Tribune stated that Governor Edgar’s“instincts and motives were as sound as those of any governor the statehas had.” Governor Edgar left the office with the highest approvalrating in state history which prompted a Chicago columnist to state thatGovernor Edgar’s popularity in Illinois was “second only to MichaelJordan’s.” Governor Edgar is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Universityof Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs, and lectures atother colleges and universities throughout the state. In the fall of1999 the Governor was a resident fellow at the John F. Kennedy School ofGovernment at Harvard University. The Governor serves on a variety ofcorporate and civic boards. He is the President Emeritus of the AbrahamLincoln Presidential Library Foundation.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Corey Blake

Corey Blake is the founder and President of Round Table Companies and a 1996 MU Alum. In this day and age where we are bombarded with information from every direction, creative approaches to business communication are required to stand out in the marketplace. But how do we inspire creativity within our business? How do we hire or outsource with creatives? How do we keep a creative project on deadline while inspiring great results? How do we keep the drama in the product and out of the process?

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Ken Smithmier


Ken Smithmier is the President and CEO of Decatur Memorial Hospital. He came to Decatur Memorial Hospital in 1993 as Executive Vice President and has held the President and CEO position since 1995. He is a St. Louis native, with his bachelor's of medical science from St. Louis University and a master's degree in hospital administration from the University of Minnesota. He and his wife Terri have three children, Sarah, Kenny and Michael. His topic will be: Health Care Reform in America. Health care represents approximately 1/6 of the entire US economy. A landmark piece of legislation was passed that will completely alter the landscape of health care providers, consumers, and payers over the next 8 years. He will discuss the ramifications of this legislation

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Dr. Anthony F. Liberatore

Tony is the Herman Chair of Management Development and Director of the MBA program at Millikin University's Tabor School of Business. He is co-authored an economic and financial forecast for 10 years with Dr. James Watson. He is president and CEO of Illini Corporation. Illini Corporation is the parent company of Illini Bank headquartered in Springfield and Farmers State Bank of Camp Point with assets of $305 million. Tony has also been a long-time business consultant focusing on leadership, management and business development. He graduated from St. Francis College (BA), Biddeford, Maine and earned his MA and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of Connecticut. He lives in Springfield, Illinois with his wife Nadine.  

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

John Brown 

John H. Brown is the president of Business Enterprise Institute, Inc., the premier provider of information and education to advisers of successful business owners. BEI teaches professionals in a variety of disciplines how to craft successful Exit Plans for their clients and how to work as part of an owner's team of advisers. Brown is founder of the Denver law firm of Minor & Brown, P.C. Brown and BEI publish an eNewsletter and maintain a Web site for business owners. Owners can learn about the Seven Step Exit Planning Process that takes them from where they are --- running successful companies --- to where they want to be. For the past 25 years, Brown has spoken to owners, advisors and trade associations across the United States about various business and Exit Planning strategies. Brown also has led several Boot Camps for Advisors that teach advisors how to use BEI's Seven Step Exit Planning Process and how to educate owners throughout the process.

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Jim Crupi

"The New Global Reality" If you think the speed of change is fast today, it hasn't even started. If you think you have picked up your last article about companies laying off thousands of workers, we haven't even started. The world is reshaping itself as warp speed, but underneath those changes are important and understandable plates that, once understood, provide a template with which to make decisions and gain insight into what seems to be overwhelming challenges. Jim will reveal the key underlying forces shaping the future and in a practical way discuss what they mean for managing organizations and people. Among the forces discussed are: Demographics, Resource Scarcity, Technology, Information Proliferation, Conflict and Economic Integration. If you think the speed of change is fast today, it hasn't even started. If you think you have picked up your last article about companies laying off thousands of workers, we haven't even started. The world is reshaping itself as warp speed, but underneath those changes are important and understandable plates that, once understood, provide a template with which to make decisions and gain insight into what seems to be overwhelming challenges.

Jim will reveal the key underlying forces shaping the future and in a practical way discuss what they mean for managing organizations and people. Among the forces discussed are: Demographics, Resource Scarcity, Technology, Information Proliferation, Conflict and Economic Integration. You will never look at the world the same way again.  You will become more like the basketball player with 15 seconds left in the game who understands that 15 seconds is an eternity and sees the entire court instead of the fan that is yelling and screaming because their sense of time and insight is lost to emotion. You will never look at the world the same way again.  You will become more like the basketball player with 15 seconds left in the game who understands that 15 seconds is an eternity and sees the entire court instead of the fan that is yelling and screaming because their sense of time and insight is lost to emotion.

2010-2011 Events
Friday, October 1, 2010
Doug Plank
"Stop Being a Spectator and Get into the Game"

Considered one of the hardest hitting safeties in football, Doug Plank laid his body on the line every time he stepped onto the field. Plank’s “leave-it-all-on-the-field” approach to playing caught the attention of the NFL. Plank was drafted to the Chicago Bears in 1975. After retiring from professional football, Plank took his determination and drive and applied them to building a successful business as a Burger King franchisee. He developed a leadership style modeled after the great coaches of football and challenged his people toward a clear vision and common goal.

Thursday, November 4, 2010
Dennis Beard
“Business- World, Current State of Capital Markets, Trends” 
Dennis Beard is a member of Serra Ventures, LLC, a consulting and investment firm located in Champaign, IL specializing in assisting early stage technology companies located in research university communities. Mr. Beard is an adjunct lecturer for the College of Business at the University of Illinois; he teaches a course on Financing Emerging Businesses. He is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Illinois, and a Bachelors of Science in Accounting from Millikin University. 
Thursday, January 27, 2011

George Krueger and Mary-Lynn Foster

"Driving Business Value with Social Media"

George Krueger and Mary-Lynn Foster are partners in life and business. Together they started BIGG Success to help small business owners create business value with emerging technologies. They also co-host The BIGG Success Show, one of the most popular online talk shows about entrepreneuring on iTunes, the international podcast directory. Is social media worth your investment of time and money? Join George and Mary-Lynn for a top down look into social media. Discover how to transform social capital into business value. You’ll walk away knowing how to go from strategy to action plan.  


Wednesday, March 31, 2011

Russ Riendeau
 “Hiring and Retaining in Today's Economy”

Recognized as an expert in talent acquisition and career change, he's given presentations to Fortune 500 companies and INC magazine's fastest growing companies in America. In addition, Riendeau has appeared on television and radio programs throughout the country. His programs are built for executive leaders and sales and marketing professionals to help enhance revenue, retention, and leadership skills. He mixes business principles, anecdotes, and music into a coherent message that leaves his audiences clamoring for more. Riendeau has written several books and is the co-author of The CEO's Guide to Talent Acquisition, a field guide for executives regarding identifying, attracting, and retaining top talent.

2009-2010 Events

Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Entrepreneur Jack Stack
"A Stake in the Outcome" 

Jack Stack is the founder and CEO of SRC Holdings, a company comprising more than 35 separate companies. SRC's companies do everything from consulting to packaging to building high-performance engines. Stack went to SRC in 1979 as the Plant Manager of International Harvester after eleven years of direct management experience. In 1983, Stack and the SRC employees bought the company from IH.

Stack is a national and world judge for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Institute and has served as an advisor for the group since 1998. INC. Magazine has called him the “smartest strategist in America” and named him one of twenty-five entrepreneurs selected to represent the 25 years INC. has been published. Inc. Magazine dubbed him "The Father of Open-Book Management", a business practice of sharing financial and decision-making duties among all employees. Stack was also listed among the “top 10 minds in small business” in Fortune Small Business Magazine. He has written two books, "The Great Game of Business" and "A Stake in the Outcome" and presents lectures on the subject. The Great Game of Business was selected as one of the thirty best business books of the year by Soundview Executive Book Summaries. (Information taken from Wikipedia) 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 
Derrick Hall
 “On the Field and Off” 
 Mr. Hall is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and his powerful, straight-talk presentation as a Major League Baseball CEO both on the field and off — will provide rare insights, ideas and techniques to create a game plan that produces uncommon results. In this idea-packed session, you’ll discover tools to equip you for today’s challenging market: The Circle of Success – a proven, results driven mission that focuses on performance, community, culture, financial efficiency and an unparalleled client experience;  Find a Way to Say Yes – a challenge for each employee to maximize the customer experience; On the Field and Off – creating an environment and culture that attracts the highest performing employees and players.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
James Wiemken
James Wiemken of “Standard & Poor’s” is a managing director in Corporate and Government Ratings and head of the State and Local Government Ratings Group.  The Group is responsible for new issue rating assignment and ongoing surveillance on over 13,000 state and local government credits.  Jim previously was a regional economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond specializing in state and local economic analysis.  Specific research interests included estimating the effects of NAFTA and studying unintended incentives and consequences in banking legislation.  He holds a M.B.A. from Yale University and a B.A. in Economics and French from Millikin University.


Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Haydn Shaw
 Haydn Shaw is a leading expert on generations and turning around negative work environments and employees.  For over twenty years Haydn Shaw has worked with FranklinCovey, seventeen of which he spent as a senior consultant specializing in their leadership, execution, and personal productivity methodologies. 
Recently hailed as a "leadership guru" by the Washington Post, Haydn Shaw has delivered hundreds of convention keynotes or intimates off-sites.  Known for taking groups from hilarity to deep reflection, he combines rich content with use-tomorrow tools.  Having worked with hundreds of organizations, Haydn connects with virtually any group in any industry, and brings practical and inspiring examples from the boardroom and the front line. 
"Leading at the Speed of Trust"
Trust-related problems like redundancy, bureaucracy, fraud, and turnover put the skids on productivity, divert resources, squander opportunities, and chip away at a company’s brand. On the other hand, leaders who make building trust an explicit goal of their jobs elevate trust to a strategic advantage - accelerating growth, enhancing innovation, improving collaboration and execution, and increasing shareholder value. Instead of paying outageous "Trust Taxes," your organization can begin to realize "Trust Dividends."  Doing business at the "speed of trust" dramatically lowers costs, speeds up results, and increases profits and influence. 
2008-2009 Events 
Thursday, October 23, 2008 
Michael Lee Stallard 
Stallard is a leading authority on employee and customer engagement. He is the president, CEO and a co-founder of E Pluribus Partners, and author of Fired Up or Burned OutMichael was chief marketing officer for businesses at Charles Schwab and Morgan Stanley. He was formerly an executive in investment banking, marketing and finance at Barclays PLC, Van Kampen Investments and Texas Instruments.

 “I want to share something with you I’ve learned over the last decade of my life that I believe can be as helpful to you as it has been to me. In a nutshell, one of the most powerful and least understood aspects of business is how an emotional connection between management, employees and customers provides a competitive advantage. Unless the people who are part of a business feel a sense of connection –an emotional bond that promotes trust, cooperation and esprit de corps – they will never reach their potential as individuals, nor will the organization." Stallard's topic will be: "Fired Up Leadership - Why Your Company Needs A Connection Culture to Thrive and the Best Practices of Companies that Have Them."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Michael Schatzki
"Art of Negotiating"
Schatzki is an experienced professional negotiator. His firm Negotiation Dynamics conducts seminars and workshops for businesses, nonprofit organizations and professional groups throughout the country and provides consulting services to organizations on specific negotiating problems.  He is the author of Negotiation: The Art of Getting What You Want. Mr. Schatzki delivers powerful negotiation training with REAL results - Mr. Schatzki designs and conducts every Negotiation Dynamics training. He has directly trained thousands of participants in seminars worldwide. His real-world expertise translates into real results for your business.Negotiation Dynamics’ clients call again and again. Why? Because Mr. Schatzki’s powerful training course, in-depth research, and interactive exercises produce extraordinary results that can immediately improve your profitability. Michael Received his B.A., Magna Cum Laude, from Haverford College, and an M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Dr. Daniel McQuiston 
Increase Your Profits by Meeting Your Customers' "Silent Demand". 
Dan has been fascinated with all aspects of sales and marketing since his days in sales in the 1970s. This fascination led him to first complete his MBA and then his Ph.D. in marketing from The Ohio State University. As a marketing professor first at Indiana University and now at Butler University, he has won teaching awards at all three institutions as well as similar awards from a number of executive development programs. 
“…Dr. McQuiston had a tremendous impact on our management team. He got them interested in looking at our products and services in a way that would satisfy our customers’ secondary demands. Our managers started to recognize how possible changes in processes could benefit both customer and company bottom lines. Dan’s message was clear: increase customer loyalties by improving their processes to make them more profitable…”
— LandAmerica Financial Group 
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Robert Wendover
  "Been There, Done That! Best Practices in Managing Age Diversity"
Robert W. Wendover has been researching and writing about workforce trends for more than 20 years. He currently serves as Managing Director of the Center for Generational Studies. Mr. Wendover has authored the Center’s training curriculum, Generations: Understanding Age Diversity in Today’s Workplace. His nine books include Crossing the Generational Divide, On Cloud Nine: Weathering the Challenge of Many Generations in the Workplace and Two Minute Motivation: How to Inspire Superior Performance. His first book, Smart Hiring, first published in 1988, has just been released in its sixth edition.
Mr. Wendover is  regular guest on radio & TV across the U.S. His credits include CNN, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal’s National Business Employment Weekly,

Supervisory Management, Human Resources Professional, Women’s
Wear Daily, Entrepreneur
and Money magazine. In addition, he has
written monthly columns for both retailers and Realtors.
2007-2008 Events 
September 12, 2007 - Breakfast Meeting with speaker Nancye M. Combs, AEP-SPHR her topic "Errors and Ommissions in Managing People."
September 27, 2007 - Building a Better Board - The first session of the 2-part series discussed policy development, governing the executive board, board responsibilities, and executive director responsibilities.
October 04, 2007 - Building a Better Board - The second session of the 2-part series discussed how the board operates: meetings, board leadership, committees, and the administration of board; and how to be an outstanding director.
October 11, 2007 - Social "Spotlight Millikin"- Celebrating 12 years of MDEA with Millikin Tabor School of Business, President Doug Zemke spoke and the founding members of MDEA were recognized. This social event hosted by MDEA shone a "Spotlight" on the Arts & Entrepreneurship of Millikin University.
December 6, 2007 - Breakfast Meeting with speaker Kelly Lyons, his topic "The 1% Difference, Small Change - Big Impact!" 
February 12, 2008 - Breakfast Meeting with speaker Bryan Arzani, his topic "Hiring Producers - Not Pretenders".
May 6, 2008 - Breakfast Meeting with speakers Marc Compeau and Dan Davis, and the topic "Gaining an Affordable Competitive Edge that every Leader can use to Build a Culture around Customer Service." 
 May 22, 2008 - Social "Creating Leadership"- This Social was a means for you to say thanks to your key executives. MDEA's mission is to build entrepreneurship within the business community, and we realize that your key executives play a vital role within your companies. We thought this would be a great venue for you to say thanks and to also allow them to network with other key executives with high growth tendencies.
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL