Gies College of Business | Groups

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Leadership


 


Professional Staff

IBC’s directors come from outside of academia. Their industry experience adds practical and relevant perspective to the student teams. In any given week, hundreds of consultants come in and out of IBC’s doors to hold more than 50 meetings. IBC’s professional staff provide support for the program and make it possible for the organization to run efficiently.



Andrew Allen

Professional Staff

Andrew has worked in the learning-by-doing space for the past ten years, first in his own edtech startup and for the past eight years at the University of Illinois. Andrew previously led Illinois Business Consulting and now leads experiential learning at the Gies College of Business. He and his team are working to make education more real, more relevant and more hands-on in order to help students apply learning in a real-world context and gain the skills they need to succeed in the workplace. Prior to the UofI Andrew worked at KPMG and at Opportunity Fund in the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

Oulay Harvey

Professional Staff

Oulay Harvey serves as an administrative support to the professional staff and Senior Leadership Team at Illinois Business Consulting (IBC). Her work in IBC is critical to ensuring that day-to-day tasks within IBC run efficiently and smoothly for all parties involved. Oulay has been with the University of Illinois for 12.5 years and has been with Illinois Business Consulting for the past 5 years. She enjoys meeting and getting to know IBC consultants each semester. When she is away from the office, she loves spending time with her husband and having wine nights with her girlfriends. She is a “Glamma” to 7 grandchildren whom she loves very much.


Jake Kinsey

Professional Staff

Jake Kinsey joined IBC in November as Senior Associate Director. Kinsey spent 11 years in the Media & Entertainment industry, most recently serving as Chief Development Officer for a technology firm Cobalt Digital. He has an MBA from the University of Illinois where he graduated with the highest GPA in his class and participated in IBC for 2 semesters as a project manager. In addition to his work with IBC, Kinsey is CEO of a technology start-up and serves as a board member for the RIST Forum.

 

Kristie Paskvan

Professional Staff

Kristie Paskvan is an experienced board member and CFO/COO executive with over 25 years of experience assisting financial services, real estate, insurance and professional services companies grow their businesses worldwide. Kristie’s career reflects a demonstrated track record in leading enterprise-wide transformation and strategic financial initiatives, including business intelligence, M&A due diligence and implementation initiatives, enterprise risk management, regulatory and capital allocation oversight and cost efficiency. She brings deep corporate governance and risk experience and is qualified to serve on audit committees as a financial expert. 

Kristie is a part-time Associate Director in the Magelli Office of Experiential Learning at the University of Illinois Gies College of Business. She is also President of BetaBlue Consulting, LLC., a consulting business focused on financial and operational initiatives. Previously she was the CFO and COO at Mesirow Financial, a global financial services company concentrated in investment management and capital markets. She was responsible for audit, tax, key metrics, budgeting and planning, financial reporting, risk management, board and shareholder presentations, as well as shared service functions. At Mesirow Financial Kristie also spent four years as president of the Retirement Planning & Advisory business, advising corporate qualified and non-qualified plans. She led several strategic initiatives enabling the company’s business model to adapt to changing market conditions and disruptive market forces. 

Kristie was a member of the Mesirow Financial board of directors for 6 years, participating in or leading numerous committees including strategy, audit, information technology, HR & compensation, operations, and enterprise risk management. She worked closely with merger and acquisition teams during due diligence, as well as during subsequent integration efforts. 

Kristie is a board director at First Women’s Bank, a de novo bank in formation, where she serves as audit committee chair. She also is a board director at SmithBucklin. She is a member of the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago board of directors where she chairs the HR and compensation committee, as well as the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce board. Additionally, she is a member of the University of Illinois Dean’s Business Council for the Gies College of Business. Kristie is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), attaining leadership fellow status. 

Kristie started her career in public accounting at Goldberg Geiser where she spent 7 years with increasing responsibility. Subsequently, she worked at JMB Realty and Stein and Company, both in the real estate industry. Kristie was named CFO of the year in 2012 in the large private company category by the Chicago chapter of FEI. In 2017, she was named corporate citizen of the year by the Executive’s Club of Chicago. Kristie received her bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Illinois. She has an executive MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She is a member of the Illinois CPA Society and is affiliated with numerous professional and industry associations. 


Carissa Phillips

Professional Staff

Carissa Phillips is the Data Discovery and Business Librarian in the UIUC Library. She has a BS in Physics and Astronomy and an MBA in Finance and Statistics from the University of Iowa. After 2.5 years as an internal auditor with the Office of the Auditor of State in Iowa, she joined Ernst & Young LLP in Chicago, first working as an internal audit consultant for 1.5 years and later for 3.5 years as an analyst with the then-named Transaction Support Services group. In this latter role she was most often assigned to sell-side due diligence teams conducting on-site work. In Fall 2002, Carissa returned to school to pursue her Masters in Library and Information Science (MSLIS) from the #1 ranked program at UIUC. She graduated with her MSLIS in 2004, and began working as a faculty librarian in the UIUC Library in 2005, achieving tenure in 2012. Every year since 2002, when she was a student consultant on two OSBI Consulting teams, Carissa has worked with IBC and other student consulting groups on campus to advise them in their research efforts.


Gail Wheeler

Professional Staff

Gail Wheeler brings a tremendous amount of passion and energy to the IBC team. Fostering personal and professional growth is ‘her thing’. As such, after over 20 years of corporate success as a B2B & B2C marketing leader (Kraft-Heinz, Sara Lee, Wheels Inc), she now serves as one of our IBC Executive Mentors. Gail views her role as coach, teacher and cheerleader. She specializes in strategy, planning, business writing, and helping you ‘put yourself in your client’s shoes’. No question is too small…or too big…she welcome’s them all!

Gail earned a BS in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina where she and Michael Jordan were in the same class! She remembers Michael…but is certain that he does not remember her. Though very unpopular with her college friends, she later earned an MBA at UNC’s archrival, Duke University. She says that the first time she spelled Duke (Dook) properly, was on her resume.

When not working, Gail loves to read, sew, volunteer, travel and spend time with her husband, John and daughters, Sarah and Rachel. Feel free to check out her LinkedIn profile. www.linkedin.com/in/gailcongerwheeler

 



Senior Leadership Team

Illinois Business Consulting is student-led and student-driven. Students apply for leadership positions and are selected based on their prior IBC experience, work experience, project management skills, leadership capabilities, and interpersonal communication skills. The Senior Leadership Team is responsible for running the consulting operation, staffing the projects, and performing key marketing, operational, and training activities. Senior managers are responsible for ensuring the successful execution of client projects.
 

Rishi Choudhary

Student Director

Rishi is a senior studying Systems Engineering and Design with a minor in Computer Science. He has been in IBC since Spring 2019 and has led projects across digital strategy implementation, engineering efficiency analysis, entrepreneurship coursework formulation, and market-entry. On campus, Rishi is involved with Business Council and a startup, Ascent Integrated Tech. In the past, Rishi has worked as a Software Engineering Intern for AARP and as a Project Management Intern for EnterpriseWorks. This summer he will be at Redfin working as a Product Manager Intern in their Seattle office.


Jeet Sangamnerkar

Operations Director

Jeet is a Sophomore studying Computer Science + Statistics along with a minor in Buisness. He joined the club in Fall 2020 and the Senior Leadership Team in Spring 2022. He has been a Project Manager for 3 semeters with experience in the technology, manufacturing, and insurance sectors. In the past, Jeet has interned with State Farm as a Data Scientist, managed technical projects with Disruption Lab, and programmed as an Automonous Vehicle Engineer with Illini EV Concept. His interest lies in the interection of innovative technology and entreprenuership. Currently, he is a Technology Consultant with RUFF Financial. This upcoming summer, Jeet will be interning with AT&T as a Software Engineer.



Megan Sommer

Projects Director

Megan is a senior studying Marketing & Information Systems with a minor in Economics. She has been with IBC since Spring 2020 and has been in involved with various projects including market entry, financial modeling, cybersecurity regulations, and business improvement. In the past, Megan was involved in Society of Women in Business, served as Project Director for American Marketing Association, and served as Publicity Chair for UNICEF at UIUC. Megan was a Beacon Fellow for the Beacon Fellowship in Italy of Winter 2019 and worked as a consultant for a student housing company. In addition, she worked as a fashion consultant for Haus of Jaeger during the Summer 2020 researching and drafting business proposals.



Vihaan Kalaria

Senior Manager

Vihaan is a Junior in the Grainger College of Engineering majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Business. He has been with IBC since Spring 2019 and joined the Senior Leadership Team as Senior Manager in Fall 2020. During his time in IBC, Vihaan has worked on market-entry, competitor analysis, data analytics, and marketing projects. In addition to IBC, Vihaan is involved on campus through various organizations and leadership roles. Vihaan's career interests lie at the intersection of engineering design, entrepreneurship, and management. Throughout his college career, he has had the opportunity to work on various technical projects and internships and looks forward to join COUNTRY Financial as a Project Management Intern this summer.



Sam Stippich 

Senior Manager

Sam is a junior in the Gies College of Business studying Accountancy with a minor in Ecology and Conservation biology. She has been with IBC since spring 2020 and joined the Senior Leadership Team as Senior Manager in Spring 2021. During her time in IBC, Sam has worked on sales forecasting, business plan creation, and data modeling projects. In addition to IBC, Sam is very involved on campus through various organizations and leadership roles. This summer, Sam will be interning in Honolulu for Sea Turtles 911. She hopes to pursue a career in environmental consulting or marine conservation.

Michael Drogosz 

Senior Manager

 

Michael is a Senior studying Finance. He has been in IBC since Spring 2020 and has led projects across market entry, gap analysis, coursework and program strategy, marketing, carbon emission modeling, and project management frameworks. On campus, Michael is a B101 Section Leader and has been involved in organizations such as Prime and IPO. Michael has worked as a Consulting Intern at Crowe, and after graduation he will be at Deloitte Consulting working as an Analyst.



Katherine Zhu 

Senior Manager

Katherine is a junior studying Accountancy & Finance. She has been in IBC since Fall 2020 and has participated in projects across market-entry, and strategy implementation. On campus, Katherine is the participation CA in Illinois Consulting Academy and she is also a CA in CS 105. In the past, Katherine has worked as an associate consultant intern for Altios International. This summer she will be at Deloitte working as a tax consultant in their Chicago office.




 

Mehr Punia

Senior Manager

Mehr is a junior studying Accountancy with a minor in Informatics. She has been in IBC for 4 semesters since Spring 2020. Mehr has worked on projects concerning market-entry, market research, data analysis and data management. Other than being involved in IBC, she is also an active member of Beta Alpha Psi on campus. This past summer, Mehr served as a SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley) Accounting Intern at Motorola Solutions in Chicago. This summer, she will be interning as a Deal Advisory and Strategy Intern at KPMG in the Chicago office.




 

Melanie Ji

Senior Manager

Melanie is a junior studying Accountancy and Information Systems. She has been in IBC since Fall 2020 and has been involved in projects with a focus on video and audio processing, business formulation, and service. On campus, she is involved in Beta Alpha Psi and Illinois Consulting Academy. In the past, Melanie has worked at Bishop Diehl & Lee as a Legal intern, a Marketing intern at Kokomo 247, and a Financial Planning & Analysis intern at M. Holland. This summer she will interning at KPMG as a Deals Advisory & Strategy intern in their Chicago office.




 

Opeyemi Arogundade

Senior Manager

Opeyemi is a PhD candidate in Bioengineering. He has been in IBC since Fall 2020 and has led projects in environmental and social sustainability research, market entry, and data modeling. On campus, Ope does research on developing quantum dot technologies for disease diagnostics, and live cell research. Ope has an undergraduate degree in Physics.




 

Serena Zhang

Senior Manager

Serena is a junior studying Accounting and Information Systems with a minor in Hoeft Technology and Management. She has been in IBC since Fall 2020 and has led projects across location strategy, market entry, entrepreneurship course formulation, market-entry, and technology strategy creating a data dashboard. On campus Serena is involved in Delta Sigma Pi with previous involvements including Council of Presidents and Illinois Consulting Academy. Serena has worked as a supply chain intern for Abbott’s Diabetics Care unit and will be interning at PwC as a Management Consultant this summer in their Chicago Office.



 

Neha Chatterjee

Senior Manager
Neha is a PhD candidate in the Crop Sciences department, specializing in Biogeochemistry, within the college of ACES. She has been a part of IBC since Fall 2020 and has worked in projects across warehouse and supply chain technology automation, agricultural commodity dashboard development and entrepreneurship curricula development. On campus, Neha conducts research on strategies towards ensuring a phosphorus circular economy as a Brockson fellowship (for Applied Statistics research) recipient. In the past, Neha has been a Next Generation Delegate for the Chicago Council of Global Affairs in 2019, a national awardee of Future Leaders of Science Advocacy from the Soil Science Society of America to be a delegate for Congressional Visits Day in Washington DC in 2020 and 2021 and a SEED (Scientists engaging and educating decision-makers) ambassador for environmental policy and advocacy in 2021. Neha intends to use her background in environmental chemistry and sustainability to work in environmental and social impact consulting after graduating.