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David L. Daniels, BS ’78 (Business) is director of Cemetery Operations for the Midwest Market Unit of Service Corporation International, North America’s leading provider of funeral, cremation, and cemetery services. In his role David is responsible for profit/loss and operations for 84 locations. He works from his home in Crown Point, Ind. and is married to Heidi Warniers Daniels, BA ’79 (English).
Tom Walsh, MBA ’83, works with Bright Support Services as an account advisor in Goshen, Ind. For 17 years Bright Support Services has helped companies and non-profits reduce the costs of their utilities.
Marion Fulce, MBA ’92, was promoted to assistant vice president at Teachers Credit Union. Marion oversees TCU’s St. Joseph County branches as well as the credit union’s four branches in southwest Michigan. She has more than 40 years of banking experience, with the last 10 years at TCU. Marion is active in the community, serving as vice chair of the board of directors of the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, and chair of the African American Community Fund. She also serves on the board of directors and finance committees of St. Joseph Regional Medical Center and Oaklawn.
Valerie Priller, MSEd ’98 (Elementary Education) was named the principal at Pleasant Lake Elementary School, just south of Angola, Ind., last July. Previously Valerie has worked with Elkhart Community Schools as a fifth and sixth grade teacher, before becoming assistant principal in 2006, and then principal in 2011.
Jeff Rodino, BS ’93 (Business Management and Administration) was promoted to president of Patrick Industries in July. Most recently he had served as executive vice president and chief sales officer for the manufacturer, and prior to that he was their chief operating officer from 2012-16. Patrick Industries recognized Jeff for his 27 years of experience in recreational vehicle, marine, manufactured housing, and industrial markets.
Tracie Davis, MLS ’02, was named Exporting Business Advisor of the Year and State Star at the state meeting of the Indiana Small Business Development Center in March of 2021. Each year one person is selected as the Indiana Small Business Development Center State Star. This individual strongly illustrates the organization’s mission and goes above and beyond to support Hoosier entrepreneurs and small businesses. The Leighton School of Business and Economics at IU South Bend is the regional host of the Indiana Small Business Development Center.
Roger Karns, MS Ed ’09 (Secondary Education) was named head swimming and diving coach at Manchester College. Roger has 40 years of coaching and teaching experience and is certified as a Level 5 coach by the American Swim Coaches Association. Prior to this position, Roger served as the head men’s and women’s swimming coach at NCAA Division II Lewis University located in Romeoville, Ill. During his 10 years with the Flyers, Coach Karns’ programs produced six conference champions, including a pair of Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Male Freshmen of the Year. Read the full announcement here: https://swimswam.com/roger-karns-tabbed-as-new-head-swimming-diving-coach-at-manchester-university/
Justin Klase, BS ’09 (Accounting) has been promoted to division finance manager for Chore-Time in October. In his new position, Justin will manage Chore-Time’s accounting and provide timely reporting as well as develop and enhance processes and procedures to meet the financial goals of the regional business units. Justin most recently held the position of senior accountant for Chore-Time. He has previous experience working in CTB’s credit, purchasing and accounts payable departments. Chore-Time is a leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of equipment for poultry and egg production. Part of the CTB, Inc. family of companies, Chore-Time operates globally from facilities in Indiana, Alabama, the Netherlands and Poland.
Amy McClellan, BS ’03 (Marketing), MBA ’07 was appointed to the board of Buehler’s Fresh Foods in October. Amy is the vice president of fresh merchandising at SpartanNash, having been promoted last March. She worked in the stores before progressing to market research, loyalty programs, vice president of sales and marketing and then senior vice president, retail merchandising and operations. She was on the board of directors for the South Bend Chamber of Commerce and the United Fresh Produce Association and was recently recognized by Progressive Grocer as a top woman in grocery.
Jennifer Yoder, BA ’03 (Mass Communications) was named among the state’s top 10 finalists for Indiana’s Teacher of the Year. Jennifer teaches engineering and design technology at Goshen High School. For more information visit: https://www.goshennews.com/news/local_news/ghs-teacher-finalist-for-state-award/article_328bc7e0-f705-11eb-a9e5-175884bf8fc7.html
Joe VanWanzeele, AS ’08 (Computer Science), BS ’11 (Computer Science) is the senior integration engineer for Keyfactor in Niles. He shared his story in the Career Pathways Series, a video series produced by the South Bend Elkhart Regional Partnership. View his story here: https://youtu.be/LwGhs5G9Btc
Lisa “Swedarsky” Wills, MLS ’03 (Liberal Studies) recently released a children’s book titled A Teacher’s Love. This sweet story shows the profound impact a teacher can have on a child’s life. Learn more at https://ateacherslove.com/. Lisa is driven by the belief that every student deserves a high-quality education affording them opportunities that will lead to a significant contribution to society as they transition into adulthood. She has also authored The Hering House, published by IU South Bend’s Wolfson Press in 2009.
Joel Barrett, MLS ’13, (Liberal Studies) released Godly…But Gay: A Story of Contradictions, Conversion Therapy & Coming Out in Summer 2021. This memoir of Joel growing up Godly, but always knowing he was gay, shares how he lived a life of fear and shame for over 30 years. In a dramatic twist, he came face to face with himself when he had an encounter with another closeted gay minister. The story of his journey to authentic living includes 3 years of conversion therapy, leaving the ministry, coming out to his wife and children, and conversation with God about faith. Joel doesn’t hold back. He shares the good, the bad, and the ugly in a refreshingly transparent manner that invites others into his colorful story. Visit https://joelspeaksout.com for more information.
Teresa Berger, BA ’15 (Speech Communication), was appointed Executive Director of CALLERLAB, the International Association of Square Dance Callers in December of 2020. CALLERLAB's mission is to foster the art of square dance calling and improve caller skills around the globe. Teresa also serves as the Executive Secretary for the CALLERLAB Foundation, a nonprofit supporting the preservation and promotion of square dancing.
Jason Creakbaum, BS ’14 (Accounting) was promoted to assurance manager at RSM US LLP. He most recently held the role of assurance supervisor and previously served on the audit staff at Crowe. In addition to his IU South Bend degree, Jason holds a Master of Science in Accounting from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.
Lawrence Giden, AS ’06 (speech Communication) BA ’10 (Speech Communication) took a job as Admissions Counselor for Adult and Graduate Studies Programs at Goshen College last February. Lawrence enjoys working with the students and program directors in his new position, where he helps connect prospective students to masters or transition programs.
Karen Lopez, BS ’19 (Advertising) was featured in the Elkhart Chamber Leadership Academy Publication for her work developing a new banking program to create the next generation of business bankers at 1st Source Bank, as well has her work with the Elkhart Business Banking Group in aiding businesses with PPP funding and forgiveness due to COVID. In that program she was able to help numerous local businesses survive the crisis, forming bonds with many clients. Learning from the banks’ relationship managers, she witnessed the strong trust their clients have and received sound career advice along the way. She’s committed to aiding the Elkhart community and helping out as she has been helped.
Mohammad Meysami, MS ’16 (Applied Mathematics and Computer Science) was appointed assistant professor of mathematics at Clarkson University, Potsdam. He earned a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of Colorado, Denver, Colo.
Bill Spalding, BA ’19 (History) had his poem South Bend Riverwalk published by the St. Joseph County Public Library in their online literary magazine SJCPL Writes in August. You can read his poem here: https://sjcplwrites.wixsite.com/litmag/south-bend-riverwalk. Bill works as a junior mortgage processor for Teachers Credit Union since Spring 2021.
Clayton Sheets, BS ’19 (Finance) was promoted to agribusiness lender at Interra Credit Union last June. In this position he will assist and provide agribusiness members with the products and services that best fit their operational needs. Clayton has been with Interra since 2017, where he previously held the position of credit analyst. Clayton grew up working for various local farmers in dairy farms, grain farms, and even custom hay baling operations. “I believe farmers are the backbone of America and the foundation of our surrounding communities,” stated Sheets.
Susan Ward, BFA ’18 had her first solo exhibition featuring her artwork at Fernwood Botanical Gardens. The show ran from September 4 through October. While at IU South Bend her major was sculpture with minors in art history and printmaking.
Brittany Wineinger, BGS ’13, was appointed as president of Carmel-based Milstone Home Lending. She previously held the role of assistant vice president of customer experience at Farm Credit Mid-America.
Wisdom Ifeanyi, BS ’21 (Health Sciences) took the position as assistant coach for men’s soccer at Southeastern Community College in Iowa last spring. Their team won the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Men’s Soccer Championship last June – the first national title win in the soccer program’s history. Wisdom was an Exercise Science major at IU South Bend after immigrating from Nigeria. He became a naturalized citizen last year, started a new coaching position, got his degree, and has won the national championship. Of his experience Wisdom says, “I came here for the ‘American dream’ and the United States has opened their arms to me and given me the opportunity to succeed.”
Abigail Utterback, BA ’21 (Sustainability) was promoted to the garden education coordinator at Seed to Feed in September 2021. Seed to Feed is a non-profit organization that focuses on addressing food insecurity through local sustainable urban agriculture. As an undergraduate Abigail was the garden intern and went on to be hired as a part-time supervisor and then garden manager before her current position. She credits her internship through IU South Bend for providing her with a career path that is otherwise hard to obtain in the realm of food systems and agriculture. She is very grateful for her time at IU South Bend and misses her professors, but is excited for her future in sustainable food systems.