Image of Business Instructional Facility

May 2, 2019 2019-05 Accountancy Alumni Business Administration Faculty Finance Student

2019 Spring Luncheon Celebrates Alumni and Faculty Achievement

Gies College of Business joined the Gies College of Business Alumni Association at the Hilton Chicago to welcome nearly 1,000 alumni and friends of the College for the annual Spring Luncheon. In addition to being an opportunity to catch up with former classmates and friends, this event provided an occasion to recognize distinguished alumni and faculty for their achievements and service to Gies College of Business and the University of Illinois. Derrick Young ’90 BA, traffic reporter at CBS 2 Chicago, served as master of ceremonies for the event.

Keynote Address

The keynote address was given by Larry Gies ’88 ACCY, who is founder and CEO of Madison Industries. Madison builds entrepreneurially driven, branded market leaders that are dedicated to making the world safer, healthier, and more productive by creating innovative solutions that deliver outstanding customer value. In 2017, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign named its leading business school the Gies College of Business.

In his remarks, Gies focused on the importance of giving back to the College, his love for the University of Illinois, and his belief that together Gies Business alumni can help create the greatest business school on earth.

Alumni Awards

Distinguished Alumna Award

This annual award recognizes graduates of Gies College of Business for their outstanding career achievements. This year’s award was present to Kelly Loeffler ’92 BA.

Spring Luncheon Loeffler

Kelly Loeffler is CEO of Bakkt, a regulated, global ecosystem that enables custody,markets, and use cases for digital assets. As CEO, she is responsible for establishing the strategy and team, as well as the regulatory, financial and operational performance of the company. She joined Intercontinental Exchange in 2002, where she built and led investor relations, corporate communications, and marketing for more than 15 years, and continues to be a member of ICE’s Executive Management Committee.

Loeffler is also co-owner and co-chairman of the WNBA Atlanta Dream, the first women-owned professional sports team in Georgia. She is an advocate of combining education and sports to contribute to the success of young people from the classroom to the workplace.

She is a Board Trustee for the Georgia Research Alliance and member of the boards of Grady Memorial Hospital Corporation, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and Skyland Trail. She previously served on the boards of the Red Cross of Metro Atlanta, Central Atlanta Progress, the Atlanta Sports Council, and the Gene Siskel Film Center.

In addition to her Illinois degree, Loeffler completed an MBA at DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. She is a CFA charterholder.

Appreciation Award

This award recognizes outstanding service to the Alumni Association and the College. This year’s recipient was Susan Fish ’79 ACCY, ’80 MAS.

Spring Luncheon Fish2Susan Fish is the Managing Director of JFO Group, a diversified investment management company and family office located in Irving, Texas. She uses her extensive experience with family-owned enterprises to manage both business and family matters for JFO Group. She has more than 30 years of experience with private operating companies and real estate investments.

Fish has been a long-standing member of the Dean’s Business Council (DBC) in Gies College of Business. During her tenure, she led the student involvement committee and participated in the fundraising effort resulting in the new Business Instructional Facility. She most recently served two years as the Chair of the DBC.

She currently serves as a director for several of JFO Group’s operating companies. She is as an Advisory Board member and Finance Committee co-chair for the Denihan Hospitality Company. She also served as a Board member for Polished Ministries, Inc., which caters to young professional women. At the Rosewood Corporation, she held numerous director roles for various subsidiaries of the company. She

is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in Texas and a Certified Financial Planner.

Faculty Awards

Excellence-in-Teaching Award for Undergraduate Teaching

Fiona Yao, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, has been named among Teachers Ranked as Excellent or Outstanding by students in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018. She teaches multinational management at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She has also taught organizations and international business, a PhD level seminar.

Spring Luncheon faculty
Julia Shapland, Senior Lecturer of Accountancy, has taught accounting at Illinois for

 much of the last 20 years. She brings a decade of tax and accountancy industry expertise into the classroom and has taught federal income taxation, intermediate accounting, as well as the introductory financial and managerial accounting sequence. Shapland, a Gies

 Business alumna, has been consistently recognized for her efforts in the classroom. She has frequently been ranked as Excellent by her students, and in 2017 she was named an Outstanding Educator by the Illinois CPA Society.

Excellence-in-Teaching Award for Graduate Teaching

George Pennacchi, Professor of Finance and Fred S. Bailey Memorial Chair of Finance, has taught at Illinois since 1990. He has received numerous awards and grants during his decades in higher education, and his research interests include financial institutions, bond pricing, and valuing government guarantees. He teaches a master’s level course in fixed income securities and a PhD level course in asset pricing theory.

Excellence-in-Teaching Award for Teaching Assistance

Anand Vijayasankaran, a PhD student in business administration, has served as a research associate at the University of Illinois since 2013. He has been named to the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent in 2015 and 2016. Vijayasankaran studies top management teams, reputation, and corporate governance. He has taught organization design, principles of management, and human resource management.