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April 4, 2014

CBA Advisory Board Honors Top Business Leaders at Luncheon

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration held its Advisory Board Annual Awards Luncheon on Friday, April 4. The awards recognize the outstanding accomplishments of business leaders and corporations in the state of Nebraska and the world.

Paul Mendlik, president-elect of the College of Business Administration Dean’s Advisory Board and chief financial officer and treasurer of West Corporation, and Dr. Donde Plowman, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean of the College of Business Administration, presented the awards to the recipients.

“These six business leaders and the corporation we honored today are inspiring to all of us,” said Plowman. “Each of them lift us up and inspire us to start something.”

The 2014 honorees included David Graff of Lincoln, Neb.; Brian Kaiser of New York City; John Wirtz of Lincoln, Neb.; Barb Schaefer of Omaha, Neb.; Jim Kroeker of Norwalk, Conn.; Nelnet; and Carrie Tolstedt of San Francisco. Kroeker was not able to attend the ceremony and will receive his award at a formal recognition later this year.
David Graff, Chief Executive Officer; Brian Kaiser, Chief Technology Officer; and John Wirtz, Chief Product Officer, HUDL – Young Alumni Award

David Graff, John Wirtz and Brian Kaiser

Co-founders of HUDL, David Graff, Brian Kaiser and John Wirtz were honored with the Young Alumni Award. This award recognizes individuals who are outstanding examples of successful leaders, and provide inspiration and insight to College of Business Administration students and members of the business community.
Graff, Kaiser and Wirtz started HUDL in 2007 when they still were students at the UNL Jeffrey S. Raikes School in Computer Science and Management. HUDL creates a suite of state-of-the-art video analysis and editing tools for coaches to break down games and teach their athletes. The company got its start with the university’s football team and now provides services to a wide range of sports at all levels of competition – from youth teams to professional sports. In 2013, Inc. Magazine recognized Hudl as the 149th fastest growing private company in the U.S. and the fastest-growing private company in Nebraska.
Graff received both his bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA from UNL. Kaiser graduated with a computer engineering degree. Wirtz earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and MBA from UNL, and currently serves on the college’s Young Alumni Board.

Barb Schaefer, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Corporate Secretary of Union Pacific (Retired)– Business Leadership Award
Barb Schaefer

Barb Schaefer

Barb Schaefer was honored with the Business Leadership Award, which recognizes individuals who are outstanding examples of successful leaders in their respective fields, including business ethics, community service and overall business excellence.
Barb Schaefer retired from Union Pacific after being with the company since 1981. She was elected to senior vice president of human resources in 1997 and to corporate secretary in 2004. Prior to joining Union Pacific, she was an attorney in private practice in Omaha.
Schaefer is a member of the board of trustees of the Weitz Funds and the board of directors of Mutual of Omaha Bank. She currently serves as vice president of the board of directors of Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha. She has also served as a board member of many non-profit organizations and has chaired the boards of Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, The Urban League of Nebraska, and Big Brothers-Big Sisters of the Midlands.
Schaefer holds a bachelor’s degree from UNL, a J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law, and has completed the program for management development at Harvard University.

Jim Kroeker, vice chair, Financial Accounting Standards Board – Business Leadership Award (will receive the award in September)
Jim Kroeker

Jim Kroeker

Jim Kroeker was also recognized and will receive the Business Leadership Award at the CBA Partnership Summit on September 19. The Business Leadership Award recognizes individuals who are outstanding examples of successful leaders in their respective fields, including business ethics, community service and overall business excellence.
Kroeker is a board member and vice chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), which develops financial accounting and reporting standards within the United States.
He previously worked for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as deputy chief accountant and was appointed chief accountant in 2009. He played a key role in the efforts to improve transparency and reduce the complexity of financial disclosure. He also served as staff director of the SEC’s Congressionally-mandated study of fair value accounting standards and led the efforts of the Office of the Chief Accountant to address the economic crisis.
As a 1992 graduate of UNL with an accounting degree, he has achieved a high level of national recognition in the accounting profession including being recognized as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting in 2009, 2010 and 2011 by Accounting Today.

Nelnet – Corporate Leadership Award


Jeff Noordhoek, chief executive officer, received the Corporate Leadership Award on behalf of Nelnet. The award recognizes excellence in Nebraska-based companies that are successful, dynamic and have a high level of commitment to their communities, customers and employees.
Nelnet helps families plan, prepare and pay for their education through innovative educational services in loan financing, payment processing, education planning and asset management. The company’s origins date back to the formation of the UNIPAC Service Corporation in 1978 which merged with Nelnet, an education finance company formed in 1996. Headquartered in Lincoln, Neb., Nelnet has offices around the United States and Canada and employs more than 2,250 associates. Nelnet operates in four business segments and adheres to a strong set of customer and community-centric values.
Carrie Tolstedt, senior executive vice president, community banking, Wells Fargo Lifetime Achievement Award
Carrie Tolstedt

Carrie Tolstedt

Carrie Tolstedt was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes those individuals for their outstanding leadership and time, energy and guidance provided throughout their career.
Tolstedt has more than 25 years of financial services experience that began in 1986 with Norwest Bank in Nebraska. In 2007, she was appointed to her current role as Wells Fargo’s senior executive vice president, community banking, where she leads approximately 105,000 team members providing financial services to more than 22 million households and over 2.5 million small business and business banking households.
Tolstedt was named by Fortune magazine as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” for 2013. Last year she was also selected as one of American Banker Magazine’s “25 Most Powerful Women in Banking.”
Originally from Kimball, Neb., she graduated from UNL with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and completed the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington.
Eighteen sponsors helped make the award luncheon possible. They included Ameritas; BKD LLP; CDBykerk Consulting, LLC; ConAgra Foods; Cornhusker Bank; Cornerstone Bank; Deloitte; Lincoln Industries; Lozier; Nelnet; Pinnacle Bank; Pittinger & Anderson, Inc.; Speedway Motors; Talent Plus; Union Bank & Trust; US Bank; Wells Fargo; and West Corporation.

Facebook Photo Album of Awards Luncheon