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Erica Delaney
Product Associate

Erica Delaney

Product Associate

What I do here: I manage the Product Advisory Boards, consisting of stakeholders and students. I also develop content for training to ensure understanding of our products, both internally and externally.

My experience: I’ve always worked in very customer-focused jobs. I also spent my college years learning about design and creative problem-solving, both hand-based design and technology-based.  

I enjoy: Design in all its forms (interior, architectural, landscape, etc.), traveling, spending time with nature, music, dancing, learning languages, food with friends and family and a great piece of literature.

Why I work in higher education: Sometimes life happens, and if you don’t have the right support or resources, especially in college, you have to stop what you’re doing and regroup. While earning my college degree, I got stuck in a “work to survive” cycle, unable to get back to my education. Luckily, with the help of people who were able to connect me with the right resources, I was able to go back and finish my degree. I want to be that person that makes a difference for someone else.

Education: B.G.S., Ball State University

Julie Naccarato - 2 Julie Naccarato
Julie Naccarato
Account Manager

Julie Naccarato

Account Manager

What I do here:  I provide support, training and technical assistance to our customers, working closely with the Account Executives. 

My experience:
  I’ve been in the higher education industry for more than 30 years, including working in Financial Aid at Oregon State University and Washington State University.

I enjoy: 
 Yoga, summertime in Spokane, Italian food and time with my friends, family and dogs

Why I work in higher education:  My college experience was life changing, and I knew then that I wanted to find a role to help others pursue their dreams through higher education.

Education:
  B.S. in Applied Psychology, Eastern Washington University; M.Ed. in College Student Services Administration, Oregon State University

Pete McEwen Pete McEwen - 2
Pete McEwen
Director, Customer Strategy & Data Management

Pete McEwen

Director, Customer Strategy & Data Management

What I do here: I have the pleasure of serving our customers through data analysis, tracking and monitoring outreach strategies, and providing transparency through our performance reporting. I work alongside amazing individuals, here and at the schools we serve, who are focused on driving long-term solutions that create positive outcomes for students and borrowers.

My experience: I have more than 15 years in the student loan and default prevention industry, with a primary focus on data analytics and reporting at a variety of levels.

I enjoy: Being involved with my children and encouraging them to dream big! I also enjoy water sports, camping, cycling and spending time with friends and family.

Why I work in higher education: I truly believe we have an opportunity to change peoples’ lives through education, opening doors that may otherwise stay closed. I have experienced, first hand, how completing a degree program increases confidence, provides new career pathways, and impacts future generations in a positive way.

Education: B.S. in Business Management, Indiana Wesleyan University

Sara Wilson
Product Manager

Sara Wilson

Product Manager

What I do here:  I manage the development and overall strategic vision for Student Connections’ financial literacy and college success program for students.

My experience:  I’ve worked for more than 10 years supporting products and services that provide financial education and support campus-based default prevention efforts.

I enjoy:  Bird watching with my husband, the City by the Bay, “Doctor Who,” cartoons and spending time outdoors.

Why I work in higher education:  When I was in college, I was the kid who did everything wrong financially. I took out loans regardless of whether I needed them; I changed my major three times; I spent what little money I had unwisely; and I maxed out multiple credit cards when I couldn’t afford the payment, completely wrecking my credit. That’s what makes coming to work exciting to me — the fact that I’m working on tools that will mean fewer students go through what I went through.

Education:  B.A. in Journalism, Ball State University

Steve Queisser
Steve Queisser
Vice President, Strategic Accounts

Steve Queisser

Vice President, Strategic Accounts

What I do here: My title is vice president of strategic accounts; what I do here is quite different. It is my belief that every choice and decision I make everyday should lead to the furthering of a culture of support and learning. If we learn something every day, and learn it in the right atmosphere, we will develop relationships and sales that exceed our expectations.

My experience:  Before joining the Student Connections team, I was vice president of sales and marketing for a federal loan servicer and default prevention service provider based in Knoxville, TN for 12 years. Prior to that, I managed the sales and marketing teams for the Tennessee Titans Radio Network and served as director of marketing for 17 southeast based radio stations. My first job out of college was with SIMON Property Group, the nation’s largest retail developer, where I managed multiple shopping malls and served as the director of grand opening events.

I enjoy: Time with my family, golf, running and traveling. I am happiest when I’m outdoors!

Why I work in higher education: I moved from the NFL to higher education for the opportunity to change lives, individually and generationally. Education can never be taken away, and a degree changes the student’s life as well as the lives of family and friends. Helping students be more successful after school is as important as helping them while in school.

Education: B.S. in Marketing, Indiana University

Valerie Walthall
Valerie Walthall
Account Manager

Valerie Walthall

Account Manager

What I do here:  I support customers with setup and training.  I also meet monthly with customers and ensure support documentation is delivered to help them with their default prevention and student success efforts.

My experience:
  I started working in the student loan industry at Sallie Mae in November 1988.

I enjoy: 
 Boating, dogs and family time.  I serve on the board for Lawrence Meals on Wheels and the Lawrence SERTOMA club.

Why I work in higher education:  It’s what I’ve been doing for nearly 30 years.  Serving customers is what I do best.

Education:
  A.A. in Business, Baker University

Dawn Lang
Vice President, Sales

Dawn Lang

Vice President, Sales

What I do here: I lead and empower a team that provides solutions to colleges to help their students repay their loans, essentially driving growth and profitability for Student Connections.

My experience: I have over 20 years of experience in sales, business development, marketing, product development and management working with Fortune 500 companies and startups in CPG, healthcare, technology and life sciences. I have led teams through startup, acquisition and consolidation possessing a consistent record of leadership and achievement. I am a strategic, innovative thinker who is driven to solve complex problems around commercialization, sales strategy, market share, strategic business ventures, customer engagement and product launches.

I enjoy: Spending time with family, teaching yoga, watching my kids play baseball and softball, and engaging in community organizations.

Why I work in higher education: Education is empowering and fuels individuals to discover their life purpose. I believe I have impact and purpose in an industry that empowers people to become who they want to be.

Education: B.A. in Communication, Hanover College
M.A. in Wellness Management, Ball State University

Phil Dietrich
Sales Development Representative

Phil Dietrich

Sales Development Representative

What I do here: I work with colleges and universities to help them manage default rates and financial literacy.

My experience: I spent one year at Sallie Mae collecting on defaulted student loans. I spent two years at Student Connections in the call center counseling delinquent borrowers of federal student loans before taking my current sales position. Prior to that, I spent twenty years managing a plumbing and appliance business in Anderson, Indiana.

I enjoy: Tennis, gardening, photography, astronomy, building/repairing computers, family, and friends.

Why I work in higher education: Our ultimate mission is to educate and help borrowers of student loans. Helping people is very gratifying.

Education: BS; Ball State University; Series 6 and 63 financial licenses.

James Burandt
Sales Development Representative

James Burandt

Sales Development Representative

What I do here: Sales

My experience: I started with Student Connections two and a half years ago as a loan counselor and transitioned my way into sales.

I enjoy: Weight lifting, disc golf, and all things Marvel.

Why I work in higher education: Slaying the beast that is the student debt crisis.

Qiana Hall
Account Executive

Qiana Hall

Account Executive

What I do here: As the Account Executive, I get to know potential customers’ pain points and needs. I work with them to discover what solution is a best fit for their institution.

My experience: Former Student Financial Aid Administrator. 

I enjoy: Cooking, singing and spending time with my family.

Why I work in higher education: I desire to assist individuals to reach their educational dreams while avoiding some of the pitfalls I experienced in my pursuit of higher education. I feel the best way to do this is to be a hands-on expert advocate to help guide them through the process.

Education: MPA- Non-Profit Development, BM- Vocal Music Performance

Natasha Adjivon
Sales Development Representative

Natasha Adjivon

Sales Development Representative

What I do here: I bring in prospects that are interested in either reducing their Cohort Default Rates or want to provide their students with robust financial literacy.

My experience: Military Medic, Environmental Specialist for Health Department, Loan Counselor, and Sales Development Specialist.  

I enjoy: Helping others, nature, art, travelling, music, photography and reading.

Why I work in higher education: To help educate those that are either delinquent or defaulting on their loans.

Education: Health Service Management

Wade Pulliam Wade Pulliam - 2
Wade Pulliam
Account Manager

Wade Pulliam

Account Manager

What I do here: As an Account Manager, I work with our customers to make sure they are using our products and services most effectively. I am specifically focused on our student success solution, Success Center.

My experience: I have over nine years of experience in the financial aid industry. I previously worked in default prevention for Sallie Mae, but have also worked at the institution level.

I enjoy: Family, motorcycles and football.  

Why I work in higher education:
 I enjoy working with and helping student borrowers understand their options.

Focused on helping students succeed in college and beyond.

We’d love to discuss your institution’s student success goals and share with you how we are impacting the lives of students every day.

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