Keynote Speaker: Jody Urquhart

Jody UrquhartA highly sought-after funny motivational speaker, Jody Urquhart is the author of All Work & No Say, a bestselling book that shattered assumptions that work can’t be rewarding and fun.

Every motivational talk features, Savvy, Uplifting and Hysterical advice to help your audience develop a buoyant, positive and meaningful perspective in the midst of stress and change.
Jody is passionate about spreading the message of the importance of fun and meaningful work. A motivational speaker for over 16 years, Jody speaks at over 60 organizations and associations every year and is a top keynote speaker.
Jody's trademark is to deliver very funny motivational speeches; humor is a key part of her audience connection.
A former stand-up comedian, Jody ONLY uses clean humor and original content catered to the audience.
Jody is the author of the best-selling book All Work & No SAY. Her mission is to help motivate people to derive more meaning, fun, and satisfaction from their work.

John McElroy, Senior Manager, Product Strategy

A graduate of the University of Missouri, Columbia, John has worked in the electronic payments industry for more than 25 years, the last 18 focused in Higher Ed with TouchNet. John has held several positions while at TouchNet, including Product Manager, Business Development Manager, and Regional Sales Manager.  John is currently the Senior Manager, for Product Strategy.  John continues his quest for knowledge, regularly attending payment industry trade shows, such as Money 20/20, NACHA Payments, ETA Transact, and the PCI Council's Annual Community Meeting.  John is a frequent presenter at many of the Higher Ed specific conferences, including COMTEC, eLive, NACUBO, PDG, and Treasury Institute.


Barbara Hoblitzell, U. S. DOE

Barbara Hoblitzell is a Management & Program Analyst at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education in the Policy, Planning and Innovation group. She is responsible for formulating federal postsecondary education policy for the administration of programs that address critical national needs in support of the Department's mission to increase access to quality postsecondary education.

Barbara began her career in AT&T’s leadership development program but transitioned to public service, holding senior administrative positions at the University of California’s Berkeley campus and Office of the President. She also served as senior vice president at Kay Jacks & Associates, a higher education-focused consultancy, and senior vice president at Sallie Mae.

Barbara holds a Bachelor’s Degree from NYU and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.


Lori S. Hartung, Director, Midwest Region for Todd, Bremer & Lawson, Inc.

Lori S. Hartung is the Director - Midwest Region for Todd, Bremer & Lawson, Inc. a third-party collection agency that specializes in higher education account receivable management.  Her responsibilities include managing TB&L's clients in the Midwest region and training the community on regulatory requirements.

In addition to her core responsibilities at Todd, Bremer & Lawson, Inc. Lori is the  primary representative to the Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations (COHEAO).   Lori has been elected as COHEAO's President assuming her role in early 2019.   COHEAO  maintains a sharp focus on legislative and regulatory advocacy, educational access, and interactive communication for all federally funded student loan programs.  In addition to her position on the Board of Directors, she is also a member of the Loan Task Force, Agenda, and Commercial Committees.  COHEAO awarded Ms. Hartung the 2012 & 2018 Commercial Member of the Year.

Lori is a member of several regional organizations such as the Wisconsin Association of Student Business Office Personnel and Administrators (WASBOPA), and the Minnesota Collections Network.  She currently serves on the Board of both organizations.

Ms. Hartung has been involved in the Student Loan industry in various capacities since 1991.  Before joining Todd, Bremer & Lawson, Inc., she was the Senior Manager of Government and Industry Relations for University Accounting Service (UAS).

Lori is a 1989 graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor degree in Political Science.  She lives in Dousman, Wisconsin with her husband, two (2) dogs, two (2) cats, and 40,000 honey bees.


Robert A. Schuerger II Bio

Mr. Schuerger is the founder and lead attorney for the Law Offices of Robert A. Schuerger Co., LPA, a top performing Collections Law Firm with a nationwide presence. His 10 plus years of experience in debt collection includes large and small government and private clients, including public and private universities, the State of Ohio and U.S. Departments of Education and Justice. His collection experience includes handling a variety of matters including student debt, tax, medical and general receivables. Robert Schuerger is invested in ensuring the success of his staff and the firm through an emphasis on customer service, performance and accountability.
In addition to his collection and litigation experience, he has spent extensive time in International Business, Government Relations and Business Development. He frequently is a speaker on topics including collection law and best practices. He graduated from The Ohio State University and received his law degree from Capital University and is licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio.


Amanda Bierbrauer, JD, MBA 

is the Director of Student Financial Services & the Financial Wellness Center and the Interim Director or the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships. Student Financial Services provides support to students, faculty, staff, and community partners through providing cashiering services, student accounts, ID card services and non-credit solutions. Prior to joining PSU, Amanda spent 10 years in a variety of accounting roles in private companies. She holds a MBA from Marylhurst University and a Juris Doctorate from Lewis & Clark Law School.


Geri Landwehr

University Bursar, University of Northern Colorado
Geri Landwehr is the Bursar at the University of Northern Colorado.  She has been in higher education for 21 years, 5 years as the State Fund Accountant at the University and the last 16 years as the Bursar.  Prior to that she worked in the K-12 environment.  She has implemented Banner, eBilling, payment plans, and many other initiatives at UNC as well as being the first university in the state to waive out of the State of Colorado’s collection system to be able to use outside agencies to collect Perkins and AR accounts.  She is currently working on many process automation projects to do more with less in our current Higher Ed environment.


Eduardo Mercado

Account Specialist, Washington State University
Ed Mercado is an account specialist lead for the Bursar’s Office at Washington State University. Under the Collections Manager, Ed helps lead the daily operations for the collections team who are tasked with collecting tuition receivables, general receivables, Perkins loans, and institutional loans. During his time at Washington State University, Ed has assisted with implementing efficiencies that improve small daily tasks, to those that greatly affect WSU’s collections practices.  Ed is relatively new to the field, and will be hitting two years with WSU during the PacWest conference.

William Culey

Systems Administrator, Washington State University
William is a System Administrator for Washington State University. William primarily focuses on Project Management and Third-Party integrations as well as system automations to reduce manual work. He also works on Tier-2 Service Desk tickets. William has a BA in Management of Information Systems and just completed his MBA from Washington State University. He has worked on multiple projects for the Bursar’s office such as AR Collect, 1098-Ts, Collection Processes and process automations.


Shay Holmes

is the Associate Bursar overseeing Cashiering Operations at San Francisco State.  In her position she is responsible for the management and oversight of all university cashiering operations activities, as well as various special projects.  She has worked in higher education for three years and prior to this was a bank AVP on the east coast.  This provided her with an extensive background in education and training on finance, operations and customer service.  As a PacWest committee member she is very excited to continue building on her passion of teaching sound financial literacy practices across the higher education industry.


Dena Zlatunich

is a Financial Analyst for Stanford University's Student Financial Services (SFS) and Program Manager for their Third Party Contract invoicing program which services students receiving funding from an external organization or government agency. Prior to joining SFS is 2013, she was a member of Stanford's Student Services Center team overseeing askJane, Stanford's former online community resource. In addition to her full time work, Dena is a core member of Stanford's Intergroup Dialogue team, which aims to provide and facilitate opportunities to VPSA professional staff for learning, dialogue, and collaboration on issues of power, privilege, difference, identity and advocacy. This team is lead by staff, for staff.  Whenever possible, Dena devotes time to volunteer and assist other VPSA communities, such as The Stanford Band, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Office of Religious Life, and more. Outside of Stanford, she spends time with her husband and son watching football, enjoying the outdoors, or just relaxing at home.


Chris Stompanato

Client Relationship Coordinator/Subject Matter Expert. Chris has over 30 years of client consulting/marketing experience with Student Loan Servicing and has been with ECSI for over 14 years.  Prior to joining ECSI, Chris spent 20 years with ACS/Conduent. His resume includes responsibility for managing the partnerships of some of the largest Perkins and campus-based loan schools, a role he has assumed with ECSI. His various positions have provided him with a well-rounded background in outsourcing to institutions in higher education. Chris serves as ECSI's subject matter expert on Perkins and other campus-based loans, 1098-T's, and delinquent receivables. He has given presentations at numerous industry events and has been a COHEAO representative for over 15 years.  Chris is a graduate of the University of Illinois Chicago.


Marisa Martin

is the Associate Director of the Student Fiscal Services office at the University of Washington. Marisa has worked in higher education for over 10 years after 26 years in banking. Her experience has been primarily in customer service, management, finance, and human resources. At UW Marisa manages the Customer Service and Receivables areas in her department - which includes overseeing Collections, Invoice Receivables, Overawards, Outreach/Financial Literacy, Cashiering, and all student accounts billing and payment processes. She is a member of COHEAO, NACUBO, and PACWEST. Marisa earned her degrees from the University of Washington and she is proud to be a Husky!


April Ewing-Miles

is a Supervisor in Student Financial Service at The University of Southern California, where she leads a team of Counselors in the collection of Tuition Receivables, Perkins and Institutional loans. She moved to California from Michigan to be with her children in 2017 and was previously a manager in the Student Accounts Receivable department at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. April has a passion for continuous learning and a heart for helping young women realize their value.


Robyn Bongartz

is the Director of Student & AR Fiscal Operations at Wichita State University. Robyn has been in higher education since 1988. She is proud to have assisted with the implementation of Banner known today as Ellucian and touchnet which is a payment processor. She can relate to the returning adult as she worked full-time when earning her bachelors and masters. On a personal note, she has been married for 27 years and has 3 children. Derrick graduated from WSU with a Communications degree; Samantha is graduating from WSU with a teaching degree; Brett is graduating from high school. She finds PacWest SFS innovative and motivating. Her mom, Connie, also enjoys it, as she is Robyn’s traveling companion.


Megin Soriano

is the Interim Bursar at Caltech in the city of Pasadena, California. She has worked in higher education for 19 years as the Student Account Manager and just recently took on the role as the Interim Bursar. Her passion is, helping and collaborating with others to build a successful business and work environment. She believes that developing strong relationships is the foundation to everything she does, both professionally and personally. Megin is excited to be part of the PacWest committee and looks forward to serving during the next two years.