Bishop Ward High School

Academy of Finance Leadership Conference

The students were joined by volunteers from various industries and had an opportunity to put into practice the business skills they are gaining from the program.

The keynote speaker was Matthew Druten ’88 who is the co-founder and managing director of Edison Spaces.  Highlights of Matt’s talk included an emphasis on the importance of the ability to interact with people. 

 “85% of a person’s success lies in their ability to communicate and interact with others. You must work on true relationships with people and really listen to what they say,” said Druten.

He encouraged the students to FOCUS on what they want to do and make connections to make that happen. He also stressed reading and being informed about the world around them.  It was an amazing and positive dialogue with the students and adults who were in attendance.

The students then attended three break-out sessions.  One was a one-on-one with our volunteer guests who critiqued the students resume, listened to their personal branding statements, and communicated with the students regarding theirs interests and future plans.

Another breakout session was conducted by Mr. Geoff Holton ’90, President at Sassafras Marketing, Inc.  Geoff gave a dynamic and energetic presentation regarding social networking/social media and how to market yourself in a positive manner. He presented examples and engaged the students in very relevant context.   

The third break-out session was presented by (James) Zac Jarrad, a graduate student at Park University and the President of the Business and Investment Club.  He provided a comprehensive presentation on the basics of banking, credit, and investing.  Students appreciated the information as they prepare for college and the work world.

The conference concluded with an etiquette luncheon.  The students were treated to a formal three-course lunch as presenters Cindy Heiman and Jeff Nessehuf taught proper etiquette during a formal meal but also in the workplace.  Students learned about dress styles, greetings, appropriate conversations and then were able to practice proper luncheon etiquette.  Volunteers sat with the students to help practice proper etiquette and fielded questions about manners as well as college and career advice.

The adult volunteers presented students with a valuable opportunity to network and receive positive and constructive feedback.  The students made many connections and the volunteer’s presence was much appreciated.

Thanks to all who came out!

Advisory Board Members :

Zach Dehaemers

Rich Delaney

Suzanne Tidwell – Marriott

Cassie Meschke – KPMG

Trish Messick – Argus Health

Paul Van Erem – Enterprise Bank & Trust

Robin Wells – Country Club Bank

Cindy Heiman


Jeff Nesselhuf – AOF Instructor

Kevin O’Brien – AOF Instructor

Chris Sinclair – AOF Instructor

Maggie Mohrfeld – Development Director

Lori Dowd – AOF Director



Hilary (Nahajzer) Cindrich ’01 –Children’s Therapy Services

Jenny Orth Meyers ’96 – District Court JWYCO

Ronny Williams ’88 –Adjunct Professor of Business

Payton Fraley - CRB

Patrick McMonigle –Sheraton

Lori Mathews –Hilton Airport

Jordan Carlisle –Marriott Downtown

Paige Southard –Residence Inn

Jermain Jamison –Jamison Perry, LLC

Rusty McGill - Premier Techm INC.

Billi Kiester –Robert Half

Todd Weneck – Parker & Lynch

Roger Crown - Cerner

Debbie Ramirez – DEG Digital

Owais Nazire - KPMG

Jacob Pane- KPMG

Mary Nebel- KPMG

Rich Nelson- KPMG

Monica Cobbs- KPMG