Meet Our Speakers

Ellen Babbitt, Partner, Husch Blackwell LLP

Ellen has devoted 30 of her 38 years of law practice to the field of higher education law.  Since 2000, she has focused upon counseling Boards, leadership, staff, and faculty committees in navigating the unique compliance and shared governance obligations of educational institutions.  Ellen’s experience includes representation of institutions, committees, and individuals in governance disputes, agency investigations, Title IX and ADA matters, free speech and academic freedom controversies, program reductions, and faculty dismissal proceedings.  She speaks and publishes widely on issues of higher education risk management and has been a longtime presenter at ABACC conferences.

Rick Beyer, Chief Executive Officer, Lumerit Education

Rick Beyer has a unique combination of experience in higher education and business. A former college president and board governance chair, successful technology CEO and senior operating executive of a $1 billion public company, Rick has consistently been at the forefront of industry-leading initiatives and has a successful history of leading organizations through change and growth.

Gary Bishop, Manager, BKD, LLP

As a member of BKD National Higher Education Group, Gary serves as the manager for numerous audits for colleges and universities as well as various not-for-profit entities.  He also has authored several articles related to the outlook of the higher education industry, as well as led trainings on the implementation of the recent changes affecting reporting for not-for-profit entities. Gary is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and Indiana CPA Society.

Paul Blair, Vice President of Finance / CFO, Grace College and Seminary

Paul Blair is the Vice President of Financial Affairs and Chief Financial Officer of Grace College and Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana.  Paul is the senior administrator responsible for the financial condition and integrity of Grace, overseeing its operational and capital budgets, revenues and expenditures, debt, business plans, forecasts, and the overall financial improvement initiatives of the institution.  In addition, Paul is responsible for operations, IT, capital projects, contracts, food service and special events. Prior to joining Grace in 2013, Paul founded IROutsourced LLC, an Investor Relations, Strategic Planning and Financial Services consulting firm in Warsaw, Indiana.  Prior to creating his own firm, he served as Vice President, Investor Relations for Zimmer Holdings, Inc.  In that capacity, Paul was responsible for the development and execution of Zimmer’s global investor relations program.  He was the primary contact for all interaction with sell-side and buy-side analysts and investors from around the world. Paul has 33 years of experience in Investor Relations, Finance and Accounting.  Prior to joining Zimmer, he was the Vice President, Strategic Planning & Development with Owens & Minor, Inc. He entered investor relations in 1996 while working for Illinova, formerly Illinois Power Company in Decatur, Illinois. He currently serves as a board member for the Anthony Wayne Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and KOSCO Conservation Club.  Paul was formerly a Steering Committee member of the Senior Roundtable of NIRI (National Investor Relations Institute).  He has served as a board member and provided strategic planning consulting for several organizations, including Eastern Illinois University’s School of Business, the Heart of Virginia Council of the Boy Scouts of America, The Carver Promise (a Richmond student mentoring program), Safe Harbor (a Virginia organization that provides shelter for domestic violence victims), The Partnership for People With Disabilities and the Shady Grove YMCA in Glen Allen, VA.  Paul was the 2013 Eastern Illinois University – School of Business Distinguished Alumnus. Paul and his wife, Jan, celebrated their 30th anniversary in June of this year.  They live in Warsaw, Indiana and have two adult sons that also live in the Warsaw area.

Russell Bray, Director of Physical Plant, Calvin College

Russell serves as the Director of Physical Plant at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI.

Fran Brown, Partner & Professional Practice Leader, CapinCrouse LLP

Fran has more than 30 years of experience providing audit and management consulting services to a variety of nonprofit entities, including colleges and universities, churches, and large nonprofit organizations. His expertise includes strategic planning, budgeting, financial statement preparation, exempt-organization tax filing, real property sales and leases, board training, and enterprise risk management (ERM) training.

Dan Campbell, Partner, CapinCrouse LLP

Dan has more than 30 years of public accounting experience leading audit engagements of nonprofit organizations and for-profit industries. He has served on the Board of Trustees of Davis College since 1993. Prior to joining the firm in 2006, Dan managed audits of financial institutions, construction contractors, and manufacturers. 

Cam Cruikshank, Executive Vice President, Madonna University

Cam Cruickshank, Ph.D. is the Executive Vice President at Madonna University. His portfolio includes finance and administration, facilities management, information technology, enrollment management, and marketing. Prior to his work at Madonna, Dr. Cruickshank served as Vice President for Enrollment Management and Online Education at The University of Toledo. He began his career in higher education at Tiffin University where he held leadership positions in student affairs, admissions, financial aid, institutional research, and intercollegiate athletics. As Vice President for Enrollment Management he increased Tiffin’s student body by 128 percent. A native of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Cam holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Windsor, a Master of Education from Bowling Green State University, a Master of Business Administration from Tiffin University and a doctoral degree in higher education administration from The University of Toledo.  Dr. Cruickshank’s higher education career embodies the Franciscan tradition of Christian humanistic values, intellectual inquiry, respect for diversity, and a commitment to serving others, especially as an advocate for student’s personal, professional, and spiritual growth. 

Tim Dietz, Vice President for Finance / CFO, Greenville University

In his role at Greenville University, Tim is responsible for finance, human resources and facilities. He earned his B.S. in Accounting from Greenville University and his M.B.A. from Emporia State University. He and his wife, Elisabeth, have four children, Micah, Ezekiel, Joeli, and Elisha. In his free time he enjoys working with youth and singing.

Ryan Dudley, GIS Professional, Symbiont

Ryan is a technology professional at Symbiont, a science, engineering and construction firm in in Milwaukee, WI.

Josh Fischer, President, Progressus Education Services, LLC

Dr. Joshua Fischer has spent the majority of his career in higher education-focused work and doctoral level teaching.  In the past he served as the Director of Distance Education at Oral Roberts University (ORU) in Tulsa.  Following his time at ORU, he served in various capacities in the business sector including executive roles.   Dr. Fischer went on to serve as the regional dean of Indiana Wesleyan University’s (IWU) Cleveland Campus.   During that time, he was also the interim Regional Dean for the Louisville, KY campus for IWU.  He then served as the President of World Harvest Bible College/Valor Christian College and Superintendent of Harvest Preparatory Academy.  In addition to his time as an administrator, Dr. Fischer maintained his status as faculty at several institutions teaching in Master and Doctoral level programs.  While he is now retired from teaching, he previously taught for Capella University, Northcentral University, Indiana Wesleyan University, University of Phoenix, and Walden University.   Within these institutions, he primarily taught curriculum, instructional design, and research, and mentored comprehensive examination and dissertation students. Currently, Dr. Fischer serves as President & CEO for InterLearn Education Services and President of Progressus Education Services.  InterLearn primarily focuses on helping schools develop their adult and online programming.  Progressus is a quality management training and consulting firm and affiliate partner of the Quality Management Institute.  Joshua’s Ph.D. program through Oklahoma State University was in Applied Behavioral Studies/Educational Psychology with emphases in curriculum, adult and distance education, gifted and talented education, and research.  His master’s in Educational Administration is through Oral Roberts University.  He also has a bachelor’s in Pastoral Care/Theology from Oral Roberts University.  Dr. Fischer’s current research interests include personal financial management for the college/university student, millennial and postmodern students, gifted and talented education within private, Christian, and home school environments, adult and distance education, and entrepreneurship.  For leisure activities, Dr. Fischer stays active.  He enjoys lifting weights, running, golf, basketball, reading, paintball, movies, and playing the drums.  Most importantly, Dr. Fischer is a family man with a beautiful wife, two daughters, and a son.

Tim Fuller, Senior Vice President / Owner, Credo

Tim brings subject-area expertise to enrollment, research and strategic planning as a member of Credo’s Executive Leadership team.  In his role, Tim is the firm’s primary collaborator within the Christian higher education marketplace leading strategic planning projects and consulting with independent colleges and universities in the areas of enrollment, research and comprehensive projects. Tim is a frequent conference speaker with a variety of Christian higher education organizations on topics of strategic planning, enrollment, research and the future of the independent higher education landscape. He is a strategic partner on enrollment research ( for the North American Coalition for Christian Admission Professionals (NACCAP). Tim was a Senior Research Fellow at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and in 2015 was named a Senior Fellow by the Association for Biblical Higher Education in appreciation for his contributions to their professional development curriculum and conferences. Tim has been in higher education and consulting since 1980.  Prior to joining Credo, he served at Houghton College for 27 years, the last 15 on the senior cabinet, supervising admission, student financial services, and church relations, in addition to coordinating student persistence efforts. Tim earned a B.A. from Houghton College and an M.B.A. at State University of New York at Buffalo.

Ashley Green, Vice President of Business Administration and CFO, The King's University

Mrs. Ashley Green currently serves as the Vice President of Business Administration and Chief Financial Officer at The King’s University in Southlake, Texas.  At TKU, Mrs. Green is responsible for Finance, Student Financial Services, Legal & Compliance, Risk Management, Operations, and the Campus Store for the University. Mrs. Green holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from University of Texas at Arlington and is currently a graduate student at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill completing her MBA.  She is a licensed CPA in Texas. Mrs. Green spent the first 9 years of her career in public accounting where she worked in audit and tax, but spent majority of her time performing CFO contract work. She has found a love and passion for higher education while serving The King’s University over the last 5 years. Mrs. Green is an avid runner. She spends her off time with her husband and their two children often enjoying sporting events. 

Kim Hadley, Vice President for Finance & Administration, John Brown University

Kim is the Vice President for Finance and Administration at John Brown University.  She joined JBU as the Organizational Management Program Director, after serving as an adjunct instructor for eight years in the adult degree completion program. Since that time, she has also served as a faculty member in the Division of Business, Director of Professional Studies Faculty Development and Learning Assessment, and Chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee. Prior to joining JBU, she had a career in public accounting and internal audit. She is a member of the Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants. She earned her BSBA in accounting and MBA from the University of Arkansas, and she holds a doctorate in marketing from Anderson University, in Anderson, Indiana.  Kim currently serves on the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) CFO Commission, and she previously served as chair. She also completed a three-year term on the Small Institution Council for the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), and she currently serves on the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) Standards Advisory Committee. She and her husband, Kelly, have two adult children, Savannah and Will.

Rob Hartman, Chief Financial Officer, Columbia International University

Rob Hartman assumed the role of CFO for Columbia International University in 2017. Prior to that he served as the CFO and CHRO for Ohio Christian University, having served in that role for almost twelve years. Prior to serving at OCU, he served as the Executive Director of Finance for Indiana Wesleyan University’s College of Adult & Professional Studies, and the College of Graduate Studies. Before that he served as Vice President and Business Manager for Union Bible College in central Indiana. In addition to his experience in higher education, he served as a pastor in the cities of Indianapolis, Columbus, and Lafayette, Indiana, and worked in the for-profit corporate world for more than 12 years. He earned a Bachelor’s in Religious Education from Union Bible College in 1979 and a Master of Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2000. Rob has been married to the former Joy Ann Emery for nearly 42 years, has one gorgeous and talented daughter, a brilliant and dedicated son-in-law, and an adorable almost twelve-year-old granddaughter.

Mary Lynne Kniley, Chief Financial Officer, Elim Bible Institute 

Originally from apple farming country in Western New York State, Mary Lynne Kniley earned her Bachelor's Degree from Penn State University's Harrisburg campus in 1993, graduating with Highest Distinction. She later returned to that same Penn State campus for her Master's Degree in Business Administration, graduating in 2007. Her career spans more than 40 years, from entry level bookkeeping positions in the 1970's and lots of practical experience through the 1980's and 90's. She went into public accounting in 1993, first with KPMG in their Harrisburg PA office, then with Miller & Miller CPA's, a regional firm in Lancaster County, PA. After more than six years of auditing and tax work, both corporate and personal, she transitioned to K-12 education and spent 16 years with Hempfield School District in Lancaster County, PA. She retired in 2015 as the Director of Finance at Hempfield, and relocated to western New York. She now serves as the Chief Financial Officer of Elim Bible Institute and College, a small Bible school where we seek to train and equip Christ-centered, spirit empowered leaders for global revival. As of 2019, she has been planning, implementing and managing education budgets for almost 20 years. Her interests include family time, reading, hiking and exploring state and national parks, as well as any other travel she can fit into her busy schedule.

Roger Marks, Government Leader, C2AE

Roger serves as a Project Manager and Senior Associate at C2AE, a full-service architecture, engineering and infrastructure Higher Ed design firm in Grand Rapids, MI.

Joe Mattia, Director - Retirement Plan Advisory Services, RSM US Wealth Management, LLC

Joe is an experienced retirement plan consultant dedicated to helping small and middle market business clients mitigate fiduciary risk while preparing themselves and their employees for retirement. Joe has working in the investment and retirement industry for more than 20 years. In his current role, Joe delivers advice and consultation regarding retirement matters, including
investment advisory, fiduciary compliance, plan design, fee benchmarking and more. His professional affiliations and credentials include FINRA 65 License (Uniform Investment Advisor) and holds an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® designation from the Center for Fiduciary Studies.  Joe earned his Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences from Illinois State University.

Drumm McNaughton, Chief Executive Officer, The Change Leader

Dr. Drumm McNaughton is CEO of The Change Leader Inc., and a pioneer in strategic management systems, governance and leadership. McNaughton is one of a select group with executive experience in academe, nonprofits, government, and business. His change initiatives and counsel have resulted in more than $500 million in revenues to organizations’ bottom lines. 
Drumm McNaughton has worked with an impressive roster of people and organizations that include King Saud; the Capella, Chapman, Central Michigan, and Trident Universities; EC-Council; Los Angeles Unified School District; the US Air Force and US Navy; the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Fortune 500 companies including Dell Computer and DuPont; the chair and CEO of the US standards body for management consultants; and the mission/aircraft commander for Navy reconnaissance aircraft. Dr. McNaughton earned his PhD and MA degrees from the Fielding Graduate Institute and his BS degree from the US Naval Academy.  He has been named Chair Emeritus and Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants USA, and a Governance Fellow by the National Association of Corporate Directors. 

Dave Moja, Partner, CapinCrouse LLP

Dave Moja is a partner and Professional Practice Leader - Tax at the accounting firm of CapinCrouse LLP.  His areas of expertise include tax and accounting; financial and UBIT consulting; and higher education metrics, reporting and development of alternative revenue sources. Dave is dedicated to meeting client needs in the exempt organization tax arena through review of client returns, consulting engagements, training, and the compilation of his firm's annual Higher Education Tax Reporting Trends Project. With his 29 years of accounting experience, Dave has worked both inside nonprofit organizations and for public accounting firms, including PriceWaterhouseCoopers, BKD LLP, and RSM. Dave is known as the "go-to" guy for tax, and in his spare time dabbles in farming in the State of Georgia.

Dee Mooney, VP/CFO, Toccoa Falls College

Dee’s professional experience includes public accounting, corporate accounting/tax, denominational financial management and thirty years in Christian Higher Education. She is a CPA with a BBA from Baylor University, a MA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and a DEdMin from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dee and her husband, Tim, are the parents of two grown children and grandparents of two. Outside of her work schedule, Dee enjoys morning coffee dates and watching movies with her husband.

Stephen Popp, Director of Budgeting & Financial Analysis, Cornerstone University

Stephen Popp earned his bachelor’s degree in Accounting from SUNY Geneseo in 1996.  His passion for the Word of God brought him to Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, where he earned a Master of Divinity in 2001.  The highlight of his studies was a six-week study trip to Israel and Jordan.  Stephen has worked for Cornerstone University for the past 20 years and currently serves as the Director of Budgeting and Financial Analysis.  In this role, he functions as the financial “eyes” of the institution and provides data to support the decision-making process.  Stephen earned his CMA designation in 2013 and was featured in the back-story article of NACUBO Magazine in 2015. During the summer of 2016, Stephen published his first book, A Revelation to the Church: A Call for the Endurance and Faith of the Saints ( His book provides a practical, exegetical approach for reading the book of Revelation.  In his free time, Stephen enjoys reading, spending time with his family, and playing racquetball with coworkers.

Winters Richwine, Principal & Chief Operating Officer, Cornerstone Management

Winters Richwine is a Cornerstone Principal and serves as Chief Operating Officer of the firm.  In this role, Mr. Richwine develops and implements firm initiatives regarding process and efficiency. He also supports the portfolio management and charitable trust tax teams. In these fields, his coverage areas include portfolio construction/asset allocation, manager diligence, client presentations, and charitable trust tax preparation. Mr. Richwine has been a speaker at the Christian Leadership Alliance (CLA) Outcomes Conference, Denominational Investors & Loan Administrators (DILA) Conference, and Lifestyle Giving training events. Mr. Richwine began his career in the financial services industry in 2005 as a Staff Auditor at Deloitte with a focus on utilities companies. He then joined SunTrust Robinson Humphrey as an Investment Banking Analyst where he analyzed CDOs and asset securitization transactions. After earning his MBA, Mr. Richwine joined Raymond James (formerly Morgan Keegan) as an Investment Banking Associate where he managed merger and acquisition transactions across multiple industries. Before coming to Cornerstone in 2013, Mr. Richwine was a Finance Manager at Home Depot and led the sales and gross margin planning process for the company's US stores.

Adam Smith, Partner, BKD, LLP

Adam is a member of BKD National Higher Education Group and the BKD Center of Excellence
for Higher Education. He has more than 14 years of experience providing assurance services to numerous higher education institutions and other not-for-profit organizations. His time in practice also includes significant involvement in providing audit services in accordance with Government Auditing Standards and Uniform Guidance. His experience includes implementing new Financial Accounting Standards Board pronouncements, performing program economic and margin analysis; other operational reviews and risk assessments, significant financial and benchmarking analyses, internal audit engagements and assisting with compliance issues. He also has served as an instructor for firmwide training on student financial assistance compliance audits. He has served more than 20 higher education institutions and currently works with 14 institutions on an annual basis. He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and Indiana CPA Society. He currently serves on the finance committee and board at Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana. He also reads to elementary classes throughout the year as part of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana’s Real Men Read program. Adam is a magna cum laude graduate of Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, with a B.S. degree in

Joe Spiteri, President, 2i Technology

Dr. Joseph Spiteri is founder/President of 2iTechnology, an international software company, which has grown through innovation and acquisition.  In 2017, 2iT acquired EDC Technology (CampusAnyware Student Information Systems for small to mid-size Colleges, many faith-based) and began investing in and updating its software, while also introducing innovative solutions especially in Finance.  Dr. Spiteri has an undergraduate degree (Sydney University), Masters in Financial Management and Marketing (New South Wales University), and Doctorate of Business Administration in Marketing Research (Nova Southeastern University).  Dr. Spiteri is also an educator.  His love of education and entrepreneurial drive has grown 2iT from start-up to multi-national. Joseph also has his own privately funded Charitable Foundation which provides 20,000+ pairs of socks annually, mostly thermal socks for the homeless in cold cities like Chicago, Minneapolis, Detroit and so on. Dr. Spiteri has a publication: “Customer value, overall satisfaction, end-user loyalty, and market performance in detail intensive industries in the Industrial Marketing Management. Vol 33. Issue 8. 

Mark Steranka, Partner, Moss Adams LLP

Mark Steranka is a Partner with Moss Adams and leads the firm’s Business Consulting Group. He has over 30 years of experience working with businesses, governments, and not-for-profit organizations, including colleges and universities. His areas of expertise include strategic planning, succession planning, and management, organizational, and operational assessments. 

Scott Stewart, Interim CFO/Controller, Cornerstone University

Scott Stewart has served in the Accounting & Finance office at Cornerstone University for almost 32 years.  He graduated from Cornerstone University in 1987 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration & Accounting and immediately began working as the Business Office Manager.  He earned his MBA degree from Grand Valley State University in 1992 and took on the role of Accounting Manager & Director of Human Resources.   In 1997, he turned over the Human Resources duties to a new full-time director to begin his role as the Controller.   Starting in 2009, he spent 3 ½ years as Controller & Director of Student Financial Services where he supervised the financial aid and student account functions.  In 2013, his title changed to Controller & Compliance Coordinator taking on the responsibilities of coordinating federal regulations across campus departments and risk management.  In January, 2019, he assumed the role of Interim CFO/Controller.

Rick Taphorn, Vice President of Finance and Enrollment, Bryan College

Rick Taphorn has served as a Vice President at Bryan College since 2012. He oversees the financial operation of the college as well as enrollment management, information technology, human resources, marketing, career services, and strategic planning. He is a member of the President’s Executive Cabinet. Previously Rick served at Missouri Baptist University as Director of Financial Services (2011-2012) and at Bryan College as Director of Financial Aid (2007-2011) and Assistant Director of Financial Aid (2005-2007). He began his career in higher education at Tennessee Temple University as a Financial Aid Counselor (2004-2005). Rick earned a MBA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Tennessee Temple University. Actively involved in his church, Silverdale Baptist Church, he currently serves as small group leader. He and his wife, Roanna, live in Ooltewah, Tennessee, and have two children.

Jason Todd, Vice President for Finance, Baptist Bible College

Mr. Jason Todd has served as Business Officer at Baptist Bible College in Springfield, MO since November of 2012 and was promoted to Vice President for Finance in May of 2017. Previous to that he served as the Business Manager for the National Church Planting Office of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International for ten years, managing finances and helping churches as well as other 501©3 religious organizations with their finances, financial problem resolution, fundraising, and loan acquisition. Mr. Todd has also taught History and Bible in a Christian School and was the Principal for four years.  He has three years experience as an Executive Pastor.  Mr. Todd is a 1994 graduate of Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri and graduated with a Masters degree from Louisiana Baptist University in 2000. He, his wife Candi, and their three children (Jared, Morgan, and Justin), currently live in Nixa, MO where he enjoys sports, teaching grow groups in his local church, and continuing to help churches, especially church planters, whenever he can. 

Jon Tonkowich, Executive Vice President, Wyoming Catholic College

Jon has worked at Wyoming Catholic College since 2009, and is proud to personally know every graduate of the College. He started as Dean of Students before moving into the Advancement Office, and has a passion for spreading Catholic liberal education and studying the Great Books. He is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College and Leadership Wyoming. Prior to working at Wyoming Catholic College, Jon managed a sales office, founded a pro-life organization, and worked on Capitol Hill. Jon lives in Lander with his wife Emily and their three children, and is an avid reader, outdoorsman, and sports fan.

Robert Wheeler, Vice President of Services, Dynamic Campus

Robert Wheeler serves as Vice President of Services with Dynamic Campus. In this role, Robert draws on more than 25 years of higher education experience to ensure that our partner institutions receive the exact blend of skills and support they need to tackle their toughest challenges. Robert is responsible for mentoring Dynamic Campus’s CIOs and senior IT leaders, as well as fostering an environment that enables our teams to be successful in supporting the institutions that they serve. Robert also serves as a trusted strategic advisor to the senior leaders of our partner institutions, identifying continuous improvement opportunities and innovative initiatives that enable colleges and universities to do more with less and achieve their strategic goals. To complete these duties, Robert relies on his deep experience as an IT leader in higher education, including serving as the CIO for the University of Mary; General Manager managing multiple client site engagements for a higher education managed service provider; supporting more than 40 colleges and universities across North and South America for a strategic services vendor; and serving as the CIO at Delta College in Bay City, Michigan. Robert holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Engineering from the Ohio Institute of Technology.

Tom Wiersma, Business Development, C2AE

Tom works in the business development area of C2AE, a full-service architecture, engineering and infrastructure Higher Ed design firm located in Grand Rapids, MI.