COB names 2016 outstanding employees

| Gretchen Hutterli

Three University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire College of Business employees have been recognized for their contributions to the college in the areas of coaching, culture of caring, and creativity and innovation.

  • Dr. Scott Lester, professor of management in the Department of Management and Marketing, is the recipient of the 2016 College of Business Coaching Award. The award is presented to an employee who improved the performance of students, faculty, and staff through effective guidance, advising, or mentoring.
  • Tiffany Weiss, career services and external activities coordinator for the College of Business, is the 2016 Recipient of the Culture of Caring Award. This award is presented to an individual who consistently demonstrated outstanding personal and professional service to COB employees, students, and/or their parents.
  • Kevin Meinholz, enrollment and retention coordinator in the MBA Office, is the recipient of the 2016 College of Business Creativity and Innovation Award. The award is presented to a faculty or staff member who develop new or improved processes that allowed the college to operate more effectively and/or better serve its students and other stakeholders. 

Interim Dean Tim Vaughan presented each recipient with an award and $500 at a college-wide meeting held August 24. The awards were funded by gifts made by alumni through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation. 


2016 Award Recipients

Coaching Award, Dr. Scott Lester, Department of Management and Marketing

Scott Lester has all the characteristics of a great workplace coach: he is an outstanding teacher, mentor and cheerleader. About Lester, one nominator wrote:

“Scott’s enthusiastic and positive attitude is contagious. He goes out of his way to create a warm and welcoming environment. He serves as a positive role model to us all.”

Lester regularly volunteers as a mentor to tenure track employees in the Department of Management and Marketing. He generously shares his time and extensive knowledge with them and encourages them to grow and excel. He takes the initiative to stop by their offices “just to see how things are going”. He also schedules formal one-on-one meetings with them to discuss their research or teaching. And when they have a success, Lester is always the first person to recognize their hard work by offering congratulations. He also understands the importance of camaraderie and collegiality as he coordinates social events and gatherings for them and other department faculty and staff.

In addition to the guidance Lester provides faculty and staff, Lester is also a wonderful mentor to his students. He inspires students in his community service class to become servant leaders. As the faculty advisor to the Society for Human Resource Management, Lester spends countless hours helping students prepare for the HR certification exam—an exam that his students have consistently scored 20-30% higher than the national pass rate. 

Culture of Caring Award, Tiffany Weiss, College of Business Dean’s Office

The Culture of Caring Award is presented to an individual who makes the College of Business a more inviting place to work, learn, or visit. Tiffany Weiss is that person. She quickly builds a rapport with the faculty, staff and students she works with, and always puts their needs at the top of her priority list.

As an academic adviser, Tiffany goes above and beyond the requirements of her job description to make a difference in students’ lives. She takes the time to know them—even going as far as to attend their sports events. She actively works to ensure that every student is enrolled for the correct courses and that they graduate in a timely manner. Of special note this past year was the extra guidance and assistance she gave to a young, terminally ill business student which enabled her to complete her bachelor’s degree.

About Weiss, one nominator wrote:

“Tiffany genuinely cares about every single student she works with. She recognizes that students respond to different approaches, and not only has a warm, personable, empathetic style with students in person and over email, but she has reworked many advising tools which again allow both her, other advisors, and students to better and more efficiently help themselves.”

Nominators also cited several examples of how Tiffany created a welcoming and supportive environment for new College of Business faculty and staff by taking on extra advisees so the new advisers could adjust to their positions without feeling overwhelmed, and coordinating a bowling league with the new advisors to make sure they got to know each other. 

Creativity and Innovation Award, Kevin Meinholz, MBA Office

Kevin Meinholz loves solving problems and finding ways to serve MBA students better. Almost immediately after he joined the MBA/iDocs team in 2014, he started exploring ways he could help improve its internal processes and reporting capabilities.

About Meinholz, one nominator wrote:

“I’m no longer surprised to see an email from Kevin at 3 a.m. exclaiming, ‘Check this out!’ because he had been working on finding a fix for something we had discussed earlier in the day and he just couldn’t let it go until he had figured it out.”

One of Meinholz’s “fixes” included developing an enrollment management process with Consortium and Alliance partner schools to ensure that students who are waitlisted on each campus, especially those students who need a class to graduate, were able to enroll in unused seats. This process of “seat swapping” has given more students access to the classes they need. It has also resulted in an increased enrollment average in both online programs, which has generated an additional $200,000+ in Consortium tuition alone.

Meinholz has also connected PeopleSoft queries with the iDocs student enrollment, and improved the way iDocs connects to its Sharepoint site during the online tuition revenue settlement process. Both “fixes” have saved staff many hours of work and helped to eliminate errors. He also recently ted the redesign of the MBA Consortium website. The new design has streamlined navigation, and improved the accuracy of the information posted on the site and the efficiency in which it is posted.