Ryan Swartz, alumnus of 2000, delivered the keynote address about the progression of success. Swartz is a wealth manager with Creative Planning in Overland Park, Kan., where he posted a firm-best $270 million in new client assets in just 15 months. In 2013, he was named a member of Ingram’s Magazine’s “40 Under Forty” list of civic-minded business executives in the region. Prior to Creative Planning, Swartz was one of the youngest employees to make vice president during his eight-year tenure at Fidelity Investments
“Success without a process is luck,” he said. “Create your own culture of success.” His advice was to plan for success in three steps. First, start at the entry level and work hard. “The role does not define the individual,” he explained.
Second, find a mentor and be a mentor. Referencing Tom Rath’s and Donald O. Clifton’s book “How Full is Your Bucket?” Swartz encouraged students to surround themselves with positive influences and to be positive influencers themselves.
Third, seize opportunities before they are required by being proactive. “As Seneca said, ‘luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,’” said Swartz.
After the keynote, panel presentations were held with alumni speakers. The accounting, business strategy, and technology panel included Steve Poage, class of 1990, of Topeka, Kan., with the Kansas Hospital Association; Darren Anderson, class of 2005, of Hesston, Kan., with Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd; and Julie Fritz, class of 1983, of Lee’s Summit, Mo., with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
The banking and finance panel included Bob Kobbeman, class of 1978, of Topeka, Kan., with Capital City Bank; Justin Carlson, class of 2000, of Wichita, Kan., with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans; and Amy Lindal, class of 1999, of Dodge City, Kan., with Dodge City Harley-Davidson and Dodge City Powersports.
The management and human relations panel included Greg Lundstrom, class of 1977, of Lindsborg with Rural Health Insights; Bryan Clark, class of 2002, of Salina, Kan., with Salina Vortex Corp.; and Laura Luft, class of 1986, of La Crosse, Kan., with Hewlett-Packard.
The sales, marketing, and customer service panel included Brenton Anderson, class of 2000, of Salina, Kan., with Salina Vortex Corp.; Bruce Texley, class of 1965, of Plainfield, Ill., who is self-employed; and Nicole Felker, class of 2013, of Lindsborg with the Salina Bombers Professional Indoor Football Team.
The small business management and entrepreneurship panel included Dennis Blomberg, class of 1975, of Lindsborg with Viking Auto Supply; Amy Kay Pavlovich, class of 1997, of Lindsborg with Connected—A Fair Trade Store; and Aaron Walker, class of 1999, of Pratt, Kan., with A-R Roofing.
The sports management panel included Korey Torgerson, class of 1994, of Andover, Kan., with the Wichita State University Intercollegiate Athletic Association; and Bill Yates, class of 1993, of Fort Worth, Texas, with Sports Advisory Group.
In 1983, the first Bethany College Business Career Conference was held to give students added knowledge about career opportunities in business fields. The Business Career Conference has been a traditional campus event every other year on the Thursday prior to Hyllningsfest/Homecoming weekend to begin festivities. Since the first conference, more than 250 alumni volunteers have willingly returned to Bethany to speak about their career paths with interested students and staff. The conference is jointly sponsored by the Business Department and student Business Club.
Members of the Business Career Conference planning committee included co-chairs Kelli Traffas, senior in accounting with a math minor, and Jordan Dahlke, senior in accounting and management; Jeremiah Gerardy, senior in finance; DaJuan Bunch, senior in accounting and finance; Brandon Schultz, junior in management and marketing; Afton Lutters, junior in accounting and finance; Danielle Pounds, junior in marketing; Seth Nelson, junior in finance; Megan Schottler, junior in marketing and management; Bethany Elmquist, junior in marketing; Brett Crome, sophomore in accounting; Joe Wolf, sophomore in accounting and finance; Assistant Professor David Frost; and Assistant Professor Denise Peterson.