Awards Recognize Outstanding Financial Management Leadership

Posted: January 5, 2015

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

ST. PAUL, Minn., January 5, 2015 – Several teams and individuals at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities were recently recognized for excellence in financial management leadership during 2014.

“These awards go to the often unsung heroes on our campuses – leaders who are dedicated to the health and success of our colleges and universities,” said Chancellor Steven Rosenstone. “They have provided innovative solutions to seemingly intractable problems. I am particularly impressed by how many of this year’s winners worked as teams to collaborate on complex challenges.”

The Chancellor’s Award is presented to individuals or teams whose efforts support the MnSCU Strategic Framework and result in systemwide improvements in financial management, services, or processes. Award criteria focused on innovation, collaboration, and new work that is above and beyond regular duties. This year, the Chancellor’s Award was presented to:

Rick Straka, Vice President for Finance and Administration
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Bill Maki, Vice President for Finance and Administration
Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College

Outstanding Service Awards are presented to individuals or teams who provide outstanding service at the campus level. Award criteria focused on those who have made significant systemwide contributions that warrant recognition. This year, Outstanding Service Awards were presented to:

Budget Committee
Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College

Finance Staff
Dakota Community & Technical College

Finance Staff
Inver Hills Community College

Lori Voss, CFO and Vice President of Administration
Minnesota West Community & Technical College

Helen Wenner, Purchasing Card Coordinator
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Debra Norman, Accounting Officer
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Steve Smith, Associate Vice President for Budget and Business Services
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Business Office Team
Saint Paul College

Deb Kerkaert, Vice President for Finance and Administration
Southwest Minnesota State University

Business Office and Financial Aid Teams
St. Cloud Technical & Community College

The Chancellor’s Award and the Outstanding Service Award were first presented in 1997 and publicly recognize outstanding contributions of college and university employees who work in financial management.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities include 24 two-year community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving more than 410,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system of its kind in the United States.