Listee Features — Finance


Always a community-oriented person, Elizabeth A. Williams, PhD, wanted to do things in the arenas she entered in. In her time, there was not much emphasis when it came to women in business or government. She currently serves as the chief executive officer of Ultimate Vacations Inc., a well-respected lodging wholesale service. Dr. Williams began her professional career as the manpower coordinator of federal programs for the U.S. government in San Francisco before serving as a patient service representative with the Health Care Service in Oakland, California. Consulting in insurance and real estate, she then served as president of Investments Unlimited in Oakland and EWJ & Associates Marketing Firm. Following this, she was the planning commissioner for the City of

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Rev. Dr. Eula DeWitt, EA, PhD, DD, is proud to have served the IRS faithfully for more than three decades. The bureau allowed her to combine her passion for corporate America with her God-given gift for education, which thrilled her. She strongly believes that people are the greatest thing ever created; she always enjoys being of service to others. Dr. DeWitt started out as a field agent in 1981, the same year she graduated from the City University of New York with a Bachelor of Science in accounting and economics, and she remained in the position for the duration of her time there. Over the years, she also served as part of the organization’s Public Speakers Bureau and as an

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Lorraine Avery


Working across various business lines with key executives, as well as business line leaders, Lorraine Avery recently retired from her positions as senior vice president, strategic director of bank operations, and diversity and inclusion consultant with Associated Banc-Corp in 2017, previously serving in these positions since 1976. During this time, she also served the company as senior vice president and director of contract center operations from 1998 to 2014, in which she was responsible for all aspects of customer service and contact center operations, strategic directions and interface with all business lines. In addition to this tenure, Ms. Avery was on the board of directors of the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals (SOCAP) International, a trade organization that represents the

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Nicole D. Swain


A 28-year veteran of the banking industry, Nicole Swain is committed to making things happen. One of the highlights of her illustrious career was reaching out to a “Shark Tank” contestant she believed didn’t have the right banker. After watching his episode, she wrote him a Facebook message offering her services. Ms. Swain ended up doing $10 million in business with him. Today, Ms. Swain is using her tenacity and perseverance in her position as the executive vice president and chief banking officer for First Choice Bank. Her role includes overseeing business development opportunities for both commercial and private banking and providing custom solutions based on her clients’ specific needs. Ms. Swain attributes her ongoing success in this capacity to

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Marjorie Lott


Known for thinking outside the box, Marjorie Goldberg Piland Lott has thrived as an accountant. She first became interested in the field in high school, when her mother suggested she try her hand at bookkeeping. Ms. Lott had initially wanted to be an engineer, but girls weren’t allowed in engineering school at the time so this seemed like a good compromise. Even though there weren’t many females in finance either, Ms. Lott’s family wholly supported her. She proceeded to obtain a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting from the University of Houston in 1977 and become a CPA and certified management accountant in the state of Texas. Degrees in hand, Ms. Lott set out to make her mark on the

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Proud to work for a company she admired, Janet Holtzman Beattie spent almost three decades with Touche & Ross & Co. and its later mergers before retiring in 1991. She started out as a corporate secretary with Touche & Ross & Co., after which she was promoted to administrative director. Ms. Beattie became the director of communications when the accounting company became Touche Ross International, and returned to the role of administrative director when they became Deloitte & Touche. During her time there, she also served as the editor of the Touche Ross International World View. The highlight of her career, however, was mentoring two other women in the field. Ms. Beattie prepared for her endeavors by earning an Associate

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Backed by a lifelong love for working with numbers and a passion for investing, Faith McClung Kline O’Brien has thrived as the president of Hearthstone Enterprises, Inc. She has been with the company since 1996, and she really values the relationship she has built with her employees. Their support has given her security and the freedom to be herself. Ms. O’Brien also likes the fact that her work is challenging, as that means that every day brings something new to keep her on her toes. Prior to this endeavor, Ms. O’Brien garnered experience in a variety of other positions. Some of these include director of trusts and investments at Hillsdale College, director of trust and investment services and corporate assistant

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Skilled at math for as long as she can remember, Janice Schlieker is a natural at accounting. She has been taking care of the books from her first job as a cashier at a movie theater while she was in high school, and is currently parlaying her expertise into her roles as an accountant at Timberline Church, an office manager at Energy Solutions, Blessing Ranch, and Poudre Aviation, a bookkeeper at Jim & Dave’s Appliance, and a consultant at Longaberger Basket Co. Her day-to-day responsibilities include overseeing every financial aspect of the various organizations, ensuring everything runs smoothly from a monetary standpoint, and handling reconciliations. Ms. Schlieker’s passion outside of numbers is religion. One of the highlights of her journey

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A business valuation expert, Mary Ann Lerch loves analyzing data. Numbers and charts speak to her, and she finds the constant quest for knowledge to be exciting and enlightening. Ms. Lerch is currently lending her skills to her professional community on a consulting basis, which she’s done since 2005. She also contributes what she’s learned to professional journals, webinars, and presentations. Some of the highlights of her career include being the first woman to publish in the Business Evaluation Review and being one of the first women to get an ASA with the American Society of Appraisers. Ms. Lerch didn’t start out with the goal of pursuing a career in math and business, however. It wasn’t until she took a

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Known for her integrity, trustworthiness, and competency, Anne Culton Ruzicka is thriving as a certified professional accountant (CPA). She started her career as the audit manager for Arthur Young & Co., after which she decided to step out on her own and found Ruzicka & Associates. Over the next four decades, Ms. Ruzicka served the company as a partner and vice president. She left in 2014, however, to pursue a position as the director of Kessler Orleans Silver, Ltd, PC. Today, Ms. Ruzicka is lending her services to Wipfli, LLP and Cetera Financial Servers and Predecessor Firms. She is the director of the former and a registered investment advisor for the latter. Her expertise lies in auditing and accounting for

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