Alumni Profiles

CHRIS KUIPER

CLASS OF 2009, B.A. BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION: FINANCE

Chris Kuiper

Two particular experiences at Dordt College stand out to me. The first would be the founding of Dordt's investment club, Defender Capital Management (DCM), which I was first a part of as an analyst and economist, and later the president. While getting DCM off the ground took a fair amount of work, it was well worth the effort. Looking back at DCM now that I have learned more about the investment industry, I don't think I realized at the time how practical of an experience it was. As a college student you often wonder if what you are learning and practicing will really apply to your future career. Although I am still a very recent grad, I can so far say that it certainly does. I have now seen that what DCM does it very similar to what real money manager professionals do in their everyday tasks. Every day I find myself not only using the skills learned in my finance and accounting classes at Dordt but also those learned in English, history and other classes.

The second particular that stands out to me is my tutoring experience at Dordt. Beginning in my sophomore year through graduation, I tutored students for various finance, business and economics classes. The most valuable part of this experience is that it required me to learn the material and concepts even more fully than I had when I originally took the class. Even the act of going through the class a second or third time with the students allowed me to see things I missed, and more fully develop my understanding of the topics. I also had a lot of fun trying to come up with different methods to try to relay the message and concepts. It was truly one of those experiences that challenges you, but makes the rewards that much better because of it.

Besides these two specific instances, I have many memories of great professors who truly love their work and want to see students learn and succeed. I remember a handful of professors who really challenged my current beliefs and faith and prompted me to study and look deeper at my convictions, of which I am very grateful.

I participated in Chicago Semester during my final semester of Dordt (Spring 2009). During the last few months of Chicago Semester I networked and interviewed with as many people as possible to try to see what the job market was like in the Chicago area and what kind of positions were available in the field of finance at the time. It was through this process that I found my current position as a credit analyst for a commercial bank in the western suburbs of Chicago. I believe my experiences at Dordt, as well as my Chicago Semester internship, contributed to preparing me for my current job.

I am currently a credit analyst/underwriter for the commercial lending division of TCF Bank. My primary responsibility is to analyze information related to customers applying for commercial loans ranging in size from $1 million to over $30 million. This includes analyzing the company's financial statements, creating projections and sensitivity scenarios, identifying key risks and making recommendations. I then distill all of this information into a package which is used by senior management to make a decision regarding the loan.

One of the things I enjoy about the position is that it utilizes a number of skills besides financial and accounting such as being able to write clearly and concisely, communicating key ideas to management and peers and being able to converse with customers and question them about their business. I also enjoy that the position entails monitoring the big picture of the economy and various industries as well as delving into the very specifics of just one company.

Besides finance and economics, I enjoy reading, playing the piano and road biking (this summer I completed my first official century ride).

My advice to current business students would be that your education is what you make it. No one cares more about what you learn, how much you learn, and how you learn it, than yourself. Take it upon yourself to study things you are interested in or enjoy, even if you won't get credit for it in a class. In relation to this, I would also like to stress that education today, more than ever, doesn't really depend on your location, your school facilities, or the size of your school. Ideas from all over the world are available to everyone in all forms of media; and by the same token, your ideas have the potential to spread in the same manner. I believe this has huge implications for us as Christians and our call to reform every square inch of the universe God has created.

DAVE BYKERK

CLASS OF 2009, B.A. BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION: FINANCE

Dave Bykerk

The most memorable experience at Dordt is the relationships I built with classmates and peers. Dordt does an excellent job of creating an environment that encourages truthful, long lasting, Christian friendships. Although only two years out of college, it is clear that the relationships built at Dordt teach one far more about real world situations than any textbook can.

Aside from relationships, one of my most memorable classes at Dordt was Advanced Finance. Not realizing it at the time, advanced finance taught me much about real world business. The class, through student teaching and cases studies, does an excellent job at challenging student to critically think, question, and dissect real world decisions. From the class I took away valuable information regarding the financing of capital expenditures and running different analysis to determine when and where a project is most efficient.

Upon graduating from Dordt, I was offered a management position at Wheatfield Grain Holding LLC based out of Wheatfield, IN. The company currently has five elevators located in Indiana and Illinois. The company originates grain, primarily corn and soybeans, from producers and sells it to processors. Currently, I am a manager at the Wheatfield facility. My responsibilities include grain origination, equipment maintenance and building relationships with farmers. Prior to my job, I held an internship with Wheatfield Grain Holding LLC during the summer of my junior and senior year at Dordt. During the internship, I was taught grain marketing principles, strategies, and techniques. I also took a couple of week long courses specializing in grain merchandising.

I am married to Marena Bykerk (den Dulk) and we currently live in Wheatfield, IN. We enjoy our new house and traveling when possible. We are members of Community Christian Reformed Church in Roselawn, IN, where Marena helps with GEMS and I teach 6th grade Sunday School.

My advice to current Dordt business students is to make your education applicable to you. Professors aren't going to make you learn, it's something that you will have to do on your own. Also make sure you place a high emphasis on relationships with people because the business world is based on relationships and without a respect for people it will be hard to succeed.

DAVE ROZENBOOM

CLASS OF 1985, B.A. BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

Dave Rozenboom

For Dave Rozenboom, an internship at Northwestern State Bank in Orange City, Iowa, along with his favorite class, Money and Banking, ignited a career in banking for 26 years and counting.

"During my internship, I learned the important role that banking plays in our free enterprise economy. I appreciated both the interpersonal and quantitative skills that are needed to be an effective banker and, as a result, was inspired to pursue a career in banking that has now spanned 26-plus years."

Out of college, Dave took a job at U.S. Bank in Aberdeen, S.D. He first held the position of a credit analyst, but worked his way up to relationship manager, then to business banking group manager, and lastly to regional president throughout his time there.

Recently Dave has taken the position of the president of the First Premier Bank in Sioux Falls, S.D.. As President, Dave is responsible for the successful performance of all areas of the bank, including personal banking, business and ag banking, treasury services, personal trust, investment management, and operations.

Dave is blessed with a family that includes his wife Tammy, of 27 years, and four children. His wife, Tammy is also an alumnus of Dordt College and spent 15 years teaching at Sioux Falls Christian Schools. His first daughter, Katie Soodsma, graduated in 2009 from Dordt College and is currently an RN at Sanford Health in Sioux Falls. Her husband, Josh, is also a 2009 alumnus and is a CPA at Eide Bailly LLP in Sioux Falls, S.D. His second daughter, Heidi, a 2011 graduate of Dordt, will be pursuing her Physician Assistant degree in Savannah, Georgia, beginning in January of 2012. Dave's son, Mike, is a sophomore at the University of Sioux Falls where he is majoring in theology. His last child, Brett, is a senior at Sioux Falls Christian High School.

Dave has also been involved with other boards and committees. Currently, he is the vice chair of council at the First Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Falls, S.D., where his family attends. He has also been actively involved at Sioux Falls Christian Schools (past board chair and co-chair of the most recent capital campaigns), the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce (past chair), Sioux Empire United Way (past campaign chair), Junior Achievement of South Dakota (past chair), Avera McKennan Hospital (current vice chair), and Dordt College (finance committee). Dave also enjoys playing golf, basketball, and pheasant hunting in this spare time.

"Tammy and I have been richly blessed by Dordt College over the past 30 years, both as students and as parents. We sincerely appreciate the Reformed perspective taught at Dordt, the commitment to understanding God's sovereignty over all of His creation, and its mission in leading students to find their place in God's world."

JEANA KATS

CLASS OF 1997, B.A. BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

I had two very pivotal experiences while attending Dordt College. One that was most pivotal for me was when I signed up for AMOR, volunteering in the Dominican Republic. It was this experience that unleashed my passion for working with people from different countries and cultures.

Jeana Kats

Another experience that proved most pivotal for me happened in just one hour of one day. After a Communications class, the Professor asked me to stay back to talk. He asked me what kind of career I wanted to pursue and pointed out some qualities he saw in me, qualities I had no idea I had. I was so surprised that a Professor, who is tending to many other students, would take a special interest in me. It was because of this conversation that I became more focused on my studies and finding a career path best suited to my strengths. To me, it's this kind of experience that sets Dordt apart - Professors and Faculty deeply and authentically care about the academic, emotional, and spiritual well-being of each and every student.

After graduating from Dordt, I worked for Dordt for two years as an Admissions Counselor and then went on to complete my M.A. in Human Resources and Industrial Relations at the University of Minnesota. I then joined Intel Corporation because their global focus matched my passion for working with people from other cultures. I started out in a one-year rotation program to help me acclimate to the company. Since then, I've chosen roles that allow me to work directly with shaping Intel organizations in emerging markets including China, India, and Russia. My roles have varied from HR Generalist and Organization Development roles to my current assignment which is driving the strategic direction and operations of Intel's HR transaction centers in Malaysia and Costa Rica. A highlight of my career occurred when I lived in Sao Paulo, Brazil managing Human Resources for Intel Latin America.

You trade a day of your life every time you choose to get up in the morning and go to work - relentlessly pursue the career you are going to love.

Jeana lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, Shane Hawkins, and 4-year-old son, Mason. Outside of traveling for work, Jeana enjoys traveling for leisure, as well as running, yoga, and renovating her beach home on the Oregon coast.

JIM HUMMEL

CLASS OF 1989, B.A. BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

Jim Hummel

I graduated from Dordt College in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in Business Administration. My memories of Dordt are many. What immediately comes to mind is the dedication and commitment of the professors and the teaching of the 'Reformed world and life view' that all of life is religious and that everything is under God's sovereignty. This world and life view has provided a framework for my future and built on my upbringing in a Christian home by Dutch immigrant parents and on my primary education at a Christian School. I'm still in contact with some of my roommates and friends after more than 20 years and all of them are actively making a difference in their communities. I also have fond memories of my involvement in the Dordt Blades Hockey Club and have organized and participated in four alumni hockey events since graduation. My semester off campus with the Chicago Met Program was also life changing-- big city, unique cultural experiences, career confirming and new friends.

Looking back, I can really see God's hand at work in my life. When I graduated, I was considering law school and had been accepted by two large Canadian universities. However, I really wanted to work and at the last minute was hired by Toronto Dominion Bank. Having worked in six branches in seven years and progressed from Management Trainee to Assistant Manager, I was given a severance package at age 29. Although initially shocked and disappointed, I was blessed with the opportunity to re-evaluate and renew. I realized that the work experiences at the Bank had provided me with an excellent background in financial services from credit to financial planning. After working through the book '€œWhat Color in My Parachute'€ and writing a personal mission statement, a wonderful opportunity arose with Christian Credit Union. Both personally and professionally, I'm convinced that God had placed me in the right place at the right time. Fifteen years later, I currently serve as Manager, Financial Planning and help members achieve their life planning goals from saving for retirement to planning their estate. I manage approximately $60MM in assets. Along the way, I have continued to take courses and earn designations including the Canadian Securities Course and Certified Financial Planner® designation. Through Christian Credit Union's 'Difference' newsletter, distributed to over 5,500 Christian Credit Union members throughout Canada, I write articles about financial planning topics and Biblical principles with regards to finances.

I met Carol Slomp, a fellow Dordt Alumni ('93) while she was studying in Edmonton and was married in 1997. We have been blessed with two wonderful children and are actively involved in our church, school and greater Edmonton community.

My advice to Dordt College students:

  • Be active in campus activities and take advantage of the opportunities to learn both on and off campus.
  • Commit yourself to life-long learning.
  • Write and reflect on a personal mission statement to help weigh life decisions.
  • Realize that even though you may not know it or recognize it, God has a plan for you. As the book of Jeremiah says, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jer. 29:11)

My personal mission statement: Live as a Kingdom servant, secure in the knowledge that Jesus Christ is my personal Saviour, by making a difference and impacting others, modelling integrity, honesty, compassion, joy and knowledge in my relationship with Carol and others.