Mary Coffin grew up on a farm south of Cedar Falls, Iowa. Like many young people in the area, Mary initially left her hometown to attend Iowa State University, but later transferred to UNI. She was married while attending UNI, so she lived off campus and focused on her courses. Unsure of what to major in, she had conversations with friends who initially frightened her from accounting, but Mary eventually settled on a major in accounting and found it to be a natural fit. She graduated with her Bachelor of Arts degree from UNI in 1983 and also earned her Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Managerial Accountant (CMA) designations. She credits her background in accounting as setting a solid business foundation and opening doors for career opportunities. She started her career in a two-year management trainee program at National Bank in Waterloo. After completing the management trainee program, she moved into a commercial lending officer role, and then worked at National Cattle Congress in Waterloo. Mary’s career has taken her through many positions to where she is today, as Executive Vice President and head of the Enterprise Complaints Management Office at Wells Fargo Company. In her time at Wells Fargo, she played a critical role during the housing crisis, working extensively with secondary market investors, regulators, and congressional leaders to define and develop innovative solutions for struggling borrowers across the country.
Our selection committee was impressed with the impact Mary has made on the lives of millions of homeowners through her involvement advising regulators and congressional leaders through the housing crisis. We are proud to recognize her as an inductee into the Women of UNIBusiness Hall of Fame.
Mary Doak grew up in Eldora, Iowa and chose to attend Iowa State Teachers College, now UNI, after graduating from high school. While still a student, she married her husband John, and a year later, moved to Osage, Iowa with their two-week old daughter for a teaching job for John. Mary was a full time mother to their daughter, but worked to complete her degree through summer school and off campus coursework - a “distance education” student ahead of her time. Mary graduated in 1961 with a degree in Business Education and minor in English, and was awarded the Purple & Old Gold Award, the most prestigious award given to a student in each major field of study. Degree in hand, Mary looked for a teaching job. She soon discovered that spouses were not allowed to teach in the same school, so she pursued part-time jobs while still being the full time caregiver for her now three children, Debbie, Sarah, and Tom. In the spring of 1970, Mary began a career of publishing, writing, and editing a state wrestling publication with John, who was a high school wrestling coach. The publication, called The Predicament, was the first state wrestling publication in the nation. In 1974 Mary and John sold the publication and Mary made a career change, working as a real estate broker with Grundy Real Estate, a subsidiary of Grundy National Bank. A few years later she was offered a marketing position with GNB and in 1984 added the role of Human Resource Officer to her role, moving into a full time position. Mary continued her work with the bank until she retired as Vice President in 2003. Mary has a strong love for community service and believes in being a part of something bigger than oneself to make a difference for the greater good. She has dedicated her time to her community, establishing the Grundy Center Historical Society, chairing the Grundy Center Preservation Commission, and serving on the Grundy County Memorial Hospital Foundation.
Our committee identified with the work Mary has done in her community and the model she serves as an engaged community citizen. We are proud to recognize her as an inductee into the Women of UNIBusiness Hall of Fame.
Troyce Fisher built a solid foundation at UNI where she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Education with an Economics and Sociology emphasis and graduated in 1969. She says “UNI opened up her world” and prepared her for life ahead. After graduating from UNI, she worked for Grundy Center High School as a Social Studies teacher for 7 years. Her career took her in and out of education - spending time as a ward clerk for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and an administrative assistant for KZEV radio in Clear Lake. Eventually, her path brought her back to education when she joined Northern Trails Area Education Agency as a director. It was in this role that she returned to UNI to obtain her Masters in Educational Administration. She spent the remainder of her career working for Northern Trails AEA and the School Administrators of Iowa, serving as its Executive Director for 6 years and Director of Comprehensive Leadership System for the State of Iowa. In addition to her degrees from UNI, Troyce also earned a Specialist Degree and a Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership from Drake University. She has been recognized for her contributions to education in Iowa, and is the recipient of the Iowa Counseling Association Administrator of the Year, Character Counts Robert D. Ray Pillar of Character Legacy Award and Drake University Distinguished Alumni Award. An active contributor to her community, Troyce has served on various boards and community organizations and currently is the Board President of the Central Gardens of North Iowa and a State Board Member for the Children’s Behavioral Health System.
Our committee was inspired by Troyce’s work in educational administration, which we view as the “business” side of education, blending UNI’s roots as a teachers college with our interest in business. We are proud to recognize her as an inductee into the Women of UNIBusiness Hall of Fame.
Mary Jeffries grew up in Eagle Grove, Iowa, and attended the University of Northern Iowa, graduating in 1979 with a BA in Accounting. She took the CPA exam while in college and was among the alumni who established the successful CPA pass rate legacy UNI is still proud of. While Mary credits her background in accounting as the setting foundation for her career, she has had a diverse range of experience, with a focus in mergers and acquisitions and driving growth in both multi-million dollar conglomerates and startup organizations. She spent many years of her early career at Weber Shandwick Worldwide, a subsidiary of Interpublic Group, traveling extensively internationally purchasing more than 65 companies in 27 countries. After leaving WSW as COO, she served as general partner and COO of a venture capital firm before being recruited to serve as COO of Petters Group Worldwide. In this
role, she also served as CEO of Polaroid Corporation, one of Petters Group’s largest subsidiaries. In her role, she transformed Polaroid into a lean organization poised for growth in a challenging instant film business before being named the court appointed CEO when the owner of Petter’s was accused of fraud. Mary led the process to sell the assets of Polaroid in a robust bankruptcy for a significant increase over the initial estimates. After the sale of Polaroid, Mary served as Chairman & CEO of ZINK imaging, a printing technology and manufacturing spinoff from Polaroid. Mary’s career has brought her to her current position of Chief Strategy Officer at Starkey Hearing Technologies, a privately held top-five world leader in manufacturing and delivering advanced hearing solutions in over 100 countries. She is responsible for formulating strategy, strategic planning, business development, and executing and sustaining corporate strategic initiatives. Mary and her husband John, a Cedar Falls native, have
been married for 34 years and have two children, Ryan and Rachel.
Our committee was impressed by Mary’s years of experience building profitable companies and steering some of those companies through challenging situations. We are proud to recognize her as an inductee into the Women of UNIBusiness Hall of Fame.
Sally Mainquist grew up in Fort Dodge, Iowa as one of six children. She started her education at Iowa Central Community College. Many students will relate with Sally, in that one of the most difficult challenges she faced while a student was financing her education. She worked during the week and on weekends to support her tuition. After earning her AA degree from Iowa Central, Sally then transferred to UNI. While at UNI, she was involved in the Accounting club and Phi Beta Lamda. Sally received her degree in accounting in 1980, and took the CPA exam, ranking 7th in the state. She began her career in Audit at KPMG and later served as External Reporting Manager at Graco where she discovered an interest in cost accounting. This led her to her next role as vice president of manufacturing at Recovery Engineering in Minneapolis, a manufacturer of small-scale drinking water treatment systems. In this role, Sally directed the manufacturing of the organization during the launch of its household products line, helping to grow the company at a 70% annual growth rate for over four years. She later became the president for Certes Financial Pros, the Twin Cities’ pioneer in the accounting staffing arena, with an emphasis in senior level staffing solutions. After 14 years at Certes, Sally co-founded Veritae Group, a professional services company designed to address a void in the industry around individual needs, quality of life and well-being. Veritae Group specializes in interim project executives, CFOs and Controllers and was ranked #1 in Best Places to Work for Small company in the Twin Cities. The company is active in the community, giving back 1/3 of its bottom line to employees and charity. This year she will be Chairing the Twins Cities Alzheimer’s Walk for the Cure, the largest walk in the nation, which will draw 12,000 walkers and raise $1.7 million. Sally says she enjoys time with her family above all else, and spends as much time at their family cabin as possible. She fills her spare time with activities such as volunteering, skiing, biking, gardening and relaxing. She believes you should have fun at work, laugh a lot every day, work hard, play hard, and take time to say thank you.
Our committee was impressed by Sally’s varied experience, entrepreneurial spirit, and emphasis on balancing working hard and playing hard. We are proud to recognize her as an inductee into the Women of UNIBusiness Hall of Fame.
Natalie Meyer grew up an only child in a small town in Iowa. Driven from a young age, she graduated as valedictorian of her high school class. She attended Iowa State Teacher’s College, now UNI, and graduated with a degree in business teaching in 1951. While a student, she was involved in Pi Theta Pi sorority and was a member of student government. She was married the month after her graduation, and soon later moved to Colorado. She taught school for a while, a career she loved, but later made a career move into politics, working as a campaign manager. She ran for secretary of state of Colorado in 1982 and became the longest serving secretary of state in Colorado’s history. She had a reputation for standing up for what she believed was right and for working across party lines. She’s quoted as saying “the worst thing I could do for my party would be to be obviously partisan. What I worked very hard at was being fair.” Natalie was encouraged to run for governor of Colorado, but says she decided against it as Colorado is a “cowboy state,” and the chances of a woman being elected at that time seemed low. After retiring from Secretary of State, she continued to work in public service, working as an elections judge. In 2017, Natalie was awarded the National Association of Secretaries of State Medallion Award for her contributions to Colorado’s democratic process and election integrity. Natalie is now retired, but still resides in the Denver, Colorado, area.
Our committee found Natalie’s commitment to fairness and integrity inspiring. We are proud to recognize her as an inductee into the Women of UNIBusiness Hall of Fame.
Helen Schumacher grew up in Fredericka, Iowa, a small community north of Cedar Falls. She attended the University of Iowa, initially studying nursing, but changing her focus to business education. After graduating with her BBA, she taught at Tipton High School, as her husband Marvin was continuing his engineering degree at the University of Iowa. She taught shorthand, typing, bookkeeping, and courses on office machines for 8 years at Tipton, and later, Waverly, and Denver, Iowa. She attended State College of Iowa, now UNI, to earn her Master of Arts degree in Business Education. Helen and Marv’s first child, Jeff, was born three days after she finished her degree. Helen took a break from working to care for their children were born, and later joined her husband in the family business of the manufacture and installation of passenger and freight elevators. She initially worked in IT, and later picked up human resourcing responsibilities, job costing, and safety programs - as Helen says, a little bit of everything. Schumacher Elevator Company grew from about 15 to 20 employees when she first started working there to about 250 employees today. The business has branches in Iowa and surrounding states, and its elevators are sold all over the U.S. and internationally. The company has moved from simple elevators to high tech products and electronics. Helen has spent 45 years working at Schumacher Elevator
Company. She does still go into the office, but is largely retired. She enjoys
volunteering, which she began while her kids were in school. Her brother has Cerebral Palsy, so she has a particular passion for working with agencies providing services for people with disabilities. She serves on the UNI College of Education Advisory Board and is a board member of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa.
Our committee was inspired by Helen’s commitment to her business, family, and community. We are proud to recognize her as an inductee into the Women of UNIBusiness Hall of Fame.
Carol Schuster grew up with a father who stressed the importance of being able to “paddle her own canoe,” in other words, be self-sufficient. Both her parents encouraged Carol and her brothers to go to college. Carol started her education at a community college and worked for Mangold Goerdt Larson and Stierman, a CPA firm with offices in Clinton and Dubuque. After working there for seven months, she decided that accounting was the career for her and enrolled at UNI to earn her bachelor’s degree in accounting. After graduating in 1969, she continued working for Mangold Goerdt Larson and Stierman, which later merged with Dee Gosling & Company. She became a partner with the firm, where she was the first and only female partner. Dee Gosling and Company had 13 offices in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois and 17 partners. The company later merged with Clifton Gunderson and Company which was a precursor to the Clifton Larson Allen merger. Clifton Larson Allen is a national firm and is currently the 8th largest CPA firm in the nation. In September 2008, Clifton no longer wanted an office in DeWitt, so they sold it and Carol decided to buy the practice. She is now the owner and CEO of Schuster & Co PC which provides tax, accounting, payroll, and consulting services to businesses and individuals. Carol feels strongly about giving back to the community and has given back by serving on several different boards including St Joe’s Education School Board and St Joe’s Education Foundation; President of the Dewitt Chamber of Commerce, and President of Dewitt Kiwanis. She’s also stayed involved and contributed to the accounting industry, serving as a member of the UNI Accounting Advisory Council and serving nine years on the Iowa Accountancy Examining Board, serving as Chair in her last year. She is currently a Financial officer for LincolnWay Community Foundation which assists in charitable projects and programs that contribute to the quality of life in rural Clinton County. In addition to her work and community involvement, Carol enjoys spending time with her 3 children,
grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Our committee was impressed that Carol was a pioneer for women in accounting and inspired by her deep commitment to service to her community. We are proud to recognize her as an inductee into the Women of UNIBusiness Hall of Fame.
Marty Wartick earned her bachelor's degree in accounting in 1982. Shortly after that she and her husband and son moved to State College, Pennsylvania where Steve was a professor of management at Penn State University. Marty entered the master of accounting program to study tax and while in that program had the opportunity to work as a teaching assistant. She soon realized that she would like an academic career in accounting and tax, and entered the Ph..D. program at Penn State. After earning her doctorate, Marty and Steve accepted faculty positions at the University of Missouri at St. Louis. While traveling from St. Louis to Minneapolis to visit family they passed through Cedar Falls. Years later when an accounting position opened up at UNI they remembered what a nice town Cedar Falls seemed to be. Marty applied and Steve inquired about a faculty position in management. Both received offers that they accepted and they moved to Cedar Falls in 1998. Marty served as an associate professor from 1998 to 2004, and in 2004 was named head of the Department of Accounting, the first female faculty member to hold the position. Marty served as department head until 2014, when she moved back into a faculty position before retiring in 2016. During her time leading the Accounting Department, UNI firmly held its place as
a leader in preparing students for the CPA exam, resulting in a high demand for UNI students among the big four public accounting firms, regional public accounting firms and numerous corporations and other businesses. In reflecting on the early years of her career, Marty recalls the challenges women faced getting an interview with public accounting firms, so getting hired by them was even more difficult. Her message to young women today is to figure out what you want to do and go for it, don’t let anything stop you, and avoid becoming complacent. While women have made progress, there is still more for the next generation to do.
Our committee is grateful to the faculty who have built the legacy UNIBusiness is built on, and feel it is important to honor Dr. Wartick for her part in that legacy as the first female department head in accounting. We are proud to recognize her as an inductee into the Women of UNIBusiness Hall of Fame.
University of Northern Iowa
David W. Wilson College of Business