Connie Van Onselder

Economics and Management; member, Carl A. Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management (concentration in accounting)
Lexington, Ky.
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Keeneland Association
In a nutshell, what do you do?
I manage, direct and oversee all aspects of Keeneland’s cash management, financial reporting and other financial matters. This includes managing the finance staff, maintaining banking and other outside relationships, overseeing audit and tax reporting and presenting financial data to the Board of Directors.
What are you working on right now?
I am currently analyzing the financial impact of potential changes to a vendor contract as well as reviewing the daily profit-and-loss statement for our spring race meet.
Why do you love what you do?
There is no finer institution in the sport of Thoroughbred racing or Thoroughbred auctions in this country. The tradition, history and beauty that are Keeneland make it a wonderful place to come to work every day. I am also blessed to work with a superb senior management team that is collaborative and innovative while maintaining the long-standing traditions of giving back to the community and the Thoroughbred industry.
How did Albion help you get there?
A liberal arts education and Albion in particular taught me critical thinking. As a top financial officer, it is imperative that you know how to question and apply logic as well as manage people. Management is actually taught at Albion, something that I have seen fellow colleagues struggle with. Experience is essential in management, but having the basics in your head before you start and working through scenarios in a classroom setting definitely provide an advantage once you work past the “number crunching” positions.
For me, Albion ...
... encouraged independent and critical thinking, provided real-world internship opportunities that opened doors once I graduated, exposed me to topics and people that I had not been exposed to before, and introduced me to some of my closest lifelong friends.
Anything else you’d like to add?
So many schools today are concentrating on educating for the major and job. This may provide students with their first job, but the well-rounded liberal arts requirements are what will produce the leaders of tomorrow.

Take It Further: Connie featured in Io Triumphe! magazine (Spring-Summer 2013 issue), Economics and Management, Gerstacker Institute