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Gerstacker Through the Ages – Panel Discussion

November 11, 2023 @ 8:30 am - 10:30 am

Seven alumni and Gerstacker Institute ambassadors will be sharing what the institute means to them at the Gerstacker Through the Ages panel discussion Saturday, Nov. 11 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the AC3 Bank building (downtown across from the Courtyard by Marriott).

Register for the panel discussion

This event is part of the Gerstacker Institute’s 50th Anniversary Celebration and is free and open to the public.

Gerstacker Ambassadors


Rick Lange, ’70

Rick Lang graduated from Albion College in 1970 with a major in Economics and Business Administration, as the department was then named. After completing military service, Rick enrolled in Michigan State University’s MBA program, and graduated in 1974 with a major in accounting. His professional career path included experience at Arthur Andersen, State of Michigan, Michigan National Corporation, Great Lakes Bancorp, and Plante & Moran. During the mid-1980s, Rick started sponsoring interns from Albion’s Professional Management Program, now the Gerstacker Institute. This led to being invited to join the program’s Visiting Committee. The majority of Rick’s career experiences were in auditing, including nearly 30 years in banking. After retiring in 2008, Rick proudly accepted the offer to serve as the Interim Associate Director of the Gerstacker Institute during the 2009-2010 school year, to help facilitate a leadership transition.

Rick and his wife moved to Albion in 2011, which enabled closer connections with the college.


Eileen Smith, ’86

Eileen Smith, Senior Vice President of Data & Analytics at Cboe Global Markets, graduated from Albion College in 1986. As a Gerstacker student, Eileen interned at Cboe in 1985 and went back full time in 1986. She has worked in various areas at Cboe, including Research & Product Development and Technology Planning. While in the Research department, she worked on the development and creation of new options products and indices. After moving into Technology, Eileen was the Tech lead working with business users and engineers on development of Cboe’s Hybrid Trading system and is a named inventor on seven patents related to Hybrid trading. In her position as SVP, Data & Analytics, Eileen leads a team of 19 Data and Quantitative Analysts and Engineers that are responsible for the tools and infrastructure surrounding Cboe’s self-service cloud-based data and analytics environment, as well as business- and corporate facing analysis.

Eileen received her B.A. in Economics and Management from Albion College and served on the college’s Alumni Board of Directors for 8 years. At Cboe, she served as the Chair of the Index Advisory Oversight Board and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Derivatives Committee for Cboe Global Indices. Eileen is also a founding board member of the Cboe Women’s Initiative and is currently president of Cboe’s Senior Management Group. In September of 2023, Eileen was named a Notable Woman in STEM by Crain’s Chicago Business.


Heather Luciani, ’94

Heather Luciani, Chief Strategy Officer with Honor Credit Union, is a 1994 graduate of Albion College. In this role, Heather oversees the Credit Union’s CUSO relationships and investments, supports the finance and accounting teams, and champions bringing Honor’s strategy throughout the organization, ensuring alignment and engagement.

Prior to joining the Honor team in 2022, Heather was with Marshall Community Credit Union. With a background in lending, Heather was with MCCU for 20 years, leading the organization as CEO for 12 years. Heather was the VP of Lending at a community bank and started her career as a personal financial adviser.

Heather is the immediate Past Chair of the Michigan Credit Union League Board of Directors, Chair of the MCUL PAC Trustees, member of the Governmental Affairs Forum, and a member of the Greater Southwest Chapter of Credit Unions. Her community involvement has been extensive, including work with the Marshall Community Foundation, Oaklawn Hospital, and Rotary Club of Marshall.

Heather and her husband, Dan, live in Marshall, Michigan. They have twin sons, Jack and Jeremy, who both recently graduated from Indiana Tech in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. In her spare time, Heather enjoys spending time with friends and family and traveling.


Meaghan (Walters) Cole, ’09

Meaghan (Walters) Cole graduated from Albion College in 2009 and was a proud member of the Gerstacker Institute. Active in student organizations, Meghan’s time on Albion’s campus contributed to her pursuing a career in higher education administration.

Meaghan has been involved with Oakland University (OU) for many years, in a variety of capacities, while earning her Masters and Doctoral degrees. Meaghan currently serves as the Oakland University School of Business’s Experiential Programs Manager, overseeing leadership programs, facilitating daily events, and advising hundreds of fabulous students.

Blake DeCarlo, ’09

After graduating from Albion in 2009, Blake DeCarlo pursued a career as an Account Executive with Bella Exhibits + Retail providing custom trade show exhibits, retail fixtures, and mall kiosks; this is a role he has held for the past fourteen years with a healthy balance of traveling and remote work.
After a three-year stint in Texas, Blake returned to Michigan to be closer to family. In his free time, Blake plays rugby, attends as many concerts as possible, and loves being a Dad. He adores his beautiful wife, Katy, and their two children. They reside in Clinton Township, MI.


Jacob Lee, ’10

Jacob Lee is a 2010 graduate of Albion College where he majored in E&M (Accounting emphasis) & Spanish Literature. During his time at Albion College, he was a captain on the Football team and was recognized as the National Football Foundation Morley Fraser Scholar Athlete and the CoSIDA ESPN DI-DII All District 1st Team Scholar Athlete. Jacob also served as a proud member of the EX fraternity and studied abroad in Mexico and Chile.

Professionally, Jacob spent the first 10 years of his career in multiple progressive roles at PWC, including six years in the M&A practice focusing on buy side and sell side diligence focused on deals ranging from $5M to $5B. From 2020 to 2022 he was the VP of Finance for Avasure, a Michigan based Healthcare IT company which was sold to a private equity group in 2021.

He currently is a Client Results Executive for Sentrics, a multi solution technology provider who serves the senior living industry. He is also a real estate investor, a CPA and owner of a 100-site campground in Benzonia, Michigan called Vacation Trailer Park.


Eleanor Debo, ’22

A 2022 graduate of Albion College, Eleanor Debo was a member of the Gerstacker Institute for Business and the Wilson Institute of Medicine. She was also a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon Economic Honors Society, Alpha Chi Omega, and the Women’s Varsity Tennis Team. In the classroom, Ellie participated in the International Entrepreneurship Course, Sup de Vente and Albion College Community Collaborative (AC3) working with the Albion EDC. During her time at Albion, Ellie completed two internships with CMU Health and United Wholesale Mortgage. She graduated with a major in Business and a minor in Anthropology/Sociology. Ellie began her professional role as a Business Data Analyst at CMU Health in Saginaw, Michigan in June 2022.


November 11, 2023
8:30 am - 10:30 am
Event Categories:
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AC3 Bank building