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updated 9.30.14



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2014 Spring Conference

-- Download the Conference Program --

When: April 23 -25, 2013; Executive Board will meet on April 22nd
Where: The Battle House Hotel and Spa
    Mobile, AL

$94/nt Deluxe Room Rate**
Valet Parking is $17/day + tax

A parking garage is a block down with a current price of $14/day.

**Hotel room rates are subject to applicable state and local taxes (currently 14%) in effect at the time of checkout. The above rate is the current federal per diem for Mobile. Should the per diem increase, the room rate will increase accordingly. The hotel will not guarantee this rate (with the above exception) after March 21st when the room block will be released.

-Guest room includes complimentary in room and lobby area Wi-Fi (not in meeting space), 20% off Spa Services during the meeting dates, pool and driving range.

AASFAA Presenter Bio's

Vicki Adams:
Vickie Adams is the Director of Student Financial Services at the Jacksonville State University. In her 35 year career in higher education, she began working in a for-profit institution where she started out as a part time clerical assistant. She was later asked to be the Director of financial Aid. She took on the challenge and made this her career. She went to work at JSU in 1992, where she was the loan/grant processor and had the opportunities to advance to where she is today. She enjoys working with students and parents trying to meet the needs for their education goal.

She has served in many capacities with the Alabama Association over the years, and was elected in 2010-2011 as President-Elect and served on the board as President in 2011-2012 and Past President 2012-2013. She was an instructor at the 2013 SASFAA New Aid Officers Workshop and will return for the 2014 year. She has been elected as SASFAA's Secretary beginning July 1, 2014.

Vickie has enjoyed the past few years serving for the associations, meeting new mentors, making lifetime friends and looks forward to retirement in the next few years.

Zita Barree:
Zita Barree is the Director of Financial Aid at Hampden-Sydney College, an all-male liberal arts private college located near Farmville, Virginia. She has worked in the financial aid profession in Virginia for over 25 years. She is a former President of VASFAA and is currently serving as SASFAA President. She received her Bachelor's of Science degree and her Master's of Business Administration degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her husband, Michael, also worked in financial aid for over 30 years and still does some consulting now and then. They met in the Financial Aid Office at VCU! They have a four legged daughter named Thia who rules the house! Zita's current interest outside of financial aid is running - ½ marathons are her favorite but she would like to complete at least one marathon in her lifetime.

David Bartnicki:
David has worked for the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid Office for over 19 years. He has served as an Institutional Review Specialist, Institutional Improvement Specialist (IIS), Branch Chief for Contract Compliance and a Federal Training Officer. David has recently been promoted to Compliance Manager within the Atlanta School Participation Division.

As a Compliance Manager, David will oversee a team in the Atlanta Regional Office charged with providing Title IV oversight to over 750 schools in a 6 State area. His team will conduct program reviews, resolve annual school audits, review financial statements, oversee heightened cash monitoring and approve school eligibility actions.

While in FSA, David has helped redesign the FSA Assessment Modules, developed the popular "Ask A FED" booth at the annual FSA Conferences, and developed the Department's compliance review process for ED's private collection agencies. David has served on the Private College and Career Schools' Conference Team, the Training Topics Report Team, and the National Verification Team.

In addition, David has received several financial aid awards including the 2013 FSA Award for Most Innovative Team, 2013 FASFAA Distinguished Service Award (FL), 2013 TASFAA Distinguished Service Award (TN), the 2012 SASFAA Distinguished Service Award (Southern Regional), the 2012 AASFAA John H. Buchanan Distinguished Service Award (AL), 2012 MASFAA Special Recognition Award (MS), the 2011 Kentucky "Admiral" Award, 2010 FSA Award for Best Mission Results, the 2005 Florida Public Career Technical Center's Merit Award, the 2003 SCASFAA Distinguished Service Award (SC), the 2003 AASFAA Award of Merit (AL) and the 2001 NCASFAA Award of Merit (NC).

When not working, David enjoys spending time with his wife, Christy, and sons Luke (14), Adam (13), and Ethan (9).

Donna Bass:
Donna Bass, Director of Financial Aid of Lurleen B. Wallace Community College. Donna came to financial aid in 2002 from the Business Office where she began working in 1998 after working as a legal secretary for 10 years. Donna completed her associates degree at LBW State Junior College after high school and decided to go back to complete her Bachelors of Science Degree from Faulkner University after beginning her career at LBW. She is married to Lamar and they have one son, Derrick, who is currently a junior at the University of South Alabama.

Darron Grussendorf:
Darron is a Senior Trainer in Human Resources and Organizational Development at TG. Darron has 20 years experience in the student financial aid industry, having worked as both a school financial aid director and in policy and regulatory affairs before joining TG's training area in 2001. He is a 2000 graduate of TG's Leadership Development Program, one of two leadership development programs he facilitates for TG. Darron received both his undergraduate degree in Organizational Communication and his master's degree in Education from St. Edward's University. In 2009, he became a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance with the American Society of Training and Development. In his previous careers, Darron was a lead singer in a rock and roll band and a Navy meteorologist onboard the U.S.S. Enterprise - the one that floats on water, not the one that travels at warp speed.

Buddy Jackson:
Buddy is the Director of Financial Aid at Faulkner University and has been in his position for 20 years. Prior to this position, he spent 23 years in the banking profession.

Donna Miller:
Donna Miller will have 25 years in higher ed this July. For the past 5+ years she presents financial literacy solutions as a Director of Business Development at iGrad. The other 19 were in educational lending beginning at SallieMae (PA) in July 1989 then at CoreStates Bank, Sovereign Bank, Collegiate Funding Services and immediately prior to iGrad, as Account Manager at Education Finance Partners for over three years. Donna has received a BS in Marketing from King's College & an MBA in Finance from Wilkes University. Donna resides in Southampton, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

Paul Mittelhammer:
Paul Mittelhammer is VP Business Development National Strategy with Inceptia which is a division of NSLP. Paul has served in various roles at Inceptia and NSLP for the past seven years and enjoys working with schools in TN, AL, NC and KY. Prior to joining NSLP Paul served in different roles at Citibank for 12 years and enjoyed leading teams that worked closely with schools in providing lending options to students. He learned the inner workings of higher education in serving as the Dean of Enrollment at Huntingdon College. His ten years at the college provided the background for his support of higher education institutions. Paul resides in Atlanta and enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter.

Lissa Powell:
Lissa has worked for the last 7 years as a Regional Training Executive with USA Funds, providing training to schools in the southern US. Prior to joining USA Funds, Lissa was the Director of Financial Aid at Samford University, and has over 25 years of experience working in financial aid. Lissa lives in Birmingham and has been a member of AASFAA since 2002.

Lane Smith:
Sixteen year career in higher education. Eleven of those years spent in the financial aid arena. Came to Samford University in 2007 as the Director of Financial Aid and has served the past ten months as the Director of Student Financial Services managing both the financial aid office and the bursar's office.

Joan B. Waters:
Director of Financial Aid at Chattahoochee Valley Community College since 1975.
Previous additional positions/titles/duties: Director of Student Services, Recruitment & Admissions
BS and MS Degrees - Troy State University

Andy Weaver:
Andy Weaver has been involved in the financial aid profession for 31 years. He has served as AASFAA president and numerous other state and regional association positions, as well as SASFAA New Aid Officer faculty and NASFAA Decentralized Training presenter.

He previously served as Assistant Director at UAH and has held the position of Director since 1997.

AASFAA 2014 Conference Presentations

The table below lists the sessions presented at the 2014 Conference. The presentations and accompanying samples, letters, etc., can be downloaded by clicking on the icons in the right column.

 PDF document

Presentation Title Presenter Document
A Comprehensive Approach to Financial Literacy Donna Miller
Banner Financial Aid Update Jim Bradsher
Clock-To-Credit Hour Conversion David Bartnicki
Federal Update David Bartnicki
One Thing 100% of Schools Should Care About: Tending to Your Default Rate Paul Mittelhammer
R2T4 David Bartnicki
Rock and Roll Leadership Darron Grussendorf

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