Heidelberg University has announced the slate of speakers for the 2012-13 Patricia Adams Lecture Series. Next academic year, the university will welcome award-winning author Donna VanLiere on Oct. 18 and alumna Jerilyn Medrea, an expert in global human resources, leadership development and organizational development, on April 11.
Born and raised in northeastern Ohio, VanLiere is a New York Times best-selling author and conference speaker. Throughout her illustrious writing career, she has published nearly 15 titles, including The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Blessing, both of which were adapted into TV movies on CBS and starred Rob Lowe, Kimberly Williams-Perry and Neil Patrick Harris. VanLiere’s story, The Christmas Hope, was adapted by Lifetime Television and premiered in December 2009. Her next work, The Good Dream, is due to be released in July 2012.
VanLiere began her writing career “on the side” in Nashville while doing theatre, commercial voiceover and radio work. Her first book was published in 2001, and 13 titles later, she has received a Retailer’s Choice Award for Fiction, a Dove Award, a Silver Angel Award and an Audie Award for best inspirational fiction. A frequently sought-after conference speaker, she has appeared at many women’s and family events, including Women of Faith and Extraordinary Women conferences.
A graduate of Cedarville University, VanLiere lives in Franklin, Tenn., with her husband, Troy, and their three children, Grace, Kate and David.
Medrea is Global Head of Talent Engagement for Liquidnet, a global institutional trading network that represents the values and services of the “new Wall Street.”
In her current position, she reports directly to the CEO and is a member of the Executive Committee. She is responsible for overseeing global human resources, leadership development and organizational development for the company. Since joining the firm in 2007, Medrea has developed a number of innovative and award-winning approaches to employee engagement. Under her leadership, Liquidnet has been named one of the “Best Places to Work in New York” by Crain’s New York Business and the most adoption-friendly workplace in the financial services industry for the third consecutive year by the Dave Thomas Foundation.
Medrea also oversees Liquidnet for Good, the company’s corporate social engagement program. In this role, she works with the company to leverage its financial, human capital, technology and expertise to create local and global impact. Liquidnet for Good includes a series of programs including Liquidnet’s Signature project, the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, a pioneering project helping orphans of Rwanda’s genocide. She is member of the ASYV Board of Directors.
Over her 30-year career in corporate America, she has held senior roles with companies such as Champion International, PepsiCo, PricewaterhouseCoopers, EMC/Smarts and BearingPoint. She has been recognized by the industry, publications such as Working Mother magazine, the Wall Street Journal and her peers for her contributions, leadership and dedication to strategic human resources and work-life initiatives. She was one of the pioneers in corporate wellness and a two-time recipient of the C. Everett Koop Award for the developing state-of-the-art employee wellness programs. She was also recently recognized by Cambridge Who’s Who for Excellence in Human Resource Services.
Having too often been the only woman on leadership teams and in the board room, she is passionate about supporting and mentoring women in their careers. Her other passions include her family, Martha’s Vineyard, supporting the fight against breast cancer and Heidelberg University.
Medrea holds a bachelor’s degree from Heidelberg (1977) and a master’s degree from Michigan State University. She is also a graduate of Harvard Business School's Program for Management Development and is a member of the Harvard Alumni Association.
While on campus, both guests will participate in a number of formal and informal presentations, culminating in dinner and a keynote address for the campus and local community.