Saint Mary's Announces 2010 Shannon Executive Scholars


Saint Mary's College Announces 2010 Shannon Executive Scholars

Media contact:
Gwen O’Brien
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary’s College
(574) 284-4579

October 19, 2010 (Notre Dame, Ind.)—Saint Mary’s College is proud to announce the selection of Indianapolis entrepreneurs Karen Baker Hill ’79 and Mark Hill as this year’s Shannon Executive Scholars. This honor is bestowed upon distinguished Saint Mary’s alumnae who have achieved outstanding professional success. Mark Hill, Karen Baker Hill’s business partner and husband, shares this honor with her.

The Shannon Executive Scholar program began in 1993 with an endowment from William Shannon III, professor emeritus of the Business Administration and Economics Department, and his wife, Bonnie. Executive Scholars visit the College and share their expertise with students in professionally related classes. They typically also meet with student leaders, other alumnae and faculty and administrators. The Hills will be on campus Monday, November 1 and Tuesday, November 2.

In 1983, the Hills co-founded Baker Hill ®, a software solutions company focused on small business lending. Baker Hill started small, with Karen working from a computer in her living room on a method to automate the analysis of financial statements. Over the course of 20 years, she built a business that served over 1,000 banks, primarily in the U.S., but also in Australia and Asia. Baker Hill products are used by high performing organizations to streamline and manage their credit origination, customer management and portfolio management processes. Experian®, a global information company, acquired Baker Hill in 2005.

The Hills are now managing partners in Collina Ventures, LLC, a private investment firm focusing on technology companies in central Indiana. The company seeks to serve highly qualified entrepreneurs and help them to achieve their dreams.

Karen Baker Hill earned a business administration degree from Saint Mary’s and holds a MBA from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. Mark Hill, who started his career at IBM, holds a BBA from the University of Notre Dame and a MBA from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.

The Hills will spend two days on campus. Their itinerary includes lunch with students in CEO (Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization) and YEC (Young Executives Club); a meeting with the program directors of the College’s new Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, WEI; and dinner with students enrolled in an entrepreneurship course called New Ventures where three groups of students are starting their own businesses.

MEDIA: For possible interview opportunities with the Hills while they are at Saint Mary's College, please contact Gwen O’Brien, director of media relations, at of (574) 284-4579.

About the Shannon Scholars Program:
The Shannon Scholars Program, established by a generous gift from Professor William N. Shannon and his wife Bonnie, is an annual program at Saint Mary’s College that invites successful alumnae back to campus to share their experiences with students, faculty, staff and the local community.

About the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI): In 2009, the College received a $245,000 Small Business Administration grant to support women’s entrepreneurship programming in the South Bend community, which led to the creation of WEI. The initiative was developed through the collaborative efforts of the Department of Business Administration and Economics (BUEC) and the staff of the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL). Through WEI, which got underway in the spring 2010 semester, the College is partnering with community businesses, non-profits and organizations to provide a number of financial and business education services to women entrepreneurs. WEI is pronounced "we."

About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, women’s institution offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study. Saint Mary’s College has six nationally accredited academic programs: social work, art, music, teacher education, chemistry and nursing. Saint Mary's College ranks among the top 100 “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” in the U.S. News & World Report 2011 College Guide. Founded in 1844, Saint Mary’s is a pioneer in the education of women, and is sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.