Professional Staff

One of IBC’s unique features is its organizational structure. IBC’s Directors come from outside of academia. Their industry experience adds practical and relevant perspective to the student teams. In any given week, 70 IBC team-and-client meetings are held and hundreds of students come in and out of IBC’s doors. IBC’s office staff provide support for the program and make it possible for the organization to run efficiently.

Whitney Smith, Director

Whitney is a proud graduate of the University of Illinois with a degree in Communication and a curriculum concentration in Business. She has spent her career in a variety of Corporate and Client Relations roles including more than ten years running Corporate Partner Activation for the Chicago Bulls. In addition, Whitney spent several years at SpencerStuart, a leading Executive Search and Management Consulting firm. Prior to joining IBC, she was a part of the Office of Corporate Relations, a unit of the Chancellor’s office on the Urbana-Champaign campus. Whitney is thrilled to be able to combine her experience in Corporate and Client Relations with the opportunity to work with the incredibly talented students of IBC.

Eric Swenson, Associate Director

Eric brings proven leadership and mentoring experience to the IBC team. His career, which has stretched across several industries, began as an intelligence analyst in the US Army, where he served a year-long combat tour in Iraq. He has also worked as an operations manager for ADM, and he most recently comes from a small college where he filled a variety of key roles, including serving as the lead corporate relations officer. Eric is a University of Illinois graduate, earning both his BS and MS in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences. He is extremely excited to return to his alma mater and connect his broad, real-world experience with his passion for higher education to help our IBC students grow both personally and professionally.

Carissa Phillips, Research Advisor

James Noonan, Faculty Advisor