Leadership and Board of Directors

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Executive Leadership

Mike Dunlap

Michael S. Dunlap

Executive Chairman of the Board

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Mike Dunlap, Executive Chairman of the Board, established the company that would become Nelnet with Stephen Butterfield in 1996. Dunlap previously served as Chairman and CEO of the company (co-CEO with current Vice Chairman Butterfield 2003-2007) from its inception. Dunlap also serves as Executive Committee Chair.

Dunlap attained his undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln in 1986, and his Juris Doctor from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln in 1988. He is a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association.

He serves in different leadership capacities for many organizations, including Union Bank & Trust, Union College, Vision 2015, and Capital Casualty Company, among others.

"What makes Nelnet great?"

The people. Hardworking, persistent associates making educational dreams possible!

Jeffrey Noordhoek

Jeffrey R. Noordhoek

Chief Executive Officer

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Jeffrey R. Noordhoek serves as Nelnet’s Chief Executive Officer. In this capacity he leads the executive team in the development and execution of corporate strategy and is responsible for the company’s financial performance and growth. He also directly leads the Nelnet Diversified Solutions (NDS) loan servicing division and is focused on the acquisition and development of talent across the enterprise.

Noordhoek’s leadership foundation is based on the strength of Nelnet’s five Core Values with a high concentration on the top three: customers are #1, create an environment in which associates can do what they do best, build a diversified education services company. These Core Values plus his focus on a culture of open communication with all constituents of the company drive Noordhoek’s vision for Nelnet.

Previously, Noordhoek served as President of Nelnet, Senior Vice President of National Education Loan Network, Inc., a subsidiary of Nelnet, and as Vice President of Nelnet’s predecessor, Union Financial Services, Inc. Before joining Nelnet, he served for seven years in various capacities for State Street Capital Corporation.

Noordhoek earned a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Nebraska in 1988 and a master’s of business administration from Boston University in 1996. He is an active member of the Young President’s Organization.

"What makes Nelnet great?"

The discipline we use to adhere to our Core Values as a company has created a customer-focused environment. This has afforded us the opportunity to attract an incredible workforce consisting of associates with the same set of Core Values.

Tim Tewes

Timothy A. Tewes

President

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Timothy A. Tewes serves as President of Nelnet, where he leads both Nelnet Business Solutions (NBS) and Nelnet Enrollment Solutions (NES). He also provides oversight and insight on all sales functions, and works within the organization to encourage growth and collaboration.

Previously, Tewes served as Chief Executive Officer of Nelnet Business Solutions (NBS) and President of NBS’s K–12 division, FACTS Management. Tewes joined FACTS Management in 2000, and served as Executive Vice President. In 2007, he became CEO for NBS.

Prior to joining FACTS Management Company, Tewes served as President of Wells Fargo's Lincoln, Nebraska banks, and served as Regional President responsible for Wells Fargo's greater Nebraska banks.

Tewes earned a master’s of business administration as well as a bachelor’s in agriculture business from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln. Tewes has been active in many capacities for the United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County.

"What makes Nelnet great?"

Our team members and our clients make Nelnet great. Our team members serve our clients. Without each and every team member and client, Nelnet would not be the company it is, we would not have the cultural value we have and we would not be able to make a difference in the lives of people in the way we do. We have awesome clients and team members who serve them.

Terry Heimes

Terry J. Heimes

Chief Operating Officer

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Terry J. Heimes is Nelnet’s Chief Operating Officer. As COO, Heimes manages the company’s shared services: accounting, legal, risk, people services, facilities, communication services, and the IT department. Heimes also leads Nelnet’s Asset Generation and Management segment.

Since 2001, Heimes has occupied the roles of Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director of Corporate Finance and Legal Services. Heimes served as Director for Nelnet from March 2001 until August 2003. In October 1998, Heimes became the Vice President of Finance for National Education Loan Network, Inc., a subsidiary of Nelnet. Heimes has also worked for the public accounting firm of KPMG LLP in Lincoln, Nebraska, as a manager in the audit department.

Heimes graduated magna cum laude from the University of Nebraska—Kearney in 1986 with a bachelor’s in business administration with an emphasis in accounting. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors for the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce.

"What makes Nelnet great?"

It starts with the people. We have great people who are truly focused on creating and adding value while serving our customers. When you add a long-term focus and resources to that we can really do great things.

Jim Kruger

Jim Kruger

Chief Financial Officer

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Jim Kruger is Nelnet’s Chief Financial Officer, a role in which he is responsible for student loan asset generation and management, corporate accounting and tax, financial reporting, mergers and acquisitions, and the Innovation Hub.

Previously, Kruger served as the company’s Controller from 1998-2013, where he was responsible for, among other things, the company’s accounting activities, financial statement preparation, and SEC compliance reporting.

Before coming to Nelnet, Kruger worked as Senior Manager at KPMG Peat Marwick from 1986-1994, before moving to NEBHELP, which was acquired by Nelnet in 1998.

Kruger received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln in 1986. He is a CPA in the State of Nebraska, and is a Norris School Board of Education member and treasurer of the Norris Athletic Booster Club.

"What makes Nelnet great?"

Nelnet has awesome people who care about their customers and that, along with our unique culture, makes us great.

William Munn

William J. Munn

Secretary and General Counsel

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William J. Munn is the company's General Counsel and Secretary. Munn came to Nelnet from UNIPAC Service Corporation, which Nelnet acquired in 2000.

Prior to his appointment as General Counsel, Munn served the company as Legal Counsel, Senior Counsel, and Deputy General Counsel. He works closely with the Board of Directors and its committees, and also oversees the company's records management initiatives.

Before joining Nelnet, Munn was in private law practices in both Denver and Lincoln. Munn currently serves on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement Rocky Mountain, Inc., and actively supports JA's volunteer efforts in Denver-area schools.

Munn received his undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism in 1990 and his Juris Doctor in 1994, both from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln.

What makes Nelnet great?

We have great people, which creates a culture that attracts other great people. In turn, these associates are committed to serving their customers, with the mindset of owning whatever that customer’s need is. The combination of engaged associates and engaged and satisfied customers is a very powerful one, which continues to drive the organization forward.

Board of Directors

Mike Dunlap

Michael S. Dunlap

Executive Chairman of the Board

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Mike Dunlap, Executive Chairman of the Board, established the company that would become Nelnet with Stephen Butterfield in 1996. Dunlap previously served as Chairman and CEO of the company (co-CEO with current Vice Chairman Butterfield 2003-2007) from its inception. Dunlap also serves as Executive Committee Chair.

Dunlap attained his undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln in 1986, and his Juris Doctor from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln in 1988. He is a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association.

He serves in different leadership capacities for many organizations, including Union Bank & Trust, Union College, Vision 2015, and Capital Casualty Company, among others.

Stephen Burtterfield

Stephen F. Butterfield

Vice Chairman

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Stephen F. Butterfield serves as our Vice Chairman. Previously, he served as the company's co-CEO and Vice Chairman. Butterfield also served as a Director for Nelnet's predecessor.

He and Dunlap founded Nelnet with the dream of making the company one of the finest in the education services and finance industry. Butterfield, known as "Butter" to his friends and colleagues, reflects on the significant accomplishments and the realization of their shared dream:" It is rewarding to stand back and see the strong company that Mike and I worked so hard to create and develop. We've seen it through the infancy stages to become the solid, growing company that it is today." He helped develop the philosophy that the leadership of the company works for the associates. This has grown from a way of illustrating his philosophy that Nelnet leadership supports and assists our hard-working associates—one distinction that sets the company apartto a daily mantra for the top officers of the company.

Butterfield's dynamic personality and compassionate leadership have endeared him to Nelnet associates across the nation. His business acumen and accessibility have created trusting and long-lasting relationships throughout the industry.

For nearly 20 years, Butterfield has been involved in the student loan industry. First, he served as President of a for-profit student loan secondary market facility located in Scottsdale, Arizona, and subsequently as President of the Student Loan Acquisition Authority of Arizona, a non-profit secondary market facility. Prior to his work in the student loan industry, Butterfield spent 15 years as an investment banker; he spent several years in investment banking with Boettcher and Company, specializing in municipal finance.

Butterfield received his B.S. degree in business administration from Arizona State University. He lives with his family in Scottsdale, Arizona.

James P. Abel

James P. Abel

Director

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James P. Abel has been a member of Nelnet's Board of Directors since August 2003 and serves as Chair of the compensation committee. Mr. Abel had previously served as a Director of NHELP-I, Inc., a Nelnet subsidiary, for three years until August 2003.

Since 1983, Mr. Abel has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of NEBCO, Inc., a Lincoln, Nebraska, based company with interests in the manufacturing of building materials, construction, insurance, mining, railroading, farming, and real estate.

Mr. Abel serves on the Boards of Directors of Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. and Linweld, Inc. and is an Advisory Board Member for US Bank Lincoln. He is Chairman of the Nebraska Game & Parks Foundation and is on the Boards of the University of Nebraska Foundation and Nebraska Wesleyan University. Mr. Abel received a B.S. degree from Arizona State University in 1973.

Kathleen A. Farrell

Kathleen A. Farrell Ph.D.

Director

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Kathleen A. Farrell is an Associate Professor of Finance at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln. Dr. Farrell joined the finance faculty at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln in the fall of 1993. Her primary research interests are in executive compensation, executive turnover, and other corporate governance issues. Dr. Farrell's publications have appeared in such journals as the Journal of Business, Journal of Accounting and Economics, Journal of Corporate Finance, Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Financial Research, and Advances in Financial Economics.

Dr. Farrell teaches courses in corporate finance, managerial finance, and bank management. In 1996 she received the Distinguished Teaching Award and 2004 she received the University Distinguished Teaching Award from the College of Business Administration. Dr. Farrell draws on her experience from KPMG Peat Marwick as a supervising senior where she was involved with audit engagements for banks/savings and loans, manufacturers and college and universities. Dr. Farrell received her Ph.D in finance from the University of Georgia, and a BBA in finance and accounting from Kent State University. Dr. Farrell is married to Sam Allgood, an associate professor of economics at UNL. They have three children: Eastin, Hannah, and Spencer Allgood.

Thomas E. Henning

Thomas E. Henning

Director

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Thomas E. Henning has served as a member of our Board of Directors since August 2003. He serves on the nominating and governance committees.

Mr. Henning serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Assurity Security Group Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiaries, Security Financial Life Insurance Co. and Assurity Life Insurance Company. Previously, Mr. Henning served concurrently as President and Chief Operating Officer of National Bank of Commerce of Lincoln, Nebraska, and Executive Vice President of First Commerce Bancshares between 1985 and 1990.

Mr. Henning is a member of the Investment Committee for the Lincoln Community Foundation, Chairman of the University of Nebraska Foundation Board of Directors, member of Lincoln Plating Company's Advisory Board and on the board of Stockmens Financial. He is a 1975 graduate of the University of Nebraska, as well as Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University. He also has completed the Wharton School's Effective Management Program. Mr. Henning holds the CLU and CFA designations.

"It's a pleasure to serve on the board of a company like Nelnet which provides such a societal good by helping individuals achieve their educational dreams."

William R. Cintani

William R. Cintani

Director

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William R. Cintani has been a member of Nelnet's Board of Directors since May 2012, and is a member of the audit and risk and finance committees. Mr. Cintani is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mapes Industries, a diversified manufacturer of specialty architectural products with distribution across the Unites States and Canada. Mr. Cintani's service on numerous civic, philanthropic, and service boards have provided him with a wide array of experience in both corporate governance and operations. His practical knowledge and board experience provides the Company with a resource for all aspects of finance, operations, IT, and strategic planning. In addition, Mr. Cintani has served 10 years as a member of the board of directors for certain of the Company's asset-backed securities special purpose corporations.

Kimberly Rath

Kimberly Rath

Director

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Kimberly Rath is a native of Nebraska and has nearly 25 years of experience in the human resources field. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska—Lincoln and a recognized leader in the field of executive development and human resources. Demonstrating a strong commitment to others, Rath uses her skills as a leadership management consultant to help clients reach their highest growth potential. Through her initiatives at Talent Plus as managing director and president, she has driven the company's growth at a rate not lower than 20 percent per year. Rath's achievements include:

  • The strategic development of the Quality Selection Process® (QSP®), with over 50 validated selection interviews in 20 languages.
  • The creation of Collaborative Coaching® for the development and career planning of executives.
  • The actualization of TalentBank®, the online human capital management system built on the talents and measurable performance of an organization's associates.

Rath provides executive management consulting and training to organizations worldwide, including The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company (the only hospitality company to have twice won the U.S. Department of Commerce Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award), The Estee Lauder Companies, Mercedes-Benz USA, The Cheesecake Factory, Duty Free Shops and Cadbury Schweppes.

Rath is a member of the Young Presidents' Organization as well as Cather Circle, Nebraska Alumni Association's mentoring and networking program for women. She previously served as a member of the Lincoln City/County Child Care Advisory Board. She also had a leadership role on the Executive Advisory Board for the Nebraska Center for Entrepreneurship and helped the Center gain recognition as the No. 1 Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Education Program in the country by the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Rath was a 1998 and 2005 nominee for the Lincoln YWCA Tribute to Women Award.

Prior to founding Talent Plus, Rath worked with The Gallup Organization for seven years, developing relationships with clients through training and development programs.

She is married to Doug Rath, chairman of Talent Plus. They have four children.

Michael Reardon

Michael Reardon

Director

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Michael Reardon has served as a member of our Board of Directors since December 2003 and serves on the compensation, nominating, and governance committees. He had previously served since 2001 as an Independent Director for MELMAC, LLC, a Nelnet subsidiary.

Mr. Reardon is the President of ProVision Communications, a telecommunications consulting firm established in 2000. He has also served as the Chairman of HyperFlo, a manufacturer of precision cleaning equipment since 1997. Prior to 1977, Mr. Reardon founded and operated a cellular telephone company.

A graduate of Arizona State University, Mr. Reardon holds a degree in economics.