News & Views‌

UNIBusiness well represented on Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier’s 20 Under 40 list

9 months ago
UNIBusiness Editor
Courier's top 20 under 40, UNIBusiness's Andy Anderson, Katie Hillyer, Mark Watje, Bart Schmitz

Four UNIBusiness alumni, faculty and staff were honored on the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier’s annual 20 Under 40 list, which names 20 Cedar Valley professionals under the age of 40 who have made outstanding contributions to the community in their work and professional lives. 

The list includes:

Andy (John) Anderson (Supply Chain and Operations Management ’05): assistant professor of management and John Deere Endowed Fellow at UNIBusiness, mountain climber and owner of TransChina Solutions LLC.

Mark Watje (Marketing Management ’09): President of Curbtender Inc. 

Katie Hillyer (Marketing and Business Communication ’09): Director of the Office for Professional Distinction.

Bart Schmitz: Program associate at the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and business owner. 

"It is very humbling to have UNIBusiness representation from four of the 20 under 40 honorees,” Dean Leslie Wilson said. “Our faculty, staff and alumni actively and positively contribute to the quality of life we all experience in the Cedar Valley. Each honoree sets an example for our students on how they can make a difference in business, their local community and the state of Iowa."  

Andy (John) Anderson 

Headshot of Andy (John) Anderson

Andy Anderson is an assistant professor of management at UNIBusiness, but has offered so much more to the Cedar Valley area. His business, TransChina Solutions LLC, helps companies with product development and strategic supply chain development projects. 

Anderson is also a successful mountain climber and has scaled tough climbs throughout the world.  

“I am humbled and honored to receive this award,” Anderson said. “What this award means most to me is clarifying and celebrating all of the amazing people who have put me in a position to be successful. It truly takes a village — and we have a wildly fantastic village here in the Cedar Valley.”

Katie Hillyer

Headshot of Katie Hillyer

Katie Hillyer has worked with UNIBusiness since 2010. From there, Hillyer has ascended the ranks to become the director of the Office for Professional Distinction, a combined initiative focused on arming students with global experiences and professional readiness. 

“It’s a huge honor for me,” Hillyer said. “Much of my nomination centered around the work I’ve done at UNI, namely with the Professional Readiness Program, which I think speaks to the impressiveness of the program we’ve built.” 

Bart Schmitz

Headshot of Bart Schmitz

Currently the program manager of UNIBusiness’ John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, Bart Schmitz also owns his own business in property management. Schmitz is also active in several K-12 Junior Achievement Classes and is the adviser for UNIEntrepreneurs, the JPEC’s student organization of students interested in entrepreneurship. 

He’s happy to be honored and spread the news of all the great things being done at UNIBusiness and through volunteering. 

“I am honored to share my story with the Cedar Valley community,” Schmitz said. “It has given me an opportunity to share about the great things I have been involved in — my volunteer experience with 4-H, Cedar Valley Bike Collective, JA and many other great organizations. I hope that my story inspires others to give back.    

Mark Watje

Headshot of Mark Watje

Mark Watje’s time at UNIBusiness was invaluable to the success he has seen since. Now the president of Curbtender Inc., a Cedar Falls-based refuse trucks manufacturing company, Watje said the entrepreneurial mindset he fostered while completing his undergraduate degree led to his quick career rise. 

“Without my UNIBusiness education I wouldn’t have been able to advance as quickly as I have in my career,” Watje said. “Two professors in particular helped me to grow exponentially with my skills: Raj Rajendran and Steve Corbin. I use lessons from their classes every single day.”



UNI Business

UNIBusiness Editor

UNIBusiness uses a team of writers to conceptualize, develop and share stories and updates with the public. If you have a story idea, an update on an alum or just want to say 'Hi', please email