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9/7/23 NOTE:  The Session Grid has been finalized!  The layout and timing of the Friday sessions have been changed so please review the schedule on the Sessions Listing page before you arrive.  See you all next week!


M I D W E S T   E L L U C I A N   C L I E N T  A S S O C I A T I O N

C O N F E R E N C E 

Thursday and Friday | September 14-15, 2023 | Eastern Iowa Community College
Event Registration

Join us to share, collaborate, explore and plan with other higher education professionals around the use of Ellucian's software products. 

MECA allows sponsors to network with higher education professional from across the midwest. Join us and be a part of a great learning experience!

Event Registration Information
o v e r v i e w


Welcome to MECA, a regional professional development conference for users of Ellucian's software solutions. MECA is a conference designed to help bring together professionals in higher education from across the Midwest to present, learn, and discuss the technology issues facing our campuses - today and in the future.​  We strive to collect a broad collection of volunteer and vendor-led content so that any functional area on your campus can find value in our event but we also work to keep our event and session sizes small enough where you can truly connect and network with your peers who are facing the same daily challenges.


After a two-year hiatus triggered by a global pandemic, the conference returned to the Grinnell College campus in Grinnell, Iowa in 2022 and featured 45 total session in 8 different conference tracks.  And MECA has a new home and place on the calendar in 2023!  MECA 2023 will be held at Eastern Iowa Community College in Davenport, Iowa on September 14th and 15th. 

F E A T U R E D  S P E A K E R S

Have a suggestion for a future speaker? Drop us a message through our contact box below and let us know!

S E S S I O N S   I N F O

In 2023, MECA will offer 8 different conference tracks, providing a broad range of learning opportunities for all areas of colleges and universities using Ellucian’s software solutions.


  • CIO Forum/IT Management - Colleague

  • Enrollment and Financial Aid - Colleague

  • Financials - Colleague

  • Human Resources and Payroll - Colleague

  • Registrar and Academic Records - Colleague

  • Reporting and Data Governance - Colleague

  • Technical Track - Colleague


For detailed descriptions of the sessions we offered last year, take a look at our session listing.

C I O  F O R U M

Join IT leaders from around the Midwest as they explore and discuss their vision for the future of their technology solutions. Attend, network and interact to get the information you need to plan your campus’ next technology innovations.

About our Speakers
Session Info
CIO Forum

MECA 2023 Schedule

Thursday, September 14th and Friday, September 15th




Vendor registration in the Urban Campus Foyer

through 11:00am


Attendee registration in the Urban Campus Foyer

through 12:00pm

through 1:30pm


Lunch, Welcome and Keynote Panel in the Urban Campus Community Room


through 2:20pm

Conference Sessions in Urban Campus Classrooms

through 3:10pm


Break in the Urban Campus Foyer, Sponsor Area


through 5:00pm

Conference Sessions in Urban Campus Classrooms



Breakfast in the Urban Campus Community Room

through 8:30am


through 9:20am

Conference Sessions in Urban Campus Classrooms


through 10:00am

Break in the Urban Campus Foyer, Sponsor Area


through 12:00pm

Capstone Presentation in the Urban Campus Community Room

Closing Remarks, Door Prizes and Box Lunch


through 12:30pm

Reviving Sponsor
Reviving Partner

MECA​ 2023


A big thank you to all of our sponsors. Without their support, involvement, and enthusiasm we could not accomplish our goal of helping you connect with the other institutions, professionals, products and practices you need to lead your institutions.

R E V I V I N G  P A R T n e r
R E V I V I N G  S P O N S O R S
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C O N F E R E N C E  A D V O C A T E S
Ellumination Award.jpg
MECA is the 2017 Ellucian Ellumination Community Award Winner

"Awarded to an individual who creates best practices by collaborating with peers across the higher education community to identify new solutions to common challenges."  Presented to Kelley Bradder, CIO of Simpson College at eLive 2017 for reviving the Midwest regional conference (MR-DUG) as the MECA Conference.



Opening Keynote:  Navigating AI's Potential in Higher Education
Kelley Bradder, Vice President of Implementation and Product Support (Ocelot) is an accomplished technology leader with over two decades of experience, is recognized for her exceptional contributions to the realms of digital transformation, IT strategy, and product implementation. With a passion for leveraging technology to enhance business outcomes, she has consistently delivered innovative solutions that drive success across a variety of higher education institutions.  Currently serving as the Vice President of Implementation and Product Support at Ocelot, Ms. Bradder, plays a pivotal role in overseeing the successful integration of cutting-edge AI-powered solutions into educational institutions. During her tenure at Ocelot, she has exhibited a remarkable ability to navigate the complexities of product development, prioritization, and effective communication.  Before joining Ocelot, Bradder held the position of Vice President, CIO Services & Security at HIGHER DIGITAL Inc., where she spearheaded crucial initiatives to enhance digital transformation and security. Her role also involved guiding clients toward creating world-class digital experiences through a unique blend of technology, services, and analytics. This experience equipped her with a comprehensive understanding of how to elevate higher education organizations' digital strategies amidst increasing competition and technological innovation. During her time at HIGHER DIGITAL Inc., she focused on providing strategic leadership to help organizations adapt to digital change, ultimately driving engagement and improved business performance.

John Van Weeren, Vice President, Higher Education (GCOM) is a professional with over 30 years of experience in higher education information technology, spanning various disciplines including: quality assurance, software development, large systems installation and deployment, services, and support. He has held leadership positions and is an expert in the fields of business intelligence (BI), visualization, and analytic application development. In the five years prior to joining GCOM, Mr. Van Weeren managed the BI solution portfolio for an industry leading ERP system provider, involving requirements definition, product roadmap, solution design and systems integration. More recently, he has been responsible for analytic solution architecture and implementations using various technologies across a range of project types and sizes. He also leads the development and deployment of GCOM’s Student Success Analytics data warehouse and analytic visualizations platform to enhance business processes and inform actionable insights for clients.

Josh Webb, Project Manager and Training (Eastern Iowa Community Colleges) stands at the intersection of cutting-edge technology and education as the Associate Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Technology (EARTh) Center. Under his leadership, the EARTh Center has revolutionized workforce training with immersive, safe, and highly effective virtual simulations. At Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, Josh champions XR innovations by both advancing technological projects and overseeing the XR Development Program. This dual role ensures the next generation of tech leaders are well-equipped and inspired. Away from the tech scene, Josh's passions are grounded: coaching his youngest son's baseball games and cheering on his eldest son during his AAU basketball games.
Closing Capstone:  Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:  We All Play a Role in Using, Protecting and Securing DEI Data

Ryan Saddler, Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Director of Accessibility Resource Center (St Ambrose University) is in his twenty seventh year at St. Ambrose University and in August of 2019 was appointed the university’s first Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  Saddler graduated from St. Ambrose in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Psychology. He added a Master of Education degree with a Postsecondary Disability Services emphasis from St. Ambrose in 2006 and has worked at the university in multiple roles since 1995.  

Since Saddler’s 1996 employment began at St. Ambrose, he has served at the university in multiple roles such as Black Student Union Advisor, Office of Multicultural Affairs Director, Assistant Football Coach, Assistant & Head Track and Field coach, Chair and Co-Chair of the Diversity Work Group, and NAACP Student Chapter Advisor. Along with serving on numerous campus committees, Saddler has classroom and advising experience. He was also the December 2020 Commencement Speaker for St. Ambrose University. Saddler has presented locally and nationally on various topics such as career outcome expectancies and exploration intentions of students with disabilities, disability law for higher education institutions and how our Worldview effects how we see the World and multiple diversity, equity and inclusion topics.  Saddler has also represented the University through a number of professional and community boards and networks. He served ten consecutive years in various capacities including president for ILLOWA AHEAD (Association on Higher Education and Disability); Founder and CEO of the Friends of MLK, Inc., a founding member and President of the Quad City Minority Partnership, Inc. (2006); and Founder of the Quad City Empowerment Network.  

Cory Holloway, Equal Opportunity and Diversity Manager (Eastern Iowa Community Colleges) is a dedicated professional at Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, holding the role of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Manager. His journey began at Oliver Nazarene University, where he earned a Business Administration degree in 2014. Actively engaged in his community, he contributes as a board member for various organizations, including United Way of the Quad Cities, African-American Leadership Society, QC Narratives, City Chambers, DEI Round Table, and the local SHRM chapter (GRHRA) as the DEI Director.  With a longstanding passion for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), he is grateful for the opportunity to address important issues as an employee where he can create an inclusive environment where everyone, regardless of background, can be their authentic selves at work or school.  Beyond his professional endeavors, he take pride in being a devoted family man, striving to build a brighter future for his children. Remember: While we might not be able to change the entire world, we can certainly shape our own world.




Eastern Iowa Community Colleges includes Clinton, Muscatine, and Scott Community Colleges. Stretched along the banks of the Mississippi River, the district covers all of Clinton, Jackson, Muscatine, and Scott Counties, as well as parts of Cedar and Louisa Counties.  The district regularly boasts fall enrollments of more than 7,000 students in both Associate in Arts / College Transfer programs as well as more than 30 Career Technology options.

EICC Administrative Offices
101 West Third Street
Davenport, Iowa 52801

Map to Event Site


Quad Cities International Airport is located 10 miles southeast of Eastern Iowa Community College's Urban Campus building. The airport supports 9 nonstop hubs and destinations, with hundreds of domestic and international connections.  Click here to visit the Quad Cities International Airport website.  Eastern Iowa Community College is also a morning's drive from the Cedar Rapids Regional Airport (1 hour, 15 minutes), Peoria Airport (1 hour, 30 minutes), Des Moines International Airport (2 hours, 45 minutes), or Chicago O'Hare International Airport (2 hours, 45 minutes).

H O T E L s

The MECA Conference partners with hotels from the local area to ensure a comfortable stay for all conference attendees. This year, MECA has partnered with Doubletree Downtown Davenport, Hilton Garden Inn Bettendorf and the Isle of Capri Casino Hotel Bettendorf hotels. 



Nestled in downtown Davenport, DoubleTree Downtown hotel is within walking distance of museums, theaters, restaurants, and more. A five-minute walk from Figge Art Museum, RiverCenter Convention Center, and Riverfront Trail. 


Price:  $146 + tax.  Click HERE to use the EICC/MECA conference rate.  If you prefer to call the hotel, the EICC/MECA conference rate code is EST.  (Conference rate expires 8/14.)



Have any questions or concerns regarding the conference, vendor information/registration, or anything else? 


Contact us by filling out the form to the right with your name and email, as well as a short message and we will be happy to answer any and all questions!

Thanks! Your message has been sent. We will reach back out to you as soon as possible.

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