Professional Accounting Council member Mark Ruedy (MBA94) has moved nine times during his career with Deere & Company. With each move, he says he learned new ideas for communicating, collaborating, and ensuring everyone—no matter their role—understood how best they could help the team succeed.
Ruedy started honing his communication skills while in Tippie’s full-time MBA program in the early 90s. He says he still uses these skills daily in his position as director of financial reporting at Deere & Company’s headquarters in Moline, Ill.
“Being a strong communicator is as important as being a strong technical accountant,” says Ruedy. “Tippie teaches students to communicate well, but it also teaches them to be empathetic, which is a big part of working effectively in a team-based environment.”
Ruedy started his career in a public accounting firm after receiving a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Iowa State. After a rewarding experience in public accounting, he felt ready for a change, and he enrolled in Tippie’s full-time MBA program, a commitment that required him to quit his full-time job and move to Iowa City.
Although friends and family worried that he was taking a big risk by going back to school full-time, Ruedy was not deterred. He visited the Tippie campus the summer before the program started and met Professor Emeritus Dan Collins (BBA68/PhD73). The two immediately hit it off, and Collins offered Ruedy a job as his research assistant.
“Dan and I became very close during those two years of my MBA and his mentorship and friendship have shaped me and my career,” says Ruedy. “He continues to be a role model for me today. I appreciate our relationship and the guidance he continues to provide.”
During his time at Tippie, Ruedy met his future wife, Margie (Homan) Ruedy (BSPH93/PHARMD95), who was studying for her pharmacy doctorate at the University of Iowa. The couple moved frequently due to Ruedy’s work with Deere & Company and agreed to move to Brazil for his first international posting when they were expecting their first child. About a decade later, they took on another international post—this time in Germany—and took their young daughter, Grace, with them.
“Working abroad was an incredible experience, but there were also challenges that we had to overcome as a family,” says Ruedy. “My wife had to put her career on hold, and our daughter had to integrate into a new school where kids came from around the globe. The experience definitely brought us closer together.”
Ruedy says he is keenly aware that the experiences of living abroad, visiting “bucket list” European cities, and sampling foreign cuisines and cultures might not have been possible without Tippie and the people he met there who set him on the right career track. He says he is especially grateful to Collins and other Iowa faculty who provided the necessary foundational tools.
“The people at Tippie—my fellow MBA classmates and the professors who taught us—had such a big impact on my life and career,” says Ruedy. “I’m so thankful that I met them at such a formative time in my life.”
A native of Dysart, Iowa, Ruedy is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing success of his alma mater through his activity on the Professional Accounting Council (PAC). He is also actively engaged in the Tippie Gateway Program, which Deere & Company financially sponsors, and enjoys meeting and mentoring program participants.
“I’m really proud to be able to support two outstanding organizations that have had such a profound impact on my life and career—Tippie and John Deere,” says Ruedy. “Being a part of the PAC and volunteering with the Tippie Gateway program makes me feel that I’m leaving a legacy, something I can watch grow and positively change lives.”
Ruedy is passionate about supporting the Tippie Gateway Program, which hosts rising high school seniors from underrepresented groups on campus, including racial minorities, women, and students from rural areas across Iowa. To sponsor a scholarship for these deserving students, contact Anthony Lehnertz at email@example.com.