Michelle Mikka-Van Der Stuyf '00

After two years as Chief Technology Officer of BizStrat Technology, Michelle Mikka-Van Der Stuyf ’00 was named the company’s new President and CEO in April 2015. A software development and technology consulting company, BizStrat seeks to deliver a big company result with a small company feel, with diverse projects customized to fit client’s resources, expertise, timeline and budget.

“When you have a passion for building technology solutions that are above and beyond, the creative and innovative results that break those barriers actually presented an opportunity for me that I would have never imagined possible,” Mikka-Van Der Stuyf said. “I always pushed boundaries, tried to do things better, faster, smarter and faced challenges with a ‘can do’ attitude”

As Chief Technology Officer, Mikka-Van Der Stuyf’s tasks included conducting initial discovery meets with new clients, overseeing the company’s highly valued partnerships, strategically directing client projects and needs, and dynamic staff management. However, with such a promotion comes much more responsibilities.

“Since the addition of a Willowbrook location in May, I will be increasing our exposure, tailoring and slimming down our product portfolio, and working with marketing teams to give our website and marketing endeavors a face lift, with the intent of aligning them with the emerging social media style,” Mikka-Van Der Stuyf said. “Our goals are to increase sales in the consulting division, both independently and through implementation of our software solutions, while increasing our software sales with the general release and launch of our line of solutions in the mobile/touch/kiosk space in Fall 2015.”

As BizStrat continues to grow, opportunities for others will surface with the creation of new jobs, especially for college students and recent graduates. Mikka-Van Der Stuyf says the company “believes in supporting future talent,” adding an internship program in 2014.

“We have already awarded four college students (Lewis, Elmhurst and Loyola) an opportunity in database administration experience,” Mikka-Van Der Stuyf continued. “Also, upcoming internships will include website design, technical sales, implementation, technology consulting and software testing/demonstration.”

Showing further compassion for growing professionals, Mikka-Van Der Stuyf is an active member of the Advisory Board for Mathematics and Computer Science at Lewis.

“I bring a corporate view, a foundation view and an alumni view to the endeavors specifically in Math/Computer Science,” said Mikka-Van Der Stuyf. “Since I received my education at Lewis while I worked in technology, I have a perspective on what worked as a student who was in the field.”

Mikka-Van Der Stuyf is also on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Technology Foundation and Co-Chairs the Ladies in Technology Program.

“Although I have only been on the board since Fall 2014, the time has been productive,” Mikka-Van Der Stuyf said. “We have found that there are many crossovers where we can help Lewis, both corporately and through the Illinois Technology foundation and most recently with Lewis’ trek to increase their own work with Women in Math/Computer Science.”

Throughout her career Mikka-Van Der Stuyf has had opportunity to travel on business to an array of countries, including Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Barbados. She says traveling gave her the chance to learn various currencies, products, laws, markets, and challenges; each of which broadened and deepened the toolkit of experience/exposure to deliver great solutions in her line of work.

Mikka-Van Der Stuyf encourages Lewis students to build great relationships with their peers and educators and take the time to look up from your book and actually look around.

“Too often we don’t take the time to see what is going on around us, which can deepen your education immensely and prepare you for a successful career,” she said. “This is what makes you rise above the rest and gets you noticed. Don’t short change your opportunities by zooming in too close, take the time to widen your view of everything.”

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