skip to Main Content

Candidates for Professional Development – Region 2

Zak George Tony Minestra
Zachary George Tony Minestra


Zak GeorgeZachary George

Assistant Director of Admissions, Lake Forest College

BA in Music Education, emphasis in Choral and Instrumental Music, Augustana College

IACAC Member: 4 years

Previous Employment:
Knox College, Admissions Counselor

IACAC Activities:
Conference Entertainment Co-Chair (2010–2011, 2011–2012);
Conference Entertainment Committee Member (2009–2010);
Mentorship Committee Member (2011–2012);
Media Communication Committee Member (2011–2012)

Candidate Statement:

I’ve crossed the threshold and have become a ‘lifer’ in Admissions, and looking down the road, am excited to become a ‘lifer’ within the IACAC Community! I am honored to be included among many esteemed colleagues and am confident in the future of our association given the slate of candidates today.

One phone call from Meghan Cooley at Augustana College ignited my desire to get involved with the IACAC Conference in May of 2010, and since then I have been eager to take on additional opportunities that IACAC has been able to offer. I have jumped in with both feet to lend my voice when my voice is needed, and have been active in leading for the greater good of our organization. I look forward to the potential changes that we will be voting on, and know that regardless of the outcome, I could be asset in motivating and moving our organization forward. I have just brushed the surface with what our association can offer, but am confident that what I have learned in the past four years will be instrumental in what I will bring in the next forty years.

IACAC has provided me with professional opportunities that have changed the way I work with tour guides, high school visit presentations, and engagement with colleagues both at my institution and across the board, and for that I hope to continue programming opportunities for us to converse, share, and connect.


Tony MinestraTony Minestra

Assistant Director of Admissions, Elmhurst College

Bachelor’s Degree, Business and Urban Studies, Elmhurst College (2001);
MBA, Management, Elmhurst College (Spring 2013)

IACAC Member: 4 years

Previous Employment:
I am a proud Elmhurst College “lifer” with all 4 of my years in the profession at my alma mater. Prior to my current position, I coached football at the college level (at Elmhurst College) for 4 years. In a previous life, before my professional time at EC, I managed restaurants and spent some time in culinary school.

IACAC Activities:
This IACAC conference marks my 4th in as many years;
Moderated my first IACAC Conference session in 2010;
Mentorship Committee member for 3 years;
Summer Institute Committee member for 3 years (NCC, WIU, EC);
Session presenter and moderator at both NCC and WIU Summer Institutes;
Current Co-Chair of SI 2012 (along with Michelle “Frankie” DeFranco);
Proud alum of Summer Institute 2008 at DePaul

NACAC Activities:
Member of the 2011 NACAC Fair Committee at McCormick Place;
Attended 2 NACAC Conferences (St. Louis and New Orleans)

Other Professional Activities:
Staff leader for new student orientation at Elmhurst College;
Family cluster facilitator for Leadershape Institute (National college student-focused leadership organization)

Candidate Statement:

In 1969, John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the Beatles’ last number one single for what would be the group’s last studio album, Let It Be. And while “The Long and Winding Road” was a ballad inspired by sadness and the group’s growing tension, the song’s title couldn’t be a more spot-on description of my path to where I am today in my professional life.

Having found my home in college admission counseling later in life, I have had time to develop a greater understanding of where I belong. Following college graduation, I charged head first into the for-profit world and in and out of careers, eager to validate my family’s first four-year degree. Unable to find my balance and guided by passion, I felt moved to transition into a more personally rewarding and professionally fulfilling field of work. It is that passion that lead me to where I am today in college admissions. It is a passion rooted in genuine concern for young learners finding their way in the world. It is a passion to provide an opportunity to those that seek to enrich their own lives through education and experience. As McCartney sang on the 1965 B-Side, “We Can Work it Out”—“Life is very short and there’s no time for fussing and fighting my friend.” Like many in our organization, college admissions was never in my plan, but I needed a change… and so began my time at Elmhurst College.

Firmly into my fourth enrollment cycle as an admissions counselor, I have gained a sense of solidarity and purpose, and I am eager to grow within the field. My passion for the profession has grown steadily as my young career has progressed, and I hope to further my professional opportunities within the field though further education and experience. As a rookie counselor, I leaned on the veterans in my office for professional support and growth (for which and to whom I am forever thankful). As Ringo crooned on the 1967 Sgt. Pepper album, “I’m gonna get by with a little help from my friends.” Then came IACAC.

Without all the seminars, the summer institutes, or the post-college fair beverages with friends in the field, I would not be where I am today. Fortunate to have worked alongside terrific mentors within my own team at EC, I have also gained so much from the rest of my IACAC family. So, it humbles me to be considered for this position as Professional Development Director. To be recognized with this nomination by my peers (the very folks on whom I have leaned) for my potential to excel in this position and to serve the IACAC community in the coming years, is a tremendous honor. I look forward to giving back to the organization that has helped me find my way along my Long and Winding Road, and to providing opportunities for others around me to further develop their own respective paths.

John Lennon put it best on the Beatles’ 1965 release, Rubber Soul in the all-time classic, In My Life—“There are places I remember all my life, though some have changed. Some forever, not for better, some have gone and some remain.” Thank you so much for the consideration.

Back To Top