When Kelli Hallas, ’87, finished her junior year at Hobart High School, she decided to spend her summer at Indiana State University as part of the summer honors program. It was there that Hallas confirmed the path her future would take.
“I immediately knew that I was going to attend ISU based on that positive experience,” she said. “I liked the size of the school and knew that I would get a hands-on education and not just be a ‘number.’ Additionally, the public relations program was very highly regarded as one of the top in the state.”
To make her college experience even more complete, Hallas became very active in campus life. “I was that person who was involved in every activity, every steering committee,” she said. “I thought being so involved would be the best experience to learn leadership skills. Doing that was invaluable to me.”
Some of the student life programs she was involved in included Greek Week, Campus Revue, Tandem, Union Board, Panhellenic Council, Alpha Omicron Pi sorority philanthropic events and more. “Additionally, starting Greek Leaders Against Drunk Driving with my friend (1987 ISU graduate) Dean Black was an incredible, personally gratifying experience,” she said.
Hallas graduated with a degree in speech communications and public relations and moved to Minnesota 22 years ago. She is a highly regarded health economics consultant in the medical device industry and has made contributions on a national scale. Thirteen years ago, she was one of the founders and is now executive vice president of Emerson Consultants in Excelsior, Minn.
“In my position, I focus specifically on developing and executing strategic plans for medical device companies to ensure that patients have access to medical technologies that will have an impact on their life,” she said.
Since 2011, Hallas has been an active representative of the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery’s Coding and Reimbursement Advisory Board. She is a contributing writer to several industry-related publications and has been widely published. Hallas also serves as an adjunct faculty member at St. Thomas University helping to impart her industry knowledge to students looking to pursue careers in the medical device industry.
“Minnesota is the home to numerous medical device companies,” Hallas said. “I wanted to give back to my community and provide those interested in healthcare policy and business development with real world experiences and a professional perspective on this sector of the business.”
Hallas and her husband, Scott, have three golden retrievers and are active in local organizations dedicated to rescuing or providing medical care or homes to senior dogs.
A self-proclaimed foodie with a passion for cooking with local ingredients and Napa Valley wine, Hallas returns to Indiana State every few years to reunite with her sorority sisters and support their collegiate chapter. She recommends other prospective Sycamores visit the campus to see what it offers academically as well as socially.
“ISU not only has a strong academic offering that allows students a one-on-one partnership with their professors to enhance their learning experience, but there are also numerous other activities and organizations to become involved in,” Hallas said. “There really is something for everyone.”