MBA Research

The Leader Board

Do you ever wonder who the other business professionals are who provide feedback, participate in surveys, and take part in panels? The Leader Board is our way of introducing you to some of our key advisors and leading experts who help provide the input that makes our National Business Administration Standards accurate, complete, and industry-pure.


Sara Larkins
Sara is the Marketing, Public Relations and Communications Manager at NIC Inc. DBA Nebraska Interactive, (an information and technology company) in Lincoln, Nebraska. Her focus is overseeing, planning and directing the day-to-day data driven marketing at NIC. She utilizes strategic big-picture visioning and planning to set the tone and develop all forward facing and internal communications utilizing a cross-disciplinary team. Sara also has a strong background in project management, entrepreneurship, and innovation and is a former Los Angeles based corporation and business owner.

In November 2016, Sara participated in a Marketing Futuring Panel held by MBA Research and Curriculum Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Futuring Panels were held in conjunction with the Nebraska Department of Education. During the Futuring Panels, business executives from across Nebraska shared insights with MBA Research and the NE Department of Education about skillsets needed in the workplace and emerging trends in business. Since that time, Sara has been active in our Executive Network, and has provided ongoing feedback in the Marketing Communications area.


Rusty Poeppelmeier
Rusty is a Regional Commercial Surety Manager at Liberty Mutual Surety™ in Cincinnati, OH.  He has more than 20 years of experience in field underwriting and management in the South and Midwest regions.  He currently manages commercial transactional surety & fidelity for a five-state region in the Midwest.  Rusty is the past President of the Surety Association of Ohio where he was involved in lobbying and outreach programs.  He is currently a director on the board of the Ohio chapter of the American Subcontractors Association.  Some of Rusty’s specialties include financial analysis, investing, risk management, technology, and the underwriting discipline.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Toledo.

In 2013, Rusty participated in a business focus group facilitated by MBA Research for the Ohio Department of Education. Since then, he’s been an active ExecNet member and provides insightful feedback on the monthly Action Briefs. This coming school year, Rusty will assist us with Action Brief development to ensure that we capture trend implications for the finance industry.

In his spare time, Rusty enjoys spending time with his wife, Georgette, and two adopted children, Jaden and Warren.  He is an avid reader and percussionist in the Cincinnati Brass Band.


Arnie Chonko
Since March, 2016, Arnie has provided valuable business-practitioner insight into the development of MBA Research’s monthly Action Briefs. He has ensured that we comprehensively and accurately address the trends that we discuss. He has also supported our efforts through ExecNet surveys, reactions to published Action Briefs, and participation in an OH Business Management and Administration focus group that MBA Research facilitated for the Ohio Department of Education.

Arnie is Director of Human Resources for the Harris Product Group at Lincoln Electric in Cincinnati, OH. Some of his areas of expertise are strategic planning; performance management; recruiting, talent, and diversity management; and executive coaching. Arnie’s college degrees include a BS in Business Administration from The Ohio State University and an MBA in Marketing and Human Resources from the University of Pittsburgh.

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