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Mapping Your Future Staff

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Cathy Mueller
Executive Director
Cathy Mueller, a Missouri native, earned a bachelor of arts degree in communication from the University of Delaware. Before working with others to create Mapping Your Future, Cathy was a newspaper reporter and editor, a radio reporter and DJ, a television promotions writer and a public relations writer and director. When she moved to Texas in 1994, Cathy joined Texas Guaranteed as a writer. She helped launch the company's web site and then work with a team to spearhead the launch of Mapping Your Future, which started as a cooperative venture among the country's leading financial aid and student loan agencies. Cathy is an APR certified member of the Public Relations Society of America. Her interests include reading Alexander McCall Smith books, hiking in state and national parks, traveling to historic sites and presidential museums, and enjoying Tex-Mex. She lives near Dallas, Texas, with her professor husband, their two teenagers, and a German Shorthair dog.

Lora Brinkman
Project Manager

Lora Brinkman has degrees in accounting, computer programming, and web design. She worked for the State of Missouri in Customer Service and Business Tax collection for 7 years, before changing positions to join the application development team for the Missouri Department of Revenue. She has worked for Mapping Your Future since 2006 as a programmer and project manager. Lora has worked with various clients and staff to streamline processes and develop various products and services. Lora volunteers as a Girl Scout Troop Leader for two troops and Volunteer Support Coordinator for the Service Unit in Columbia, Missouri. She loves spending time with her husband and step-daughter and giving back to her community.

Kara Shumate
Customer Care Assistant

Kara Shumate, a Missouri native, earned her bachelor of science degree in business administration from Columbia College. Kara began working for Mapping Your Future in 2007. She has more than fifteen years of experience in the student loan industry, having previously worked for the Missouri Department of Higher Education's automated disbursement program. Kara is the mother and step-mother to six children. She enjoys time with her husband and children, outdoor activities, and staying active with school and sport activities.

Beth Ziehmer
Customer Service and Operations Coordinator

Beth Ziehmer, a Missouri native, earned her bachelor of science degree in business administration, minoring in Spanish, from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Beth started in the student loan industry in 1991, working for the Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE). While at the MDHE, Beth gained a variety of experience ranging from regulatory compliance, loan guarantee, to default collections. She has worked for Mapping Your Future since 2004 in a customer care role. When she isn't working with the schools that utilize Mapping Your Future's products and services, Beth enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, scrapbooking, and participating in church activities.