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Heather (Foley) Hiltzik

Heather (Foley) Hiltzik

Digital content & PR manager | David Leadbetter Golf | Class of 2016

There was a time not so long ago when the idea of speaking in public to a large gathering would leave Heather (Foley) Hiltzik a tad on the anxious side.

And then she met Tom Costello.

Phobia cured.

“Mr. Costello was my professor for a couple different classes during my time at Illinois and he made such an impact on my time and my career than he would ever know,” says the former Illini gymnast, now the digital content and PR manager for David Leadbetter Golf.

“He taught me how to become more confident in my own abilities — public speaking specifically — while teaching me valuable life lessons along the way. He was so kind to welcome me into his home, many times, as a confidant and mentor, offering life and career advice.

“I was fortunate to have taken two courses with him and continued on the be his TA before graduating in 2016. Ever since, I think about his teachings often in the workplace. I’m always confident when giving presentations and voicing my opinion on business matters, and his class allowed me to have that confidence.

“I also greatly look up to his passion for what he does. He is the true definition of someone who doesn’t work because they have to, but works because they want to.

“His passion was evident, and it’s something I strive for as I advance in my career as well.”