A Publication of WTVP

40 Leaders Under Forty


Brent Cross, Age 32

Director of Transformational Innovation and Commercialization, OSF HealthCare

Brent Cross

“Brent Cross is a key part of OSF Innovation leadership, driving progress and pushing the Ministry towards the future of health care,” said his nominator.

Cross started his career at OSF as an innovation engineer. He has been involved in the development of OSF’s Community Connect platform, its Startup Studio Committee, its Medical Cart AR app, and its Personalized Medicine efforts.

“Brent is highly regarded within OSF, often being called upon to explore new technologies, and is known for outlining effective strategies and moving projects into action,” said his nominator.

Outside work, Cross is a mentor to companies through Peoria’s gBETA Distillery Labs. He is a husband to Bre and father to Roland.



Childhood ambition: “For the longest time, I wanted to be an illustrator and I will always remember our family trip to Disney World, where I was able to … see the cutting-edge technologies being applied by Pixar to bring animation to life. I spent that entire trip filling up my sketchbook. In high school, I got more practical and determined that I wanted to be Iron Man.”

Advice to 20-year-old self: “Let your interest consume you and search out others who are doing the same to inspire you. Never be shy about reaching out to experts, but take time to develop thoughtful questions for them. … Follow through on their recommendations.”

Unknown to colleagues: “I have a strong aversion to meatloaf.”

Biggest challenge: “I began to have seizures when I was in college and was eventually diagnosed with epilepsy. Thanks to some great neurologists and luck, it is well-managed, but it did require me to assess the levels of stress building up in my life and to learn how to better manage work, academics, social life and service.”

Motivating social issues: “Access to nutritious foods and an understanding of the impact that diet has on one’s health.”

Favorite cause: “Peoria Grown. Their two fundamental principles are that everyone should have access to affordable, healthy food and that education is the key to helping individuals be self-sufficient and improve community wellness.”

Book recommendation: “How about something even easier? An article that I think everyone should read is The Tinkerings of Robert Noyce by Tom Wolfe. It should inspire Midwestern pride and give you a bit of a nudge to go discover something yourself.”