A Publication of WTVP

40 Leaders Under Forty


Carolina Huser, Age 35

Visionary Society & Development Manager,
Peoria Riverfront Museum

Carolina Huser

In her role at the museum, Huser is responsible for stewarding the major donor group of 415 members and growing it through special events and opportunities.

“Carolina immigrated to the United States from Panama to work at Caterpillar but she has made central Illinois her home. She has such love for this community and its people in all walks of life,” said her nominator. “Carolina has excelled on all fronts. She has a natural gift for development work like I have never seen in my nearly 20 years of fundraising experience. … She steps up to do whatever needs to be done to make every event or interaction seamless and successful. She makes everyone around her feel so positive about their interactions with the museum and its staff. She is an amazing representative.”

Outside of work, Huser is on the board of directors of Art Inc. and Women in Leadership. Her community service also extends to Friendship House, the Peoria Art Guild, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and St. Philomena Catholic Church. She is the mother of two daughters.


“Carolina Huser is an amazing individual. To come to this area from another country, where English is her second language, and accomplish what she has is no small feat,” added her nominator. “She is a natural-born leader and connector of people. She lights up a room whenever she enters and makes everyone around her feel comfortable and instantly brightens their day. Many people don’t know that she is incredibly active in assisting other Hispanics in our area to settle into the community, help support and promote their businesses, and even act as a translator if need be. That is a true leader.”

Childhood ambition: To become “the president of Panama.”

Advice to 20-year-old self: “Find gratitude in everything that surrounds you.”

Bucket list priority: “To leave a legacy to my daughters by living a life they can feel proud of.”

Best advice: “You got to take care of yourself first.”

Biggest challenge: “Moving to another country and adapting to cultural differences, especially coming from a Latin American country as a woman to work in corporate America.”

Book recommendation: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.”

Local inspiration: “State Rep. Jehan Gordon Booth. She’s an incredible leader and role model for all girls out there that aspire to greatness.”