Leadership is the ability to get things done—to not only dream big dreams, but bring them to fruition. Every November, InterBusiness Issues dedicates an entire issue to the young leaders in central Illinois—our most outstanding 40 Leaders Under Forty.
The Class of 2006 includes men and women who are committed to making central Illinois an even better place in which to live and work. They were chosen because of their dedication to advancing their professional lives and supporting organizations that benefit their friends and neighbors. These remarkable individuals were honored at a prestigious awards ceremony November 1 at the Hotel Pere Marquette’s Cotillion Ballroom.
Jill Addy is senior vice president at MultiAd, where she oversees all sales, marketing, and product development for the MultiAd Builder Division— accounting for $8 million in annual sales. She manages more than 50 people dedicated to providing artwork, sales ideas, and software to local and national media.
Active in the community, Addy is the current board president of the Dress for Success Peoria affiliate, where she’s served as a board member for more than four years. In addition, she’s board liaison for the local chapter of Professional Women’s Group, a networking group for women who’ve been successful in finding employment through their involvement in Dress for Success. She also serves on Lakeview Museum’s Campaign Communication Committee for the new regional museum; serves on the Advisory Panel for District 150’s Technology Pathways Academy; volunteers for Friendship House’s Adopt a Family campaign; volunteers for Race for the Cure; and coordinated MultiAd’s fund for hurricane relief.
Among the honors she’s received, Addy was a recipient of the 25 Women in Leadership Award in 2006 and has received the MultiAd President’s Club award the past two years for outstanding sales growth.
Kevin Barbier is assistant vice president of The Commerce Trust Company, where he’s responsible for administering high net worth accounts.
Demonstrating his commitment to the community, Barbier is a board member of The Community Foundation of Central Illinois and is a member of both the Investment and Distributions committees. He’s the membership chair for the Central Illinois Financial Planning Association, a member of the Estate Planning Council of Central Illinois, and is active in supporting the United Way. He’s also a member of the Pillars Society.
Among his many professional honors and milestones, Barbier earned his Certified Financial Planner designation in 2002 and received the Rookie of the Year Award from The Commerce Trust Company in 2004 for outstanding customer service and sales abilities, in addition to his exemplary work overall. In 2005, he received the Sales Goal Achievement Award for not only achieving, but significantly exceeding, his personal sales goal while administering in excess of $75 million in client assets. He’s also a graduate of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce’s Community Leadership School.
Marcia Bolden is Trio Upward Bound Director at Illinois Central College. In this program—aimed at students who are the first in their family to attend college or are economically disadvantaged—she’s responsible for designing, planning, and implementing project services; recruiting and selecting staff for the program’s operation; providing staff leadership and assessment; developing policies; conducting program activities; and evaluating the program.
Among the awards she’s received are the District 150 You Make a Difference Award, the Elect Leading Lady of Illinois Award, the Illinois Central College Staff Who Make a Difference Award, the David Helman Principal of the Year Award, and the One to One Mentoring Award.
Bolden has served as a Mid-America Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel member, chaired the Illinois Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel Professional Development, and is 6 Sigma Yellow Belt certified. She’s a graduate of the Illinois Central College Leadership Institute, the Illinois Management & Training Institute, and the Pacific Institute Investment in Leadership. Bolden also has volunteered with Tomorrow’s Scientist Technicians and Managers, the Minority Teacher Identification Enrichment Program, and Tri-County (Peoria) Urban League.
Kathryn Bouchard-Marshall is junior high principal and athletic director at Metamora Community Consolidated School District #1, also known as Metamora Grade School. She’s chief operating officer of the district and is directly responsible for the supervision and evaluation of teachers and educational programs. In addition, she coordinates, initiates, reviews, and revises district curriculum; attends meetings; plans and schedules faculty institutes; facilitates student behavior management programs; develops and implements enrichment programs; and schedules and attends athletic and academic competitions.
Bouchard-Marshall is a graduate of the Illinois State University Education Administration Program, is a member of the Citizen Advisory Council at Metamora Grade School; is a former Pumpkin Festival and Punkin Chunkin’ volunteer; is a member of the Blessed Sacrament School Alumni Reunion Committee; and is a former volunteer for District 150, giving her time as a teacher and as a member of several committees.
For her many contributions to the field of education, Bouchard-Marshall has received awards including the I-Parent.com Teacher of the Month and the Susie Russell Teacher of the Year Award.
Michael Brown is a sanitarian at the Peoria City/County Health Department, where he leads efforts to integrate GIS technology into local public health programs; safeguards public health through effective education, enforcement, and investigation of complaints; inspects and licenses food service facilities; and permits private septic systems and wells.
Brown is president of Peoria Wilds and is a past director on its board; has been a steward of Springdale Cemetery Savanna since 1995; is blacksmithing director at the Sun Foundation for the Arts and Sciences; is a past director on the board of the Peoria Academy of Sciences and served on its Scholarship Committee; served as a Peace Corps volunteer at Pirin National Park in Bulgaria, where he worked in environmental management; and was an AmeriCorps member with Illinois EcoWatch.
While manager of the Peoria Park District’s W.H. Sommer Park, Brown negotiated the private donation of an antique tool collection worth approximately $100,000 for the park’s living history site. He also developed the highly successful “Koerner Wedding” living history event at W.H. Sommer Park, and he authored successful grant requests for Springdale Cemetery Savanna and Pirin National Park.
Jeff Burtis is a State Farm agent for State Farm Insurance & Financial Services, where he provides insurance and financial products for more than 1,700 households in Illinois. He’s also been a field development agent for the past two years.
Burtis is an ambassador for the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce and is a former Ambassador of the Year. He’s also an executive vice president for the Heart of Illinois Big Brothers Big Sisters, an Easter Seals VIP, a youth sports coach, and a former board member and mentor for the Peoria Central High School Business Academy.
Among his professional accomplishments, Burtis qualified for the Regional Vice President’s Club; is an Ambassador for Life, an award given for life insurance sales; received the Chairman’s Circle Award; received the Bronze Tablet and Legion of Honor Award, given to agents who run profitable businesses and meet certain levels of production; and is a member of the Great Lakes Club, which is made up of the top 50 agents in three states.
Dr. Jill Carnahan is a physician specializing in family practice and integrative medicine at the Methodist Medical Group at Peartree in Peoria. Her responsibilities include quality family and integrative medical care for patients in central Illinois.
An active volunteer, Carnahan traveled with a medical mission team to Honduras, where they provided medical care to more than 1,600 patients as part of Medical Ministry International; introduced the Y-Me “Just for Teens” breast health program to Peoria area high schools; participated in a World Relief Organization mission trip to Jamaica to assist with construction of a school for deaf children; and has provided bilingual medical care to the Latino community in Peoria since 2003.
Carnahan received the 2006 Resident Teacher of the Year Award from the Methodist Medical Center Family Medicine residency and was chosen to represent the residency program at an Illinois Association of Family Physicians CME workshop and legislative visit. As a student, she received the Robert E. Carlson, M.D. Scholarship, which is presented to a Loyola University medical student who shows aptitude and intelligence in combination with caring and a deep concern for every patient.
Chris Coulter is Director of Sales-Business Development at Peoria Disposal Company (PDC), where he’s responsible for the customer service, sales, and marketing departments of the technical services side of the PDC family of environmental companies. In addition, he’s responsible for the acquisition and development of companies that complement PDC’s technical service line.
Coulter is a member of the Peoria County Bar Association, Peoria Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee, Rotary North Club of Peoria, Optimist Club of Peoria, Notre Dame Club of Peoria, and Salem Lutheran Church Stewardship Committee. Previously, he served on Peoria City Beautiful.
Since Coulter began with PDC in 1997, he’s been involved with six acquisitions and four development projects that helped fuel the company’s growth and increased revenues by one-third. Among his other accomplishments, he transformed the Augustana College Alumni Association into an activist board; started the Augustana College Sesquicentennial Committee; and developed Augustana’s annual Alumni Career Night, in which alumni from different career backgrounds visited the campus and shared their life experiences with current students interested in pursuing similar career opportunities.
Alona Dawson is a fourth grade teacher at Hines Primary School and a site manager at Kingman Primary Summer School. In addition to her expansive duties as a teacher, Dawson has gone above and beyond by teaching extended day reading for second through fourth graders, coordinating many extra-curricular activities, teaching technology courses to fellow teachers in District 150, serving on the Summer School Planning Committee for District 150, and serving on the District Math Committee and as a PRIME math leader.
As site manager at Kingman Primary, she’s in charge of a pre-kindergarten through eighth grade bilingual summer school program, where she’s responsible for hiring, supervising, and evaluating faculty and staff; oversees the curriculum; and is responsible for all daily school functions.
Among her honors, Dawson received the Friends of Special Education Award: Council for Exceptional Children Central Illinois. She also wrote and obtained a grant from Children’s Hospital of Illinois for bike safety, wherein all students at Hines School received a bicycle helmet and a lesson in bike safety. All future Hines students will receive helmets as well.
James Ferolo is director of the multimedia program and assistant professor of multimedia at Bradley University, where he directs an interactive media and design program with more than 120 majors and minors. He also conducts research and production that focuses on the creation of online and location-based immersive and interactive experiences for commercial and non-profit organizations.
Active in the community, Ferolo was an anchor exhibitor for the 2006 Discovery Forum, is a member of the Peoria Zoological Society, was a featured filmmaker and keynote speaker for the Bloomington/Normal Film Festival, and is a Bradley University Faculty Senator.
Among his accomplishments, he became a National Endowment for the Arts Research Fellow; received an Ameritech Partnership grant and a French Cultural Services grant with fellow Northwestern faculty; created Immersive VR footage for music videos by artists such as the Black Eyed Peas, Eminem, and 50 Cent in collaboration with The Saline Project; was a featured speaker at the Conference on Educational Gaming for The New Medical Center; and is a consulting creative director for The IONA Group in Morton.
Jeffrey Fitch is a 6 Sigma Black Belt, NACD Industry Group, at Caterpillar Inc. He’s responsible for chartering projects and recruiting, training, and leading teams that improve business processes to deliver greater financial results, develop business plans to obtain growth in key markets and industries, and create plans to increase the overall effectiveness of distribution.
Fitch volunteers with Cub Scouts, coaches youth sports through the Peoria Christian Center, serves as committee chair for the Exploratory Worship Team at Salem Lutheran Church, is a guest speaker at Charter Oak Elementary School, and volunteers for Disability Outreach to raise funds for high school wheelchair basketball teams.
Some of his professional accomplishments include serving as an instructor at Caterpillar University training events, Machine Application & Performance Seminars, Basic Product School, Corporate 6 Sigma Yellow Belt Training, 6 Sigma Green Belt Training, Regional Sales Training, and Quarry Pro University. In his current position, he has led projects that restructured the processes Caterpillar uses to distribute products during high-demand periods and established short-term strategies that will help in meeting the company’s 2010 corporate goals.
Matt George is President and CEO of Youth Farm Inc., where he oversees the day-to-day operations of the 22-acre facility, its budget, contracts, intakes, fundraising, development, and marketing.
Active in the community, George organized a fundraiser for slain Peoria Police Officer Jim Faulkner; organized and directed fundraising for the Chuck Schofield Memorial Fund; and has raised funds for more than a dozen Peoria area charities including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Crimestoppers, and local law enforcement charities.
During his tenure at Youth Farm, George has enhanced the organization’s programs, contracts, and intakes to make it a healthier business. Among his other achievements, he was recognized by the Peoria Police Department for his efforts in raising funds for slain officers and was named a Presidential Point of Light finalist by President George Bush for his outstanding contributions to society. He was named the Leukemia Society Man of the Year in 1992, received the Outstanding Citizen Award in Champaign in 1996, and was named the Child Abuse Prevention Fundraiser of the Year in Atlanta, Ga., in 1997.
Sarah Glover is assistant professor of art at Bradley University. As head of the Art History Program, she’s responsible for teaching all areas and levels of art history; oversees the art history major and minor; oversees the library slide/digital collection; serves as graduate faculty for the MFA program; acts as advisor to the student-published Broadside, Bradley’s literary arts journal; is a member of the university’s Senate; and serves on numerous committees including the Teaching Excellence Committee and the General Education Committee.
Glover has given many lectures for community organizations and institutions such as the Peoria Women’s Club, PEO, the Peoria Women’s Federation, the Neuman Center, Lakeview Museum, the Peoria Art Guild, and the Learning and Retirement Program at Bradley. She’s also served on the Peoria Art Guild board since 2004.
Among her accomplishments at Bradley University, Glover received the Caterpillar Inc. Faculty Award for Teaching in 2004 and the Chair Award for Outstanding Faculty Member in 2000 and again in 2005. While at the University of Virginia, she received the Junior Member of the Society of Fellows Award and the Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Todd Gwillim is corporate counsel for Caterpillar’s Legal Services Division, where he provides legal counsel to Caterpillar’s Corporate Tax and Corporate Treasury Business Units. His responsibilities include corporate reorganizations, commercial agreements, business risk, and complex financial transactions. As one of only two tax attorneys for the corporation, he provides legal counsel for Caterpillar’s corporate operations in Peoria, as well as for its subsidiaries around the globe regarding tax, finance, and corporate governance. He also ensures that Caterpillar remains in compliance with the Treasury Department’s regulations related to the disclosure of reportable transactions and manages the corporate governance for several of Caterpillar’s non-U.S. subsidiaries.
Gwillim serves on the board of the Peoria affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, recently coordinating two highly successful home sponsorships for Caterpillar and working as a volunteer builder on local Habitat projects. Additionally, he serves on the board of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra and currently co-chairs the Personnel Committee. Gwillim is an associate director on the CEFCU Board of Directors and chairs the board’s Supervisory Committee. He recently completed the Toastmasters course at Caterpillar and is a certified Rescue Diver.
Troy Hattermann is an architectural designer with Farnsworth Group Inc., where he plays a key role in the development, design, and construction oversight of buildings and structures throughout central Illinois. His responsibilities include preparation of construction documents, review and revision of shop drawings, presentations to clients and the public, compilation of site information, and client advocacy.
Among his many community commitments, Hattermann is secretary of the Village of Bartonville Zoning Board of Appeals, a Redbrand Credit Union Supervisory Committee member, a member of the Limestone Chamber of Commerce, and a volunteer with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. He’s very active with the W. D. Boyce Council Boy Scouts of America, serving as assistant scoutmaster, den chief trainer, publication advisor, volunteer council webmaster, member of the Council Properties Committee, and trainer for Wood Badge Adult Leadership Training.
Hattermann has received numerous awards for his work with the Boy Scouts, including the Silver Beaver Award; the Heartland District Award of Merit; Vigil Member, Order of the Arrow; and Scouter’s Training Award. He’s also a graduate of the Peoria Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School and the Bartonville Leadership Academy.
Bridgette Heard is grants coordinator for the City of Peoria’s Department of Planning and Growth Management. Her responsibilities include researching, writing, and monitoring federal and state grants awarded to the City of Peoria; preparing consolidated plans; implementing strategies for the use of grant funds; performing and maintaining financial reconciliations for millions of federal and state dollars; and serving as administrator of the Federal Integrated Disbursement and Information System, among other duties.
Her community commitments include editing The Net magazine for St. Paul Church, volunteering at Northmoor Edison School, being a team leader for the Balancing Life group, serving on the Peoria Employees For Community Concerns Committee, serving on the Tri-County Urban League Board of Directors, and participating in Heart Walk of America and Race for the Cure.
Among her accomplishments, Heard reconciled federal accounts and identified more than $600,000 in additional funds from one of the city’s federal funding sources to be reprogrammed for new construction and rehabilitation of homes; identified another $1.5 million in Community Development Block Grant funds; and implemented a performance measurement management system for grant subrecipients.
Jeromee Hermann is senior vice president at National City Bank, where he’s group manager for the Middle Marketing banking business in Peoria, Bloomington, and the Quad Cities. In addition to managing a portfolio of customers, he leads a team of five bankers responsible for maintaining and growing the Middle Market Banking business in his markets.
Active in the community, Hermann is currently the Pediatric Resource Center Community Advisory Board president and has been a member of the organization since 2003. During that time, he also has served as treasurer and as a member of the Executive Committee.
As a member of the Illinois Central College Educational Foundation, Hermann chairs the Finance Committee and is also a member of the Executive Committee and the Educational Foundation Student Residence L.L.C. Committee. He previously served on the Heartland Illinois Technology Enterprises Center Advisory Board and participated in Christmas in April.
Matt Hertzog is associate dean at Illinois Central College, responsible for overseeing the Business and Information Systems division, supervising 82 faculty, and managing a $2.3 million budget.
Hertzog represents Illinois Central College on the East Peoria Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, donates Christmas gifts to the Children’s Home in Peoria, and has sponsored needy families at Christmas. He’s worked with several blood and food drives, served on multiple church committees, and provided free computer forensic investigation for the Marine Corps Logistical Data Base.
Hertzog is currently enrolled in the Education and Foundations doctoral program at Illinois State University and has been asked to join Kappa Delta Pi, an honor society. He successfully completed an M.Ed. degree, was nominated as a Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, received a certificate of appreciation from the Georgia Economic Developers Association, and is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Cisco Certified Network Associate. At ICC, Hertzog played a leadership role in establishing ICC’s first computer forensics course and is implementing a redesign of computer curriculum to reflect the changing environment of technology.
Lisa Hoerr-Grandstaff is vice president of marketing at Green View Companies. Her responsibilities include marketing, public relations, and corporate identity of Green View’s divisions. As spokesperson for Green View, she’s participated in many TV, radio, and newspaper interviews.
Active in the community, Hoerr-Grandstaff has served on the Peoria Art Guild Board of Directors for nearly 10 years and has chaired the Peoria Art Guild Marketing Committee. She is currently vice president of programming for the Public Relations Association of Central Illinois, serves on the Illinois Nurserymen’s Association’s Strategic Communications Committee and Pro-Hort Committee, volunteers with the Luthy Botanical Garden Marketing Advisory Committee, and serves on the Peoria City Beautiful Board of Directors. She also volunteered at Children’s Hospital of Illinois in the Pediatric Department for five years and served on Illinois Central College’s Agriculture Advisory Board.
Hoerr-Grandstaff has been a driving force in Green View’s winning national and state landscape design-build awards over the past 10 years. She’s also responsible for Green View receiving high recognition from notfor- profit organizations for fundraising programs she developed.
JoElyn Holmes is a teacher’s assistant and provides student support for District 150’s Northmoor Edison Primary School. Her responsibilities include monitoring and providing care for diabetic students, assisting with medical emergencies, planning and facilitating computer lab lessons to grades one and three, assisting in operation of the media center, and coordinating and overseeing after school programs.
For the past 11 years, Holmes has been involved in Relay for Life, including five years as a team captain, four years as a committee chair, and co-chair of the Peoria event. Next year, she’ll take over as chair of the event. She was involved in the development of the Breast Cancer Marathon in conjunction with Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center and is involved with her children’s schools, providing a Kids Get Fit Junior Jazzercise fitness program in two Peoria area schools. She also developed and implemented a drama club at Northmoor.
Holmes received an award for top sales for Jazzercise franchisees, was recognized for top sales with Marchon Eyewear, is earning her EMT license, and owns and operates the scrapbook store Scrapadoodle.
Andrew Honegger is an attorney and partner in the law firm of Husch & Eppenberger, LLC. As a member of the firm’s corporate practice group, Honegger concentrates his practice in the areas of business law, banking, commercial finance, corporate transactions, business litigation, real estate transactions, and bankruptcy. In addition, he is a director of Morton Community Bank and its holding company, Hometown Community Bancorp, Inc.
Honegger is involved in many community organizations including Morton Rotary, the Morton Pumpkin Festival, the Peoria County Bar Association’s Real Property Committee, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Abraham Lincoln Inns of Court. He also provided pro bono legal services for Prairie State Legal Services and assisted with the Peoria County Bar Association’s Project Angel Tree.
Among his accomplishments, Honegger won the Homer Albers moot court competition award after final arguments before a panel of judges including United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. He received his Juris Doctor degree cum laude from the Boston University School of Law, and he was named to the Senior 100 Honorary at the University of Illinois.
Dr. Ganesh Iyer is the Remanufacturing New Product Introduction program manager at Caterpillar Inc., where he leads a global team to develop remanufactured products for both Caterpillar and its external clients. The resulting new products will generate more than $50 million in incremental enterprise revenues by 2010.
As an Easter Seals volunteer, Iyer was a team leader during the 2005 and 2006 campaigns, with his efforts leading to contributions of more than $14,000. He’s been active with the India Association of Peoria since 1998, including a stint as president; he’s active with the Hindu Temple of Central Illinois; and he’s held various positions within the Central Illinois Section of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Governing Board.
Iyer received the SAE Distinguished Younger Member Award for exemplary leadership and contributions, two Continuous Improvement Awards from Caterpillar Inc. for exceptional technical contributions at the Caterpillar Technical Center, and the beginning Engineers Fellowship Program Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Iyer also led the deployment of 6 Sigma Lean throughout Caterpillar Logistics, which has approximately 10,000 employees and more than 100 facility operations.
Katie Jones is the executive director of the Mental Health Association of Illinois Valley, Inc. Her duties include managing staff, working with the board of directors to develop and maintain a balanced budget, developing and supervising programs for mental health education and crisis intervention, acting as a media liaison for the agency, and representing the agency to elected officials and community partners.
Jones is a member of the HIV/AIDS Advisory Board, the Rotary Club of Peoria, the Central Illinois Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, the Heart of Illinois United Way Executive Council, the Stark County Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Stark County Citizens’ Mental Health Task Force, and the Pillars Society for the Heart of Illinois United Way. She also was a literacy volunteer in Kingman School, volunteers with the members and families of the U.S. Marine Reserves Company C, and volunteers with the Montessori School of Peoria and the Universalist Unitarian Church.
She’s the current chair of the Education and Training Work Group of the Illinois Suicide Prevention Coalition for 2006 and serves as a member of the organization’s Training Assistance Group.
Jennifer Klobnak is assistant vice president of Enterprise Risk Management at RLI. Her responsibilities include implementing a process for identifying and managing risk throughout the company, managing catastrophe risk (such as earthquakes and hurricanes) by establishing limits on the amount of business to write in concentrated areas, estimating company losses on potential events, providing underwriters with tools to price catastrophe business appropriately, and managing rating agency relationships.
Committed to the community, Klobnak is coordinator for the Illinois Valley Striders Kid’s Series at Proctor Hospital, is co-leader for Brownie Troop #4127, and is currently in the process of implementing Junior Achievement at Germantown Hills Middle School.
Among her professional accomplishments, Klobnak implemented Sarbanes-Oxley reporting and compliance activities for RLI. She’s an Active Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter candidate, a certified public accountant, and a member of the America Institute of Certified Public Accountants. For her consistently diligent efforts within her company, Klobnak was named Employee of the Quarter at RLI in 2003.
Paul Kouri is an architect at Wright & Associates, Inc., where he’s responsible for building design, construction document set preparation, and project management from schematic design through construction administration.
Taking an active interest in his community, Kouri is president of the Metamora Village Board of Trustees, convener for the Metamora Mapping SmartGrowth Committee, and organizer of the Metamora Farmers Market. He’s a member of the Illinois River Valley Council of Governments, the Friends of the Metamora Courthouse, and the Knights of Columbus. He’s an associate fundraiser for the Art Rod Foundation, which provides creative, artistic experiences for disadvantaged children, and is a former instructor for Art and Science in the Woods at the Sun Foundation.
Kouri has been an Illinois licensed architect since 2004 and is a member of the American institute of Architects. During his graduate work at the University of Michigan, Kouri and three team members won an award from the National Glass Association for Excellence in Architectural Glass Design.
Dr. Elizabeth Kramer is the director of the Pediatric Residency Program and pediatric hospitalist at Children’s Hospital of Illinois (CHOI). As program director, she’s responsible for the training of pediatric residents and the administrative duties of the pediatric program, chairs the Pediatric Residency Clinical Competence and Curriculum Committee, supervises the program secretary and coordinator, and is a member of the Pediatric Department Executive Committee and the CHOI Bereavement Committee. As a pediatric hospitalist, Kramer is responsible for the care of hospitalized children at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois. She also supervises the care given by residents and medical students and directs resident and medical student education in general pediatrics through teaching rounds, lectures, and mentoring.
Her community activities include serving as a physician champion representative on the CHOI Family Advisory Board and instructing classes in pediatric advanced life support.
Among the recognition she’s received, Kramer earned the Excellence in Teaching Award, which was presented by the pediatric residents. During her residency, she received awards including Intern of the Year, Pediatric Chief Resident, and Excellence in Pediatric Research.
Darin LaHood is an attorney at Miller, Hall & Triggs, where he represents numerous municipalities and governmental bodies, performing legal and transactional work on their behalf. He also litigates contested legal matters in federal and state courts.
LaHood is a board member of The Center for Prevention of Abuse, participates in the St. Jude Memphis-to-Peoria Run, and is a member of the Illinois High School Association Boys Basketball Tournament Committee. He also served on The Salvation Army Advisory Board, was an executive board member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters and was named Big Brother of the Year in 2001, and was a committee member for the Boy Scouts Distinguished Citizen’s Award Dinner.
Among his professional accomplishments, LaHood was appointed Assistant United States Attorney for the United States Department of Justice in Las Vegas, Nev., from 2001 to 2005. During that time, he was the lead federal terrorism prosecutor in Nevada and was responsible for federal prosecution of criminal matters involving violent crimes and white collar offenses. He also worked as an adjunct professor in the Criminal Justice Department at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.
Christy Lee is an engineering supervisor with the Product Research & Development Team at Caterpillar Inc. She’s responsible for supervising a team of 11 engineers tasked with developing and implementing new structural design and analysis technologies for the corporation. She also manages the 2007 Advanced Structures research program and interviews engineering candidates for employment with Caterpillar.
She volunteered with the Destination Technology program and the Engineering Explorer Post program to introduce Peoria area middle school and high school students to science, technology, and engineering. Lee helped build two Habitat for Humanity houses in Woodford County, is active in the Eureka Presbyterian Church, and serves as assistant instructor at the Academy of Okinawan Karate.
Among her accomplishments, Lee played an active role in a research program to develop a wireless structural health monitoring system in conjunction with experts from Caterpillar and other leading companies, for which she received Caterpillar Technology & Solutions Division recognition. As a 6 Sigma Black Belt, she’s led several successful teams that improved Caterpillar’s structural validation processes.
David Milam is an engineering manager at Caterpillar Inc. As part of the Engine Research Division of the Technology and Solutions Division, he manages Advanced Engine Design, Air Systems, and Thermal Efficiency/ Thermal Management research. He also manages the Heavy Truck Clean Diesel cooperative research program with the Department of Energy.
Milam has been co-leader of Girl Scout Troop 449 for the past three years and was awarded Outstanding Leader in 2006. He also volunteers with Northminster Presbyterian Church, Dunlap Grade School, and First Robotics.
In addition to being the principal investigator for Caterpillar in the Heavy Truck Clean Diesel cooperative research agreement with the Department of Energy, Milam led the Caterpillar team that put the first 2007 emission-compliant on-highway truck on the road, and it was showcased in two conferences and on CNN. He presents program results annually to his peers in the industry at the Department of Energy’s Diesel Engine Efficiency & Emissions Reduction Conference. Milam has received multiple internal recognitions, including being a member on a team that received the 2006 Annual Quality Improvement President Award. He also holds six patents.
Shauna Musselman is a risk management coordinator for Peoria County, responsible for developing and evaluating the county’s risk management and employee health insurance programs, including the selffunded employee health plan, workers’ compensation, liability, property, and casualty program; budget preparation and monitoring; performance measurement; and implementation of programs related to risk reduction and enhanced claims management.
In 2005, Musselman was elected to a four-year term as clerk for the Village of Peoria Heights. She currently serves as secretary of the Peoples Party of Peoria Heights, an organization established to promote good government at the local level, and she previously served on the Peoria Heights Planning Commission. She’s also co-chair of teams for the 2007 Race for the Cure with the Susan G. Komen Peoria Affiliate.
While with the Illinois Bureau of the Budget, she served as a liaison between the governor’s office and state fiscal officers while negotiating programmatic and budgetary issues. Musselman received the Western Illinois University Presidential Scholar Award, the WIU Honors Scholar Award, and the Martin Brown College of Business Scholar Award.
Shelley Nguyen is director of employment and retention at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, where she’s responsible for designing, implementing, directing, and evaluating programs that support recruitment, employment, and retention at OSF. She also facilitates the long- and short-term planning initiatives that coincide with the medical center’s mission, vision, and strategic objectives.
Nguyen serves on an Illinois Central College Educational Foundation committee to select scholarship recipients, works with the District 150 Tech Program, serves on the Child Care Board of the Tremont United Methodist Church, and volunteers with her church and with Tremont schools.
Among her achievements, she was one of three leaders chosen at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center to participate in the Health Care Advisory Board’s Fellowship Program, which concentrates on accelerating the development of high-performing managers who have the potential to make a significant contribution to their organization. Nguyen received several What Outstanding Work (WOW) awards for going above and beyond in helping managers solve complex human resource problems and recently was chosen to lead a Service and Employee Engagement team at OSF.
Matthew Pendergrass is a corporate business risk management consultant within the Corporate Auditing and Compliance Division of Caterpillar Inc., where his primary responsibility is assisting Caterpillar business units in effectively embedding the business risk management process.
Since 2002, Pendergrass has been a board member at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Midwest Affiliate. He’s co-coordinated and participated in each of the five St. Louis-to-Peoria runs for St. Jude, an event that now raises approximately $50,000 each year. In 2005 and 2006, he co-chaired the St. Jude Peoria Golf Classic, which raised $60,000 this year.
Pendergrass has been actively involved in 6 Sigma initiatives at Caterpillar, sponsoring several 6 Sigma projects to improve corporate efficiencies. He completed the Management for the 21st Century curriculum at Bradley University and the Making Great Leaders curriculum at Caterpillar. He also participated in and facilitated The Pacific Institute’s Imagine 21—Fast Track to Change program within the Systems + Processes Division. While working in Caterpillar’s Corporate Public Affairs Department, he and a colleague were recognized with a “Tele” Award for their work in producing Caterpillar television commercials.
Jennifer Rusk is a product development specialist at OSF HealthPlans (OSFHP), where she’s responsible for market research and evaluation in OSF HealthPlans’ service area. She establishes new benefit plans and product lines to assure OSFHP is the preferred carrier.
Active in the community, Rusk volunteers with her church and her son’s elementary school; helps implement multiple fundraisers at OSF HealthPlans to benefit Children’s Hospital of Illinois, raising in excess of $10,000 each year; volunteered for the CMN Telethon; served on the design committee for the American Heart Association’s Sweethearts Ball; and choreographs for the Chillicothe JFL cheerleaders.
In her current position, Rusk is the project and implementation lead of the newest product to OSF HealthPlans, and is in the process of leading a project for the next OSFHP product. She also conducts an ongoing analysis of OSFHP total membership to determine plan offerings in each of its markets. Rusk was a requested speaker and presenter at the International Quality & Productivity Center’s “Taking HSA’s from Concept to Reality” conference and earned recognition through the WOW program at OSF HealthPlans.
Kate Socha is Lieutenant Colonel, 182nd Mission Support Group, with the 182nd Airlift Wing of the Air Force. She provides group-level direction and management for work characterized as infrastructure support for organizations including civil engineering, crash/fire/rescue, disaster preparedness, environmental management, medical, personnel, communications, logistical readiness, and security.
For the past seven years, Socha has been involved with the American Cancer Society Relay For Life, serving on the Peoria County Relay For Life Planning Committee, chairing the T-Shirt Committee, and leading a team that raised more than $1,500 in each of the past seven years. She helped coordinate and host an annual fundraiser for Easter Seals the past two years and participates in the March of Dimes Mother’s March. Socha also served as the base coordinator for the United Way’s Combined Federal Campaign; the Red Cross Quiet Hero Program; and organized Bosslift/Center of Influence trips for the base, offering employers and community leaders the opportunity to witness what military members accomplish.
Among her military awards and decorations, Socha earned the Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding non-combat achievement, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Air Force Achievement Medal.
Vicki Taufer is owner, president, and primary photographer of V Gallery in Morton. In addition to photography, she’s responsible for marketing, advertising, teaching, managing employees, and running V Gallery.
Committed to her community, Taufer donates her time and work to several area auctions each year, raising thousands of dollars for the Red Cross, St. Jude, and the Make-a-Wish Foundation. She recently donated more than $20,000 of her work to be displayed at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. She also speaks to local women’s groups and to local elementary and high school classes, and she created an art show that gave away more than $4,000 in scholarships and donations to local high school students and their schools’ art programs.
Among the numerous honors she’s received, Taufer was the only person at the Professional Photographers of America’s national convention to receive her Master’s Degree, Craftsman Degree, Certification, and a Photographer of the Year award. Last year, she had the highest scoring print at the Orvieto Fotographie competition in Orvieto, Italy. She also received a coveted Grand Award from Wedding and Portrait Photographers International in the Portrait Category.
Larry Timm is president of Junior Achievement (JA). He’s responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization, which include board development, setting the budget, strategic growth of JA classrooms, and JA’s image and positioning.
Active in the community, Timm is a Good $ense Financial Course instructor, a Contagious Christianity instructor, volunteers at the Dream Center Peoria’s Adopt-a-Block program, is a seven-gallon blood donor at the American Red Cross, began a Neighborhood Watch Association in his central Peoria neighborhood and assisted the city in marketing the program, and selected the award winners for an initiative conducted by the Central Illinois Agency on Aging. He’s a member of the Peoria Chamber Workforce and Education Committee, the WTVP Channel 47 Member Advisory Council, the RiverPlex Member Advisory Committee, Rotary, and the Chamber CEO Roundtable group.
Through Timm’s leadership, JA received the Heartland Partnership’s Community Wealth Award for 2006. He was nominated as one of five national finalists for the 2006 JA Worldwide Karl Flemke Award and is a two-time JA Worldwide Summit Award winner.
Patrick Urich is the chief administrative officer for Peoria County, overseeing the day-to-day functions of all appointed departments, advising the Peoria County Board on matters of policy, and implementing the directives of the board. He develops the annual budget, coordinates public relations programs, provides administrative services to the board, and administers equal employment opportunity and affirmative action policies and programs.
Urich is a member of the Heart of Illinois Continuum of Care, the Heart of Illinois United Way, Pillars Society, the Peoria Downtown Rotary Club, and Peoria Heights Suburban Lions Club. He also has devoted time to the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Government Task Force, the Peoria Workforce Investment Board Talent 21 Task Force, and District 150’s Strategic Planning Task Force.
Among his accomplishments, Urich received the American Society for Public Administration Model Public Administrator Award, Chicago Chapter; was president of the Illinois Association of County Administrators; and served on the Government Affairs and Policy Committee of the International City/County Management Association since 2000. He currently serves as vice president of the Illinois City/County Management Association, and is secretary-treasurer of the National Association of County Administrators.
Rebekah von Rathonyi is the Academy Director at the Peoria Ballet. She teaches all levels of ballet from ages three to adult, including technique classes, pointe, stretch and strength, variations, and lyrical; choreographs and coaches students for shows and competitions; rehearses students and dancers for shows, events, and fundraisers; evaluates and places students in proper class levels; schedules private lessons and parent meetings; hires and interviews teachers; and performs for the Peoria Ballet.
Active in the community, she’s participated in local events including Parc’s annual fall Arts Week, an Easter Seals benefit, the Komen Foundation Style Show, Luthy Botanical Garden’s “I Love Luthy” annual fundraiser, and the Flood of Creatures Theatre Show to benefit P.A.W.S.
As a dancer, she was accepted at age 14 as a Corps de Ballet company member for Compania Nacional de Danza in Mexico City, and into the Apprentice/Trainee program for the Pennsylvania Ballet two years later, and was offered a position as principal dancer with the Rochester City Ballet in 1996. Among her teaching accomplishments, von Rathonyi started an inner-city scholarship dance program for underprivileged children.
Kelly Walz is coordinator of marketing/recreation with the Peoria Park District (PPD), where she develops brochures, advertisements, and other promotional materials for assigned facilities and programs; coordinates and implements marketing plans and special promotional endeavors; manages advertising budgets; and serves as liaison to private sector organizations for developing, underwriting, and sponsorship opportunities for programs and events.
She’s been a Junior League of Peoria member since 2003 and is active in many of the organization’s projects such as Keepsacks for Kids and Julep’s Closet. She’s currently chair for the Junior League’s Products and Events, which raises funds to support all of the organization’s projects. Walz also is a Girl Scouts of Kickapoo Council board member, serving on the Special Events Committee and heading up various fundraisers.
As a graduate of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School in 2005, Walz helped lead the winning project team for the Girl Scout Kickapoo Council. She received the Pat Landen Communications Award in 2005 for a marketing campaign she ran for the PPD. Additionally, she’s secured more than $60,000 in sponsorships for PPD events and programs.
Jeffrey Ward is assistant vice president and head of Business Development at South Side Trust and Savings Bank. His responsibilities include establishing new customer relationships and expanding current relationships with local businesses while providing South Side Bank with a strong business customer base. This is accomplished through personal and departmental calling efforts, as well as providing support to bank-wide calling efforts. He also researches and develops new products and services.
Active in the community, Ward is a board member of the Greater Illinois Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the March of Dimes of Central Illinois, and the Bradley Braves Club. In addition, he serves on the Finance Committee for the Community Workshop and Training Center, has been a house captain for Christmas in April, and is South Side Bank’s representative to the South Side Businessmen’s Club. Ward also was a campaign ambassador for the United Way and a Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce ambassador.
Ward is currently in his last year of the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University. IBI