Peoria is more than a stepping stone to career greatness. Peoria is also a destination for potential leaders, as indicated in the current number of young entrepreneurs in our community. In late 1994, 1470 WMBD, Inter-Business Issues magazine, corporate sponsor Caterpillar, Inc., and other area companies led the Tri-County in identifying and honoring 40 Leaders Under Forty throughout the Peoria area. The culmination of this community effort, which has had people talking ever since, was a list of 40 outstanding, young, business and community leaders. In 1995 and 1996, two more “classes” or 40 young leaders was identified.

The 1997 list of 40 Leaders Under Forty winners comprises a fourth dynamic and talented team of young leaders devoted to utilizing their skills for the betterment of the community. Once again, these leaders have aptly demonstrated successful leadership qualities and accomplishments in the greater Peoria area. They have truly made a difference, best defining the new spirit of youthful initiative throughout the Heartland community.

These 40 leaders were honored at a prestigious awards reception (aired live on WMBD) at the Pere Marquette’s Cotillion Ballroom on Wednesday, November 5. This issue of Inter-Business Issues is devoted to the 40 winners; their profiles appear on the following pages.

Jennifer A. Blum

Jennifer A. Blum is a human resources manager with the American Red Cross Heart of America Region. She administers all benefit plans and is responsible for the recruiting and hiring process and supervision of day-to-day operations in the Human Resources Department. She delegates responsibilities to department and committee members and follows up on their progress. She encourages brainstorming for improvement and growth, while empowering those under her to take responsibility for action items.

Blum has been a member of the Junior League of Peoria since 1991. She served as Julep’s Closet chairman in 1994 and as vice president of projects on the Junior League board in 1995 and 1996. She is currently vice president of fund raising. Blum is a 1993 graduate of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School and is past recipient of the American Red Cross Tiffany Award for employee excellence. She’s also served on the Illinois State Red Cross Conference Steering Committee.

Bruce Budde

Bruce Budde is controller at Illinois Central College where he directs finance, accounting and risk management activities for the institution and its foundation. He has additional operational responsibility for auxiliary business units.

Budde is a 1997 graduate of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School and has been on the board of directors of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra since 1996. He’s been a Funding Panel member of United Way since 1994, serves on the American Red Cross board, and is part of the Limestone Township Community Association.

Budde is a Certified Public Accountant. He teachers an investments course at Illinois Central College, where he was honored as a 1995 Illinois Central College Staff Who Makes a Difference.

He received the 1993 NICOR Management Initiative Award for saving the institution over $1 million by changing the method in which excise taxes were paid.

Brian Sean Buralli

Brian Sean Buralli is owner, founder and president of B&A Marketing and Advertising. He is a founding member and president of the Alliance of Small Business Owners, and has served on the Illinois Central College Self-Employment Training Program Advisory Board since 1995, chairing the Development Committee. He’s been a Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassador and served on the board for C.A.P.S. (Children and Parent Support).

Buralli received the 1994 Junior Achievement Service Award, was the 1994 Big Brother of the Year and was Coach of the Year for Peoria Youth Hockey in 1992, 1993, 1995 and 1996. He’s performed volunteer work with the Arthritis Foundation of McLean County, the American Red Cross Peoria Chapter, the Peoria Art Guild Fine Arts Fair and the March of Dimes’ Walk American and Chocolate Fantasy. Buralli has delivered seminars and lectures on marketing strategies, advertising, public relations, database marketing and direct marketing.

Vickie Clark

Vickie Clark is director of finance and administration for the Peoria Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (PACVB). She oversees the finance and administration department, supervises financial operations and implements personnel policies, and coordinates state and local grants for PACVB and community organizations.

During seventeen years with the PACVB, Clark has been involved with its growth from a small, initial operation to a strong, accomplished marketing organization. She received International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureau Finance and Administration certification, and belongs to the Illinois Council of Convention and Visitors Bureau Finance & Administration Committee. She has served as interim president of the PACVB.

Clark serves on the founding board of directors of the Princeville Resource Improvement & Development Endowment/Princeville Education Foundation, and has been active in the Princeville parent-teacher organization.

Felicia Curland

Felicia Curland is director of the Center for Student Leadership and Public Schools at Bradley University. She is responsible for campus-wide leadership programs, oversees the Volunteer Program, and is direct advisor to the seven national sororities (Panhellenic) at Bradley and several other organizations. She oversees the Leadership & Service Fellows Program, and provides educational programs to a variety of organizations on and off campus.

Curland is responsible for creation of the three-component Student Leadership & Public Service Center. After the first year the center was awarded the Helen Bartlett Award for excellence in service to students. Under Curland’s direction, Bradley students have volunteered more than 20,000 service hours that benefited 57 community agencies.

She is a member of the Junior League of Peoria and serves as cochairman of the Family Resource Room at Blaine Sumner School. She’s been a member of the “Christmas in April” board, and is a member of the YWCA Mentoring Committee and the United Way Colunteer Central Committee. She’s also coached T-ball for three years.

Laura J. Donlan

Laura J. Donlan, DDS, PC, received her DDS from the University of Illinois in 1994 and recently opened her own dentistry practice for children. Before she began her own practice, Donlan was a clinical dentist with the Peoria City/County Health Department, providing service to low income children and nursing home patients.

Donlan organized the Children’s Dental Health Fair at Northwoods Mall in 1997, has served on the board of the Central Illinois Bradley Alumni Chapter since 1996 and has been a Junior League of Peoria member since 1995. She organized the Friends of People with AIDS bake sale, co-chaired Project Success to establish a Family Resource Room at Blaine Sumner Middle School, and this year is chairman of Project Success, planning workshops and training for Blaine Sumner families and community members. She received the Junior League Julep Jewel Award, the 1994 University of Illinois Alumni Association Leadership Award, and the Robert Savage Memorial Award for excellence in concern for the welfare of her patients.

Patty Edwards-Lindstrom

Patty Edwards-Lindstrom is owner and president of Creative Logic, Inc. She started her own business out of her apartment in 1995, and now has four full-time employees and a host of contractors in an office on Peoria’s riverfront. She and her team provide design solutions, business analysis, market planning and development services. She actively seeks students in the field of graphic design, and hires and trains them to succeed in their careers. She currently has an ongoing interim program with Illinois State University, her alma mater.

Edwards-Lindstrom has served on several committees at the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce including the Small Business Advisory Committee, the Athena Award Committee, and the Small Business of the Year Committee. She serves on the Peoria Symphony Orchestra board and regularly devotes time and resources to the United Way and the Salvation Army. Creative Logic received national awards for CILCO’s annual report design in 1995 and 1996, and received numerous awards from the Peoria Advertising and Selling Club.

William T. Fleming

William T. Fleming is area manager of Media One of Illinois, Inc. cable systems in Pekin, Morton, Lincoln, Kewanee and Freeport. He serves on the board of directors of the Cable Television and Communication Association of Illinois, chairing the downstate subcommittee. He’s been president of the Kiwanis Club of Pekin, a director on the United Way of Peking board, and a business consultant for Project Business/Junior Achievement.

He is currently president of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Pekin Community Network Global Connection 2000 and Learning Connection 2000 boards. He’s a former board member of the Pekin Civic Center Authority and Pekin Marigold Festival.

Fleming received the Cable Television and Communications Association of Illinois Rookie of the Year award for participation in association projects. He’s received numerous awards for leadership, management excellence, and community involvement.

Michael A. “Mick” Hall

Michael A. “Mick” Hall is a partner with Johnson, Bunce & Noble, P.C. He oversees litigation matters that include general civil litigation, family law, collections, and commercial litigation. He has been admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, and is an active member of the Peoria County Bar Association, having served on its Professional Standards and Lincoln Day Banquet committees. Hall has taught law classes and seminars at Illinois Central College, judged Moot Court Competitions at Illinois law schools, edited the Southern Illinois University Law Journal, and been selected by the Southern Illinois University Law School faculty to serve as an instructor for legal writing and legal augmentation classes.

Hall is a founding member of “Save our Springdale,” is a member of the City of Peoria Liquor Commission, and has served as a hearing officer for the city. He is a Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School graduate, is on the board of directors for Bard Optical, and volunteers his time in a number of other local charitable activities.

Julie Halpin

Julie Halpin is a regional development specialist with OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. She began her career as a dietician, and quickly accepted additional responsibility managing interdisciplinary projects. Success in coordinating these projects led to her current role, in which she’s responsible for developing and fostering relations with key regional personnel and implementing projects that support the regional development efforts at OSF.

Halpin has been active in the Junior League of Peoria since 1994. She’s co-chaired “Christmas in April,” served as a director-at-large on the league board, and is currently assistant provisional chair.

She’s on the board of Door to Door, and was treasurer of the Central Illinois Dietetic Association. Halpin is a Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School graduate and a Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassador. She’s received an Excellence in Performance Award from OSF Saint Francis Medical Center staff for her role in quality improvement

Julie L. Hammond

Julie L. Hammond is a product manager at Caterpillar, Inc. She defines new sales opportunities and develops programs and support to achieve the objectives of Caterpillar Industrial Products’ worldwide powertrain business. She manages the powertrain business team, marketing strategy, promotions, product pricing, competitive pricing information, and product review.

Hammond has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in business administration from Bradley University. She’s taught and supported various user programming products; initiated project management methodology; planned and executed the Greenville, South Carolina, facility grand opening; and provided the marketing portion of the 3126 marine engine development and introduction.

Hammond is chairman and charter member of the Women’s Lifestyle Silent Auction Committee. She’s a member of the Richwoods High School PTO and the Women’s Lifestyle Education Fund Scholarship Selection Committee.

Sally L. Hanley

Sally L. Hanley is business resource specialist with the Economic Development Council for the Peoria Area. She packages and administers grants and loans for business expansions and local community infrastructure improvements. She directs the business retention calling program and assists the tri-county development directors with special projects. She previously staffed and directed a state-funded grant program recognized as one of the top ten programs in Illinois for six consecutive years. In another position she was instrumental in bringing a federally-funded program back into compliance within three years of hire.

She is a Conference Committee member for the Central Illinois Community Quality Network. She’s a volunteer and library reader at St. Mary’s of Kickapoo School, and has volunteered with the Peoria County Recycling Program.

Hanley has also done volunteer work with the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Program and the Peoria County Model Community Program.

Bridget Hinds

Bridget Hinds is vice president and business development officer of the Investment Management Group at Commerce Bank. She specializes in counseling individuals with financial concerns, including investment, retirement, and trust planning. She also cultivates new and existing relationships for the bank and develops various marketing initiatives.

She’s a graduate of Illinois State University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and received her Certified Public Accountant certification in 1987. Hinds completed her studies at the Graduate School of Bank Management at the University of Virginia in 1994, and is a Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School graduate.

She’s served on the board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Upgrade Service Corp. and co-chaired the Easter Seals Rising Star Program. She’s volunteered for the American Cancer Society, Multiple Sclerosis Society, and South Side Mission. Hinds is currently on the Junior Achievement of Central Illinois board and is involved with the United Way.

Nathan R. Hoerr

Nathan R. Hoerr is president and chief executive officer of D.A. Hoerr & Sons, Inc. He is responsible for overall excellence and customer care. He developed the D.A. Hoerr Corporate Constitution consisting of the company’s purpose, mission, vision and values. He also facilitated the family business transition process from second to third generation, and transitioned a fixed 401(k) plan to a participant-directed plan.

He has implemented and led a quality team for continuous process improvement at Hoerr and currently heads the leadership team.

Hoerr is a 1997 graduate of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School. He’s a mayor-appointed member of the Peoria Urban Forestry Board, and has been treasurer of Lifeline Pilots of Illinois for six years. Hoerr is on the technical ministries team at Northwoods Community Church.

Thomas D. Hoerr, II

Thomas D. Hoerr, II is chief financial officer at Green View Companies, a family-owned business. He is responsible for the financial and accounting functions of the company, including analyzing financial statements, budgeting, banking relations, and information management.

Hoerr is a Registered Landscape Architect. He’s a national board member of Garden Centers of America, and was elected chairman of the Comptroller Committee of Excelling in Creative Gardening Concepts, a partnership of family-owned garden centers and nurseries. He’s a member of the Information Management Committee of the American Association of Nurserymen. Hoerr has conducted several seminars about how the Internet relates to the “green industry.”

He’s president of the Dunlap Unit 323 School Board and president of Peoria City Beautiful. He’s a board member at Youth Farm and a graduate of Illinois State University. Hoerr serves on the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is affiliated with the Peoria Symphony.

Deveraux Hubbard

Deveraux Hubbard is pastor at St. Paul Baptist Church. He is the youngest individual chosen to lead such a large church in the Peoria community. In four months he doubled the church membership.

Hubbard has a passion for the city’s youth. Weekly, he and his wife have the teenage church members to their home, and for years they’ve invited Bradley University students into their home for Sunday evening Bible studies.

Hubbard is on the Friendship House board of directors, a volunteer at the Valeska Hinton Early Development Center, and past president and advisor for Bradley University’s Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, where he was outstanding Alumni of the Year in 1996.

He was district speaker at the National Baptist Convention – U.S.A., and has volunteered with the Tri County Peoria Urban League. Hubbard is a member of the Peoria Christian Leadership Council.

Karen M. Jensen

Karen M. Jensen is senior vice president focusing primarily on finance and operations at QST Environmental, Inc. She began her career in Peoria as an environmental engineer. Working for a regional consulting firm, she was a client/project manager with responsibility for multimillion dollar projects. In 1990 she became senior officer in the integration of six regional firms into QST, a 1,400 person nationwide consulting engineering and analytical laboratory company. She serves on the QST board and is involved in all of the company’s subsidiaries.

She’s also on the boards of the YWCA and the Center for Prevention of Abuse. She’s a past board member of Peoria City Beautiful and the Bradley University Civil Engineering Advisory Board. Jensen is a 1988 graduate of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School and has served on the Peoria County and City of Pekin solid waste advisory committees. She’s a registered professional engineer in Illinois, New Hampshire and New Mexico.

Sherry Laible-White

Sherry Laible-White is a marketing employment specialist with the Illinois Department of Human Services, Office of Rehabilitation Services (ORS). She markets ORS through presentations emphasizing the importance of hiring people with disabilities, and educates businesses about providing accommodations and making persons with disabilities aware of their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Laible-White received the Business Advisory Council Leadership Award in 1997 and the Peoria Chapter of Women in Management Social Services Award in 1992. She’s a member of the Rotary Club of Peoria, and serves on the boards of the National Organization on Disability, the Illinois State University Alumni Association, and the Private Industry Council. She previously served on the board of South Side Office of Concern, Central Illinois Center for Independent Living, National Society of Fund-raising Executives, and Peoria Chapter of Women in Management.

Daniel M. Ludolph

Daniel M. Ludolph is manager in the audit department at Clifton Gunderson L.L.C. in charge of communication. He was one of fifteen in his firm chosen to implement a new software package to be used on audits and for consulting services.

Ludolph was treasurer and board member of the 1996-97 “Christmas in April” and helped rehab 20 houses in Peoria in 1997. He’s a board member of the Pediatric Resource Center, which serves sexually and physically abused children. He’s also helped with the center’s fund-raising activities and annual dinner.

Ludolph was selected by the bishop to serve on the Catholic Cemetery board. He was elected to a second three-year term on the Finance Committee of St. Vincent De Paul, and was chosen to lead the $3 million Capital Campaign Committee at St. Vincent’s. He’s helped with the St. Vincent bazaar for the past four years, and has coached youth soccer and softball teams.

Denise M. Mammolito

Denise M. Mammolito, M.D., is vice president and surgeon at Whittaker & Mammolito Surgical Assoc., S.C. She coordinates the care of her patients, most of whom are diagnosed with breast cancer. Mammolito also aids in teaching surgical residents and medical students.

She is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and was one of the first female chief residents in her surgical residency program. She treates patients from Heartland Community Health Clinic at no charge. She volunteers as clinical assistant professor at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria.

Mammolito was elected president of the American Cancer Society Peoria Unit. She received an American Cancer Society grant award during her clinical fellowing for 1990-91, and is routinely sought out as a resource for breast cancer issues. Mammolito participated in the Peoria Medical Society Alliance’s mini-internship program.

Christopher J. Monroe

Christopher J. Monroe is manager of The Principal Financial Group. He is responsible for recruiting, training, and developing new agents and registered representatives for the central Illinois agency.

After successfully working in his parent’s business, he joined Principal Financial Group at age 24. Within two years he was promoted to his present position. He is a member of the Peoria Life Underwriters Association and the National Life Underwriters Association.

Monroe is a 1997 Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School graduate, and an Easter Seals Rising Star volunteer. He serves on the boards of the Center for Prevention of Abuse and the Peoria Art Guild. He’s chairman of the Fine Art Fair and East Bluff Neighborhood Association. Monroe is a basketball coach at St. Bernard’s and St. Philomena’s grade schools and volunteers for the Easter Seals Telethon, TEC/Cursillo, and Christian Businessman’s Association.

Theresa Murphy

Theresa Murphy is an attorney with Reynolds, Murphy & Assoc. Since moving to Peoria in 1988 to practice law, she’s worked in several leadership capacities with the Junior League of Peoria from the executive committee and board positions to committee chairmanships. Murphy served two years as VIP co-chairman of the Children’s Miracle Network Telethon. She currently serves on the Community Advisory Board for the Children’s Hospital of Illinois, is on the board of Crittenton Care and Counseling Center and Peoria County Lawyers Auxiliary, and is on the Preschool Committee for First Federated Church.

Murphy was nominated for the Jaycees Prescott E. Bloom Award. She is a graduate of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School and served as a judge for the 1996 Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School team project presentations.

Jeffery A. Parmenter

Jeffery A. Parmenter is executive director of the Heart of Illinois Big Brothers/Big Sisters (HOI BB/BS). He is responsible for overall operation of the organization, budget development and maintenance, corporate and private fund raising, public awareness and community relations, volunteer recruitment and program supervision.

The HOI BB/BS has tripled in size under Parmenter’s direction – both in number of children served per year and in budget size. The agency has been honored by BB/BS of America for its partnership with Alpha Phi Alpha and Project Big Jump.

Parmenter serves on the Peoria Network Panel (PNP), PNP’s Homeless Youth Screening, is involved with Project Success and has served on the Harrison Youth Center board. He was cochairman for the Peoria Network Panel’s Committee on Gangs. He’s also been Head Buster for the Peoria Gus Macker tournament for the past three years.

At the national BB/BS conference, Parmenter was selected to share his ideas on successfully increasing the size of a BB/BS agency and deal with issues caused by growth.

Gary P. Pearl

Gary P. Pearl has been president and chief operating officer at John P. Pearl & Associates, Ltd., since 1996. He is responsible for overall insurance operations of the company, which includes the corporate offices in Peoria Heights and sixteen branch and satellite offices across the United States. He is also president and chief operating officer of Employee Benefits Corp., a division of Pearl & Associates that provides self-funded and fully insured employee benefit programs and administrative services.

Pearl has been a VIP volunteer with the Children’s Miracle Network and has served on the board and 25th Anniversary Committee of WTVP Channel 47. He’s also served on the boards of CGN & Associates and Peoria Notre Dame High School Foundation. He is chairman of endowment for the 1997 United Way campaign, is on the governing committee of St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church, and coaches Peoria Youth Hockey. He also installed kitchen cabinets in a home for “Christmas in April.”

Pearl was selected as chairman of the Membership Committee for the Professional Insurance Marketing Association.

Philip Michael “Mike” Ratcliff

Philip Michael “Mike” Ratcliff is vice president and business unit leader of Central Illinois Light Company’s (CILCO) Customer Service Group, responsible for overseeing 250 employees with a 1998 operating budget of over $26 million. Areas included within the unit are the customer care center, billing and collections, lobbies, service delivery, and customer satisfaction.

Ratcliff is a former supervisor of the Energy Sales Group and a core member of CILCO’s Re-Engineering Team. He is a member of the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals and the International Customer Service Association.

He’s on the board of the Home Builders Association of Greater Peoria and past vice president of the Central Illinois Electrical League, a volunteer coach with the Chillicothe Summer Youth Activity Little League program and a soccer coach at Pearce Community Center.

Ratcliff received the Alan S. Baird Memorial Service Award in recognition of outstanding service to the local electrical community. He’s a 1998 member of the Heart of Illinois United Way Pillars Society.

Melanie Riley

Melanie Riley is director of human resources at Advance Medical Transport of Central Illinois. She’s responsible for all facets of personnel management including recruitment, new hire orientation, staff training and development, compensation and benefits administration, policy formulation, employee relation activities, and employment law compliance.

Riley serves on the 1997 Heart of Illinois United Way Cabinet and is vice chairman of the pace-setter division. She’s a volunteer with Pekin Youth Hockey and is on the board of the Arthritis Foundation. She’s also on the advisory board for District 150 Business Academy and the Women’s Fund. She was formerly a board member of the YWCA.

Riley is a 1996 Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School graduate. She’s received the Award of Excellence from the Advance Medical Transport board, and the Junior Achievement Project Business Program Business Consultant of the Year Award in 1995.

Jean A. Rose

Jean A. Rose, RN, MS, CNRN, is neurosciences coordinator and associate director of the OSF Saint Francis Medical Center Stroke Network. In that capacity she’s developed the seventeen-hospital network that’s one of the first of its kind in the nation. Responsibilities range from preparing literature to giving presentations throughout central Illinois to network members. Additionally, she coordinates the neurosurgery and neurology departments at the medical center.

Rose graduated magna cum laude from St. Francis School of Nursing in 1982 and obtained her master’s degree in 1997. She’s been president of the Central Illinois Chapter of the American Association of Neurosciences Nurses, a member of the Peoria Transplant board and the Family House board, the Foster Pet Outreach board, and served on the Central Illinois Stroke Council.

She was involved in the arrangements to accommodate Mother Teresa’s visit to Peoria, and was volunteer coordinator for the Mitsubishi Motor LPGA Charity ProAm Golf Tourney. She’s also a “Christmas in April” volunteer worker.

Joseph G. Runkle

Joseph G. Runkle is controller at Morton Metalcraft Co., responsible for corporate financial management and reporting. After graduation from Marquette University, he passed the CPA exam in 1987 and received his master’s degree in business administration from Bradley University in 1994, graduating with distinction.

Runkle is on the Heart of Illinois United Way Campaign Cabinet and has been involved at Father Sweeney School as a board member and assistant treasurer. He’s a graduate of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School. He volunteers with numerous other charitable events and fund drives.

Runkle is a member of Beta Alpha Psi Honorary Accounting Fraternity, and has been treasurer of Sertoma Club of Peoria. He’s a member of the Illinois CPA Society where he was president in 1993 and treasurer in 1996. He’s belonged to the American Institute of CPAs since 1987 and the Institute of Management Accountants since 1990.

Julie Russell

Julie Russell is the owner of Adco. Advertising Agency. As account manager and media negotiator and buyer for over 30 clients in the Midwest, she arranges radio, TV and outdoor campaigns for medium and small businesses. After eight years of radio sales at WMBD, Russell wanted to spend more time with her new daughter and started her own advertising agency. She also affiliated with an existing agency as their media buyer and negotiator.

Russell graduated from the Walt Disney Customer Satisfaction University and was recognized as a Certified Radio Marketing Consultant by the Radio Advertising Bureau. She’s a past president of the Peoria Advertising and Selling Club. Russell is on the board of directors for the Junior League of Peoria, YWCA of Peoria, and serves on the Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Advisory Committee. She also volunteers with St. Jude, PARC, and Lakeview Museum.

She received the Street Fighter of the Year Award as best radio salesman from the Radio Advertising Bureau. This fall she’ll represent the Junior League at a leadership conference in Chicago.

Calvin Rychener

Calvin Rychener is senior pastor at Northwoods Community Church, teaching at weekend and midweek services, managing staff and overseeing global ministry. Under Rychener’s leadership, the church, which began in 1990, has grown from 291 worshippers to a weekend attendance of 1,600 people and been recognized as one of the fastest growing churches in the United States. Rychener is leading a $5 million building project for the church.

In seminary, Rychener was selected an All American in the Bible College Basketball League. He also received the Ron Meyer Award for academic and athletic excellence.

In 1993, Rychener was selected as Peoria’s Outstanding Religious Leader by the Jaycees. He was speaker at the 1994 Community Thanksgiving Luncheon, has done workshops for PALS parents and staff, was involved in the 1996-97 National Day of Prayer service at the courthouse plaza, and his church is involved in numerous community outreach and service ministries.

Jill A. Scherer

Jill A. Scherer is director of relationship marketing and promotions at Scherer Buick Pontiac Isuzu/Saturn of Peoria. She is advertising and marketing representative, customer and employee liaison, customer and owner appreciation coordinator, assists in training new sales consultants, oversees the Saturn Car Club as the “Saturn Car Club Champion,” and is the community awareness consultant for new employees.

Scherer has received six certificates of recognition from the Saturn Corporation. She was the first to sponsor awards in support of the City of Peoria for the Good Neighbor Banquet Awards Night. She is on the Community Advisory Development Committee for the Children’s Hospital of Illinois at Saint Francis Medical Center, and is a founding member of the Peoria Area Family Business Forum. At Lakeview Museum she is a member of the New DaVinci’s Committee.

Schere is a member of the Young Peorians, is on the Volunteer Business Division Team for United Way, and is on the Catholic Diocesan Pastoral Council.

Thomas A. Schlehuber

Thomas A. Schlehuber is senior vice president and chief lending officer at First Capital Bank, overseeing lending functions. He started his career in Chicago and decided to return to his roots in Peoria. Schlehuber rallies Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford and McLean counties around the Relay for Life event to achieve the fund-raising goal of $592,000 in 1997.

Schlehuber is on the board of the American Cancer Society-Peoria, and won the Diamond Award from the organization for being an outstanding volunteer. He received the James Duncan Award from First of America for contributions given to the bank and the community. He serves on the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business Committee. He is a City of Peoria Zoning Board of Appeals commissioner, and former board member of Family House. He is past president and current treasurer of the Oak Park Homeowners Association, and has coached soccer for three years.

Allyson M. Schneider

Allyson M. Schneider is vice president and employees benefits specialist at First of America Trust company. Her focus is on the administration of employee benefit relationships.

Schneider earned her bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Iowa in 1984, and her MBA with honors from Bradley University in 1990. She served for several years as alumni advisor to Chi Omega Sorority at Bradley. She’s served the Junior League of Peoria in several capacities including chairing Julep’s Closet, the league’s largest fund raiser. She serves on the Finance Committee of St. Francis College of Nursing and on the board of the Heart of Illinois Employee Benefits Forum.

Schneider is a graduate of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School, and was awarded the President’s Circle Award in 1995 at First of America. In 1996 she was singled out at First of America as top performing account officer.

F. Michael Schubach

F. Michael Schubach is an associate of Martin Financial Services, responsible for planning, sales and pension. He received the Bronze Award in 1995 and the Silver and Sapphire Awards in 1996 from North Western Mutual for sales and service.

Schubach received the 1986 Customer Service Award from Hickey Freeman clothier for advancing the quality and workmanship of men’s clothing. He is president of the WCBU Advisory Board, was a 1996 board member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and has been on the St. Jude Tennis Committee since 1995.

He’s a Quiet Hero with the American Red Cross, and has been a Rotary Club board member. Schubach was a member of the Lakeview Museum Fund-Raising Committee in 1989.

Schubach has coached with the Peoria Rugby Club for the past ten years, and was elected an Illinois State Collegiate Rugby Coach in 1994.

James D. Stevenson

James D. Stevenson is president of HCH Administration (formerly Kepple & Co.) and oversees all HCH operations with a goal of achieving growth in a profitable manner.

Stevenson is a board member of Health Care Horizons, and is president of the board of HCH Administration. He’s interim president of RMR Group, and a board member of the National Association of Employee Benefits Administrators. Stevenson is a member of the Young President’s Organization, a nationally recognized think-tank of your professionals.

He is president of the board of the local chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association, a soccer coach for St. Jude Church, and president of the Colony Point Home Owner’s Association. He serves on the Ducks Unlimited Banquet Committee, is a member of the National Association of Employee Benefits Administrators board, and volunteers his time and talent with the St. Jude Telethon, the St. Jude Tennis Classic, and the Easter Seal Tennis Classic.

Patrick J. Taphorn

Patrick J. Taphorn is an insurance agent and sales representative with The Unland Companies. He’s responsible for sales and marketing of commercial and personal insurance, employee benefit plans and 401(k) products. He recently earned designation as a certified insurance counselor.

Taphorn graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in finance. He was captain of the UW-Green Bay basketball team in 1988-89. Taphorn earned his property, casualty, life and health licenses in1990 and attained designation into the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors in 1997.

Taphorn has served on the United Way of Peking board of directors, and currently serves on the American Cancer Society board where he’s been chairman of the American Cancer Society Relay for Life committee since 1996. He’s served on the Pekin Chamber of Commerce board since 1996 and is Business Expo chairman for 1998. He’s been Pekin High School assistant varsity basketball coach since 1996.

Henry Vicary III

Henry Vicary III is a workers’ compensation attorney with Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen. He handles all aspects of the Illinois workers’ compensation litigation in front of the Illinois Industrial Commission, including arbitrations, reviews and appeals. He formerly served as legal counsel to the Illinois House of Representatives.

Vicary received his Juris Doctor with honors from Drake University. He belongs to the Illinois State Bar Association and Peoria County Bar Association, and is a member of the Abraham Lincoln Americans Inns of Court. Vicary was admitted to practice law in Illinois and Colorado.

He’s a member of the Heart of Illinois United Way Fund Distribution Panel, and a district committee member of Boy Scouts of America. He was a Peoria County coordinator of the Dole for President campaign in 1996, and is Peoria County assistant coordinator for the George Ryan for Governor campaign in 1998. Vicary is secretary of the Peoria County Republican Central Committee.

John S. Wieland

John S. Wieland is president and CEO of M.H. Equipment Corporation. He oversees the operations of four branches and 115 employees in the midsection of Illinois and the eastern third of Iowa. Wieland’s work history includes a seven-year stay with Pear Marwick, leaving as a manager to be CFO of Lincoln Office. In 1994 he purchased M.H. Equipment. Under Wieland’s management, M.H. Equipment has more than doubled its work force and returned to profitability. The company received the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Award as Outstanding Small Business in 1997 in the category of 25 to 150 employees.

Wieland created the Greater Midwest Hyster Dealer Association and was first president of the group. He’s been on the Hyster Dealer Council since 1996. Wieland is also a member of the Rotary Club of Downtown Peoria, a deacon and Sunday school teacher, and on the Financial Committee of Grace Presbyterian Church. The Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce recognized Wieland for his effort in the creation of the City of Peoria Sales Tax Rebate Program.

Molly Wilson

Molly Wilson is director of marketing at South Side Bank. She’s responsible for coordinating and executing all advertising, marketing, public relations, special projects, promotions, product development and Internet website information for the bank’s nine locations and mobile branch and holding company.

She has a bachelor’s degree from Bradley University and is a graduate of Bank Marketing Association School. Wilson is a chapter representative to the American Institute of Banking, a telethon VIP for Easter Seals, and a Big Brothers/Big Sisters director. She is chairman of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School, is on the board of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, and is the provisional chairman for the Junior League of Peoria.

Wilson received a Bank Marketing Association National Best of the Best Award for print advertising and the William R. Ward Memorial Award for Banking. She’s a member of the American Institute of Banking, the Illinois Bankers Association, and the National Bank Marketing Association.

Michael A. Zeller

Michael A. Zeller is vice president and commercial loan underwrite at First of America Bank. He is responsible for approving credit requests from commercial loan customers and assisting relationship managers in establishing terms and conditions of credit relationships.

Zeller has a master’s degree in business administration from Illinois State University. He received Certified Financial Planner designation in 1989 and was an accounting instructor at Illinois Central College and instructor in business finance at Bradley University.

He’s a past mentor for the Peoria Business Academy, past instructor for Junior Achieve business classes, and formerly volunteered with the Heart of Illinois United Way and W.D. Boyce Council of Boy Scouts.

Zeller is currently on the board of the Central Illinois Chapter American Red Cross and was elected treasurer of the chapter in 1994. He coaches Morton Youth Baseball and Morton Youth Soccer and volunteers with Cub Scouts Pack #1 in Morton. IBI