A Publication of WTVP

Every community must ask itself if it nurtures and develops a leadership culture – in its companies, its government, its social services, its events. In Peoria the answer is a resounding "YES!"

In 1994, when the challenge went out to find the next generation of potential leaders to guide Peoria into the future, InterBusiness Issues, 1470 WMBD News Radio, corporate sponsor Caterpillar Inc., and other area companies led the tri-County are in identifying and honoring 40 Leaders Under Forty from throughout the Peoria area. Members of the business and professional community were so amazed at the number of successful young leaders, we repeated the challenge in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 and again this year.

InterBusiness Issues and 1470 WMBD News Radio have again uncovered 40 outstanding young leaders who make our community a better place in which to live and work. The 2001 Classe of 40 Leaders Under Forty comprise a group of individuals who consistently demonstrate their ability to adapt to a changing workplace, take responsibility for their own professional development, take risks as entrepreneurs, and still volunteer for the betterment of their community.

Our future leaders will buils on the skills and attitudes demonstrated by the talented individuals profiled on the following pages. These 40 leaders were honored at a prestigious awards reception at the Hotel Pere Marquette's Cotillion Ballroom October 30 (aired live on WMBD 1470). Profiles of the winners are also available at This issue of InterBusiness Issues is dedicated to the 40 winners.


Lois Bentler-Lampe
Lois Bentler-Lampe is the manager of Wellness Services at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, responsible for the education, management, marketing, presentation, growth and development of all wellness services for the hospital. She also manages the following programs: Cardiopulmonary Phase III, Arthritis Services, the employee wellness program, youth programs and Bariatric Services. When OSF Saint Francis Medical Center and the Peoria Park District announced plans to partner in a unique project—the RecPlex—Lois helped formulate how the finished project would look. She also developed a Stages of Change program, related to the behavioral component of disease. She is also active with the OSF Saint Francis leadership development committee and the CHOOSE Health wellness program; coordinates the Caterpillar Inc. wellness program; and served as chair of the YWCA Leadership Luncheon Committee. She also volunteers for St. Mary’s School in Metamora, the Girl Scouts, and is a recreational youth soccer and basketball coach. Lois received the Worksite Wellness Award in 1998 and in 2000, and was coordinator of the winning Challenge Cup activity within OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.

SueAnn Billimack
SueAnn Billimack is an attorney in Husch & Eppenberger’s Labor and Employment Practice Group, responsible for advising company management and human resources personnel in both union and non-union settings on labor and employment-related issues. She also drafts employment policies, handbooks and contracts; and represents clients in employment-related litigation and labor arbitrations.

She serves on the board of directors for Counseling and Family Services, and for Central Illinois Service Access, where she also serves as chair of its Personnel and Policy Committee.

SueAnn is a member of the Peoria Chapter of Women in Management, a Sunday School teacher at St. Marks Lutheran Church in Washington, an assistant den leader for Pack 165 Cub Scouts in Germantown Hills, and a room parent for Germantown Hills Elementary School. She is a former board member of Eureka United Way, and former member of the Eureka Branch of American Association of University Women.

She has been recognized as a member of Phi Betta Kappa, Mortar Board Senior Honor Society, Order of the Coif, and received the Rickert Award for Excellence in Legal Writing.

Laura Bouchard

Laura Bouchard is vice president of marketing and administration at Morton Community Bank, responsible for creating, coordinating and implementing the bank’s marketing programs; communicating bank information, programs and projects to all employees; assisting the executive vice president with operations; and coordinating the Bank at School program.

She is a 1993 graduate of the Morton Chamber Pumpkin Capital University Leadership School; a 1999 recipient of the Illinois Community Banker’s Young Banker’s Division Economic Educator Award; served as chair of the Morton Pumpkin Festival Grand Opening from 1994 to 1997, and co-chair of the 2001 Morton Punkin Chuckin’ Contest.

Laura is active with the Morton Chamber of Commerce, serving as an ambassador from 1994 to 1997, ambassador chair in 1997, and on its board of directors from 1998 to present. She is also a Morton Junior High School business mentor program volunteer, co-captain of the 2001 Morton Community Bank Relay for Life team; on the reunion committee and treasurer for Academy of our Lady at Spalding Class of 1986; and a member of the Morton American Association of University Women.

Susannah Bowles
Susannah Bowles is the director of Collections and Programs for the Peoria Historical Society, responsible for overseeing collections, policies, and facilities; coordinating the volunteer program; planning and promoting monthly lectures, the annual PHS dinner, and special events; developing and managing grants; and for management of the intern program.

Susannah received her bachelor’s degree from Rhodes College with one semester at St. John’s College at Oxford University in England; and her master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Since joining the Peoria Historical Society in 1999, she researched, wrote and managed a variety of state and local grants, winning nearly $40,000 for educational exhibits, lecture programs and site exhibits.

Last year, she was appointed as a 4th Ward alderman for the City of West Peoria, and elected in April 2001 to serve a four-year term. She now chairs the finance committee, overseeing a budget of more than $2 million. She is treasurer of the Friends of Cullom Davis Library at Bradley University, and a graduate of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School—Class of 2000.

David Braun
David Braun is general manager of Greater Peoria Mass Transit, responsible for the day to day leadership and management operations of the organization. He oversees 116 employees, 77 vehicles, a $10 million operating budget, and $2 million capital budget. He led the implementation of a corporate image change from GP Transit to CityLink; and created CityLift, a business entity serving people with disabilities.

David was also behind the move to replace advertising bus benches with aesthetically-pleasing benches that enhance Peoria’s image, and a downtown trolley circulator meant to enhance the City’s downtown and offer access to new riverfront developments. He also developed a tuition reimbursement plan for the staff in hopes of developing future transit leaders within Peoria, and initiated passenger and employee safety programs, reducing vehicle accidents by more than 35 percent in six years.

He serves on the board of Consumer Credit Counseling of Central Illinois, as secretary of Heart of Illinois Project Impact, and is a member of the Central Illinois Business Advisory Council, Rotary Club of Peoria, and the Peoria-Pekin Urbanized Transportation Study policy committee.

Jeffrey Brooks
Jeffrey Brooks is the head of technical services at Pekin Library, responsible for maintaining the library’s local area computer network, supervising two departments, and providing information service to the community.

He initiated a bi-weekly newspaper column on Web resources, established basic computer classes, and maintains the library’s Web page on the Internet. A member of the American Library and Modern Language Associations, he applied for and was awarded three technology grants from the Illinois State Library, including one grant for equipment to assist patrons with poor vision.

An active member of the Pekin Kiwanis, Jeffrey participates in community fund raising projects, and serves as a liaison for the Pekin High School Key Club, organizing student volunteer activities.

Serving as an officer with the Elks Lodge of Pekin for two years, Jeffrey was elected to the Pekin Elementary School District 108 in April, appointed to the Pekin Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, and is a graduate of the Pekin Chamber of Commerce 2001 Leadership Academy. He also served two years on District 108’s Instructional Leadership Team.

Maureen Broy
Maureen Broy is an account executive for Gallatin River Communications, responsible for sales of phone systems, special circuits, DSL and long distance, and managing business accounts.

She is a graduate of the Pekin Chamber of Commerce Leadership Academy, and of the Dale Carnegie Sales Advantage Course, where she was nominated by her peers to receive the Human Relations Award—Person Who Did Most for the Class.

Appointed by the mayor to serve a three-year term on the City of Pekin Planning and Zoning Commission, she also serves on the Pekin Rotary board of directors club services, as a Pekin Chamber of Commerce ambassador, on the City of Pekin Map Committee, and is co-chair of the Pekin Chamber of Commerce Career Closet (a Dress For Success project).

Maureen is also a member of the Faith Christian Centre Praise and Worship Dance and Worship Ministry team, a past board of directors member for the Pekin Community Concert Association, and a past member and docent of CHiPP (Committee for Historical Preservation of Pekin).

A holder of a teaching certification in piano pedagogy, she owned and operated a music studio for 10 years.

Dr. Eric Bugajeski
Dr. Eric Bugaieski is the chief of pediatric radiology at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois (CHOI), responsible for coordinating and advancing imaging services provided to the patients at Children’s Hospital.

He serves on the CHOI physician’s advisory committee, the CMN funding allocation committee, and has been secretary of the Central Illinois Radiological Associates (Previously Peoria Radiology Associates) since 1998.

Eric received the University of Illinois Radiology Residency Program Teaching award in 1997, and the Pediatric/Med-Peds Subspecialty Teaching Award in 2000.

He also consults on suspected abuse cases from around the region, participates in regional educational conferences on child abuse for the Pediatric Resource Center, lectures to radiology technologists and sonographers from the tri-County area to improve regional pediatric imaging, and speaks at Grand Rounds at regional hospitals (in Galesburg, Bloomington, and Urbana) to update and advance pediatric imaging at those medical facilities, and participates in regional multi-specialty seminars sponsored by the CHOI for area pediatric physicians.

Kim Cioni
Kim Cioni is an instructor and regional coordinator for the Cisco Networking Academy at Illinois Central College, responsible for providing instruction for both the Cisco certified network professional and the Cisco certified network associate programs. She also provides training, evaluation, and support for ICC’s local high school academies.

She is a current member of the Peoria Area Business Education Association, serves on the board of directors for the Illinois Business Education Association, and is associated with the National Business Education Association, the Illinois Association for Career and Technical Education, the Cisco Heartland Internetwork Professionals, and is a faculty advisor for Skills USA/Vica.

Kim also served as a faculty intern on the curriculum committee for Cisco Systems Worldwide Education, and earned both her Cisco Certified Network Associate and Cisco Certified Academy Instructor certifications in 2000.

Active in the community, she served as a volunteer for March of Dimes, the Komen Foundation, the Arthritis Foundation, Wheels of Time Museum, St. Jude, Muscular Dystrophy, and the Illinois Central College Educational Foundation.

William Connor
William Connor is a partner and attorney with the Leiter Group, responsible for municipal law, real estate law, small business law, and estate planning for the firm’s clients.

He was named Leading Illinois Attorney in Trusts and Estates Law; lectures in the Peoria County Bar Association’s continuing legal education program, is an instructor for the realtor continuing program at Illinois Central College’s Professional Development Institute, and is a member of the American Inns of Court.

Active in the community, he serves on the board of directors for the Children’s Home Association, where he organized meetings with community leaders to raise awareness and funds for Children’s Home programs; is a member of the Downtown Rotary Club, working on Christmas in April, the school supply clothing drive, and serving on the projects committee; and served on the board and was chairman of the American Cancer Society, Peoria division, helping institute the Relay for Life and Hoops for Life.

William also volunteers his time to further the education of District 150 students, both at Kellar and Tyng Schools, serving as a weekly reading volunteer, chairing Kellar’s Butterfly Garden project and its 4th grade field trip.

James DeRose
James DeRose is the head soccer coach at Bradley University, leading the team to a 57-38-4 record in his first five seasons; the 1998 Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) regular season championship; national rankings in 1998, 2000 and 2001; consecutive MVC tournament championship games; and the program’s first-ever NCAA tournament appearance in 2000.

He was named the 1996 MVC Coach of the Year; 1998 National Soccer Coaches Association of America Midwest Region Coach of the Year; 1998 MVC Coach of the Year; 1998 Tri-County Annual Sports Awards Male Coach of the Year; and was named an NCAA Division I top 10 Teachers and Tacticians by College Soccer

James is the founder/director of the Central Illinois Soccer Academy, which provided free clinics for more than 1,000 players and coaches the past four years, and serves 1,200 local boys and girls annually.

He has been a member of the Olympic Development Program for Soccer for the past 10 years, and is a speaker at numerous civic organizations, including the Knights of Columbus, Peoria Rotary clubs, and Kiwanis throughout central Illinois.

Sharon Desmouln-Kherat
Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat is principal at Whittier Primary School, responsible for 328 students, overseeing and evaluating more than 40 staff members, and developing and implementing education and teaching programs while working with parents and the community.

Sharon also serves as assistant principal, and Summer school principal, at Roosevelt Magnet School; is an adjunct instructor at Bradley University; and vice president of operations and associate director of education and youth incentives at the Tri-County (Peoria) Urban League.

Active in the community, she serves as vice president of Downtown Toastmasters; is an advisory board member for the Institute for Gifted and Talented Youth at Bradley University and the YWCA; sits on the board of St. Patrick Day Care Center; is a member of the Phi Delta Kappa Professional Educational Fraternity; is coordinator of a school-wide mentoring program with Caterpillar; works with a school-wide mentoring program with Bradley University; and is a coordinator for Tomorrow’s Scientists, Technicians, and Managers, receiving numerous community awards for high-quality results.

Rich Draeger
Rich Draeger is the divisional community relations director for The Salvation Army, responsible for overseeing public relations, media relations, special event planning for Peoria, and the tri-County area, as well as overseeing and consulting on similar duties for 72 Salvation Army county divisions.
He is a member of South-West Kiwanis and the Public Relations Association, and served on the Customer Advisory Council for the Peoria Post Office. He has also appeared in various Who’s Who editions.

Rich is very active as a volunteer with Bradley University, providing public address announcing for women’s volleyball and basketball. He also works with area youth sports at St. Patrick’s School in Washington, and volunteers for WTVP Channel 47. He coordinates the annual Tree of Lights campaign, which raised a record $775,000 in 2000; served as president, vice-president and village representative for the Valeska Hinton Early Childhood Education Center; served on the Continuing Education Committee of the Illinois State Bar Association; and provides various legal representation pro bono, and was named Peoria Pro Bono Attorney of the Year in 2000.

Christopher Duncan

Christopher Duncan is a Northeast marketing representative for Caterpillar Inc., involved in all aspects of the sales and marketing efforts of Caterpillar’s Truck Engine Division. Specific responsibilities include developing marketing programs and merchandising strategies through the use of information relative to user product needs, industry trends, and competitive developments.

A former Peoria City Councilman, he provided leadership on several projects, including One Technology Plaza, Riverwest housing development, Riverfront Village, the Peoria Park District RiverPlex, and the Peoria Chief’s stadium, and completion of the Southtown Business Park.

Christopher is on the advisory board of The Salvation Army, the Tri-County (Peoria) Urban League board of directors, and active with the African-American Leadership Alliance.

He is a past member of the Riverfront Business District Commission, the Peoria Area Community Foundation distribution committee, the Upgrade Housing Services board of directors, Peoria City Beautiful, and past co-chair of the Peoria Area Race Relations committee.

Golda Ewalt
Golda Ewalt is the patient food service clinical manager at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, responsible for managing the dietetic office.

She is a member of the OSF Social and Logistics Committee, which helps plan corporate-wide leadership development programs; is co-chair of Mission Forward’s Community Support and Volunteerism Committee; and facilitated the development and implementation of OSF’s new adult consistent carbohydrate and pediatric carbohydrate counting menus.

Golda assisted in starting a Mended Hearts Chapter at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, serving as group facilitator in 1997; assisted in starting the Mended Hearts Pillow Program in 1998; and was chair of the Cardiac Interdisciplinary Care Board in 1998.

She was named Illinois Dietetic Association Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year in 1998; Dietetic Internship Educator of the Year in 2000; and Illinois Dietetic Association Media Rep from 2000 to present. She is a culinary instructor at the Recipe Box, a member of the Central Illinois Dietetic Association, and treasurer of the University East Neighborhood Association, and an AFAA certified Aerobics Instructor, teaching classes at the RiverPlex.

Donan Faulkner
Donan "Jim" Faulkner served on the Peoria Police Department’s Special Response Team since 1996, and as a field training officer since 1998. He received the Distinguished Service Award twice during his career. In 1999 he was recognized for issuing 228 traffic citations, making 361 criminal arrests, and issuing 27 city ordinance violations. In May of this year he was recognized again for his professionalism, including recovering approximately three stolen cars per week, most of the time being driven and occupied by the suspect; and making more than 300 criminal arrests.

In 1999, he received an SRT Special Services Award letter in recognition of his involvement of eight highly dangerous situations involving suspects who were armed and barricaded themselves. In May, he received a Letter of Commendation for developing information leading to the arrest of two individuals for a drug-related offense, recovering a quantity of a controlled substance, and recovering a handgun in an unrelated offense.

Before joining the Peoria Police Department, Jim was a member of the Peoria Heights Police Department, and a Peoria Heights Volunteer Fire Fighter. Officer Faulkner was killed in the line of duty September 19, 2001. He is survived by his wife and five children.

Don Forrest
Don Forrest is a member of the project development team for the Farnsworth Group Inc., responsible for business and project development, community development support, government relations, and geographic information system team management.

Currently running for the Peoria County Board, he participated in the creation and development of the West-Central Illinois Rural Coalition on Development, the Elmwood Community Foundation, and the Lincoln Club. He also helped initiate the Central Illinois Geographic Information Network (CIGIN) that evolved into the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) implemented in the City of Peoria, Peoria County, Peoria Sanitary District, McLean County, and Champaign County.

Don is president of both the West-Central Illinois Rural Coalition on Development and the Elmwood Community Foundation; vice-chair and past treasurer of Rural Partners; a member of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Government Committee, and the Illinois Development Council–Legislative Committee. He also serves on the board of directors for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and the Lincoln Club for the Greater Peoria Area; and is a Republican Party precinct committeeman.

Anthony Frank
Anthony Frank is the director of gift planning for the Children’s Home Association of Illinois, responsible for developing relationships with donors through identification, cultivation, solicitation and thanking/providing recognition. He also provides overall guidance to the development of the agency’s planned giving program.

Tony has been involved in the fund raising profession since 1995, starting as a grant coordinator with the Children’s Home. He moved into the position of development officer in 1996, and was promoted to director of gift planning in 1998. He has raised more than $196,486 in annual giving, and $232,455 in planned gifts for the Children’s Home. In addition, he was responsible for starting the bequest recognition society—creating the gift acceptance policies, convening the planned giving advisory council—and for starting the agency’s gift annuity program.

He is chair of the Peoria Area Leave a Legacy campaign, and vice-chair of the Central Illinois Leave a Legacy campaign; a board member of the Estate Planning Council; a member of Peoria Rotary North, and a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Brian Geier
Brian Geier is the director of facility services at Methodist Medical Center, responsible for facility and plant management of more than 2 million square feet of health care property, including multiple buildings, grounds and off-site facilities.

He successfully manages 68 employees and numerous purchased service contracts, achieving excellent results while juggling priorities and meeting deadlines within the confines of the organization’s budget.

Brain received a National Association of Home Builders Scholarship, a Special Achievement Award for Engineering Excellence from the Consulting Engineers Council of Illinois, and the Methodist Medical Center of Illinois Service Excellence Award.

He is a Certified Home Inspector by the American Inspector Society, and a member of the American Society for Healthcare Engineering.

Active in the community, he serves as facilities chair for the St. Jude Telethon, co-chair of the Brad Campbell Memorial, designed and built the Kiddie Condo for Discovery Days Preschool, and is a Heart of Illinois United Way volunteer.

Dr. Michael Gibbons
Dr. Michael Gibbons is an orthopaedic surgeon and director of sports medicine at Midwest Orthopedic Center. He was the first orthopaedic surgeon in Peoria to perform certain state-of-the-art procedures. He was selected as one of only 20 surgeons to participate in a multi-center cartilage repair research study, and received the Phillip Syng Research Award.

He is a member of the OSF Saint Francis Medical Center’s Ambulatory Surgery executive committee, Ortho 2000 committee, and professional staff quality improvement committee; and is Methodist Medical Center of Illinois’ vice chairman of the department of surgery, and a member of its credentials committee; and is on Proctor Hospital’s surgical case review/operating room committee.

Michael is active in the community, including serving on the Peoria Area Sports Commission board of advisors, and as past vice chairman of its bylaws committee; and on Peoria Academy’s development committee. He is also a clinical instructor for the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, and a volunteer medical provider for the Race for the Cure. He is the orthopaedic team physician for Peoria Pirates, Illinois Central College, Eureka College, and area high schools.

Bruce Hay
Bruce Hay is the director of operations for the manufacturing maintenance services at Advanced Technology Services, responsible for overseeing maintenance operations for its manufacturing facilities throughout North America.

He was the first ATS employee to be sponsored by the company to complete his master’s degree from the University of Illinois MBA program, finishing in the top 10 in his class, and awarded by the faculty with the Best Performance in Marketing award.

He receives many public speaking requests, locally and nationally, and has spoke at the American Society for Quality annual international conference and the Central Illinois Community Quality Network.

Elected to the Dunlap School District 323 School Board in April, Bruce volunteers his time to many local organizations, including the Greater Peoria YMCA, the Central Illinois Chapter of American Red Cross, the Heart of Illinois United Way, South Side Mission, the Arthritis Foundation, Steamboat Days, Morton Pumpkin Festival, Richwoods High School alumni association, and various Dunlap Community School youth programs.

Tom Higgins
Tom Higgins is the paralegal program coordinator, an assistant professor, and assistant men’s basketball coach at Illinois Central College. His primary responsibilities involve coordinating the American Bar Association-approved paralegal program. He also is retained on occasion to assist in resolving civil disputes in the role of mediator or arbitrator, and acts as a hearing officer regarding certain City of Peoria ordinance issues. In addition , he regularly represents ICC at functions throughout the community.

Tom chaired the Hersey Hawkins’ Weekend of Winners three times, and assists with various Children’s Hospital of Illinois activities. He also serves on the Children’s Home foster parent task force, the District 150 task force, and the Family Leadership College Project Success. He has served as president, vice-president and village representative on the family advisory board for the Valeska Hinton Early Childhood Education Center.

While representing the underprivileged in pro- bono cases, he also serves on committees at various organizations, including the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, Illinois State Bar Association, and Peoria County Bar Association.

Tony Johnson
Tony Johnson is a business development manager at Caterpillar Inc., responsible for sales management in the Global Mining Division. He is also an assistant head coach, defensive coordinator, and director of football operations and community relations for the Peoria Pirates, and is involved with radio broadcasting.

He was named head coach for the 2000 Team Illinois All Star Football Team, which included 20 local high school seniors participating in a cultural exchange program and participating in the Down Under Bowl in Australia; and was president of NCAA Volunteers for Youth at the University of Illinois from 1986 to 1988.

Tony developed the nationally-acclaimed TREASURE Life program in conjunction with Caterpillar Inc., AFL2 and the Peoria Pirates, which strives to provide youth with the skills necessary to achieve success in school, in life, and to become better citizens.

He volunteers his time to various local organizations, including the Muscular Dystrophy Association and UCP-Easter Seals.

Matthew Jones
Matthew Jones is an associate attorney and lobbyist with Johnson, Bunce and Noble. He was selected by the Illinois State Bar Association as one of Tomorrow’s Leaders of the Profession in 1999; served two years on the Supreme Court Rules Committee, and was selected to sit on the prestigious Abraham Lincoln Inns of Court in 2000.

As staff counsel to the Illinois Senate Majority, he was principally responsible for drafting the nationally recognized Juvenile Justice Reform Act, and continues to participate in a national forum for the development of delinquency intervention programs and strategies.

Active in the community, Matthew serves on the Peoria North Rotary board, the Springdale Historic Preservation Foundation board and the Peoria Bar Association board of directors. He also serves as secretary of the Peoria County Republican Party, and is a past board member of the Pediatric Resource Center, the Center for the Prevention of Abuse, and the Family Violence Coordinating Council. He also volunteers time to the Boy Scouts of America, Bradley University’s SexualAssault Awareness Program, and Woodruff High School’s Stop the Violence program.

Laura Ray Kelly
Laura Ray Kelly is an early childhood special education resource consultant for Peoria Public School District 150, responsible for serving children who are developmentally delayed, and for providing consultant and staff development services at Small Wonders.

She received the WHOI local education Golden Apple Award in 1989; Peoria Special Education Teacher of the Year in 1991; Illinois Special Education Teacher of the Year in 1992; the Clarissa Hug Award for the top five special education teachers in the U.S. in 1992; the Apple of the Year early childhood teacher of the year award in 1992; the Impact Award in 1992 and 1993, recognizing significant contributions to mathematics education; and was named to the Who’s Who in Education in 2000.

Active in the community, Laura has been a member of the Junior League of Peoria since 1995, and is the chair of the community resource and project development committee; and volunteers for various organizations, including St. Jude Midwest Affiliate, the Girl Scouts, Peoria Players Theatre, Cornstock Community Theatre, Morton Players, the Council for Exceptional Children , Canine Companions, and St. Mark’s School.

John Kocher
John Kocher is a senior vice president at Multi-Ad, responsible for leading and managing the sales, marketing and operations of the Kwikee Systems division—managing a team of 80 employees and achieving more than a 20 percent growth in sales while reducing cost of sales by 3 percent annually over the past five years. He is responsible for more than $13.5 million of corporate sales, and manages an annual budget of more than $1 million.

He is a President’s Club award winner the past two years for outstanding divisional performance, serves on an executive advisory president’s board, and was the corporate gold tournament winner for the past three years.

Active in the community, John has been a member and treasurer of the St. Jude Benefit Meet organizing committee since 1993, directly contributing to fund-raising of more than $175,000; participates in the St. Jude Telethon as a corporate VIP, manning telephones and representing Multi-Ad in a corporate three minute match; is a soccer coach at St. Vincent dePaul Parish and a member of its Men’s Club. He is also an assistant coach for Peoria Park District’s Tee-Ball and Coach Pitch baseball leagues, and treasurer of the Huntington Homeowners Association.

Anne McSorley
Anne McSorley is the director of the Lewis J. Burger Center for Student Leadership and Public Service at Bradley University. Her responsibilities include management of the Lewis J. Burger Center—dedicated to leadership development for Bradley students—and serving as a liaison between the Bradley and Peoria communities.

She also advises various campus organizations, has campus judicial and discipline responsibilities, and performs other duties as assigned.

This year, she was selected as one of the 25 Women in Leadership in the Peoria area; was named Board Member of the Year in 2000 and Rookie of the Year in 1999 for the Peoria Jaycees; a Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School graduate in 2000; and was Student Organization Advisor of the Year at Bradley University in 1998 and 1999.

Active in the community, Anne is chair of the social committee at Peoria North Rotary, serves on the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School steering committee, and is vice president of chapter management for the Peoria Jaycees.

Timothy Neuhauser
Timothy Neuhauser is a commercial insurance specialist with Heiser Insurance Agency, responsible for providing risk management analysis to the commercial insurance client by identifying potential risks and exposures unique to each commercial client, as well as providing insurance products that minimize these risks and exposures.

A graduate of Illinois State University with a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness, he was awarded the professional designation Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) by The Society of Certified Insurance Counselors in 1998.

Timothy is a graduate of the Morton Chamber of Commerce Leadership School, Class of 1994; a past member of the Morton Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Club 1994-1997; and serves on the Morton Chamber of Commerce board of directors, the Morton Rotary Club board of directors, the First Mennonite Church board, and the Before and After School Christian Experience (B.A.C.E.) board of directors, and is a member of the Morton Fire Department. He is also captain of an Inaugural Morton Relay For Life team, Morton Pumpkin Festival volunteer, and Illinois Mennonite Relief Sale volunteer.

Kristen Noble
Kristen Noble is a senior sales manager for Management Systems, Inc., which includes the Mark Twain Hotel in Peoria, the Spirit of Peoria, the Katie Hooper, The Landing, Central Station, and the Mark Twain Hotel in East Peoria; and is the sole marketing director for Mark Twain Hotels and the Spirit of Peoria.

A member of the Junior League of Peoria since 1993, she is the current chair of the provisional committee, and a member of the Junior League’s Membership Council and its Leadership Team.

Kristen serves on the boards of the Heart of Illinois Hospitality Association and Women in Management, where she is also director of Women of Achievement. She is a past board member of the Kickapoo Council of Girl Scouts, Family House, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. She is a past member of the Illinois Society of Association Executives, and Society of Government Meeting Planners.

Kristen was the chair of the 2000 Celebrating Seniors fair, volunteers for various organizations, including the Peoria Park District, Heartland Water Resources Council, and the Illinois Valley Striders Steamboat Classic. She is also a 1999 graduate of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School.

Dr. Christina Nulty
Dr. Christina Nulty is the medical director of the Bradley University Health Center, responsible for providing direct patient care, overseeing the administrative functions of the Center as well as directing a staff of three physicians, four resident physicians and four nurses. Each semester, her staff provides medical care for more than 6,950 student appointments.

Since coming to Bradley, she has expanded the services offered to students including physical therapy, ADD evaluations, psychiatric services and additional services for men’s and women’s health issues. She is on the Women’s Medical Advisory Board at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, and a recipient of the Exemplary Service Award from the Parent’s Board of Bradley and the American College of Physicians Preceptorship Award for teaching residents in internal medicine through the U of I College of Medicine at Peoria.

Christina is president-elect of the Mid America College Health Association; and volunteers her time to various organizations, including as a physician at Heartland Community Health Center, at Lincoln Grade School, and provides medical services to the Bradley University Athletic Department.

Jeffrey Palmer
Jeffrey Palmer is a financial consultant with Salomon Smith Barney, responsible for providing financial advice, guidance, and consulting services to individuals, businesses, foundations, and endowments.

A certified portfolio manager, he is currently attending Salomon Smith Barney’s Consulting Group Titling Program. He has been nominated for the Blue Chip Council,and is first in the Portfolio Repair Group’s stock picking contest. He has also been named to an advisory position for Entre Nous & Friends investment club, and has been recognized for coordinating the intern program for Bradley University’s Smith Career Center. He is on the membership committee of Business Network International, Chapter I of Peoria, and an Academic Achievement Award winner.

Jeffrey is a St. Jude Midwest Affiliate volunteer, a Heart of Illinois United Way participant, an active member of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, serves on the Peoria Art Guild’s Fine Art Fair committee, and is treasurer on the New DaVincis executive board at Lakeview Museum. He is also an active alumnus of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity and assists the local chapter at Bradley University.

David Smith
David Smith is part owner and an account representative of Manpower Inc., responsible for management duties; new sales growth, focusing on the technical staffing needs of retail business, corporations and national contracts; and marketing Manpower’s services in central Illinois in a 19-county area.

He has received numerous awards from Manpower, both nationally and internationally, in recognition of the success he has had in helping grow the business as an industry leader.

In 1998 he received the Manpower Star Award, and in 2000 received the Manpower Power Award.

A certified architect, he worked on various projects, including the Seattle Kingdome; Phoenix International Airport; Washington D.C.’s IDOT Building; and the Opera House in Lincoln Plaza in New York.

Active in the community, David is a 2000 graduate of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School, and now serves as a Chamber ambassador and as vice chair for the Chamber’s ambassador program.

He is also a member of the board of directors for WTVP 47 public television.

Regina Spears
Regina Spears is the Peoria County Circuit Clerk, responsible for administering an office with 60 employees; serving as record-keeper of the courts, which includes all traffic, civil, child support, and criminal cases; preserving complete records of all proceedings; and collecting payment on fines and fees in addition to performing all other duties pertaining to the office.

As the Circuit Clerk, she works closely and cooperatively with the 10th Judicial Circuit judges, sheriff, states attorney and court administration to provide services to the citizens of Peoria County.

In November 2000, she ran unopposed and was re-elected for a full four-year term, a testament of her hard work and success during her first two years in office.

Regina is active in school and church activities at St. Mary’s in Kickapoo, along with the St. Patrick’s Society, Knights of Columbus, Itoo Society, and Order of Alhambra. She has served as treasurer of the Itoo Society and coordinator of the Itoo suppers. She is also an active member of the Peoria County Democrats. In addition to her professional and family obligations, she participate in many Peoria County community and charitable events, including festivals and fundraising.

Michael Stephan
Michael Stephan is the executive director for the Heart of Illinois United Way, responsible for providing vision and leadership to volunteers and staff; participating with the board of directors in the development and implementation of organizational policies; overseeing management of human and financial resources; representing the United Way in interactions with the community; and maintaining accountability for the overall operational and fiscal integrity of the organization.

In 2000, he led the Heart of Illinois United Way to a record amount—more than $6 million— to address community issues; developed the first simulcast that involved all local broadcast media, highlighting United Way services; and in 2000 and again this year, was instrumental in securing a challenge grant from local companies to increase funds raised in the annual United Way campaign.

Michael is a board member of ArtsPartners and works on its communications committee; a member of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce finance and commerce communications committees and Downtown Rotary; a little league youth soccer coach; and a judge for the annual Taste of Peoria.

Andrea Stephens
Andrea Stephens is a constituent services specialist with the office of Congressman Ray LaHood, which entails aiding the Congressman with constituent inquiries regarding various government public services organizations, including the Immigration and Naturalization Service; Departments of State, Justice, Agriculture, Transportation, and Education; and other special projects as assigned. She is also a Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce 2001 Community Leadership School graduate.

Active in the community, Andrea is an instructor with Junior Achievement; worked on the Peoria County Steering Committee for George W. Bush; acted as campaign manager for Don Forrest during the race for the Peoria County Board; works on the American Red Cross Safe Communities advisory council, the Pekin Federal Prison community relations board, and as a tutor for the Common Place adult literacy program.
She serves on the board of directors for the Children’s Home Association of Illinois; is involved with Peoria’s Museum Feasibility Working Group; is secretary of Peoria County Republican Women, and works with multiple federal, state, and local campaigns.

Kelly Stickelmaier
Kelly Stickelmaier is the marketing coordinator for the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, which encompasses both corporate identity and programmatic activities. She serves as editor/designer of the organization’s monthly newsletter, The Chamber Report; and is responsible for oversight of both content and appearance of the Web site and broadcast e-mail updates; and serves as co-producer of a monthly television program.

During her time with the Chamber, Kelly has been responsible for several important initiatives. She was the staff liaison for the most successful membership drive in the history of the organization, leading to the acquisition of 208 new members. In 1999, she directed the creation and implementation of the Chamber’s initial Web site.

Since 1998, she has received three national awards for her marketing efforts from American Chamber of Commerce Executives Awards for Communications Excellence. The highest honor, a Grand Award, was presented in March 2000 for her Area Business Connection marketing plan.

Kelly currently serves as board secretary for ArtsPartners and will assist the 2001-2002 Dining With Friends Committee.

Winston Stoller
Winston Stoller is vice president and treasurer of Widmer Interiors, and also has sales and manpower responsibilities. He led the effort to develop the company’s presence on the Internet with a Web site that allows customers to view account information online.

A member of The Salvation Army advisory board for the past three years, he serves as vice-chair of the Tree of Lights campaign, serves as a sub-committee chairman of the annual Executive Tour and Luncheon program, and participates in many Salvation Army programs, including Gifts of Warmth, designed to meet the needs of shut-ins and at-risk children in the community. He also serves as co-chair for The Salvation Army’s Hope for the Future capital campaign, which has nearly completed its campaign goal of $4.625 million.

Winston served on the board of directors of Opera Illinois, and was instrumental in founding the auxiliary group of Encore Peoria, with the goal of encouraging attendance and appreciation of Peoria’s opera scene among young professionals.

He is also a two-year member of Downtown Rotary, and a 1998 graduate of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School.

Tonda Thompson
Tonda Thompson is a regional vice president for the American Cancer Society, responsible for managing a 12-county region, 15-person staff, and more than 2,000 volunteers while serving as its health education committee president.

She created four new programs in central Illinois: Relay for Life, which with 12 relays taking place raised more than $1.7 million in 2001; Look Good Feel Better, a program designed to help cancer patients feel good through the treatment process; Tell-A-Friend, a mentoring program designed to increase the number of women getting mammograms; and Special Friends, a collaborative program between students at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, St. Jude, and the American Cancer Society.

During her time at Proctor Hospital, she developed and implemented the Good Health Club, a comprehensive community health education program.

Tonda is a member of Eta Sigma Gamma’s Health Science Honor Society; received the National Society of Fund Raising Executive’s 1999 Outstanding Philanthropic Organization Award; was the United Way chair for Proctor Hospital from 1990 to 1992, and participates in numerous fundraisers for the American Cancer Society.

Dr. David Wang
Dr. David Wang is the director of the OSF Stroke Network at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, responsible for overseeing the comprehensive stroke program and patient care, and for facilitating stroke program development for 23 hospitals in central Illinois. He is also a clinical assistant professor in the neurology department at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria.

His stroke clinic research brought in $2 million to Peoria, and he was the recipient of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria’s first annual award for Outstanding Clinical, Technological or Schooling Achievements Applied to Medical Research, and he was the principal developer of the Stroke Care Guidelines for OSF Medical Group.

The founder of the Central Illinois Stroke Council, he received the Teaching Award from the ER Residency Program in 1999, and was published in Journal Stroke on the use of TPA.

David was a nominee for the College of Medicine’s first annual Dr. Joseph S. Solovy Award for Community Service; is a member of the American Heart Association Midwest Affiliate board of directors; and serves as chair of the Peoria Tri-County Operation Stroke Task Force.

Sharon Williams
Sharon Williams is the editor, business manager, and sales director for The Labor Paper a regional newspaper for the West Central Building Trades Council, published twice per month.

She is vice president of CWA Local 14426, a member of the TRICON safety committee, and co-chair and co-founder of the Union Construction Industry Career Expo. She has been recognized by Peoria Educational Region for Employment and Career Training for contributing to career development of students in Peoria County for the Career Expo.

Sharon is a member of the Illinois Department of Employment Security apprenticeship information committee, received honorable mention from the International Labor Communication Association for Best Newspaper in 1997, and is the youngest editor of the 105-year-old newspaper.

She is also a member of the board of directors of the Heart of Illinois Big Brothers-Big Sisters and the Peoria Labor Day Parade, and was on the committee for the Iron Workers Memorial, which remembers the three iron workers who died on the McClugage Bridge accident. A poem she wrote graces the front of the memorial. IBI