The search for 40 of Peoria’s leaders under the age of 40 is complete and each of the winners is to be congratulated. Peoria is a better community because of this group of young professional men and women.
The Peoria area’s 40 Leaders Under Forty were chosen from numerous fields. Many individuals nominated the professionals they believed have made a difference through local business and community efforts – those who best defined the new spirit of youthful initiative throughout the Heartland. A panel of judges carefully reviewed the nominations and selected 40 Leaders Under Forty who have aptly demonstrated successful leadership qualities and accomplishments in the greater Peoria area. At a gala event on Nov. 2, they were presented well-earned awards and received recognition by city leaders, corporate sponsors, peers, and family members.
As the Peoria area continues to meet the challenges of the future, in business and community development, many of the 40 Leaders Under Forty winners will no doubt play a large role in leading the Tri-County into a new decade, a new century, and a new millennium. Congratulations to each winner!
Joseph T. Alesandrini
Joseph Alesandrini is vice president and chief financial officer of Alesandrini and Associates, Inc., in Pekin, where he is the senior real estate appraiser at the family firm which serves banks and businesses with appraisal services.
Joe is a member of the Pekin Community High School Board of Education, served as its president during a difficult budget-cutting period, and was recognized by the Illinois Association of School Boards for his work. He is a member of the North Central Association Illinois State Committee, vice chairman of the Pekin Marigold Festival Committee, treasurer and past president of the Pekin American Business Club (AMBUCS), division chairman of the Illinois Association of School Boards, and advisory board member of Pekin Hospital Progressive Health Systems. He has also been honored for support of Youth for Christ and Boys and Girls Club of Pekin.
Mary A. Ardapple
Mary A. Ardapple is owner/operator of O’Leary’s, a popular restaurant on Willow Knolls Road in Peoria, as well as the nearby Apple’s Bakery. Mary, who began her local career as a minimum wage cook at O’Leary’s, purchased the restaurant in 1984. She started Apple’s Bakery at the restaurant and then moved it to its separate location in 1991.
Mary’s volunteer and community involvement includes: advisory board member of the Peoria Civic Center Authority, vice-chairman of the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors, chair of the Peoria Civic Center Authority Artworks Committee, advisory board (and past president) of the Heart of Illinois Hospitality Association, past president of the Heart of Illinois Restaurant Association, and past board member of Peoria Area Community Events.
Greg Ayers is director of group sales and promotions or the Peoria Chiefs Baseball Club, where ha also served as assistant general manager during a time of ownership transition for the bal club. His responsibilities include coordination of all pre-game, on-field activities; implementation of all in-game promotional events; coordination of advertising and promotional sales for over 60 accounts, and implementation of all group sales, with over 200 accounts.
Greg is the 1994-1995 president of the Peoria Noon AMBUCS Club, serving as the 1993-1994 vice president, after winning the AMBUC of the Year Award in 1992-1993. He is the publicity chair of the Tri-County Sports Board, member of the Peoria Area Conventions & Visitors Bureau Board, member of the Hersey Hawkins Weekend of Winners Committee, and has served as an ambassador for the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce.
James R. Barrack
James R. Barrack is vice president and general manager of Barrack’s Cater Inn, a local banquet and catering business which, since 1987, has seen a 600 percent sales growth and employment climb from 6 to 60 employees. In 1992 he was chosen as the exclusive caterer for Wildlife Prairie Park, and in 1994 was selected to operate the Park’s concessions. Jim participates annually in such fund-raisers and affairs as Affair of the Hear, Taste of Peoria, Chocolate Fantasy, and Wines on the Waterfront.
Jim is active in Rotary Club North, Heart of Illinois Harvest, and is president of the Heart of Illinois Hospitality Association. He was honored as the 1993 Peoria Jaycees Young Business Professional, and was a finalist in the Mississippi Valley Family Business Award. He has received recognition in National Catering Today magazine and was the caterer selected in 1990 to prepare a taste test of the newly developed fat substitute, Oatrim. Jim was recently chosen to be a speaker at the Catering Update ’95, to be held in Orlando.
Laraine E. Bryson
Laraine E. Bryson is president of the Tri-County (Peoria) Urban League. A graduate of St. Louis University School of Law where she received her juris doctorate in 1987, she has served as a trial attorney for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in St. Louis and has also served on the staff of Illinois Central College. She has received numerous awards related to her legal expertise.
Laraine was the recipient off the Romeo B. Garrett Scholarship Award during her college years at Bradley University. Her volunteer efforts have included the Heart of Illinois United Way, Peoria Area Economic Development Council, and Peoria Area Community Foundation. She was appointed to the National Urban League Affiliate Task Force on Parent Empowerment, and has made rebuilding and sustaining families a major focus, through a variety of parenting classes.
John Y. Butler
John Y. Butler is assistant athletic director for development at Bradley University, where he is responsible for sales and marketing functions within the athletic department. His responsibilities include handling athletic scholarship endowments and fund-raising events.
John served as general manager of the Peoria Chiefs Baseball Club from 1987 until 1990. During that time he received the Larry McPhail Award and the 1989 Minor League Baseball Promoter of the Year Award. He currently serves as vice president of the Peoria Park District Board of Trustees, chairman of the Peoria Park District Golf Advisory Board, and assistant chairman of the Peoria Park District Planning Committee. He also serves as a member of the Tri-County Sports Board and is board president of the Heart of Illinois Special Recreation Association.
Gilda Cardenosa, M.D.
Gilda Cardenosa, M.D., is clinical associate professor in the department of radiology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, and associate medical director of the Susan G. Komen Breast Center. Since 1979 she has had 33 scientific manuscripts published in respected medical journals. She has co-authored an interactive laser disc utilized by the American College of Radiology, and is a manuscript reviewed for the American Journal of Roentgenology. An internationally known teacher and lecturer in mammography, she is a Fellow of the Society of Breast Imaging, and organization of about 100 of the most accomplished mammographers in the world. She also serves as editor-in-chief of the Society.
Dr. Cardenosa has participated in local research projects aimed at improving the rate of cure for breast cancer in the community, as well as volunteering to provide mammographic services without pay to underprivileged individuals. Since her arrival in Peoria, she has given 117 presentations in 18 states and 39 presentations in 7 foreign countries.
Lester L. Chambers
Lester L. Chambers is owner of Bremer Jewelry in Peoria, where he also works as a goldsmith and registered jeweler as recognized by the American Gem Society. A Gemological Institute of America graduate, he chose to purchase a small, two-person retail store in the early 1980s at a time when the Peoria economy was suffering badly. Over the years the business has grown into a thriving 17-employee jewelry store. Les chairs the Truth in Pricing Committee for the Illinois Retail Jewelers Association; is vice president of the Illinois Jewelers Association; has lobbied for strict controls on false advertising to protect customers; and is a member of a scholarship committee to fund continuing education within the jewelry industry.
His experience as a former patient at St. Jude has led to Les’ involvement in St. Jude as a member of the St. Jude Runners Board of Directors and a runner for the past 11 years. He is a member of Peoria Rotary North and a March of Dimes volunteer.
Diane Cullinan is president and owner of Cullinan Properties, Ltd., supervising its growth from its creation in 1988 to its present status as a leader in Central Illinois real estate and development. Her development projects are well known, including both numerous office and retail development, and residential subdivisions and condominiums. She is active in the development of Peoria’s Southtown district, East Peoria’s riverfront, Germantown Hills’ shopping center, and a new golf course for Peoria’s Northwest area.
Diane serves on numerous local boards, including Proctor Foundation, Civic Center Authority, Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, Multi-Ad Services, Inc., the Creve Coeur Club, and Peoria Area Retarded Citizens Foundation. She has served on the local, state, and national Boards of Realtors, and was appointed by Gov. Jim Edgar to the Illinois Development Finance Authority, where she was instrumental in the opening of the Peoria office of the IDFA. Diane has been honored with numerous industry and local community awards.
Greg Edwards is president of the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. In directing the full range of activities at the Bureau, he works closely with State of Illinois tourism and development agencies, as well as with local governments, chambers of commerce, the Economic Development Council, and the Peoria Civic Center. He has over 13 years of experience in the hospitality industry and has received numerous awards.
Greg has been instrumental in bringing numerous events into the Peoria area, including B.A.S.S. SuperStars Tournament, Prairie State Games, Americruise Tour, and others. He serves on the boards of the Peoria Area Community Events, Peoria Railroad Corporation, Mid-State College, and Friends of Benxi, China. He is a member of the Tri-County Sports Board, Heart of Illinois Hospitality Association, Illinois Society of Association Executives, Heartland Partnership, International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus, and Western Tourism Council.
Jeffery D. Giebelhausen
Jeffery D. Giebelhausen, mayor of East Peoria and resource development director for the Heart of Illinois United Way, has already given eight years of public service to the citizens of East Peoria. He was first elected city commissioner in 1987, and was then elected mayor in 1991. Economic development has flourished in East Peoria under his leadership, including riverfront development, the East Peoria Festival of Lights, and numerous business development projects. He has been a driving fore behind Eastlight Theatre and the newly announced East Side Sports and Recreation Complex. He has worked extensively with state and national legislators, and has fostered intergovernmental cooperation among local units of government.
Jeff has serves as the president of the Rotary Club of East Peoria, a director of the East Peoria Chamber of Commerce, and a director do the Economic Development Council. He has also served as president of the Eastlight Theatre, the Helping Hands Foundation, and director and president of Actively Supporting Kids.
Michael J. Hoeft
Michael J. Hoeft is a self-employed farmer who, with his father, farms 1600 acres of corn and soybeans in Tazewell County. He also owns S&E Research, a soil and environmental research company. As past president of the Tazewell County Corn Growers Association, director-at-large of the Illinois Corn Growers Association, and board member of the National Corn Growers Association, few people in the United States have done more than Michael to promote the use of ethanol.
Michael received the 1991 DuPont Award of Excellence, the 1992 Illinois Corn Growers Association World of Corn Award, the 1992 Farm Bureau Ag Leaders of Tomorrow Award, and numerous other awards and recognitions in the field of agriculture. He is a 1994 graduate of the Northrup King Sustaining Resource Program, a member of the Tazewell County Zoning Board of Appeals, past president of the Delavan Jaycees, and board member of the Louis J. Wagner Memorial Foundation. Michael is also a past elder, current trustee, and Sunday school teacher in his church.
Sharon Holling is president of the Junior League of Peoria, Inc., on leave of absence from her full-time position as secretary to Caterpillar’s Medical Director. She has also managed her own monogramming business since 1980. During her years in the Junior League of Peoria, she has chaired the Restructuring Task Force and the Family House Project, and served as provisional chair.
A summa cum laude graduate of John Brown University, where she was “Business Student of the Year,” Sharon has given to numerous volunteer efforts: chair of the 1992 Opera Ball, subcommittee chair of the 1994 Lakeview Museum Auction, treasurer of the High Point Homeowners Association, neighborhood coordinator for the American Heart Association Fund Drive, March of Dimes Fund Drive, Hult Health Education Center Fund Drive, and Friends of Cullom Davis Library (Bradley University) Board Member. She has been actively involved in local political campaigns including Michel, LaHood, Gura, Glazer, McDade and Duren.
Mark W. Johann
Mark W. Johann is president of Norwest Bank’s Peoria and Canton offices, managing 37 employees and having responsibility for credit quality, financial management, marketing, and community involvement. He was active in the leadership of the effort that resulted in the Peoria City Council and Peoria County Board providing the funds needed to update the property assessment and review process.
Mark is a board member of several organizations, including: Financial Institutions CRA Council (treasurer), Heartland CDC (and a member of its Projects Review Committee), Easter Seals, and the YMCA. He is also a member of St. Jude’s Golf Fundraiser Committee.
Mark has previously been involved with the Peoria Economic Development Association, Students in Free Enterprise, and United Way.
Taunya L. Jenkins
Taunya L. Jenkins, employed by Peoria Public Schools District 150 for several years, is currently administrative assistant at Roosevelt Magnet School in Peoria, where she is involved in the scheduling and implementation of school programs, teacher hiring evaluations, staff evaluations, and student discipline. She has created a counseling-oriented approach to the Manual High School dean’s office, chaired the Tech-Prep Development Committee at Manual, and led the implementation of Peer Mediation at Roosevelt.
Taunya shares her background as a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader to develop local dance groups and classes. She serves on the board and is choreography director for Peoria Players, is the dance director for Bradley University’s “Brave Expressions” dance team, teaches a summer dance workshop for the Peoria Park District, serves as a clinician for area choirs, and judges school cheerleaders in competition. Taunya is a member of the Peoria Area School Administration Association, Illinois Dean’s Association, Illinois Women Administrators, and was recognized in Who’s Who in America.
Tucker Kennedy is director of marketing for the Economic Development Council for the Peoria Area. In this capacity he has been instrumental in securing position, national publicity for the Peoria area, gaining positive press from U.S.A Today, Chicago Tribune, Midwest Real Estate News, Illinois Manufacturing, NBC News with Tom Brokaw, ABC News with Peter Jennings, and others. The EDC Quarterly has received several Adam Awards in recent years, and won the Mid America Economic Development Council’s Award for the best newsletter/quarterly report in 1993. His work has been recognized by winning the Best Targeted Marketing Campaign by the Illinois Department of Commerce and has won numerous awards from the American Economic Development Council and Mid American Development Council.
Tucker directs EDC’s expansion/retention program and is responsible for developing fund-raising efforts among private industry. His volunteer efforts are directed toward numerous Central Illinois organizations.
Stephen A. Kouri
Stephen A. Kouri is a partner of Vonachen, Lawless, Trager & Slevin law firm in Peoria. A 1982 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Illinois Law School, he was elected in 1993 as Peoria’s 4th District City Councilman.
Stephen served on numerous local boards including: United Cerebral Palsy, Friends of Fatherless Boys, Wardcliffe Homeowner’s Association, Bradley Chiefs Club, Boys and Girls Club, and Visiting Nurses Association. His other leadership positions include: vice president of the Holy Family Parish Council, member of Saint Francis Medical Center’s Leadership Round Table, Parental Advisory Committee, member of the Allied Agencies Early Intervention Interagency Council, member of the EDC City/County Intergovernmental Relations Committee, and member of the Chamber of Commerce Government Committee. Stephen is a United Way and Easter Seals volunteer.
Jim A. Lane
Jim A. Lane is executive vice president of Customer Development Corporation in Peoria, where he directs a national sales staff of 25 individuals. Over the last seven years he has led the CDC sales force to a 100 percent sales growth while assuming responsibility for new business and developing current client sales. Jimmie has been a key player in seeing CDC grow from a $12 million company to a $60 million company in annual sales. A frequent lecturer to key financial service markets nationwide, he has been honored with a Direct Marketing Association ECHO Award for program Excellence in his work with CDC clients.
Jimmie has been a leading influence in the development of the new PALS Elementary School, where he serves on the board of directors, and is active on the board of directors of the Peoria County Board for the Care and Treatment of Persons with a Developmental Disability.
Philip Lockwood is the race director of the annual Steamboat Classic, an internationally respected event that attracts elite runners from all over the world to Peoria. Philip recruits volunteers for the race and volunteers his time year-round for the Steamboat Classic. He has recently introduced two programs, Jr. Steamboat (for kids) and Building Steam (for new runners), help in conjunction with the Steamboat Classic. Philip performs his race duties in addition to his full-time work as a manufacturing and systems engineer for Caterpillar, Inc.
Philip is a board member of the Central Association of USA Track and Field; the Illinois Valley Striders; Tri-County Sports; and Downstate Sickle Cell Anemia, where he organizes blood drives and educational programs. He has served as director of the Race for the Cure, was appointed to the steering committee of the Association of Road Racing Athletes, is a member of Lakeview, and a volunteer for the Moonlight Basketball League. Philip has received the Illinois Valley Striders Volunteer of the Year and President’s Awards.
Daniel J. Maloof
Daniel J. Maloof is vice president of both Maloof Bros. Development Company and Maloof Commercial Real Estate Company, one of downstate Illinois’ largest commercial real estate firms, where he is in charge of development, sales, and leasing. The firm has an established history of successful commercial real estate projects and developments which have contributed heavily to the economic health of the Peoria area, having built or leased over 200 buildings in the Tri-County area. Dan, through the Maloof Commercial Real Estate Company, is a member of the Industrial Development Research Council, the International Council of Shopping Centers, and New America Network, a nationwide referral network which recently honored Dan for completing its course requirements.
Dan is a board member of Young Life of Central Illinois, and has co-chaired the Young Life Golf Classic. He is also active in Peoria Christian School, where he co-chaired a school capital development campaign which raised in excess of $2 million.
Kimberly K. McCoy
Kimberly K. McCoy is director of emergency services for the American Red Cross – Central Illinois Chapter – offering disaster services and services to military families. She heads the American Red Cross Department which provided assistance to over 770 disaster victims, 1,600 rescue workers, and 3,312 military families last year alone. Her expertise has been recognized by her appointment as leader for operations in 16 counties. She also organized the 1991 Illinois State Conference, a key Red Cross training event.
Kim’s responsibilities include being on call 24 house a day, 7 days a week. Examples of her responsibilities include managing flood relief efforts in Havana and Danville, Illinois, over the past year and a half. She is trained as an American Red Cross disaster instructor who is certified to teach in any chapter throughout the United States, and was awarded the Manager’s Award of Excellence in 1993.
Jim Molinari is men’s head basketball coach at Bradley University in Peoria. He assumed the reins of the Bradley program during some of its darkest days, and led the team last year to a 23-8 record, second place in the Missouri Valley Conference, and into the N.I.T. quarter-finals. Jim’s fourth year at the helm promises to be another successful year for Bradley basketball.
Jim is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan, earning a juris doctorate degree from DePaul University’s College of Law. During his first Division I head coaching position, at NIU, he was awarded Coach of the Year honors from Basketball Coaches (District XI) and the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association. A veteran of national selection committees for international competition, Jim was an assistant coach during the summer of 1991 when the U.S.A won the Junior World Championships in Edmonton, Alberta. Jim is a board member of the Hult Health Education Center and participates in basketball programs for Young Christians.
Robert Moore is the chief operating officer of Pekin Hospital and served as interim chief executive officer during a difficult transition period in 1990-1991.
Bob is president of the Pekin United Way Board of Directors and the Tazewell County Resource Center Board of Directors. He serves on the boards of American Cancer Society – Illinois Division, Pekin Chamber of Commerce, and the Miller Senior Citizens’ Center. He is a Fellow for American Healthcare Executives; and hold membership in the Illinois Hospital Public Relations Society, American Hospital Association Marketing and Public Relations Society, Medical Group Management Association, National Association for Hospital Development, and American Hospital Association Section on Rehabilitation Hospitals. Bob is vice president of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and chairs its Economic Development and Governmental Affairs Committee, and is a member of the Winter Wonderland Committee.
Alan V. Pearson
Alan V. Pearson is the development director of Youth Farm, Inc., where he handles public relationship and fund-raising functions, and is the Central States Region Director of American Business Clubs. A two-time Peoria AMBUC of the Year and two-time District AMBUC of the Year, Alan placed third in the National AMBUC of the Year recognition. He has been the number one recruiter in the entire national AMBUC organization over the last five years, and serves on the AMBUC National Board of Directors. He is the driving force behind AMBUCS in Peoria, largely responsible for two new chapters in Peoria, and has chaired record-breaking fund-raisers resulting in thousands of dollars being donated to charities.
Alan is a Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassador, last year serving as chairman of the Ambassadors. He is founder and past president of the Professional Networking Association.
Tony Pisano is food and beverage manager at the Hotel Pere Marquette, where he oversees a $3.5 million food and beverage operating which includes a catering operation and one of Peoria’s finest restaurants, Carnegies. After starting his career out of the area, he decided to return to Peoria where he quickly became known for quality and professionalism within the local hospitality industry.
Having won numerous awards in the annual Taste of Peoria event, from best food or appetizer to best presentation, Tony is the secretary/treasurer of the Heart of Illinois Hospitality Association. For five years he volunteered as restaurant chairman for the American Heart Association’s “Affair of the Heart,” and is an annual participant in the Easter Seals’ “Wines on the Waterfront” and the March of Dimes’ “Chocolate Fantasy.” Tony serves on the Tri-County Sports Board of the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Demetrius Randle is school/home facilitator for Peoria Public Schools District 150, working to help students bridge the gap between home, school, and the community. He has been instrumental in the success of Blaine Sumner’s Mentor Program, and his advice and expertise is sought by numerous educators.
Demetrius’ volunteer efforts are appreciated by the George Washington Carver Community Center, the Proctor Recreation Center of the Peoria Park District, and Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church. He has worked on District 150’s Task Force on Suspensions and Expulsions, and served on the Mayor’s Citizens Against Drugs Committee. Demetrius is an NCAA basketball official and was selected to officiate the Division II National Junior College Basketball Finals. At Blaine Sumner School, he serves as coach of girls basketball, boys and girls track, and softball. In 1993, he was the recipient of the STEP “Pursuit of Excellence” Award from the Private Industry Council’s Summer Training Education Program.
Carol L. Rapp
Carol L. Rapp is the owner and manager of Carol’s Flower and Gift Shop, a business she began 14 years ago in downtown Peoria. Carol’s numerous volunteer activities include Race for the Cure, Tri-Centennial Committee, Peoria Players Theater Board of Directors, Tourism Committee for Christmas in Peoria, Illinois State Florist Association, Children’s Miracle Network Telethon Committee, Children’s Hospital Community Relations Committee, Peoria Art Guild Board, and Easter Seals. She also coordinated the decorating of downtown Peoria’s light poles at Christmastime and won a national award for the decorating of the Courthouse.
Carol is well known for her participation and theatrical performances in numerous local theater groups, including Eastlight Theatre, Cornstock Theater, Peoria Players, and the Apollo Theater. Over the past five years she has performed in Holly Dolly, Gershwin Years, Right Here in River City, Man of La Mancha, Showstoppers, Black Patent Leather Shoes, The Goodbye Girl, The Secret Garden, and many other shows.
Joe Russell is owner and president of Russell’s Cycling and Fitness Center in Washington, Illinois, known throughout Central Illinois for customer service and friendliness. Joe and his business, which just thin month has moved to a new, larger location, are used by a professor at Bradley University as an example of successful businesses and business owners in the 1990s.
Joe served ion the Washington City Council for two years, and is active in numerous Tri-County events. He has received the Small Business Award from the Washington, Illinois, Chamber of Commerce, and has been recognized with the Platinum Champion Award from Schwinn and a Top 100 Specialized Dealers Nationwide Award. Joe’s commitment to being a leader of young people is illustrated by the fact that he employs numerous high school students in his shop. He is also active in leading his church youth group, is conducting bike safety programs in Tri-County elementary schools, and is the current vice president of Washington’s Lions Club.
Kimberly E. Sanders
Kim Sanders is executive vice president of the Hawk Agency, Inc., insurance company, where she is responsible for staff, systems, procedures, and marketing operations. She began as a customer representative in 1978, becoming vice president in 1988, and executive vice president in 1991. She served for two years as president of the Peoria Association of Insurance Women, and was the first women to become president of the Peoria Association of Independent Insurance Agents. She serves on the advisory board of Aetna Insurance, and has received numerous awards within the insurance industry over the past 16 years, including the 1993-1994 Boss of the Year Award from the P.A.I.W.
Kim’s volunteer and community activities include work with the following agencies: Center for Prevention of Abuse, United Cerebral Palsy, Peoria Area Community Events, Crisis Nursery, and Children’s Miracle Network.
Tim Saurs is vice president/general manager of Velde For in Pekin, where he is in charge of over 80 employees, has achieved record-breaking sales and is consistently a top Ford dealer. In 1988 he was one of only 88 Ford dealers in the country to receive Ford Motor Company’s Chairman’s Award, and has won Ford’s Distinguished Achievement Award for quality for the past 10 consecutive years. He is past president of the Peoria Metro New Car Dealers Association.
Tim is a vice president of the Peoria Rivermen hockey team, serves on the advisory board of the Children’s Hospital of Illinois, and is a member of the Pekin Marigold Festival Committee. He has served on the board of the American Cancer Society as well as the board of the Pekin Chamber of Commerce. Tim has also won over 20 local golf tournament championships in recent years.
Gary Shadid is managing partner at Martin & Shadid, CPAs, P.C., with offices in Peoria and Pekin. After attending college and working briefly in Arizona, he returned to Peoria at a time when the Arizona economy was booming and the Central Illinois economy was faltering. He helped establish Martin & Shadid in 1990. Since that time the company has tripled in size and will soon be opening a second office in Peoria. Gary oversees the execution of the firm’s strategic planning while maintaining a full client schedule.
Gary is treasurer and one of the original organizers of Peoria’s Midnight Basketball Youth Crime Prevention Program, a VIP sponsor and volunteer to Easter Seals and United Cerebral Palsy, and a volunteer participant in the Illinois CPA Society’s program to provide tax assistance to the public. He is a member of Notre Dame High School Foundation Charitable Gift Subcommittee and an assistant coach at Kellar/Lindbergh school.
Douglas Dean Shull
Douglas Dean Shull is vice president/investments at Morton Community Bank, where he serves as secretary of the Board of Directors and chairman of the Asset/Liability Management Committee. He is also in charge of the bank’s computer and data processing, overseeing a large mainframe system as well as a computer network.
Doug serves on the board of directors of the Morton Rotary Club and is active in his church in numerous capacities. He was the founder of the girls track program at Morton Junior High School. A high school track star prior to an accident at age 16 which left him quadriplegic, Doug drives his own van equipped with two computers. He is involved with the rehabilitation program at Saint Francis Medical Center and is working with Morton School District #709 in strategic planning with regard to ADA. Doug received his high school teaching certificate in business from the University of Illinois.
William R. Spears
William R. Spears is an employee of J.C. Dillon Plumbing, Inc., and City of Peoria Councilman. He is president of the board of the Heart of Illinois United Way, having served on the board for several years. He recently received a proclamation from the City of Peoria for the United Way and was awarded a service recognition certificate for Community Service by the United Way. He was also recognized by the Red Cross for this outstanding contribution to its blood drive.
As president of the Tri-County Sports Board, Bill was instrumental in winning the Prairie State Games for Peoria, and served as coordinator of the Prairie State Games, recruiting numerous volunteers. He has served in many capacities with Plumbers Local #63, including financial secretary-treasurer, political action committee chairman, and executive board member. He organized and helped implement the Greenway Project on Peoria’s Western Avenue.
Steven R. Thompson
Steven R. Thompson is president and CEO of Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center in Peoria. Under his leadership Easter Seals expanded its service area to include McLean County, purchased the Easter Seals Camp on Lake Bloomington, and recently successfully completed a $3 million capital campaign which will see the construction of a new, state-of-the-art center in Peoria.
Steve is a 1993 winner of the Medders Award, national Easter Seals’ highest award for management, and has served as president of the Illinois Easter Seal Executives Association. He also won Governor’s Hometown Awards for the Kids on the Block Program and the House of Dreams Project. The 1993 and 1994 area Easter Seal Telethons were recognized by the National Easter Seal Society as the number one Easter Seal telethons in the U.S., raising more dollars per viewing household than any other telethon market.
Steve is a member of Peoria Downtown Rotary, the vice chairman of the Tremont Education Foundation, and is a minister in the Tremont Apostolic Christian Church.
Dennis J. Upah
Dennis J. Upah is president and general manager of WEEK-TV and has been in that position since the age of 26, following his graduation from Bradley University with a 4.0 grade point average. Under his leadership, WEEK-TV was named Illinois Broadcasters Association Station of the Year in 1991, 1992, and 1993. He has won numerous top regional and statewide awards and was a finalist in the Broadcast Promotion and Marketing Executives’ International Gold Medallion Award in 1986.
Dennis is a member of the board of directors of St. Jude Midwest Affiliate, and the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee, where he chairs the Communications Division. He is immediate past president of the Illinois Broadcasters Association, member of the Peoria Gridiron Board of Governors, member of Bradley University’s College of Communications and Fine Arts International Advisory Council, and former member of Bradley University’s National Alumni Association Board.
Ed Urish is a drama and speech teacher at East Peoria High School, where he has worked for seven years. However, in addition to his full-time position there, he is known throughout Central Illinois for his founding and direction of Eastlight Theatre – a cooperative effort among the City of East Peoria, East Peoria Park District, and East Peoria High School. A budget of $7,000 was seen in 1991, the first year of the theater. This year broke new attendance records with a budget of $333,000.
Ed brought the North American premier of Metropolis to the Tri-County last year, gaining national attention. He has written and directed numerous shows, starting the careers of some actors now performing in New York. He founded the Illinois Association of Community Theater, and sits on the board of the Illinois Theater Association, overseeing community theater for the state. Ed has already scheduled over 40 bus tours from a seven-state area to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Eastlight this Christmas season, complementing the Festival of Lights.
Harold A. “Rocky” Vonachen III
Harold A. “Rocky” Vonachen III is assistant general manager of the Peoria Chiefs Baseball Club where he oversees the day-to-day business operations. His management experience, however, has also included work in the fields of food service, financial services, and health services. He successfully owned and operated three restaurants over a period of nine years. At the Peoria Chiefs, he contributed to a 300 percent increase in attendance, coordinated promotional activities, and acted as a “color man” for Peoria Chiefs radio broadcasts.
Rocky is a member of the Peoria Park District Board of Trustees, and served as a member of the Bradley University National Alumni Association from 1987 to 1990. As the 1991-19923 chairman of the SFMC United Way Employee Campaign, $200,000 was raised. He is a member of the board of directors of the Old Timers Baseball Association, and has also serves as a member of the board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, a member of the Take Pride in Peoria Commission, and chairman of Taste of Peoria.
Marybeth Williams is staff corporate and employee planning administrator for Central Illinois Light Company’s Human Resource Department, where her responsibilities include strategic planning, teambuilding, facilitation and consulting, competitive strategies initiatives, and employee career counseling. She was instrumental in developing the vision statement for CILCO’s Human Resource Department, and was responsible for the introduction of the corporate mission, vision and values statements in the business plan.
Marybeth serves as a board member of Women in Management (1992-1994), and has volunteered her services to WTVP-47’s Pledge Drive, Lakeview Museum’s Annual Fund Drive, and Celebration of the Arts. She has also led CILCO’s United Way Campaign and served on the YWCA Leader Luncheon Committee. In 1994 Marybeth received the Women in Management Bella Gentry Award for outstanding contribution in the first three years of membership, and the Team Coach Award from CILCO’s Electric Engineering Department.
Anthony T. Wysinger
Anthony T. Wysinger is a residential representative of Central Illinois Light Company’s Commercial Sales & Service Department, where he is a responsible for coordinating CILCO’s gas and electric service to both new and existing homeowners.
Anthony is a board member and vice president of internal operations of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, a board member of Small and Minority Business Services, program coordinator for at-risk boys at Boys and Girls Club, and co-founder of “Operation Kids Count,” and part of the Gus Macker 3 on 3 basketball tournament. Anthony has received the Martin L. King Community Service Award and the Carver Community Center Volunteer Service Award.
When speaking on the subject of balancing academics with athletics, Anthony speaks from experience, since he majored in business administration at the University of Illinois while a member of the men’s varsity basketball team. While participating on the team from 1983-1987, Anthony was named to the basketball team’s academic honor roll during three of the four years he played.
Helen J. Young
Helen J. Young is a CPA and statutory income tax coordinator for RLI Insurance Company. She organized the first tax department within the company in 1984, and now coordinates the annual filing of over 240 statutory and tax filings.
Helen was recently appointed by Bradley University President John Brazil as a vice-chair of the campaign cabinet for the Centennial Campaign to raise $100 million for the University. She received the 1992 Prescott E. Bloom Memorial Distinguished Service Award and is on the boards of: Peoria Area Community Foundation, Bradley University National Alumni Association, American Red Cross, Goodwill Industries, Family House, Tri-County WomenStrength, Peoria Area TriCentennial Celebration, and Bradley University Associate Board of Trustees. Helen has also been involved with fund drives for Easter Seals, St. Jude, WCBU, WTVP, and Lakeview Museum. She served as president of Junior League of Peoria in 1989-1990. IBI