Keeping MCLP going, ensuring funding and building long-term sustainability of the program are all challenges that the MCLP board faces, as it welcomes new faces and thanks past board members for their service.
Leading the board as this year’s President is Kari Sandhaas, a 2012 MCLP graduate. Kari designs leadership training at COUNTRY Financial. She is a former creative director and longtime community leader, currently serving on the Ecology Action board and is the vice-president of Autism McLean. She succeeds Sonya Mau, who will continue on the board as Past President.
Other new officers include MCLP Vice President, Barbara Taft, a Manager of Employee Relations at COUNTRY Financial; Secretary Craig Luchtefeld, in IT at COUNTRY Financial and 2012 MCLP alum, and Treasurer Tim Beccue, CFO at Advanced Medical Transport of Illinois, a 2014 MCLP alum.
MCLP thanks departing board members Phylis VerSteegh, Chuck DiVerde, Carole Ringer, and founder Phani Aytam and for their generous and conscientious service.
Joining the board this year are six community members, including two MCLP alums. The new board members are Kathy DeWerff, Lynda Duke, Myra Gordon, Lacey MacLeod, David Shields and Ani Yazedijan.
Kathy DeWerff is Vice President of Human Resources for Farnsworth Group. She has specialized skills in training and employee development and previous nonprofit experience as Vice President of Operations at the Children’s Foundation in Bloomington. Kathy will be sharing her expertise in HR, training development, and finance.
Lynda Duke is Illinois Wesleyan University’s Associate Dean of Curricula and Faculty Development. Lynda brings expertise in impact assessment and strategic planning, and is also serving on the Town of Normal’s 2040 Visioning Committee.
Myra Gordon is a long-time community leader, who helped establish Operation Recycle—predecessor to the Ecology Action Center—and was former Executive Director of the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation. Myra brings nonprofit development expertise and a broad network of community relationships.
Lacey MacLeod is a Human Relations representative at State Farm and MCLP 2015 alum. She has worked in several nonprofit capacities, helped create Professional Women of McLean County, and facilitated strategic planning at Four Seasons. She brings expertise in organizational development, strategic planning, and finance.
David Shields is also at State Farm, a Senior Research System Analyst and a 2015 MCLP alum. He is a founding board member of the Advocacy Council for Human Rights, active with Not In Our Town and various other community activities, including several theater productions, and Second City comedy troupe in Chicago.
Dr. Ani Yazedijan is chair of Illinois State University’s Family and Consumer Sciences Department. She has expertise in grant writing and multicultural studies, and is currently leading a three-year program at ISU to measure the impact of a development program for parents.
Continuing on the board are MCLP alums Leslie Harding (2011), Ann Perry (2013), Emily Vigneri (2013), and Mike Wolf (2013).
Board President Kari Sandhaas said, “I appreciate the unique contributions of each of our board members. I thank those leaving the board for their service and those who remain for their continued commitment, and welcome the fresh perspectives of our incoming members — as we steward the organization in its mission to develop diverse leaders.”