CLASS OF 2011
Vicente Adame is a hard working and dedicated individual who loves to listen to jazz music, spend the afternoon on the green or lie beneath a “kid pile” on his living room floor. He defines success not by what he has achieved, but by what he has helped others achieve. Having been born into poverty in a one-room, dirt floor house, he understands that the circumstances of where you are now do not dictate your future and what you are capable of becoming. If you can dream it, Vicente knows you can achieve it.
Erika Arnhart does not suffer from a lack of drive, determination, or passion for those things that she finds important in her life. She finds joy and happiness in the journey as much as the final destination. She believes that the harder one must work to reach a goal, the sweeter the attainment of that goal becomes. And she places great value in the process. To that end, Erika has run several marathons in her life, and fondly remembers the moments in training when she ran “just long enough” to become one with the road as “the sweet spots.”
Rahul Bafna is an energetic young individual who strives for perfection. He believes that success follows perfection and if we can attain perfection, success is bound to happen. He also believes that carefully planned goals with cautiously prioritized actions can create wonders. Rahul has been very fortunate to work on various community efforts with the outstanding people of Bloomington-Normal for over a decade. He is very passionate about working with kids, and is instrumental in designing, promoting and leading several educational projects for kids. Rahul considers every opportunity he gets to spend time with his two wonderful kids and terrific wife as a privilege, and makes the best use of that time.
Sandeep Davalbhakta has lived in Bloomington-Normal for more than eleven years. During this time, he has had the privilege to be a part of the diverse American culture by working for different companies and the university, staying in the residence halls and completing his graduate degree at ISU. He is a person who values people and believes in investing in solid relationships. Family, trust and long-lasting friendships all play a key role in Sandeep’s life. He believes in the John Quincy Adams leadership quote, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” Sandeep enjoys spending quality time with his wife and two daughters, and is eager to become more involved in the local community.
Munjal Dave is a strategist, catalyst and thought leader. He believes in continuous learning and everything can be made better (well, almost everything!). He is actively engaged in sensing and responding to new trends, techniques and technologies. Munjal is passionate about discovering ways to improve personal and organizational effectiveness, and competitiveness. He has led businesses and teams across multiple continents, and has been a catalyst/change agent in large, game-changing initiatives. He loves to read, meditate and spend time with his family. He is in the process of rebalancing his life to prioritize family, spirituality and community — not just business and career. Being a rational optimist, Munjal tries to live by Gandhiji’s sage advice: “be the change you want to see in the world.”
Carolyn Davis enjoys meeting people and relishes the learning opportunities the experience may bring. She has a thirst for continual learning and growth, and spends a lot of her free time probing, researching and surfing the internet to better understand subjects ranging from computer game to local, national and world current events. Carolyn has an enduring love for gardening, floral arrangements and interior designs. She is an advocate for healthy living and makes it a high priority to exercise regularly and eat healthy. She likes to travel and enjoys long weekend getaways to downtown Chicago with her husband and sons. Carolyn lives by the words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Rearn Dotson is an Illinois native and a graduate of Illinois State University with a degree in Mass Communication – Broadcasting. She celebrates a 25-year career at State Farm Insurance. Rearn is a Certified Instructional Technologist, and develops workshop training with media support for their Learning and Development department. Active in her church, Rearn is the Director over a service-based puppet ministry, and assists with writing curriculum and teaching children’s church. Rearn has organized school supply drives, Black History Month reading programs, and coordinates an annual Rake ‘n Run event to support senior citizens. She is proud of her two sons, Dexter and Nathan, and her entrepreneurial husband, Bernard of 21 years.
Leslie Harding is a hardworking, goal orientated person. She is a major sports fan who loves the personal stories of the athletes and considers sporting events the best reality TV there is. She gets her general attitude on life from her dad, who told her at a young age that happiness is a decision you make for your life, and she has decided to be happy. She shares a love for movies and Chinese food with her daughter, and enjoys their time together. She believes in helping those who are less fortunate and is moved by random acts of kindness.
Lori Harvey is always on her feet, as a bi-athlete and as a wife and mother of two on-the-go teenagers. Life is an organizational project with calendars for family activities, meal plans, race dates and work projects. The best day of the year is when a new calendar comes out with white blank squares to be filled. Lori’s motivation increases when working with others to reach a goal. Her love of books and education are reflected in her six word, work life lesson: “Turn the page, more to come.” Happily ever after is a page away.
Iwin Huang has a sense of humor and a humble personality. While he is passionate about his job and life, he takes everything in stride. He has a calm demeanor and rarely gets too excited. His laid-back personality makes him easily approachable under stressful circumstances. Iwin enjoys traveling to other countries to get an open perspective of life and sharing his experiences with others. Iwin also enjoys participating in church activities within the Chinese ministry and is looking forward to serving in the community more when he can. Family, integrity and close friends all play a key role in his life.
Paul Hursey is a father first. All other duties take a back seat to his role as a doting parent. He is also what you would consider a daredevil with a zest for living. Within reason, Paul will try just about anything. He has done zip tours in Costa Rica, parasailing in Jamaica and snorkeling in Grand Turk, just to name a few. He especially loves fast cars and owns a number of automobiles. He is an avid lover of football, live music and travel. He enjoys the mix of culture and history. Paul reads non-fiction and strives to be the best he can at whatever he tries.
Matt Johnson is a central Illinois native who spent several years working in our nation’s capital. He relishes a new challenge, ponders the “big picture” issues and tries not to sweat the small details. Whether it is the solitude of a long run, the controlled violence of a pickup hockey game, a sunny afternoon on the golf course or the water coursing past on a swim, Matt enjoys burning stress of physical activity. Maintaining a life balance is his focus, and guiding the growth and spirituality of his young family is his priority.
Nida Kazim is motivated, open-minded, enthusiastic and likes to think she is funny. She loves socializing and getting to know people. She LOVES good food and good conversations! She is an avid collector of shoes! She ran a marathon once and hopes to do so again. And one random fact about her is: it makes her cringe when servers call her “ma’am.” She is very passionate about giving back to the community and doing what she can, in her own little way, to make a difference. Nida truly, from the bottom of her heart, sincerely believes that “One person CAN make a difference!”
Renee Lafontaine is a passionate and fair person. She was born and raised in Bloomington, IL. She is no stranger to the early childhood field. She has seventeen years of experience in the field — all in the non-profit sector. She finds its fascinating how children absorb new concepts, and how refreshing their outlook on life can be. She loves spending time with her family. Her favorite vacations are ones filled with camping, canoeing and lots of laughter. She is a devoted dog lover and shares her home with an Italian greyhound and a miniature dachshund. She’s thrilled to be part of this program!
Jon McWhirter enjoys reading, traveling and learning about different countries and cultures. Known for his clever wit and good sense of humor, he can always find the lighter side of any situation. An avid researcher and news junkie, Jon enjoys a spirited debate of political and social issues. He’s detail-oriented and organized, yet he can also appreciate many of the less predictable aspects of life. Growing up in a large family helped Jon learn to be confident in his beliefs while respecting the diverse perspectives of others. Great food, lively conversations and laughter with friends and family are a few of his favorite pastimes.
Sharonna Miller is an energetic, people person with a contagious smile. She’s very active in the lives of her younger cousins, nieces and nephews. Their personal growth and responses to her involvement confirms the fact that she’s making a difference. If asked, she’ll share the motto her parents and grandparents instilled in her: “work hard and build relationships.” When not working, Sharonna enjoys quiet time at home and traveling with family. She looks forward to making connections with other leaders across McLean County.
Anita Moore is generally a quiet, reflective individual. However, though often silent in words, she makes lots of noise by being a hard worker, serving the community/others and being committed to everything she does. She is all about self-improvement and as well as helping others improve and reach their goals. She enjoys traveling, reading, spending time with family and friends and working out. Her faith and family are very important to her as she attempts to live by the philosophy Love Makes the World Go Around. Though she is not perfect, you will find her trying to display a loving attitude at all times.
Brian E. Peacher, Sr. after fourteen years of wedded bliss, is still learning how to be a better husband to his loving wife. He faithfully pursues being a consistent and affectionate father, and has high hopes for someday becoming a better son and little brother. For Brian, winning is not as important as enjoying the game and appreciating the time of fellowship. He endeavors to always be guided by his faith. He believes in the power of exponential thinking: our collective ideas are greater than individual ideas alone. Brian has profound appreciation for moments of introspection, smooth jazz and a finely smoked brisket.
Kimberly Pfeifer is compassionate and fun loving. She believes her attitude determines her altitude, and she strives to be the best human being she possibly can be. She enjoys stimulating conversation and believes learning is a lifelong endeavor. Her favorite pastimes include outdoor activities such as cook outs, visits to the zoo or simply relaxing by the lake. Her favorite instruments are the piano and the flute but she enjoys all genres of music. She strongly believes we are all connected and each life was created to be a benefit to another. She loves to laugh and believes ice cream is one of the world’s greatest inventions.
Latha Rao believes in living life GOD size: no fear, no failure, just possibilities. She is trained in Indian classical dance and is a performing artist. She believes in learning through experience and seeks every opportunity to broaden her horizons. She sees possibilities in every situation and encourages others to do the same. She is passionate about making a positive change for society and encourages her friends to join her in helping out the community. Not only does she love to read, but she loves to spend time with family and friends, and travels as often as she can.
Pete Stroyan believes that everything in this world happens for a reason. For example, he worked and met a girl in a local doughnut shop almost fourteen years ago. Little did he know, they would become best friends, get married and have a wonderful little boy. Pete feels that he needs to give back to the community that has given him so much, as it will also be the community where his children will grow. He loves to continue to develop himself as a dad, husband and employee. In his spare time he enjoys playing golf, chess and watching movies.
Thereisa E. Taylor is a high energy, fun loving person who relies heavily on her inner being to guide her through life. She lives to experience every emotion possible. Laughter, joy and excitement let her know she is in a place of well-being. Despair, sadness and anger let her know she is experiencing a growth opportunity. With that being said, today Theresia finds her laughter and joy when spending time with family and friends, reading, being athletic, working out and of course shopping! Her thought on life: ALL experiences are intended for a positive purpose. How we interpret those experiences is what aids our mental growth, physically and emotionally. Positive mental health is the key!
Cavell Walcott is a kind-hearted soul who is proof that genuinely nice people still exist. She values family and the few who have been granted the title of Friend. Cavell’s husband and best friend, Mark inspires and motivates her in ways that are indescribable. Cavell is a silent competitor, but can make her competitive spirit known in the heat of competition. If she could do any activity for the rest of her life, Cavell would choose traveling abroad in luxury. She has a flare for cooking, but more specifically baking. Those who are very near and dear to her, get the unique pleasure of indulging in her tasty treats. Cavell enjoys hosting events and lives by the philosophy, “go big or go home or at least go as big as your budget will allow.”
Yoon Yim moved to Bloomington, IL for work after graduating from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her friends describe her as being caring, adventurous and funny. She is always up for and welcomes new challenges. She believes that life is short and we need to enjoy as many new experiences as possible. Her latest challenge has been homeownership; it’s been a lot of work, but she is enjoying every minute of it. Even with a busy schedule, she still manages to make time for volunteering, visiting her parents in Chicago, and sports such as rugby, rock climbing, soccer and softball.
Denise Younge enjoys her quiet time. For many it may seem like a lonely state, but for her this is the time when she can hear and see so much more than the human senses can absorb. Her quiet time allows all things around her to be brighter and more intense in the vibration of life. She has a sense of humor that catches most people off guard… She doesn’t look like a person who can take everyday situations and find humor and delight. Her character and strength come from God, family and friends. She is an open book to those who can crack the lock to who she really is. One of Denise’s favorite quotes is from Dr. Seuss…”Don’t cry because it is over, but smile because it happened.”