Board of Trustees
Mark C. Palmer, Chair
Mark C. Palmer is the Chief Counsel of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism where he facilitates the promotion of professionalism, civility, and integrity among the legal and judicial systems in Illinois. Prior to the Commission, Mark was in private practice at the downtown Champaign law firm Evans, Froehlich, Beth & Chamley where his law practice focused on areas including commercial litigation, municipal law, and banking law, among others. He represented private and appointed clients in both civil and criminal cases in state and federal courts. Mark grew up in Champaign and stayed for college prior to moving to Chicago for a full-time corporate job and part-time law school. After six years in the Windy City, Mark returned to practice law in Champaign while taking on several volunteer roles including as a mentor and the past president of the CU One-to-One Mentoring Foundation. Mark received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his law degree from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law. He is active in numerous legal and civic organizations including as a Board Member for the Illinois State Bar Association and as the Chair of the Public Interest Law Initiative’s 6th Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee. When not in the office, you will likely find Mark and his wife busy raising their twin daughters.
Terra Mullins, Vice-Chair/Secretary
Terra Mullins was raised in Champaign County on a farm and has been involved in the community through outreach efforts, business strategy and development. Her key areas of focus consist of healthcare, event planning, management, marketing, team engagement and relationship building. Early in her career, Terra served as a Respiratory Care Practitioner with a focus on Pulmonary Function and lung health, with a short time as Faculty at Parkland College for the Pulmonary Function course of the Respiratory Care program. In 2008 she, alongside her husband, started Champaign Urbana’s first multi-restaurant marketing and delivery service before selling it in 2011. She has a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration and a Master of Business Administration Degree. Currently, Terra manages Community Outreach and earned the 2019 Annual Way to Be Leader at Health Alliance/Carle Health. She serves on the Age-Friendly Steering Committee supported by CHAD at the U of I, participated in the inaugural class of the Aspirating Philanthropist Giving Circle hosted by CFECI and serves on the Grants Committee for CFECI. Terra, her husband Eddie and daughter Kelsee reside in Urbana. She loves nature, learning new things, and appreciates that “It takes a village to create the type of change to make things better.”
Jon Coffman, Treasurer
Jon Coffman is a CFO in the outsourcing division for CliftonLarsonAllen. He is a native of Mansfield, Illinois, and attended North Central College in Naperville before passing the CPA exam. Jon has worked professionally in the Champaign-Urbana community for more than 20 years. He has an excitement for helping organizations succeed that has led him into several entrepreneurial side-projects over the years alongside his accounting practice. Jon has served many nonprofit organizations during his career as either a board member or consultant and currently serves on the finance committee at Grace Church of Mahomet. He resides in White Heath with his wife, Brook, and twin sons, Austin and Camden.
Kandace Turner, Past Chair
Kandace Turner is the Associate Director for Public Engagement for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She works to advance the University’s public engagement mission by assisting with strategic planning and the development and execution of strategic initiatives and building and managing relationships across a wide range of constituents, including the university, community, corporate, and government partners. These include major campus-wide public engagement initiatives, interinstitutional collaborations, and statewide networks. Ms. Turner holds an M.S. in Information Management from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a B.S. in Organizational Leadership from Millikin University. Kandace also serves on the Promise Healthcare Board of Directors and is a member of Leadership Illinois’ Class of 2020.
Laura Weisskopf Bleill is a professional community builder. As the Director of External Engagement at the University of Illinois Research Park, Bleill develops strategy behind the Research Park’s events, programming, communications, branding and marketing efforts; and directs its strategy to attract, grow, retain and train its workforce. Bleill is the CEO and co-founder of a hyperlocal digital media company, chambanamoms.com. More than a website, chambanamoms.com is the top resource for Champaign-Urbana families. An avid volunteer, she is past president (and still a member) of the Experience Champaign-Urbana Board of Directors and is also on the board of Leadership Illinois. Bleill, her husband Tony, and their three daughters live in Champaign. A native of the Chicago suburbs, she has a master’s and bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. In her not-so-spare time, Laura loves to read and is happy to hear your book recommendations.
Holly Clemons graduated from Lake Forest College with a BA with honors in History (1979). She also holds a JD from DePaul University (1984) and an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management (1985). Beginning her legal career as an associate attorney at Ross and Harrington in Chicago, she later became a Champaign County assistant public defender. She continued her career as an attorney at Beckett and Associates until she was appointed as an associate circuit judge in 1996. She retired from the bench in 2017. Following her retirement, she has served on the Champaign County CASA Executive Board and the Board of Post 71 Urbana American Legion Auxiliary. She also served on the leadership team of the Champaign County Humane Society capital campaign.
Michael P. Comet grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, graduated from Roosevelt University in Chicago with a BA in Hospitality Management in 1992 and proceeded to acquire his MBA from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign in 2000. He moved to Champaign in 1996 to work for the family business, as a principal owner of the Pepsi Cola CU Bottling Co, as its President and CEO. Michael P. Comet has served on several boards in the community over the years, most recently as the Don Moyers Boys and Girls Club Foundation Board President. Michael P Comet resides in Champaign with his wife and two sons.
Donna M. Davis hails from Hammond, Illinois (Piatt County). She is a proud alumna of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she holds degrees in Education (2007) and Law (2014). As the Associate General Counsel for the University of Illinois Foundation, Donna provides advice and representation in all UIF’s legal affairs.
Committed to service and championing education, her prior professional experiences include the Univ. of Illinois Office of University Counsel, as well as teaching second grade, and representing public school districts across Illinois as an attorney at Miller, Tracy, Braun, Funk & Miller in Monticello, Illinois. She has served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Champaign County, representing elected officials and the people of the State of Illinois in civil matters. Donna has a deep commitment to supporting local nonprofits with her resources and volunteerism. Her husband (Lester) and two children (AJ & Teddy) live in Savoy, where they enjoy spending time with friends and family and their pug, Rocky. In her quest for fulfillment, she seeks to deepen her faith alongside others, and finds solace and inspiration through art, writing, reading, podcasts, biking, cooking, and attempting to garden and admire the wildlife around her home.
Michelle Gonzales works in Public Engagement for the Chancellor’s Office at the University of Illinois. Prior to this position, she was a third-grade teacher in Champaign’s Unit 4 School District for twelve years, then served as the Chief of Staff for State Senator Scott Bennett. Throughout her career and involvement with various volunteer groups, she has learned a great deal about what makes Champaign-Urbana the resource-rich community that it is. She admires the services we can provide to our most vulnerable neighbors and the strong leaders of the numerous non-profit organizations in our area. Michelle is the mother to her 16-year-old son, Sam, and an energetic 3-year-old miniature dachshund, Leo. She is thrilled to join the board for CFECI and looks forward to continuing her trajectory of giving back to this wonderful place she calls home.
Jake is the Managing Partner and a Senior Advisor with Bluestem Financial Advisors. Beyond his work with clients, Jake’s role is focus on strategy of the firm to help more people use their financial resources in line with their values and lead a life of fulfillment. He is excited to bring this experience to the Community Foundation to expand its reach and impact on the community. Jake holds a bachelor’s from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s from Kansas State. He currently serves as an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Illinois. He previously served on the Board of the Alliance of Comprehensive Planners and various leadership roles with National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). Jake lives in Savoy with his wife, Tara, and daughters Vivian and Lucy. Together they love to travel and cheer on the Illini. Jake also enjoys running, cooking, and working on their home and garden.
Beth Mathews grew up in Philo, Illinois, graduating from Unity High School. She lived in the Effingham area for 24 years but has since moved back to east central Illinois. She is a nurse practitioner and has worked for Carle, Kirby Medical Center and Gibson Area Hospital. She is married to Jay Mathews who works as a grain accountant and is COO at Midwest Grain in Bloomington, Illinois. They have one daughter, Kathryn, who works at the University of Illinois in AITS (Information Technology). In her spare time, Beth loves to read and knit. She also loves playing golf in the summer.
Terrica Miller is a corporate Vice-President of Compliance and Marketplace Compliance Officer for Molina Healthcare, Inc., headquartered in Long Beach, CA. In this role, she provides executive leadership to Compliance and Marketplace Government Contracts, offers regulatory guidance and interpretation, implements compliance strategy and initiatives as well as oversees enterprise compliance operations for corrective action plans, key performance indicator reporting, and the Compliance Alertline. She has over 16 years of compliance and regulatory experience of which she has worked in various roles and risen through the ranks for companies including United Behavioral Health (IL), Blue Cross and Blue Shield (IL), WellCare (FL), America’s First Choice (FL) Centene (MS) and Health Alliance (IL). Ms. Miller is a native of Champaign and graduated from Central High school. She then attended the University of Illinois and received a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies and also holds a Master of Jurisprudence in Health Law from Loyola University, School of Law in Chicago, IL. Ms. Miller enjoys community service, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. She is very excited to have this opportunity to serve on the CFECI Board and looks forward to giving back to the community that she grew up in.
Rod Stoll, of Savoy, is vice president of marketplace engagement at Farm Credit Illinois (FCI). The FCI agricultural lending cooperative is headquartered in Mahomet and serves the southern 60 counties of Illinois with the core purpose of Helping Farm Families Succeed. Rod was raised on a small grain and dairy farm near Chestnut before earning a University of Illinois dairy science degree. Prior to Farm Credit, Rod worked as director of development with the Illinois 4-H Foundation and the University of Illinois agriculture college. He began his career in animal pharmaceutical sales with territories in Vermont, New York, and Wisconsin. A past longtime volunteer with Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership and LeaderShape, Rod currently serves on the Nabor House Fraternity Board, the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation Board, and the Illinois Foundation FFA Board of Trustees. He is a 25-year IHSA basketball official, has moderated the National Holstein Convention dairy bowl for more than 30 consecutive years, and emcees the national dairy judging contest at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. Rod owns one registered Holstein cow named Amari housed at a dairy farm in Greenville. He and his seven siblings own their family’s centennial farm in Logan County together.
Allison Winter, President and CEO
As the new CEO and president of the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois, Allison Winter is honored to work alongside others to celebrate the good work of the nonprofits in our community as we work together, raising the quality of life in the Champaign-Urbana area and surrounding communities. For the majority of her 20 years of diverse experience, Allison spent her career helping align donor philanthropic interest with her organization’s priorities. She sees this new role as a natural next step expanding impact beyond campus out into the communities in which we live. When working as a front-line fundraiser at The Grainger College of Engineering and the College of ACES, she developed portfolios, cultivated relationships, and brought in major gifts. She counts her success in the scholarships, programs, research, and other resources she advocated for on behalf of the university’s students and faculty members. Allison loves creating connections and fostering collaboration and volunteered those skills as a recent past president of Executive Club of Champaign County. She’s passionate about uniting diverse teams and setting lofty goals. She meticulously collects data and analyzes it to make strategic decisions that help her attain them. Allison is thrilled to get started and committed to expanding the impact of CFECI, growing its endowment, and enhancing the foundation’s capabilities. She’s looking forward to the impact her work will have in the communities the foundation serves.
Genevieve Kirk, Center for Nonprofit Excellence Director
Genevieve Kirk is a locally-focused, globally-minded nonprofit leader and educator. With nearly 20 years of professional experience in the nonprofit and public sectors, her goal is to build, nurture and promote a strong community through effective nonprofit management. Most recently, she was the Executive Director of the Champaign Center Partnership and is an adjunct instructor in the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois where she has taught courses on Management of Human Service Organizations, Social Entrepreneurship and Social Change, and Nonprofit Sector and Society. Genevieve has worn a variety of hats in nonprofit organizations of varying sizes and scope in the U.S. and Africa, including program director at Kids In Danger, volunteer coordinator at the United Community Center and the City of Las Cruces, and grant team manager at Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment. Genevieve holds a BA from the University of Chicago and a MA in Public Service with a focus on nonprofit management from Marquette University, where she was awarded a Trinity Fellowship. She credits her two years of service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mauritania, West Africa for developing her resiliency as a leader. She has lived in Champaign-Urbana since 2014 with her husband and two children.
Kristen Duesdieker, Grants & Scholarships Manager
Kristen Duesdieker moved to Mahomet with her family and joined the Foundation in October 2013. A Springfield native, she had eight years of experience in Grants & Scholarships management at the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin before joining us.