Board of Trustees
Tom Brown, Chair
A native of Urbana, Tom is an area Vice President of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. Formerly Tom was a partner in Brown Hobbs & McMurray Insurance Agency. Tom is also currently a Certified General Real Estate Appraiser (Brown & Brown Real Estate Appraisals, L.L.C.). After graduation from Furman University, Tom returned to the area and the family business in 1974 and has been a part of both the insurance and real estate appraisal business since. Tom is an active member of the local community, volunteering his time to a variety of civic organizations, including the Urbana Park District, Urbana Parks Foundation, Urbana School District, C-U Schools Foundation and Urbana Rotary.
Katie Bermingham, Vice-Chair
Katie Bermingham is a Certified Public Accountant and Manager of Assurance Services with CliftonLarsonAllen LLP where she has worked since 2009. She specializes in governmental and non-profit auditing. Katie is a member of the Illinois CPA Society and the American Institute of CPAs. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Joe Lamb, Secretary
Joe Lamb is President & CEO of Open Road Paving & Asphalt. Born and raised in Champaign, Joe grew up in the paving industry. He graduated from TCU in Fort Worth, Texas and returned to Champaign to accept a role in the family business. He is past-president of the Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association and of the Associated General Contractors of America. Joe has served on the BankChampaign Board of Directors since 1998. He has also been active in community service, including serving as Vice President of the Champaign County Forest Preserve District Board of Commissioners.
Bradley Uken, Treasurer
Bradley Uken serves as the Manager of the Champaign County Farm Bureau. The Farm Bureau is a membership based organization that provides information, education and advocacy for and on behalf of its members. Bradley has been with the Farm Bureau for 17 years serving in two other counties previously in the same position. He was born and raised on a grain and livestock farm in Champaign County and continues to help out on the family farm as time allows. Bradley graduated from Illinois State University with an Agri-Business degree.
Tom Costello, Past-Chair
Tom Costello is the Assistant Managing Director of the Champaign Urbana Mass Transit District, a position he has held since 1974. Tom received a BA in Communication, History & Government from John Carroll University, MA in Communication from Miami of Ohio and his ABD in Organizational Communication from the University of Illinois. Tom has been a communication instructor at Illinois for over 40 years. He has served on countless boards, coalitions and committees, but is particularly sought after when an entertaining emcee is needed.
Austin J. Hill joined Thomas, Mamer, & Haughey, LLP in 2013 as a member of the firm’s transactional team. His practice is primarily focused upon estate planning and probate, as well as real estate, contract, and corporate matters. He has drafted Wills and Trusts for multi-million dollar clients, utilizing tax planning techniques to minimize anticipated estate taxes. Mr. Hill received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 2008, double-majoring in Philosophy and Political Science. He graduated from The John Marshall Law School in 2013, and was admitted to the Illinois Bar that year. Since being admitted to the bar in 2013, Mr. Hill has been a member of the Illinois State and Champaign County Bar Associations. He is also a member of the Eastern Illinois Estate Planning Council, where he currently serves as Treasurer. He joined the Champaign Rotary Club in 2015, and is Thomas, Mamer, & Haughey’s “United Way Employee Campaign Coordinator,” orchestrating a firm-wide gift to the United Way on an annual basis. Additionally, he has provided Pro Bono service through the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation and for clients of limited means. Mr. Hill is a lifelong resident of the area. His father, Dr. Martin E. Hill, D.D.S., operated a dental practice in Champaign for over 30 years, which is now owned and operated by Mr. Hill’s sister, Dr. Katherine C. Hill, D.D.S.
Debra Hirschi, a Senior Tax Manager with over 30 years of experience, enjoys assisting a wide variety of individual and business clients. Debbie graduated with honors from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy. She provides tax preparation and planning services for a variety of clients. Debbie also enjoys assisting clients through business consulting, estate planning, and trust administration. Some of Debbie’s day-to-day tasks include cash budgeting, retirement planning, business succession planning and estate planning for individuals and businesses.
Dr. Korr received her PhD in psychology from SUNY at Buffalo. From 1994-2002 she was a professor at the School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh. She was the co-director of the Center for Mental Health Services Research and directed the doctoral program during her tenure at Pittsburgh. From 1980-1993, she taught at the Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago. Her first professional position was as a Program Evaluator in the Illinois Department of Mental Health. She has taught courses in program evaluation, mental health policy, and social entrepreneurship and has published on evaluation of mental health services, legal issues in mental health, and other related topics. She is the Vice President of The Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR). She is a site visitor for Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). She previously served on the board of CSWE and as chair of the Commission on Accreditation. She is past President of the St. Louis Group – the association of social work schools in major research universities. She serves our local community as a member of the Board of Directors of United Way. Dr. Korr’s focus is on mental health policy and services as well as social work education.
Jeff Livesay, CPA, CGMA is a Partner at Martin Hood Friese & Associates. He has nearly 20 years previous experience in the industry with national firms as well as a serving as Director of Finance at an International agriculture firm Jeff is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and is active in the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce, and Champaign Rotary.
Rebecca McBride is the senior associate director of Krannert Center and an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre at the U of I. Since earning her MBA and BS degrees from the U of I, she has been committed to applying her leadership, management, and strategic planning skills to the nonprofit arena. During her tenure at Krannert Center, Rebecca has been recognized for her leading role in developing groundbreaking public engagement and marketing initiatives, her sustainability advocacy, and her leadership in reimagining and developing the Center’s capacity to support new work. She is also the founder and president of 4 Osprey, an environmental nonprofit organization.
Joe Petry is a Clinical Professor of Economics and Finance at the University of Illinois. Born and raised in Champaign, Joe received both BS and PhD in economics from Illinois. He spent nearly a decade living and working in Latin America and New York as economist, economic development advisor and executive officer for several major banks and corporations in the private sector. He returned to Champaign and accepted the position at Illinois in 2001. Joe has served as a Commissioner of the Champaign Park District where he served as President and Vice President numerous years. Joe also served as a Board Member of the Illinois Association on Park Districts, and served as its President in 2014. Joe also served on the Prairie Rivers Network’s board and co-founded the Boneyard Creek Community Day.
Mr. Royse works with communities and anchor institutions on community and economic development strategies to bring about a more sustainable future. In his role he works to initiate projects in renewable energy, transportation and land use, and community health. Mr. Royse also focuses on encouraging entrepreneurial initiative in the communities he serves with an eye for bridging age, culture, and economic gaps. Mr. Royse was President of One Main Development, LLC. until January of 2013 In his role, Mr. Royse worked closely with city leaders and partners to ensure the success of each project and the continued growth of One Main Development. Mr. Royse’s experience is as a business generalist, and he has served professionally as a business strategist both organizationally and financially. He has been extensively involved with a sixty million-dollar residential property portfolio owned by his family. As CEO of Royse Wagner (a small national branding firm), Mr. Royse consulted on teams leading high growth activities within a variety of industries. His crowning achievement was the development of the environmental communications platform for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, 2002. Mike is tireless in his service to the local business and academic community. He frequently takes time to meet with students and young professionals who are just beginning to define their careers or refine their business vision. Mike currently serves as President of the Center for Community Adaptation which aims to help communities come together around strategies and initiatives that build health, wealth, and sustainability.
Trina-Wright Dixon currently is an experienced Teaching Assistant Professor with the University of Illinois and has a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. She previously was a lecturer with UCLA and taught graduate courses in Afro-American Studies and undergraduate courses in Communication, Gender, Afro-American Studies and The Anderson School of Management. She is skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Event Planning, Training Needs Analysis, Organizational Development, and Diversity Training. She is a strong education professional with a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) focused in Organizational Communication, Intercultural & Interpersonal Communication from Howard University.
Joan M. Dixon, President & CEO
Joan Dixon has headed up the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois since 2002 when she was serving her second term on the Board of Trustees. Her fellow Trustees recognized her skills and talents and approached her to fill the open Executive Director position. During her tenure, Community Foundation assets have grown from $3.4 million to nearly $15 million, the service area has expanded from only Champaign County to its current nine-county area, and annual total grants, gifts and scholarships have grown from just under $200,000 per year to about one million dollars each year. Joan provides leadership, guidance and support to a variety of community coalitions looking to solve problems or make life better in their communities. She has held leadership positions in a variety of local, state and national community foundation-related organizations. Joan is a life-long resident of Champaign and holds graduate degrees in theater and business administration from the University of Illinois. Joan established the Foundation’s Center for Non-Profit Excellence through which she helps nonprofit organizations learn and use “best practices” in the areas of board training and development, strategic planning, fund development, stewardship, succession planning and other areas critical to success. She also serves on the Illinois Attorney General’s Charitable Trust Advisory Council.
Angie Hatfield Marker, Development Director
Angie Hatfield Marker was hired as the Development Director for the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois in March of 2018. She is responsible for advancing the mission of CFECI by developing donor relationships and increasing fundraising opportunities. Born in Danville and raised in Champaign, Angie is a graduate of Centennial High School and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication in 2003. She also won four Varsity I Letters while working as a student equipment-manager for the University of Illinois football team from 1999-2002. Angie has more than 15 years of sales, marketing and development experience. Prior to joining CFECI, Angie worked as Director of Development and Communications for Crisis Nursery in Urbana. She also worked for O’Brien Auto Park of Urbana for 13 years as Director of Business Development and Toyota Sales Manager. She has been actively volunteering in her community for more than two decades, serving on boards for the Urbana Business Association and the Crisis Nursery. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Fundraising Professionals of East Central Illinois. Angie and her husband, Dan, live in Champaign with their sons, Johnny and Dean.
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.