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Board Members

The Illinois 4-H Foundation Board consists of volunteers from around the state with a variety of professional backgrounds and 4-H experiences. In addition to making gifts to the Illinois 4-H Foundation themselves, board members provide advice, counsel, and expertise to the fundraising, marketing, and communication operations of the Foundation.

Board members assist the Illinois 4-H Foundation in raising more private funds and recruiting new individuals, corporations, and organizations to provide financial support towards Illinois 4-H. Each board member has a personal commitment helping equip Illinois 4-H youth with leadership, citizenship, and life skills.

Our Board of Directors

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Karl Barnhart

Karl Barnhart

Sangamon County
A farm-boy from Pennsylvania, Karl is the Chief Marketing Officer of BRANDT in Springfield, IL. In that role, he leads the company’s corporate marketing efforts across the organization’s three global operating divisions. He is also a board member of Brandt Consolidated, Inc. Karl recently moved to the Midwest after 21 years in New York City. There, he held leadership positions in a number of strategic branding agencies, serving as partner and president of CoreBrand for the last several years. At CoreBrand, Karl was responsible for the company’s direction, client relationships and marketing while managing several of the firm’s most prominent clients including Cisco Systems, AT&T, Delphi Automotive, Ranger Boats, NASCAR, Ciba Specialty Chemicals, and MasterCard. Karl has a B.S. in technical writing and editing from Carnegie Mellon University.
Kevin Carey

Kevin Carey

Grundy County
Kevin Carey was an 11 year 4-H member in Grundy County. He served as a representative and chairman of the Illinois State 4-H Youth Leadership Team and a Speaking for Illinois 4-H trainer. Kevin is a local volunteer in his home county, Grundy, where he serves on his county fair board. While being a 4-H member, Kevin had the chance to hold offices on the club, local, and state level, which allowed him to explore leadership development to its fullest potential. Currently, Kevin serves as the Assistant Director of Student Life at Ball State University, primarily working with the Greek community. Kevin completed his Bachelor of Arts in English at Illinois Wesleyan University and his Master of Arts in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education at Ball State University. In his free time, Kevin enjoys writing and researching, serving as a volunteer for his fraternity, and exploring the Indianapolis and Muncie, Indiana area.
Roger Clark

Roger Clark

Cook County
Roger has been involved in fiduciary real estate management for 33 years and currently is a Senior Asset Manager with The Northern Trust Company in Chicago concentrating on acquisitions, liquidation, and management of personal residences for high net worth clients.  Raised on a corn/soybeans and beef cattle farm near Homer, Illinois (Champaign County), Roger was an active member in the Royal 4-H Club and showed purebred Polled Hereford cattle at numerous central Illinois fairs.  After graduating with an Ag Economics degree from the University of Illinois in 1979, Roger joined Continental Bank in Chicago as a farm manager.  

Current interests and volunteering involve a diverse range including Gerber/Hart Library & Archives, the Chicago Farmers, and University of Illinois Library Friends Board as well as a strong interest in European history & travel.
Brian Deverman

Brian Deverman

St. Charles, MO

Raised on a farm in west central Illinois, with 18 years of agribusiness experience, Brian Deverman is a Vice President at Osborn Barr in St. Louis, MO.

Brian was raised in Greenview, Illinois, (Menard County) on a small grain operation.   A fifth generation farmer, he grew up working land that has been in his family for over 100 years.  He studied agricultural economics at the University of Illinois, and has spent his career working in just about every level of agriculture including sales, marketing, product development, management, training, distribution, strategy, advertising and marketing communications.  He is passionate about agriculture and gives his experience in 4-H as an important contributor to his career successes.  Brian is married to his lovely wife Kristin and has three children, Kenton, Brant, and Katelyn.

Caleb Grover

Caleb Grover

Caleb Grover is a tenth year 4-H member from Christian County. He is currently serving as the Illinois State 4-H Youth Leadership Team Representative. Caleb has served as President and Secretary of his local 4-H Federation and is the current President of the New Vision 4-H club in Christian County. He has been a Speaking for Illinois 4-H member since 2016. Caleb credits, 4-H with developing him into a better leader over the last few years. In his spare time, Caleb enjoys researching cancer through a S.P.I.N. Club at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. Caleb's future aspirations include going to Medical School to study Emergency Medicine or Biotechnology.
Paul Hadden

Paul Hadden

DuPage County
Paul is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago with a bachelor's in Kinesiology, with a specializion in athletic training. He went on to Concordia University Wisconsin, where he received his master's in Physical Therapy. Paul has always taken an interest in how health care and agriculture are related. Hadden Farms, in Jacksonville, annually provides farm tours and education for approximately 500 children yearly. A key component of the education they provide lies on explaining where their food comes from and the importance of healthy living. In addition, they have started a business in which they sell their farm raised beef and pork to customers in Chicago, where Paul resides. Paul is a partner and regional manager for Athletico Physical Therapy, an orthopedic and sports medicine company. He and his wife Kristen have a son and a daughter. Paul was an 11 year member of North Side Ag 4-H Club in Morgan county. He attended the National Club Congress in Chicago in 1987 and was a Illinois FFA Star Farmer finalist.
Heather Hampton+Knodle

Heather Hampton+Knodle

Montgomery County

Heather Hampton+Knodle was a 10-year 4-Her in Shelby County, Illinois. She currently resides in Montgomery County where she and her husband, Brian Knodle, farm and have four children. Heather’s past experience managing and working in associations such as Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, the Upper Mississippi, Illinois and Missouri Rivers Association, and Illinois drainage has provided her with a perspective of agriculture and rural development issues throughout Illinois. She currently serves on the Vision of Illinois Agriculture planning committee, Business Climate team, on the University of Illinois College of ACES ACE Department and Western Illinois University School of Agriculture advisory boards. Heather has served in leadership positions for the Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education, the Leadership Council for Ag. Ed., CFAR, Illinois and American Agri-Women and she is an alumnae of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program.

Madelyn Heidtke

Madelyn Heidtke

McHenry County

Madelyn is a fourth generation 4-H alumna from McHenry County. During her time in 4-H, she was involved in a variety of project areas such as sewing, photography, and horses. Besides holding leadership positions within her club, she was also a McHenry County Ambassador. As an Ambassador, she advocated for the program in the community. Madelyn’s passion for 4-H lead her to 4-H House Cooperative Sorority at the University of Illinois, where she has met lifelong friends. Currently, Madelyn is serving on the 4-H House Executive Board as the External Relations Chair for the Fall 2020 semester.

As a current student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Madelyn is majoring in Animal Sciences and minoring in Leadership Studies. At UIUC, she is involved within the ACES community. Madelyn is an Animal Science Ambassador, serves on the ACES Student Advancement Committee, a member of the Collegiate Farm Bureau, and a member of the Agriculture Communicators of Tomorrow. Her involvement in various clubs and organizations gives her the opportunity to network with her peers, ACES faculty and alumni, and industry professionals.

Jerry Hicks

Jerry Hicks

Sangamon County

Jerry is co-owner of Agrivest, Inc., Springfield, IL. This farm management and real estate sales company manages farmland all over central Illinois. Growing up in Lee County on a grain and livestock farm, Jerry raised and showed Angus cattle, show steers, and Quarter horses and was a 10 year 4-H member. His BS and MS Animal Science degrees from the U of IL led him into the Extension Service as an Ag 4-H Advisor and later as a Regional Livestock Specialist. He joined the IL Pork Producers as Executive Vice-President before moving to the farm management business with First National Bank of Springfield’s Trust Department.

Jerry was also a 23 year 4-H leader and has received the Friend of IL 4-H Award. He volunteers as President of Extension Partners, a volunteer group supporting IL Extension. He is active in many organizations and enjoys singing, gardening and raising rabbits. Rabbits began as a 4-H project for his children. All three are 10 year 4-H members and have exhibited 4 Champion Pens at the IL State Fair. Jerry and his wife, Jill, are both alums of U of IL.

Dan Kelley

Dan Kelley

McLean County

Dan Kelley, former Chairman of the Board and President of GROWMARK, Inc was a 10 year member of Linden Lead'Em 4-H club in McLean County, Illinois earning the KEY Club award.  He continued his involvement with 4-H by serving twenty-three years as a co-leader of Linden Lead'Em and served on the McLean County Fair board for six years.  He also served as a trustee for the Mosbacher Scholarship Fund, named after the former McLean County Extension Advisor Eugene Mosbacher.

Dan farms in McLean County with his brothers and son and serves on the boards of CoBank headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado and Nationwide Mutual Insurance company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.  Dan also chairs the board of the Illinois Ag Leadership program, serves on the board of Trustees of the Illinois State University Foundation, and is a past president of ISU's alumni association.

In 2015 he received the Illinois 4-H Alumni Award.  Dan and his wife Pam have three children and seven grandchildren, all of whom live in the Bloomington -Normal area.

Nic Koester

Nic Koester

Nic is an Asset Manager at The Northern Trust Company in Chicago. There he concentrates on acquisitions, liquidation, and management of farm, ranch, and timber properties for trust clients of the bank.

Prior to moving to Chicago, Nic was an Account Executive for AcreValue software at Granular. He received his bachelor’s degree in Agricultural & Consumer Economics from the University of Illinois in Champaign, IL.

Before Champaign and Chicago, he called Effingham home and was an annual attendee of the local county fair. He knew of 4-H through his grandparents’ involvement in the ag industry, the county fair, and his wife’s past involvement with showing livestock in 4-H. In recent years he participated with his wife’s family in assisting in the McHenry County 4-H Cattle Auction. Following those experiences, Nic has chosen to join the 4-H board to further support 4-H’s empowering youth mission.

George Obernagel

George Obernagel

Monroe County

George Obernagel was a 10 year 4-H member of the Broadhollow Redbirds and Gobblersknob 4-H Clubs in St. Clair County, IL. George completed his Bachelor of Arts in Business and Accounting from McKendree College and his Graduate of Trust School from Northwestern University. His family farm operates 14,800 acres located in Nebraska, Arkansas, and Illinois- with livestock, purebred Angus. George is the Vice President, Trust Officer, and Farm Manager of West Pointe Bank and Trust Company in Belleville, IL. He has part ownership of 12 John Deere Dealerships and is the owner of Waterloo Republic Times Newspaper. He serves on the Monroe County 4-H Foundation and the Harvest Night Committee, which is a large fundraiser for the county program. George currently resides in Waterloo, IL.

Dave Randall

Dave Randall

Lake County
Dave was raised on a grain and livestock farm near Chrisman, Illinois. He was a ten year 4-H club member in Edgar County. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Agriculture and Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant. Upon graduation, Dave began a career in public accounting in Chicago where many of his clients were agribusinesses. For the last 20 years, he has served in CFO and CEO positions for large and midsized companies in the plastic packaging industry. His companies make plastic containers for companies such as Procter & Gamble, JM Smucker, Kraft Foods, SC Johnson, Clorox and Chick-fil-A. Dave lives in Deer Park, Illinois with his wife, Sue. They also own and maintain the family farm near Chrisman that has been in the Randall family for 186 years. Sue and Dave have 4 children.
Jan Sibley

Jan Sibley

Lake County

Jan has been involved with large financial institutions her entire career, both as an executive officer and currently as a consultant with KPMG in Chicago. Raised on a cattle/corn farm near German Valley, IL in Stephenson County, Jan was an active member of the Golden Eagles 4-H club and served as summer intern for Stephenson County extension program, leading 4-H activities. She enjoyed showing cattle and participating in state level livestock judging contests.

Jan received her B. S. degree from Bradley University in Finance and her MBA from JL Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University in Economics and Finance. Jan and her husband, Jeff (a U of I AGR alum), live in Barrington, IL and have two daughters in college (one at U of I). Jan is also active in her local parish, St. Anne, and travels extensively, both through her profession as well as personally.

Sharon Tenhouse

Sharon Tenhouse

Adams County

Sharon recently retired after working for 34 years in public schools teaching elementary, Pre-K and Pre-K special education students.  She grew up on a livestock and grain farm near Champaign, Illinois, and was a ten year 4-H club member chosen to attend National Club Congress.  Sharon earned her B.S. and M.Ed. degrees from UIUC and is a 4-H House alumna.  A 4-H leader and Extension volunteer for 40 years, Sharon was honored with a 2013 Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame Award.  Sharon is an active volunteer in her church and community.  She is a past Board Member of the Illinois Math and Science Academy and is a member of the Adams County Children’s Mental Health Partnership Steering Committee.  Sharon and her husband, Art, live and farm near Liberty, Illinois, and have two children. 

Heather Thompson

Heather Thompson

McLean County

Heather grew up on a farm in McLean County, Illinois and was a 10-year member of the Downs Top Notchers 4-H club. Heather was actively involved with 4-H Federation and was a delegate to 4-H Congress. She also served as the McLean County Fair Queen and went on to represent county fairs and agriculture as the 2006 Illinois County Fair Queen.

Her experiences in 4-H led Heather to pursue a career in agriculture. She currently serves as the Manager of Young Producer Programs with GROWMARK. In this role, she is responsible for helping members build long-term relationships with the next generation of farmers. Heather has a B.S. in Communications and Political Science from Illinois College and an M.S. in Strategic Management from Indiana University.  She and her husband, Reid, have one son, Abe.

Jenny Webb

Jenny Webb

McLean County

Jenny grew up in McLean County, Illinois. As a member of the Blazing Saddles 4-H Club, she enjoyed exhibiting horses and visual arts projects as well as serving as a club officer. She earned her B.S. in Agribusiness from Illinois State University. Jenny currently serves as MSPR Program Manager in the Member Services and Public Relations (MSPR) division at Illinois Farm Bureau. In this role, she coordinates the statewide Young Leader programs for members ages 18-35. Prior to her current position, Jenny led the Youth Education and Collegiate Programs for Illinois Farm Bureau which incorporated work with both 4-H and FFA members, including the coordination of the Illinois Farm Bureau & Affiliates Youth Conference as well as the Premier 20 Conference, which brings together the top 10 Illinois 4-H and the top 10 Illinois FFA members for leadership training and networking. Jenny continues to supervise the Youth Education & Collegiate Programs while focusing most of her time on Young Leaders. She resides in Bloomington, Illinois, where she volunteers with the McLean County 4-H Horse Program.

Melissa Wilson

Melissa Wilson

Pope County

Melissa Wilson is an alumnus of the Pope-Hardin 4-H program and credits 4-H with equipping her with life skills and opening her mind to possibilities. As a teenager, Melissa served as a member and Vice-Chair of the Illinois 4-H Youth Leadership Team and state advisory committees. Melissa currently serves as the Youth Development Educator in Unit 24 serving Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Pope, Saline, and White counties.

She has served as President of the Illinois Extension Professionals for Youth Education and is an alumnus of the National Extension Leadership Development program. Melissa is a member of the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NAE4-HA), the Illinois Extension Professionals for Youth Education, and has been awarded the Achievement in Service Award by NAE4-HA.

Wilson is a proud Racer, receiving both her bachelor's in Agricultural Public Service in Leadership and her masters of Science degrees from Murray State University. She is a native of Pope County and resides there with her husband Greg, and son Coy David.

Board Member Emeritus

Lila Jeanne Eichelberger

Lila Jeanne Eichelberger

Champaign County
Lila Jeanne Eichelberger had a 40 year career as a home economics teacher. She retired in 1989 as department head from Centennial High School in Champaign. A member of 4-H House cooperative sorority, Lila Jeanne earned a Home Economics undergraduate degree and master’s degree from the University of Illinois. Lila Jeanne was a member of the Four Leaf Clover 4-H Club in Mason County. Lila Jeanne was elected to the Illinois 4-H Foundation Board in 1993 and served from 1993-1999. In 1999, she was named “Board Member Emeritus” in recognition of her effective leadership and tireless work in successfully transitioning the Illinois 4-H Foundation operations into the Office of Advancement in the College of ACES. Lila Jeanne is a charter member of the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame, was recognized with the Friend of Illinois 4-H Award in 1999, and was a 2016 inductee into the National 4-H Hall of Fame.

Ex-Officio Members