Deacon Patient is employed by Agri-Fab, Inc. in Sullivan IL. He has a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Mr. Patient is a member of Local Workforce Investment Board of LWIA 23 and the Lake Land College Foundation Board. Mr. Patient and his wife, Vanessa, have two children.
Tom Grunloh is the sole owner of Grunloh Construction, Inc. in Effingham, Illinois and has built, what started as a family business, into one of Central Illinois Largest Union Affiliated Commercial General Contractors. Tom is also an avid land developer. Tom is a life-long resident of Effingham. He is an active member in several non- profit boards along with a board member at National Bank of Hillsboro. Tom enjoys his life with his significant partner Autumn Koester and two Children Mailli (2014) and Logan (2015). Mr. Grunloh attended Lake Land College in 1981 & 1982 and studied Business Administration. He attributes much of his success on the education and experiences that he received at the college.
Richard Hartke, a Lake Land alumni, is a Financial Professional with The Prudential Insurance Company of America. He has been in the financial services industry for 20+ years serving both Effingham and Champaign, Illinois communities. He has earned MDRT Life Member designation, Life Founders Gold Award and Masters Council recognitions. Passionate for technology within education, Rich served on the Teutopolis committee, which raised funds to provide every student within Teutopolis schools a Chromebook. Rich and his wife, Angie, are life-long residents of Teutopolis, IL where they have raised their three children. He is also the President of Teutopolis Community For Progress, a board dedicated to the economic development and improvement of its community.
Renee serves as an Edward Jones financial advisor, joining the firm in 2008 and becoming a limited partner in 2015. Prior to that, Renee was an accountant for 12 years. A Mattoon native, Renee, is a graduate of Concordia University in River Forest, IL, with a bachelor of arts degree in management. Renee is involved in her community through the Mattoon Chamber of Commerce, Mattoon Exchange Club, Lincoln Sargent Farm Foundation board member, and team leader for Habitat for Humanity. Additionally, she attends Truth & Grace Fellowship Church. Renee has been honored with the Ted Jones Prospecting Award, A.F. McKenzie Award, Regional Leader Award, Leader Board record holder, Jack Phelan Award, Century Award; Pacesetter Award, Edward Jones Senior Founders Award, Eagle Award three times, Visiting Veteran Leader Board record holder, Ed Armstrong Achievement Award twice, and the Jim McKenzie Achievement Award four times. Renee married Michael Huckstead in July 2018. Michael, also a Mattoon native, works for JM Test where he recently celebrated 30 years with the company. Her son, Zach, graduated from American University in Washington, DC and currently lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with his wife, Meghan.
Ms. Shoot is the Comptroller for Lake Land College. Ms. Shoot serves as the treasurer of the Lake Land College Alumni Association. Ms. Shoot also teaches adjunct business classes for Lake Land College. She was previously employed as an Assistant Controller for a local manufacturing firm. She received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Eastern Illinois University and a Master’s in Business Administration and is also an alumni of Lake Land College.
Bio coming soon!
Larry Blackerby is a retired Television Executive with over 40 years of experience. He was an Emmy Award winning producer early in his career. Larry has managed stations all over the country with his most recent stops in Houston, TX and Indianapolis, IN. Larry is a 1975 graduate of Lake Land College and a 1977 graduate of Indiana State University. Larry and his wife Brenda (also an LLC grad) have one daughter, Hillary who lives in Santa Barbara, CA. Larry and Brenda reside in La Quinta, California. They are proud to be Lake Land grads and are always quick to give LLC much of the credit for any successes they have had. In 2011, they established the Blackerby Endowment for LLC broadcasting students.
Currently serves on the Board of Selectors for “Multiplying Good” a national organization formerly known as the Jefferson Awards
(Former board member of the following organization)
Houston Food Bank
Houston Big Brothers & Big Sisters
Indiana Broadcasters Association
Indiana State University development for College of Arts & Sciences
Bio coming soon.
Dr. Bullock joined Lake Land College on July 1, 2013. He has more than 20 years of experience in higher education following a successful career as an entrepreneur. Most recently he served as the vice president for strategic advancement at Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac, Wis., where he led strategic planning, new program development, marketing and grant funding initiatives. Dr. Bullock plans to become involved in the Lake Land College community by working with area businesses and engaging in community service. He has a doctoral degree from Marian University in Fond du Lac, a master’s in business administration from the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh and a bachelor’s of business administration from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
Christi Donsbach serves at the Executive Director for College Advancement at Lake Land College. In her role, Christi leads the Foundation and alumni areas of the college and serves as the chief executive officer of the Lake Land College Foundation. With a primary focus on philanthropy, alumni engagement and building of community partnerships, she works closely with key stakeholders both within the college and throughout the college district, and serves as a catalyst for donor and volunteer involvement for the Foundation through a variety of operational activities.
Christi joined the college in October of 2019 with more than 14 years of experience in fostering a culture of philanthropy in a college setting. Ms. Donsbach came to Lake Land College from Eastern Illinois University (EIU), where she served as the director of development and was responsible for the leadership and management of alumni and friends to an assigned fundraising portfolio, as well as planned giving. She also taught a university foundation introductory course and presented at several regional educational seminars.
Prior to joining EIU, Christi served as the director of donor & alumni relations at Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship in Effingham, director of development & alumni relations at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and director of development at Pony Bird Inc. in Mapaville, Missouri.
Christi holds memberships in Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) professionally, and in several community organizations. She recently served on the membership committee for AFP and served as co-chair for the CASE District V conference. She is a member of the Effingham Chamber of Commerce, a past member of the Effingham PEO, a member of the St. Aloysius Church has served as a mentor in Effingham County CEO. She was also recognized as one of Effingham Illinois’ Top Community Leaders Under 40 in 2015.
Christi has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a master’s degree in business administration from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She lives in Teutopolis with her husband, Jake, and their four children.
Kellie Eastham currently serves as Partner-Vice President of Personal Lines at Dimond Bros. Insurance. Kellie enjoys her role as a servant leader to her teams in IL, WI and IN. Prior to her time in insurance, she spent her career in the banking industry where she served the banking community for 15+ years. Kellie and her husband Cory reside in Paris, IL with their two children, Carter and Hadlee. Kellie has served as past Paris Chamber of Commerce President, as well as President of the Paris Business Women’s Club. You can find Kellie leading worship at her home church, or cheering on her kids at local softball, basketball, football, or baseball games.
Mr. Dragovan works in marketing and public relations at Lake Land College. He received his bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from Robert Morris College in Springfield, IL.
Austin Frank, Laker Nation class of 2006, serves as Vice President & Commercial Loan Officer for First Mid Bank & Trust in Mattoon. Austin helps individuals and businesses in Mattoon and surrounding communities with their financial needs. Austin is a member of the Mattoon Chamber of Commerce, Mattoon Emerging Leaders and supports many local charities. Austin previously served as student loan advisor and adjunct business instructor at Lake Land College. Austin also served on the Lake Land College Alumni Association Board of Directors, served as President of the Alumni Association and was the 2020 recipient of the Alumni Association’s Golden Apple award. Austin received his MBA and Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Eastern Illinois University and an Associate of Science degree in Business Administration from Lake Land College where he was a member of the men’s tennis team.
Blake Pierce is a Mattoon native who received his Bachelors in Finance and MBA at Eastern Illinois University in 2011 and 2012 respectively, and then joined Rural King in the Finance Department. Since that time, he has advanced through many roles and responsibilities assisting the company quadruple in revenue and double its number of locations to the national retailer they have become today. Currently Blake serves as the Director of Real Estate and Economic Development, where he is responsible for all aspects of the company real estate division and new store selection; along with enhancing the communities in which Rural King calls home. Blake also serves on a number of local boards and committees, and particularly enjoys assisting small businesses and promoting the local economy in his free time as well.
Wright, Laker Nation Class of 1973, brings a multitude of experience serving on boards and leading a business to the trustee position. He has served as the president of Wright’s Furniture in Dieterich for the past 30 years and is a member of the Cross at the Crossroads Board, the Dieterich Bank Board, the Alliance Board and the Dieterich Community Development Corporation. He has served on the Lake Land College Foundation Board of Directors for twelve years, including as president from 2010-2012, and he served on the St. Anthony Hospital Board of Directors for nine years and the Effingham County 911 Board for four years.
Wright received the Lake Land College Alumnus Achievement Award in 2009, the Lake Land College Foundation Crystal Swan Award in 2015 and was inducted into the inaugural class of the Distinguished Alumni Society in 2007. In 2018, Wright was named as one of Lake Land’s “Top 50 Most Influential People.”
Debra joined the U. S. Air Force after graduating from Duke University with degrees in nursing and history. Later, she completed her Master of Science in Nursing at the University of Cincinnati. After 15 years in the U. S. Air Force and attaining the rank of Major, Debra transitioned to civilian employment. As a nurse, Debra has worked in several different roles over the years: staff nurse, administrator, and pediatric nurse practitioner
Growing up in a military family and then being in the service herself, she moved thirty-three times before settling in Illinois with her husband and four daughters. After this final move, Debra chose not to work outside the home any further and devoted herself to philanthropy and her family. She has volunteered her time over a variety of community organizations; including Daughters of the American Revolution, PEO, church youth groups, local hospital committees, Women Connected Giving Circle and now Lake Land College Foundation Board of Directors
Meg Yargus Steward is a native to Marshall, IL and recently joined her family’s business, Yargus Enterprises, making up Hannig Construction, Central State Construction, B&S Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, and Crown Electric. Steward worked in the fertilizer industry for over a decade selling material handling equipment to key accounts. Her ease with customers, passion for customer service and ability to adapt easily will make her a good fit to grow the team and brands in the surrounding area. She is the Marketing Manager and earned her bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Butler University in 2006. Steward recently joined the Wabash Valley Crew Board and has been a supporter of Lake Land College for years. She sat on the Board of Trustees in 2017-2018 and rejoined for the Foundation Board in 2019. She also sits on the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemicals Association and PAC Boards based in Springfield, IL.
Linda grew up on a farm near Moonshine and has a love for farming and agriculture. She raises sheep with her family. She earned a Bachelor and Masters in Education from Eastern Illinois University. Linda retired from Lake Land College as the Associate Vice President for Workforce and was recognized as one of the Top 50 Most Influential People in Lake Land’s 50-year history. She served on the Martinsville School Board for over 26 years. She is currently involved with ECCEL Committee serving Edgar and Clark County students and WORC Board of Directors. Linda is an Elder at the Willow Creek Church. She is a life long resident of the Moonshine area.
Tom White is the Chief Technology Officer at Consolidated Communications and is responsible for the company’s network design and development, engineering, company facilities, corporate purchasing, and supply chain, in addition to the administration of the company’s capital investments.
He joined the company in 1992 as a Supervisor in the company’s former Operator Services division and has held multiple management and leadership positions during his career with the company including field operations, network operations, OSP and network engineering.
White is active in his local community and currently serves on the Lake Land Foundation and has served on the Coles Together Board, Charleston Excellence in Foundation Board and the CCAR Industries Board.
He earned in bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Virginia Commonwealth University and lives in Charleston with his wife and three children.