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Sunday, January 26, 2020

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR'S OFFICE: Gov. Pritzker Announces Appointments to Committee for Agricultural Education, Governors State University

State Government

By Press release submission | Jul 26, 2019


Illinois Governor's Office issued the following announcement on July 26.


Erika Allen will serve on the Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education.* Allen is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Operations for the Urban Growers Collective and the Co-Owner of Green Era Sustainability Partners. She is a visual artist and consults with individuals and organizations to support visioning and planning of social and economic change objectives through food, agriculture and green energy. Allen founded and was the Director of Growing Power - Chicago for 15-years prior to the closing of the organization in 2017. She has also served as Commissioner for the Chicago Park District from 2012 to 2017 and serves on the boards of Chicago Food Policy Action Council and Neighbor Space, as well as a founding member of the Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative. She received her MA in art psychotherapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Allyn Buhrow will serve on the Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education.* Buhrow is an Independent Sales Representative with Pioneer Seed, a DuPont Business, that serves farmers worldwide. Throughout his career, Buhrow has developed and implemented marketing programs which have allowed him to market and distribute $2.5 million dollars of Pioneer seed annually. In addition to his work with Pioneer, Buhrow has also managed and overseen the operations of his own Buhrow Farms for over 20 years. Buhrow has served on the Lee County Farm Bureau Board of Directors since 2005 and has been involved with both local and statewide agricultural education programs throughout his career. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Buhrow received his Bachelor's in Agriculture from the University of Illinois.


Doug Hanson will continue to serve on the Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education.* Hanson has worked with ProHarvest  Seeds and MWS Seeds since 2005 as a seed specialist, providing agronomic support and education to farmers. Prior to his work in sales, Hanson served as an FFA Advisor and high school agriculture education teacher from 1993-2005. In addition to his work in the field and in the classroom, Hanson remains a proud member of multiple professional associations including the Illinois Leadership Council for Agriculture Education, the Illinois Forage and Grassland Council, and the American Forage and Grassland Council. He received his Bachelor's in Agricultural Education in 1993 and his Master's in Agricultural Education in 1998.  


Kim Haywood Jr. will serve on the Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education.* Haywood Jr. serves as the middle school and high school science teacher at Brooklyn Unit School District #188, instructing 7th-12th grade students on agricultural, horticultural, earth and life science. In this role, Haywood Jr. has endeavored to cultivate partnerships that have resulted in over $15,000 in scholarships for college-bound seniors. This is in addition to his fundraising efforts which allowed Haywood to build a greenhouse on the school's campus that supports community-wide initiatives. As the recipient of the 2018 St. Louis American Excellence in Education Award, Haywood is recognized as both an Educator and Agriculturist in the East St. Louis community. Haywood is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale where he received his Bachelor of Science in 2007.


Jody Heavner will serve on the Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education.* Heavner is the Agriculture Instructor and FFA Advisor at Pittsfield High School. In her time at Pittsfield High School, the FFA Chapter has seen renewed success with state proficiency award winners and state winning teams as well as being named the National Winner of the National FFA Chapter Award for Building Communities. Heavner previously taught at Union High School in Biggsville and as an adjunct professor at John Wood Community College. In addition to education, she has held positions in the agribusiness and agriculture research fields. Heavner is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Animal Science.


Kaizad Irani will serve on the Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education.* Irani serves as a professor at both Parkland College and the University of Illinois where he has taught courses in AgriBusiness, Sales, Landscape Designee, and Construction and Innovative Thinking. In addition to instruction, Irani also serves as the Program Director of Agriculture and Engineering Science Technologies at Parkland College, a role he has held since 2003. Prior to his career in higher education, Irani worked in design and building management. Irani holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the College of Architecture in Poona, India as well as both his Master's in Architecture and Master's in Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois.


Amy Leman will continue to serve on the Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education.* Dr. Leman is an Extension Specialist with the University of Illinois, State 4-H Office focusing on evaluation and professional development. Her research interests are in models of positive youth development, teen leadership and adult collaboration methods. Prior to her current position, she served as a county 4-H Youth Development Extension Educator in Macon County, specializing in teen leadership and urban agricultural education. She also serves as an adjunct professor for the University of Illinois Agricultural Education program and Millikin University Center for Entrepreneurship. Dr. Leman has a Doctorate and Master's in Public Administration from the University of Illinois at Springfield and a Bachelor's Degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Gary Ochs will serve on the Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education.* Ochs has taught at the University of Illinois in the Agricultural Education Program since 2013 where he has instructed students on a variety of courses. He has focused his experience on working individually with students as both a Clinical Experience Coordinator and an Academic Advising Coordinator. In addition to his work in university education, Ochs served as the middle school and high school agriculture teacher and FFA Advisor at Red Hill Junior/Senior High School. Ochs maintains his devotion to agricultural education as a member of the Illinois Foundation FFA Board and as the Secretary and Treasurer of Alpha Tau Alpha, a national professional honorary agriculture educational organization. Ochs holds an Associate Degree in Science from Wabash Valley College and both his Bachelor and Master of Science from the University of Illinois.


Aimee Poskin will continue to serve on the Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education.* Poskin serves as the Marketplace Learning and Development Manager for Farm Credit Illinois. She concentrates her efforts on continues learning and member engagement, with an emphasis on young and beginning farmers. With a passion for agriculture and learning, Poskin works to coordinate relevant training and workshops to ensure the success and satisfaction of all cooperative members. She previously served as an HR and training specialist at Hobbico and as a 4-H program coordinator at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she received her Master's in agriculture education and leadership and Bachelor's in animal sciences.


Suzanne Schafer will serve on the Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education.* Schafer has taught agriculture in high schools for 23 years. She currently teaches at Taylorville High School and advises the local Future Farmers of America chapter. Throughout her time, Schafer has mentored 267 Student Section FFA Proficiency Award Winners, 135 Student District 4 Proficiency Award Winners, 56 Student State Proficiency Award Winners, 3 Student National Proficiency Award Winners and 1 Student Star Over America. She began her career in 1996 when she graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture Education.



Kevin Brookins will serve on the Board of Trustees of Governors State University.* Brookins is a retired electric utility executive with 33 years of experience. Prior to his retirement, he served in a number of key positions, including senior vice president of Strategy & Administration; vice president, Operational Strategy & Business Intelligence; vice president, Distribution System Operations; vice president, Work Management and New Business; vice president, Customer Field Operations, ComEd and PECO; director, Construction and Maintenance, ComEd Chicago Region; and director, Regional Operations, ComEd Southeast Region. Brookins started his career in 1983 with ComEd as a corporate planning analyst. He held various engineering positions and supervised design engineers, including reviewing and approving electric distribution facilities at Chicago's Navy Pier and United Center. As an electric supplier services manager, he negotiated retail access rules with suppliers, consumer groups, and other interested parties at the Illinois Commerce Commission in preparation for retail customers choosing a supplier other than ComEd. He received his Master of Business Administration from Governors State University and his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Howard University.


John Brudnak will serve on the Board of Trustees of Governors State University.* Brudnak has spent the last 32 years as a sales representative for Steel and Wire Co. and also currently serves as the president pro-tem of the Orland Fire Protection District Board of Trustees. He's served on the fire board since his appointment in 2011 and was re-elected to a six-year term in 2013. Brudnak previously served on the Orland School District 135 from 2001 to 2011 where he was vice president and participated in numerous committees, including contract negotiations. He received his bachelor's in business administration and marketing from St. Mary's College.


Lisa Harrell will serve on the Board of Trustees of Governors State University.* Harrell has more than 30 years of experience in business consulting, human capital management, leadership development and change management and currently serves as the Chief People Officer at Cleveland Avenue, a hybrid accelerator, venture capital and consulting firm that strategically invests in restaurant, food and beverage concepts and emerging brands. Before joining CA, Harrell founded AMD Business Solutions, Inc., a human capital solutions and consulting firm. Prior to that, she served as Vice President of Human Capital and Executive Development for UnitedHealth Group (UHG) Company where she led the development of high potential leadership. Her career started in the hospitality industry, staffing and training employees for a major Chicago hotel chain. Harrell holds a Master's in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Interpersonal Communications.


Angela Hickey will serve on the Board of Trustees of Governors State University.* Hickey serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Chicago law firm, Levenfeld Pearlstein (LP), where she has worked in various leadership capacities since 1999. A huge proponent of creating opportunities for others, Hickey has been a member of the Catholic Charities Board of Advisors for more than 10 years. She also lends her time and leadership abilities to the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago & Northwest Indiana's "Camp CEO" program. Hickey earned her B.S. in Accounting from Governors State University and her MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management. She is a licensed CPA and holds a graduate certificate in leadership coaching from Georgetown University.


James Kvedaras will serve on the Board of Trustees of Governors State University.* Kvedaras recently retired after 37 years in the railroad industry, assuming roles of increased responsibility across a number of departments, including Director of U.S. Government Affairs, where he managed state and local Government Affairs for sixteen states. He now continues to give of his personal time on boards and committees for several organizations, including Governors State University, the Chicago South Suburban Mass Transit District (representing his home town of Homewood), the Cancer Support Center of Homewood and Mokena, and has started doing independent business consulting for a local community college. Kvedaras received his MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and his Bachelor's in Business Administration from Governors State University.


Anibal Taboas will continue to serve on the Board of Trustees of Governors State University.* Taboas has served on the GSU board since 2012, chairing the Academic Affairs Committee. He also is an executive consultant to industry, educational and governmental agencies with a focus on strategic leadership and risk management. Taboas previously served as president and CEO of Aspira Inc. of Illinois, a non-profit dedicated to leadership development. He also worked at Argonne National Laboratory as a principal mechanical engineer and at the U.S. Department of Energy as an Assistant Manager for Programs and Projects. He received his Master of Science in Nuclear & Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University, Master of Science in Physics from Indiana State University, and Bachelor's in Physics and Theology from the University of Dayton.


* Appointment pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate.

Original source can be found here.

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