George J. Gordon is professor emeritus of politics and government at Illinois State University, having retired in 2002 after 32 years on the faculty. Since retiring he has served as an adjunct professor of politics and government at Illinois State University, and also as an adjunct professor of political science at Illinois Wesleyan University. His specialties
include government administration, urban/metropolitan politics, and American federalism. He earned his B.A. from Penn State University, his M.A. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and his Ph.D. from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
He is coauthor of Public Administration in America, 11th edition (forthcoming), a leading textbook for both undergraduate and graduate introductory courses in public administration. He also has published articles in Public Administration Quarterly, Journal of the American Planning Association, and Publius: The Journal of Federalism, as well as in several books of collected readings.
Gordon was first elected to the McLean County Board in 1996. He serves as chairperson of the board’s Land Use and Development Committee and as a member of the Executive Committee. For more than 40 years he has been an active member of Moses Montefiore Congregation, where he has served as a trustee, vice president, and president. He serves as chairperson of the Worship Committee and as director of the Temple’s High Holyday Choir.
Gordon is also a member of the Unit 5 Superintendent’s Diversity Advisory Committee, the Cedar Ridge Elementary School Promise Council, the Ecology Action Center Board of Directors, and the Friends of the Constitution Trail.
Gordon and his wife, Myra Gordon, have two children. Dan is an editor in Washington, D.C., and Rachel is a graduate student at the Fletcher School and Tufts University in Boston. George and Myra very much enjoy attending local theater, music, and sports events, especially Redbird basketball and Cornbelters baseball.
Myra Gordon has served as the executive director of the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation since mid-2007, after retiring from State Farm in 2006. She began her State Farm career as an intern during her studies for her master’s degree in English at Illinois State University. Prior to her years at State Farm, Gordon was executive director of Operation Recycle during the years it was a full-time, full-service, community recycling center. She also worked as an environmental educator around the state of Illinois for the Central States Education Center of Champaign, helping to develop its Model Community Program. She worked as a field advisor and public relations director for the Centrillio Girl
Scout Council, and as a field advisor for the Greater St. Louis Girl Scout Council.
Gordon also has extensive volunteer experience. She is a past, two-term, copresident of the McLean County League of Women Voters, and a long-term board member of the Ecology Action Center. During her career at Operation Recycle, she was on the board of the Illinois Recycling Association and served as its treasurer. She is a member of the Moses Montefiore Congregation Social Action Committee, and cochair of its annual Mitzvah Day (Day of Good Deeds). She is also a past president of the Temple Sisterhood.
Gordon graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a bachelor’s in sociology in 1970, and received her master’s degree from Illinois State University in 1997. While at Illinois State she was a founding member and copresident of a chapter of the Society for Technical Communication,
Gordon and her husband, George, a retired Illinois State University professor, reside in Normal. They have two grown children. Dan is an editor in Washington, D.C., and Rachel is a graduate student at the Fletcher School and Tufts University in Boston. Myra enjoys music of many kinds, Redbird basketball, theater, reading, book collecting, and swimming. Her greatest joys are encouraging community activism and helping to build local philanthropy.
Erwin “Mac” McEwen is the director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). In this capacity he is responsible for the safety and well-being of children who are reported to be abused or neglected, and for increasing their families’ capacity to safely care for them.
Prior to his appointment as director, McEwen served as deputy director of the Division of Monitoring and Quality Assurance of DCFS for four years. His division was responsible for monitoring private child welfare agencies contracted with DCFS, agency and institution licensing, day care centers and homes, audits, performance-based contracts, and DCFS quality assurance. He ensured that DCFS and POS staff met the mandates for ongoing Quality Assurance and Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) activities. Utilizing standards and processes provided by the Department’s Child and Family Services Review, the Council on Accreditation, the Outcome Enhancement Review, and the CQI, he ensured that the department provided positive outcomes for Illinois children and families.
Prior to his appointment in state government, McEwen served as child welfare administrator at Lakeside Community Committee, where he oversaw four core child-welfare programs. He has committed more than 20 years of service to youth and families in the Illinois social services community, serving at Kaleidoscope, DCFS, Hull House, and Lakeside. McEwen serves as a member of the Administration of Children and Families— Center for the Study of Social Policy, American Humane Association National Quality Improvement on Fatherhood Issues and Child Welfare, National Child Workforce Institute Advisory Committee, and The Children’s Trust and Prevention Fund—National Advisory Committee on Quality Improvement and Early Childhood.
He is a recipient of the University of Chicago’s Evelyn Harris Ginsburg Memorial Prize and Elinor Nims Brink Fellowship. He received the We Care Role Model Award from the Chicago Police Department and Board of Education. In addition to his bachelor’s degree, McEwen holds a master’s degree from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration, with a clinical concentration in family systems.
McEwen and his wife, Debee, reside in Chicago. He is the father of three children— Jelani (Tessa), Caleb, and Hannah—and has one grandchild, Via Lourdes.
Dean Miller has spent the majority of his career in the high-end sector of the consumer electronics industry, with a short stint in the luxury automobile business. He joined Nakamichi America Corporation shortly out of school and worked there for 13 years, serving as president for seven years in Torrance, California. Moving back to the Chicago area in 1990, Miller served as president of Bang & Olufsen America for eight years. After an atypical recruitment process, he was appointed president of Rolls-Royce & Bentley Motor Cars, Inc., which is the Americas’ subsidiary of the Crewe-based luxury automobile manufacturer based in Paramus, New Jersey. For the past nine years Miller served as
president of The Quest Group, an Irvine, California, manufacturer of the AudioQuest and WireLogic brands of premium performance audio/video cables. Miller was appointed president and CEO of the Lenbrook America, owners of the NAD brand of electronics and PSB loudspeakers. The company is also the distributor of Tivoli Audio, which is a line of high-performance radios and iPod related products.
Miller has served on the board of the Consumer Electronics Association’s Audio Division; PARA (Professional Audio/Video Retailers Association); the Luxury Marketing Council; and TS Consulting, a career counseling/recruiting company. Miller was on the gymnastics team during his freshman year at Illinois State University and was a member of Gamma Phi Circus for four years. He was also a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon,
the national economics honorary society.
He and his wife, Patti, have been married for 28 years and make their home in Palos Verdes, California. They have two sons. Ryan is a recent graduate of University of Colorado, Boulder. Kyle is a senior at California State University, Chico.
Alfred Runte is an internationally recognized public historian specializing in protected lands and national parks. He advised Ken Burns during the production of The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, and appeared in all six episodes of the Emmy award-winning series. Burns wrote of Runte’s contribution: “Like John Muir, Al Runte has felt the siren call of our saved—and sacred—places, and, like John Muir, he has found a way to share their glories with power and poetry.”
Before coming to Illinois State University in 1969, Runte earned his B.A. in history from Harpur College of the State University of New York at Binghamton (now Binghamton University). Binghamton is his hometown. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1976. His master’s thesis at Illinois State University was titled “The Scenic Preservation Movement in the United States, 18641916.” It inspired his doctoral dissertation on the national park idea. Published in 1979 as National Parks: The American Experience, the book is now in its fourth edition and continues to guide conservationists around the world in the establishment and management of protected lands.
Runte describes his career path as the lending of academic rigor to public service. In 1979 he was appointed assistant director and assistant professor of Environmental Studies at Baylor University, and then moved to the University of Washington to be closer to the national parks. Between 1980 and 1983 he did hands-on research as a seasonal ranger in Yosemite National Park, where his visitor programs included a reminder that America’s railroads were once crucial in building parks. His research in Yosemite led to two books, Trains of Discovery: Western Railroads and the National Parks (1984), and Yosemite: The Embattled Wilderness (1990). Beginning in 1989 Runte was centennial historian for theU.S. Forest Service, celebrating the nation’s first forest reserves (1891–1991), for which he wrote the exhibit catalogue, Public Lands, Public Heritage: The National Forest Idea.
From 1991 to 2001 Runte served on the board of trustees and advisory board of the National Parks Conservation Association. In 2003 he helped launch Natureza & Conservação, a new international journal of ecology published in Brazil. Runte was then invited to deliver the opening plenary address at the Fourth Brazilian Congress on Parks and Protected Areas, held in 2004 in Curitiba. “It was humbling,” Runte noted. “1800 people listened expectantly to my recommendations for the future of parks in their country. What could I tell them but to follow their hearts and learn from our mistakes?”
In recent years Runte has busied himself with saving railroads as effective allies of open space, a contribution he develops in Allies of the Earth: Railroads and the Soul of Preservation (2006). An expanded fifth edition of Trains of Discovery: Railroads and the Legacy of Our National Parks will also appear this summer.
Runte’s hobbies, of sorts, are public speaking and writing op-eds for national newspapers. He has been a guest on Nightline, The Today Show, 48 Hours, the History and Travel channels, and in numerous PBS documentaries. He works out of his basement office in Seattle, supervised by George and Gracie, the family cats. His wife, Christine, is registrar at the Museum of Flight. She hopes to catalogue a space shuttle into the collection that is already renowned for its fighter and commercial aircraft. They have been married for 27 years. “I only wish I had met her at Illinois State,” Runte wrote. “Then she would know why I talk about ISU so much.”
Ken Schrankel was employed with International Flavors and Fragrances, Inc. (IFF) for more than 27 years before retiring in September 2008. During his career with IFF, he was actively engaged in the world of safety and regulatory compliance of flavors used in food and beverages, as well as fragrances used in cosmetics and household products. His expertise and dedication are well recognized within IFF and by industry, regulatory, and scientific experts.
After his arrival at IFF as a research toxicologist, Schrankel’s responsibilities quickly grew. In November 1992 he was appointed vice president (IFF-U.S.) and global director of Safety Assurance. In this position he had global functional responsibility for the IFF Corporate Safety Assurance (CSA) groups located throughout the IFF world. His responsibilities included all IFF flavor and fragrance product safety assurance, as well as coordinating regulatory and scientific representation at international, regional, and national flavor and fragrance trade organizations. In 2003 Schrankel was appointed vice president, Regulatory Policy and Industry Issues. He guided IFF through the challenging regulatory policies and issues that impacted not only IFF, but also the flavor and fragrance industry trade associations and customers. Beyond authoring 20 patents on insect semiochemicals (attractants and repellents), he has published one book chapter and 16 scientific papers. In addition to his valued contributions to IFF, Schrankel has significantly impacted the industry and regulatory worlds. In recognition of his expertise and insight, he was asked to serve on many committees, including the International Fragrance Association’s Scientific Committee. He was selected as the U.S. Flavor and Extract Manufacturers’ Association’s representative to the International Organization of the Flavor Industry’s Technical Experts Committee. He served as a member of the board of directors of the Toxicology Forum. From 1993 through 1997 he served as vice chairman and member of the National Advisory Committee for Food Hygiene and Inspection of Imported Food of the People’s Republic of China.
Schrankel played an important role in all of the issues that challenged the industry, whether it involved regulatory compliance (e.g. country chemical control regulations, etc.), scientific issues (environmental and human health hazard and risk assessments), or policy development. He raised important issues, provided valuable insight and recommendations, and worked tirelessly to resolve many of the issues in a transparent and consensus-building manner.
In recognition of his accomplishments, Schrankel was the recipient of an Alumni Achievement Award from Illinois State University in 2005 and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the U.S. Fragrance Materials Association in 2009.
Before joining IFF in 1981, Schrankel studied the toxicity of chlorinated compounds as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Environmental Toxicology and Department of Entomology following a year of postdoctoral training in the Department of Biology and Institute of Developmental Biology at Texas A&M University.
Schrankel grew up on a dairy farm in northwest Wisconsin. While pursuing his graduate studies at Illinois State, he was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam era and served the U.S. military at an army hospital in Munich, Germany, where he met and married his wife, Dawn. Ken and Dawn have been married more than 40 years. They are the parents of two sons, Peter and Stephan (deceased). In retirement, Schrankel enjoys part-time consulting, reading, and traveling.
Tom Sheridan is entering his 16th season with the Chicago White Sox. A 1990 graduate of Illinois State University with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a minor in economics, he also was a member of the Redbird baseball team.
In 1991 Sheridan began his sports career as a summer sales intern with the Chicago Bulls, where he sold advertising space in the official program of the team. At the conclusion of this internship he took a telemarketing position with the Chicago White Sox organization. He sold season, group, and party area tickets and learned the “art of sales,”
which is moving on to the next call on the list undaunted after hearing “NO.”
Sheridan was offered a full-time position with the White Sox in 1992 as an account executive. He serviced more than 1,200 season and group accounts until he left in 1995 to take a position at Elite Marketing. There he gained valuable sponsorship sales experience, working as the manager of Sports Marketing and Sales for the company. He sold local sports programs for the professional Chicago sports teams. He also managed the Chicago Tribune Press Pass promotions, which was one of the longest running renewal programs in their history.
In 1997 he took the director of marketing and advertising position at Balmoral Park Racetrack. His responsibilities included all sales, marketing, special events, advertising planning, and facilitation as it pertained to the live racing season. He was involved in cross-marketing with Intertrack Partners, which is a chain of 14 satellite restaurants and bars that promote racing and allow betting on local and national races.
Sheridan returned to the Chicago White Sox in 1999 as their manager of ticket sales, where he was responsible for the implementation of all sales strategies as they pertained to ticket sales and service. He developed and managed all tickets sales budgets and wrote the marketing plan for his department.
In 2004 he added premium seating to his responsibilities and is now the director of ticket sales. He has developed and overseen the creation of the United Scout Seats, Home Plate Club, Fan Deck, and Warning Track areas during a seven-year renovation plan. He has also restructured and expanded his staff into a proactive sales group specializing in separate areas of the sales process. Revenues have expanded more than 45 percent since the 2004 season.
Sheridan married Mary (Broedlow) 13 years ago. She graduated in 1992 from Illinois State with a bachelor’s degree in accountancy. They have a daughter, Grace, and son, Ryan, who keep Sheridan busy in the off season.
Mary J. Turilli is a long-time associate of Hyatt Hotels Corporation. She is vice president of Real Estate and Development, Corporate Transactions Group. She is responsible for major transactional activities related to Hyatt’s existing assets, including hotel management agreements, franchise agreements, and related relationships in connection with 453 Hyatt properties located in 45 countries. Her work includes bringing value to Hyatt while proactively managing a variety of matters and risks through situational analysis, strategic development, and implementation of resolutions for a variety of challenges faced by managers, owners, and lenders in the hospitality industry.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation is an impressive employer in that it takes the time to develop and promote its promising associates. Turilli’s first role at Hyatt was the administrative assistant to the general counsel. Her accomplishments and potential were quickly recognized by Hyatt, with numerous promotions during her tenure of more than 28 years. She has enjoyed all of her roles at Hyatt, and is grateful for the privilege of working with brilliant associates in the U.S.A. and the international arena on interesting matters. She has been involved in the reorganization of Braniff Airlines, acquisitions and dispositions of various assets, financial workouts, and the development of Hyatt hotels located Baku, Azerbaijan; Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic; Almaty, Kazakhstan; Zurich, Switzerland; Thessaloniki, Greece; Dubai, U.A.E.; and Kiev, Ukraine. Turilli has authored publications related to compliance with the American Disabilities Act, as well as additional research tools that are utilized by Hyatt associates worldwide.
Turilli competed on the Individual Events team at Illinois State, which is part of the Forensics Union. As a competitor she won numerous trophies. As a graduate assistant she coached Individual Events team members, who consistently placed well and added to the Forensics Union’s trophy case. During 1977–1978 she served as president of the Forensics Union. In 1985 she was a speaker at Communication Week and was awarded the Outstanding Communication Alum Award. She serves as a member of the Advisory Board to the School of Communication.
Turilli makes her home in a Chicago suburb. She is involved in the good works of The Alvernia Food Pantry at St. Celestine’s, which is a part of her special interest in respectful, affordable, and kind elder care. In her spare time she enjoys sewing, practicing yoga, gardening, and spending time with her wonderful family and friends.