Board of Directors

Mr. Thomas D. Fliege, President (Term Expires 2019)

A 1977 graduate of Valparaiso University, Mr. Fliege earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a specialization in marketing. Becoming a fully licensed insurance professional since 1980, he has also earned professional insurance designations as a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), Associate in Risk Management (ARM), Certified Risk Manager (CRM), and Certified Workers Compensation Advisor (CWCA). Mr. Fliege began his insurance career as a personal lines agent for one of the largest insurance carriers in the United States and was promoted to District Manager in 1984. He joined Hawk Agency in 1990, was promoted to Sales Manager in 1995, Chief Operating Officer in 2000, and purchased the agency in 2003. Tom is a Past Chairman of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, and currently serves on its Board of Directors, as well as its Education Committee. Tom is a private pilot, with instrument and multi-engine ratings, and also enjoys fishing, hunting, and trap shooting. Tom and his wife, Dr. Cheryl Fliege, make their home in Peoria and have two adult children, Abigail and Andrew.

Mr. Will Ball, Vice President (Term Expires 2018)

Will Ball’s Caterpillar career includes cross functional and leadership experiences in the Caterpillar Foundation, product pricing, factory scheduling, new product introduction, manufacturing, accounting, auditing, governmental affairs (Washington, D.C., and Peoria-area), the Office of Business Practices and  Enterprise Fraud Compliance. His career spans seven Caterpillar divisions and six relocations -- including international experience in Singapore. As a former Vice President of the Caterpillar Foundation (2007-11), Ball led the Foundation’s global expansion and support of various human sustainability initiatives.  From 2007 to 2011, the Caterpillar Foundation’s philanthropic footprint expanded from 20 countries to over 70 countries. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Virginia State University and an MBA from Duke University’s Global Executive MBA program. Ball’s community service includes the boards of the USA for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation (First Vice Chair), Quest Charter Academy (Vice Chairman), Peoria Chamber of Commerce (former Chairman), The Greater Peoria Business Alliance (former Executive Committee member) and Singapore American School (former Vice Chairman).   At Caterpillar, Ball serves on the Caterpillar Political Action Committee Board and the corporate Benefits Funds Committee.

Mr. Glenn Ross, Treasurer/CFO (Term Expires 2020)

Glenn Ross is originally from Shreveport, Louisiana. After completing high school, he earned his first college degree at Grambling State University where he studied Business Administration and Business Information Systems. He joined Caterpillar in 1977 and started his career as a Computer Programmer. Throughout his career, Glenn has worked in a variety of leadership roles in Information Technology. In 1987, Glenn earned his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Bradley University Foster College of Business Administration. Glenn is currently an Information Technology (IT) Manager at Caterpillar, responsible for managing a team of Senior IT professionals who lead strategic programs that enable business units with systems and processes that support profitable business operation and growth. The team is also responsible for performing due diligence in evaluating IT organization capabilities and risks. Glenn’s previous positions include Information Technology Audit Manager, Program Management Office Manager, Solution Deployment Manager, Knowledge Center Manager, Account Manager (Caterpillar Dealers – Pacific Region; Europe Africa & Middle East), and Software Development & Deployment Leader. Glenn serves his community as a volunteer, giving his time and talents to support the important work of community and civic organizations, and agencies. He appreciates the opportunity to meet and work with diverse groups of dedicated volunteers with a mission of making our community a better and more attractive place to live and work. In addition to his work at Caterpillar, Glenn is an Easter Seals Team Leader, a mentor with the Caterpillar / District 150 Destination Technology Program, member (Past President) of the Peoria Public Radio Advisory Board, member of the Peoria Tri-County Urban League Board of Directors, and Past President of the Bradley University National Alumni Association. He also mentors several young professionals on aspects of leadership, and professional and personal development. While serving as President of Bradley’s Alumni Association, Glenn was honored to address graduating classes during commencement ceremonies.  In 2012 Glenn received the Lydia Moss Bradley Founders Award for his volunteer service with the University. Glenn and his wife, Diann, live in Peoria and have two (2) adult children. He enjoys bicycling, fishing and is a beginning golfer.  Glenn is a curious person, with a wide variety of eclectic interests and enjoys learning about new and unfamiliar subjects.Glenn is a strong believer in the importance of higher education – and thinks that education should be a high priority for our country. “It’s one of the key elements in maintaining and expanding our competitiveness in the global economy.” 

Mr. R. Rennie Atterbury, Secretary (Term Expires 2018)

Rennie Atterbury retired from Caterpillar, Inc. as Vice President of the Legal Services Division, General Counsel and Secretary. Mr. Atterbury received his Bachelor’s and LLD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Eureka College Board of Trustees, OSF Foundation, OSF Cancer Committee, Peoria Symphony Foundation, Chairman of the Peoria Riverfront Museum Foundation, WCBU Board, Heritage Ensemble, Country Club of Peoria, and Sons of the Revolution. He formerly was chairman of the Eureka College board, interim dean of admissions and chairman of the presidential search committee at Eureka College in 2005.

Ms. Renee Charles (Term Expires 2020)

Renee Charles joined Bradley University as the Executive Director of Public Relations and University Spokesperson in July 2013. She oversees campus and community relations including, internal campus communications, media relations, presidential speech writing, crisis communications and more. Ms. Charles received a B.S. in in English/Journalism from Western Illinois University where she also studied Communications and Broadcasting. She has received numerous community awards for her communications work including “25 Women in Leadership” in 2013, “Ten Outstanding Young Professionals of Illinois” in 2012, “YWCA Julia Proctor White Arts, Communication & Media Award” in 2011 and “40 Leaders Under 40” in 2010. Renee has served as a member of the Board of Directors for Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois, member of Peoria Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors, and she volunteers on numerous community organizations and committees. She is currently also the chairperson of the Quest Charter Academy Development and Marketing committee. Renee was named Miss Illinois USA in 2000. Prior to her current role at Bradley, she was the Director of Public Affairs for The Heartland Partnership and spent more than a decade as a television news anchor and reporter in Peoria; Madison, WI; and Lexington, KY.

Dr. Venus Evans Winters (Term Expires 2021)

Dr. Venus E. Evans-Winters is Associate Professor of Education at Illinois State University in the Department of Educational Administration and Foundations. Dr. Evans-Winters is also faculty affiliate with the departments of Women & Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies. Her research interests are school resilience, urban education policy and practice, and the schooling of Black girls and women. Dr. Evans-Winters teaches in the areas of education policy studies, qualitative research, and social foundations of education. She is the author of “Teaching Black Girls: Resilience in Urban Classrooms, and co-editor of the books “(Re)Teaching Trayvon: Education for Social Justice & Human Freedom;” and “Black Feminism in Education: Black Women Speak Back, Up, and Out.” This White House invitee to the convening on, “Research on Women and Girls”, is the author of numerous academic articles and book chapters. Dr. Evans-Winters is also a Board Certified Professional Counselor, psychotherapist, and school social worker. As an international scholar, she has served in West Africa and South Africa as well as engaged in critical pedagogy institutes in Spain, Greece, and Malta. In her spare time, she enjoys working out, meditation, and watching reality television. Favorite quote: There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children. ~Nelson Mandela

Dr. Jack F. Gilligan (Term Expires 2019)

John F. Gilligan, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist, is president emeritus of both Fayette Companies and the Human Service. A founding member and past vice-chairman of the Leadership Development Center, he has provided managerial training and consultation to managers representing more than 200 of the Fortune 500 corporations. Internationally, as CEO of Fayette Companies he provided consultation and management training to multi-national corporations doing business in Poland and Russia. Currently, he is a voluntary faculty member of the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He is presently a board member and Vice President of the Drug Prevention Network of the Americas and on the board of directors for the following organizations:  Human Service Center, Creve Coeur Club; the Dean of the College of Medicine’s (Peoria) Advisory Council; and the Advisory Board of the Bradley University Center for Principled Leadership and Public Service. Dr. Gilligan has also served as chairman of the board of directors for the following organizations:  Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, the Employers' Association of Illinois, Workforce Development Board for Central Illinois, and the Illinois Heath Care Collaborative (Quality Quest). He was also appointed by two Governors of the State of Illinois to the Illinois State Advisory Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependency and served as chairman of its Prevention Committee. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Idaho and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in clinical psychology from the Illinois State Psychiatric Institute, University of Illinois School of Medicine.  Previous degrees were from Stonehill College, North Easton, MA; Fairfield University, CT; University of Angers, France; and the Gregorian University, Rome, Italy. PUBLIC SERVICE, WRITINGS, AND AWARDS - Dr. Gilligan has served as chairperson of the Tri-County Community Partnership, Peoria, IL; chairperson of the Citizens Advisory Council on Social Services for the Illinois Department of Public Aid; and as treasurer for the American Academy of Psychotherapists.  He is the author of the Soul of America:  Essays on the Fourth of July; The Library of Congress:  An Embodiment of the American Identity, coauthored with Congressman Ray LaHood; Three Perspectives on Human Nature: Plato, Augustine, and Freud; and the Adversity Challenge as a coauthor with Charles Stoner.  His recent publication (2016) is The American Revolution 1607-1801: A Cultural History for Teachers, Parents, and Children. In addition to published professional research articles and presentations, more than 200 editorials, essays and comments have appeared in the Peoria Journal Star, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, and the Wall Street Journal.  He is also the 2013 recipient of the University of Illinois College of Medicine’s (Peoria) Annual Community Health Award.

Mr. Jerome Guilford (Term Expires 2019)

Jerome Guilford is a Region Manager for Caterpillar Inc., with responsibility for Caterpillar Distribution development and administration for the Western USA and Canadian Dealer network. Jerome has 27 years of service, joined Caterpillar as a sales and marketing representative. He has served as a Machines Sales Rep. in Charlotte NC. and Los Angeles Ca., Commercial Supervisor and New Product Introduction Manager in the Hydraulic Excavator Division Aurora IL., Engine Product and Quality Manager Industrial Engine Division Peterborough England , District Manager Jacksonville Florida, and General Manager, Customer Support Services Division Peoria, IL. Jerome graduated from The Ohio State University with a BS Degree in Business Administration. He completed Digging Deep Caterpillar’s executive leadership program aligned with Stanford University.  Jerome is a Board Member of the Tri – County Urban League, Executive Sponsor of the Peoria Chapter of CAAN, and member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Jerome is married to Ahdonna Guilford and has two daughters Jerah and Jada. 

Mrs. Jan Leonard (Term Expires 2020)

Mrs. Leonard earned both a bachelor’s degree in education and master’s degree in Instructional Technology and Telecommunications from Western Illinois University. During her 35 year career in education, Mrs. Leonard was a classroom teacher, athletic coach, grant-writer/grant administrator and juvenile court liaison for truancy cases. She was also a consultant for the Peoria County Regional Office of Education’s Two Rivers Professional Development Center for 16 years providing professional development to teachers and administrators in a variety of academic areas. In addition, Mrs. Leonard was an adjunct instructor for Aurora University, a national trainer for Collaborative Learning Incorporated and a state trainer and school/district improvement coach for the Illinois State Board of Education. Mrs. Leonard has presented at national conferences, including ASCD, along with several state conferences. Currently Mrs. Leonard is a project coordinator for the Heart of Illinois United Way. In addition to being a member of the board of Quest Charter Academy, she is on the board of directors of the Hult Center for Healthy Living and the board of directors of the Westminster Infant Care Center. Jan also serves on the Education Advisory Board for PNC Bank. Mrs. Leonard Jan has been married to husband, Gary, since 1974 and has two daughters, two sons in law and six fabulous grandchildren. She lives in Edwards, IL.

Emeritus Board Members

Mr. Glen Barton, retired Caterpillar CEO

Mr. McFarland Bragg II, President and CEO of the Peoria Citizens Committee for Economic Opportunity, Inc. (PCCEO)

Dr. Cindy Fischer, retired Peoria Public Schools Associate Superintendent & retired Executive Director of Crittenton Centers

Mr. Al Hooks, retired Caterpillar engineer

Dr. Vicky Stewart, retired Illinois Central College administrator