Meet the Foundation Board of Directors 2014-2015


William Robinson, President - Scottsdale, Arizona

Bill RobinsonBill received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Eastern in 1976. He retired in 2009 as the senior vice president and general manager of the Pepsi Bottling Group, a $1.2 billion division of Pepsi’s largest domestic bottling operation. He served on the board of directors for the California Grocers Association, the California Nevada Soft Drink Association and Pepsi Northwest Beverages LLC and was Corporate Chair for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He received the EIU Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003.

Bill is currently serving his fifth year on the Foundation Board of Directors and is currently serving as President. In addition he is serving on the Scholarships & Grants Committee. He previously served as Chair of the Board Development, Oversight & Outreach, Real Estate, Finance /Audit Committees. He also served on the Investment Committee and as Vice President and Treasurer on the Executive Committee.




Judy Ethell, Vice President - Chesterfield, Missouri

Judy EhtellJudy is a graduate of EIU where she received her B.S. in Business Accounting with honors. She is an operating partner for Thompson Street Capital Partners, a firm which manages over $445 million of private equity, investing in middle market companies. Previously, Judy served as the CFO/CAO of BearingPoint, Inc., a $3.5 billion services organization headquartered in McLean, Virginia, with activities in over 60 countries where she was responsible for the global finance functions (900 people) including; tax, treasury, international controller, corporate controller, shared services, finance transformation, SOX, SEC and financial reporting and analysis, business financial reporting, government contractor reporting, analyst and investor presentations, and rating agency contacts. During her tenure at BearingPoint, she restructured the entire global finance -and accounting group and developed a long-term plan to significantly reduce costs via centralization of functions; revamped the financial closing process; was the steering committee chair for ERP systems implementation; managed tax authority negotiations; monitored SOX reporting and compliance process; met and discussed with SEC personnel the Company’s late filer status and had frequent interaction with Board of Directors and Audit Committee.

Judy started her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP where she served as Tax Partner in Charge for the St. Louis office and managed global tax relationships for several Fortune 500 companies (consumer products, services and financial services) including SEC/PCAOB/FAS 109 requirements, audit committee pre-approval process, and advised on financial statement reporting and disclosure. She also managed international tax and treasury restructurings focused to reduce effective tax rate and reduce cash taxes. Judy has actively supported EIU as a member on the President’s Capital Campaign Steering Committee and Treasurer of the Accountancy Advisory Board. She serves on the Board of the Alpha Phi Foundation and engages in numerous other volunteer activities.

 She is serving her fourth year on the Foundation Board of Directors and currently serves as Vice President. In addition she is also serving as the Chair of the Board Development  and Oversight & Outreach Committees. She also serves on the Finance/Audit Committee. She formerly served on the Investment Committee and as Liaison to the Alumni Association and as Treasurer and Secretary on the Executive Committee. 


H. Mike Finkle, Treasurer - Naples, Florida

Mike FinkleMike received a B.S. in Business Administration from EIU in 1962. He completed the Wharton School Senior Account Executive certificate program and The American College Estate Planning for Professionals program in 1998. He retired from Raymond James & Associates in 2014. He was cited as one of the nation's top financial advisors by three separate trade publications during his forty-seven year career as a financial advisor. He is currently the Managing Director of HMF Global Macro Partners, LLP living on Marco Island, Florida.

Michael has a long history of leadership in various community service organizations; serving twice as President for the Danville District 118 School Board, Board Chair for the Danville Convention & Visitors Bureau Board and Chair for the United Samaritian Medical Center Divisional Board. He is also a member of the President's Council of the University of Illinois. In 1986 he was named the outstanding Alumnus by EIU Lumpkin College of Business. He is serving his fourth year on the Foundation Board of Directors and currently serves as Treasurer. He also serves as the Chair of the Finance/Audit Committee. In addition he is serving on the Board Development, Investment and Real Estate Committees.He formerly served on the Scholarships & Grants Committee.


 Timothy McCollum, Secretary - Charleston, Illinois

Tim McCollumAfter receiving his B.S. in Education in 1973 and his M.S. degree in Zoology from Eastern Illinois University in 1977, Tim retired as a science teacher from Charleston Middle School in 2011. He has received numerous regional, state and national awards for his work in the classroom. Included among those are the 2010 NEA Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence (one of only five recipients nationally), 2008 Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence, 2006 Jefferson Award and 2003 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, which was presented to him by then-President George W. Bush during a ceremony in Washington, DC. During his tenure, he also had the opportunity to spend a semester working with the NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and on a NASA project in Lake Placid. During that time, he assisted in the development of teaching curriculum for educators across the country utilizing photos taken by American astronauts. Tim is also a co-investigator for the NASA project Expedition Earth and Beyond and served on the National Science Board's Commission on 21st Century Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

A former president of the EIU Alumni Association board of directors, he is currently a member of the EIU's early childhood, elementary and middle level education faculty. Most recently Tim received the 2012 Distinguished Educator Award by the EIU Alumni Association. Tim is currently serving his third year on the Foundation Board of Directors. He is currently serving as Secretary. He serves as the Chair of the Real Estate Committee as well as serving on the Board Development Committee and continues to serve as the Liaison to the Annuitant's Association. He also served on the Finance/Audit and Investment Committees. 


 Timothy Burke - Evanston, Illinois

Tim Burke

Tim earned his Bachelor of Science degree from EIU in 1971 and Master of Science degree in 1972. He has been a principal with William Blair & Company, LLC since 1997. He is responsible for the finance and administrative areas of the firm including Financial Control, Human Resources, Office Services and the Business Information Center. Prior to joining William Blair & Company, Tim was a partner with Arthur Anderson in their Chicago office. He led Andersen's Capital Markets practice in the Central Region of the US and its Futures Industry practice in the US. In addition to his industry responsibilities in the US, Tim led projects sponsored by the World Bank to reform the financial markets system in Indonesia and investigate the possibility of creating a financial trading center in the Middle East.

Tim currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Health Care Service Corporation, which is the holding company for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Texas and New Mexico. He has chaired the Health Care Service Corporation board audit and governance committees, is a CPA and a member of the AICPA, Illinois CPA Society, and the Securities Industry and Financial Management Associations. Tim was most recently awarded the 2012 Louis V. Hencken Alumni Service Award. Tim is serving his sixth year on the Foundation Board of Directors. He is also serving on the Finance/Audit, Oversight & Outreach & Scholarships & Grants Committees. He formerly served as President, Vice President and Treasurer on the Executive Committee. In addition he has served on the Investment and Board Development Committees.


Michael Cunningham - Marietta, Georgia

Mike CunninghamMike a graduate of Eastern (70’, 73’) completed the CPA program as an undergraduate and went on to earn his MBA from EIU. He retired as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of ING Canada after holding several senior level positions in the ING North American operations, including Executive Vice President and CFO of ING North America. ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin with clients in more than 40 countries served by more than 100,000 people. After completing his CPA he joined Ernst & Young in Springfield, Illinois. He served as Executive Vice President and CFO at Integon Corporation, an insurance holding company, before joining ING.

 Mike's continuing involvement with EIU has included coordinating the recruitment of accounting students for Ernst & Young, teaching an entry level accounting class while in graduate school, serving on the Accountancy Advisory Board and assisting with ING involvement in EIU’s study abroad programs. He received the EIU Distinguished Alumnus award in 2010. Mike is serving his fourth year on the Foundation Board of Directors. He currently serves on the Finance/Audit, Investment, Real Estate and Scholarships & Grants Committees. He previously served on the Oversight & Outreach Committee.


Al Longtin - New Lenox, Illinois

Al LongtinAl began his education with a BSB in Finance from EIU in 86' where he graduated with honors excelling in Business and Finance following his four years of service in the United States Navy. During his service, he received Letters of Commendation for his accuracy in accounting for a $20 million budget for repair parts.Upon his graduation from EIU, he started his career at the Chicago Board of Trade as bond trader. In 1987, Al joined a renowned estate-planning firm where he earned the position as being one of the firm's top representatives. Al is currently the Founder/CEO of Longtin Family Companies, LLC which he founded in 1992. His company specializes in assisting Ultra High Net Worth individuals, business owners and entrepreneurs to address long-term wealth preservation plans that utilize a wide-variety of financial products and services. His company is recognized nationally as experts regarding; family limited partnerships, family foundations and complicated estate trust designs. Al has been frequently asked to participate as a member of the Board of Directors for leading privately held business.

One of Al's main passions in life is serving on Boards for 501c3 organizations alongside with other charitable giving organizations, some include: SowHope (empowering women in 3rd world countries) and PB42 (encouraging couples to be proactive in early detection of breast and prostate cancer signs.) He has also srved as past president of the Bishop McNamara School Alumni Board. Al served as the Fall 2011 Executive in Residence at Eastern. Al also serves on the Athletic Director's Advisory Group. This is Al's first year serving on the Foundation Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Foundation Investment Committee.


Sylvia Nichols - Evansville, Indiana

Sylvia NicholsSylvia is a graduate of EIU where she received her B.S. in Education with a major in Chemistry and was inducted into the mathematics honorary society. She began her teaching career in Lawrenceville, Illinois, where she taught chemistry and mathematics. Sylvia went on to teach chemistry, mathematics and physics at Red Hill School, Bridgeport, Illinois and Lincoln Trail College, Robinson Illinois. After leaving the teaching profession, she was elected to the Lawrenceville Unit 20 Board of Education and served as President. Concurrently, she and her husband owned and operated Nichols Funeral Homes in Lawrence County. After moving to Edwardsville, Illinois she became CEO and partner in S&N Graphics, Inc., located in St. Louis, MO. The company manufactured photopolymer printing plates and other identification products for the packaging industry. She was a founding member and served as president of the FPPA a national trade association for the industry.

Now retired, she is a member of the American Association of University Women where she served as president. She also served as former president of the EIU Alumni Association. She was an avid volunteer and participant in the EIU capital campaign. In 2011 the Foundation Board named Sylvia as Outstanding Foundation Member. Sylvia is serving her second year on the Foundation Board of Directors. She currently serves as Chair of the Scholarships & Grants Committee. In addition, she is also serving on the Investment/Audit Committee and as Liaison to the Alumni Association. She previously served on the Finance/Audit and Real Estate Committees.


Honorable Sue C. Payton - Colorado Springs, Colorado

Sue PaytonSue graduated from Eastern in 1972 with a B.S. in Education. In 1985 she received an MS in Systems Acquisition Management/System Technology from the University of Southern California. She is also a 2006 graduate of Nova Southeastern University with an MS in Computer Information Systems. Sue was the manager of advanced technology/senior staff engineer and integration site manager for Martin Marietta/Lockheed Martin, responsible to the vice presidents for Space Development and Business Development for the successful integration of major software upgrades to a space operations facility and for providing recommendations and guidance on the investment of millions of dollars in independent research and development funds. She served as vice president of advanced technology/director of National Center for Applied Technology for ImageLinks, Inc.

In 2001, Sue began her government service as a Deputy under Secretary of Defense and acting Director of Defense Research and Engineering for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Sue retired as the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition) in 2009, and was responsible for all research, development and non-space acquisition, and provided direction and oversight of all matters pertaining to acquisition policies and programs. Sue is serving her sixth year on the Foundation Board of Directors. She currently serves as a member of the Scholarships & Grants Committee. She formerly served on the Finance/Audit, Oversight & Outreach and Investment Committees.


Christine Reid Robertson - Naperville, Illinois

Christine RobertsonChristine received a B.S. in education from EIU with co-majors in Speech Pathology and English, and an M.S. in Educational Administration and Supervision from Marquette University. A retired educator, her professional career reflects a diverse background and extensive leadership experiences in District level Personnel Administration, Labor Relations, Strategic Organizational Planning, Curriculum Planning and Development, and Elementary and Secondary School Administration. She began her career as a public school Speech Therapist and subsequently spent five years as an Instructor and Clinical Supervisor in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at Ohio University, before moving into education administration. Christine retired from the position of Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Planning, Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202. At the time of her retirement, the Plainfield Board of Education recognized her for her effective advocacy for just and equitable personnel practices, and for her humanity in service to the district. Christine's leadership service has been as diverse as the career opportunities she pursued. She has served as the Co-facilitator and On-site Manager of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Synod Planning and Coordination Committee, President of the Du Page County School Personnel Administrators Consortium (PACT), and Facilitator of Strategic Planning in two large unit school districts in Illinois Additionally she has served as a member of the Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 Foundation, the Du Page Area Vocational Educational Board, (DAVEA), the Will County Career Education Board, (WILCO), and the Lewis University Department of Education Advisory Board.

In her retirement, Christine continues to do consulting and volunteer work related to personnel administration and labor relations and planning in non-profit organizations. Christine has served a three-year term as a volunteer on the former Policy and Mission Committee. This is her 6th year as a member of the Foundation Board of Directors. She has previously served as President, Vice President and Secretary. She has served as Chair of the Scholarships & Grants, Oversight & Outreach and Board Development Committees and continues to serve on the Oversight & Outreach and Scholarships & Grants Committees. 


Janet Treichel - Reston, Virginia

Janet TreichelJanet is a graduate of EIU where she earned her B.S. in Business Education in 1964 and   her M.S. in Education in 1971, she went on to earn her Ed.D. from the University of Illinois in 1977. She currently holds the position of Executive Director of the National Business Education Association. Janet served as an Associate Professor and Director with the University of Tennessee, College of Education, Office for Research in High Technology Education. In addition Janet was an Assistant Professor, University of Illinois, College of Education. Her career also includes serving as the Technical Director for the U.S. Department of the Navy’s Occupational Development and Analysis Center. Janet has conducted numerous in-service training workshops and has been a consultant to federal, state and local agencies in the areas of business education, career development, career and technical education and occupational analysis. She has authored and edited many educational publications.

Janet is a former member of the EIU School of Business Advisory Board and maintains several EIU and Charleston relationships. She encourages and interacts with the faculty in the School of Business and School of Technology, keeping them current on issues facing business education and the workforce. She has been the recipient of the 1993 School of Business Distinguished Alumnus Award, named the 1996 Beta Gamma Sigma EIU Chapter Honoree. She received the 1996 EIU Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award and in 2010 was awarded an EIU Honorary Doctorate Degree in Public Service. Janet is serving her third year on the Foundation Board of Directors. She currently serves as Chair of the Investment Committee. She also serves on the Finance/Audit, Oversight & Outreach and Scholarships and Grants Committees.