Meet the Foundation Board of Directors 2013-2014

 Christine Reid Robertson, President - Naperville, Illinois

Christine RobertsonChristine received a B.S. in Education from Eastern Illinois University, 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 Education 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 5th year as a member of the Foundation Board of Directors, and she currently serves as President. She has previously served as Board Secretary, Vice President, and Chair of the Scholarships and Grants, Oversight and Outreach, and Board Development Committees. 

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




Judy Ethell, Treasurer - 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 third year on the Foundation Board of Directors and currently serves as Treasurer. In addition she is also serving as the Chair of the Finance/Audit Committee. She is also on the Investment and Board Development Committees, as well as serving as Liaison to the Alumni Association. She formerly served as Secretary on the Executive 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 second year on the Foundation Board of Directors. He is currently serving as Secretary on the Executive Committee. He also serves on the Finance/Audit, Board Development and Real Estate Committees and as the Liaison to the Annuitant's Association. He formerly served on the Investment and Real Estate Committees. 


 Timothy Burke - Evanston, Illinois

Tim BurkeTim 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 fifth 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 third year on the Foundation Board of Directors and also serves as Chair of the Investment Committee. He also serves on the Real Estate and Scholarships & Grants Committees. He previously served on the Oversight & Outreach Committee.


H. Michael Finkle - Naples, Florida

Mike FinkleMichael holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from EIU which he earned in 1962. Currently in his 44th year in the investment advisory business, he holds the position of Senior Vice President, Investments and the Senior Partner of Financial Legacy Partners, Wealth Advisors of Raymond James. In 1992 and 1993 he was named one of the nation’s top financial advisors by two different national investment trade publications. He completed the two year senior account executive program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1998 and is also a graduate of the American College Estate Planning for Professionals certification program.

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 Samaritans Medical Center Divisional Board. He has also served on the Danville Area Community College board and the Danville Chamber of Commerce board and the Vermilion Healthcare Foundation Board. He is also a member of the President’s Council of the University of Illinois. In 1986 he was named the Outstanding Alumnus form EIU Lumpkin College of Business. He is serving his third year on the Foundation Board of Directors and is also serving as the Chair of the Real Estate Committee. In addition he is serving on the Investment and Scholarships & Grants Committees.


Sylvia Nichols - Edwardsville, Illinois

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 first year on the Foundation Board of Directors. In addition, she is also serving on the Finance/Audit, Investment 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 fifth year on the Foundation Board of Directors and serves as Chair of the Scholarships & Grants Committee. She is also a member of the Finance and Oversight & Outreach Committees. She previously served on the Investment Committee.


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 second year on the Foundation Board of Directors. She is also serving on the Investment Committee, Oversight & Outreach Committee and Scholarships and Grants Committee.


Charles W. Witters - Las Vegas, Nevada

Chuck WittersChuck graduated from Eastern with a BS in Business and received his MBA in Finance from Illinois State University. He joined Lee & Associates in 1984 and became a founding partner of Lee & Associates' Ontario in 1987. He is currently senior vice president of Lee & Associates, Las Vegas, Nevada. Chuck has extensive background in office marketing, consulting, investment and land sales. He is a member of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) and is an SIOR Educational Foundation trustee. He was selected to serve as the SIOR regional director for the Mountain Region and served on the National SIOR Board of Directors for 2006, 2007 and 2008.

In 2001 Chuck was President of the Nevada Chapter of SIOR and was named the president of the Las Vegas chapter in 2010. He received the 1995 NAIOP Associate Member of the Year, served for nine years on the Board of Directors of the Southern Nevada Chapter of NAIOP, and was the 1996 President of the Las Vegas Commercial Marketing Group. Chuck is in his sixth year on the Foundation Board of Directors and is a member of the Investment, Oversight & Outreach and Real Estate Committees.