Michael Cunningham ’70, ’73 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. He completed the CPA as an undergraduate and joined Ernst & Young in Springfield after earning his MBA at EIU.
He later served as executive vice president and CFO at Integon Corporation, an insurance holding company, before joining ING. His 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.
Roseann Drew ’70 began her career as a classroom teacher at the elementary and early childhood levels but soon realized there was a need for high quality early childhood education and care. The result of her vision was Sunshine House, the sixth-largest child care operation in the United States. Her centers provide opportunities for 21,000 children daily and employ more than 3,000 teachers and staff members in 140 centers in 10 states.
She also serves on the board of directors for the National Child Care Association and the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation Commission.
Over the past 29 years Julie Lupien ’81 has committed her life to service. After leaving EIU she volunteered as a teacher in Zimbabwe, Africa, and later as a pastoral/community organizer in St. Kitts, West Indies. As the director of peace and justice programs at the Newman Center at Northern Illinois University and as a pastoral minister at Spirit of Peace Catholic Church in Longmont, Colorado, she coordinated community outreach programs while also serving on boards of directors for various local agencies. These organizations assisted those at risk of hunger and homelessness; provided adult education; and offered support to individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Since 2002 she has served as the executive director of From Mission to Mission, a national organization that provides assistance to international missionaries, development workers and long-term volunteers as they prepare to serve and when they transition back home. FMTM is the only organization of its kind that helps people deal with "reverse culture shock" as well as the lasting impact of any violence or trauma they experienced. She received a master’s degree from NIU in 1988 and has lived in Longmont since 1991.
Sean Payton ’87 led the New Orleans Saints to their first Super Bowl championship earlier this year after serving as the team’s head coach since 2006. The title capped a four-year span which also saw the Saints win 42 games, claim two division titles and appear in a pair of NFC Championship games (2006 and 2009). The 42 wins are the most during any four-year span in Saints history and the second-most by an NFL coach during this period. He has served on the staffs of the Eagles, Giants and Cowboys in the NFL while his collegiate coaching stops included San Diego State, Indiana State, Miami of Ohio and Illinois. A three-time All-American selection at EIU, he had professional stints with Chicago of the Arena Football League, Ottawa of the Canadian Football League and the Chicago Bears. He was inducted into the EIU athletic hall of fame in 2000 and his jersey number was retired by the university earlier this year.
After a successful career in the private sector with Sears, IBM, and AT&T, Bob Provost ’70 learned of the needs of an elementary school in inner city Chicago and decided to volunteer his technical skills to assist the students. 88% of the 240 students enrolled at the school are low income. However, 95% graduate from high school and 91% go on to attend college. The school, boasting the lowest tuition of any private school in Chicago, is located in North Lawndale, one of the city’s most crime-ridden neighborhoods. Initially helping the school raise money for computers in the late ’90s and supporting a computer lab, he became more involved shortly after a new facility was under construction in 2007. With no money available to actually equip the building, he designed, purchased and taught himself how to install security, intercom, phone/voicemail and door control systems, in addition to installing a state-of-the-art data network, to insure the school could open.
He continues to contribute his time and talent as the technology director at the school – now coordinating a dozen other volunteers – and also finds time to volunteer as a mechanic for a church-affiliated car donation program, assists at a homeless shelter and rebuilds computers for low-income single mothers, senior citizens and neighborhood churches.
Chuck Witters ’68 has been recognized as the top commercial real estate broker in Las Vegas since joining the Lee & Associates Las Vegas office in 1993. Chuck had nearly 15 years of experience with Mobil, Occidental Petroleum and Fluor in management, finance and marketing before joining Lee & Associates in 1985 in Orange, California. With an extensive background in office marketing, consulting, investment and land sales, he has been a member of the Society of Industrial & Office Realtors for 20 years, served on the SIOR national board of directors twice and was a nine-year trustee of the SIOR Foundation. He is currently serving his second term as President of the SIOR Southern Nevada Chapter. Having served on the board of directors for the Southern Nevada Chapter of NAIOP for seven years, he has been voted the Top Office Broker in Las Vegas by NAIOP eight times.
A member of the EIU Foundation Board of Directors and the university’s capital campaign steering committee, he also served as an executive-in-residence for the School of Business earlier this year.
Carl Dolson ’76, a partner at McGladrey & Pullen LLP and a managing director of RSM McGladrey, has strong family ties to EIU. His father joined the university’s math faculty in 1968 and his wife Marsha’s father joined the art faculty in 1953. His commitment to EIU dates to his days as McGladrey’s recruiting representative at the university in the late ’80s. Since that time he has served on both the dean’s business advisory and the accountancy advisory boards, serving as the initial chair of the latter from 1996-1998. One of the principal accomplishments of the group was the creation of the accountancy advisory board endowment fund, which was created to strengthen the accountancy program at EIU.
He was recognized by the university in 1997 as one of three honorary charter inductees into the Theta Omega chapter of Beta Alpha Psi and in 2009 as the Beta Gamma Sigma chapter honoree for his work in the business field. In 2006, he was recognized with an RSM McGladrey Achievement Award for Integrity.
Roy Fenton ’65, ’66, the recipient of four Arizona track and field coach of the year awards, won seven state championships in the sport with one girls’ and six boys’ titles at Dysart High School while also earning four state runner-up finishes. His record during his tenure there was an amazing 144-4. He taught physical education, history, biology and outdoor education during his career and also served as the keynote speaker at the National Outdoor Education Symposium in Carefree, AZ in 1979. Named the Arizona athletic director of the year in 1987 and 1991, he has been inducted into five halls of fame, including the National Athletic Coaches Association in 2010.
Jennifer Ketchmark Brehm ’06 currently serves as the lead evening broadcast meteorologist for CBS affiliate WCIA in Champaign after beginning her career there while still an undergraduate. Following her graduation from EIU with a bachelor's degree in communication studies and a minor in meteorological broadcasting, she received a certificate in broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University.
The winner of the Broadcast Education Association's National Collegiate Weather Broadcaster of the Year in 2006 as a student, she has also volunteered her time to assist at EIU and EIU Foundation events since graduating.