Class of 2012
Anand Bhende is straight-forward, honest, energetic, passionate and determined person who enjoys interacting with people and likes to have fun. His laid-back personality makes him easily approachable. He believes in living life to the fullest and loves to spend time with his wife, children, dog and close friends as they play a key role in his life. He loves rock music — the only place he gets to hear it as loud as he likes is either at a rock concert, or in his car. He also adapts to change easily and blends in easily into any environment. They say you adjust to change overtime, but in Anand’s case change happened overnight when they recently got their black Labrador puppy dog Caesar. All the fun and work that came packaged with his change has not only made him realize how adaptive he is, but also that he is also a true animal lover. He has a good sense of humor, and always looks at the good in the people and world around him.
Carrie Broquard is a passionate, compassionate educator and constant learner. Whether teaching in South Central Los Angeles or being a school administrator in Central Illinois, she is constantly striving for all students to have access to high quality educational programs. She approaches all endeavors with passion, commitment and urgency. She believes that “those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it”. As a life-long learner, she revels in seeing the world through the eyes of her four year old and two year old and learning the art of parenting. She also enjoys playing volleyball, reading and traveling.
Nicole Clemmons is a hardworking, natural servant leader and public speaker. She thrives on continuous education and has the patience to lead effortlessly through change. She stands firm on the belief that we all have a responsibility to be involved in our local community and beyond. Nicole enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing volleyball, reading, traveling and doing mission work both locally and abroad. She has a sincere passion for educating others which she expresses professionally and through her involvement in the community. Nicole enjoys experiencing diversity through a variety of mediums which compliments her appreciation of living in a diverse community. She always enjoys the many small town festivals and fairs throughout Central Illinois. Having a strong faith in God directs her life, and Nicole’s zeal for life comes from her motto to “Live, Laugh, Love.”
Brian Cunningham is most often described as being even-tempered and an unending source of useless knowledge. He enjoys conversation, as it satisfies his need to learn and is the perfect vehicle to ask “why?” Brian also enjoys getting to meet and work with different people from various backgrounds, which he describes as the best part about being a project manager. However, if Brian could choose another profession, without hesitation, he’d choose to be a teacher of history or an engineer for the LEGO® Company. He believes that history contains powerful, sometimes comical, lessons that can be applied to everyday life; meanwhile, LEGO® would satisfy his creative side and need to build. In his personal time, Brian enjoys spending time with his wife Consuelo, and their daughter Sarai, because they allow him to embrace and enjoy the simple pleasures life contains. Brian believes that no one has ever achieved greatness without the sacrifices and support of others. Therefore, it is their responsibility to do the same for those that follow.
Laura Duvendack has lived in the Bloomington-Normal community since 1998, when she transferred to ISU as a sophomore. Throughout her college career, she did internships at Western Avenue Community Center, the YWCA of McLean County and the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal. It was during this time that she was growing her passion for her community. Laura has worked at the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal since 2001 and will celebrate ten years there this August. In her down time Laura enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews, teaching the three year olds at her church, watching movies and reading.
Juan Garcia is a family oriented, hard working individual who gives 100% once he commits to an initiative. Originally from Colombia, he has been living in Bloomington-Normal for more than 10 years where he has been an ISU student, a local government employee and a State Farm employee. With his positive thinking, inquisitive mind and confidence on his capabilities, Juan is not afraid of taking on new and challenging responsibilities. He believes every realistic goal is attainable if proper commitment and dedication are put into it. Juan also has a passion for helping others achieve their goals, and for sharing his knowledge without expecting anything back. Juan’s priority is his family. Whether it is going to the movies, riding their bikes or sledding, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters more than anything in the world.
Sagar Gollapudi focuses on strategy and the art of disciplined execution to reach well-thought goals with infectious enthusiasm and energy. He is a deep thinker who peels layers off any situation to address the core issues, contributing to effective solutions. With a belief that personal and organizational perfection is a journey worth pursing in a smart way, he looks for opportunities to leverage on proven strategies. He is a thought leader, and loves to read about a wide variety of subjects. He has lead global teams to success while transcending all barriers. He is currently contributing to a number of social organizations addressing social issues across various countries. He is passionate about yoga, meditation and philosophy.
Tim Golliday is a life-long resident of Bloomington-Normal, and a graduate of Illinois State University with a degree in Anthropology. He enjoys the company of friends, as well as meeting new people and making new connections. He is energetic, very outgoing and tries to find the humor in everyday life. Spending time with his best friend and wife Cindy and their dog Dakota is how he relaxes. He views life with his cup half full — not half empty. He believes that to be an effective leader, you must serve others first and never ever think too highly of yourself. He attempts to live life through his faith in Jesus Christ, and love his neighbor as himself.
Janet Hood is known throughout the community and state by her volunteer activities which are driven by a passion for improving the lives of women and children. She believes in “paying it forward” as a positive role model for future leaders. She is often described as a compassionate servant leader who can be counted on to follow-through on commitments. Janet is an enthusiastic life-long learner who recently earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership, after rearing her family. She successfully balances her professional and civic commitments, while staying deeply engaged in the lives of her large extended family and nurturing her children and four teenage grandchildren. She is an avid supporter of Special Olympics Illinois and local S.O.A.R.s (Special Opportunities Available in Recreation) activities. In Janet’s spare time, she enjoys reading and staying active with local and state political affairs. She is a dedicated individual who defines success not by what she has achieved, but by what she helps others to achieve in life.
Craig Luchtefeld is a husband and father, baseball fanatic, marathoner, geek and a constant work in progress. He strives to become a better husband, father, leader and selfishly, a better runner. Craig attributes much of his success in life to his very supportive wife and kids, who bring out the best in him. Craig looks forward to the day he can “retire,” spend his time traveling and supporting the Kiwanis mission of serving the children of the world, and improving the quality of life worldwide.
Tina McCormick loves living life. She is a hard working mom to five, so she spends most of her free time enjoying them and shuffling them to their various activities. She has a passion for all living things and claims to be an amateur environmentalist. Each day she strives to become a better person than she was the day before. She loves to read, garden and sometimes even cook. She tries to utilize every free minute to learn and has taken to listening to educational podcasts while driving, gardening or folding laundry. The one thing she wishes for more than anything is more hours in a day so she could dedicate them to serving others. Most of her favorite quotes come from Dr. Suess, especially this one from the Lorax, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot. Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Johnny Nguyen is a first generation Vietnamese-American full of energy, enthusiasm and smiles. He is actively involved in several employee resource groups at his workplace. He strives to make every interaction with others a positive one. He enjoys family & friends, networking, socializing and mentoring. He is very active in sports, especially volleyball, softball and tennis. He is avid fan of the Cubs, Bears and Bulls. He recently started a new chapter in life with his wonderful wife Liz, and future family to come. Those that get to know him will find that he is a sushi expert!
Grace Pagowska moved to Bloomington for work, previously living in New York City, Florida and Warsaw, Poland. She is a hard working person who is not afraid of new challenges. She enjoys learning and is motivated by juggling multiple responsibilities. In her spare time she likes being active; her hobbies include skiing, running and working out. She cherishes time with her four year old daughter, family and friends.
Gina Palmer is funny, nurturing, and a hard worker. She is passionate about people and believes her purpose is to help others discover (or rediscover) their “why.” She knows everyone has strengths, but not everyone has someone who will cheer for them. A self-described “homebody”, her favorite times are spent gardening, watching football, hanging out with her three daughters and cooking. You will most often find her in the kitchen where she loves to experiment with different ingredients, flavors, and cultural influences. Gina lives by the Maya Angelou quote, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Janine Peacher is one blessed woman! She has been married for fifteen years and has two awesome, funny and intelligent sons. Fiercely passionate about the educational challenges of groups underrepresented in higher education, Janine believes we must instill in all children that failure is simply not an option. An enthusiastic and energetic college professor, Janine enjoys transforming her classroom into high-energy centers where students are motivated to learn through stimulating lessons that challenge them to think critically. When she is not in the classroom, Janine enjoys traveling, shopping and collecting artwork. Janine is a huge kid at heart and believes Walt Disney World was created just for her!
Henry Ramsey Jr.
Henry Ramsey Jr. is a passionate, hardworking, honest man. He knows in his heart that “you can’t judge a book by its cover,” and “when you know better you are obligated to do better.” He loves, music, fishing, gardening and most of all, watching his daughter Destiny compete in sports. He has an extremely strong sense of family, believes everyone has something to offer and we will all obtain more from giving than we will from taking.
Santosh Raut is a simple, humble and easy going individual who appreciates every moment of life. He believes that there’s a purpose and reason behind every small thing which happens in our life and the world around us. He loves biking, trekking, visiting different countries, new places and understanding various cultures and values. Santosh loves Meditation, Yoga and is equally passionate about the inner journey towards the soul. He strongly believes that all living beings are connected through a common thread, values relationships, loves family and friends and is passionate about serving the community wherever he lives. He feels blessed and privileged to have a wonderful wife and two sons who are avid Chess players and Basketball fans.
Pretty Reji was born and brought up in India. She moved to the United States in 2001 with her family. She is a career woman by choice, yet perfectly balances her life between professional responsibilities and family obligations. In addition to raising two kids and being a supportive wife to her beloved husband, she is also a caring daughter to her parents and a wonderful sister to her siblings. She takes the role of an elegant host during reunions for friends and family. She is organized, hard-working and committed. She does not shy away from responsibilities, but embraces them whole-heartedly and accepts them as opportunities. Pretty has an amazingly positive and optimistic attitude towards life, and she genuinely cares about others. She has a very outgoing personality and a great sense of humor. She is an excellent communicator and a good listener. Her passion for learning and sharing her knowledge with others is impressive. She brings passion, commitment, diversity of thought and leadership to everything she does. She has excellent relationship skills and is able to reach audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
Kristen is all about quotes and country music. The quote that she loves most is by Gilda Radner “it’s always something” – Kristen adds “so you better be ready and willing to tackle it.” Kristen grew up in Tennessee and received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Western Kentucky University (go Hilltoppers!). Kristen began her career with the local Habitat affiliate over five years ago, which was destiny since she was photographed at the age of three helping her dad build a house. Kristen’s passion for her work is evident when she shares her personal stories of how the door of a new house opens the door of opportunity for families. Kristen is very enthusiastic and energetic when it involves organizing and event planning. She believes that a task should never be left undone and works hard to get it accomplished. In her spare time, Kristen loves traveling, finding a new race to run and spending time with her family. All that Kristen does, she does with a great sense of humor.
Kari Sandhaas is an artist, learning designer, deep thinker and a catalyst for connection and change. She enjoys crafting immersive learning experiences, enabling people to deeply explore what is meaningful to themselves as individuals, integrating that learning into what they do and manifesting that integration in how they relate to the world around them. Kari sees friendship, resilience and accountability as fundamental to a healthy, sustainably functioning society. She has a strong belief in our capacity to form deep and abiding connections across cultures. “Friendship is a sacred and powerful act of being wholly ourselves – shared, risked, entrusted to one another. Friends are forever in my heart and not the least bit taken for granted. Our potential for political cooperation, stewardship, and communal well-being are all grounded in our ability to connect with one another across cultural divides.”
Shleah Scarborough is a self-starter, goal-oriented individual with a lively personality. She is known to spark up a conversation with anyone that crosses her path and appears to need a good chat. She enjoys reading, spending time with good friends and family, exercising on occasion, shopping and scrap booking. She believes success is hers for the grabbing. Shleah also believes that her birthday should be a holiday, after all it is near one! Live life to the fullest every day is her daily mantra. She thrives on servant leadership through community service, which is near and dear to her heart. She is passionate about making her community the best place to live.
Heather Stella is a compassionate, fun-loving, driven individual that lives each moment to get the most out of whatever she is doing. She loves being on teams and helping others grow and accomplish things they never thought they could. She has a passion and an enthusiasm for family, friends, traveling, athletics and trying and doing new things. Heather believes that success cannot be found in numbers or accomplishing tasks, but in the journey and growing throughout the whole process. One of her favorite poems is called Dream Big (author unknown), and that is how she chooses to live her life: never stopping at what is in front of her, but looking beyond to what can be.
Henry Walker is a voracious educator who enjoys teaching in the McLean County Unit Five School District. He devotes a major portion of his time equipping his students and motivating his colleagues to become life-long learners; to stand firm and remain focused despite difficulties encountered. Henry is an extremely self-motivated, humbled and fervent leader who consistently displays initiative and conscientious qualities in his leadership capacity. Henry cites his spirituality and compassion for humanity as the driving force behind the moral imperative of his existence. Henry cherishes quality time with his son, interacting with family and friends, noiseless nights, eating, non-fictional reading, watching movies, watching sporting events and exercising.