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P.O. Box 131, Urbana, IL  61803


Executive Committee (ExCom)

Stacy James* Chair, Conservation Chair  
Alice Englebretsen* Treasurer, Alternate Chapter Delegate, Political Chair 217-367-7344
Donald Davis** Assistant Treasurer, Assistant Membership Chair 217-353-5238
Stuart Levy** Vice Chair, Webmaster, Membership Chair, Assistant Conservation Chair 217-351-9264
Rachel Vellenga** Outings Chair, Publicity Chair  
Katie Mimnaugh** Chapter Delegate, Liaison to Sierra Student Coalition  
Dick Bishop# Secretary, Newsletter Editor, Webmaster 217-328-6379
Carol Hays# Planning of Prairie Group activities 217-586-1763
Jim Beauchamp# Listserv Manager 217-344-3307
Trent Shepard# Publication Representative 217-344-2822

** elected to ExCom for 2013-2014
* elected or appointed to ExCom for 2014-2015
# volunteers who work closely with the ExCom


Alice Englebretsen, Treasurer, Alternate Chapter Delegate, Political Chair
Alice has been a member of the Sierra Club for over 20 years and has lived in Colorado, Quebec, Canada, and in Illinois for the past 23 years. Her interest in environmental issues has been strong for many years, and she was active in many events in all the places where she lived. Her favorite way to vacation is to go on Sierra Club Service Trips, and she is took her sixth service trip to the Coastal Wildlife Refuge in Florida Feb. 17-23, 2009. Since her retirement from the administrative information systems department at University of Illinois she has been able to devote more time to her passion in environmental issues. In Sept., 2001 she was elected to the Prairie Group ExCom and served as Editor of the Newsletter and Website. In Jan., 2003 she was elected as Chair of the Group. Alice has two children and four grandchildren living in Chicago and Montreal.

Don Davis, Assistant Treasurer
Don first went on a solo hike in the mountains when he was 11 years old and has never wanted to leave the wilderness since. He has been active in outdoor and environmental work-both volunteer and paid-since college days. He has also taught mountaineering and outdoor skills to children, teenagers and adults, including downhill skiing, rock climbing, and backpacking. Don belongs to a number of environmental organizations, but chooses to work with the Sierra Club because of the impact this Club can have on world's environment with its focus on local issues through its chapters.

Jim Beauchamp, Membership Chair, Listserv Manager
Jim grew up in Michigan and has always enjoyed the outdoors which, as a youngster, he had a chance to do in summer because his parents often sent him to camp. Later he became a Boy Scout and Explorer Scout, earning an Eagle badge. He camped as an adult, but it wasn't until the late '70s on a Colorado backpacking trip that he recognized the fragility of mountain environments. Also, visits to parks in New York state in 1980 convinced him something needed to be done to counter routinely occurring water pollution. Visits to the seashore in California, where he lived in 1962-63 and 1968-69, impacted his awareness of the need for regulation of offshore oil rigs and oil tankers. Meanwhile, Jim joined the faculty of the Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, first with the dept. of electrical and computer engineering, then on a joint appointment with the school of music and dept. of ECE. He retired in 1997, but is still active as a professor emeritus, attending several professional meetings a year, publishing, and giving talks on computer music, acoustics, and music perception and cognition. Jim joined the Sierra Club in 1981 and very soon after became a member of the Prairie Group ExCom in 1983. He's served in various positions over the years: 1983-84, treasurer; 1985-90, vice chair; 1991, membership; 1992, secretary and membership; 1993, chair; 1998- 2004, membership; 2001-2004, vice chair. Canoeing is a favorite activity and in the '80s he led several summer trips on the Current River in Missouri. However, his main role has been as a mainstay of the group's infrastructure. Also, lately (since 2005) he's been highly involved in a coalition to keep oil drilling out of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Jim has three children in their 30s and 40s, four grandchildren, and, with his wife, Karen, a young son who shares his interests in baseball, swimming, chess, and the outdoors.

Richard L. Bishop, Secretary, Newsletter Editor, Webmaster
Dick Bishop grew up on a farm in southwestern Michigan and attended college in Benton Harbor and Cleveland. In 1959 he was awarded a PhD in mathematics from MIT. Since then he has been a professor of mathematics at the University of Illinois, as Emeritus Professor since 1997. He continues to pursue mathematical research and travels widely, mainly to mathematical conferences. He has 5 children, 9 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Dick joined the Sierra Club in 1998 and became a member of the Prairie Group Executive Committee in 2001. After 13 years on the Excom he resigned to make way for younger activists, but will continue some tasks: Secretary for the Excom, editing the newsletter and updating the web pages. Carol Hays
Carol brings a strong interest in sustainability and repurposing. She is a member of the Upper Sangamon River Conservancy, a Mahomet-based river conservation, recreation, and education grassroots organization. Carol is a partner in Community Systems Investments International and she recently founded Encore Craft and Design, which seeks to provide a venue for artists to sell repurposed items through parties and special events.
She did not continue as a member of the Excom so that she could be Campaign Manager for a candidate to the US Congress, but was a valuable member who continues to have a strong interest in the Sierra Club.

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This page was updated in August, 2014, by assistant webmaster Dick Bishop