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You know the saying, “April showers bring May flowers.” Well, we should all have a lot of flowers by the end of May with the amount of rain we’ve been receiving. Another hectic academic year is coming to an end, and although the weather has been gloomy, I hope that each of you can start to picture the warmth and sunshine that is just around the corner as the pace slows down on campus (somewhat).

Last month, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Office Professional of the Year (OPTY) Award. More information about the celebration can be found below, but I want to congratulate the winner, Anne Price, once again. Four members were nominated, and all were very deserving. It is never easy picking just one person to receive this very special award. Rebecca Nash and the OPTY Committee did an outstanding job with the program. Thank you all for your hard work to make it such a success!

By now you should have received emails and flyers in your home mailbox regarding the FY2018 Benefit Choice Enrollment period that began on May 1. Visit NESSIE for all of the necessary links that provide information about Q&A sessions, changes/updates to current benefits, deadlines, and more.

The Faculty/Staff Assistance Program is in the middle of their annual fund drive for the Faculty/Staff Emergency Fund. Please consider donating to this fund that is available to us as employees of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Counselors are available to provide confidential assistance to any university employee, family member, or even retirees, who may be experiencing personal difficulties. These difficulties can sometimes lead to financial hardships, and the Emergency Fund is provided for that support.

Speaking of fund drives, have you ordered your flowers as part of our own spring fundraiser? The order deadline is May 5, and the flowers will arrive just in time for Mother’s Day! Additional information is below.

Finally, May is an important month for The Secretariat as we gather for our Annual Business Meeting and elect our new officers: President-Elect, Treasurer, and Recording Secretary. The list of nominees is below. The Executive Board has also been discussing ways in which to better serve you, and that includes combining/re-organizing/re-naming some of our current committees. The proposed committee changes mean that our Bylaws will also have to be revised, and a vote from the membership will need to take place. Watch your emails for additional information. The Executive Board hopes that you are able to attend this important May meeting. The registration and luncheon information is below.

“The world's favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May.” – Edwin Way Teale

Angie Wisehart


Twenty-fifth Office Professional of the Year Award

CONGRATULATIONS TO Anne Price received the 2017 Office Professional of the Year Award from the Secretariat at the University of Illinois. Anne an Office Administrator for the Campus Honors Program and was nominated by Director Kim Graber. 

Also nominated were:  Andréa Fain, Office of the Chancellor by Mike DeLorenzo, Associate Chancellor; James McGraw, Beckman Institute by Rohit Bhargava, Professor of Bioengineering; and Karen Myers, College of Business by Jeff Beavers, Assistant Dean, Graduate Business Programs.

This year’s committee, consisting of Jane Baumgartner, Deb Flessner, Teresa Harvey, and chaired by Rebecca Nash, had the daunting task of selecting the twenty-fifth recipient of this prestigious award from the four very strong nominations submitted. 

Also present at the awards luncheon were past recipients:

  • Carol Nielsen - 2007
  • Jane Baumgartner – 2008
  • Kate Freeman – 2009
  • Joan Christian – 2011
  • Colleen Hammel – 2012
  • Beth McKown – 2013
  • Rebecca Nash – 2016

Finally, the following units generously supported this award:

  • College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, Dean Kimberlee Kidwell
  • College of Applied Health Science, Dean Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell
  • Carle Illinois College of Medicine, Dean King Li
  • College of Fine + Applied Arts, Interim Dean Kathleen Harleman
  • The Graduate College, Dean Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko
  • College of Media, Interim Dean Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko
  • Office of the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor Mike DeLorenzo
  • Office of the Provost, Interim Provost John Wilkin
  • Office of the Provost, Associate Provost Elyne Cole
  • Office of Inclusion & Intercultural Relations,
  • Associate Vice Chancellor, Gigi Secuban
  • School of Social Work, Dean Wynne Korr 

The committee thanks everyone who made this a special event!

Respectfully submitted by Rebecca Nash on behalf of Jane Baumgartner, Deb Flessner, and Teresa Harvey.




11:45 AM – 1:00 PM

Wednesday, May 17th 

114 Huff Hall

1206 S. Fourth St., Champaign, IL


Annual Business Meeting and Elections


Catered by Gregory Street Catering Company

(Rosati's Catering of Urbana)


Italian Style Buffet

Chicken piccata
Chef's choice pasta (vegetarian option)
Tomato-basil-mozzarella salad
Roasted seasonal vegetables

Tea & water

Cost is $12.00

RSVP is required


RESERVATIONS (Deadline:  5 p.m., Friday, May 12, 2017). Reservations will NOT be accepted past the deadline date of, May 12th, so please RSVP today!

Please RSVP for you and your guest by clicking the following link:

Please note:  be sure to finish the registration form completely - all the way through - as that gives us an accurate count.  It is possible that a lunch may not be ordered for you if the form has not been completely finished.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Deb Flessner,, or Anne Price, or Rebecca Nash,                

Please remember that reservations and cancellations must be received 48 hours before the above date and payment must be made if the cancellation is not made by the reservation deadline.

PLEASE NOTEIf you plan to attend ONLY to hear the speaker’s presentation and you prefer other lunch options, (ex., bring your own lunch, not eating, etc.), please indicate this information on the registration form.  If not indicated, a lunch will be ordered for you.




If you renew your membership now or join The Secretariat now, your membership will be good through the end of fiscal year 2018! We offer so many great opportunities to improve your leadership skills, advance your career, and connect with other office professionals across campus. Remind your friends and colleagues to join and please invite any NEW STAFF in your office to be a guest at an upcoming luncheon so they can see for themselves what we have to offer.

Please remember to let the membership committee know if you are planning to retire soon so that you can be a Secretariat retiree member! We will miss you very much, but we hope that you’ll come back for a visit! Email Michael at with your contact information and we will keep in touch.

Check out the membership page of our website for more information on joining!

Michael Foellmer, Chair



Welcome Spring, and the newly updated Secretariat website! Continuing the rejuvenation process, we hope to streamline the committee list for The Secretariat, combining several of the special committees into the Communications Committee, of which Social Media will be one component. Please continue to monitor our posts, and provide feedback to help us provide useful, informative (and fun) content.

Respectfully submitted,

Lezli Cline, Chair
Marie Kreoger
Laura S. Owen

Twitter: @SecretariatUIUC

Facebook: TheSecretariatAtIllinois

LinkedIn: The Secretariat - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Pinterest: We have 2 boards so far, Secretariat Photos and Images, and The Secretariat





After 5:00 p.m. PlansWarmer weather is here and we can enjoy our evenings on the patios again! Mark your calendar and head to Houlihan’s on Wednesday, May 24. If the weather is pleasant, we will sit out on the patio. Come join us for an hour to relax and connect with colleagues from across campus.  If you plan to join us, kindly send a note to so we can reserve enough space for the entire group. Ask the host/hostess for the Secretariat group.

Two of our members enjoyed an evening painting the lighthouse scene at the Art Party Studio last month. Donna Miller and President-Elect Angie Wisehart enjoyed time getting to know each other while also learning how to paint the lovely lighthouse silhouette. Both of your paintings look great!  

Looking Ahead The after 5:00 social hours will continue during the summer months and continue to be announced in the newsletter, through email and on our Facebook page.  Additionally, we will plan a few building tours for various times during the summer. Details will be added to our section of the newsletter as we get them finalized. 

Andréa Fain, Chair

Debbie Schoonover



The Nomination/Elections Committee would like to thank all of our members who submitted quality nominations for the 2017-2018 Officer positions for The Secretariat election ballot. We appreciate all the nominees who took the time to consider running for a position and a big thanks to the nominated members who accepted the nominations. The dedication of our members has made this organization strong and well respected for 68 years on this campus. Elections take place during the May General Meeting/Luncheon. Voting is conducted by paper ballot if there is more than one candidate for an elected position.  Voting is conducted by voice vote when there is only one candidate per elected position.

Following is each candidate's photo and bio.  Please join us for the May luncheon and cast your vote.


Jim McGraw, Chair
Jane Baumgartner
Lezli Cline


Michael Foellmer – Assistant Director, Labor Education Program               President-Elect

Michael joined both the University and The Secretariat just over three years ago as an office support associate in Political Science.  Since that time he has served as an office manager in Urban Planning, and now develops programming in the School of Labor and Employment Relations.  He currently serves as The Secretariat’s membership chair, a role he began in December 2015  Michael looks forward to continuing this work and hopes to grow relationships with Secretariat members through continued social events, one-on-one discussions, and diverse membership luncheons.


Laura Owen – Office Manager, Education Administration       Recording Secretary

Laura has been with UIUC for six years. She has worked at the Illini Union, College of Law, NCSA, and is currently an office manager in the Bureau of Educational Research. She has been a member of The Secretariat for the past four years. During that time, she has served on the Office Professional of the Year and Social Media committees. She graduated from Parkland College in 2010 and soon after transferred to Illinois, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Earth, Society, and Environment in December of 2014.


Lauri Quick – Office Manager, School of Literatures, Culture, Ling.      Recording Secretary

Lauri has been with the University of Illinois for over ten years. She has a Master’s Degree from the University in Human Resource Development. Her interests include hanging out with family including her three granddaughters, mentoring I-Promise Students, and hosting International Students. She became a member of Secretariat in 2016. Lauri is a member of the Secretariat’s Website Committee. "I would like to be the Recording Secretary for the Secretariat to learn more about this group of fine office professionals."


Jill Odom- Administrative Assistant to VP Chief Financial Officer       Treasurer

Jill started at the University of Illinois in 2002 in the Office of Governmental Relations assisting the Director of State Relations. Then in 2004, moved to the Office of the Vice President for Administration, which has evolved into the Office of the VP, CFO & Comptroller. Jill became a member of The Secretariat in July, 2014. As one of UIUC’s four elected representatives to the State Universities Civil Service Systems Employee Advisory Committee, Jill represents all Civil Service Employee Classes. She also serves as a Liaison to the Staff Advisory Council and as a Leader on the Campus Charitable Fund Drive.



The Secretariat Philanthropy Committee is pleased to announce our spring fund-raiser. Our flower sales are a huge success because of you! All proceeds will be used to help families in need and organizations in our area. In 2016 with your contributions we were able to donate to the Danville Veterans Nursing Home, Thanksgiving baskets, and adopt-a-campus family of four. Please note, this is the largest fundraiser of the year.

With the warmer weather, we are thinking flowers! You or a loved one enjoy the plants and the proceeds from your purchase will help a family and organization in need this year. Plants are in 10” hanging baskets or stock pots. Our vendor again will be Danville Gardens. Flowers will arrive in time for Mother’s Day.

Payment must be received in my office no later than Friday, May 5, 2017 to be included in the order. Please email your order to then forward the original order form and check made out to The Secretariat Philanthropy Committee to:

The Secretariat Spring Sale

c/o Sonja Bean, 377 HAB, MC-348, 506 S. Wright Street

Pickup will be Wednesday, May 10, 2017 from 4:00-5:30 pm on the loading dock of the Medical Sciences Building located at 506 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana. The loading dock is in the rear of the building. Enter from Goodwin Avenue (across the street from Krannert).

If you have questions, please contact Sonja Bean at




Photos from past and present luncheons are now available for your viewing on The Secretariat Flicker album. 

Selena Douglass


Please forward any pertinent newsletter information to Lori Stalter at