.Staff & Board.
The individuals on our staff and board are dedicated to both the philanthropic mission of the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation and to serving our community at large. We are extremely grateful for their time, contributions, financial support and advocacy.
Fran Brolley, appointed President, and CEO in June 2023, brings a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and experience in the field of development, serving most recently as Executive Director of Community Relations and Development for Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby. At IVCC Fran worked to advance the mission of the college through stewardship and strategic planning, securing over $5.5 million in major gifts and building successful programs. A highly effective leader and communicator, Fran is known for maintaining excellent rapport with donors, colleagues, constituents, and the media, while also building and maintaining relationships with government representatives. He holds a B.A. in Journalism from Eastern Illinois University and an M.A. in Communication from Governors State University. Fran raised five children as a single father, is a grandfather of eight, and is very happily married to “the love of his life”, Mary. Fran is an avid runner and enjoys hiking, biking, and kayaking.
As a resident of Putnam County, Reed Wilson graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor's Degree in Agriculture Economics. From 2009 to 2019, Reed was the Economic Development Director for the city of Ottawa and served on the Putnam County Board of Education for Community Unit District #535 from 1979 to 1996 - which included six years as Board President. Not only did he serve on the Board of Education, but also he is the Co-Founder of the Putnam County Educational Foundation. Last by certainly not least, Reed is a U.S. military veteran and served in many capacities for the offices of U.S. Congressmen, most recently Adam Kinzinger.
Currently, Reed is a member of the Putnam County Rotary Club, where he served as Club President many times since 1977. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the McNabb United Methodist Church and is a distinguished member of the SRCCF Board of Directors.
John is a lifelong resident of Starved Rock Country having grown up in Spring Valley and now living in Peru with his wife and 5 children. He has spent more than 20 years as a banker providing support to businesses and individuals in Starved Rock Country. He currently serves as President/CEO of Eureka Savings Bank with offices in LaSalle, Peru, Mendota, and Oglesby. He has held numerous community positions throughout Starved Rock Country including time with Horizon House (Past Campaign Chair), IVAC (Past President), Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement, and United Way. He currently serves as President of the Upper Illinois River Valley CDC, and as treasurer for the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation.
“The SRCCF is a great organization that focuses on making our entire region stronger through its mission and I am honored to be a small part of this great group as we grow into an amazing resource for Starved Rock Country.”
"As an individual who embraces the philosophy of Ubuntu, "I am because of who we are", I would like to express my eagerness to join the board of directors of SRCCF. I believe that by working together, we can achieve more and have a greater impact on our community. My passion for helping build community is rooted in the belief that we are all connected and that our individual actions can have a profound impact on the lives of others. I am confident in my ability to bring a unique perspective and contribute to the success of the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation."
Tara Bedei is the current Mayor of Streator, Illinois and has served as a member of the city council since 2013. Tara was born and raised in Streator and is proud to call Starved Rock Country home. Tara graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering. She is currently the HR Manager at US Truck Body. She has more than 20 years in manufacturing, having held positions of Manufacturing Engineer, 6 Sigma Black Belt, and Plant Manager. Tara is actively involved in a multitude of community service programs and activities. She is a member of START, Streator Fest Committee, Streator Food Truck Fest, Streator Garden Club, Streator Leading Ladies, and Streator Tourism. She is also serves as a board member for Streator Unlimited and on the steering committee for Live Well Streator. Tara is chairman of Streatscapes (Streator Walldogs), a non-profit organized to bring art and beatification to Streator. Tara serves as a member of the Women’s Initiative Network. She also created the Streator Strong Fund with the community foundation to enhance the quality of life for the residents of Streator for years to come. She is married to Curt and they enjoy family time with their son, Jackson.
"The bedrock of philanthropy is in the origin of the word: Love of humankind. I am honored to represent Seneca and the entire Starved Rock Country Community Foundation in the spirit of giving back to others. As a social activist in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Maryland, West Africa and Illinois, I am delighted to bring my experience in serving to SRCCF."
Robb Hasty is the Mayor of the City of Ottawa as well as Owner of an insurance agency. He and his family live in Downtown Ottawa and have called Starved Rock Country their home for over 40 years. He's been married to Amy for twenty-five years and has two teenage daughters who attend Shepherd Middle School in Ottawa and the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora.
Robb is active with the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce, is a member and former President of Ottawa Noon Rotary and has served on numerous boards and committees. In 2022, he was awarded the Ethyl M Strong Ambassador of the Year award by the Ottawa Chamber Ambassadors and the Distinguished Service Award in 2017 by Ottawa Noon Rotary.
When asked about becoming a board member of SRCCF, he said "It is a part of my core beliefs that one does best by serving others and my being on the board of the SRCCF is an opportune way to provide the extended Starved Rock Country communities with means to help, build and encourage the lives of others."
"Participating, contributing and helping to improve our communities through SRCCF Board of Directors is an opportunity that I have welcomed openly. In this world of constant change, I am glad to help continue to build this foundation's stability now and also for the future."
My goal as a Starved Rock Country Foundation board member is to maintain and grow the foundation.
I’m honored to serve in matching a deserving cause with the kindness of a donor.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Janice was born and raised in Streator, Illinois. As the oldest of seven children, she credits strong family values to helping her achieve her goals. A 1980 Monmouth College graduate, she holds a BA in Education, and she received a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Illinois State University in 1995. Janice has over 30 years of experience in the field of education as a teacher and school administrator. Janice has taken part and led fundraising efforts not only for the schools she served, but also as a busy and committed volunteer to the Streator's Community Players Board; chair of the One Cent Sales Tax Campaign; chair of the Streator Reads Committee; member of the Zonta Club of Streator and the Zonta District 6 Board.
Tracy Bedeker is a dedicated lifelong resident of the Starved Rock Country area, where she resides in Seneca with her husband Dan and two children Emma and Max. Tracy currently serves as Vice President of Marketing and has over 32 years of banking experience with First Federal Savings Bank. Recognizing the profound impact of community involvement and philanthropy, Tracy has been actively engaged in various local organizations for many years. Her extensive tenure of over 15 years in the Ottawa Noon Rotary Club, including her role as past President, and board member, exemplifies her steadfast dedication to service and humanitarian efforts. In addition to her professional and community commitments, Tracy also serves as Vice Chair for the Education and Marketing committee for the Community Bankers of Illinois. Through her involvement in this capacity, she continues to advocate for the importance of community engagement and the power of giving back. With a profound sense of pride and purpose, Tracy looks forward to leveraging her experience and unwavering commitment to contribute meaningfully to the continued success and growth of the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation.
FOUNDER & BOARD SECRETARY
Established on October 15, 2015, Starved Rock Country Community Foundation was founded by Pamela Beckett - and her husband Chuck Beckett - as one of 850 community foundations in the United States. Pamela’s career in Philanthropy spans the past 26 years, following an 18-year career with Metropolitan Life as the Supervisor of Consumer Affairs in the Naperville-Aurora office. In 1994, she joined the Easter Seals organization in Peoria and accepted the position of President/CEO of Easter Seals of LaSalle and Bureau Counties in Ottawa in 2003. Under her guidance, the organization returned to a profitable position, expanded services to Seneca, Peru, and Princeton, and created the first regional Autism Resource Center and mobile Autism Resource Center. In 2009, Pamela accepted the position of Regional Foundation Director with Lutheran Life Communities, the parent organization to Pleasant View Retirement Community in Ottawa and Luther Oaks in Bloomington, to create a Foundation presence at each campus. She retired in June 2015, and in October of the same year, opened the doors of the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation.
Dr. Deborah L. Anderson of Peru is a retired academic professional having held the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs at Illinois Valley Community College from 2014 to 202. Prior to relocating to Starved Rock Country, she was Dean of Arts & Sciences at Bay de Noc Community College in Escanaba, Michigan from 2010 to 2014. Dr. Anderson holds a PhD in American Literature and 19th Century British Literature, and a MA in English from Marquette University, where she also taught for 10 years. She says that "as a lifelong educator, I believe you never stop learning, and you use what you learn to benefit those around you. I serve SRCCF because I believe in its mission and commitment to the community I have grown to love. I welcome the opportunity to use what I have learned to help serve my fellow citizens of Starved Rock Country".
Shelly Carey is a lifelong resident of Starved Rock Country having grown up in Ottawa and has called LaSalle home for the past 25 years with her husband, Mike. As a Media Consultant for The Times newspaper for 34 years, Shelly has a strong marketing and communications background. Shelly served on the Easter Seals of LaSalle and Bureau Counties Board of Directors as well as on the American Cancer Society Relay for Life Steering Committee. “I am honored to serve on the SRCCF board and be an advocate of their mission. I hope to positively impact so many of our worthy area causes by connecting people who care with the causes that matter most to them.”
Robert “Bob” M. Eschbach is the former long standing Mayor of Ottawa, Illinois. Mayor Eschbach has been elected Mayor of Ottawa for 5 consecutive terms, beginning in 1999, but that isn’t the beginning of Bob’s story in Starved Rock Country. Bob was born and raised in Ottawa and graduated from Illinois Valley Community College, Illinois State University and the University of Illinois College of Law. Mayor Eschbach began practicing law in Ottawa in 1978. Prior to being Mayor, Bob Eschbach served for many years on the Ottawa Plan Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and various other City committees. Always a purveyor of green initiatives in the town, Bob has been adamant about the beautification of Ottawa, but has also been extremely effective in his attempts to bring jobs and industry to the area. Eschbach was a founding member of Residents Against a Polluted Environment in the early 1980’s and fought the establishment of a hazardous waste landfill near Ottawa. He also served as Special Assistant LaSalle County State’s Attorney for land use and environmental matters for many years. He has served as a Commissioner of the I & M Canal National Heritage Corridor Commission, and in 2013 received the prestigious Boat Captain’s Award of the Canal Corridor Association. He has been instrumental in shaping a shared vision for the future of Ottawa – placing special emphasis on economic development and the creation of new jobs.
I am very thankful for the opportunity to serve on this board. My goal is to help grow the Foundation and the Starved Rock Country area communities that it serves.
Born and raised in Streator, Sue is a trusted veterinarian who owns and operates the Countryside Animal Clinic, a five-doctor companion animal practice. Sue has an impressive history of serving the community as past president and current secretary/treasurer of the Rotary Club of Streator; past president and current treasurer of the Zonta Club of Streator; past president and past campaign chair of the Streator Area United Way; current board member of the YMCA Endowment board; current President and board member of the Illinois Valley Community College Foundation; current treasurer of Streator Walldogs; a member of the Streator Elks; and the OSF SEMC Community Council. Sue's involvement has been duly noted by recognition awards from several grateful organizations. In Sue's spare time, she enjoys flower gardening and spending time with Iris her Bernese Mountain Dog.
Michael Stutzke of Princeton is a civic leader and restorer of historic downtown buildings. Since 2016, Michael has renovated eight Princeton buildings including the Knox Hotel and the old Centrue Bank building. He led this summer’s successful ShrimpFest for Princeton Rotary and is a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow. He is a member of the Princeton Historic Preservation Commission and the Bureau County Zoning Board of Appeals. A native of the Philadelphia suburb of Bryn Mawr, Michael graduated from Villanova University and was an officer in the U.S. Marines. Michael spent 22 years teaching at the Sebastian River High School in Florida where he taught government and economics in the International Baccalaureate program and also served as the Athletic Director from 1994 until his retirement in 2016. Upon his retirement, Michael was lauded as an “education maverick and passionate advocate for innovation and serving students.” He and his wife Sue now enjoy raising 185 acres of corn and soybeans on their Princeton farm. MichaeI "strives each day to live the motto of Rotary "Service Above Self" and believe that one should offer their time, energy, expertise and resources when possible to better the community they live in".
Former Board Members.
Thank you so much for your service to the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation. We could not have grown so much without you!
Tom L. Justice, Jr.