Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Board of Trustees
Millikin University > About Millikin > Board of Trustees
  Benjamin M. Andreas
Real Estate Broker, Main Place Properties

Ben has been a Real Estate Broker for Main Place Properties since 2011, which manages $50 million dollars of real estate located in Decatur, Illinois.  Before Main Place Properties, Ben was a student at Millikin University from 2009-2011 and graduated with a degree in Finance.

While at Millikin University, Ben was involved with the TIP Portfolio and was one of the first students to go through this Investment class. Ben currently sits on the TIP Portfolio Board as the only student to go through the program and be on the board within a three year span.

This led to Ben’s other main job, which  is being a portfolio manager of the Andreas Foundation. The Andreas Foundation is worth approximately $100 million.

While only 29, Ben has been very active in the community through the Andreas Foundation making sure that funds are properly distributed to those in need, primarily focusing in the Decatur area where he was born and raised.

Ben and his spouse, Heather, have three children (Luke, Zack, and Blake) with another one on the way. Ben devotes his extra time to his family and their activities but fits in a round of golf every once in a while.


Michael E. Barham
Chief Investment Officer - BlackWatch Commodity Advisors, LLC
President/Owner - Laurel Highlands Meadowlands, Inc.

Michael is the founder and Chief Investment Officer of BlackWatch Commodity Advisors—a Houston based hedge fund.  He also owns and manages Laurel Highlands Meadowlands—A Pennsylvania based corporation focused on energy and commodity related investments.

Prior to founding BlackWatch, Michael built and managed commodity derivative desks for Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, and Constellation Energy.  Michael has also held Portfolio Manager roles with hedge funds Saracen Energy and Citadel Investment Group and is regarded as an industry pioneer of natural gas vs. power volatility trading.

Michael is a 1995 graduate of Millikin University where he earned a B.S. in Finance.  Michael received an MBA from the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis in 1999.

Michael and his wife, Kristi, enjoy spending time with their dogs and traveling to new destinations.  They are active volunteers for numerous animal rescue organizations in the greater Houston area.

Michael’s hobbies include being an avid outdoorsman, game theory, real option theory, debating U.S. energy policy, and following St. Louis & Pittsburgh sports teams with his wife.  



Douglas S. Basler
President, United Conveyor Corporation

After graduating from Millikin University in 1983, Doug worked for a company which made architectural signage such as high-rise building lobby directories. He eventually became the Production Manager.

He subsequently joined United Conveyor Corporation (UCC) in 1985. UCC, located in Waukegan, Illinois, has a long history of engineering and supplying ash handling systems for coal fired electric utility plants around the world.

During his career, Doug worked in positions in the field service group, engineering department, sales department, and production department before assuming his present position as President of the company in 1999. Today, UCC has over 400 people with operations in Illinois, Indiana, Denmark, India, and China.

Doug is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization, Vistage, Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, National Mining Association, and on the Biological Sciences Visiting Committee for the University of Chicago Hospital.

Doug and his wife of over 20 years, Mary Jo, have two children, Lauren and Michael.



Lucas J. Bills
President & CEO, Colorado Casualty Insurance Company, a member of Liberty Mutual Group

Luke joined Colorado Casualty, a member of Liberty Mutual Group, in 2009 and was recently appointed President and CEO.  Previously at Colorado Casualty, Luke had responsibility for insurance operations in the states of CO, WY, and UT.  Prior to CCIC, Luke held increasing responsibilities in the areas of agency management and marketing strategy for America First Insurance Company.  During the past two years, Luke has also had a leading role in the integrations of Liberty Mutual’s acquisitions of Ohio Casualty Insurance and Safeco Insurance.  Prior to his time at America First, Luke was a professional liability underwriter for AIG, specializing in Directors & Officers Insurance for publically traded companies. Luke holds the CPCU designation.

Luke is a graduate of Millikin University in Decatur, IL where he received a B.S. in Marketing, graduating summa cum laude with a perfect 4.0 GPA.  Among other activities, during his time at Millikin, Luke was a Presidential Scholar, Kemper Scholar, two-time Scovill Award winner, and a Rhodes Scholar nominee.  Luke also received his MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.  Luke currently sits on the Advisory Board for Tabor’s Center for Entrepreneurship.  Since graduation in 2003, Luke and his wife, Jodi, have been their class fund raising co-chairs.

Luke and Jodi currently live in Highlands Ranch, CO (suburb of Denver) with their son, Nathan. 

  Bryden K. Carnahan
President & Owner, SFW, Inc.
dba Seno Formalwear

After serving in the military, Bryden enrolled at Millikin University and graduated in 1971 with degrees in political science and religion.

In 1970, Bryden began his career at Seno Formalwear, a company with sixteen stores located in Illinois and Indiana and is the current Owner and President of the company.  He has served on the Board of Directors for the International Formalwear Association (IFA) and in 2010, he received the Annual Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Formalwear Industry by IFA.

He received the Alumni Merit-Loyalty award in 1995 and is a member of the Millikin Associates and Investors Society.  Bryden has served on the Millikin alumni board, past president of the Parents Association and on the ATV1 steering committee as chair of the scholarship division. 

Bryden is an active member of First Christian Church where he served as an Elder, Chairman of the Board, and Chairman of three building projects.  In addition, he has served on Decatur Memorial Hospital’s (DMH) Board of Directors with a term as Chairman, DMH Community Services Board, and DMH Foundation Board.

Bryden and his wife, Carolyn, live in Decatur and have two children, Jennifer and Jonathan.


Elta LaVerne (Turner) Cooke
Retired Businesswoman, Horse Trainer

Elta was born on her grandfather's farm in McCracken County, Kentucky, which most likely accounts for her love of horses. She is a member of the Millikin Class of 1952.

She married a Millikin SAE (Class of '52) and they started successful construction, laundromat and dry cleaning businesses in Champaign, Illinois. Elta sold the businesses in 1993 to return to what she loves most, farming and horse training.

She raises and trains Arabian horses of Blue Star bloodlines. Elta divides her time between Illinois in the summer and Florida in the winter and the horses accompany her to Florida.

She describes herself as an "antique addict" and is active in her churches in Illinois and Florida.



David L. Giertz, Vice Chairman of the Board
President, NFS Distributors Inc.
Nationwide Financial

Dave is the President of NFS Distributors Inc., Nationwide Financial. He is responsible for the wholesale strategy and distribution of private-sector retirement plans, life insurance, annuities, specialty markets and mutual funds through banks, independent broker/dealers, regional firms and wirehouses.

Prior to this role, Dave led the Financial Institutions distribution channel serving Bank distribution since 2004. This channel expanded in 2009 to include the wirehouse distribution channel.

Dave came to Nationwide in 1999 as a Regional Vice President based in Miami, FL. Prior to coming to Nationwide, Dave served as Executive Vice President: Sales with Citigroup based in Miami, FL.

Dave has over 26 years in the financial services industry and is involved with a number of community organizations including a position on the Board of Trustees with Millikin University, where he is Chair of the Budget and Finance committee, and is an industry arbitrator with FINRA. He has an MBA from the University of Miami and a BS from Millikin University.

Dave and his wife Eve enjoy an active lifestyle including running, working out, hot yoga, travel, and searching for the next great red wine.



Gregory Griffin

Project Lifecycle Manager, IBM Corporation

Graduated from Millikin in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration.

Greg has worked for the IBM Corp for thirty years in various professional administrative positions. He is currently a Project Lifecycle Manager for the IBM Global Business Services Division.

Greg served in the active duty U.S. Air Force and later in the Florida Air National Guard. He retired as a Master Sergeant. 

Greg is a very active volunteer in the local community serving as a youth basketball coach. He also counsels high school students on the college selection and admission processes and coordinated and organized career days for a local elementary school. He formerly served as a club volunteer and served as a board member for the Boys and Girls Club. He also served as the local IBM Corp  Community Service Coordinator. 



C. Thomas Harrington
Tennessee Bun Company, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer

Tom Harrington was born, raised and fully educated in Decatur, Illinois. Upon graduation from Millikin University in 1970, Tom started his working career with a local public accounting firm in Decatur. Afterwards Harrington moved to south central Illinois at first as an employee of a regional CPA firm and, in 1976, he was promoted to partner. In 1982, Tom established Thomas Harrington & Company, a regional accounting firm serving clients from St. Louis to Chicago, until its eventual sale in December 1997.

After his firm's sale in 1998, Tom, in partnership with his wife Cordia, established a wholesale bakery manufacturing company originally located in Dickson, Tennessee. Tennessee Bun Company--now with plants in Nashville, Tennessee as well as Dickson--is one of the most automated bakeries in the world, serving over 35 million dozen buns annually. Tom serves as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer and is involved in the strategic leadership of the company.

Tom currently serves his church, First Presbyterian Church of Nashville, Tennessee, as a Deacon and Sunday school teacher. In addition, he serves as past Chairman of the Board of Directors and current Finance Committee Chairman of Rocketown, a Nashville faith-based organization serving the needs of at-risk teenagers. He is also a member of Downtown Rotary Club of Nashville and Kappa Sigma Alumni.



  Douglas S. Hein
President, Lincoln Diagnostics, Inc.

Doug is the President of Lincoln Diagnostics, which designs and produces allergy skin-testing systems that are sold throughout the US and in over forty countries.

Doug began his career in information technologies and manufacturing at Sola Electric, a subsidiary of General Signal Corp. He subsequently held positions at Underwriters Laboratories and Quill Corporation, prior to returning to Decatur in 1997 to join the company founded by his father, who was also a Millikin Trustee. In the field of allergy diagnosis, Doug holds multiple patents in the United States and Canada.

Born in Decatur, Doug graduated from Millikin University, earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics in 1987. At Millikin, he was a member of Alpha Tau Omega, the Millikin Marketing Association and worked as an assistant in the computer science lab.

Doug is involved in coaching youth football and is an active supporter of various community organizations. He is an involved member of Our Lady of Lourdes church and school, where he serves on the school board and previously acted as its president.



  Debra Breeding Johnston
Secretary to the Board,  International Control Service, Inc.

Debi holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Millikin University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

She served as Corporate Treasurer, and later Chief Financial Officer, of Johnston Super Markets, Inc., a company based in Shelbyville, IL, which owned and operated supermarkets throughout Central Illinois and later Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Debi currently serves as Secretary-Treasurer and as a member of the Board of Directors of Green Valley Manufacturing, Inc. in Mt. Zion, Illinos.  The firm is a manufacturer of quick tool change equipment for stamping and injection molding presses in multiple industries having presences in the U.S., Mexico, Malaysia, and other markets.  She also serves as Board Secretary for International Control Services of Decatur, a contract manufacturer of electronic circuit control boards for multiple domestic and international firms.

Debi currently serves on the Decatur Memorial Hospital Foundation Board, is a member of the DMH Auxiliary and Grace United Methodist Church, and has served on multiple religious and charitable boards.

Debi is a native of Shelbyville and is married to Bob Johnston, has two daughters, Stacy Pfeiffer (MU Class of ’92) and Alison Hopkins, and three step-children, Mindy, Jeff and Tony.  Debi and Bob share time between homes in Decatur and Marco Island, FL, where they enjoy sun, water and golf, and spend run-away weekends in Chicago.



Kimberly Dickes Kenney
Businesswoman/Community Volunteer

Kim was born and raised in Decatur, Illinois. She is a third generation trustee following in her grandfather's and father's footsteps; Lester Foltz (1959-1966) and Emeritus Trustee Tom Dickes, whose company, Christy-Foltz, Inc., has done numerous construction projects on Millikn's campus.

Kim holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Denison University and a Math Minor and Secondary Teaching Certificate from Eastern Michigan University. Kim began her career as a junior high and high school math teacher and later was the owner and operator of an interior decorating business. She currently is a board member and officer of Christy-Foltz, Inc. and Foltz, Inc.

She has been very active in the Decatur community previously sitting on the Junior Welfare Association and YMCA Boards serving as president, Richland Community College Foundation Board, and American Red Cross Board. Kim is the current president of the P.E.O. Chapter BW.

Kim, and her husband, Fred, who is corporate counsel for ADM, have two sons and one daughter.




Margaret Ann “Peggy” Goodheart Madden

Peggy is a homemaker and community leader who lives in Decatur.  Her late husband, Bill, had been a trustee emeritus, who served on the board from 1979 to 1995. The two donated $1 million of the proceeds from the sale of the family’s 400-acre farm in Ohio to endow the William R. Goodheart Fund for Entertainment, which funds an annual program of the students’ choice at the Kirkland Fine Arts Center. The Fund is named in honor of Peggy’s father.

Peggy has assumed active leadership roles in several organizations, including the Women of Excellence Steering Committee, the YWCA board (chair), and the Kirkland Fine Arts Center Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors of the Decatur Area Arts Council.  She is a Graduate Director of the Decatur Memorial Hospital Board, a prior Trustee of the Decatur Public Schools Foundation Board, and served as president of the Junior Welfare Association.

Her daughter, Nancy, attended Millikin and graduated from the University in 1980. One daughter is deceased.


Donald F. McIntyre
City Management, Management Consultant

Raised in Newman, Illinois, Don received a degree in history from Millikin in 1952 and a master's degree in political science from Michigan State University in 1953. He served on active duty as a naval officer from 1953-1957 and retired as a captain from the Naval Reserve in 1975.

Don spent 30 years as a city manager, serving in four cities: Los Gator, CA, Oak Park, MI, Vallejo, CA, and Pasadena, CA where he retired in 1990 after 17 years of service.

Following retirement from city management, Don served as President and CEO of the Central City Association of Los Angeles from 1990-1994 and as General Manager of the Orange County Sanitation District from 1995-2000. Don started his own urban affairs consulting business in 2000.



James R. Neff, Chairman of the Board
Senior Vice President, Brechnitz Group Raymond James and Associates, Inc.

Jim grew up in Central Illinois and moved to Decatur in 1978 after graduating from Millikin with a degree in accounting. He worked for five years as a certified public accountant with a local CPA firm and joined the investment firm of E.F. Hutton in 1983 as a financial consultant. Jim was a Senior Vice President and Branch Manager of the Decatur office of Morgan Stanley. In May 2006, he joined the Brechnitz Group of Raymond James & Associates, Inc., as a Senior Vice President.

He spent many years being the coach for youth sports and loved being the coach for baseball, basketball, and especially soccer. Jim is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and former member of the Millikin Alumni Board. He currently serves on the Decatur Park District Foundation Board.



  Sue Pilling
Retired Teacher, Decatur Public Schools, District #61

After graduating in 1974 with an elementary education degree from Millikin University, Ms. Pilling enrolled at the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign where she earned a master’s degree in elementary education in 1977.

Ms. Pilling taught in Decatur Public Schools, District #61, for 25 years, most recently at Thomas Jefferson Middle School.  She retired from teaching in May 2012.

Ms. Pilling and her husband, Bob Walker, live in Decatur and are active at Lampstand Presbyterian Church.

Ms. Pilling is a docent for Oglesby Mansion in Decatur and does prison ministry at Decatur Correctional Center.

Ms. Pilling is a charter member of the Investor’s Society and is the treasurer of the Pilling Family Foundation.  She is a sponsor for the Bud and Lauri Pilling Scholarship, which is given with preference for an international student.  Through a family gift for the Advancing the Vision capital campaign, Pilling Chapel was built on campus.

Ms. Pilling is the daughter of Emeritus Trustee Frank E. “Bud” Pilling

Ms. Pilling has a son, Adam Hershfelt, and daughter, Alison Hershfelt, who is a 2001 graduate of Millikin University.


Randall W. Rentfro

Associate Professor of Accounting

Randy graduated from Millikin in 1978 with a degree in Accounting. He went on to obtain his masters in Accountancy at the University of Illinois (Champaign) in 1986 and finished a Ph.D. in Administration at Florida Atlantic University in 2000.


Randy began his career at Caterpillar in 1978 and held various positions until he left to join Decatur Memorial Hospital in 1986 as its Controller. In 1990, Randy began his faculty career at Millikin University as an Assistant Professor of Accounting. He later also assumed the responsibility for being the Director of Institutional Research and Assessment and Chair, Department of Accounting and Management Information Systems. In 1996, Randy moved to Florida to join Florida Atlantic University as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant and upon finishing his Ph.D., was promoted to an Assistant Professor Accounting. In 2005, Randy joined Nova Southeastern University where he taught in the undergraduate and graduate programs. Randy also chaired four dissertations for students in the Doctorate in Business Administration Program (DBA) at NSU.


Randy's professional work has been recognized with numerous awards such as Distinguished Research Award from the Academy of Marketing Studies, 2010 National Author Award from the Association of Government Accountants, Gil Grain Memorial Research Grants from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), and three times Accounting Professor of the Year at Florida Atlantic University. Randy is a member of the American Accounting Association and Institute of Management Accountants.


He and his partner, Ron, enjoy traveling the world, watching the Tampa Bay Rays, and experiencing theatre.



Douglas J. Schmalz
Retired Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, ADM

Doug joined Archer Daniels Midland Company in 1985. He was appointed Senior Vice President in 2002 and has served as Chief Financial Officer since 1986. He also held the position of Controller from 1985 through 1994.

Doug holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota and is a Certified Public Accountant. Prior to joining ADM he spent 4 years with ConAgra, 2 years with Leisure Dynamics, Inc., and 10 years in public accounting with Ernst and Young.

He is involved in community affairs serving currently on the boards of Decatur Memorial Hospital, The Community Foundation of Decatur/Macon County, The Boys & Girls Club of Decatur and the Decatur Area Arts Council.



Mark Staley
Partner, ES Golf

Mark is a native of Decatur and is the great-grandson of A.E. Staley, Sr., who founded the Staley Manufacturing Company in Decatur.

He is a graduate of Illinois State University. Mark furthered his education with an M.B.A. from Keller Graduate School.

After working for NDB Bank for a few years, he went on to earn another degree from Xavier University in Sports Administration. This brought an opportunity to work for the Cincinnati Reds in Public Relations for a couple of seasons. Mark is currently working on a small business startup, which designs, manufactures, and sells golf accessory equipment.

Mark serves on the Board of Directors for the Mueller Museum in Decatur. He is involved in coaching youth football.



P. Trent Thompson Jr.
President, Board Member and Owner of Decatur Industrial Electric, Inc, Mt. Vernon Electric, Kankakee Industrial Technology, Inc.

Trent is the President, Board Member, and Owner of Decatur Industrial Electric, Inc, Mt. Vernon Electric and Kankakee Industrial Technology, Inc. Decatur Industrial Electric was originally started by his grandfather, Claud Thompson, who is also a Millikin University Alumni. Trent joined the company full-time in 1996. Mt. Vernon Electric was started in 1980 and his father, Phil purchased an additional existing company in the same year. He is responsible for all aspects of the operations for all three of his companies.

These three companies serve multinational heavy industrial manufacturing, power generation, aggregate, mining, water and wastewater treatment plants. They provide industrial manufacturing equipment, electrical supplies, industrial equipment repair, and in-plant technical maintenance solutions. Trent is responsible for all aspects of operations.

Currently, Trent is a member of the Young Presidents Organization, Rotary International, Electrical Apparatus Service Association, Macon County Chamber of Commerce, and the Millikin Decatur Executive Association.



James Michael Vascik, M.D.
President, Atlantic Coast Neurosurgery

Jim graduated from Millikin in 1973. He finished medical school at the University of Illinois in 1978 and completed his neurosurgical residency at the University of Western Ontario in 1984. He worked at the Lexington Clinic in Kentucky until 1988 at which time he joined a practice in Roanoke, Virginia. He formed Atlantic Coast Neurosurgery in 2006 and serves as its president. During his career, Jim has volunteered his services to Roanoke Crippled Children's Services. He has worked at a Level One trauma center for 20 years.

Jim and his wife also own and operate Valhalla Vineyards and Winery, producing estate bottled award winning fine wine.

Jim continues to be active in the Boy Scouts serving on the Blue Ridge Mountains Council Executive Board since 2005. He and his son are both Eagle Scouts. Jim has served on the medical team of both National and World Scout Jamborees in the United States and in England in 2007.

Jim and his wife, Debra, of over 31 years, have two children, Brittany, who is in law school at West Virginia University, and Parker, who is studying aerospace engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. The family is completed by two great dogs.



Phyllis I. Warkentin

Professor of Pathology and Pediatrics, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Dr. Warkentin is a 1970 graduate of Millikin University. She received her Doctor of Medicine degree and specialty training at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN. She is board-certified in Pediatrics, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, and Transfusion Medicine. She has published over two hundred articles, book chapters, and abstracts in the scientific literature.

Dr. Warkentin was previously a faculty member at the University of Minnesota and Case Western Reserve University, and is currently Professor of Pathology and Pediatrics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). She specializes in blood and marrow stem cell transplantation, transfusion medicine, and cellular therapy product collection and processing. She is the Medical Director of the Biologics Production Facility and the Unrelated Hematopoietic Stem Cell Donor Program at UNMC.

Dr. Warkentin is also Medical Director and a founding member of the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT), the standard-setting and accreditation organization responsible for the inspection and voluntary accreditation of blood and bone marrow stem cell transplant programs in North America and cord blood banks internationally. She serves on the Board of Directors and Medical Advisory Board of the Midwest Region, American Red Cross Blood Services.



Lisa Holder White
Circuit Judge, Macon County, Illinois

Judge White obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Lewis University in 1990. In 1993, she earned her Jurist Doctorate from the U of I College of Law, in Champaign-Urbana.

Judge White began her career as an Assistant State's Attorney for Macon County before going into a thriving private practice focusing on the areas of family and criminal law. In 2001, Judge White was sworn in as an Associate Judge, being the first African-American Judge in the Sixth Judicial Circuit. She is currently Supervising Judge of the Criminal Law Division in Macon County. On September 29, 2008, Judge White was sworn in as a Circuit Judge being appointed to the position by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill a retirement vacancy.

Judge White is a member of the Illinois Judicial Conference and serves on the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Education, which is charged with planning and providing continuing judicial education for Illinois judges. She serves as an instructor for "New Judge School." Judge White also teaches at the bi-annual Illinois Supreme Court Education Conference.

Judge White is a member of the Decatur Bar Association, Mid-Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross, and serves as Vice Chairman of the Decatur Public Schools Foundation.



Melvin N. Wilson
Professor of Psychology, University of Virginia

Melvin graduated from Millikin with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1970 and received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1977. He is currently a Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. His previous positions included Associate Professor of Psychology and Assistant Dean and Associate Professor of the College of Arts and Sciences at University of Virginia. His duties included research and teaching in the Department of Psychology and academic advising and supervision of the undergraduate curriculum for the College of Arts and Sciences. His courses focus on family life issues in minority families.

Melvin has a major role in the governance structure of the American Psychological Association and is well known in his field.

His current research interests focus on young, low-income, unwed, and nonresident fathers and he is working on developing intervention protocols aimed at helping young men meet family responsibilities and involvement.

Melvin has published numerous articles and papers and was awarded a variety of grants.

He is currently a member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Negro Education. He has served as the President of the Black Caucus of the Society for Research on Children and was, among others, a member of the Fellows Nomination Committee for American Psychological Society and a member of the Committee on Racial and Ethnic Issues of Society for Research on Child Development. He currently is on the Board of Directors, Trinity Episcopal Child Care.



Gary L. Workman
Retired Senior Internal Auditor, United Parcel Service

Gary is a retired Senior Internal Auditor for United Parcel Service. He began working with UPS as a part-time package handler while he was still a student at Millikin. After graduating from Millikin in 1965, he began working for the company on a full-time basis, eventually becoming a Senior Internal Auditor. Some of his responsibilities included setting up UPS internal audits in Europe. Gary retired from UPS in 1995 after spending 33 years in a variety of jobs in industrial engineering, human resources, accounting and auditing.

An avid sports fan, Gary has contributed generously to Millikin's Big Blue Club, which includes the University's athletics boosters. He also donated funds to purchase the final pieces of equipment needed for Millikin's weight training room in the Decatur Indoor Sports Center.

Not only a Millikin sports fan, Gary enjoys baseball, especially the St. Louis Cardinals, and likes to attend the team's spring training camp. He has also been a supporter of the Decatur Pride fast-pitch softball team and the USTA/Ursula Beck Pro Tennis Tournament held in Decatur.



H. Gale Zacheis
Retired Surgeon

Gale is a graduate of the University of Illinois and received his M.D. from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago.

He completed an internship in surgery in 1966 and his residency in surgery in 1970 at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago, followed by a fellowship from 1970-1971 at St. Francis Hospital, in Evanston, Illinois.

Gale received his board certification from the American Board of Surgery in April 1972 and is currently the Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Illinois, Chicago and serves as Senior Attending at Decatur Memorial Hospital.

Gale held numerous offices, among them President of University of Illinois Hospital House Staff; President of Illinois Surgical Society; Board of Governors, Illinois Surgical Society; Chairman of the Audit Committee, Mainstreet Trust, and more.

He serves currently on the Advising Board of the Salvation Army.

He received America's Top Surgeons Awards in 2002 and 2005.



Dr. Patrick E. White
President, Millikin University

Dr. White joined Millikin in July 2013 after serving seven years as the 15th president of Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. During his tenure at Wabash, Dr. White developed a student-focused strategic plan; guided the College through the financial turmoil of 2008-2009; completed a comprehensive academic program and unqualified Self-Study Report that led to reaccreditation; secured a number of grants to establish new programs; achieved success in the Challenge of Excellence capital campaign that exceeded its $60 million goal by $8 million; and completed a $6 million Athletics Field Campaign.

Dr. White served as Vice President and Dean of Faculty at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., from 2002 – 2006. Previously, he was the Associate Dean of Faculty from 1988 to 2002, and served the all-women’s college as Professor of English. He spearheaded a number of academic initiatives at Saint Mary’s, including establishing the Center for Academic Innovation and the creation of grants that supported collaborative research between faculty and students and among the faculty members themselves. Dr. White was also one of the designers of Saint Mary’s Center for Women’s InterCultural Leadership, a Lilly Endowment-funded initiative.

Earlier in his career, Dr. White was the chair of the Department of Language and Literature at Pfeiffer College in Misenheimer, N.C., from 1985-1988, and taught at Westmar College in Le Mars, Iowa, from 1976 – 1985. Dr. White earned an A.B. in English from the University of Chicago in 1971, a M.A. in English from the University of Iowa in 1975, and a doctorate of English and American Literature from the University of Iowa in 1980.

Dr. White and his wife, Chris, have twin daughters, Katie and Molly, and a son, Paddy.



Ruby Brase, Treasurer of the Board
VP of Financial and Business Affairs, Millikin University, Decatur, IL

Ruby joined Millikin University in 2000 and currently serves as the Interim Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs and Treasurer. She has held positions at Millikin as Controller and Director of Fiscal Operations. For the past several years, she has enjoyed teaching in the Organizational Leadership program and Tabor School of Business.

Ruby holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science from Knox College and a Masters in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis. She is a Certified Public Accountant and serves on the board for the Girls Scouts of Central Illinois. Prior to joining Millikin, she worked 2 years at Navigant Consulting, 6 years at Illinois Power and 2 years in public accounting at Price Waterhouse.

Ruby has four children, Teresa, Alex, Rachel and Victoria. She has actively been involved in Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and coaching soccer.




Marilyn Davis, Secretary of the Board
Chief of Staff, Millikin University, Decatur, IL

Marilyn joined Millikin University in 1991 and currently serves as the Chief of Staff/Board Secretary in the President’s Office. During her tenure, she has served six Millikin University Presidents.  For the past couple of years, she has enjoyed teaching in the Tabor School of Business as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Marketing.

Marilyn holds two degrees from Millikin University; namely, a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, Class of 2000, and a Master in Business Administration, Class of 2011.

Marilyn is very involved in the Decatur community serving on the Boards of the American Red Cross, Come Together, Let’s Walk, Decatur Area Arts Council, Decatur Public Schools Foundation, Decatur and Macon County Animal Shelter Foundation, and James Millikin Homestead.  




Michael Luxner, Faculty Representative
Professor of Music, Millikin University; Music Director and Conductor, Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra

Cincinnati Symphony, Cleveland Philharmonic, Radio France, Vanderbilt University, Old Dominion University, the Universities of Wyoming and Kentucky, and orchestras in Anchorage, Adrian, Midland, Abilene, Cheyenne, and Tacoma. He has also conducted ballet, music theatre, and contemporary chamber ensembles.

Dr. Luxner has served on the full-time faculty of the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and on the part-time faculties of Georgia Southern College, Armstrong State College, and Kentucky Wesleyan College. His published writings include analytical studies, pedagogical and popular articles, book and CD reviews, and numerous program annotations. Most recently, his essay A Conductors’ Philosopher: Susanne Langer on Music has been accepted by the peer-reviewed Journal of the Conductors Guild.

Luxner has been a Fellow of the Franco-American Atlantique Foundation and a presenter at regional and national meetings of the League of American Orchestras, the National Association of Schools of Music, and the College Orchestra Directors Association. He has also been a member of the Artist’s-Initiated Review Panel of the Georgia Arts Council and a lecturer for the Hilton Head Humanities Forum, and has served on the Boards of Directors of the Illinois Council of Orchestras, the Conductors Guild, and the Pierre Monteux Memorial Foundation.

As Director of Orchestral Activities at Millikin, Professor Luxner administers and conducts the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, the Millikin String Arts Ensemble, and the Sinfonietta all-student chamber orchestra. He also teaches classes in upper-level Music Theory, Ear Training, Analysis, and Counterpoint, chairs the Ensemble Committee and the Academic Studies area in the School of Music, and is a member of the School of Music Management Council. University-wide, Dr. Luxner has chaired the Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure, and served on the Honors Committee, the Council on Faculty, the Council on Scholarship and Academic Development, and many search and ad hoc committees.

Michael’s wife Karla is a textbook author, consultant, and faculty member in the Millikin University School of Nursing, where she chairs the undergraduate nursing program. The Luxners reside in Decatur’s West End and also have a cabin in the Maine woods.



Kalyn Miller, Student Representative

Kalyn is a senior at Millikin University majoring in Human Services.  She plans to continue her education after graduation to pursue a master in Higher Education Administration.

Kalyn grew up in Pana, Illinois and at age sixteen, her family moved to Monticello, Illinois where she graduated high school.  She loved growing up in small town America.

Kalyn fell in love with Millikin’s personality during a campus visit and has been passionate about campus ever since.  She feels Millikin has afforded her many great experiences, which have included being a First Year Experience Mentor, International Student Liaison, Office Manager for the Center for International Education, President of Big Brothers Big Sisters on campus, and a Resident Assistant.  Kalyn has also worked in the Admission office giving tours of campus to prospective students and their families and in the Office of Communication. 


Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL