Staff Advisory Council

Staff Advisory Council Members

Mark Catron

Mark CatronMark Catron

SAC President
Skilled Crafts/Trades classes (EEO 6)

Mark started at the university in 1997 as a second-year carpenter apprentice and graduated in 1999 as a journeyman. Mark worked as a carpenter with Facilities and Services (F&S) for 9 years, after which Mark moved to the Housing Division. During his time at F&S, Mark wanted to become more involved in the labor aspect of our employment and served as a union steward until Mark joined the Housing Division.

Mark currently sits on 3 boards representing different groups: Trustee Board at his church which oversees church operations; Chairman of the Finance Committee for his hometown; and current member of the Staff Advisory Council (SAC).

In his time as an active SAC member, Mark has been instrumental in seeing a bulletin board installed in the hallway of the F&S Physical Plant, and Mark updates it with current news posting. Mark has advocated for groups of employees in discussion regarding several campus policies. Mark has helped extensively publicize the Chancellor’s Distinguished Staff Awards by posting information and visiting every zone and craft shop. Mark answers emails from constituents and talks to employees about question and concerns relating to university issues.

Mark has assisted with the All Employee Expo and continues to attend monthly SAC meeting where policy, civil service rules, benefits, retirement information, state legislations, and other important issues are discussed with members of the campus and University Administration.

Clint D. harper

Emily ShaferClint D. Harper

SAC Vice President
Service/Maintenance classes (EEO 7)

Clint began his career at the University with Facilities & Services (F&S) as a Building Service Worker (BSW) in 2012. Clint currently works for the Facilities Department at Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) as their Research Facility Attendant. In this position, Clint is responsible for setting up and coordinating special events and room rentals at ECE. Additionally, Clint works with the building’s research labs and professors to monitor safety compliance.

Clint is a certified Employee Protection Process (EPP) trainer, a Parkland graduate, and a former member of the University of Illinois Army R.O.T.C. “Illini Battalion.” When not at work, Clint enjoys coaching youth sports and assisting with Monticello Cub Scout (Pack 122) events. As a representative for EE07, Clint is looking forward to meeting and interacting with the service employees and serving on their behalf.

susan conrad

Susan ConradSusan Conrad

SAC Secretary
Clerical/Secretarial classes (EEO 5)

Susan’s present assignment is with the College of Media. Susan serves as Office Manager for the Department Head of Journalism and provides support to the Administrative Assistant to the Dean of the College. Susan began her career in 1998 at the University of Illinois in the College of ACES Advancement Office as an Office Support Specialist.

Susan was very honored to serve as President of The Secretariat in 2008 and became aware of the many service opportunities of the Staff Advisory Council. Susan loves hosting the All Employee Expo each year, as Susan calls upon her years of experience from the College of ACES as an advisor to the ExplorACES Student Committee and support of the Directors of Alumni Relations and Specials Events in the college.

Susan also appreciates any speaking opportunity on the Council, having served on a speaking panel in March of 2009 and July 2010 for the Pro-Advantage Seminar Series for Office Support Professionals, plus providing suggestions while serving on focus groups for the Biennial Conference for Women of 2010. Susan remains an earnest and devoted supporter of students, faculty, donors, administration, and alumni of the University of Illinois.

Penny Nigh

Penny Nigh

Executive/Administrative/Managerial classes (EEO 1&3)

Penny started at the university as Extra Help in 2005, working as the receptionist in the College of Applied Health Science’s (AHS) Dean’s Office. Penny was hired as a Secretary III in AHS a month later and is now an Administrative Aide who supports the Associate Dean for Administration; the Associate Dean for Research & Director for the Center on Health, Aging, and Disability; and the Director of the AHS Shared Business Service Center.

Penny came to the University after Penny and her husband sold their business, Midwest Smokehouse, Inc., of which Penny was the President and CEO. Prior to that, Penny was the Activity Director for Ford County Nursing Home and served as the Regional Representative for the Illinois Activity Professionals Association (IAPA) as well as the Program Chair for the Corn Belt Activity Directors Association (CBADA). Penny has also volunteered on PTO committees, advisory committees, and as a Girl Scout Leader.

Penny has been a member of The Secretariat for nearly five years and is currently serving as President. In previous years, Penny has served on and/or chaired committees including Office Professional of the Year, Nominations and Elections, and Boss of the Year. Penny enjoys being involved and sharing her ideas with others.

Bridget haas hillier

Susan ConradBridget Haas Hillier

Clerical/Secretarial classes (EEO 5)

Bridget has been with the University since 2009, and currently serves as an Office Support Specialist for Illinois International Programs (IIP) in the office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies. In addition to providing administrative support to the Communications team and IIP, she primarily handles donor stewardship, gift assistance, and event coordination. With over 8 years in this field, she coordinates campus-wide events such as the International Achievement Awards and International Week, some in co-sponsorship with the Alumni Association, the Offices of the Provost and Chancellor, and International Student and Scholar Services. Combined, she possesses over twenty years of work history that includes sales, communications, website management, and employee supervision. Bridget has previously held positions within the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning, Illini Union Event Services, and the Technology Entrepreneur Center.

Bridget also serves as a member of the Campus Council for Alumni Relations and The Secretariat.  She is currently attending classes in her off-time to complete her Associate’s Degree in Business Management with a focus on Marketing.

Mark A. Kuehl

Mark A. Kuehl

Service/Maintenance classes (EEO 7)

Mark has been a Building Service Worker for both Facilities and Services (F&S) and Housing Division for a total of 7 years. Mark has also been a Building Service Foreman in the Division of Housing for approximately 6 years. In addition, Mark has served on various committees such as the Charitable Fund Drive.

Kristi Webster

Kristi Webster

Clerical/Secretarial classes (EEO 5)

Kristi is currently an Account Technician III in OBFS University Payables and has been with the university since 2011. During this time, Kristi has the opportunity to interact with staff on all three campuses, the extension offices, and the medical centers. Prior to joining the university, Kristi acquired a diverse background from the private sector. Kristi worked with AT&T under the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Union and held a position as a Union Representative where Kristi handled many disputes for her fellow co-workers. Kristi worked with Kellogg where Kristi participated in organizing events for employees and at RR Donnelley & Sons (RRD) in the financial division. At RRD Kristi participated on the Diversity Council and the Ergonomics team to improve the overall work environment for all employees with concentration on the production workers. Throughout her career Kristi has successfully operated as a liaison between staff and management by translating laws and policy and understanding how they affect the staff as well as the campus community. Kristi draws upon her cross industry experience to infuse new ideas and perspective to daily tasks while improving the total work climate.

Staff Advisory Council Liaisons

Jill Odom

Jill Odom

Illinois representative to the State Universities Civil Service Employee Advisory Committee (EAC)

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. The VP/CFO’s office has a staff of two, Jill & Walt (the CFO), but the umbrella spreads wide and her duties range from policy development and implementation, business practices, ethics policies, budgeting, travel, employee management, and more. As the Administrative Assistant to the VP/CFO, Jill works side-by-side with Civil Service Employees and Academic Professionals giving her a unique perspective on the issues facing our employees and our university. Jill’s term with the Employee Advisory Council began January 2016.

Jill has lived in the Champaign-Urbana area almost her entire, life which gives her strong ties to both the community and the university. Jill is also a member of The Secretariat, serves as a Leader on the Campus Charitable Fund Drive, has recently completed her B.S. from Eastern Illinois University, is a very proud grandmother of two, and is excited to call herself a beginner jogger.

Michael D. foellmer

Michael D. Foellmer


Heidi Johnson

Heidi Johnson, Director

Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access (ODEA)

Heidi Johnson is the Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access (ODEA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Heidi has served in this role since 2013.  Heidi has been with the University of Illinois for the last 15 years and has worked in many positions, including Coordinator of Management Information in the College of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences and Sr. Management Methods Analyst, Assistant Director, and Sr. Associate Director in ODEA. Heidi earned her master's degree in Human Resource Development from the University of Illinois in 2004. Heidi also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Illinois University.

Christopher J. Allen

Christopher J. Allen

Illinois representative to the State Universities Civil Service Employee Advisory Committee (EAC)

Chris started at the University of Illinois in 2013, working as a pipefitter out of the Facilities and Services Department (F&S). He has worked as a pipefitter since 2003. He served his apprenticeship out of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 65 in Decatur, Illinois, serving as an officer of the Local for 3 years. Throughout his career, he has worked on various construction projects, including powerhouses, refineries, factories, and schools. He is a graduate from Southern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in business management.  He is certified in med gas, welding, and is a licensed plumber. Chris’s term with the Employee Advisory Council began in 2016.

Larry Hays

Larry Hayes

Illinois representative to the State Universities Civil Service Employee Advisory Committee (EAC)

Larry started at the University of Illinois in January 2013, working as an electrician out of the Facilities and Services Department (F&S).  He served his apprenticeship with the I.B.E.W. Local 146, Decatur, Illinois in 1992. He has worked a big part of his career at the Clinton Nuclear Powerhouse, but also worked at various factories, refineries, foundries, hospitals, electrical services, and residential areas. He has served his Union as a steward on job sites and as an Executive Board member for the last eight years. He has lived in Decatur, IL and surrounding areas all of life.  In his spare time, his hobby includes showing and taking old/classic cars on road trips.  In addition to earning his Journeyman Electrician Certification, he has an A.A.S. in Electronics and an A.S. in Business. Larry's term with the Employee Advisory Council began in 2017.

Shanitera walker

Shanitera Walker

Faculty Staff Emergency Fund (FSEF)

Shanitera serves as a Human Resources Support Specialist. She began her career at the Krannert, shortly after earning her Bachelors in Communication from the University of Illinois at Champaign‐Urbana. As an integral member of the business office team, Shanitera utilizes her educational background and her passion for interacting with people from all walks of life as she tackles a variety of human resources tasks each day. Shanitera takes great pride in her work, always looking for opportunities to hone her skills and improve her processes.