Kishwaukee College Foundation bids farewell to outgoing Directors

The Kishwaukee College Foundation welcomed new members to its Board of Directors while bidding farewell to outgoing members during their May annual meeting.

Geri-Dee Hayden, T.J. Irving and Jackee Ohlinger retired from their positions on the Board of Directors upon completion of their terms. The Foundation Board helps establish policy and steer the direction of the Foundation, which provides financial support for College initiatives through scholarships and program enhancement.

Geri-Dee Hayden, a Rochelle resident, ended a tenure on the Board of Directors that started in 2010. She most recently served as the Board’s treasurer. Hayden will continue her work with Kish in a new capacity as she was elected to the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees in April. Hayden said her own experience attending a community college, along with taking advantage of scholarship opportunities, prompted her to join the Foundation Board where she helped continue those opportunities for Kish students.

“What I have enjoyed the most is the individual stories and how these students grow and succeed. To play a small role in that is special,” Hayden said. “The Foundation has a bright future and will be very important to the continued success of the College.”

T.J. Irving of DeKalb started her term on the Board of Directors in 2017. She initially drew interest in the role due to past involvement with the Foundation’s Annual Gala and from having family members who attended Kish. Irving said she enjoyed taking a behind-the-scenes role in coordinating the Foundation’s various events.

“I liked the fundraising and working on the events. I love doing the more hands-on work, and I am more inclined to be a participant in coming up with ideas and helping set up,” Irving said. “I enjoyed working with all the wonderful people and getting to know the inner workings of the College.”

Jackee Ohlinger was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2019. The Rochelle resident and Kish graduate said she felt her interests aligned with the Foundation’s goals, which made it an easy choice to take on the role and help the Foundation Board through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I served a very short term on the board, but I was proud of the dedication and innovation during a most unusual time that advanced our mission,” Ohlinger said. “I am a proud alumnus of Kishwaukee College and serving on the Foundation Board allowed me to give back. I am thankful for the opportunity to be among fabulous individuals striving to make a difference.”

Amy Oster, Account Director & Vice President of OC Creative in DeKalb, and Michelle J. Pease, Community Development Director for the City of Rochelle, have been appointed to the Board of Directors to fill the vacancies.

The Board also recognized the service of former Kishwaukee College Trustee Ken Doubler during the meeting. Doubler, who did not seek re-election in April, served as the Foundation Liaison during his tenure as a Trustee. Hayden will join Trustee Linda Mason as a liaison to the Foundation Board.

Each semester, the Kishwaukee College Foundation awards hundreds of scholarships to Kish students, which are made possible through generous gifts from members of the community, local business and industry, and area associations. To learn more about the Foundation and its Board of Directors, visit