Board Members

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Felisa Durr Executive Director

Felisa has 27 years experience working at Caterpillar as an electrical engineer, global buyer, and logistics manager and is sighted. She was also the founder of SWAN National Women’s Network non-profit which operated from 2005-2012 of which she was one of the recipients of the 25 Women in Leadership award. Felisa is very active in the community with her family business Educatees (products and programs for children) as well as serving in leadership at St. Paul Baptist Church.

 

Executive Committee:

Prasad has gray hair and is wearing a white shirt.

Prasad Parupalli – President

Prasad serves as President on the Executive Committee and is sighted. He has experience working at Caterpillar as a software engineer, Business Development Manager for the engineering design Center, and in various leadership roles. In addition to serving as Executive Board President of the CICBVI, he is a board member for the Illinois Math Academy and Easter Seals in Peoria.

 

Kurt is wearing a black suit, white shirt, and a tie.

Kurt Norris – Vice President

Kurt Norris serves as Vice-President on the Executive Committee and is sighted. He is retired and worked as the Global Director of Rental and Used Equipment Services for Caterpillar Inc. He has 32 years of financial and marketing experience working for Caterpillar and supported the needs of Caterpillar Dealers around the world.

 

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Lance Barke – Treasurer 

Lance serves as Treasurer on the Executive Committee and has low vision. He received a Bachelor’s in Engineering from the University of Illinois and a Master’s in Engineering from Bradley University. He started working full-time at Caterpillar in 2011 and loves making a positive impact on the world in his professional career and looks to make an even greater impact within his personal life by being on the Board of Directors. All of this has been possible in his life through the love and support of Jesus Christ, family and friends.

 

Darlene is wearing a white shirt and short brown hair. She is smiling

Darlene Violet – Secretary

Darlene Violet serves as Secretary on the Executive Committee. She moved to Peoria in 2017 and is sighted. She holds a Masters Degree in Sociology and has been an active volunteer in Ohio and, currently, in Peoria. She is also President of a non-profit called Shared Blessings.

 

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Deb Conklin – Human Resources

Deb serves as Human Resources on the Executive Committee. She is a US Army veteran and has worked at Caterpillar for 24 years. She has near-normal vision with recurrent uveitis, having experienced temporary blindness for 6 weeks. Deb has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Engineering from the University of Illinois, and an Executive MBA from Bradley.

 

Board of Directors:

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Mark Bean – Director

Mark serves as a Director on the Board of Directors and is sighted. He is a retired steamfitter and Moderator at Peoria Heights Congregational Church. He serves as President of the Peoria Heights Suburban Lion’s Club and volunteers with Helping Hands and the PHCC pantry. Mark enjoys God, family, friends, and working with his hands, especially outdoors!

 

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Gyla Grigsby – Director

Gyla Grigsby serves as a Director on the Board of Directors. She has been employed assembling items for Caterpillar and for the Pekin Times and has low vision. When she was 18, she became involved with the Center as a patron and has spent the past 15 years serving on the Board of Directors.

 

Pete Lagouros – Director

 Dr. Pete Lagouros serves as a Director on the Board of Directors. He is an ophthalmologist at Illinois Eye Center and provides care to many experiencing vision loss in Central Illinois. He serves on the board for several non-for-profits in Peoria and is sighted.

 

Xin has short, black hair, glasses, and is wearing a black shirt while smiling.

Xin Lu – Director

Xin serves as a Director on the Board of Directors. She grew up in Beijing, China, and became visually impaired as a teenager from glaucoma. Xin has lived in the U.S. for 23 years and worked in treasury management for a global pharmaceutical company. She earned her MBA from Roosevelt University in Chicago.

 

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Molly Pasley – Director

Molly Pasley serves as a Director on the Board of Directors. She holds licenses as both a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) and Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) and is sighted. She has experience working with children and adults in rural, suburban, and urban settings in Illinois.

 

Cora is smiling with short, white hair, earrings, and a teal sweater.

Cora Quinn – Director

Cora Quinn serves as a Director on the Board of Directors. She is totally blind and has served on the Executive board as President. Cora first became involved at the Center as a patron attending social outings and eventually became involved on the Board of Directors. Cora’s hobbies include listening to Cardinals baseball games, knitting, spending time her dog, and reading.

 

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Jennifer Reeder – Director

Jennifer Reeder serves as a Director on the Board of Directors. She is a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) and a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) and is sighted. She has experience working with children who have low vision, blindness, deaf-blindness, and multiple impairments.

 

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Lanna Scannell – Director

Lanna Scannell serves as a Director on the Board of Directors and joined the Board in 2018. She currently works for OSF HealthCare and is sighted. In addition to serving on the CICBVI Board, she is a member of Peoria Rotary-North. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and earned a master’s degree in business administration.

 

Leia with gray hair in a ponytail, smiling while wearing a purple sweatshirt

Leia Stewart – Director

Leia Stewart serves as a Director on the Board of Directors. She served as past Treasurer on the Executive Board and is blind. She earned a living as a medical transcriptionist for 14 and grew up participating in programs offered by the Peoria Area Blind People’s Center (now CICBVI). When you meet Leia, you will also meet her partner in travel, Mojave, a dog guide from Guide Dogs for the Blind in Oregon.

 

Ken smiling, wearing a black suit with yellow shirt and orange tie.

Ken Gray – Director Emeritus

Ken serves as Director Emeritus on the Board of Directors and has low vision. His 30-year Caterpillar career included international assignments in engineering, marketing, product management, dealer development, and leadership. He was Caterpillar’s first corporate Director of Innovation and is perhaps best known as the champion of Caterpillar’s first hybrid construction machine. Ken holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Bradley University and has completed executive development programs at Stanford University, the Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland, and Bradley University.