Leading Us In The Right Direction

From our Staff Members to our Advisory Committee Members and Board Members, Mid-Illinois Big Brothers Big Sisters has a compassionate and dedicated group of individuals on our side that are willing to do whatever it takes to help change children’s lives for the better.

Staff Members

Stacey Rios

Executive Director

Stacey lives in Effingham, IL with her husband and three children.  She has two undergrad degrees from Iowa Wesleyan College and a Master’s Degree from the University of Cincinnati.  She has more than twelve years of director and leadership experience and brings an expertise in project planning, business development and corporate branding.  Stacey loves working with youth and is a volunteer coach for multiple sports teams including girls basketball and softball.  Her free time is usually spent at the ball field coaching or on the sidelines cheering on her children.

Destini Merris
Enrollment, Matching & School-Based Coordinator

Destini lives in Charleston, IL. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Eastern Illinois University. Destini has been with BBBS since February 2019, and has experience working in mental health and child welfare. In her spare time, Destini loves to read (especially Harry Potter), play with her dog, visit her friends, and spoil her nieces.

Donna Rardin
Crawford County School Based Mentoring Coordinator
Donna Rardin is a full-time employee at Lincoln Grade School in Robinson and is the Site Coordinator for Lincoln’s Big Brothers Big Sisters Program.  Donna has a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Illinois University and has many years of experience serving the youth of Crawford County. Donna likes spray painting with ALL the colors, riding her bike and searching the Midwest for the perfect plate of nachos.
Picture1Christy Mesnard
Program Director

Christy is from Altamont, IL. She holds an Associate’s degree from Kaskaskia College as well as a Bachelor’s degree from McKendree University. She has been with Effingham County BBBS since 2010. When she is not working, Christy enjoys spending time with her large family & friends.
Atwood-Hammond School Based Mentoring Coordinator
Chrissy is from Mt. Zion, IL. She holds a Bachelor’s from Millikin, and a Master’s degree from the University of Illinois-Springfield. She has been teaching reading & English for 13 years and has been with BBBS since 2006. Chrissy enjoys spending her free time with her husband and their daughters. She is thankful to work with kids every day.
Melanie Connell-Brown
Enrollment and Matching Specialist


Jill Schafer
Match Support Specialist
Jill is from Charleston, IL. She attended Lake Land College for an Associate’s degree in Child and Family Services. Jill began with BBBS in 2008 as an AmeriCorps VISTA, and became a full time employee in 2011. Her favorite part of the program is getting to know all of the Bigs, Littles, and their families. She enjoys helping them achieve success in their mentoring relationships. Jill likes to kayak, camp, play with her dog, and spend time with family and friends.
Jenna Murray
Altamont School Based Mentoring Coordinator
Jenna lives in Altamont with her husband and two children.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Eastern Illinois University.  Jenna has been a teacher for eight years and she has been with Effingham County BBBS since December 2018.  In her free time, she enjoys running and spending time with her family and friends.

Effingham Advisory Committee Members

  • Beth Wise
  • Robi Flach, Altamont Lutheran Interparish School
  • Beth Florido, One Hope United
  • Justin Roley, Land of Lincoln Credit Union
  • Chelsey Spruell, Midland States Bank
  • Bill Elving, Retired
  • Bev Elving, Retired

Executive Board Members

  • Amanda Beals, Wells Fargo Advisors
  • Crystal Brown, Eastern Illinois University
  • Joe Warner, Lanman Oil
  • Kelsey Jacobson,  (Secretary) CCAR Industries
  • Darcy Duzan, Lifetime Eye Care
  • Brett Bennett, Consolidated Communications
  • Rob Fears (Past President), Edward Jones
  • Daniel Moffett, First Mid
  • Kurt Leifheit, Associate General Counsel at The Carle Foundation
  • Seth Reedy (President), First Mid insurance Group
  • Juliana Rieck, Wells Fargo Advisors
  • Kelsey Swing, Gilbert Metzger & Madigan LLP
  • Erica Tomasello (Treasurer), First Neighbor Bank
  • Laura Glenn, Sara Bush Lincoln
  • Matt Holt, CCAR Industries

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