Leadership

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.

Stacey

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 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

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

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.

Christy

Christy 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.

Chrissy

Chrissy Patterson

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 Brown

Melanie Connell-Brown

Enrollment and Matching Specialist

I live in Altamont, Il with my husband and daughter. I received my BA in Psychology and teaching certificate from EIU. I enjoy spending time with my family, friends and my cats and dogs.

Jill

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

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.

EMPOWERING POTENTIAL

When you support Big Brothers Big Sisters, you change lives for children in our community.