From senior-level executives at top corporations to highly successful entrepreneurs, we are proud to welcome our 2013-2014 College of Business Hall of Fame inductees back to Illinois State University to interact with students, faculty, alumni and industry partners. Their accomplishments and commitment to excellence not only reflect their professional dedication and service to others, but also add value to our programs and the Illinois State brand for all of our graduates. For past inductees into the Alumni Hall of Fame and Service Hall of Fame [Read More...]
Holding this induction ceremony and luncheon during Business Week provides students, faculty, and other alumni the chance to interact with the inductees and learn from their experiences.
Currie was in one of the first graduation classes to earn a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Illinois State University. He then entered the Masters of Accountancy program at the University of Illinois where he focused on federal income taxation and passed the CPA exam. After graduation he returned to Illinois State and taught one semester before being drafted into the US Army. After his discharge he joined Arthur Young & Company in Chicago. The long commute did not mesh well with his desire for a high quality life style, and he returned to Bloomington-Normal. Changes of employers became one of the prevalent attributes of his career. He was constantly seeking more interesting and challenging work and was always successful in obtaining it.
During the next 18 years Currie taught tax and accounting courses at Illinois State, and was promoted to Associate Professor. He also was a tax practitioner with Striegel, Bonham & Thoennes, and later, Guthoff & Company. In 1990 he joined Dunbar, Breitweiser & Company from which he retired in 1993.
Currie excelled in writing and teaching various tax courses. For 22 years he was a professional speaker, traveling and teaching CPE courses for CPA firms, State CPA Societies, and the American Institute of CPAs. His most celebrated client was the National Tax Institute. He traveled all over the U.S., Paris, Canada, and Hawaii. He specialized in estate planning and retirement planning courses.
Currie semi-retired in 1993 and moved to Scottsdale, Arizona. Still seeking new and challenging work, he consulted for McGladrey and also started a private practice. His clients were far more than names on a tax form; he counted them among his friends. As the initial elder of Fellowship North Church, he played a leadership role in overseeing the work of the church. He also served on the Board of the Pregnancy Resource Clinic.
After a long battle with cancer, Currie died in March of 2014. As he lived his life, he was optimistic to the very end and believed his situation was just another challenge to be overcome. He leaves his wife Margaret; two adult sons, Doug and Tim; daughter-in-law Lynn; and grandchildren Benjamin and Kaylee.
Debs is President and CFO of West Suburban Bancorp, a position he has held since 1996. West Suburban has been in business since 1962 and is a leading bank in the western suburbs of Chicago. West Suburban has 37 locations and over $2.1 billion of assets. Debs has been with the bank since 1987 and has never had a sick day.
Debs graduated from Illinois State in 1978 with a degree in accountancy. During his tenure at ISU he played soccer for the Redbirds and was the assistant captain of the team from 1975-1978. He was also a member of the Student Accounting Society.
Prior to joining West Suburban, he was a manager in the public accounting firm Bansley and Kiener. Debs has been involved in many not-for-profits as he is a strong believer that one should give back to one’s local communities and that one should support other important causes.
He has served as a director and the board treasurer of DuPage Pads, a local non-profit that reaches out to the homeless in DuPage County. In addition, he is involved with the FBI Chicago Citizens Academy Alumni Association, an outreach organization that fosters a better understanding of the FBI’s law enforcement role and capabilities and seeks to create a supportive relationship between the FBI and local businesses, media and governmental and ethnically diverse groups.
Debs also serves on the board of the Better Business Bureau where he is a member of the Ethics Committee, the Audit Committee and the Golf Committee. He led West Suburban’s efforts which resulted in the Bank’s receipt of the BBB’s Torch Award for marketplace ethics in 2012 and 2015.
Recently, Debs has become an active participant in reviewing essays submitted for scholarships from the Chelsea’ Light Foundation. The foundation combats sexual violence against children. The scholarships provide financial support for college and the Joie de Vivre or “joy of life” to enable recipients to experience the joy of extracurricular activities that they otherwise could not afford.
Debs has also been an active participant of the Honor Flight of Chicago. The Honor Flight provides veterans the opportunity to visit our nation’s capital at no cost and in an atmosphere that is intended to thank and honor the veterans for the sacrifices they made that allow Americans to enjoy the freedoms that we have in the U.S.
Debs is a member of the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) and the ILCPA (Illinois Certified Public Accountants) along with having been on the Special Industry Group for financial Institutions. He is also a member of The Bankers Club of Chicago and is on the board of directors of the Financial Managers Society since 2014 and is currently serving as the secretary.
Drendel is a Senior Vice President and the Head of Wealth Management for First Bank & Trust, a Chicagoland community-owned and operated bank with assets in excess of $920 million. The bank’s Wealth Management Department, which serves individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations, has over $360 million in total assets.
With over 40 years of wealth management experience, Drendel brings expertise in Trust Administration, Estate Planning, Asset Protection and Fiduciary Practice Management to First Bank & Trust. Drendel’s team provides investment management, financial planning, administrative services, estate plan review, and trust services to their customers.
Drendel came to First Bank & Trust after 14 years of managing a team of senior trust professionals for U.S.Trust / Bank of America N.A. Previously, he had been a vice president, manager, and senior administrator in the Milwaukee office of Marshall & Ilsley Trust Company. Prior to his five years in Milwaukee, he managed the business development and administration officers at the First National Bank & Trust Company of Rockford. Drendel started his career in Peoria at The First National Bank of Peoria, after receiving his Bachelors of Science in Accounting from Illinois State University (1972).
Drendel serves as Chairman for the Advisory Council for Illinois State University’s School of Business. He was awarded his Charted Trust and Financial Advisor CTFA designation by the Institute of Certified Bankers, and was twice elected President of the Corporate Fiduciaries Association of Illinois. He is a member of the Chicago Estate Planning Council, is a life member of the American Business Club, and serves on various boards of civic and not-for-profit organizations.
Lemke is the Vice President of Operations for Advocate Charitable Foundation, the fundraising arm of Advocate Health Care, based in Downers Grove, Illinois. In this role, she is responsible for developing and implementing strategic plans and initiatives to increase philanthropic support for Advocate Health Care, oversees the annual fund initiatives, corporate philanthropy, and operational departments of the foundation and is a key liaison to the Foundation board of directors.
Lemke has over 25 years of experience serving, consulting, and advising clients and organizations in the non-profit and health care industries. Lemke’s experiences include serving as President of Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation, National Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer for Prevent Blindness America, Chicago, and President & CEO of United Way of Champaign County, Champaign, Illinois. She spent the first eleven years of her career at the national accounting firm, McGladrey, LLP, in Champaign Illinois.
Not only does Lemke work in the nonprofit industry, but has served on boards of directors of various civic, social and business organizations including Champaign Country Chamber of Commerce, Executive Club of Champaign, Crisis Nursery, and United Way of Dupage/West Cook County. Lemke currently serves as the Board Treasurer for the Donors Forum in Chicago and Vice President for the Marajen Stevick Foundation in Champaign, Illinois.
Lemke earned her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Illinois State University and is a certified public accountant.She currently resides in Glen Ellyn with her husband, three children, and adorable puppy, Laney.
Norman began his career with A.G. Edwards first as an investment broker and Certified Financial Planner in Rockford, Illinois and several years later as the branch manager of their Bloomington office. In his 10-year tenure with A.G. Edwards, he was named Vice President-Investment Officer. He remained a Bloomington branch manager when A.G. Edwards was sold first to Wachovia Securities and later to Wells Fargo Advisors.
For 25 years, Norman established himself as a top-rate investment broker and manager through building relationships. He offered trusted financial advice to clients in Bloomington, Rockford and states across the country. Known for his unwavering dedication to client service, he held more appointments in clients’ homes than he did his own office. Clients invited him into their lives not just as their broker but also as honorary members of their family. Norman always made time to attend weddings, birthdays, graduation and retirement celebrations whether the gathering honored a member of his immediate or vast extended family. He loved serving others while keeping the spotlight off of himself, gaining enormous satisfaction helping clients chart their financial futures and reach their life goals.
A regular guest on radio station WJBC in Bloomington, he offered wise counsel as listeners called in to pose all manner of financial questions. Universally respected and admired by his brokers, he was known for his effective leadership and easygoing management style.
Norman earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Illinois State University and served on the Advisory Councils for the College of Business and Department of Finance, Insurance and Law. He made the extra time to routinely mentor business school students and participate in campus events.
Charles (Charlie) Norman died suddenly in 2014 at the age of 51. He loved helping others and was a role model for many.