The College of Business honored the first inductees into its Service Hall of Fame in 2008/2009. Each year the College will name a small number of individuals to the Service Award Hall of Fame from nominations submitted by alumni, friends, faculty, and staff. These individuals are recognized for their long-standing dedication to the College and its mission. Their accomplishments and commitment to excellence not only reflect their professional dedication and service to others, their achievements add value to our programs and the Illinois State brand for all our graduates. A committee of faculty and staff assembled by the dean chooses the honorees. The inductees are honored on a permanent plaque in the College of Business.
The College of Business honored its first class of Service Alumni Hall of Fame recipients during the 2008/2009 Business Week events.
Bloomington - Retired Vice President of Strategic Planning and Corporate Service, GROMARK
Vern McGinnis attended Illinois State University’s School of Agriculture before receiving his degree in agriculture from the University of Illinois. He earned his master’s in agricultural economics in 1965.
McGinnis retired from GROWMARK in 2007 after 42 years with the company. Since 1965, McGinnis progressed his way through the company in the areas of marketing research, corporate planning, market development, corporate communications, and member services. From 1986–2007 he was on the executive management staff, including the vice President of corporate services, vice president of finance, and retired the company as the vice president of strategic planning and corporate services.
Outside of work McGinnis has been involved in professional and corporate affiliations such as the American Marketing Association, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, Agricultural Cooperative Development International, and Inter-Provincial Cooperative Organization of Canada.
McGinnis is also actively involved in the community, including the Illinois State College of Business Advisory Council. He also is active in the United Way of McLean County, McLean County Chamber of Commerce, and Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development. Additionally McGinnis is on the Healthcare System Board and the Foundation Board of BroMenn Medical Center.
Bloomington - Retired Senior Executive Vice President of Financial Services, State Farm
Jack North retired in 2007 as a senior executive vice president for State Farm Insurance Companies. North's State Farm career began in 1981 when he was appointed as an agent in western Pennsylvania. He was promoted to agency manager in suburban Pittsburgh and agency director in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
North and his family moved to Bloomington in 1992 when he was named executive assistant in the president's office. North was appointed deputy regional vice president in the Illinois Office of State Farm in Bloomington and soon after became regional vice president.
In 1998 North was asked to join the president's office as a senior vice president. He had numerous responsibilities during his nine years in the president's office/chairman's council, retiring as a member of the office of the chairman.
North served on several non-profit boards. He is currently a board member of the Timber Pointe Charitable Foundation and a member of the foundation board at Second Presbyterian Church in Bloomington. North is the president of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame board of directors, a reflection of his long time commitment to advancing women's athletics. He remains an avid Redbird fan.
Jack earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his master’s degree in education from Slippery Rock State University. His commitment to the insurance industry is also reflected in his CLU and CHFC designations.
North and his wife Kim are the proud parents of Corey, an Illinois State graduate, who is currently a State Farm agent in Peoria. Their daughter Shelby is a first grade teacher in Plainfield.
Sharon Rossmark ‘78
Bloomington - Retired Assistant Vice President of Agency Distribution, Allstate Insurance
Sharon Rossmark is an innovative business leader with a thirty-year proven track record in the areas of sales strategy, implementation, change management, and process management.
She has extensive expertise in developing breakthrough strategies to drive revenue from independent contractor distribution systems. She is also the named inventor on six corporate patents. As assistant vice president of agency distribution for the Allstate Insurance Company, she led a $30 million division responsible for business support of the organization’s 14,000 exclusive agencies.
Rossmark led a cross-functional team to develop a turn-key process to reduce new agency expenses by 30 percent, which saved over $2 million in its first year. She also headed up the development and introduction of a new agency deployment model to strategically place agencies for market optimization. Rossmark is recognized for pioneering the establishment of Allstate’s first research and development location to serve as an enterprise resource and customer-facing laboratory to re-engineer, test, and evaluate new approaches to the retail insurance environment.
She is a past board member of the Allstate Foundation and is currently on the boards of the Sinai Health System and the College of Business Advisory Board of Illinois State University. She also currently serves on the Katie School of Insurance Board, the Oakton Community College Educational Foundation Board Investments Committee, and is a board member for the Chicago Human Rhythm Project.
Rossmark is a graduate of Illinois State University and holds a MBA from the University of Illinois—Chicago. Sharon and her husband currently reside in Northbrook.