Illinois State Museum Society Board of Directors

The Society Board consists of twelve members elected for three year terms. From its ranks the Board elects four officers—Chairperson, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary. Any member of the Society may put forth their name for service on the Board. The Nominating Committee of the Board develops the slate of candidates, and presents them to the membership for approval.

Board Members

Sandy BauerSandy Bauer, Chairperson

Sandy is a retired National Board Certified Teacher who has taught for more than 35 years. She ended her teaching career as a 2009 Horace Mann Educator of the Year.  Currently she is the International Baccalaureate, Primary Years Program Coordinator at Iles Elementary School in Springfield. Sandy has always loved and been involved with the Illinois State Museum - as a child who grew up in Springfield observing its many wonderful exhibits, as a teacher who developed lesson plans for the Changes exhibition and reviewed the At Home in the Heartland website as it was being developed, and as an advocate for the Museum to local teachers through different media. Sandy enjoys traveling and received a Japanese Fulbright in 1998 followed a few years later by a visit to Springfield's Japanese Sister City, Ashikaga, as the leader of a group of educators.

David Steward

David Steward, MD, Vice Chairperson

David is a general internist and faculty member at the SIU School of Medicine, currently serving as Associate Dean of Community Health and Service. He grew up on a farm in Eastern Iowa, and received his undergraduate, medical, and public health degrees from the University of Iowa.  He came to Springfield in 1975 for residency training and has lived in the area ever since. David has a professional and personal interest in the health and well-being of the community, and how public institutions contribute to the health of the population.  He has been a member of the Museum Society for several years and has been a regular visitor to the Museum.

Maureen Bluhm, Treasurer

Maureen is the General Manager for White Oaks Properties in Springfield and Lincoln Crossing in O'Fallon, Illinois. She has been with Simon Property Group for more than twenty years managing malls in four different states. Springfield has been her home for the past thirteen years and she looks forward to a bright and exciting future in the area. Her most recent board activity was a six year stint on the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors with three of those years on the Executive Committee. She brings curiosity along with her business acumen and passion to the Board.

Mallory (Fletcher) O’BrienMallory (Fletcher) O’Brien, Secretary

Mallory was born in Chicago and grew up in Springfield, enjoying many summer days and school trips to the Illinois State Museum.  She graduated cum laude from Maryville University with a degree in interior design in 2008 and has worked in the design field in the Springfield area for the past 8 years.  Mallory currently works for Resource One in Springfield, as a designer, assisting in the design and management for commercial projects, both small and large.  She joined the Illinois State Museum Society Board in 2014, has assisted in the ‘ strong museum represents a strong community and puts all efforts toward being a part of a board that helps achieve that goal.

Reneé JohnsonReneé Johnson

Reneé is an independent consultant on nonprofit management from Alton, an adjunct instructor in the Nonprofit Management Program at Washington University, St. Louis, and a Library Assistant at the Hayner Genealogy and Local History Library in Alton. She has served as the Executive Director of the Edwardsville Arts Center, and Volunteer and Intern Programs Coordinator for the Missouri Historical Society in St. Louis. She has a B.A. in History from Oberlin College and a M.A. in Arts Management from The American University in Washington D.C. She is a Museum Society member and recently participated in a round table to help plan a new history exhibition for the Illinois State Museum-Springfield.

Douglas King

Douglas has lived in Springfield for over 30 years. Throughout his career, he has been actively engaged in the community as a volunteer. He has served in leadership positions with the United Way of Central Illinois, Community Foundation of the Land of Lincoln, Continuum of Learning, Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce (Diversity Development Committee, Business Education Partnership), Springfield Dominican Anti-Racism Team, Springfield Coalition for Dismantling Racism, Faith Coalition for the Common Good Education Task Force, Frontiers International, Springfield Public Schools Real Men Read Program, The Springfield Project, Springfield African American History Foundation and Museum, and Springfield Police Community Review Commission.  He served as President of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Illinois and partnered with the Illinois State Museum.

Gwen PeeblesGwen Peebles

Gwen grew up in Lockport, Illinois, and graduated from North Central College in Naperville. Right after college, she moved to Springfield for an internship opportunity with the Illinois Speaker of the House. She was hired on as the education research analyst in the Speaker’s office where she worked for six years before joining Advance Illinois, an education policy organization. Now she advocates to improve our state's education system to benefit all Illinois students.

Mark R. PenceMark R. Pence

Mark earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biology/Molecular Biology from Beloit College and the University of Iowa. Over the past 35 years he has taught Biology and Chemistry plus the occasional Physical Anthropology course at Springfield College in Illinois; worked in various areas at Levi, Ray & Shoup, Inc.; and served on the Boards of several artistic, cultural, and educational organizations in central Illinois.  Recently retired, he is working harder than ever on other interests—among them genealogy, early methods of photography, designing publications, and reading.  Mark and his wife Cheryl, retired from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, live in Springfield.

Lisa WeitzelLisa Weitzel
Lisa is just completing her first term on the Illinois State Museum Society Board.  She is in her second term on the Ball Chatham Board of Education and also serves as one of 21 statewide directors for the Illinois Association of School Boards.  Lisa is a past director of the Springfield Art Association and Illinois Women in Leadership. She received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Northern Illinois University.  She is the President of the Illinois Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.  Lisa is married to Carl and has two young adult children, Catherine and James.
Karen WestbrookKaren Westbrook

Karen has spent the past 30 plus years working in the government and private sector in the strategic planning and program management field. Following a long career in government program management, Karen worked in the defense industry related to homeland security strategic planning and research. Most recently, she has been providing strategic planning and management consulting services to not-for-profit organizations. Karen is a member of numerous not-for-profit organizations serving on the regional boards and committees for several of them. The Westbrook family enjoys the Illinois State Museum and is proud to support the institution.