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Illinois State Museum Society Board of Directors 


Bryan Finn, Chairman

Bryan is currently employed at the Illinois Department of Human Services, Bureau of Policy Development, as the Manager of Research and Reporting. Previously, he has worked in healthcare for 30 years in various administrative capacities.

As a resident of Springfield for over 37 years, he has served on various community and professional boards striving to enhance the services offered by these organizations. Bryan earned a B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh and an MBA degree from the University of Illinois – Springfield.

Lynn Fisher, Secretary

Lynn Fisher is a faculty member in the Sociology/Anthropology Department at the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) and an Adjunct Research Associate in Anthropology at the Illinois State Museum.

She grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, earned a B.A. in Anthropology from Oberlin College in Ohio, and earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of Michigan. Fisher's archaeological research is based in southern Germany, where she spends time each year studying stone technology and land use among prehistoric farming societies. She teaches courses in archaeology and biological anthropology at UIS and has connected UIS students with the Illinois State Museum through student research projects, internships, and field trips. Fisher has served as chair of the UIS Campus Senate and a member of the University Senates Conference, and in various elected positions with University Professionals of Illinois / Illinois Federation of Teachers.

Matt Berry, Vice Chairman

Matt currently serves as Chief of Staff for the Illinois Community College Board where he is responsible for policy development, legislative affairs, public relations, human resources, fiscal management.  

He has over fifteen years of experience in higher education finance and policy having previously held positions at the Illinois Board of Higher Education and Office of the Illinois Senate President.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Illinois College and has a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Matt is very active in fundraising for community organizations. He was a member of the Westminster Cooperative Preschool Board where he spear-headed their fundraising efforts and has served on the Phoenix Center’s Fundraising Committee. Matt and his husband and son live in New Berlin.

Clayton Hamrick, Treasurer

Clayton Hamrick is an Audit Manager at Kerber, Eck & Braeckel LLP's Springfield, Illinois office. He joined the firm in 2013. Hamrick earned his Master of Professional Accountancy from Illinois State University. He and his wife Ashley and their miniature schnauzer reside in Springfield, Illinois.


Erica Austin

Erica is a native of Springfield, Illinois. She currently works at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine (SIU-SOM) as the Regional Community Liaison and Project Manager for the COVID-19 Centers.

Formally, she was an AmeriCorps Program manager through Springfield Urban League and a 4-H Educator through University of Illinois Extension. Recently, she decided to take a leap of faith and JUMP to do what God has been telling her to do for years. Her leap of faith is starting her own youth program. In October of 2019 she started her own youth program entitled “The L.Y.N.C. (Leading Youth, Networking communities).”

Louis Constant

Louise Constant is a native of Springfield. She served as Director of Finance for the Springfield Department of Public Health and Safety from 1974 to 1996. Previously, she has more than 20 years of experience in business with a focus on bookkeeping and finance. She was a member of the American Business Women's Association for 45 years and served as president of a Springfield chapter for several years. Now retired, she continues part time bookkeeping work and joined the ISMS Board of Directors in 2017. She serves on the Finance Committee.

Jo Nast

Jo Nast received her MA in Anthropology with concentrations in Museum Studies, Art and Anthropology, and Material Culture. She is retired and spent over 15 years in Research Development Administration. 

In this role she served as Research Project Specialist in the Office of Research Development and Administration at SIUC and Director of the University's Undergraduate Research Program, and prior to that as Executive Director of Development and Research at John A. Logan College. Before entering research development, she was Curator of History at the University Museum at SIUC and began her career as Director of Educational Services at the former Illinois State Historical Library in Springfield.

Ashley Nippert-Yoggerst

Ashley Nippert-Yoggerst is a native of Geneva, Illinois, who attended Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, where she majored in Forestry and Natural Resource Management.

With over 20 years of experience in outdoor education, Nippert-Yoggerst co-founded an all-women-led outdoor and experiential-education nonprofit in 2016 to support families in rural and underserved communities surrounding Mount St. Helens in Washington. She is a former Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Guide and Americorps Vista Alumni, having served the National Society for American Indian Elderly. In addition, Nippert-Yoggerst has worked for a decade in grant and nonprofit management for education and environmental conservation.

She lives in Springfield, Illinois, with her husband and two children and serves on the City of Springfield's Historic Sites Commission.

Dr. Christine Todd

Christine Yasuko Todd, MD FACP FHM received her undergraduate degree in English Language and Literature from The University of Chicago, her MD from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, and did her residency and chief residency at the University Hospitals of the Case Western Reserve and Louis Stokes VAMC. She has been a faculty member at SIUSOM in the departments of Internal Medicine and Medical Humanities, and currently chairs the department of Medical Humanities as well as leading the Wellness Pillar of the Center for Human and Organizational Development at SIUSOM.

Ava Carpenter-McPike

Ava is a native of East Saint Louis currently residing in Springfield, Illinois. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Nu Omicron Omega Chapter in Springfield. In January of 1996, she was initiated into the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and has not stopped carrying out the mission of service to all humankind.

She has held several positions within her chapter, the last being President. She is also a member of the Eureka Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star-Estella Chapter. She is a member of the Springfield Black Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Probation Court Services Association where she currently chairs the Gender Responsive Committee. She was also just appointed to the Lincoln College Criminal Justice Advisory Board. Ava has a passion for working with disadvantaged youth and has dedicated 23 years to serving as a voice for those that cannot speak for themselves. Her current title is Senior Probation Officer/Individual Program Coordinator. Ava is the proud mother of two lovely children, Aryana and Araya.

Cinda Klickna

Cinda Ackerman Klickna is from Springfield, Illinois, and attended Springfield High School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Education from the University of Illinois, Urbana, and a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Illinois, Springfield.

Klickna taught English in the Springfield School district for many years and served in various elected positions with the Illinois Education Association and the National Education Association. In 2017, she retired after serving six years as President of the Illinois Education Association, with a membership of 135,000 teachers and support staff. Furthermore, Klickna served as a trustee of the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System from 2003 to 2019. She has been working as a freelance writer since the 1980s. Also, she serves on various boards, including the Illinois Educators’ Credit Union, Illinois State Museum Society Board, Dana Thomas House Foundation Board, Illinois State Historical Society, and United Way Education Vision Council.

Klickna is married to Kim, a retired band and music teacher. They have two sons, Keith, who lives in Orlando, Florida, and Kevin (wife Paula, sons Dominic and Klayton), who live in Rochester, Illinois.

Jacob Thornton

The biography will be available shortly.

Lauren Yoggerst

The biography will be available shortly.