Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Another new member for WIU’s board

Governor JB Pritzker has appointed Kirk Dillard to the Western Illinois University Board of Trustees, pending approval from the Illinois Senate.

Dillard replaces Patrick Twomey, who is also the Macomb school superintendent. Twomey served one term on the WIU board.

Dillard is a WIU alumnus and a former state senator. He twice ran for the Republican nomination for governor, but lost narrowly in the primary both times.

Dillard is the second new member appointed to the WIU board in the past month. The other new member is Derek Wise, who retired last year from the Illinois State Police, where he was Southern Patrol Region Commander.

Governor Pritzker also reappointed Carin Stutz to Western’s board. She graduated from WIU and will be serving her second term on the board.

The governor’s office provided the following brief biographies of Stutz and Dillard:

*Carin Stutz has over twenty-five years of experience in executive leadership roles within the nation’s most popular food franchises. Stutz currently serves as the President and CEO of Native Foods, providing strategic leadership. Prior to Native Foods, Stutz was an Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. In this role, she was responsible for delivering $1.3 billion in revenue across 572 U.S. and Canadian restaurants. Stutz has been a member of the Western Illinois Board of Trustees since 2019, and is also a board member of the Illinois Restaurant Association, where she sits on the finance committee. Stutz has been awarded and recognized by different organizations including: Fast Casual Industry Hall of Fame, and Western Illinois University’s Distinguished Alumni and Alumni Achievement Award in 2012 and 2019. Stutz received a Bachelor of Science from Western Illinois and a Master of Business Administration from Mid-American Nazarene University.

*Senator Kirk Dillard has been an advocate for the public for over thirty years. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Regional Transit Authority, the nation’s second largest mass transit system. Dillard also served as a member of Governor Pritzker’s Restoring Illinois Infrastructure Transition Committee. In 1994, Dillard was elected to represent Chicagoland’s western suburban area as their State Senator. While in Springfield, he served as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Senate Local Government Committee, and Vice-Chair of the Rules Committee. He also worked as a Court of Claims Judge from 1987 to 1991. Sen. Dillard has been recognized for his many contributions including by Crain’s Chicago Business “Who’s Who in Chicago Business,” the Illinois Farm Bureau Friend of Agriculture, and was named Illinois “Super Lawyer.” Sen. Dillard received a Bachelor of Arts from Western Illinois University, Juris Doctorate from DePaul University College of Law, and a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Western Illinois University.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.