To inspire and empower the community through the arts
Nikki Romain is a graduate from Columbia College Chicago with a B.A. in Theater. She was selected to perform with the well-known Chicago Praise Ensemble and toured throughout Northern Italy. Nikki has performed in musicals and theatrical productions across the country such as, Little Shop of Horrors, The Wiz, Godspell, Steel Magnolias, For Colored Girls, and Shoe Story. She recently wrote, produced, and played in her one woman show, “Lost and Found” (a story about how the arts saved her life), at the prestigious Royal George theater in Chicago.
Jonathon Romain is a nationally known artist who has owned an art gallery for over twenty years. His art has been seen on television, in magazines, and museums. In addition to his artistic accomplishments he is a prolific speaker. Jonathon has shared his journey with thousands of young people across the country from prisons to some of the most prestigious colleges in the world. He is also a member of Peoria’s Public Arts Advisory
Robyn Stewart has spent over a decade working as an engineering consultant and project manager in the Telecommunications industry for major infrastructure companies such as Ericsson and network operator T-mobile. Throughout her career, Robyn encountered so few women engineers and even fewer executives, that she became very passionate about empowering youth, especially girls, to pursue STEAM careers. She now works with several nonprofit and community-based organizations whose mission is to provide educational opportunities to disadvantaged youth.
Errica Jackson is Founder of Elevated Events by Errica, which creates and designs one of a kind events that reflect the clients taste and personality. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 2000 and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from University of Phoenix in 2011.
Les Willis is currently an Executive for State Farm Insurance Companies in Bloomington, Il. He is originally from Chicago and in addition to Illinois, he’s worked in Texas, Indiana and Toronto, Canada. Les received a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Bradley University. He earned the Chartered Property and Casualty (CPCU), Chartered Financial Consultant (CHFC), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Fellow Life Management Institute (FLMI) and Associate in Premium Auditor (APA) designations. He also serves as Operations Chair on the Auto Insurance Plan Services Office (AIPSO) Board and on the Executive Committee for the Property Insurance Plan Services Office (PIPSO) board.
Bashir Ali is an author, lecturer, and a nationally recognized community development leader. He brings a wealth of accomplished experience in workforce, economic, and community development. Bashir recently retired as the Director of Workforce Development for Central Illinois, a position he held for twenty-five years. He is also a noted leader and Imam in the Islamic faith. Bashir has served on numerous local, state and, national boards. He currently serves as Chair of the George Washington Carver Center Association Board and Member and Past Chair of the Central Illinois Community Foundation Board, both of Peoria, Illinois.
Deveraux R. Hubbard is the Senior Pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church in Peoria, Illinois. Pastor Hubbard has served at St. Paul Baptist Church since May of 1997. Pastor Deveraux R. Hubbard was licensed as a minister of the gospel in 1993, ordained in 1997. He received his B.A. from Bradley University in Peoria, IL and his Masters of Divinity from Lincoln Christian Seminary in Lincoln, IL in 2004. Pastor Hubbard has served on several community boards in Central Illinois and continues to lead the St. Paul family in partnering with Churches and community agencies to transform the city of Peoria.
Lizz Barnes is a jewelry artist and a business owner in Peoria. She believes in the impact that the arts can have on young lives. She currently runs Ear in the Envelope Inc. in the Warehouse District of Peoria.