Through June 2011, I served as Vice President of Public Relations and Communications at IHS, the nation's sixth largest nondenominational health system in the country with annual revenues of $2.3 billion and nearly 20,000 employees. It is the parent organization of Trinity Regional Health System in the Quad-Cities.
Prior to my appointment with IHS in January 2008, I served as Senior Director of Corporate Communications for Trinity for more than 6 years.
Before entering the health care field, I was a journalist. For 17 years, I reported on crime, city and state government, health, investigations and other issues of importance. Most of my reporting and editing career was spent at the Quad-City Times.
The stories I am proudest of include: the practice of a police department withholding arrest reports of prominent and politically connected people; a fire chief who submitted fraudulent restaurant receipts for reimbursement; and a township official who was investigated and reprimanded by a grand jury and state's attorney as a result of her research into his unethical spending. I also covered topics such as child abuse and the lack of dental care in the community that resulted in legislative changes and improved services.
Before beginning the race for U.S. Congress, I proudly supported and represented the members of my community on the East Moline City Council. I look forward to taking that passion for helping others to Congress with me if I am elected in November.
I enjoy tennis, reading, spending time with family and friends and walking my dog, Tina Fey.
I am proud to have served as President of the board of directors of The Women's Connection, one of Illinois' largest women's membership organizations. I am a past volunteer with Big Brothers/Big Sisters-Quad-Cities; Junior Achievement of the Heartland in the Quad-Cities; Two Rivers YMCA in Moline, Ill.; and United Way of the Quad-Cities Area, where I served on the Community Investment Committee.
I served on the board of directors for: Skip-A-Long Child Development Services, Illinois' largest downstate child-care organization, where I also served on its executive committee; and WVIK public radio in Rock Island, where I was board vice chair. I chaired the marketing/communications committee for two of the Chamber of Commerce organizations in the Quad-Cities that have merged into Quad-Cities First.
I also was past co-chair of the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women fund-raising event, past board member of a Midwestern-based Poison Control Center and as a member of the Child Abuse Council's Public Awareness Committee.
I was past co-chair of the Access to the Media committee, which developed a workshop to acclimate the Quad-City community to area newspapers, television and radio. During that time, I was appointed as the only Quad-City area reporter to be a board member of the Mayor's Media Roundtable on Ethnic Diversity.
Before being elected as Alderman on the City Council in East Moline, Ill., where I am serving my second, four-year term, I served on the East Moline Citizens Advisory Committee and the East Moline Plan Commission.
I am a delegate of the Illinois Women's Institute for Leadership, a graduate of the Illinois Quad-City Chamber of Commerce Leadership Academy and of the University of Illinois at Springfield's Legislative Staff Internship Program, where I worked with the Senate Democrats. I also interned in Washington, D.C., with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (where I met JFK Jr.)
I also served on the Illinois College Alumni Board of Directors.