Christopher (Hopper) Oehler
Hopper is an alumni of the program and has been a volunteer with the organization for over 25 years. He has served as a member of the Junior and Adult Staffs, the Seminar Planning Committee, Alumni Adviser and is now serving as the President of Corporate Board. Hopper received his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University. He has enjoyed a 20+ year career in the aerospace industry with Woodward MPC, where he is an Engineering Manager for the Niles facility Test Center.
Ixtel attended Illinois Leadership Seminars for Genoa-Kingston High School in 2011 and she hasn’t missed one since. She has held different positions in ILS, on the Alumni Board as fundraising director, a junior coach and a media ninja. As an adult she has assisted where ever needed as Assistant Director of Operations and Assistant Seminar Chair. She graduated from Elmhurst College in 2017 with a BA in Sociology. She currently works for Dominican University as an undergraduate admission counselor.
Heather is an alumni of the 2000 Illinois Leadership Seminar, when she was attending Dakota High School. Heather has been an active member of the ILS Board of Directors since 2010, as Junior and Senior Coach, a Seminar Panelist, Silent Auction Coordinator and currently serving as Board Secretary. Heather has had the privilege of being a Senior Coach to over 100 students going through this power weekend seminar and is passionate about inspiring youth leaders to realize their potential and contribute to their communities. Professionally, Heather directs a supplier management team in the Electronic Components Industry and holds an MBA in Marketing and International Business.
In the summer of 2006, Austin attended the Illinois Leadership Seminar as a Sophomore from Eastland High School. ILS gets credit for developing what became a lifelong passion for leadership. Austin has served on the Alumni Board and the Seminar Planning Committee as Recruitment Director. He became Treasurer for the Corporate Board in 2013. Austin holds a bachelor's degree in Actuarial Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During business hours, Austin works in Finance at Ally Bank.
Director of Marketing
Amber is a proud 2009 alumni of ILS. She has been helping make the magic of Seminar come true ever since being on the Ops team, Assistant Director of Adwin, Database Coordinator and has been Recruitment Director for the past three years. She is excited to continue her involvement as our new Director of Marketing. Amber graduated from Augustana College with a Communications and Psychology degree and is now an Account Coordinator for Creative Group, a meeting, incentive and recognition company.
Director of Fundraising
Annalisa attended ILS in 2012, representing Lakes Community High School.She has been an active volunteer since, loving her Seminar roles as a Junior Coach, AdWin member and most recently, Co-Assistant Director for the AdWin team. Annalisa is a proud graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she received her degree in Economics. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the School of Labor and Employment Relations and will begin her career with Honeywell upon graduation.
Keith went through Illinois Leadership Seminars in 2000 as a representative from St. Joseph High School - a school he later taught at. Keith earned both his BA and MA from St. Mary's University of Minnesota. Joining the Corporate Board in 2008. He served as the Seminar Chairperson from 2008-2011. Since 2016, Keith has served as the Executive Director of the Br. David Darst Center, a social justice retreat and education center, which works with high school and college students exploring issues of social justice in the city of Chicago.
Kristin has been volunteering with ILS for almost 20 years after first becoming involved as a Senior Coach. She has held many roles including Programming Director, Speaker/Facilitator and her current roles are as Corporate Board Co-Alumni Advisor and Seminar Director of Staff. Kristin graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Northwestern University. She works as a Product Manager at The NPD Group, a market research firm, where Kristin is responsible for overseeing a variety of research products that track trends within the food industry.
Amanda Lemm has been involved with the Illinois Leadership Seminars since 2005 when she represented Zion Benton Township High School as a student participant. Since then, she has volunteered every year by being on the alumni board, a junior staff member and senior coach. She is currently one of the Co-Alumni Advisors with Kristin Nickels. Amanda graduated from SIUE in 2011 with her Bachelors and Masters degree in Secondary Education Sciences. Amanda is currently teaching chemistry at Washington Community High School in Washington, IL.
Samantha is a senior business solutions consultant at Gallup and partners with small and mid-sized organizations in Illinois and Wisconsin on culture, performance, engagement
and selection initiatives. Her primary areas of expertise include people development through a strengths-based lens and creating exceptional workplaces through a culture of engagement. Samantha earned a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received a master’s degree in developmental and cell biology from the University of California, Irvine.
Natalie attended ILS as a high school sophomore back in 1999 and has been involved ever since. She was very involved in Junior Staff and has served as Senior Coach and Director of Programming. She is currently serving as GFWC IL Liaison on Corporate Board and focuses on maintaining and strengthening the incredible support received from GFWC Illinois clubs across the state.
Member At Large
Josh attended our seminar in 2012 representing East Leyden High School in Franklin Park. He attended Western Illinois University before returning to Chicago, and now works as a Community and Political Organizer in the city. Josh has continued his involvement with ILS, having held positions on seminar staff as a Junior and Senior Coach, on the alumni board as Recruitment Director and President, and on Seminar Planning Committee as Assistant Director of Operations and Staff, becoming Director of Staff for Seminar 2019.
Member At Large
Alexis attended Illinois Leadership Seminars in 2012, representing Chicago Public School’s Taft High School, and hasn’t missed one since. She has proudly worn several hats for ILS, namely junior coach, operations team member, President of the Alumni Board, Director of Operations, and member of the Corporate Board. Alexis graduated in 2018 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she earned a double major in Philosophy and Political Science. She is currently pursuing her Juris Doctor from UIC’s John Marshall Law School.
Member At Large
Angela Jos is a past ILS Seminar Chairperson, a position she held 2014-2018. Angela went through the flagship Seminar in 2007 as the student leader from East Leyden High School. She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2013 with her Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts, Acting. She currently works in event production for Agency EA in Chicago.