The 2019-2020 Board
Troy was born and raised in Springfield. After attending Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and working in St. Louis, he made his way back home. Troy has been a practicing CPA with a focus in taxation since 2015 and upon his return to Springfield, he has advanced his career at Eck, Schafer & Punke, LLP.
Troy is passionate about supporting local businesses and is committed to helping Springfield succeed. Along with his wife, Kelly, you can often find them walking or running with their dogs through Washington Park.
Lauren Stead, Marketing Director for Conn's Hospitality Group, Inc. has spent the last 10 years in Digital Marketing and Event Planning.
Hailing from the suburbs of Chicago, Lauren has called Springfield home for 9 years and enjoys being apart of a community that helps build and enrich the lives of others.
Lauren serves on several boards around the area and has been involved in multiple non profit organizations and events. When she isn't working or helping in the community she enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons taking adventures, golfing and being outside.
Marketing & Events Chair
Sarah L. Croft, President & CEO, formed Capital City Event Planning in 2017 after spending 15 years working in Governmental Affairs as an Executive Administrative Assistant, Office Manager, Manager of Administrative Services and Meeting Coordinator. Her experience includes Association Conference Planning & Training Coordination, Primary & General Election Conference Planning, Advocacy/Lobby Day Execution and Golf Outing, Member Awards Ceremonies and Executive and Board of Director Meeting Planning.
She has a proven track record of delivery results with her meticulous attention to detail, thorough analysis and outstanding organizational skills. Sarah is passionate about event planning, loves working with people and takes great pride in seeing all of her hard work come to fruition with the execution of strategically planned events.
Immediate Past President
Desiree is a Senior Vice President of Corporate Citizenship for Bunn-O-Matic in Springfield, IL, overseeing the company’s corporate social responsibility initatives. As a 33 year veteran with the organization, she represents the company at key events and trade organizations in the beverage and food service industries.
BUNN is a leading manufacturer of dispensed beverage equipment, doing business in 90 countries around the globe.
Desiree is passionate about the Springfield and has a 38 year history as an active community volunteer.
Jamie Stout, Director of Membership and Annual Giving, for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation has spent the last 16 years in nonprofits, management and youth programming. Jamie also is a small business owner of Sugar Creek Furnishings, which is a furniture painting service.
Jamie was a finalist for the Athena Leadership Award, Young Entrepreneur presented by The State Journal Register and has been named “40 under 40” by the Springfield Business Journal. She received Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Public Administration from University of Illinois Springfield. Jamie is currently serving on several community boards and enjoys her time giving back to the community.
Born and raised in central Illinois, Sheryl has been part of the Springfield community for almost forever. She moved to Phoenix, Arizona, in 1980 where she married her high school sweetheart, Cary, bought their first house and had both of their sons before returning to Illinois in 1987.
Sheryl and Cary started a company with another couple, CD Tile but were bought out by their partners in 1995. They then opened The Arizona Tile Company, a full service floor covering and tile store.
In addition to running The Arizona Tile Company, she has been active in the community serving numerous board positions including president for Illinois Women in Leadership and past chairman of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce and now Vice President for Local First Springfield.
Justin joined the local first Board of Directors in 2018. A native of Springfield, Justin graduated from Springfield High School in 1998 along with his twin brother, Jason. He then went on to play baseball at Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) and Miami University (Ohio) where he studied business finance and administration.
After college, Justin pursued a career in professional baseball that spanned ten years and included stints with the San Francisco Giants, Oakland A’s, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox, Florida Marlins, and Los Angeles Dodgers. When his playing days came to an end, he spent seven years coaching at LLCC where he help lead two teams to the NJCAA national tournament. Justin also owns The Clubhouse, and indoor baseball and softball facility in Chatham, Illinois.
In 2017, he joined the business development team at the Bank of Springfield where he works closely with their business customers on day to day banking needs. Justin married his wife, Ann, in 2009 and they have a daughter, Makenna.
Brent is the owner, founder and brewmaster at Engrained Brewery & Restaurant. After growing up on his family’s small dairy & grain farm near Carlock, IL Brent received his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Master’s degree in Human Resources from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign.
After 10 years in corporate America, Brent started his own company with the goal of building a values based business that, among other things, works to keeps dollars in the local community. Brent spends his free time with his wife and three young boys.
Carolyn has been in the automotive industry for 5 years alongside her father, Kevin, amassing a wealth of car knowledge.She is a boss lady in this male predominate industry and has geared her career to assist women become safe, confident and knowledgeable auto car owners.
Carolyn is has been a Springfield native and lives here in town with her husband Adam Pemberton. Carolyn is passionate about buying local and encouraging others as well! #localLove
Dushun Hogan, is the President of Cleaning General Janitorial Services Inc. While attending high school Arizona Dushun created an interest in business after attending his high school early morning extra curricular program called DECA. After graduating high school he went to pursue a degree in Business Management at LLCC while creating his business.
A native of Chicago he has come to call Springfield his new home after living here for eight years. Most days when Dushun isn't working he's enjoying the small moments he spends with his family and three children.
Jake has been a producer with TROXELL since 2016. As a consultant in the insurance industry for more than 7 years, Jake focuses on home, auto and commercial insurance and Group Benefits.
Jake is a member of many organizations in the Springfield area including the American Business Club. He also recently graduated from the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce “Leadership Springfield” class.
Jake grew up in the Springfield area and attended Chatham Glenwood High School. After high school he attended Illinois State University where he was a 4 year letter winner in football and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2010.
Kevin Lust came to Springfield for his first “career” job in banking in 1984. Since then, he has travelled the world as a speaker, consultant, and trainer—founding Lust Development Group, Inc., along the way. In over 1,900 professional presentations, thousands of people across 49 states, 16 countries, and four continents have enjoyed learning his trademark “Lust Lessons” and progress-inspiring action steps.
In 2005, Kevin was named Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Lincoln Land Community College. There, he has advised over 1,400 business clients in nearly 5,000 hours of individual consulting sessions. Along with his work activities, Kevin devotes his time to several organizations and causes that are important to him—like Local First Springfield!