Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Dillon Cathro, Director for Inclusive Leadership Programs
Dillon Alexander Methven Cathro (he/him) provides diversity, equity and inclusion education and training to organizations in the DeKalb region and beyond. His primary goal is to foster connections with various organization on the corporate and community levels in the region, and to work with them foster work environments that center diversity, equity and inclusion in their strategic models. The only child of a single mother, and the product of a community-based approach to child-raising, Dillon has a passion for helping community members to seek out and access academic, professional and social resources on and off campus. Coming to NIU with professional experience in education, social work and community organizing, Dillon is clear and transparent in his mission to combat systemic injustices and looks forward to supporting community leaders throughout Dekalb County as they cultivate the skills and tools necessary to instill sustainable and equitable social change throughout their communities.
Jason Pope, Director of Recruitment, Rockford Public School District 205
Jason is a cross functional business partner managing all aspects of HR for multiple schools within the Rockford Public School District. He brings over 15 years of human resource experience in both the public and private sectors and loves to engage students with practical, real-world experiences in the classroom.
John Newton, Human Resources and Learning and Development Professional
John Newton is a human resources and learning and development professional. He is a coach, consultant, trainer, teacher and public speaker who specializes in helping people and organizations reach their ultimate potential. John’s philosophy is “Kindness is the bottom line.” Be kind to your employees and they will reward you with hard work and commitment. John has been an instructor for Northern Illinois University for over 15 years.
Karen Brown, Director of Human Resources, Highland Community College
Karen Brown has held a number of senior executive positions in healthcare and human resources. She currently serves as the director of Human Resources, Highland Community College, Freeport, IL. Prior to this, she served as vice president, operations, at OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rockford, IL. Karen has a Master of Business Administration degree from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois. She holds professional certifications: through the American College of Healthcare Executives, Fellow (FACHE); Society for Human Resource Management, Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP); and Human Resources (SPHR).
Karen Vujtech, Managing Director, Total Rewards Consulting
Karen Vujtech, the managing director of Total Rewards Consulting, has over 20 years of experience in human resources, with significant expertise in compensation as well as experience in benefits and HR systems management. Prior to consulting, Karen held key compensation and benefits positions in a variety of industries, from consumer products and healthcare to high tech. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Northern Illinois University and an MBA from Dominican University. Karen is the past-President of the Chicago chapter of SHRM and is a certified senior human resources professional (SPHR). She has held regional officer positions for WorldatWork and numerous Board positions, including president, for the Chicago Compensation Association (CCA). Karen has extensive experience teaching certification preparation courses at Northern Illinois University, DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois and Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois.
Stephanie Gambro, Director of Business Transformation for a large Fortune 500 company
Stephanie is a director of transformation for a large Fortune 500 Company. She has over 20 years of experience driving strategic transformational programs within large multi-functional organizations. Working with executive leadership teams, she helps set the strategic objectives and efforts that will drive an organization towards success. Stephanie also teaches with the NIU Outreach Program, preparing professional learners to sit for the PMP and the SHRM S-CP and CP exams.
Susan Walsh, Director of HR and Finance, L2 Interactive
Susan has over 25 years of experience in human resources. She began her career in training and development, specifically management and leadership development with various global service industries. She has worked with executive teams to align strategic initiatives, implement systemic change efforts and ensure HR deliverables add value to the bottom line. In her current position as the director of HR and Finance for a digital agency, her role is both operational and strategic, including all aspects of talent acquisition and development, change management and financial analysis. She’s been a member of the NIU instructor team for two years and finds it so rewarding to help students make the transition from gaining knowledge to business application. When she’s not at work, Susan enjoys almost anything outdoors from hiking to biking. She loves being out of her element in new and interesting places. She is also an avid reader and enjoys topics on productivity.
Alana F. Dunoff, M.S., ProFM, FMP, IFMA Fellow
Alana F. Dunoff, M.S., ProFM, FMP, IFMA Fellow, has over 30 years’ experience in strategic facility planning and project management.
Alana is passionate about FM education and has over 20 years’ experience as an adjunct professor; she currently teaches in the Facility Management Program at Temple University. Alana is a qualified instructor for the IFMA FMP and ProFM Credentials and has helped over 600 students earn their designations. Alana also provides custom training for FM professionals.
Alana has been a keynote speaker and presenter at dozens of Facility Management industry conferences, universities and corporations. She is a SME for the IFMA FMP Body of Knowledge and has had numerous articles published in FM trade journals and been featured in a variety of FM publications and podcasts. Alana has served on the local and the International IFMA board and is currently on the Board of Women in Facility Management (WIFM). In 2014 she was honored to become an IFMA Fellow. Alana earned her B.S. in Psychology from Boston University and her M.S. in Facility Planning and Management from Cornell University.
James R. Myers, P.E., ProFM, FM Consultant and Educator
James Myers, P.E., ProFM, has more than 40 years of experience in energy, facility management and infrastructure, engineering, education and business. For 22 years, he was the director of the Penn State Facilities Engineering Institute where he assisted facilities by developing and implementing programs to reduce energy use and cost and increase sustainability. Mr. Myers has developed and provided customized training for facility professionals for more than 30 years. Mr. Myers received his B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University and M.S. in Architectural Engineering from Penn State University. Since retiring, he teaches and consults.
Amy Baugh, President of Milestones Project Management, Inc. and Vice President of Technology Program Management for a major Fortune 500 company
Amy Baugh is a program management executive with over 20 years of experience spanning program management, project management, change management, technology and human resources. Amy is president of Milestones Project Management, Inc. and vice president of Technology Program Management for a major Fortune 500 company. Amy is an expert in her field, with particular expertise in Stakeholder Engagement. Amy holds her MBA from DePaul University with a concentration in change management, and a B.A. from Illinois Wesleyan University in business administration and sociology. She also has her PMP and PgMP certifications from the Project Management Institute (PMI), and has published a book, “Stakeholder Engagement: The Game Changer for Program Management” (CRC Press 2015).
Cheri Tenhouse, Independent Project Manager
Cheri began her career teaching English before moving to project management where she has over 20 years of project management experience leading a Project Management Office for Automatic Data Processing. Utilizing a variety of project management and change management methodologies including Agile, she led projects and project teams driving everything from mergers and acquisitions to IT software development and launch. Cheri received her B.A. in English and M.A. in Secondary Education from Bradley University, and M.Ed. in Instructional Design and Technology from the University of Georgia. Cheri teaches PMP Prep and Project Management Essentials classes with NIU Continuing Education.
Ronette Kersting, Lean Project Manager
A highly motivated, passionate and accomplished leader with 25+ years of successful experience in a Fortune 500 company. Ronette creates value by delivering innovative and sustainable solutions to drive bottom line results to help organizations and customers prosper today and tomorrow. She is a proven leader with a solid background in project management, continuous improvement, product development, Six Sigma, Lean, supply chain, logistics, and manufacturing coupled with a strong customer design focus. Ronette received her B.S. in industrial engineering from Iowa State University and MBA from Northern Illinois University.
Amando “Dino” Arias, OSHA-authorized Outreach Trainer
Dino is a bilingual Safety and Training Professional with over 40 years of experience in all aspects of the Oil Refining Industry and the Fire service. He has authored and taught numerous Task and Job Specific Safety Training courses including LOTO, CSE, Scaffolding, Cranes and Rigging hot work, PPE, and Respiratory Programs.
His extensive background includes OSHA PSM compliance training, compliance audits, accident investigation, contractor safety, behavior based safety, and site-specific training programs.
During his career, Dino served on numerous corporate initiatives in Health, Safety, Security and Environmental and was also the Safety Manager for the CITGO Savannah, Georgia Refinery, which included serving on the Chatham County Local Emergency Planning Committee. Dino held positions in the incident management of hurricane recovery, oil spill mitigation, and numerous process unit fires. Dino is a past member of ASSE Three Rivers Chapter, with educational background in Fire Safety, Facility Security, Emergency Response, NIMS, and Environmental Control Technology. Dino served 6 years in the US Army and 20 years as a Nationally Registered Paramedic and firefighter.
Brent Bryden, OSHA-authorized Outreach Trainer
Brent Bryden has 35 years of manufacturing safety and environmental health experience. Brent specializes in facilitating training for small, medium and large employers with a wide range of needs. He is passionate about using basic safety education and training to form strong safety foundations within an organization. Continuous improvement in safety training is his vision and providing results-oriented, quality products and services is his goal. Services: training, inspection audits, abatement assistance, safety program development, implementation and management.
Don Bartalone, OSHA-authorized General Industry and Construction Outreach Trainer
Don Bartalone is the lead instructor at the National Safety Education Center. He has 35 years of transportation and warehouse industry experience, serving on the safety team and committee for 20 of those years. Don also spent five years as a facility manager/safety coordinator for an oil refinery and has recently traveled to Saudi Arabia to assist in safety program development for the world’s largest oil company. He holds National Safety Council certificates in fork lift truck operator training, incident investigation, safety inspections and advanced safety. Services: 10- and 30-hour general industry OSHA training, OSHA 511, 501 and 503 instruction.
John Newquist, OSHA-authorized Outreach Trainer
John has over 30 years of experience as a safety trainer. Since 1987 John has trained over 50,000 people including OSHA compliance officers and Fortune 500 Clients. His areas of expertise include incident investigation, confined space, excavation safety, cranes signaling, rigging safety, fall protection, scaffold competent person, silica competent person, CHST prep, lockout, machine guarding, OSHA recordkeeping and safety management. Services: mock OSHA inspections, site safety audits, expert witness.