Without high degrees of social capital, you don’t get the vigor of debate and exchange that hard problems demand.
Margaret Heffernan

• • •

Unilateral preemption should not in any way be the model for how we conduct international relations.
Mohamed ElBaradei

Board of Directors

  • Class of 2022
    • Anne Fox – Red Cross (retired)
    • Beatriz Ramirez – Bradley University, Turner Center for Entrepreneurship
    • Paul Resnick – Illinois Central College
  • Class of 2023
    • Don Samford – Eureka High School (retired)
    • Dr. Beverly Ketel – UnityPoint Hospital (retired)
    • Conrad Stinnett – OSF
  • Class of 2024
    • Edith Barnard – Barnard Communications
    • Michelle Eaton - Bradley University
    • Gregory Wilson - Illinois Central College and Peoria Public School Board President
    • Joshua Zulu - Caterpillar, Inc. (retired)

Executive Officers

  • President Octavian Gabor
    Dr. Gabor is a Professor of Philosophy and the Humanities at Methodist College in Peoria.  He earned his PhD in Philosophy from Purdue University, and his master's degree in English Language and Literature at Virginia Tech. In addition, he has a BA in Journalism and Communication, a MA in Communication Studies, and a doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Bucharest. A native of Romania, he brings a wide range of experience and ideas for making terrific programs.
  • President Elect Julia Ghantous
    Julia Issa Ghantous teaches at Illinois Central College. She has been a long-time supporter and board member of PAWAC, and she is anxious to lend her leadership to this important community organization.

  • Immediate Past President Kathryn Eissfeldt
    Kathryn Eissfeldt is an educator and freelance writer who got her undergraduate degree in History of Science at Illinois Wesleyan University with coursework for the major completed at Oxford University before graduate studies at Bradley and Syracuse Universities. An avid world traveler, Kathryn has had the opportunity to go to all seven continents through study abroad or personal travel. Most recently, her involvement in the World Affairs Council took her on a teachers’ trip to Turkey with educators from across the US. Kathryn is a graduate of the Peoria City-County Citizen Leadership Academy and of the United Way’s BoardSERV training, and also serves on the board of the Peoria Area Friends of International Students. Recent volunteer experience includes WCBU’s Radio Information Service for the Blind and Visually impaired, the Central Illinois Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Habitat for Humanity, Generation United of the Heart of Illinois United Way.

  • Treasurer Michael Gilles
    Michael Gilles graduated with an MBA from Bradley University in the spring of 2013, and he is a Certified Treasury Professional.  He has 6 years of experience working in Corporate Treasury, currently working as the Treasury Analyst at Peoria Disposal Company. “I look forward to taking on the treasurer’s position and following up on what Charles Bush has implemented into the organization.”

  • Secretary Connie Tomczyk
    Connie Tomczyk is a wife and mother. Married to Chet for over 50 years, she raised three children who are wonderful, contributing adults, and she also has three adult grandsons.  She taught school for 22 years in 3 different states, middle school science primarily.  She also worked in the administrative offices of the Monroe County, Indiana court system for 5 years, and as the secretary of Holy Family Parish in Peoria for 10 years.