They come from all walks of life and a variety of backgrounds. They are leaders in their fields and distinguished voices in the community, knocking down barriers on their paths to success. From engineering and education to art and entrepreneurship, they are making a positive difference in Greater Peoria—and using their influence to inspire the next generation.

Central Illinois Perspective
Banu Hatfield - Co-Owner, Zion Coffee Co
Bringing people together for meaningful connections and shared experiences
Cindy Loos - Vice President, Hanson Professional Services
Managing projects and clients, lifting others up and serving the community
Donna Carr Roberts - Artist in Residence, Bradley University
Finding the beauty within, expanding the arts on campus and in Peoria
Tana Utley - Vice President, Caterpillar Inc.
Problem-solving in industry and blazing a trail for future generations
Dr. Jamel Santa Cruze Wright - President, Eureka College
Leading a team that challenges students to be global citizens and servant leaders

More IBI

General Manager, Peoria Civic Center
In June 2018, Rik Edgar joined the Peoria Civic Center after a nationwide search for a new general manager.
Jump attracts the best and brightest students to its multitude of STEAM courses.
Class of 2018
Each year, we highlight the emerging talent of Greater Peoria—those who stand out among their peers and exemplify the spirit of servant leadership in our community. 

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Presenters, panelists and attendees: Thank you for joining us for our Women of Influence Forum 2018! We were inspired by your stories, wisdom and strength. Don't forget to pick up our latest issue of iBi and share it with the women and men who continue to challenge you and help you grow.

#WOI2018 Unconscious bias, or implicit bias, are thoughts or stereotypes we subconsciously hold which influence our interactions with other individuals—and it’s much more prevalent than conscious bias.

Join Angie Ostaszewski of Ameren Illinois at the Women of Influence Forum 2018 as she uncovers examples of how unconscious bias can affect business performance. Tickets and information: Women of Influence Forum 2018 panelist highlight: Banu Hatfield is co-owner of Zion Coffee Co., a specialty coffee company that sources directly from small growers in Central America and promotes collaboration with farmers through investment in projects, tools and education. She also worked at Caterpillar for 10 years in a variety of leadership roles.

See Banu and our other panelists on Tuesday, December 4th. Tickets are available at! Thank you to the Peoria City Council for recognizing the 25th anniversary of 40 Leaders Under Forty at last night’s Council meeting.

Jonathon and Nikki Romain are on a mission to inspire and empower the community through the arts.

Contract Publishing

Makers of Dreams
Peoria Players Theatre celebrates 100 years of sharing live theater with the community.
Furry Tales & Warm Hearts
Mr. Fuzzy Ears finds more than one furry friend… and teaches children an important lesson.
Carving a New Dimension
With ice as his medium, Jeff Stahl has earned a worldwide reputation for his unique creations.
Love for the West Bluff
Peoria Public Art is a platform to connect local artists with public spaces available for creative transformation.

More Art & Society

Natalia Villanueva Linares is a maker of moments — physical and emblematic gestures both immense and minute.
Ten things you didn't know about the artists and co-founders of ART, Inc....
Cooking with cast iron… and a cocktail recipe to get the party started

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40 Leaders Under Forty: Inspiration & Aspiration

We asked our 2018 class of 40 Leaders Under Forty about the causes they hold near and dear to their hearts, the people who have inspired them, and what they would bring to Peoria if they could.

40 Leaders Under Forty: Little-Known Facts

The 40 Leaders Under Forty class of 2018 had some surprising revelations—from unusual hobbies and things they wish they would’ve done differently, to coping with loss and working through stressful situations.