Bradley University Board Approves New Trustees

Trustees at Bradley University have voted to add six new members to the board. All six have contributed immensely to the university, their community and their industries around the globe. Four of the new members are Bradley graduates. The new members were officially seated and gained voting rights at the Bradley Board of Trustees Feb. 2023 meeting.

“We welcome these incredible community and industry leaders to the Bradley University Board of Trustees,” said Bradley President Steve Standifird. “Their deep range of experience and insights will enhance a board extremely dedicated to Bradley’s mission and vision, while helping to guide and support the university’s strategic growth.”

The new seated members of the Board of Trustees for 2023 include:

Brad Halverson (Peoria, Ill.) – Brad Halverson is the retired Group President and CFO of Caterpillar, a role he held from 2013 to 2018. Mr. Halverson worked at Caterpillar for 30 years, during which he served in a variety of leadership roles including Vice President of Financial Services from 2010 to 2013, Corporate Controller, Global Finance & Strategic Services from 2004 to 2010, and Corporate Business Development Manager from 2002 to 2004. Mr. Halverson graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1982 with his Bachelor of Science in Accounting; he later received his MBA in 1996 from U of I. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He is an independent director of Constellation Energy and Lear Corporation; additionally, he is on the boards of Sysco Corporation and Satellogic Inc. where he serves as the audit committee chair for both organizations. Furthermore, Mr. Halverson is on the boards of Easter Seals Foundation of Central Illinois.  Previously, Mr. Halverson was a member of the executive committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. At Bradley, Mr. Halverson served as an Executive-in-Residence for the Foster College of Business.

Leo Harmon Jr. ’92 (Chicago, Ill.) – Leo Harmon is Senior Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Mesirow Equity Management, joining the company in 2016 after Mesirow acquired Fiduciary Management Associates. In his role, he oversees all aspects of the investment process. Furthermore, he serves as Chairman of Mesirow’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. Mr. Harmon received his Bachelor’s degree in Finance in 1992 from Bradley, and his MBA from Duke University in 1994. He is a member of the National Association of Securities Professionals, the Economic Club of Chicago, and the CFA Society of Chicago, where he was also the former Chairman. As a member of the CFA Institute, he holds the CFA charter holder designation. Additionally, he also served as the Chairman of the External Investment Committee for the Office of the Illinois State Treasurer. Mr. Harmon was honored as a 2019 Chicago United Business Leader of Color. At Bradley, he is a member of the Bradley University Black Alumni Alliance, for which he also previously served as the chair of the scholarships and fundraising committee.

Stephen Lewis ‘72 (West Bloomfield, Mich.) – Stephen Lewis retired from Ford Motor Company in 2018 as the Director of Strategic Planning, and he currently serves as President of the Detroit Area Pre-College

Engineering Program (a $10 million program which strengthens math and science curriculum for over 13,000 students annually and is headquartered in the metro-Detroit area – this includes students in the Peoria area on Bradley’s campus). As the Strategic Director at Ford Motor Company, Mr. Lewis was responsible for global product sourcing, rationalization plans, efficiency plans, labor plans, government strategies, and the approval of $4 billion in annual spending. Furthermore, while at Ford, Mr. Lewis was the Chairman of the Ford-employees African Ancestry Network, an organization of 2,500 employees focused on improving leadership, technical/business and network skills, as well as vehicle sales in the African-American Community. Mr. Lewis received his Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University in 1972 and his MBA from Marquette University in 1975. Mr. Lewis served as National President of the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) 1984-98, and served on its Board of Directors 1984-2012. He currently is a Legacy Leader advising the current Board of Directors. Mr. Lewis is a member of the Bradley University Foster College of Business National Council of Advisors and also serves as the Fundraising Chair for the Bradley University Black Alumni Alliance. He was the recipient of the Lydia Moss Bradley Award in 2014 and received the Distinguished Alumni Award and was inducted into the Centurion Society in September 2022.

Cheryl Procter-Rogers ‘78 (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) - Cheryl is an award-winning PR and business strategist and is currently executive coach and associate director for EY’s Americas Coaching Practice. Prior, she served as senior consultant and executive coach for her firm, A Step Ahead PR Consulting and Coaching, established in 1986. She is a subject-matter expert in the areas of crisis and executive communications, strategic planning, change management, leadership effectiveness and business strategy. For more than 40 years, Cheryl has worked as an executive for DePaul University, Home Box Office (HBO), Nielsen Marketing Research, and Golden State Mutual. As a consultant and executive coach, she has worked with Coca-Cola, Nissan, Allstate, McDonald’s, McCain Foods, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, and Magellan Corporation, to name a few.

Matt Vonachen (Peoria, Ill.) – Matt Vonachen is CEO of the Vonachen Group, a full-service facility maintenance leader that provides janitorial, healthcare, logistic support, and material handling. After establishing a successful career in the cleaning industry, Matt was asked to take a leadership position in the family distribution business, Vonachen Industrial Supplies. In 2008, he purchased the commercial contract cleaning business, VSI, from his father, and turned the Vonachen Group into what it is today.  Matt has received numerous awards and accolades from various manufacturers, distributors, and industry associations. In 2021, he received ISSA’s, Advocate of the Year Award, and most recently, Matt was awarded the National Philanthropy Award. In Fall 2022, Matt began his term as President of the International Sanitary Supply Association.  Outside of the industry, Matt is currently chairing the Comprehensive Cancer Center Steering Committee with the sisters of OSF, this committee is responsible for obtaining funds to build a state-of-the-art destination cancer center in Peoria, IL.  At Bradley, Matt is a Braves Scholarship Society member and serves on the Foster College of Business BMA Council.

Garrett Williams ’92 (Chicago, Ill.) – Garrett Williams is Senior Vice President and Global Chief Compliance Officer of CNA Financial, a commercial property & casualty insurance company. Previously, Mr. Williams worked for over 20 years at State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company in various legal counsel positions, eventually becoming Assistant Vice President for Compliance and Ethics. Mr. Williams graduated from Bradley University with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science; he later earned his Juris Doctorate from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association. At Bradley, Mr. Williams is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Committee for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, was a charter member of the Advisory Board for the Institute for Principled Leadership in Public Policy and served as President of the Bradley University Alumni Association Board from 2007 to 2010, in addition to starting several annual and endowed scholarships.