Elgin Area Leadership Academy graduates 21 professionals in this year’s class

The 2023-24 class of the Elgin Leadership Academy celebrated the completion of their 10-month intensive leadership program with a graduation ceremony on May 4 at Elgin Community College.

The students have worked together with local leaders to expand their network of contacts and resources to increase their breadth of knowledge about the community and to develop personal and professional leadership skills.

A program of the Elgin Area Chamber, the class has been led by volunteer coordinators Dan Fox, Ruth Munson, and Anthony Ramos.

“When you bring many people together — people who have consistently demonstrated enthusiasm and leadership in their careers — you experience great energy and see amazing examples of leadership,” Fox said.

“Leadership development is a priority within our chamber’s strategic plan,” said Carol Gieske, CEO and president of the Elgin Area Chamber. “This award-winning leadership development program is designed to meet the community’s needs for active participation and networking of informed and dedicated community leaders.”

Twenty-one professionals graduated in this year’s EALA class:

• Janet Aldred, JQ Designs LLC;

• Julisa Alonso, KCT Credit Union;

• Nicole Altman, PetroChoice;

• Corey Battles, Battles Investment Group;

• Wendy Chen, Elgin Community College;

• Kari Christensen, Lamp Inc.;

• Danielle Conduff, Advocate Sherman Hospital;

• Karyn Garcia, Ascension St. Joseph — Elgin;

• Jason Gold, Fox Meadow Elementary School;

• Nick Halan, Hampston, Lenzini & Renwick Inc.

• Scott Jenkins, City of Elgin;

• Mario Keane, Office of state Rep. Matt Hanson;

• Karina Maksimova, Open Door Health Center of Illinois;

• Charmaine Marshall, Synergy Strategic Business Solutions;

• Denise Momodu, City of Elgin;

• Edgar Montes, Alignment Collaborative of Education;

• Renee Skrabacz, Elgin Community College;

• Emily Tyler, Food for Greater Elgin;

• Yadi Vargas, Corporate American Family Credit Union;

• Sarah Vetter, Gail Borden Public Library District; and

• Elizabeth Yurisich, Advocate Sherman Hospital.

Since the Elgin Leadership Academy was introduced in 1991, more than 550 local business, government, and neighborhood individuals have completed the program and have committed to become stronger leaders of the Elgin area community. The next class will be offered in the fall of 2025.

For information, contact Carol Gieske at the Elgin Area Chamber at (847) 741-5660 or go online at

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