“I represent Kirkland, but I would also consider the Fairdale community my area. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the community spirit that helped Fairdale get back on its feet after the devastating tornado. We can be confident that our community can meet a challenge and be successful on the other side.”
Kris was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, but grew up in Marshall, IL. She graduated from the University of Illinois with a bachelor of science in microbiology in 1984 and a master of science in biology in 1986. Kris met her husband, Barry, while attending college. He is a fourth-generation farmer from Kirkland, and after graduation, the couple moved back to Kirkland.
“I especially love the size of our community school district. It’s small in size similar to a private school size, but it allows our educators to give more individual attention to each child.”
She worked at DeKalb Genetics from 1987 to 1997 on various projects. Kris contributed to research in creating new traits in corn and soybeans. She was also the manager of quality assurance where they tested the germination and cold tolerance of corn, soybeans, alfalfa, sorghum, and sunflowers.
Kris is a master gardener, election judge, master naturalist, certified lay minister of the United Methodist Church, and trained in mental health first aid. She has volunteered with many organizations in the area, including helping to restart the PTO and FAB at the Hiawatha School District. Kris has served locally and statewide with the University of Illinois Extension. She helped reshape the Christmas in Kirkland Celebration and has served on DeKalb County Farm Bureau’s ag literacy committee. She has served locally and internationally on the Northern Illinois Conference of The United Methodist Church. Kris has led ten mission trips across the country and many short-term mission experiences through her church’s teen ministry.
Her proudest accomplishment is her daughter, Kelly, who currently resides in Chicago and works for the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Kris enjoys flower, vegetable, and fruit gardening, landscaping, quilting, comedy, plays, movies, reading, programming for kids and teens, and travel. She mentioned that the real jewel of the Kirkland/Fairdale community is the undeveloped natural area outside of town.
“I appreciate people who dream big, think outside the box, and then work to make it happen. The Foundation is a fantastic resource for our community. Not every community has the good fortune of forward-thinking folks committed to this level of involvement. I’m excited to share my strengths with the group and learn a few more tools along the way.”
The Community Foundation Board of Directors are selected to represent communities throughout DeKalb County. The Board sets policy, formulates strategic planning, and determines priorities in grantmaking. Because of the willingness of these able, effective individuals who donate their time and talents to the ultimate betterment of DeKalb County, the Foundation continues to grow to enhance the quality of life for its citizens.