Professional Women of McLean County, Inc., is guided by a volunteer Board of Directors consisting of local professional women. Each member of the board serves graciously and we are thankful for their service! Interested in getting involved? Current board openings along with a board application can be found below.
2021 Board of Directors
Melissa Larson has been a PWMC member for 10 years, having served on the board the past 8 years. In her professional life, Melissa works as a Graphic Designer and Operations Manager at CPG Printing & Graphics, a local small format print and graphics company since 2000. Additionally, Melissa owns a marketing consulting business, Mad Strategy, where she helps businesses create a unique, personalized and local voice for online marketing and advertising.
Melissa is a native of the Bloomington/Normal community, enjoys travel, reading, and spending time with her family. Melissa graduated from Lincoln College (Normal, ABE) in 2013 with a BA in Business Administration, concentrated in marketing. Melissa is also an active member in BNI (Bloomington ONE chapter),Heartland Community College Alumni Association Committee, and Heartland Community College Foundation Board of Directors. Melissa is a past member of the Bloomington/Normal Jaycees. and the McLean County Chamber of Commerce.
Laura Lamberti was born and raised in Bloomington, Illinois. She attended Illinois State University and graduated with a degree in Family and Consumer Science and then started her career at Busey Bank in 1995. Currently, Lamberti is the Retail Market Manager for McLean/Livingston Counties and Senior Vice President. She truly enjoys helping customers realize their financial goals and being an active part of the community.
Laura currently serves on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Illinois, is a member of the Bloomington Rotary Club and has been a member of PWMC for two years. In 2019, she stepped out of her comfort zone and was a speaker at “That’s What She Said,” a new event in our community which gives a voice to women in order to empower and inspire others. Other accomplishments include Leadership McLean County (class of 2011) and Illinois Banker’s Future Leaders Alliance (class of 2019).
Personally, Laura enjoys hanging out with her two college-aged sons, running, camping, kayaking, playing with her 4 dogs and international travel. She has a lot of hobbies!
Nicole Allen, CPA, CVA is a manager at Insight CPAs & Financial Services, LLC. Nicole has been with Insight for more than 9 years and brings a wealth of experience in the area of tax, accounting, business valuations and fraud investigations. She has also worked as an adjunct professor of tax and accounting at Millikin University. Nicole is past-president of Professional Women of McLean County (2015 & 2016) and has served on the board for 8 years. She has been a member of PWMC for 8 years. In addition, Nicole is a member of BNI (Bloomington YX Marks the Spot), and the McLean County Chamber of Commerce. Nicole graduated from Illinois State University and lives just outside of Bloomington/Normal with her husband and two children.
Director of Communications
Charlene Homan is a writer and founder of Touchstone Storytelling which she established in 2015. Through Touchstone Storytelling she writes, edits and designs personal histories and family stories, creating custom family books. Touchstone Storytelling also recently started a series of custom adoption books.
Additionally, Charlene works as a freelance editor, book designer and business communication manager. She has worked in corporate communications, public relations and development for over 15 years.
Charlene earned a bachelor of art’s degree in English from Eastern Illinois University where she also minored in Journalism and Public Relations.
Originally from Lansing, Illinois, Charlene and her husband Chris have three children.
Director of Membership
Originally from Chicago, Lana Branch made Bloomington/Normal her home in 1986. Lana received her commission through ISU ROTC in 1990 and received her Bachelor of Arts in 2009. She is the co-founder and President/CEO of Branching Off, Inc. She and her wife own Comprehensive Health Services, CHS Transport, and CHS Home Health.
Being the youngest child of a teacher and a preacher, Lana prides herself on providing educational opportunities with a cause. She teaches CPR and is a Certified Dementia Care practitioner and instructor. One of her goals is to create a community-based educational program for families caring for loved ones with dementia.
In 2014, Lana made the decision to open her heart and home to children in the foster care system. When the knock came on February 11, 2015, two boys walked in and changed her life. They eventually became Branches on May 3, 2018. She and her wife, Bekime, now have four boys (ages 8, 6, 2, and 11 months). When not at work Lana is doing laundry (dirt plus four boys, need she say more). Becoming a mom later in life has been a challenge but is the most rewarding job she’s ever had.
She can often be found on her motorcycle engaging in wind therapy.
Director of Special Events
Melissa Marx, CRA, was born in Hammond, Indiana and points to her roots in Hammond as an integral part of her life. Melissa has dedicated her professional life to the health care industry and is now the Administrator at Fort Jesse Imaging & Gale Keeran Center for Women.
Melissa is incredibly active within the Bloomington/Normal community serving on the Pink Partners of the Community Cancer Center Board of Directors, Leadership McLean County class of 2016-2017, Heartland Community College Alumni Association Committee, Heartland Community College Foundation Board of Directors, Heartland Community College Radiography Board of Directors, Bloomington/Normal Jaycees, NeXt Professionals, McLean County Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, Melissa has recently become a Customer Coach for G.E. Healthcare in addition to her full time role and volunteer activities.
In 2014, Melissa was nominated as a 20under40 recipient through McLean County Chamber of Commerce and The Pantagraph. The following year, Melissa was recognized for her leadership skill of Connection through the Shoop Shift Leadership Awards. Melissa received the AHRA Leadership Institute Basic Management Skills Certificate in January 2016. She is a 2017 graduate of Leadership McLean County. In the fall of 2018, Melissa had the opportunity to present at the Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS) User Meeting. In 2019, Melissa was the recipient of the Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award through Leadership Illinois. Melissa earned her designation as a Certified Radiology Administrator in 2020, a goal she has long strived to achieve.
Melissa is passionate about our annual fundraiser, Casino Night, which solely supports one of two scholarship funds! As a working mother, going back to school herself, Melissa knows personally, the impact of scholarships to women trying to get ahead. Melissa is already hard at work planning the 6th Annual Casino Night that will be held on July 29, 2021!
Interested in a position on the board? Our meetings are open to any of our members, please join us for a meeting to see how you can get involved!
Apply for an open board position by filling out the form below, the current Board will be in contact with you shortly. If you have questions about the responsibilities of the Board of Directors, you are welcome to reach out to the Board president at email@example.com
Board of Director Responsibilities
As agents of Professional Women of McLean County, Directors shall conduct themselves ethically and responsibly on behalf of the organization and its members. Working in conjunction with one another, the directors shall function as a team and utilize consensus-building approaches in leading and directing the organization as determined by the members and in accordance with the by-laws.