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.
2020 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.
President – Elect
Leslie Romagnoli was born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Hailing from Wisconsin she enjoys cheese, cheers for the Packers, and has a love for the outdoors. Leslie graduated from Ripon College (Ripon, WI) with a double major in Political Science and Education. She moved to Bloomington/Normal in 2004 and has worked in education ever since. Leslie is currently the Director of Multilingual Services for Unit 5 schools. She has previously taught English as a Second Language and Spanish bilingual classes at the elementary level as well as courses at Illinois State University in the department of Teaching and Learning. Leslie has her Masters in Educational Administration from Illinois State University and has recently embarked on the adventure of beginning a doctoral program in Leadership, Equity, and Inquiry at Illinois State University. Leslie is a two-time Fulbright-Hays fellow who has had the incredible opportunity to travel to Mexico to learn about the educational system as well as the cultural and linguistic wealth of Mexico.
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 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 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 30, 2020!
Director of Programs
Cassandra Newman is the Vice President of Four Seasons Health Club, located in Bloomington IL. Cassandra has a background in marketing communication, sales, technology, lead generation and organizational leadership. She began her career at 19 as single mother working full-time supporting herself through college. Cassandra graduated with a Bachelors in Integrated Marketing Communication from Abilene Christian University, being the first person to attend college in her family.
After college Cassandra took on the adventure of moving from Texas to the Chicago area with her son and husband. She continued to work in the marketing and publishing field as an Account Executive for Aspen Marketing Agency in West Chicago. In this role she oversaw marketing and advertising campaigns for the Daimler Chrysler and Jeep brands. In 2006 Cassandra joined Transcontinental Printing in Montreal, Quebec as their Business Development Manager. For six years Cassandra traveled across the US and Canada training and leading their sales and marketing efforts for the Catalog and Magazine division. Her clients included Time Magazine and American Airlines.
Cassandra and her family then relocated to the Bloomington-Normal area. As a member of Four Seasons at that time, Cassandra chose to follow her passion and took a role in their marketing department. She fell in love with the Four Seasons culture and the opportunity to make an impact on people’s lives, leading her to take on additional roles and responsibilities.
Cassandra has certifications in Business & Life Coaching as well as completed the ISU Organizational Leadership Certification Program. She was a graduate of the 2017 Class of Leadership McLean County Program. In 2018 Cassandra was honored with the Shoop Shift Award for Coaching in Leadership. Cassandra continues to serve on advisory committees for the Chamber of Commerce LMC program, Director of Programs for Professional Women of McLean County and Director of Vocational Training for Catalyst Ministries. She is passionate about the humane treatment of animals and the environment as well as coaching others on the topics of strengths based empathetic leadership. Cassandra believes that true strength and wisdom comes from adversity and experience.
Director at Large
Melissa Menke has been a PWMC member for 2 years and looks forward to an exciting year ahead. Melissa is an Interior Designer at Shive Hattery, an architecture & engineering consulting firm. Prior to working at Shive Hattery, Melissa worked at BLDD Architects and helped design several educational and religious facilities in the McLean County community and other surrounding communities. She has a strong passion creating spaces that positively impact, and improve, any and all end-users. She also enjoys building strong, trusting, and long-lasting relationships with her clients, contractors, and pretty much anyone she meets.
Melissa graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts, concentrated on Interior Design and a minor in Psychology from Maryville University in St. Louis. She, like Melissa Larson, is a proud native of the Bloomington-Normal community. In her personal life, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, exercising (or finding time to!), and running her daughters to and from their different dance and gymnastics classes!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.