Board / Staff: Board Member Bios
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Meet the Glidden Homestead Board
The Joseph F. Glidden Homestead & Historical Center is run by a 15-member board who bring diverse backgrounds and expertise to the leadership of the not-for-profit organization.

PRESIDENT
Jan Devore has lived in DeKalb since 2004. She completed a Museum Studies Certificate at NIU in 2012 and became involved at the Glidden Homestead at that time. She is the office manager at the Psychological Services Center at NIU and the assistant director at the Flagg Township Museum in Rochelle. She is also a volunteer with Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois.

VICE PRESIDENT
Steve “Kepp” Johnson
 is a retired insurance investigator for Liberty Mutual companies. He has been a resident of DeKalb since 1966 and joined the Homestead board in 1998. Kepp serves on the Building and Restoration Committee, accepting the challenge to keep the age-old facilities in good working order.

TREASURER
Kenda Jeske,
CPA, CMA, is a partner with T. Allen & Associates, Certified Public Accountants.  She is a lifelong DeKalb County resident.  Kenda has been active member and on the board of directors of Kishwaukee Sunrise Rotary for the past 14 years, also she serves on the Kishwaukee United Way board. Her hobbies are collecting vintage carnival glass and being with her family.  She joined the Glidden Homestead board in 2008.

SECRETARY
Cindy Ditzler 
is the Director of the Regional History Center/University Archives at Northern Illinois University. She has a BA and MA in History from Western Illinois University. Cindy joined the Glidden Homestead board in 2012 and also is on the advisory board of the DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association, Inc. (DAAHA).

DIRECTORS

Phil Bennett is serving his first term on the board, having joined in 2012. His background as owner of Home Buddies building and construction and general contractor for the Homestead’s Welcome Center construction makes him a perfect fit for the Building and Restoration Committee.

Lucio Bortolin is serving his first term on the board, having joined in 2013. Lu is a charter member of the the Glidden Homestead Blacksmith Club. A talented metalworker, Lu designed the Homestead's scrolled, iron sign frame and lead the team that crafted it. Lu is owner of f2 Industries, Inc. in Sycamore, a manufacturer of architectural and ornamental metalworks as well as metal restorations. Lu has lived in the States since 1991 and in Sycamore since 2000 after having lived in Italy, Argentina and Brazil. Besides his active participation in the Homestead's Blacksmith Club, he is a member of the Sycamore Library Photo Club.

Sarah Glidden DeMink has served on the board since it began in the 1990s. Joseph F. Glidden was her great-great uncle. She grew up at the Glidden Homestead. As a retired school social worker, grandmother and historian, she is especially interested in developing educational programs about our barbed wire heritage.

Linda J. Fulton began her first term on the board in 2014. She brings to the Homestead a keen interest in history and a commitment to making DeKalb a wonderful place to live and learn. Linda is a graduate of NIU and has resided in DeKalb with her husband, Brian, for nearly fifty years. During that time, in addition to raising a family, she was employed at the Daily Chronicle and The MidWeek in advertising sales. Over the past 24 years she was employed by the DeKalb School District teaching a variety of subjects focusing on Language Arts and Social Studies at the middle school level. She is a past president and board member of Altrusa. 

Jeff J. Marshall is president/CEO of JJ Marshall Landscape Creations, Inc., a local design/build landscape firm. He received his BS in landscape design from SIU. His family has lived in DeKalb since the 1840s, making him the seventh generation to call DeKalb home. As a third great nephew of Jacob Haish, barbed wire is a part of his family's heritage. Jeff joined the Homestead board in 2003 and serves as chair of the Gift Shop and Grounds committees.

Jim Morel has served on the Homestead board since 1999, including three terms as president. He serves on various committees, has directed many of the Homestead restoration projects, and has assisted the fund drive. He graduated from DeKalb High School and Northern Illinois University, and has been a local businessman for more than 35 years. He was an organizer of the DeKalb Area Rental Association and served as its charter president. Jim is active in the  DeKalb Kiwanis Club, where he currently serves as president.

 
homestead blacksmith barn