State Agriculture Employees Honored For Outstanding Service

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – An Illinois Department of Agriculture marketing representative has been awarded the agency’s top individual honor.  Kim Hamilton, who helps Illinois companies gain access to foreign markets and increase export sales, was presented the Director’s Achievement Award today at the department’s 33rd annual Employee Luncheon and Awards Ceremony.

“Kim does a terrific job.  She is always looking for new ways to promote Illinois companies,” Acting Agriculture Director Jim Larkin said.  “Since 2003, when the Bureau of Marketing and Promotion began tracking sales figures, her work on behalf of Illinois companies has generated sales of more than $116 million, which is outstanding.  She’s very deserving of this honor.”

Hamilton, a Chatham resident, has worked for the department more than 21 years.  She was selected from among 12 Employee of the Month award winners.  Other finalists were:  Delayne Reeves, Kim Nevius, Valerie Booth, Jeri Cima, Mark Cinnamon, Debbie Griffiths, Carol Faires, Marty McManus, Judy Campbell and Jackie Eckert.

Karen Fraase, a fellow employee of the Bureau of Marketing and Promotion, was presented the Assistant Director’s Fellowship Award.  Fraase, of Springfield, was honored for her helpful nature and cheerful attitude.  As one colleague wrote, “Working everyday of the fair alongside high school-age student workers, she brought enthusiasm to everyone who walked into that tent, whether they were the first family of the day or the last.”

Warehouse Examiner Jerry Franks won the Ag Ambassador Award.  Franks, a Sterling resident, has worked tirelessly to implement his bureau’s new Examnet Self Inventory Program, serving as the primary liaison between the department and the grain industry.  Because of his efforts to educate licensees and alleviate their concerns, the program has gained widespread acceptance.

The successful implementation of Examnet also earned an award for Franks’ employer, the Bureau of Warehouses, which was presented the Commitment to Quality Award.

The Ron King Award for Efficiency went to Kim Nevius of Heyworth, a supervisor in the Bureau of Meat and Poultry Inspection.

“Kim is a very competent supervisor, establishing quarterly work unit meetings to train inspectors and promote meat and poultry inspection,” co-workers who nominated him for the award said.  “He can always be counted upon.”

Forty-four employees were honored during the ceremony for 10, 20, 25, 30 and 40 years of service. A complete list follows:


40 Years

Name                          Hometown

Rebecca Harness          Jacksonville

30 Years

Name                                       Hometown

Stephen Bainter                 Macomb

Larry Baker                Sullivan

Jackie Eckert                     Springfield

Gerald Franks                     Sterling

Lori Kirby                   Mason City

Paul Milby                  Springfield

Kevin Randles                    Kankakee


25 Years

Name                                       Hometown

Michael Adams                  Rochester

Richard Boyd                     Rushville

Steve Breckenridge             Taylorville

Mark Burtle                Glenarm

Judith Campbell           Auburn

John Fortner               Pawnee

Thomas Jablonski              Tamaroa

Jeff Mason                  DuQuoin

Richard Mathre                  Avon

Janis Powell                Maquon

Sharon Powell                    Williamsville

Kevin Pyle                  DuQuoin

Mary Roth                  Glenarm

Carl Savage                 Streator

Todd Stewart               Mt. Olive

Gary Woodside                   Pinckneyville

Neal Zelasko               Centralia


20 Years

Name                                       Hometown

Jeryl Cima                   Cantrall

Charles Davis                     Rochester


10 Years

Name                                       Hometown

Stacey Ballard                    O’Fallon

Mark Ballman                    Effingham

David Biggs                 Dixon

Melanie Dodd                     Springfield

Howard Few                Waukegan

Malgorzata Gandera           Bridgeview

Julie Hodges                Table Grove

Robert Jensen                     Jacksonville

Laura Kerkett                    Sycamore

Victoria Legge                    Galesburg

Suzana Markovic         Lindenhurst

Terry Repp                 Elgin

Julie Ressler                 Springfield

Theodore Schrock              Riverton

Janice Skelton                    Griggsville

Kevin Walsh               Springfield

Shari West                  Illiopolis