VCCFoundation Board of Directors


Gordon Thoennes-

Vice Chairman

Bob Schifo-



Mike Courson modified

Mike Courson

Michael “Mike” Courson is a Danville native and has been a life long resident of East Central Illinois. He graduated Danville High School and attended DACC (Danville Area Community College). The next 40 + years were devoted to his career at Hyster Company. Mike’s hobbies include hunting, fishing, reading and yard work. He married his wife Carol in 1962. They have two children and three grand-children.

Mike went to work for Hyster Co. March, 1963 and retired from there in December, 2003. The first part of his Hyster employment was in manufacturing, starting as a Hyster Fork Lift operator in the Danville plant and worked in the machine shop operating various types of machines. He became a QC inspector and moved into a Methods Engineering position which included assembly line layout and set up for new products. Mike was a supervisor in various plant assembly areas and was sent to Design Engineering headquarters in Portland, Oregon for training. He then returned to Danville as the first Electric Product Resident Engineer, responsible for product design/manufacturing interface issues at the Danville and Crawfordsville, IN plants.

Mike was the Crawfordsville plant QC Manager from 1973 to 1976 before returning to Danville as Electric Product service engineer, electric and internal combustion product service trainer, and later all product sales trainer. Mike was then regional sales manager and product expert and liaison between Hyster Co. and the automotive industry. He worked with Ford and GM while representing Hyster assisting in revamping the automotive industry material handling specifications. He joined the Canadian Standards group and assisted in updating National Material Handling Standards for Canada. Later Mike became Marketing Mgr. of the GM Team responsible for a single source contract, supplying all material handling products to GM plants world wide. This was a multiple year contract with extensions and updates added. Mike retired from this position in December, 2003.

Following his retirement, faced with excess time on my hands, Mike became a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate for at risk children), became more active in his church and joined the Vermilion County Conservation Foundation.

Michael Puhr-



Dallas Bowman Picture02 modified

Dallas Bowman

Dallas Bowman has lived his whole life in Vermilion County. He has always had a passion for the outdoors. His father and grandfather were both sportsmen and both were very active in the community. Dallas is no different and has followed in their footsteps. If you talk to Dallas your soon realize the pride he has for Danville, and Vermilion County with all of its history and outdoor opportunities. He did not hesitate to serve on the Foundation board when offered the opportunity.

Dallas is best known as the resident Conservation Police Officer serving Vermilion for 25 yrs. He retired from the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources in 2012. In 1978, he found his way into Conservation Law Enforcement by taking an internship with the National Park Service at Yosemite. He stayed on there as a seasonal Ranger for one year. He then returned to Western Illinois University in the fall of 1979, and obtained his Bachelors in Law Enforcement. Just after college he took a job as a seasonal employee for Kickapoo Park and the developing Middlefork Fish and Wildlife Area and passed on returning to Yosemite. In 1983, he accepted a position with the Danville Police Dept. He credits that time with Danville as where he learned the job and obtained valuable experience in Law Enforcement. He was hired in 1987 by the Illinois Conservation Police

In retirement, Dallas is catching up on some fishing and hunting. He seasonally volunteers at Danville High School helping out with the athletic fields. Recently Dallas has used his powers of persuasion to raise money for the newly established “Sportsman’s Banquet”. The two banquets held so far have raised over $43,000. Sportsmen are eager to attend when they learn that 100% of the money raised will be given to the Vermilion County Park District. His unique experience and perspective are valuable assets to add to our diverse and talented Foundation Board.


Kevin Green modified

Kevin Green

Kevin Green attended Oakwood High School, then received a BS in Medical Technology from Eastern Illinois University. After college he moved to Arizona, working first at Flagstaff Community Hospital, then at the University of Arizona (Tucson) hospital. While in Arizona, he worked as an adventure travel guide for Caiman Expeditions, running white water rafting trips, sea kayaking journeys, scuba explorations, and climbing trips in Mexico, Guatemala, and Alaska.

Returning to the family farm in the early ’80’s, he became active in many organizations and boards ( Vermilion County Farm Bureau board, Illinois Farm Bureau Advisory team, Illinois Pheasants Forever president, Executive Committee Chairman of the Illinois Conservation Congress, VC Soil and Water Conservation District member, United Community Bank board, Vermilion River Ecosystem Partnership chairman, PADI scuba instructor, Vermilion County Board member, and VCCF board member). Awards include Illinois Prairie Farmer Master Farmer, Illinois Soybeans association Conservation Farmer of the Year, and Prairie Rivers Network Outstanding Citizen Volunteer.

He and his wife Sue reside on the family’s Centennial farm near Oakwood.

Russell Hiatt

Mark Pittman-

Rick Strebing-

Heather Wheaton-

Steve Diveley-

Associate Directors

Mark L. Meyer-

Lloyd Randle-

Parker Arnholt-

Julie Colby –

Michael VanDeWalker –

Ken Hannon-BioPic

Kenneth Hannan joined the Foundation Board as a Director in March of 2000. He was elected Treasurer shortly thereafter and still serves in that capacity. 2000 was an expansion year for the Foundation and Ken welcomed the challenge of building a financial system that would help grow the Foundation into the dynamic organization it is today. In addition he authored a formal system of documented operating procedures and instructions to standardize Foundation business activities.

In addition to his responsibilities as Treasurer, Ken serves on the Finance and Funding, Membership, Education and Publicity committees.

Ken’s relationship with the Conservation District is not limited to his Foundation Board activities. He takes a lead role in the annual Foundation Cheeseburgers and Fun event held each August at Kennekuk County Park. He and his wife Cheryl have been active District volunteers for several years serving as trail stewards, building hosts, and as special event hosts. In addition, Ken, his wife, son, daughters, and grandchildren as well as several other members of his family participate as event coordinators in the Annual Conservation Olympics held each May at Forest Glen County Preserve.

Ken retired from General Motors Corporation in 1995. As Senior Reliability Engineer he had responsibilities for both plant manufacturing and customer quality.

After retirement he spent several more years in the “quality” business functioning as a contractor specializing in manufacturing quality system improvement and certification.

Ken and Cheryl reside in Westville, Illinois.