Thursday, September 11, 2008

Republican candidate Joan Krupa accepts "Women in Leadership" Award

The ballroom at the the Hotel Pere Marquette was the setting for this years "25 women in Leadership" Awards ceremony. I felt so honored to be in the presence of these 25 outstanding women. This was my first year, and I must say I was humbled and inspired as the crowd of several hundred heard the history and accomplishments of these remarkable women that we brush shoulders with every day in our community.

I had the pleasure of joining State Representative Republican Candidate Joan Krupa and her family at the luncheon. Joan is running for the seat being vacated by Aaron Schock, and she has his resounding endorsement. Joan is running against Democratic opponent, Jehan Gordon.

Joan has 3 grown sons. 2 currently live overseas and one son, Steve, resides in Morton. Her husband, Ted, is very devoted not only to Joan but to her campaign as well, and I can personally attest that he is extremely patient as he hands out balloons to children at parades and community events.

Joan is the CEO of Heartland Community Health Clinic. Under her six year tenure, the clinic grew from serving just under 900 patients a year to serving more than 17,000! She felt a passion and desire to help the uninsured and under–insured in central Illinois receive quality health care. Now she is entering politics with the hopes of expanding her outreach to even more people across the state.

Prior to her affiliation with the Heartlnd Clinic, Joan was a teacher in District 150, a guidance counselor, a teacher at ICC, Assistant Dean of Women at Bradley University, and Director of Adult Education at the Peoria County Jail.

When I asked Joan to share some of her personal thoughts about the award, she responded quite bashfully. "Diane", she said, "My success at the Heartland clinic was such a collaborative effort of so many people, I just happened to be lucky enough to be leader of the band".

Sitting next to Joan's mother, Elizabeth, I took the opportunity to ask her to share her parenting secrets, given the fact that she had such obviously successful children and grand children. "Get them in church. Keep them busy. Sign them up for youth events in the church. Help them develop morality early in life". Advice that never goes out of style! Thank you, Elizabeth. Maybe in another post I'll share some of the stories she told about Joan as a little girl. heh heh.

Gina Morss of WEEK offered this parting advice: "Never underestimate your ability to lead, for it is often the little things we do on a daily basis that change the world around us".

As I was leaving the venue and walking back to the car, I struck up a conversation with another gal who was leaving as well. "What did you think?" I asked. She replied that like me, she had been very inspired by the accomplishments of the award recipients. But, she said, it left her feeling a little inadequate. "WHEW"! I responded, "Thank goodness, I thought it was just me!"


Sharon Crews said...

Yesterday I spent over an hour, maybe two, with Joan Krupa and four other West Peorians who are supporting her run for office. I haven’t spent that much time with Joan since twenty plus years ago when we were in the same Sunday class, a very interactive discussion group where we often talked—among many other topics--about our faith with relationship to our political views. For several weeks, I was also in a Bethel Bible series class that Joan taught. Since her return from China , our paths have only crossed in the hallways of our church. So it was very good to spend time with her yesterday—and my decision to vote for her in this election was reinforced.

I do not say all that to give either Joan’s or my “religious” credentials, but rather to tell you that I believe I became “acquainted” with Joan’s heart and mind because of the nature of our relationship. In a political year of so much divisiveness, I find Joan’s own humility and acceptance of others’ views to be a refreshing change—not to mention great qualifications for political office.

In the past and now, Joan has been able to accept my often “not so Republican” views that I have often “shared” with those around me. Frankly, all my conversations with her have proven to me that she will be very able to “reach across the aisle” in our state legislature—an asset that should be very apparent to those who are following the chaos that exists in Springfield right now. I believe she will be able to work with her fellow legislators—Democrat and Republican—to work for the best interests of downstate Illinois .

Most of all, I appreciate the career choices Joan has made throughout her lifetime. If you look at her resume, you will notice that she has spent much of her life serving youth and the underserved of our society. As a family, the Krupas (Ted, Joan, and their children) have exemplified this same kind of desire to help others. Certainly, in our world that has become so cosmopolitan, Joan’s own experiences in China and that of two of her children who now live overseas prepare her in a unique way for political service.

Anonymous said...

Your so very right about Joan Krupa, i have been blessed to work beside her . She is a class act. I prays she will win . Because we need a strong voice in Springfield , who will get real reults done for the people .. She is a great leader .

Sharon Crews said...

Friends for Joan Krupa are extending an invitation to meet Joan Krupa on Wednesday, October 8, at Sky Harbor (1321 N. Park Rd., West Peoria) from 5-7 p.m.
Complimentary appetizers, coffee, and iced tea. Cash bar.
Please RSVP to 691-1900.

Hosts are:
Wendy Bowles
Sharon Crews
Sharon Kennedy
Sharon McBride
Jan Powers
Todd & Laurie Baker
Gary & Sandy Dutro
John & Diane Powell
Michael & Diana Swearingen