Governing Board and Staff

Meet the people who help guide the Illinois Heritage Association.

Daniel M. Barringer, President

Dan has managed the Company History Unit for State Farm Insurance since 1987. As an archivist, Dan works to collect, preserve, and interpret the company’s history. Previously he worked at the Illinois State Museum, Bishop Hill State Historic Site, and the Illinois State University Museum. Dan has been on the IHA board since 2005 and served as vice president from 2007 -2014. Dan has a B.S. in psychology from Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, and a master’s degree in historical administration from Eastern Illinois University.

David A. Joens, Vice President

Dave is the director of the Illinois State Archives. He is a former newspaper reporter and a U.S. Army veteran. He has a B.S. in political science and history from Northern Illinois University, master’s degrees in both political science and history from the University of Illinois at Springfield, and a Ph.D. in history from Southern Illinois University.

Sally DeFauw, Secretary

After working as a museum curator for twenty-four years at the West Chicago City Museum, Sally recently switched career paths and is now working as a reference librarian at the DeKalb Public Library. She received her B.A. in political science and her M.L.I.S. from Northern Illinois University. Community involvement is important to Sally; she serves on the DeKalb Landmark Commission, has been a member of the DeKalb County Board since 2004, and is a volunteer archivist for the Joseph Glidden Homestead. She is an avid (or is that rabid?) genealogist.

Autumn Bates, Member at Large

Autumn Bates is the third-generation owner of Austin’s Sportswear in the historic downtown of Champaign, Illinois. A successful tennis shop was started by her grandparents in 1931, with clothing added there in 1954 and a separate apparel store opening in 1963. Autumn is also a second-generation supporter of the Illinois Heritage Association. Her parents, Willis “Bud” Baker and Barbara Austin Baker, were among the cofounders of the organization. Bud was IHA’s president for many years, and Barbara served on the Board of Governors. It was Autumn’s father who first suggested that she turn Austin’s Sportswear into a business specializing in dance products. Fifteen years later, the store supplies shoes, apparel, and accessories to men, women, and children who are involved in all forms of dance, from ballet and tap to jazz and ballroom. Autumn is involved with community theater and has done thirty shows, working backstage with props and set dressing for the Champaign-Urbana Theater Company. She has also provided support to countless high-school productions, ballet performances, and vocal performances. Autumn and her husband reside in Piatt County. They have three adult children and two grandchildren. Autumn believes that the secret to a wonderful life is to find people with a passion for beauty and ask if you can tag along.

Steph McGrath, Member at Large

A curator and consultant for over twenty-five years, Steph specializes in historical research, interpretation, exhibit development and design, and collections assessment and management. (The photo here shows Steph on the job doing a collections assessment and inventory that required wearing a respirator.) Recent projects include working with Germann and Associates, the Robert R. McCormick Museum, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, and the Charles F. and Eliza H. Stein House. Previously she was curator of the Fashion Columbia Study Collection at Columbia College Chicago and senior curator at the DuPage County Historical Museum. She has B.A.s in studio art and anthropology and an M.A. in anthropology, museum studies emphasis, from Arizona State University at Tempe.

Gretchen Frick Small, Member at Large

Gretchen has been the program director at the Butterworth Center and Deere-Wiman House, in Moline, for twenty-seven years. There she develops educational programs and acts as curator/archivist for the homes of John Deere’s descendants. She received a B.A. in education/American history at Purdue University and an M.A. in museum studies from George Washington University. During her time in Washington, D.C., she spent two summers working with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

Linda Norbut Suits, Member at Large

Linda has been in the cultural and arts management field for over thirty year. She currently manages the Illinois Art-in-Architecture Program that creates permanent public art for buildings constructed by the state of Illinois. She has worked at museums and cultural institutions across Illinois including the Arlington Heights Historical Museum, Illinois State Museum, National Park Service, and Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. She has a B.A. in History from Knox College and an M.A. in Historical Administration from Eastern Illinois University.

Patricia L. Miller, Executive Director (Staff)

Pat has been with the Illinois Heritage Association (IHA) since its founding in 1981. She holds a master’s degree in art history from the University of Illinois. She has served as a registrar of a university art museum and as director of a county historical museum. As executive director of IHA, Pat works with cultural heritage organizations to facilitate achieving professional standards. She presents workshops and classes and is a frequent speaker at professional meetings. Pat taught a graduate course in museum administration at Eastern Illinois University for thirty-two years and has a zero-time appointment on the University of Illinois Library faculty.

Toni E. Moore (Of Counsel)

Toni served on the IHA board as an at-large member in 2005 and as Secretary from 2006-2008.