Danielle is a social change artist dedicated to confronting the roots of poverty and violence. Danielle currently serves as Cunningham Township Supervisor, a public aid office that supports and advocates for low-income residents in Urbana. From 2014-2016 she served as Organizing Director at the Center for Media Justice, where she coordinated a national network of racial justice leaders to win political campaigns for net neutrality, prison phone justice, and broadband expansion for low-income families. In 2010, she managed the national campaign that won passage of the Local Community Radio Act. She managed the campaign for Carol Ammons for State Representative, the first African American to serve in the Illinois 103rd district; and co-managed the campaign for Laurel Prussing, the first woman to serve as Mayor of Urbana. From 2001-2008, she served on Urbana's City Council, spearheading the creation of the public arts program, living wage ordinance, and civilian review board of police. Danielle co-founded the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, which has sponsored over 60 media justice projects internationally. From 2000-2014 she was Vice-President and partner of Pixo, a technology company in Urbana. She has presented on media and social change in Thailand, Burma, Italy, and Kenya, and as an Evans Scholar at Evergreen State College. She was awarded Woman of the Year in 2011 by Central Illinois Business Magazine.
Darlene Kloeppel, MSW, MS, MCP, is a systems change agent who has worked on the cutting edge of health care and community services development for over 40 years. During her 15-year tenure as the Director of Community Services for the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission, she facilitated the growth of the county's service network for housing, workforce development, mental health services, youth development, senior services, poverty mitigation and transportation access. As the first elected County Executive, she serves as a member of a number of community partnerships and is committed to initiatives that help Champaign County residents thrive. A long-time supporter of robust and responsive public health activities, Darlene lives in Urbana with her husband.
I grew up in Aurora, IL and after graduating high school decided I wanted a career in public safety. I entered Emergency Medical Technician school and after completion started working for an ambulance company in Morris, Illinois. Realizing I enjoyed the medical field as well as the challenges, I attended Paramedic school at Delnor Community Hospital in Geneva. After completing the course as well as clinicals, I was hired as a paramedic for the Morris Fire Protection District in Morris, Illinois. I worked two years as a paramedic and was hired by Champaign Fire Department in July of 1997. At CFD, I have progressed through the ranks and am currently a Captain. I have been active on numerous committees at the fire department as well as with Champaign Firefighters Local 1260, the labor organization that represents Champaign Firefighters. I recently completed the A.A.S-Paramedicine program at Parkland College.
I am active in many community organizations including mentoring, coaching, as well as St. Matthew's Catholic Church. My wife Erin, a speech pathologist on the Champaign Unit 4 autism team, and I were married in 2003. We have two children, Patrick and Ruari, who both attend St. Matthew's in Champaign. We enjoy children's activities, traveling, as well as working on projects around the house.