Hon. Michael Bigger has been a State Farm Insurance Agent for 35 years operating the only full time State Farm Insurance agency ever in Stark County, Illinois with an office in Wyoming, Illinois. In addition to Mr. Bigger's extensive small business ownership experience, he has also had significant civic and community experience. Mr. Bigger is the former Chairman of the Stark County Board having served on the Board from 2000-2012, and serving as Chairman 2004-2012. Mr. Bigger also founded and chaired the Stark County Economic Development Partnership Group, a public private collaborative county wide economic development apparatus serving all of Stark County, Illinois. Mr. Bigger is also the former President of the Wyoming Chamber of Commerce, and Wyoming Lion's Club.
In August of 2012, Mr. Bigger was named an Illinoisan of the Day by the Illinois State Farm Museum Board with a proclamation signed by then Governor Pat Quinn, naming him Illinoisan fo the Day for August 11, 2012. This award is based on volunteerism and community service and involvement.
Mr. Bigger has been married to wife Debra for 40 years on January 3, 1976, with two children, Dustin, age 35 and Katelyn, age 28.
Mr. Bigger was appointed to the Commission in October 2015.
Patricia Bakalis Yadgir
Hon. Patricia Yadgir is Vice President of Schools and Community Relations for American Quality Schools, a not-for-profit educational management organization that operates charter and private schools in the Midwest. Ms. Yadgir has over 25 years' experience in the field of education, previously serving as a counselor and instructor at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, IL.
She is a strong advocate of social/emotional and anti-bullying education in the schools, and in 2009, she designed and implemented a charter education curriculum that teaches diversity, anti-bullying and tolerance to students. She is also the author of a childrens' book; "Hooty Learns What's Right - A child's First look at Character Education".
Ms. Yadgir holds her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Education from Northern Illinois University. She is an active member of NIU's Executive Alumni Board where she chairs the Scholarship and Student Engagement Committee.
Ms. Yadgir was appointed to the Commission in June 2011.
Cheryl N. Mainor is President of The Mainline Group Consulting. Founded in 1998, The Mainline Group is a full-service consulting firm, specializing in Issue Advocacy, Coalition Building including Stakeholder Identification, Community Outreach, Third-Party Engagement, Association Management and Event Management.
Formerly, Mainor also served as President and Publisher at MainLine Media Group, LLC which was founded in 2001 in Alexandria, VA. MainLine Media Group, LLC, was the publisher of LifeLines: The Journal of African American Health, the largest circulated publication targeting Black health issues. The company specializes the business of not only developing original brands, but in consulting with publications across the country in operations, streamlining budgets, best practices, new media opportunities and implementation. At the forefront of the digital revolution, Mainor was one of the architects of
www.blackpressusa.com, one of the first web portals for news and information on the world-wide web.
Mainor has been recognized for her work by the Congressional Black Caucus, National Institutes of Health HIV Vaccine Awareness, The National Medical Association, OIC of America, National Association of Nergo Women and other organizations. As an operations consultant for New Orleans Data News Weekly she led the publication to award-winning status with the “Ethnic Pulitzer” Communicator of the Year from New American Media, and the Daimler Chrysler Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2007.
In 2014, she stepped aside from MainLine Group Consulting to take on the role of President and Publisher of the historic Chicago Defender Newspaper. As the first woman to hold the position, Mainor lead a professional team dedicated to ensuring that the legacy of the iconic brand continues to live on, and positioned it to lead in the field of print and digital communications. Under Mainor’s leadership, the Chicago Defender was named the second most widely read and popular African American newspaper by Nielson and Essence Magazine and brought the newspaper back to profitability. The paper and its legacy are now prominently displayed in the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, and Mainor is highlighted in a display on the history and legacy of the Black Press and its role in American History.
She has been active with several Voter participation organizations and GOTV campaigns, including National Coalition on Black Civic Participation’s Unity ’04 and Reclaim the Right to Vote in Louisiana 2006, where she also worked on the Mayor C. Ray Nagin campaign. Mainor was lead on the award-winning and groundbreaking 2000 “Life Every Voice and Vote” GOTV initiative representing the National Newspaper Publishers Association where she served as the organization’s first Director of Media Services and Deputy Director. This campaign was awarded as Multicultural Campaign of the Year by PR Week Magazine.
Cheryl has lived and worked professionally in Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, New York and Washington, D.C..
Ms. Mainor was appointed to the Commission in March of 2017