Circle Of Friends

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Welcome to the WNNS Circle of Friends!

We consist of a group of women from around the area who are movers and shakers in the Springfield community.  We’re here to talk about all things fun, local and important to you.  You can keep up with us on this page. 

Meet Our Friends

Stacey Skrysak is a seasoned journalist, public speaker and writer. But her proudest role is becoming a mother.

She’s the parent of a 22-weeker surviving triplet and a preschooler. Through her experience, she’s become a voice for child loss, premature birth and life after loss.

These days, Stacey sprinkles in the trials and tribulations of raising children as she navigates motherhood in her 40s. Stacey’s work can be found worldwide, appearing on popular sites like Today Show, Upworthy and Washington Post.

Tiffany M. E. Mathis Posey serves as the CEO & Executive Director of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Illinois. Under Ms. Mathis Posey’s leadership, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Illinois has expanded to serve 22 locations which include 21 elementary and middle school sites throughout the Springfield and Jacksonville area; now recognized as the 2nd largest Boys & Girls Club organization in the state of Illinois.

As an engaged community member, Tiffany dedicates her time and efforts to various non-profit boards and community service organizations. She was most recently appointed by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, to the Board of Trustees for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. She also served as Commissioner for the Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (Serve Illinois), Past President of the Rotary Club of Midtown Springfield, served on the Board of Trustees for the Hoogland Center for the Arts, and was a Member of the State Assessment Review Committee for the Illinois State Board of Education. Additionally, Tiffany is a passionate member of the LGBTQ Advisory Committee for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. In 2021 Ms. Mathis Posey completed her term as School Board Member with Springfield Public School District 186 (Sub-District 5) and is proud to be a member of the Order of Eastern Star Estella No. 3 and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Springfield-Decatur Area Alumnae Chapter.

Among her many accomplishments and awards, Tiffany is a 2022 Champion for Children Award winner, a 2021 ATHENA Award Nominee, selected as “Woman of Influence” by Security Bank (2020), and recognized as an Outstanding Young Person of Illinois (2020) by the Illinois Jaycees for her volunteer leadership and humanitarianism.

Tiffany graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at Ashford University where she was a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society and the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society.

Tiffany is a mother to four beautiful children, Avery, Nylah, August, & Leena and married to the absolute love of her life, Mr. Ethan Posey”

Taylor Stevens is the Regional Community Liaison for Synergy HomeCare of Central Illinois.

She began this journey after spending two years as a Legislative Assistant for the State of Illinois. Synergy HomeCare had just opened their doors when Taylor joined the team. In the last four years, Taylor has helped build the Springfield office into the top HomeCare agency in Springfield as we are recent recipients of the Best of the Capital and Best of Springfield awards. The goal of Synergy HomeCare is to help people of all ages stay in place, safe and independent in their home; wherever that may be for them by providing non medical services. Taylor felt like came full circle when Synergy HomeCare was presented to her because as a young girl, she would ride her bike around her hometown of Divernon to knock on doors to assist the elderly. A true passion that started from childhood and has continued through adulthood.

Taylor is described as seemingly to have more hours in the day than most of us do as she not only joins organizations like the Marketing Senior Lifestyles, Chamber of Commerce, IWIL, Senior Services of Central Illinois, Local First and SCAN; but also volunteers to chair committees and takes the lead on projects. Her quest to keep building her skillset is obvious as she is a graduate of Leadership Springfield, a 40 under 40 Recipient, Presidents Award Recipient through the Chamber of Commerce, Volunteer Award Recipient and an Athena Award Nominee. Through hard work, kindness, and determination; this Momma is determined to lead by example and show her daughter just how powerful a woman can be.

She is very excited as she strives to help continue to build Springfield and create solutions all around the community. “I’m just a small town girl with big dreams!”

Taryn Grant began her love for the arts as a young ballet student, violin student and as a former member of the Springfield Ballet Company. She continues that love as a dance instructor for many years. She is a graduate of the SIUE School of Business. After founding Springfield Youth Performance Group in 2005, she has served as the Executive Director of the nonprofit organization. In 2012, she founded the SYPG Foundation to support her mission of community arts outreach programming. Taryn has also choreographed and directed community theatre productions.

As part of the SYPG Foundation, Mighty Movers is a gross motor skills program that was created by Mrs. Grant for children in the community with developmental delays and at-risk youth. Over the last few years, Taryn has received specialized training from Boston Ballet, Dance for PD through the Mark Morris Dance Group, and American Ballet Theatre Teacher National Curriculum Training Program. She was also recently certified in Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT).

In 2021, Mrs. Grant started a local chapter of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts to recognize academic and humanitarian achievements of dance students. Other philanthropic activities include board member of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, board member of the HOPE Foundation and member of the International Association of Dance & Medical Science which focuses on the well-being and holistic development of dancers. Recent awards include 2023 Illinois Women of Leadership nominee and 2023 Good as Gold Volunteer recipient. Taryn is happily married and the mother of two children.

Cassie Delaney is currently the Project Director for the Crisis System of Care at Memorial Behavioral Health.

Graduating from Benedictine University in 2012, she brings a wealth of experience from her 12-year career in the social service field, focusing on crisis intervention, bereavement and grief counseling, and program leadership. With the last 8 years spent in leadership roles overseeing programs and nurturing community collaboration.

Cassie’s true passion is at the heart of her mission – to lead collaborative transformations that not only heighten mental health awareness but also increase the utilization of mental health services. Her dedication is aimed at creating a tangible and positive impact on our community.

RaeAnne Dutz is a Springfield resident and mental health advocate.
 
Her passion for mental health began when she lost her father to suicide in 2013. After the loss, she shifted her college focus to psychology/counseling and continues to advocate for ending the mental health stigma and bringing awareness to suicide prevention in honor of her father. In 2022, she began volunteering for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention as the Walk Chair for the Springfield Out of the Darkness Walk.
 
RaeAnne graduated from the University of Illinois Springfield in May 2023 with a Master of Arts in Human Development Counseling. During her time there, she was a member of the Chi Sigma Iota Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society, Sigma Sigma Upsilon Chapter. RaeAnne is now a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Illinois and a member of the American Counseling Association and Illinois Counseling Association.
 
In her free time, RaeAnne enjoys spending time with her golden retriever Milo, reading, traveling, and attending concerts.

Jenna Broom is a Divernon native, public servant, and proud Springfield resident.

She has been a member of the Springfield Jaycees since 2017, holding the role of Chapter President in 2021. Jenna has also served on the Board of Directors for the
Family Service Center since 2019. She has assisted with the Levitt AMP Springfield Music Series, most recently coordinating the series’ inaugural Community Row.

Jenna also serves as a board member-at-large with the Coalition of Rainbow Alliances (CORAL). She is also a passionate champion in the fight to beat malaria with the UN Foundation and United to Beat Malaria. Jenna holds a Master of Public Administration with a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Illinois in Springfield, and a Bachelor of Social Work from Loyola University Chicago (Go Ramblers!).

She has been a Grant Manager with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity since 2019. When she’s not volunteering or working, Jenna likes to watch soccer, read comic books, play trivia, and experience the world through food.

Lakeisha Purchase is a proven leader working to lead positive change in government, private sector housing rehabilitation, historic preservations while making a lasting impact through community and public service.

Purchase was raised in Maywood, Illinois by hardworking parents – her father, a letter carrier and President of the National Association Letter Carriers Branch 1870, and her mother, an advocate in medical field.

First in her family to attend college, LaKeisha graduated from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Communications. While there, she became a Paul Simon Institute Ambassador.

Ms.Purchase received invaluable hands-on legislative experience as an intern in the District Office of Illinois Senator Kimberly A. Lightford and in Springfield after completing the Vince Demuzio internship program as an undergraduate student.

Lakeisha Purchase is a dynamic leader who brings energy, enthusiasm, dedication and determination to all she does.

Outside the realm of politics, Lakeisha is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, she enjoys exercising and loves spending time with her cat Tiger.

Latest Articles

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Jenna’s Blog: Family Service Center

This week, we caught up with our friend, Jenna Broom. She is such a great champion for Springfield and definitely walks the walk. She is on numerous boards. Volunteers countless hours. The most important thing about her

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Stacey’s Blog: Finding Your Confidence

What a week!  This time on “Circle of Friends” we talked with the one and only Stacey Skrysak, news anchor on WICS Newschannel 20 and generally awesome person.  She’s such a fountain of knowledge, fun, and humor.

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Cassie’s Blog: Managing Stress

Coping with Increased Stress: Techniques and Strategies From minor challenges to major life changes, stress is part of everyone’s life. While you can’t always control all your circumstances, you can control how you respond to them. Learning effective

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Jenna’s Blog: Active Citizenship

Active citizenship takes many forms; serving on a board for a non-profit organization, pouring beer at a charity street festival, and everything in between. One of the most empowering ways that you can become more active with

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RaeAnne’s Blog: Dealing With Burn Out

What is burnout? Burnout is when someone is in a state of complete mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. Burnout does not happen immediately. Instead, it is a gradual process that builds from continuous stressors. Someone that is

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