Officers of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois

The officers of the Academy serve three-year terms. They are: the chief executive officer, known as the Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor, the Secretary, the Treasurer and the Executive Director. The incumbent Governor of Illinois always serves as President of the Academy.



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    The Honorable Ron Spears


    Home City and StateTaylorville, IL

    Brief BiographyMediation and arbitration practice since 2016.  Clerked for United States District Court before serving as a member of a Taylorville law firm with emphasis in litigation in state and federal courts.  Circuit Court Judge 1993-2015.  Graduate of University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University Law. Member of Taylorville Chamber of Commerce.

Vice Chancellor

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    Todd Shapiro

    OfficerVice Chancellor

    TitlePresident and CEO, Illinois CPA Society

    Home City and StateLa Grange Park, IL

    Brief BiographyIllinois CPA Foundation, and CPAs for the Public Interest, and an ex-officio board member of the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois. 2021 Accounting Today’s “Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting” list. Twenty years of financial and managerial experience for Unilever as well as Continental Bank, Helene Curtis, Quaker Oats, and Zenith Electronics. Bachelor’s degree in finance from University of Illinois, MBA from DePaul University.


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    Ethel Holladay


    Home City and StateDuQuoin IL

    Brief BiographyLifelong resident and community leader in southern Illinois. Executive Director of the Illinois Board of Education Association.


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    Graham Grady


    TitlePartner, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

    Home City and StateChicago, IL

    Brief BiographyFocus on city of Chicago and Cook County, helps clients obtain government entitlements and solve problems with local governments. Also serves as legal counsel to one of the five annuity and benefit funds of the City of Chicago, advising in a broad range of areas including compliance with the Illinois Pension Code and investment management agreements.

Executive Director

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    Leanne Barnhart

    OfficerExecutive Director

    TitleExecutive Director

    Home City and StateMahomet, IL

    Brief BiographyThirty-year career in higher education advancement. Officer and board member of several community nonprofits.