Thank you to the University of Illinois Professional MBA program for sponsoring today’s Chambana Mom to Know! If you would like to learn in-depth about the Illinois Professional MBA, we encourage you to attend an information session. Attend one of these information sessions to meet Illinois MBA admissions representatives; talk to students or alumni of the Professional MBA; learn about our curriculum and class schedule; find out about program costs as well as scholarship opportunities; receive advice for the application process; and receive answers to specific questions. The next meeting is Oct. 5 from 6-7 p.m. in room 3009. Click here to register.
Jayne DeLuce is grateful to have worked in the recreation, sport and tourism industry for more than 30 years. DeLuce, who has two degrees from the University of Illinois and is currently president and CEO of Visit Champaign County, has working experience with the Atlanta Olympics, Champaign Park District, U.S. Navy Recreation in Scotland, UI Campus Recreation, Broward Sports Festival, UI Alumni Association and all the way back to Robeson’s Department Store and restaurant. She has received multiple awards, written articles in state and national publications and, in October, will co-presenter with her husband, Joe, at the National Recreation and Park Association Conference. (Joe is executive director of the Champaign Park District.) Her experience includes leadership positions in UI Moms Club, Junior League of Champaign-Urbana, Crisis Nursery, Executive Club of Champaign County and Social Science Club of CU.
See why we think Jayne DeLuce is a Chambana Mom to Know.
Q: First question: What makes Champaign County as “Outside of Ordinary”? How did that tagline come about?
While often known as the home to University of Illinois, there is much to be discovered beyond the academic classroom, where agriculture meets hi tech, arts and culture can be celebrated at a fraction of the cost of big cities, and prairie grasses are meant to be explored. And most important, the people are truly our best asset!
Q: I’m sure most locals don’t think of Champaign-Urbana as a tourist destination, but it is! What do you most enjoy showcasing about our community to visitors?
Definitely our culinary and arts scene. Friday Night Live during the summers, Urbana’s Market at the Square, dinner at Prairie Fruits Farm or Willow Creek Farm, any of the music festivals or performances at the Virginia Theatre, Krannert Center, or State Farm Center, eating an apple donut at Curtis Orchard, and of course, kissing a reindeer at Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch. Learn about the rich culture of the people who choose to live here.
Q: How can area residents be “ambassadors” of our community to visitors?
Show your Midwest sensibility and authenticity which we often take for granted, until you live elsewhere. Support our local businesses. Choose kindness, offer assistance, and get behind initiatives that will make our community better, like a new downtown museum.
Q: Time for some nostalgia: As a lifelong resident (with a few years here and there out of town), what is something that isn’t around anymore that you really miss – and why?
I grew up in Springfield, coming to C-U a lot of weekends, when my dad, Jim Turpin, voice of the Fighting Illini for 40 years, was announcing the Illini football and basketball games. We moved to Champaign my senior year of high school, so I miss most Robeson’s Department Store, where I learned a lot about customer service working in different departments and great memories of serving on their high school and college advisory boards.
Q: You are a big U of I sports fan. How excited are you for football season this year? What’s your favorite way to tailgate?
Important for brand ambassadors in this community to show Illini pride, and it’s easier this year to get behind #wewillwin with high hopes for “lovie-ing” a new football era. Tailgating is the most fun when college friends come back to visit at Homecoming! Even bigger fan of Illini volleyball and Illini tennis, both strong programs and awesome fan base.
Q: You recently dropped off your eldest daughter at college. How are you feeling about this new phase in her life – and yours?
The range of emotions when your “baby” leaves for college is a roller coaster! A sense of pride that Jenna is prepared to take on her next chapter, yet realizing she really isn’t coming “home” anymore, especially decorating her dorm room. When she posted and tagged me for her first day of school pic, the tears were flowing. Truly so excited for her though! Stay tuned for when Jordan leaves in three years – yes, the years do fly by.
Q: Between you and your husband’s demanding job and your kids activities, I don’t know when you guys are ever home! What tips can you share on managing a busy family schedule?
Family comes first, no matter what. Look for signs when your kids need down time and encourage them (and yourself) to take it! Schedule a family vacation not involving an organized activity (sports tourney, band tour, etc.) If it’s travel sports season, it’s OK not to have homemade meals all the time. Who am I kidding? Do the best you can at getting people fed and not feel guilty otherwise. Be grateful for car pools and do your share of volunteering for kids activities, no matter how busy you think you are. The success of all kids’ programs involves parental involvement, even in high school. Enjoy the journey!
Q: Tell me something most people don’t know about you.
I visited Europe (nine countries) for a month after my college internship in Scotland, traveling by double decker bus being the only American with 22 others from 13 countries. The bus had booths that were converted for sleeping, and limited kitchen facilities, although we spent most nights in campgrounds or youth hostels. Little did I know the future would bring living in this awesome, multi-cultural international community and recruiting bus tours to come to Champaign County!
Do you know someone we should feature as a mom (or dad) to know? Nominate him or her here.