Board of Directors

Stephanie Schrage

President

Stephanie Schrage is a lifelong resident of Alton.  She has had her eye on Main Street since she first heard of the organization and was very excited to be a part of the process and join the board of directors in January of 2018. As the daughter and grand-daughter of small business owners, she feels that she is familiar with the struggles that local small businesses face and what it takes to overcome them. She wants to help.

She has worked as the practice manager at the Spay and Neuter Clinic in Bethalto since it’s reopening in March of 2015, and her passion for the environment has led her to marketing for Illinois Solar Inc.; a residential and commercial solar company, also in Bethalto. Stephanie is a graduate of Marquette High School and holds a degree liberal arts from Lewis & Clark Community College with a focus in mass communication and public relations.  She hopes to bring the community and small business owners together to continue to grow and promote the city and all that it has to offer.

Her previous volunteer experience includes fundraising, promotions, and various community support programs. Animals are a passion of hers as well, and she previously served on the Board of Directors for SNIP Alliance as their Clinic Operations Adviser. You have probably seen her at an event somewhere around downtown with one of her Yorkshire Terriers at some point.

In her free time moments. she enjoys exercising, yoga, gardening, crafting, cooking, and spending time with her pets and family.

Chris Miller

Vice President

It’s been clear since to Chris even before he moved back to Alton that Alton Main Street is the backbone of both the community and business economies of the Riverbend. For years his company, The Mission Center L3C, and AMS have partnered on programming and events that have spurred entrepreneurship and aim to maintain the momentum inspired by The Small Business Revolution.

Chris specializes in community and economic development – specifically, social and commercial entrepreneurship. He’s had the privilege of working with thousands of nonprofits as a community organizer, advisor, founder, and board member and looks forward to bringing his broad base of experience in the nonprofit sector to Alton Main Street.

Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Science from Truman State University, as well as a Master of Arts degree in Political Studies from the University of Illinois, Springfield. He is currently the Director of Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship at University of Missouri-St. Louis, and is a Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Sheila Curry

Treasurer

I have lived in the Riverbend Area for over 20 years; born and raised in St. Louis, Mo., becoming a teenage entrepreneur until my adult life, which lead to wanting my own business.

I have taken my knowledge from corporate America where I have done administrative work, accounts payable, receivable, payroll, design staff development for St Louis Public Schools, open Harrah’s Casino; until the next chapter in my life which lead me to the opening of a retail store in 2011 (Granny’s Uniforms Work Fashions and More!) It’s there I offer a complete line of workwear, nursing scrubs and medical supplies and school uniforms.  My pasts experience has played a valid role in my life, I have grown as a small business owner.  I love giving back and being a part of this Riverbend town which I have chosen for my location. I like the feel of the community, and felt that I could provide a service that would be an enhancement.

 I am looking forward to serving on the board, networking and building a strong relationship with team members. The more interested volunteers there for Alton Main Street, the stronger our community will be. “Because great things happen when people choose to work together”.

Yvonne Campbell

Secretary

Yvonne Campbell is the owner and operator of My Just Desserts, a destination restaurant in Downtown Alton known for having the best pie along the river road! Their historic building dates back to 1845, My Just Desserts opened its doors in 1989, and the business was purchased by Yvonne in 2018. She has expanded their specialty retail offerings with a spice shop and kitchenware, and offers overs 150 recipes that make up their daily lunch specials which rotate on a monthly basis. Yvonne is an Alton native and resident who graduated from Alton High School and earned a culinary degree at Southwestern Illinois College.

Trish Holmes

Organization Committee Chair

Trish Holmes is a lifelong resident of the Riverbend area. She currently is the Director of Member Services with the Riverbend Growth Association (RBGA) overseeing membership and events and loves working closely with area businesses. She understands and supports giving back to her community and loves to be involved. Trish sits on the Board of the Alton Women’s Housing Association, the Madison County Regional Leadership Council, and is an active member of the Riverbend Rotary Club. Trish earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at the University of Missouri St. Louis after earning her Associate Degree at Lewis & Clark Community College. In her spare time, Trish loves a good book and working out. She loves downtime and relaxation.

Kirby Ontis

Organization Committee Vice-Chair

As a life-long resident of Alton, Kirby has a passion for being engaged in his hometown and stepping up when his skills can be put to good use.

He serves the City of Alton as Comptroller, participating in City Council meetings and attending many City sponsored events while working to support them. Recently, his office submitted and received Council approval for the largest budget passed in the City’s history. He serves as board member and treasurer for the parent committee for his son’s school, and volunteers at many of the events that they sponsor.

Since coming to work for the City, he has found it incredibly rewarding to participate and give back to the city he grew up in, lives in, and loves. He now has multiple outlets to give and receive feedback and make positive impacts on Alton.

Emily Keener

Team Building Committee Chair

Emily Keener lives in Alton with her husband Nate, daughters Violet and Meera, and dog Frank! Emily is an instructional designer at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where she plays a behind-the-scenes role in instilling the values of SIUE – citizenship, excellence, inclusion, integrity, and wisdom – in thousands of students each year. Emily loves spending time outside, playing with her daughters, squeezing in a short story here and there, and exploring the hidden gems around Alton.

Keljon Byrd

Team Building Committee Vice-Chair

Keljon Byrd has been volunteering with Alton Main Street since middle school, and has been involved with the City-Wide Litter Clean-Up as well as many festivals and events over the years. Now 21, he is the youngest member to ever serve on Alton Main Street’s Board of Directors! Keljon spearheads a popular annual event at Hellrung Park which brings members of our community together for a day of fun while learning about social services that are available. He works at Family Dollar in Alton and is also enrolled as a student of the University of Arizona Global Campus, were he is working toward a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education.

Rachel Lappin

Design Committee Chair

Rachel Lappin is an Alton native and lover of art and #OurAlton. As Jacoby Art Center’s Executive Director her mission is to engage imaginations and enrich lives in our community through the arts. Her work with Alton Main Street as Design Committee Chair is an extension of her mission at Jacoby. She brings to this work her experience as an artist with a Bachelors of Fine Art in Metalsmithing and Museum Studies and over 10 years of organizational development and communications experience.

Damian Jones

Design Committee Vice-Chair

Damian was born and raised in Virginia. Upon his father’s retirement from the army in 1979, he and his family moved to New Orleans, LA, attending high school at Brother Martin High School. Damian attended college at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA, graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. From there, he went on to attend law school at Tulane Law School where he received his J.D. Damian spent over a decade working as a construction lawyer, specializing in construction claims/construction management.
Damian married Dr. D’Andrienne Jones, who was born and raised in Alton, and the couple moved their family to Alton from Atlanta, GA in late 2000. With deep gratitude for all that the Alton community has given to him and his family, Damian is thoroughly enthused by the prospect of serving on the Alton Main Street board.
In 2019, Damian founded SALT (Student Athletes Leading Tomorrow), a sports-based youth development nonprofit. Through SALT, his hope is to leverage the power of sports/physical activity to help each child in our community achieve their fullest potential, developing active, healthy lifestyles while ensuring personal growth in areas of life beyond sports.
In his spare time, Damian enjoys golf, tennis and fly fishing. He and his wife have a son, Ian and 2 daughters, Adrianna and Anya.

Sally Kirbach

Promotions Committee Chair

Sally Kirbach moved to Alton in 1993 at the age of 7 from Jacksonville IL. Post high school, she studied at Lewis and Clark Community College and has worked in child care, health care, and in the retail and food industries. In 2013, she started her own Independent small business, Kind Vibe Creations, selling handmade accessories, apparel and many of her own designs. Sally is the Building Manager at the Milton Schoolhouse, overseeing the redevelopment of this significant piece of Alton architecture into its new life as a coffee shop, event venue and small business incubator. In 2015, she joined Alton Main Street’s Design committee and in 2016 helped create the Night Market, which is now playing a significant role in the renaissance of the burgeoning arts district on East Broadway. Sally is a proud wife and mother of two and enjoys gardening, hiking, and learning new skills and crafts.

Michael Snider

Promotions Committee Vice-Chair

Originally hailing from Indianapolis, Indiana, Michael attended Indiana University and the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute.   His past work experience includes City Museum in St. Louis, land surveying, Harley Davidson mechanic, and home remodeling. Michael moved to Alton in 2003, and is currently a full time Artist on earth to spread good will and peace. Michael’s specialty is assembling large interactive and conversational works from items found in nature and found objects which have often been discarded.

His involvement with Alton Main Street has given him the opportunity to collaborate with others that share creative and forward-thinking ideas, and continue Alton’s evolution as a funny, quirky, artsy and poetic place that is a destination for creators of all types.

John Gajewski

Economic Vitality Committee Chair

I believe that Alton Main Street is making a very positive difference and that’s something I am proud to be part of. I have a passion and professional expertise in historic preservation and regeneration, as well as commercial building consultancy and project management. I am a big admirer of the Main Street approach and love to see the great progress that has been made in Alton’s commercial districts in the twenty years that I have known Alton, and especially in recent years. I am relatively new to the area having moved with my family from London (my wife is from Jerseyville originally), and having spent my career advising commercial and global clients I am delighted to be able to use my skills to benefit the community and help revitalize the region that I now call home for my children.

By profession I am a Chartered Building Surveyor (MRICS), specially qualified in Historic Preservation. I am a strong advocate that historic buildings are a largely untapped asset for regeneration, and their creative re-use brings real benefits for people, placemaking, our planet and the economy. I have recently established my own consulting company, working locally and across the Midwest. I also lecture at Washington University STL on the subject of Historic Preservation A Transatlantic Perspective, and was a past lecturer at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, on the subject of Historic Preservation in the Commercial Property Market.

I enjoy cycling (the bluffs along the rivers are tremendous), travel, photography, art, architecture, football (English style!), skiing, and keeping tabs on my two young children.

Trudy Bodenbach

Economic Vitality Committee Vice-Chair

Trudy Bodenbach loves her local community and has a passion for seeing it grow and thrive. She has a long track record of volunteerism with Community Hope Center, AltonForward, the Alton Overnight Warming Center and other impactful social services. Trudy has a wide variety of professional experience, including serving in business development for Alton Memorial Hospital, as the Executive Director of Options Now, and as the department head for Madison County Community & Economic Development. She holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Lindenwood University, a Master of Arts Degree in Leadership and Ministry from Greenville College, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership from Greenville College, and an Associate of Science Degree from Lewis and Clark Community College. Trudy lives in Godfrey with her husband Barry Bodenbach, and the couple has three beautiful daughters: Hannah, Sophie, and Molly.

Jayne Simmons

Board Member

Jayne Simmons is an American business owner and entrepreneur. She is the owner of the Southern Illinois Miners professional baseball team and President of AltonWorks, a development and social impact company in Alton, IL.  Jayne manages her family’s business interests, investments and was active in the creation and operation of the national law firm Simmons Hanly Conroy. 

Jayne was part of the original investment group that purchased Alton Steel, Inc. Her involvement in the project helped bring more than 300 jobs to Alton. She, and her husband John, recently sold Alton Steel to the employees after it became a growing and profitable steel company. 

As the owner of the Southern Illinois Miners, Jayne brought baseball back to Southern Illinois in the summer of 2007. Jayne over saw the building of the Miners state-of-the-art home facility, Rent One Park, which was constructed for the team’s inaugural season. That year, the Frontier League had a record number of fans come through the gates.

Under Jayne’s leadership, the Miners led the Frontier League in attendance each of the franchise’s first four seasons. The team was named “Frontier League Organization of the Year” three times (2007, 2009 and 2010) and captured the franchise’s first Frontier League Championship after the 2012 season.

Jayne is active in a variety of community organizations and not-for-profit charities. She grew up in Roxana, Illinois.  She attended Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and achieved a degree in business management from St. Leo University in Florida.  

Jayne currently lives in Alton with John, their four children and grandchildren. 

Sara McGibany

Executive Director

Sara McGibany has been the Executive Director of Alton Main Street since December of 2006. She graduated from Marquette Catholic High school and holds a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University, with a major in Public Relations and a minor in Psychology. Besides working on various events and projects that promote and improve Downtown Alton, Sara also enjoys serving on the Board of Directors for the Mustard Seed Peace Project, and the Steering Committee of the Upper Alton Association. She enjoys volunteering for environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club, and is an avid community gardener. Sara has been active in Alton’s Community Policing strategy and in the Community Builders Network of St. Louis. In 2018 she was elected to a seat on the Democratic Precinct Committee, and in 2019 she was appointed to the Community Development Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Her spare time is spent playing guitar with her bands, as well as creating clothing, jewelry and paintings.

Advisors

Brian Campbell – 1st Ward Alderman

Michael Velloff – 3rd Ward Alderman

Deanna Barnes – Deputy Director of Development & Housing, City of Alton

Jamie Ruyle – Upper Alton Association

Zeke Jabusch – North Alton-Godfrey Business Council