Mary Kaufman was born and raised in Freeport. My parents are also from the Northwest Illinois area. My mother grew up in Elizabeth and my father in the Winslow area. I attended District 145 schools all through high school and continued my education at Highland Community College. I chose to enter the workforce before completing my degree at HCC but eventually found my way back and was able to complete my Associate of Science degree. It was a few years later that I began working on my Bachelor of Science in Business Management through Columbia College of Missouri thanks to the partnership with Highland.
Freeport Lincoln-Douglas Kiwanis – I joined Kiwanis in 2019 as a way to be more involved in the community. I have been a member of the board of our organization and am the President-Elect for our club. I currently assist in a couple of committees and lead the programs committee.
Freeport Public Library – I am a member of the board of directors serving as the Financial Secretary. I have been on the board since 2019. Part of my role is to review the account’s payables each month.
I am an Ambassador for the Greater Freeport Partnership,
Misc – I am a past board member for United Way and the Contact of Northern Illinois. I was the treasurer for Contact while on their board. I continue to volunteer for United Way and also volunteer regularly with RAMP. One of the programs I have been assisting with RAMP is their programs to the school systems. I have been able to join them to discuss banking and credit, and assist with mock interviews. I have volunteered for Cruise Night for several years primarily assisting in the contest area. I have volunteered for approximately 10 years with the election office assisting with post-election ballot collection and verification.
I work as a small business specialist for a bank and have been in banking cumulatively for over 20 years. I help business clients with their working capital needs and support locations in Freeport, Dixon, and Sterling.
I want to see the college continue to survive and adapt to the post-covid world. We learned a lot about virtual options during Covid and I feel that there could be continued opportunities in this space. I would like to see additional collaborations with our community businesses with opportunities to graduate students into the workforce if they choose. That includes refocusing on the trades. I would like to see continued partnerships and expanding partnerships with colleges for bachelor’s degree programs.
Is there any other information about your background that you feel is relevant to your campaign?
I took the nontraditional path for my schooling and feel that it offers me a unique perspective on how we can engage nontraditional students. I needed to be able to have insurance and work during my schooling in order to cover the cost of my education, and Highland was the perfect fit for that. Through the partnership with Columbia College, I was able to complete my bachelor’s degree as well. I am a graduate of the leadership institute and have taken several lifelong learning courses. I want to be able to give back and see future generations have the same opportunities that I was able to have.
EMAIL: [email protected]