Carlos Ortega

Carlos Ortega

I am currently working as the Executive Director of Elevate CCIC, Inc. (Elevate), a local 501 (C) 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting entrepreneurs in East Central Illinois. I have successfully helped write grants to obtain over $920,000 for community initiatives, including Elevate.

Previously, I was a Peace Corps’ Fellow at Western Illinois University (WIU) where I graduated with a Masters in Political Science. While at WIU I was a Graduate Assistant for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). At the SBDC I helped organize a new online mentoring program called SBDC Advantage, which connects rural communities to resources and technical assistance through the SBDC via an online platform. I also assisted in developing a pitch competition with the city of Macomb, IL.

Prior to my studies at Western, I was a Peace Corps volunteer for four years working in fields of public health, economic development, and teaching. I lived for one year in Kenya and three years in Namibia. I integrated well and effectively understood the people of both countries while learning about the international development process.

My previous experience working in the Illinois State Senate gave me the political background for understanding local and state governments. My years of experience have helped me adapt to constantly changing situations and has also given me respect for those with different opinions from my own.

I am avid about Community and Economic development and believe that all people can succeed when given the right tools.

Hannah Myers

Hannah Myers

   My name is Hannah Myers and I am so excited to serve as Lead Facilitator for the Illini Prairie CEO Program! I am a proud Eastern Illinois University graduate where I earned both my B.A. in History (2019) and M.A. in Public Policy/Administration (2021).  My husband and I have two beautiful children and together we enjoy hiking, traveling and exploring new places.  In addition to the CEO program, I work full-time for the amazing City of Arcola, where I manage both the water department office and community outreach activities. 

 I strongly believe that active citizenry is a necessary component for a healthy community and as such, I have served in a variety of organizational settings including; board trustee, treasurer, and now President of the Douglas County Museum Association, contributing founder and Board Director of Arcola Investment Corporation, several race/running committees, church groups and most recently appointed to the Arcola District School Board and Chairwoman of the Arcola Toursim Committee.

   I am so excited as to what the Illini Prairie CEO program can provide to both students and communities. From touring area businesses to meeting with experienced local leaders, the CEO program gives students a truly one-of-a-kind learning experience. I strongly believe that the CEO program not only equips students with the necessary tool set needed in today's competitive work environment, but encourages them to become independent, civic minded individuals within their respective communities.  I, for one, am incredibly honored to be a part of such an amazing program and am excited to help guide the next generation of community leaders. 

   If you have any questions about this program or myself I can be reached at hmyers@illiniprairieceo.com