Joedy Hightower, President/CEO (left)
Joedy Hightower joined the Effingham County Community Foundation and the Mattoon Area Community Foundation as executive director in April of 2004. As half-time director for each foundation, Hightower managed operations for both organizations for four years. In August 2008, an agreement was reached by the board of directors of the two community foundations to establish a collaborative structure to provide leadership assistance and operational support for member foundations as they promote philanthropy and build endowment to serve their individual communities. Hightower was appointed President of the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation in January 2009 and continues to manage the activities of both foundations as well as the development of new partnerships in the region.
Prior to 2004, Hightower was chief professional officer of the United Way of Effingham County for eight years and has been active in the non profit sector for the past 20 years. Other professional positions in her career include human resources and employee development management posts in the manufacturing industry.
Joedy Hightower serves on several community advisory boards focused on non-profit and community development. She represents Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation and its member foundations with membership in the Council on Foundations, Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations, Midwest Community Foundation Ventures, and Donors Forum. Joedy Hightower can be reached at 217-342-4988 or at
Valerie Belusko, Administrative Assistant (right)
Valerie Belusko joined the Effingham County Community Foundation and the Mattoon Area Community Foundation as part-time administrative assistant in March of 2008. Belusko now works full time for the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation and her role with the foundation includes accounting and database management activities in addition to supporting donor services and grant programming.
Valerie was drawn to the non-profit field when interning with the Watershed Nature Center in Edwardsville, IL. Later that year, in 2005, Valerie received a Liberal Arts degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with an emphasis in history, science and social sciences. Valerie Belusko can be reached at 217-342-4988 or at