2023 – 2024 Board of Directors

List of past Chairs

Beth Ullmark
Beth Ullmark graduated from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana with a degree in Computer Science through the College of Engineering.  She has an MBA degree through St. Ambrose University.
Beth has spent the majority of her career at John Deere working in Global IT. She currently is a Quality Coach for the Dealer facing applications supported by Deere. She is a core team member of the John Deere Inspire team, supporting STEM activities in Deere home communities. She is a coordinator for the Inspire School Partnership with Ridgewood Elementary in East Moline.

She has been a member of the State of Iowa SE Stem Advisory council since 2016 where she has helped choose STEM startup programs, STEM Teacher of the Year, and STEMBest awardees. She has volunteered extensively with FIRST Lego League Challenge events for the Quad Cities, for World Championships and for the Global Innovation Awards. A lifelong Quad City inhabitant, she is committed to ensuring that all children have opportunity to realize the potential of a STEM career. She currently resides in Davenport.
Vice President
STEM Coordinator

John Koch
John Koch graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.  He also has an MBA from the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business and an Advanced Certificate for Executives from MIT Sloan.

John has spent most of his career working at HNI Corporation in various product development and product marketing roles.  He currently leads product development for the seating product category across all HNI brands.  John is passionate about education and learning, especially in engineering related areas.  He is excited to work with the Quad City STEM community to foster the skills needed to solve difficult problems and give back to our great community.  He currently resides in Moline.
Professional Development Coordinator
Dan D’Alessandro
Dan D’Alessandro retired from Deere & Company in 2016 after 40 years of service. In his last role, he was the Global Manager of an engineering organization that developed embedded electronic hardware and software systems for Deere agricultural and turf products.

Dan graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and also holds a Master’s in Business Administration from University of Northern Iowa.

He is involved in several volunteer roles including FIRST FLL/FTC/FRC competition Judge, Southeast Iowa STEM Advisory Board, American Red Cross, Western Illinois University Engineering Advisory Group Member, and numerous church activities. Also, Dan is an independent engineering management consultant. Dan and his wife, Pat, reside in Le Claire, IA.
Terry Francis
Terry Francis earned a Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nebraska in 1982. He earned an MBA degree in 1994 from Loyola University in Chicago. He has served in various IT management positions with the US Army Corps of Engineers, Firestone, Sara Lee Corporation, and John Deere.

Terry retired from John Deere in 2019 with his most recent position
being Product Manager for EQUIP, the dealer management system written and supported by John Deere Information Systems.

Terry currently resides in Coal Valley.
Communications Chair
Kimberly Mayeski
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Kimberly Mayeski is a recent retiree after a 32 year career. Kim’s employment started with the United States Forest Service in Pocatello, Idaho as a GIS (Geographic Information System) analyst, then worked for SIMPOT implementing Precision AG and GIS. These experiences led to a position at John Deere in 2000 as a part of an effort to provide producers with farm management tools using these technologies. Kim has had various IT, Business and Management roles during her 23 year career with John Deere.

Kim’s focus now is on volunteering in the community. These volunteer activities include tutoring at Project Renewal, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), helping at Cinderella Cellar, and participating on multiple boards.

Kim and her husband, Mark, live in Bettendorf, IA.

Scholarship Chair
Tom Hein
Tom retired from Deere & Company in Moline, Illinois after 32 years of service. He was a leader of innovation and in evaluating and applying emerging technologies for the company, most recently focusing on information technology impacting Deere’s customer and product. He also supported research alliances with Universities, industry and standards groups. He served on the boards of the Object Management Group and the Automotive Industry Action Group. He has held various positions in manufacturing, engineering, and systems management during his 41-year career, including several entrepreneurial startups. Tom has a degree in Manufacturing Engineering from the University of Illinois, Chicago. In retirement, Tom is continuing his focus on innovation and STEM literacy through community organizations. He currently resides in Moline.
Award Chair
Susan Eckert
Susan Eckert, RD, is a registered dietitian through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition from Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa and completed her internship at Iowa Methodist Medical Center, Des Moines, Iowa. Susan began her career at Iowa Lutheran Hospital and Iowa Methodist Medical Center, Des Moines, as a clinical and outpatient dietitian.  She then became a pediatric dietitian at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York.  While staying home with her three children, Susan has worked as a nutrition support consultant for Visiting Nurse Services in New York and as a medical nutrition expert in the Quad Cities.  She is a past recipient of Iowa’s Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year Award.

Susan has been involved with FIRST® Robotics since 2010 as an FLL mentor, then coach and volunteer.  Her roles have expanded over the years to include various mentor and volunteer positions in all four programs of FIRST® from the local to international level.  She was recognized as the 2014 State of Iowa FIRST® LEGO League (FLL) Coach of the Year, 2016 QCESC Quad Cities STEM Volunteer of the Year with her family, 2018 FLL World Festival Coach of the Year (Detroit) and received the Aspirations in Computing (AiC) Educator Award for Iowa in 2021 and 2022.  Susan has been on the Quad Cities FLL Kickoff Planning Team since launching in 2013, served as the Quad Cities FLL Event Volunteer Coordinator since 2019, and Awards Chair since 2020. In 2022 she became the FIRST® Senior Mentor for Iowa, and currently resides in Davenport.
Fundraising Chair
Max Maes
Max Maes is the IT Service Manager for Group O in Milan. He is the chairperson for the Purpose Tomorrow Committee at Group O which oversees the philanthropic activities of the company.

Max has been active in the community since moving here in 1992.  He was a volunteer firefighter for the City of Bettendorf for 19 years.  Max also has been a volunteer, alongside his wife Anne, for the Miss Iowa Scholarship program helping to raise money and provide scholarships for young women across the state.  Max served as the Medical Chair for the John Deere Classic where he was responsible for coordinating the medical staff and facilities to provide health care and emergency services to the golfers and spectators at the event. 
Austin Laugen

Austin Laugen graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Computer Engineering in 2013. In 2018, he completed the Systems Design and Management certificate program through MIT.
Since then, he’s worked for John Deere in multiple embedded software roles. He currently works as the software delivery lead for an upcoming combine program.Outside of work, he’s spent four years mentoring two different FTC teams. He also mentors through Big Brothers Big Sisters and serves on Beta Sigma Psi Fraternity’s alumni board.Austin grew up in the Quad Cities and first became involved with QCESC while in high school. He’s excited to be involved to help facilitate further STEM opportunities in the area. He currently resides in Davenport.
Director Emeritus
Pat Barnes

Twitter @PatrickOBarnes
Pat Barnes holds an Electrical Engineering Degree from Iowa State University and is a lifetime member of IEEE.
Pat is currently the QCESC Director Emeritus and has served since 1992 in various roles including three times as QCESC President along with Award Chair, STEM Coordinator, and webmaster.  He was the 1992 QCESC Co-Junior Engineer of the Year award recipient.
Pat works at John Deere as the Global Social Responsibility Lead for Education in their Corporate Social Responsibility and Foundation Group.   In this role, Pat manages John Deere’s global youth education program, John Deere Inspire which is supporting over 100,000 youth annually in 32 home communities in 8 countries.   

In addition to the QCESC, Pat serves on several other boards including on the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and Southeast Iowa STEM Advisory Boards since 2011, and as Vice Chair of the United Way Quad Cities Education Council.