Greetings. It’s Beth Patterson – your Alumni relations connection on the board. When the House women look to meet, mix, and mingle with our illustrious alums for networking opportunities, I’m the one to call! The Homefront also falls under my responsibility. As Joyce Riskedal (web site maven) has previously mentioned, please update your profile on the House web site as we are moving to more digital communication in January of 2020.
A little about me. I hail from Carroll County in Northwestern Illinois and was determined to attend the UI no matter what. My folks were concerned that this small-town girl would get lost in the shuffle of the University and they were right. Thank goodness for learning about 4H House through the connections I made while showing projects at the state fair. The night that Natalie Webb Dougherty and Nancy Blankenship Ottosen called me to join 4H House and the pledge class of 1978, I was SO happy! I still get together with these ladies at Homecoming biennially.
My passion for fashion (ask Joyce about that) and business led me to pursue two degrees. One in Textile Science and the other in the Marketing of Apparel. I applied that knowledge as a buyer for Neiman Marcus and as a store manager for various retailers including Carson Pirie Scott and Casual Corner. I’d had enough of retail and wanted to work on the other side of the desk in wholesale. My first 4H House roomie’s husband was a big shot with Kraft, so I networked my way to an account manager position at Kraft Foods. Next stop was as an award-winning account executive with Abbott. Then…
Thoughts of working for myself had intrigued me for years. How could I use my knowledge of textiles and business together? Doink! As an owner of a successful laundromat of course! My first location was on the campus of Ohio State. I lost the lease to eminent domain and moved 3 semis of laundry equipment to IL. Found one here that was a dump when I bought it. It’s been revived and now produces triple the business! No glamorous fashion here. But it’s lucrative.
My hobbies are power walking, sewing, and cheering for the Pittsburgh Steelers. I also enjoy helping those that want to start a small business develop their business plan and get things off the ground like others did for me. I’m also Six Sigma Black Belt trained to help your business find unearned revenue and improve your processes.
Like the other ladies on the board, I wanted to give back to the place where I got my start on campus. It’s been a pleasure working with ladies of so many different backgrounds, life experiences, careers, and personalities. We all work to make the best better at our campus home as sisters with enduring friendships. Let me know if you are willing to connect with and/or mentor a current 4H House woman. Additionally, we are always looking for sisters to join us on the board. Call me!