Awards & Honors

The following is a list of those to whom the Illinois JCI Senate has bestowed special recognition.


Throughout the years the Illinois JCI Senate has bestowed Honorary membership upon individuals who have demonstrated outstanding fellowship with our organization. Below is a list of those individuals to date.

          HM #1       Doug Hincker #22200 (Michigan) 1984 (deceased)

          HM #2      Gerry Moore #26604  (Missouri) 1985 (deceased)

          HM #3      Mike Moritz #28428 (Missouri) 1988

          HM #4      Cheryl Knoche #57394 (Illinois) 1991 *

          HM #5      Joe Eller #32962 (Tennessee) 1995

          HM #6     Jerry Wendelken #23161 (Michigan) 1995

          HM #7     Tom Hendrix #37317 (Missouri) 2018


*Cheryl was the executive secretary of the Illinois Jaycees and did immense amount of work for the Senate as well. She was presented an Honorary membership prior to being awarded a senatorship from the Springfield Jaycees and becoming a regular member.



The USJCI Friendship recognition was begun and administered by the Nebraska JCI Senate. Nebraska had long been in awe of spouses of senators who had helped significantly over the years to the benefit of the U.S. J.C.I. Senate organization. Because there was no award for non-senators,these individuals had gone un-recognized. Therefore the Friendship Award was established for individuals who are not able to become Senators due to never having been a Jaycee but have long been the supporter of their spouse in their Senate career. Below are the Illinois recipients and the Senator for whom they were the “wind beneath their wings.”

Nancy Fletcher FR #21
Gary Hongsermeier #39708

Cindy Mammen FR #26
Jim Mammen #37122

Margie Kiefer FR #29
Wayne Kiefer #36498

Sherrie Schroeder FR #52
Monty Schroeder #62203



Sandra “Sam” Barker was an individual who would often be seen running about ensuring that the little things that made an event successful was done. Sam was never one to need or even desire any of the limelight, she simply wanted an event done right. Nominees may not be past presidents nor current members of the Board of Directors and are to demonstrate an unselfish giving “of their time to further the Senate movement in a positive manner and has done so with no need of recognition or expectations of gratitude.” Below is a list of recipients to date.

2009     Don Falls #40510
2010     Digger McGraugh #36156
2011     Donna Ward #53588
2012     Melodie Ainslie #69200
2013     Maureen Niedenthal #67669
2014     Mary Ann Hilleary #64615
2015     Tom Greathouse #60003
2016     Kathy Crick #71017
2017     Susie Colbert-Curtis #73137
2018     Robbie Johnston #51099
2019     Kay DeGroot #73333
2020     Cindy Ogden #73418
2021     Vanessa Birchler #74430
2022    Tony Symoniak #66367
2023     Rod Hollenstine #46073


This recognition is named for Past President Larry Ferguson. When Larry passed away he was not only serving in multiple capacities for the Illinois Senate but served as an integral part of the Region V and USJCI Senate where he was the Membership Information Director. For a period of time after Larry’s passing it was noted that when something was not being done, the answer to the question of why was “Larry used to do that.” Because of that quiet, behind the scene leadership this recognition was established to recognize any Illinois Senator who would give “of their time to further the Senate movement leading behind the scenes in a positive manner and done so with no need of recognition or expectation of gratitude.” Below is a list of recipients to date.

2013     Mark Niedenthal #39701
2014     Wayne Huelsmann #30592
2015     Denny Birt #37116
2016     Charlie Gouveia #18294
2017     Kate Patterson #52517
2018     Monty Schroeder #62203
2019     Chris Curtis #35540
2020     Lynne McGill #70364
2021     Donna Baker #67041
2022     Kathy Crick #71017
2023     Ray Ainslie #44136