Diane Kerruish, senior executive assistant to the president, has seen her fair share of change during her eleven-year tenure at ECC. Her first experience at the college was as a student, and later she returned as the assistant to the managing director of marketing and communications. The ECC experience that truly changed her life, though, was meeting her husband while playing intramural softball!
She describes her daily duties as direct support to Dr. Sam and the board of trustees as “difficult to define.”
“It changes like the weather in Illinois on any given day,” said Kerruish.
As she tells it, her greatest accomplishment was surviving her first year, which included detailed planning of ECC’s 60th-anniversary celebration, launching new branding for the college, filling key positions in the marketing and communications department, and getting upgrade/renovations referendum passed. Whew!
We caught up with Kerruish to learn more about her life and her work at ECC. Here is what she had to say:
What’s something about your job that others should know?
Every day brings a different challenge or adventure. Some days all I do is put out fires. I function on ‘no plan is a plan’ many days. In my job, I am responsible for the operational needs of the president and the board of trustees. I am the local election official for ECC and act as the chief liaison between the president and the public, employees, board of trustees, and public officials.
What would you do if you were ECC president for a day?
I would add December 23 to Winter Recess, just for 2019. We are very fortunate with the amount of time off we receive every year, but I really wonder how many people will be in their offices that day.
If there was a movie about your life, who would you want to play you?
Sela Ward, just because.
What’s on your “bucket list?”
I don’t have a “list.” I have kept lists my entire life. At this point, I would love to be more spontaneous, but that is not who I am, so I’m not certain how I can make this happen!
What do you enjoy doing outside of work (i.e., hobbies/interests)?
I enjoy being home and not rushing. I love to putter around my yard from spring through fall. Call me crazy, but I find mowing my lawn therapeutic. And spending time with my granddaughter is the absolute best!
Where was the best place you’ve traveled? Or, where would you like to visit
I was very fortunate as a young girl to travel to Sweden and Norway with my grandparents for two summers, visiting relatives and learning two languages. At ages 9 and 11, my brain still worked like a sponge. I soaked up everything. I even came home with a Scandinavian accent. I would love to have the time to travel with my granddaughter. She wants to go to Hawaii, and I have never been, so, maybe?
What would be your “theme song?”
“I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack
What’s one fact we should know about you?
I was elected village clerk in South Elgin for a four-year term. It was one of the best and worst experiences. I’m thankful for the opportunity but disappointed by how nasty local politics can be.
What was your favorite class in school (could be elementary, high school or college)?
Math and creative writing. Am I conflicted or well-rounded?
What was your first job out of school?
My first “big girl” job was as a rates and proposal analyst for Equitable Life Insurance. I filled out the application at a job fair at ECC while a student. I always knew I was a Monday through Friday kind of employee, and I did not want anything to do with food; neither cooking nor serving!
What quote best describes your philosophy?
“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in our hearts” – Winnie the Pooh
Complete this sentence: “I enjoy working at ECC because…“
I have been extremely fortunate to support two leadership positions in my tenure. Both have represented integrity and ethical practices throughout my time at ECC.