Camp Ondessonk is honored to have a fantastic, dedicated group of volunteers serving on its Board of Directors. Comprised of members in our community that go above and beyond in the mission of Camp to provide the best possible experience to all that encounter Ondessonk, their guidance, collective expertise, and dedicated service to the campers of Ondessonk have been the key to recent site and program improvements. Working closely with Ondessonk’s Executive Director, each board member serves on a sub-committee where their knowledge can be best utilized. Each board member serves a three-year term and can serve up to three consecutive terms in a row.
Meet our current Board of Directors:
Chris Cahnovsky is the Southern Illinois Regional Manager for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Chris was a camper in the 1970s, a CIT, Wrangler, Stable Manager and Equestrian Director in the 80s. He has been a volunteer and a parent of two campers since that time.
Jackie Savage McKay
Jackie Savage McKay was first associated with Camp from 1960 through 1968 as a camper, CIT and staff. After retiring as an Administrative Assistant from The May Department Stores Company, she reconnected with Camp in 2013. She spends her time volunteering at Camp and for other organizations within the community. She also trains, competes with, and judges retrievers. Jackie loves helping to keep the Camp gates open for campers of all ages to enjoy.
Katie Birge is an associate and head of platform at M25, an early stage venture capital firm focused on Midwest-based startups. Katie was a camper at Camp Ondessonk in the late 90s and a staff member for most of the 2000s as well as a longtime volunteer.
Tracy Beckham Phipps
Tracy Beckham Phipps is a shareholder attorney with Sandberg Phoenix in St. Louis. She has practiced asbestos defense litigation in Southern Illinois and Missouri for nearly two decades. Tracy started as a camper in 1989, served on staff from 1995-2000, has been a proud camper parent since 2016, and has another future camper waiting in the wings for summer 2025. Tracy has served on the Board of Directors since 2014 (including as President from 2018-2021).
Steve Bushong (AKA Bush) is a professor at Southwestern Illinois College teaching Cybersecurity and Computer Networking. He is also an Assistant Lecturer for Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Steve is also on the Board of Directors as second vice chair of the Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois.
Steve is active with his daughter’s Girl Scout troop. He also spends several weeks at Camp Ondessonk volunteering during the summer. In 2021, he spent five weeks volunteering, four of those assigned to a unit. Steve will find any excuse to visit Camp, whether for the day, the weekend, the week or the month.
Dennis Dusek is a retired orthopedic surgeon whose history with Camp began in 1960 as a camper, the second year Camp was open. Dennis served on the Camp Ondessonk summer staff from 1965 to 1970. He is now busy with his seven, soon to be nine, grandchildren.
Carrie Keller is currently General Counsel for Budrovich Companies, a St. Louis area construction company specializing in large-scale projects. Carrie, a corporate and transactional attorney, has primarily focused her legal career on guiding business owners, investors, and privately held and start-up entities on all aspects of business legal matters. An enthusiastic camp parent, Carrie is eager to give her time, talent, and treasure to Camp Ondessonk. As she works to further the mission of Camp and ensure its future, Carrie’s legal expertise, knowledge, and desire to serve are of great value to Camp and its campers.
Kyle Klues is a self-employed property manager and remodeling contractor in the City of St. Louis. Combining his talent for math and science with his curiosity and love for learning how the physical world works, he earned engineering degrees from University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. Kyle has been a member of the Ondessonk community since he was a camper the summer after 5th grade, and even met his wife, Emma, while working at Ondessonk. Kyle strives to be a part of keeping Camp great in as many ways as he is able.
Sara Simonin is a Sr. Organizational Specialist with the Enterprise Holdings Foundation. Sara has served Camp Ondessonk in many ways, including sponsoring events such as the Annual Korte Golf Benefit each year.
Jean Weiss is the retired owner of an association management company which served national and statewide trade associations. A native of Springfield, IL, she was involved with Camp as a camper, summer staff, wrangler, equestrian director, and camper parent. She has been a Camp donor for many years and began volunteering in 2017. Jean and her family live in Mississippi and are members of Holy Savior Catholic Church. She helped found the Central Mississippi Down Syndrome Society serving on its Board for 16 years, and she continues to volunteer on several committees.
Ken Wetstein has worked in higher education and non-profit management for 30 years. He currently serves as the Vice-President for University Advancement at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL. Ken has been involved with Camp Ondessonk since his early childhood, as his late father, Paul Wetstein regularly volunteered at Camp with other diocesan volunteers from E. St. Louis. Ken has experienced Ondessonk as a camper, counselor, and even served full-time for several years as Assistant Director in the mid-90’s. Ken and his wife Carrie spent the first three years of their marriage living and working at Camp Ondessonk (Carrie was the first Development Director for Camp O). They have two daughters, Caitlyn (21) and Chloe (18). In his free time, Ken enjoys community theater, singing, trivia writing, and puzzles.
Scott Wobbe has served 36 years as an Air Force career civil servant. In addition to being a Board of Directors member, Scott serves on the Properties Committee, volunteers in maintenance in the off-season and volunteers as an Assistant Unit Leader during summer camp.
Thomas Young, Sr.
Thomas Young, Sr. is a self-employed farrier with a great passion for Camp Ondessonk. Tom has completed hundreds of volunteer service hours through his committee, board, and farrier work. Tom’s sincere and constant support of the Ondessonk campers and staff is greatly appreciated by all that know him.
Ex Officio Trustees:
The Most Reverend Michael G. McGovern
Bishop, Diocese of Belleville
Father Michael G. McGovern became the ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Belleville on July 22, 2021. Bishop McGovern is an Illinois native and studied at Loyola University in Chicago, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy in 1986. He applied for admission as a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Chicago at Mundelein Seminary where he was awarded a Baccalaureate degree in Theology in 1993 and a Master of Divinity in 1994. Bishop McGovern previously served as Associate Pastor at Queen of the Universe Parish, St. Mary in Lake Forest, St. Juliana in Chicago; Pastor of St. Mary in Lake Forest, St. Raphael the Archangel Parish in Old Mill Creek, IL; administrative roles in the Archdiocese of Chicago: Vice-Chancellor, Archbishop’s Delegate for Extern & International Priests, Vicar Forane, and Interim Vicar of Vicariate I.
Very Reverend Steven L. Beatty
Vicar General, Diocese of Belleville
Fr. Beatty is Vicar General of the Diocese of Belleville and Pastor of St. Damian Parish in Damiansville and St. Bernard Parish in Albers. He is a former Ondessonk camper and staff member (Unit Leader, Wrangler, and Horse Adventure!). Fr. Beatty was Camp Chaplain from 2010 to 2021.
Superintendent of Schools / Director of Education, Diocese of Belleville
Jonathan Birdsong serves as the Superintendent of Schools and Director of Education in the Department of Faith Formation for the Diocese of Belleville, Illinois. Jonathan acts as Camp Ondessonk’s main point of contact and administrator at the main offices of the Diocese of Belleville. As Camp is an entity of the Catholic Diocese, and operates in both areas of education and working with school-aged children, Jonathan assists with matters that are brought to the Diocesan level.