The Illinois Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (IEAFCS) educates and recognizes Extension professionals who improve the quality of life for Illinois individuals, families, and communities in the areas of:

Mission Statement

The Illinois Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences promotes professional growth, camaraderie and pride for Extension professionals who empower individuals, families, and communities with critical life skills.


IEAFCS holds two membership meetings per year.  Additional meetings are determined by need of the Board.Members are encouraged to actively participate in Association activities and consider serving on the Association Board.


  • IEAFCS Website is updated regularly and contains reports from officers and committees, regional news, conference updates, and special features to keep professional IEAFCS members informed.
  • Journal of NEAFCS is NEAFCS' annual, referred journal of FCS research and program evaluation.
  • eNEAFCS is a monthly online newsletter delivered to every member. NEAFCS Annual Report is published once a year.
2019 IEAFCS Board
  • President: Jenna Smith
  • President-Elect: Karla Belzer
  • Immediate Past President: Mary Liz Wright
  • Secretary: Caitlin Mellendorf
  • Treasurer: Camaya Wallace Bechard
  • Vice President for Member Resources: Lisa Peterson
  • Vice President Member Awards & Recognition: Susan Sloop
  • Vice President for Public Relations: Amy Funk
  • Vice President for Life Members: Carol Schlitt
2019 IEAFCS Committee Chairs
  • Awards and Recognition Committee:  Susan Sloop—Vice President for Awards
  • RecognitionMembership/Recruitment Committee:  Mary Liz Wright—Immediate Past President
  • Communications/Website Committee:  Caitlin Mellendorf—Secretary
  • Audit Committee:  Mary Liz—Immediate Past President
Prospective Members

IEAFCS is a professional association serving the unique needs of family and consumer science educators working in the Illinois Extension system. All Extension employees who have a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences or in a related field employed either as state, county, city or area personnel are eligible for membership upon the payment of dues, regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, disability, age, religion, veteran status, or sexual orientation.

Any former Extension employee who has been a member of the Association for at least 10 years will be granted Life Membership upon application to the IEAFCS membership chairperson who will then forward that application to the NEAFCS vice president of member resources. Application must be made within five years of retirement.

Membership dues for first year members are $ 80.00, which includes $70 national dues. Those wishing to join only the state association (IEAFCS) as a first year member are asked to pay only $30.00. Dues for active members joining after the first year are $100.00, which includes $70 national dues.

Life Members shall not pay dues. They may not hold office, vote or receive awards and fellowships: however, they may serve on NEAFCS committees. They may receive the IEAFCS Newsletter and the NEAFCS official publications by subscription.

For more information about membership, please contact Diane Reinhold:

For additional information about NEAFCS, visit our national organization's website:

  • Membership Form Image removed.
    To become an IEAFCS member, you must fill out this form and send your payment in.
Professional Development Opportunities
Recognition and Awards


Innovation in Programming 

  • 3rd Place National Winner (Doing More with Less:  Helping Older Adults Live Well) – Chelsey Byers Gerstenecker, Pam Atkinson, Cara Allen, Drusilla Banks, Laura Barr, Karla Belzer, Kristin Bogdonas, Cheri Burcham, Marilyn Csernus, Susan Glassman, Susan Sloop, Sasha Grabenstetter, Molly Hofer, Caitlin Huth, Lisa Peterson, Diane Reinhold, Jenna Smith, Kathy Sweedler and Mary Liz Wright

Human Development/Family Relationships Award

  • 2nd Place National Winner (Healthy Aging Summits) – Molly Hofer, Chelsey Byers Gerstenecker, Jenna Smith, Caitlin Huth, Susan Glassman, Sasha Grabenstetter, Susan Sloop, Karla Belzer, Cheri Burcham, Diane Reinhold, Kristin Bogdonas, Laura Barr and Mary Liz Wright

Community Partnership Award

  • 1st Place National Winner (Building Rural Community Partnerships to Increase Adults Healthy Brain Habits) – Chelsey Byers Gerstenecker - 
  •      Past President New Professional Award
  • Karla Belzer

Distinguished Service Award 

  • Chelsey Byers Gerstenecker

Social Media Award

  • 2nd Place Central Regional Winner (Family Files Blog) – Cheri Burcham, Molly Hofer, Susan Sloop, Karla Belzer, Chelsey Byers Gerstenecker and Cara Allen


Communication Awards:  TV/Video

  • 1st Place Central Region Winner - Caitlin Huth

Distinguished Service Award

  • Betty Gavin


Florence Hall Award

  • 1st Place National Winner - Chelsey Byers Gerstenecker and team
  • 1st Place Central Region Winner - Chelsey Byers Gerstenecker and team

Early Childhood Child Care Training Award

  • 2nd Place National Winner - Cara Allen and team
  • 2nd Place Central Region WInner - Cara Allen and team

Apply Today!

To access the NEAFCS Awards Manual, go to and click on the Awards Section. State deadline for awards in 2019 is February 25

If you have any questions, please feel free to email or call the current Vice President for Awards/Recognition, Susan Sloop.