Outstanding Service Award

Lenita Hepker

Administrative Assistant, College of Business

Lenita HepkerAmong 139 employees and nearly 4,000 students in NIU's College of Business, Lenita Hepker wears many crowns.

The go-to person.  The most-trusted person.  The person who is caring, organized, creative and tireless.  The mentor. The true leader.  The center of the college's community and culture.

"As dean of a large college, I must be very careful who I confide in, yet I often need someone to share with and get advice from," Dean Denise Schoenbachler says.  "Lenita has become one of very few people I can trust 100 percent.  I trust her above most anyone else.  I also have learned that she has amazing insight into people and problems."

Hepker has created a culture of professionalism in the dean's office, building and maintaining good relationships across campus.

An NIU employee since 1997, she's always happy to take on extra administrative duties.  She cheerfully joined the college's Strategic Action Group to "break down silos" between departments, organizing research breakfasts for faculty and creating (and continuing to produce) a "face of the week" e-mail newsletter.

Hepker manages meetings of the College of Business Board of Executive Advisors and the dean's Student Advisory Board and supports students in the Business Careers House.

She also is proud to provide a voice for staff through membership on NIU's Administrative Professional Advisory Council.

In her hometown of Sycamore, Hepker is active with Sycamore United Methodist Church and Kiwanis.  She also served many years with DeKalb County 4-H, the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival and as a "Big Sister."

April 2010