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Edward Nestingen Award for University YMCA Alumni

Diane Pearse, 2022-23 Recipient

About the Honoree

Ed Nestingen had a deep history of working within the YMCA movement including as staff for the National Council of Student YMCAs. Arriving to the University YMCA in 1959 as a program associate, he reached and engaged a generation of undergraduates with his passionate search for life purpose and meaning and his commitment to challenging others to live out their beliefs and convictions.. After more than two decades as the University Y Program Director, Ed took on the responsibility of serving as the Director of the Bailey Scholarship program until his retirement in 1991. Throughout his tenure, Ed was single minded in his focus on helping students develop as leaders who would have an impact on the problems facing their community and our world. Although in his mid-nineties, Ed continued to preach the importance of helping these students meet the skyrocketing cost of higher education.

About the Award

Presented annually in recognition of the personal and professional qualities modeled by staff, and epitomized in Ed’s long career as a YMCA professional, that have a significant impact on the life paths of individuals who join in University YMCA service. It also serves as a way for University Y alumni to recognize their peers who they know have continued to grow in ways that Ed and other staff have nurtured.

Diane Pearse, 2022-23 Recipient

Diane Pearse is a former recipient of the Bailey Scholarship at the University YMCA, having received her scholarship as an undergraduate student. After graduating with a degree in Accountancy, and Bronze Tablet honors, in 1980, Diane went on to receive her MBA from DePaul University in Finance.

Since then she has served in a variety of leadership roles in numerous organizations, and been a role model for women in the field of business. Her positions include Director of Financial Evaluations and Analysis at AMOCO, VP of Business Financial Services at BP, CFO of iCastle.com, CFO of Crate & Barrel, Senior VP at Redbox, COO at Garrett Popcorn Shops, and CEO and President of Hickory Farms LLC from which she recently retired. Additionally she has served as an independent Board member at Basic American Foods and MSA - The Safety Company, and also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for DePaul University’s Driehaus College of Business, and is a member of the board of the Chicago Children’s Choir.

In her many roles she has consistently been a leading advocate for development of focused diversity and inclusion strategies, and her efforts have led to programs that have improved representation in the workforce and helped foster inclusive environments. In 2019 Diane was recognized for her role in championing diversity in the workplace, and was named one of Crain’s 2019 Notable Women Executives over 50, as well as one of WomenInc. Magazine's most Influential Corporate Directors.

The exceptional leadership Diane has displayed throughout her career, and the effect she has had on her industry is in the greatest spirit of Ed Nestingen and the mission of the University YMCA. We are thrilled to recognize Diane for her many accomplishments and impactful career with this award!

Past Award Recipients

2023: Diane Pearse

2022: Willard Broom

2021: Kasey Umland (declined)

2020: Naomi Jakobsson

2019: Will Patterson

2018: Jeremy Hays

2017: Julia Kellman

2016: Kimball Anderson

2015: Jack Lavin

2014: John C. and Diane Marlin

2013: James Young

2012: Jennifer Walling

2011: Edith Buhs

2010: Tom Abram

2009: Michael Hamblet

2008: Jerry Glashagel

2007: James D. Montgomery

2006:  Jim Hinterlong

2005:  Hugh Tyndall

2004:  Scott Herrick

2003:  Lawrence N. Hansen

2002:  none

2001:  Rebecca Crummey

2000:  Harold “Hank” Hannah

1999:  Jack Patterson

1998:  Richard L. Hutchison

1997:  Philip H. Martin

1996:Lewis Collens

1995: Steven B. Sample

1994: Robert Bohl

1993: Herman Sievering


1991: Gerald Brighton

1990: Corliss Anderson

1989: John W. Gwinn

1988: John W. Thompson

1987: Ralph E. Davis

1986: Lowell Hoffman

1985: William B. Browder