Ellen Hearn is giving back by volunteering for her hometown in Decatur, Il. She knows that community goals and leadership drive positive change. She is a board member of Beautify Decatur and the Decatur Park District Foundation. She is also the Executive Director of Decatur Block by Block which is an all-volunteer organization focused on neighborhood revitalization. Her AIB experience began when she recommended the CN Grant as a fundraising opportunity for the Decatur Park District. Decatur has now been a CN Grant recipient on two occasions, once to restore our Park District’s trees which were devastated by disease and severe weather. The second grant was approved for Macon Resources’ Meaningful Meadows, a 1.5-acre outdoor park that provides educational and occupational opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities. She led Decatur’s effort to compete in AIB in 2018 and again in 2020. She knew that Decatur is a great place to live, but participating in AIB proved to doubting community residents that Decatur could compete successfully at the national level. Since the AIB competitions, Decatur seems to have taken on a new sense of pride and has continued the transformation with expanded recreational options, historic preservation of a community theatre, increased governmental support of beautification, reforestation and environmental efforts. Ellen retired in 2008 after over 30 years in Human Resources in Health Care, Manufacturing and Utility sectors. During her free time she loves to travel. Nearly every vacation includes adventure and strolling through botanical gardens.