Compardo, Moneta leading the way in support of Saluki women

Headshot of Diane CompardoDiane Compardo, president of the SIU Foundation Board of Directors, plans to emphasize the value of consistent support during this year’s Saluki Women’s Weekend.

A 1991 alumna, she is a member of the College of Business and Analytics Hall of Fame and the SIU Women’s Leadership Council. The council connects Saluki alumnae to current female students and offers guidance and mentorship as they study and prepare for life beyond college.

Compardo, a CPA and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ is the founding partner of Compardo, Wienstroer, Conrad & Janes at Moneta, which is a presenting sponsor of the second annual Saluki Women’s Weekend from Oct.  4-7 in the SIU Student Center. Compardo will speak during the Women in Philanthropy Luncheon, which begins at 11:45 a.m. Friday, Oct. 6.

“The SIU Foundation’s goal is to help drive the university forward, and the Saluki Women’s Weekend is a terrific example of how it does just that,” Compardo said. “I’m excited to meet new people and learn from their experiences at this inspiring event.”

In recent years, Moneta has put an increased focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Moneta’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council was founded to support the company’s mission to “empower people to navigate life’s path and protect what they cherish.” The council aims to achieve this by continually striving for an equitable, inclusive culture that encourages valuing, respecting, and celebrating the differences of Moneta’s employees, clients, and all whom it encounters.

“The goals of SIU’s Women’s Leadership Council and the Saluki Women’s Weekend align with what Moneta is doing internally,” Compardo said. “It takes organizations being intentional about values and empowerment to cultivate an inclusive and positive culture.”

As president of the SIU Foundation, Compardo is focused on sharing the philanthropic message with current alumni and future generations of Salukis.

“I’m passionate about philanthropic goals and giving back is an essential part of my life,” Compardo said. “Part of our job is to ensure the university continues to thrive. One way we do that is by emphasizing the importance of paying it forward after you graduate.”

For more information about the Saluki Women’s Weekend, visit

Shear invests in Center for Logistics and Supply Chain

By Jeff Wilson

Even though it had been around for years, the phrase “supply chain” wasn’t on everyone’s mind until COVID-19. SIU alumnus Herb Shear, on the other hand, was an expert on the subject well before the pandemic.

With companies focused on improving supply chain logistics, Shear knew it was imperative for SIU’s College of Business and Analytics (COBA) to lead the way for the next generation of students. That’s why he chose to donate $200,000 to the Center for Logistics and Supply Chain Seed Fund.

“It was important before COVID, but it’s even more prevalent now,” he said. “This is how products get onto the shelves. You can’t have a modern business school without a supply chain program.”

Shear, a 1969 COBA graduate, is the former executive chairman and CEO of GENCO, which was sold to FedEx in 2015. He is also the executive chairman and co-founder of G2 Reverse Logistics, which provides reverse logistics software.

“GENCO was a small family business in Pittsburgh, when I took over,” he said. “We grew it to a nationwide supply chain services company and developed the concept of reverse logistics, which deals with consumer returns. Every major retailer in the U.S. and Canada used us.”

A self-described “really bad high school student,” Shear was accepted to SIU on a probationary basis. It didn’t take long for him to find success.

“I enjoyed my education in the business school,” he said. “It helped lay the foundation for my career. I always wanted to give back to SIU.”

In 2006, Shear made a $525,000 gift to the COBA Critical Impact Fund, which aimed to enhance the curriculum and student experience in the college. He is a former member of COBA’s external advisory board and the college’s campaign advisory board.

“My hope with this most recent gift is that it allows a pathway for a major corporation to come in and invest in the supply chain center,” he said. “Hopefully, it will create recruiting opportunities for the college and offer experiential learning opportunities for students.”

Shear encourages other alumni and friends of the university to consider making a similar impact if they are able.

“If you feel SIU was successful in helping you in your career and want to help others, a good way to do that is to make a gift to your school or college,” he said.

For more information about making a gift, visit

Flight connects SIU to Chicago alumni, students

Image of SIU dignitaries and Contour Airlines CEO standing in front of Contour Airlines plane.
The passengers for the inaugural flight include Jeff Harmon, SIU chief communications and marketing officer; Wendell Williams, associate chancellor of enrollment management; SIU Chancellor Austin A. Lane; Sheryl A. Tucker, SIU provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, Illinois State Sen. Dale Fowler and Contour Airlines CEO Matt Chaifetz. Photo by University Communications.

Bright and early on the first day of August, the distance between Chicago and Southern Illinois got a little shorter.

That morning, Chancellor Austin Lane, state Sen. Dale Fowler, and others from SIU and the region boarded the first Contour Airlines flight from Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.

“It’s an area we recruit. Our students that are from Southern Illinois are able now to get to Chicago,” Lane said before the flight on Aug. 1. “This is a game changer for the university as we continue to grow the enrollment.”

These daily flights can take up to 30 passengers from Marion to Chicago in about an hour, cutting travel time by about 80 percent compared to driving to the Windy City.

“There are around 45,000 SIU alumni around the Chicago area. This makes it much easier for us to engage with them, and it makes it more likely that they will come visit SIU,” said Matt Kupec, vice chancellor for development and alumni relations and CEO of the SIU Foundation.

In recent years, the SIU Foundation has hosted multiple outreach events in and around Chicago, including the Saluki Takeover Tour last fall and Saluki Ball, a fundraising event this spring.

This year’s Saluki Takeover Tour in Chicago takes place from Wednesday, Sept. 6, through Saturday, Sept. 9. The cornerstone event will be the Chancellor’s Reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7, at the Chicago Firehouse Restaurant. The takeover will conclude with an alumni tailgate and Saluki Football game against Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. To register for these events and many others, visit

“SIU is making its presence felt in Chicago, and the response to these events has been overwhelmingly positive,” Kupec said. “These flights are a catalyst for more engagement with Salukis in Chicago and beyond.”

Beyond the Chicago-to-Southern Illinois route, O’Hare has connecting flights across the country and around the globe. With about 250,000 alumni located all over the world, it has never been easier for alumni abroad to visit their alma mater.

“If you get on one of these flights, you’re going to see Salukis,” Kupec said. “Between university representatives and general alumni, they’re going to be full of maroon shirts.”

Tickets start as low as $59 per flight and can be purchased at