Madison County Circuit Court Judge Barbara Crowder started a one-year term as treasurer of the Illinois Judges Association (IJA) following installation of a new slate of officers for 2016-2017 on June 3.
Crowder told the Record that she was “honored to have been nominated and elected as an officer of the organization.”
She said she has been active in the IJA for many years and has served four three-year terms on the association’s board of directors.
“Being elected treasurer of the Illinois Judges Association means the members of the association recognize my commitment to its goals and my willingness to work with the other officers to assist our members in educating the public and students on the importance of an independent judiciary that administers justice fairly,” Crowder said.
Crowder said the treasurer works with the IJA executive director by signing checks, overseeing IJA accounts and working with the budget committee on fiscal policy for the association.
During the recent installation of officers, Cook County Associate Judge Israel A. Desierto was installed as president of IJA. Desierto currently presides over civil matters at the Daley Center.
As a member of the Illinois Judge’s Foundation, he coordinated a program involving educating student detainees at the Cook County Jail Counsuela York Alternative High School.
Desierto also is a member of the Asian American Bar Association and the Filipino American Bar Association. He has served on the board of the Diversity Scholarship Foundation and the Asian American Bar Foundation. He continues to serve as an adjunct professor at IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Other officers recently installed include first vice president John P. Coady of Taylorville, second vice president James E. Snyder of Cook County, third vice president Margaret J. Mullen of Lake County and secretary Diane M. Shelley of Cook County.
The IJA consists of approximately 1,250 current and retired Illinois state court judges. The organization supports professional development and judicial education programs.
“We have specific programs to help educate the public and students about the court system, including civics in the classroom for junior high and high school,” Crowder said. “Judges go to schools, invite classrooms to the courthouse, and are available as speakers in the community with the assistance of program materials developed by the Illinois Judges Association.”
Crowder received her bachelor’s degree in speech communications in 1978 and her law degree in 1981, both from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. She served as an assistant state’s attorney in Madison County until opening Madison County’s first all-women law firm with Stephanie Robbins and Gail Donnelly Bader from 1985 to 1988. She then practiced with her husband at Crowder & Taliana from 1988 until she was appointed as an associate judge.
Crowder was sworn in as an associate judge in January 1999, and then ran and was elected as a circuit judge in the Third Judicial Circuit in 2006. She was retained by the voters in 2012.