Memo to: Rend Lake College Foundation Officials
Please excuse Anheuser-Busch, Inc. Distribution Manager Wayne Asberry from any orientation sessions recommended for new members of the RLCF Board of Directors. Asberry already is very familiar with community college educations, in general, and Rend Lake College, in particular. Thank you.
Based on his track record as a hands-on contributor, chances are Asberry would not actually pass up any opportunity to learn more about the comprehensive community college or the not-for-profit Foundation that has served it so well going on 25 years.
But Asberry’s background also would indicate he is well-versed with the concept behind Rend Lake College and the Foundation he joined earlier this spring.
Asberry, a St. Louis native who has been with Anheuser-Busch since 1988 and moved to Southern Illinois around 1998 to manage the consolidated Promotional Products Group, received an Associate in Arts Degree from Jefferson College in Hillsboro, MO.
The older of his two daughters, Leslie, 22, currently lives in Champaign and is a Psychology major at another two-year institution, Parkland College.
"I enjoyed my junior college experience. I thought it was great," Asberry recalled. "I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life when I started college, and I didn’t have a lot of money. It provides a great opportunity for local kids to get started.
"I know a lot of kids like the idea of going away to school, but if they would really take a closer look at what the community college has to offer, they might be more likely to make that choice (to stay home the first two years)."
"From everything I’ve seen," continued Asberry, "Rend Lake College has a lot to offer. I have been very impressed with the administration and staff "how courteous and professional Asberry later graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration (major, Accounting; minor, Mathematics). He also is an advocate of the Dale Carnegie Course, "Breakthrough to Success," which he participated in as recently as 2000.
Prior to joining Anheuser-Busch, he worked 14 years for United Pacific Railroad. He held the title of Assistant Director for Interline Accounting at the time of his departure.
Between 1988 and 1993, prior to his promotion to Distribution Manager, Asberry was the Controller for Anheuser-Busch Wholesale Operations based in Newark, NJ.
His first return to his Midwest roots landed the Asberry family in Columbia, MO, for about five years, before consolidation of two plants found him relocating to Southern Illinois.
He and his wife of 26 years, Gina, reside in Nashville. Gina works part-time at Nashville Golf Course. Daughter Nicole (Nicki), 18, is a recent high school graduate who has accepted an athletic scholarship to play the next four years at Lindenwood University in St. Louis.
Asberry’s hands-on approach has found him coaching select girls softball traveling teams since 1988. Four of those squads which included his daughters at various levels have earned the right through post-season success to participate in national tournaments.
Asberry also served in 1983 as Exalted Ruler of the Elks Lodge in Festus-Crystal City, MO. At the time, it was the largest lodge in Missouri.
A position on the RLC Board of Directors is nothing new, either, considering Asberry likewise is a current Director for the United Way of Jefferson County and the Mt. Vernon YMCA.
The Anheuser-Busch Distribution Center in Mt. Vernon is part of the Marketing Department / Beer Support Group. Close to 100 full-time employees under Asberry’s direction ship approximately 500,000 promotional items annually, including 200,000 of those to consumers.
The Promotional Products Group Division of A-B offers wearables (t-shirts, hats, et al), paper and plastic utilities, glassware, novelties, sports equipment and advertising specialties (decals, pens, incentive gifts, etc.). There literally are thousands of different items housed and distributed from Mt. Vernon.
Neon signs, point-of-sale displays and materials and catalog orders likewise are processed through the Mt. Vernon operation. Anheuser-Busch utilizes almost 400,00 square feet of warehousing at the Mt. Vernon facility, which covers a contiguous 90 acres.
Company representatives were quoted in the July 2000 edition of Catalog Age regarding "Customer Service" and the ever-growing business of doing business over the Internet. "Mt. Vernon, IL-based Anheuser-Busch, which mails the Budweiser Gifts catalog, for one, is trying to beef up its Web presence without sacrificing service," the story indicated. According to the spokesman then, ". . . We are building our business for the future, but the real challenge is, ‘How do we expand the Web part of our business without losing sight of servicing our current customer?’"