Junior Achievement | Central Illinois Business Hall of Fame

Rita Kress

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President / CEO
Kress Corporation

After educational years at East Peoria and Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, Rita Kress entered the advertising business and, in a very short time, managed the entity until her marriage to Ted Kress. She then joined him at Kress Corporation to participate in his manufacturing business.

From 1974 through 2003, Rita shared all responsibilities for Kress Corporation, a specialized heavy equipment manufacturer, with her husband until his untimely death in 2003. At that time, she became the sole owner of Kress Corporation and responsible for all its operations. Son, Nathan, is an active management presence in the business and Kress Corporation continues to grow and expand its global marketplace.

She owns several other businesses which include: a sizeable farming operation, and a retail furniture store. She is very involved in the Peoria Community as well as numerous charities. Some current and past affiliations include: Chairperson, Peoria County Zoning; State Member, Nature Conservancy; Treasurer, Rural Route 150 Water District; President, Peoria Zoological Society; Board Member, St. John’s Newman Center in Champaign; Fundraiser, W.D. Boyce Council – Boy Scouts of America, and Board member; Friends of Wildlife Prairie State Park, and member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

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