Lincoln College Announces Four New Trustees

Lincoln College Announces Four New Trustees

October 5, 2020

Four new Trustees have been named to the Board of Lincoln College. The new Trustees will help lead the College as the College resumes on-campus instruction this semester, while also continuing to transition to full university status, including post-graduate degree options and expanding four-year bachelor’s degrees.


The new Trustees were approved in February and May, and were seated at the September 26 meeting in Lincoln. They are: Sara Freitag of Lincoln, Bonnie Thompson of Lincoln and St. Simons Island, Georgia; Matthew Wissa of Chicago; and David Zwanzig of Morton.


“I am very pleased to announce these new members of our Board of Trustees. Each is a very accomplished individual and will continue our tradition of excellence in Board leadership,” said Dr. David Gerlach, Lincoln College President. “They are forward thinking individuals who will bring their unique talents to the board as we continue to grow our programs while navigating the challenges of these uncertain times.


“As we resume on-campus instruction and continue to grow both undergraduate and graduate programs, we will rely heavily on our Trustees to provide us with expertise and leadership. These new Trustees will be important assets for the college,” Gerlach concluded.


Frietag grew up in Lincoln and attended Illinois State University. She is a successful Sales Leader for State Farm in Central Illinois.


Thompson grew up in Lincoln and attended Lincoln College, as well as the University of Illinois and Illinois State University. She spent 25 years with Kraft Foods of Chicago, where she was the Corporate Travel Manager and Manager of Executive Services prior to her retirement.


Wissa is an Associate in the Chicago law firm of King and Spalding, where he is a member of the Special Matters and Government Investigation Practice.


Zwanzig retired in 2019 from CORE Construction in Morton, where he was Vice President of Pre-Construction Services. He has been involved in projects on the Lincoln College campus since the 1980s, including the construction of the Lincoln Center, which houses Lincoln College’s athletic facilities, classrooms, fitness center and the award-winning Lincoln Heritage Museum.


Lincoln College was the first institution named in honor of then-President Abraham Lincoln and the only institution named after Lincoln while he was alive.

The Lincoln College Board of Trustees appoints the President and major administrative officers of the college. Board committees oversee finances, development, planning, academic affairs and student services, among other duties. 


Additional details on each of the new trustees follow.


Sara Freitag


Sara Freitag serves as the Sales Leader for the Springfield/Decatur Sales Territory for State Farm Insurance.


Freitag joined the State Farm family in 2000.  She has worked in Corporate Accounting, Agency Recruiting and Auto Underwriting.  In 2012, she opened a State Farm Agency in Springfield, IL. Four short years later, she joined the agency leadership team and was named Sales Leader in 2016.


Freitag is a graduate of Illinois State University with a degree in Finance.  She and her husband Aaron, a State Farm Agent in Peoria, IL, have two sons, Riley and Cooper. 


Bonnie Keys Thompson


As the Corporate Travel Manager and Manager of Executive Services at Kraft Foods in Chicago, Bonnie Thompson was charged with consolidating all Kraft U.S. business travel into the Corporate Travel Department. Kraft foods marketed food brands in more than 170 countries and 12 of its brands earned more than $1 billion worldwide. Forty of its brands were at least a century old.


In her role, Thompson oversaw remote apartments and staff in Chicago, New York and London and was responsible for overseeing executive travel planning, chauffeurs, dining rooms and staff, car leasing, special events and receptionists.


Thompson received the Kraft Merit Award for meritorious service and unusual initiative in recognition of her successful organization of Kraft’s corporate United Way Program. Under her leadership, she increased the company’s United Way involvement by 15%, making Kraft one of the highest Chicago corporate donors to the United Way. She also organized corporate on-site blood drives resulting in 25% participation and earning Kraft the award for the highest corporate participation in the north suburban Chicagoland area.


Additionally, Thompson received the Kraft Worldwide Superior Achievement Award in recognition for exceptional contributions to Kraft’s mission to improve growth and profitability. She was cited for leading the transition to an on-site travel program, which achieved savings of $5.7 million above expectations through airline/hotel/car programs and agency revenue sharing.   


During her career at Kraft, Thompson also served as Compensation Supervisor for corporate human resources, Compensation Analyst for international executives and Administrative Assistant for Systems Services.


Following her retirement from Kraft in 1993, she has volunteered for Red Cross Blood Drives, organized fundraisers for Safe Harbour Home for Children, has been an ad hoc board member of Hospice of the Golden Isles, was president of the Friends of the Library for three years, chaired the patron party in conjunction with the Wine, Women & Shoes major fundraising event for Rally for the Cure and was President for three years of the Sea Island Ladies Golf Association.


Matthew T. Wissa


Matthew Wissa holds his J.D. Degree from the University of Chicago and his Bachelor’s Degree from Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California.

As a member of the Special Matters and Government Investigation Practice at King & Spaulding in Chicago, he focuses on white-collar criminal defense, internal corporate investigations, and complex civil litigation.


He has extensive experience representing corporate clients facing a range of criminal enforcement actions brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and state Attorneys General.


He has been admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and is a member of the Cabrini Green Legal Aid Young Professionals Board.


In his application to be a Trustee, Wissa said, “I want to become a Lincoln College Trustee because it is an opportunity to help a truly diverse student body by bringing a unique perspective to the College’s Board of Trustees. Lincoln College provides opportunity to an under-served population, and I am eager to join in the institution’s mission of empowering students to reach their full potential and in doing so transforming students’ lives.”


He has authored a number of articles and papers, including such topics as “Spoofing US Law and Enforcement,” travel rules and virtual currencies, and comparisons of US and UK law and enforcement.


David Zwanzig


Dave Zwanzig has had a long history of working with Lincoln College during his career at CORE Construction. Having retired from CORE in March, 2019, he will now be able to continue a relationship that began in the 1980s, but in a new capacity as a Trustee. He hopes to use his experience to help with facilities as it relates to use of funds, planning and other project needs.


Zwanzig is a Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) Designated Design-Build Professional and a Construction Technology graduate of Illinois Central College.


Zwanzig has applied a vast knowledge of the construction industry across a broad spectrum of projects and delivery methods for nearly 43 years. His skills include budgeting, estimating, value engineering, and project planning. During his career, he earned a reputation for guiding integrated project delivery while not losing perspective on the need for strong communication with owners, architects, engineers and subcontractors to ensure the timely and successful completion of projects.


In addition to his work on Lincoln College’s Lincoln Center, he has overseen a diverse range of projects in his career including: Camp Lincoln in Springfield, the Caterpillar Learning Center Addition, OSF Medical Office Building in Morton, the Shoppes at College Hills in Normal and the Shoppes at Grand Prairie in Peoria, East Peoria Downtown Development, Eureka College Sanders Hall and Ivy Hall, the University of Illinois and Illinois State University.


Prior to his retirement, he was Vice President of Pre-Construction Services as CORE Construction from 2008 to 2019. Before that he was Director of Design-Build for nine years, and Chief Estimator for four years. He began is career at CORE in 1976 as an Estimator/Project Manager.