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Paris Blalock, Executive Director

We are excited to welcome Paris Blalock as the new Executive Director of the UBA! She has a talent and passion for business and community development that has allowed her to be highly successful. Her extensive background and experience in sales, marketing, business development and event planning will prove to be a great benefit to the Urbana community as a whole. Growing up in a small Central Illinois town as well as owning and operating a small business has given her the passion to be a part of a close knit community while helping local businesses grow. When she isn’t in the whirlwind of the business world, Paris is active in her community as she attends and hosts many community events as well as serves on local charitable committees such as Salt and Light based in Champaign, IL. Paris holds a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship from Illinois State University and was Voted 2007 East Central Illinois’ “20 Most Outstanding Women You Should Know” for exemplifying the word outstanding due to her accomplishments on the job, her relentless pursuit of excellence, and always giving her time and talents to help others in need. Most recently, Illinois State University awarded her the College of Business Early Career Achievement award for owning and operating Paris’ Boutique in Champaign, IL.  Please take a moment to welcome Paris as we are excited to have her lead the UBA team!

Jessica Snyder, Events & Marketing Coordinator

Born and raised in a town of just 2,000 people in western Illinois, Jessica has always had an affinity for small, close-knit communities, particularly Urbana. Ever since moving to the city to pursue a degree in Art Education from the University of Illinois, Jessica knew this was a place she should call home. Early on, Jessica established a presence in the arts scene, between working at the Spurlock Museum, interning at the Urbana Public Arts Program, and exhibiting work in the Boneyard Arts Festival and Krannert Art Museum. After completing her student teaching internship in both the Champaign and Urbana school districts, she worked part-time as a substitute teacher and barista before settling in at the Urbana Business Association. Jessica is excited to use her skills as an artist and educator to serve the broader Urbana community. Jessica can be contacted at or by calling 217-344-3872.

Jennifer Sutton, Accountant

Jennifer graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance. She then joined Busey Bank in Urbana as a Staff Accountant. During her tenure at Busey, Jenn served the UBA as a Sweetcorn Festival volunteer and served on the UBA board of Directors as Treasurer. Upon the birth of her daughter, Jenn opted to resign from her full-time position and board seat and begin working for the UBA part-time as staff accountant. She is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such a great organization and hopes to help keep things running smoothly on the financial side so the UBA can continue to contribute to the Urbana business community. Jenn can be contacted at or by calling 217-344-3872.

*Staff photos were compliments of Holly Birch Photography.