Illinois Miss Amazing is made possible by our dedicated and experienced volunteer committee



Jessi Harnish is honored and proud to be the Director of Illinois Miss Amazing. From a very young age, she had a passion for working with and serving others. She was initially introduced to Miss Amazing by a colleague. After volunteering as a buddy at the 2014 event, she fell in love with the organization and took on the role as Director starting with the 2015 event. 

She is passionate about making each and every participant have the best experience possible with Miss Amazing. Outside of Miss Amazing, she works in healthcare as a nurse practitioner as well as a nurse in the neonatal ICU.  She and her husband Shawn, who is also a part of the team, welcomed their first child in May! 




Erin and Jessi at the 2015 World Special Olympics in LA, for the Miss Amazing national event.

Erin Tobias couldn't be more thrilled to be part of Illinois Miss Amazing! A committee member since 2014 and new board member, Erin is enthused to see the abilities of girls and women with disabilities celebrated. Promoting volunteerism and coming alongside others to help them succeed is a passion of hers, and IMA fits her well! Initially introduced to IMA through Jessi, she signed up to be a part of the organization the day she found out about it! Erin also serves as a Customer Service Supervisor and CNA at a pediatric office and as the New Member Chair for the Junior League of Kane & DuPage Counties.

“My life has become richer through interacting with the participants in Illinois Miss Amazing, and I'm so proud of all of our participants!”



Director of Technology

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Shawn Harnish - At first, Shawn wasn't sure what he got himself into when his wife, Jess, decided to become the Director :) He is so grateful she found Miss Amazing and that they have the opportunity to work together as part of such an amazing organization, and more importantly with some amazing girls and women. He serves as the Director of Technology, with responsibilities for the website, event A/V production, finances, and other miscellaneous tasks designated by Jess! He loves serving, and is also on the lead team for Cars of Hope, an organization that repairs donated cars and gives them to deserving families. Outside of his volunteer work, he works as an automotive engineer.



Shirley Harnish is honored to be a part of Miss Amazing. Her main role is registration coordinator for Miss Amazing participants. Her first job after college was working for United Parents for Exceptional Children. This organization served primarily the Kankakee County area. United Parents was a state funded school for children and adults with disabilities.   That was the start of her love for working with this community. 

In 2014 Jessi invited her to be a buddy. It was truly a wonderful experience. She fell in love with Miss Amazing and is now in her third year volunteering for this amazing program.  Shirley is an Executive Administrative Assistant for a freight forwarder in Wood Dale, Illinois. She is also the editor and composer of her church’s monthly newsletter.


Madison Meder, of O’Fallon, Illinois, began volunteering with Miss Amazing at the 2014 event and served on the 2015 Illinois Miss Amazing Planning Committee. She has also volunteered at the Nebraska and National events. Her favorite part of Miss Amazing is watching the participants show off their many talents, build confidence and friendships, and get all dolled up for the Evening Showcase in whatever makes them feel special. She is so glad to have the opportunity to learn both about and from all of the amazing girls and women she has met through Miss Amazing. Madison is currently studying medicine in Omaha, Nebraska, at Creighton University and hopes to go on to practice pediatric oncology.


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