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PUBLICATIONS Inside Illinois Vol. 26, No. 13, Feb. 1, 2007

On the job: Todd Creason

By Sharita Forrest, Assistant Editor
217-244-1072; slforres@illinois.edu

Click photo to enlarge
Photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Todd Creason is the program administrative assistant for the business office in the Office of Technology Management.

While Todd Creason was attending Oakwood High School, he discovered he had a fondness for numbers, and that affinity for numbers became his life’s work. Creason, who is the program administrative assistant for the business office in the Office of Technology Management, began his career with the UI as an extra-help secretary in 1997 and became a full-time employee in 1998. He spent five years as an accountant for the Illini Union’s Student Programs and Activities Office before joining the Office of Technology Management three years ago. Creason also is a new father; his daughter, Kathryn Marie, was born in December.

What are your job responsibilities?
It’s a very diversified job since we do everything from paying legal invoices for patent protection costs to paying royalties to inventors and campus units who create the technologies. We also invoice licensees of technologies, so we have lots of different types of customers that we deal with.

One of the fringe benefits of my job is seeing all the innovations that faculty and staff members and students come up with. There are a wide variety of technologies that have been developed here in a number of different areas, from engineering and agriculture, to computer software and electronics. We have pictures of some of our most notable inventors, along with their technologies, featured in our “Hall of Innovation” as you come into our office.

What is your favorite part of your job?

The best part of this job is the staff that we have here. This is one of the best work experiences I’ve had. The people are all focused on the same goals. While we don’t always agree on how we’re going to get there, we’re all trying to get to the same place.

What are the challenges of your job?
I used to see the level of detail that it requires as a down side, but it’s really a plus. The variety and complexity of the work we do makes this interesting. We’re never doing the same things every day, so there’s not the redundancy that you see a lot in the accounting field. We’re always dealing with the exception rather than the rule.

What was your work background before you joined the university?
My first job was with a music store when I was in high school, and that’s where I found I had the ability to do accounting. I’d always had a fondness for numbers. After high school, I went into retail management for a convenience-store chain for 10 years. I started out as an assistant store manager and worked my way up and to being an area manager. Then I was the accountant for a small company in Danville for four years before I came to the UI.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I read constantly. I like American history, so I read a lot of biographies and historical accounts. Music is also a big part of my life, both listening to it and playing it. I’ve played piano in various bands and musical groups on and off for more than 25 years. When I get a chance, I also enjoy fishing a great deal.

These days, I spend most of my recreational time in freemasonery. I belong to the Masonic Lodge in Ogden and spend a lot of time with their meetings and activities. I also belong to the Scottish Rite, Valley of Danville, which is a branch within the Masons. They do a lot of work with children’s charities and are now raising money to build a learning center for dyslexic children in Danville. The Scottish Rite, which has more than 50 of these centers already open, will train the teachers, and the services will be provided free to the parents of the children who need them.

It also allows me to travel and meet new people. I went to the Scottish Rite Reunion in Indianapolis in November.

The Ogden Masonic Lodge is getting ready to do an IL CHIP – Illinois Child Identification Program. Parents can bring their kids to the Ogden Masonic Lodge to be videotaped and fingerprinted to aid in identification in case a child gets lost or is missing.

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