Busey board Jensen

Karen Jensen, president and CEO of Farnsworth Group, a national engineering and architecture firm, joined the board of First Busey Corp. on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019.

Listen to this article

CHAMPAIGN — The chief executive officer of a national engineering and architecture firm is joining the board of First Busey Corp., the holding company of Busey Bank.

Farnsworth Group President and CEO Karen Jensen joined the First Busey board Wednesday, the company said Friday. Farnsworth has 22 U.S. offices, including one in Champaign, and more than 525 employees.

Jensen graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1981 and received her master’s degree at Illinois State University in 1986, according to her LinkedIn resume.

She joined Farnsworth in 2002 and became its CEO in 2006.

She has been a director of South Side Trust & Savings Bank since 2011.

After the Peoria-based bank’s holding company was bought by First Busey in 2017 for $138.2 million, Jensen became a director of Busey Bank in March 2018.

She joins the First Busey board after a year of unplanned changes.

Board members David Downey, August “Chris” Meyer Jr. and George Shapland had planned to retire this year, but Downey and Shapland stayed on after fellow member and Horizon Hobby CEO Joe Ambrose died unexpectedly in January, and after board member Elisabeth Kimmel, Meyer’s daughter, resigned in March — two days after she was charged in the alleged college admissions scandal.

With Jensen’s appointment, First Busey now has 11 board members.

She’s the only woman on the board.

Beginning in 2021, public companies in Illinois will have to report to the state information on the diversity of their boards, and the University of Illinois will put out a report each year analyzing the data and rating each company.

Other First Busey board members include Chairman Gregory Lykins, George Barr, Stanley Bradshaw, Michael Cassens, Downey, First Busey CEO Van Dukeman, Frederic Kenney, Stephen King, Shapland and Thomas Sloan.