Deric Kimler is Executive Director at Central Illinois Friends, a public health organization offering free services such as comprehensive sexual education, public health referrals linking individuals into the proper care needed, helping people living with HIV access and stay in care to achieve an undetectable status, all while providing free full slate STI testing to anyone in 15 counties of Central Illinois.
He manages health educators in collaboration with the Hult Center for Healthy Living, going into the Peoria Public School District to provide Comprehensive Sexual Health and the FLASH Programs. He helped start and manages public health fairs called “Get Yourself Tested” which has contributed to a 13% reduction in sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy rates among sexually active teens. Due to their proven success, the City of Peoria has now begun funding the organization’s mobile outreach campaign that will go into the communities, especially the most vulnerable populations, and provide the same services to our adults. This was a ginormous defeat, as the community once considered this topic inappropriate and intolerable, but after the success of the program, the community realized that evidence-based comprehensive practices made a larger impact than values-based or abstinence-only education.
Under his leadership, Central Illinois Friends was recognized with the Heart of Illinois United Way’s 2019 Partner Award for their work within area schools in collaboration with Hult Center for Healthy Living to provide student-driven, positive education and prevention-focused on STIs, teen pregnancy, mental health, how to talk to our partners and much more. His most valued achievement with the agency is the growth of the extremely diverse team that went from 3 employees to 15 in just 3 years. Deric also serves as President of Region 2 HIV/STI Advisory Board and President and Co-Chair of Illinois Partners for Human Service. He currently sits on the statewide committees for Getting To Zero, a campaign working to end new HIV diagnoses by 2030.
Deric has also directed and music directed several musicals for the Corn Stock Theater and Peoria Players Theatre including Kinky Boots, Fun Home, Parade the Musical, Rent the Musical, Bare the Musical, Little Shop of Horrors, The Wiz and Oklahoma. He has been recognized with several awards for his directing ability as well as for his volunteer efforts in the theatre community. During this time, he served two years as Vice President of the Corn Stock Theatre.
Since 2012, Deric has coached the Williamsfield Men’s baseball team that plays in the Kickapoo Valley League, an adult amateur baseball league comprised of teams throughout West Central Illinois. The Williamsfield team has won the league championship in both 2018 and 2019.
Deric has been recognized with several awards including Heart of Illinois United Way Collaboration Award, Williamsfield Sons of the American Revolution Community Leader given to a young community member who exemplifies community above self.
Deric earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Drake University, where he served as logistics manager for the School of Music and toured the midwest as well as the UK and Ireland on a vocal scholarship. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Arts in Non-Profit Leadership from Bradley University and was selected for an Executive Scholarship Award.
Deric is being recognized in the category of Humanitarian and/or voluntary leadership. He was nominated by the Peoria Jaycees and he lives in Peoria Heights.