BY MICHELLE OWNBEY
Sarah Beuning has been hired as general counsel at Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA). Since 2006, she had served as general counsel and director of human resources for Tom Lange Company, Inc. in Springfield.
“I got to the point where I was ready for a new challenge and wanted to do something that would reflect my feminist perspective, my interest in women’s rights, and community focus. This just felt like a really good fit for me,” Beuning said.
ICASA is a not-for-profit representing 30 different community-based sexual assault crisis centers throughout the state. Each center provides 24-hour crisis intervention services, counseling and advocacy for victims of sexual assault, and prevention education programs in their local schools and communities.
Beuning explained, “My legal background was a good launching point for me to do similar skill set work — providing legal guidance but shifting the focus from the commercial business of fruits and vegetables to advocating for rape victims and survivors. I wanted to put my energy towards that mission of ending sexual assault and supporting legislation and programs that are there to help.”
Beuning is involved in numerous community organizations, including serving as president of the board of directors for Compass for Kids and the board of the Springfield Ballet Company. She is also active in Women for Women and Young Philanthropists through the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln. Buening is a recipient of two different awards from Springfield Business Journal, 40 Under Forty (2011) and Women of Influence (2014).
“You get to a point in your career where you’ve done good work, but you feel like there’s something else you can do to bring those skills to bear in a way that’s going to make a difference,” she said. “I think this change will be good for my personal goals and it’s what I want to spend my time focusing on.”
She received her juris doctorate from Cornell Law School and previously worked for law firms in the Minneapolis area before moving to Springfield in 2006. Beuning and her husband, John Martin, have one daughter.