Who We Are


About Us

How Illini Grad Sales Started...

July 1, 2009

The Beginning

Jake Romano signed with Herff Jones. He agreed to partner with them and utilize their American made products to motivate, inspire, and commemorate student achievement. This brought forth his first territory that he would oversee. 

July 1, 2009

July 2012

Expanding the Business

Jake and Illini Grad Sales acquire Bud Adamson’s Herff Jones territory. Illini Grad Sales has officially expanded across Central Illinois. 

July 2012

September 2019

Adding to the Team

Tori Koss is hired on as director of sales/marketing and oversees the elementary and middle school divisions. She and Jake collaborated on the birth of his new sister company, Brand U, LLC. The creation of this company catapulted them into using graphic design and facilities branding to motivate, inspire, and commemorate achievements.

September 2019

Present Day

Continued Growth

Illini Grad Sales has just launched their full website. Jake and Tori are working towards expanding both businesses along with expanding their operational crew. They are bringing on Jake’s wife, Mindy, as their office manager and Erin Tipsord as their bookkeeper. They look forward to growing as a team in the coming year.

Present Day

Meet the Team

Jake Romano

After graduating from Carthage College with a bachelor's degree in science in 2005, Jake moved to Monticello, IL with his fiancé and now wife, Mindy Koss. They welcomed four amazing boys into the world - Hunter, Heyden, Holden and Hudson. In his free time, Jake loves attending his boys' sporting events, hunting, watching Notre Dame, and catching up on his comic books.

Tori Koss

Associate/ Director of Sales & Marketing
Tori graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2018 with a degree in communications where she met her now husband, Andrew. They recently bought their first home in Monticello and have two dogs - Cooper their chocolate lab and Charlie their toy poodle. In her free time she enjoys being outdoors, DIYing things for their home, or riding buddy seat during harvest.




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