Belynda Allen grew up in upstate New York before moving to the Champaign-Urbana area. Allen previously served as executive director of the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce and owns Fancy Thrift and Resale Emporium Tea Room and Event Center in Villa Grove.
Allen always wants to help the community where she lives to grow and thrive. She currently lives in Nauvoo and appreciates the beauty of the entire county. Allen sees potential in greater collaboration and communication at the state level, with additional help from the capital bill and economic development funding.
She became involved in economic development as a result of owning a business. In an interview with the Herald-Whig, Allen said, "A lot of things are falling into place. So far, the communication has been really good, which I think is wonderful. The leaders, the mayors, my board of directors are so welcoming. I really feel like there's been a lot of progress even in this short of a span."
Allen is working on a master's degree in economic development at Western Illinois University.