Regal Looking Barber Shop

About Us

Scroll down to learn more about who we are, to learn about our team and about our Board of Directors

How It All Began...

I’m a Barber and through my career I have been blessed by many veterans, both young and old, as clients.  I have also given two sons to the military, and that experience has helped them grow into successful young men.  These people touched my life with so many beautiful memories that will stay with me forever, which brought me to this.  I wanted to give back something that was very dear to my heart.  Being a Mom to military veterans, I decided to come up with a way to give back to all those in the military that give us our daily freedom from their sacrifices.

It was then that I met a dear friend, Pete Thomson.  With a long family military history as well and a huge respect for veterans, together we put the concept into motion and created our way to give back.  We’ve put in endless hours creating all of this and on January 19th of 2023, we successfully provided the first Veterans Cuts haircut in East Peoria, Illinois.

With my dream and our teams’ enthusiasm we are building something organic, pure, honest and honorable.  We are beyond proud of what we have built.  We hope you will join us in celebrating our vets.

-Jackie Patten

Our Team

The dedicated and amazing team we have built inspires us daily to keep doing what we do

Jackie Patten


Jackie has over 30+ years of barbering experience as well as owning her own businesses. She is also self employed with a successful antique business doing antique shows in several states. Jackie also has past experience in the banking industry dealing with personal banking as well as instalment loans.

Pete Thomson

Vice President/Chief Administrative Officer

Growing up the son of an “army brat” mom and a banker dad, Pete grew to love all things military at a very early age. With a long family military history, he still proudly display his grandparents WW2 dog tags. Pete spent time in the oil and gas industry as an emergency field medic and head camp medic and is also certified K9 and feline disease and wound detection and prevention trained provider.
Pete’s most recent role was that of Regional Manager for a safety consulting firm working with Unions and businesses of all sizes helping workers receive safety training and has personally helped over 10 thousand workers receive training.

Melissa Kilgore

Chief Information Officer

Melissa is a public servant, working in the profession of health-care as a nurse. She is married to a Marine veteran whom served our country for 4 years. Melissa’s family also served in different military branches and fought in U.S. wars.
Supporting U.S. veterans, utilizing homegrown and organic methods, is of utmost importance to her.
“We must respond with appreciation of our veterans. A haircut may seem insignificant to some people, but some people will never understand how simplistic acts of kindness create tsunami waves.”

Shannon Saal

Marketing Coordinator

Shannon is an Air Force Veteran who was stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.  She was an information management specialist (3AO) working at C-17 SPO for several Generals.  Shannon’s most recent role is Pekin Township Supervisor managing with general assistance, emergency assistance, food pantry, Veterans and Pekin Township Community residents. Shannon is a mother of two sons and her dad was in the Army Honor Guard in Arlington, VA; Shannon’s Grandfather and Uncle both served in the Marine Corps.  Shannon is currently helping our Tazewell County Veterans while she is The Veterans Assistance Commission Chairman.

Joe Gilbert

Manager of I.T.

Joe has worked in IT for over 13 years, and has done it all in various roles spanning from help desk to network engineering. He specializes in network security and does not get tired of computers.
Joe also enjoys repairing and restoring old computers.

Julie Hileman


Julie has had a career as an Educator/ Teacher for 24 years in elementary education. She now has joined the social service agencies and is involved in helping families and children in crisis throughout the Central Illinois communities. Julie as well is a mother of two children and also has a family military background involving several family members.  She resides in East Peoria, Illinois

Board of Directors

Dennis “Mac” McMurtrey

Mac grew up in East Peoria, Illinois and graduated from East Peoria High School. With a family history of service (Mac’s Dad was a service member as well) Mac is an amazing addition to the Veterans Cuts Board.

In June of 1986 Mac enlisted in the U.S. Air Force Active Duty, and now he is serving with the Air National Guard 182nd AW Airlift Wing. Mac has served “5” combat tours of duty and currently heads up Vets 4 Vets as President out of Washburn, Illinois.  Mac also serves as the Ride Captain of the Illinois Patriot Guard and is also a member of the Legion Riders of Washburn, Illinois. Mac’s passion is serving his country and honoring the fallen service members and first responders.


Joe Hochgreve

An Advertising and Marketing Executive for over 25 years, Joe has a wealth of business knowledge and market strategy experience. Also, a professional Web Developer, Joe has coded scores of custom high-end websites and web strategies for small to Fortune 100 companies alike. 

His extensive SEO/SEM knowledge comes in handy when creating a website or application since he can implement those practices and technologies from day one. And his long history with website and web application architecture development means that “if a client can dream it up, I can help them bring their vision to life without compromise,” he says.

He’s earned several honors for his work, including:

  • Mobile Web Developer of the Year
  • Site of the Day
  • Multiple IAC Best in Show Website Awards
  • Webby Awards

A former Marine, Joe applies a great deal of discipline to his work.


Our Executive Branch is currently serving dual duty as Directors to facilitate the growth of Veterans Cuts.