I am a lifelong DuPage resident and along with my wife, Donna, and our 2 children, currently live in Woodridge in a solar-powered home. I have a Parks and Recreation Management Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Illinois U-C, and an MBA from Benedictine University. Before I was elected President of the Forest Preserve, I enjoyed a 13-year career at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County rising to the position of Senior Ranger.
My education and career experiences have all given me a unique and thorough understanding of the Forest Preserves; I quite literally know the Forest Preserve from the ground-up.
I am proud of my record and our accomplishments during my first term.
Since I was elected in 2018, I have made it my mission to be a guardian of our taxpayers’ money, an enthusiastic steward of our incredible natural resources, and to make sure our all our spaces provide a safe environment for our millions of visitors.
The Forest Preserves are an incredibly important asset for any community, not only for the beauty that open spaces bring to our congested environment, but also for giving patrons an opportunity to conveniently connect with nature. During the pandemic, we have seen how exploring the natural environment provided by our Forest Preserves can play a vital role in helping all of us meet the challenges we face in our mental and physical well-being. Nature Rx healthcare, nature therapy, and the ability to be near woodlands, water, and trails will continue to show how crucial our open spaces are to the community.
We understood the role the Forest Preserve plays for the community and made it a priority to stay open everyday throughout the pandemic. In fact, the Forest Preserves saw an increase from 4.5 Million visitors in 2019 to 6.2 Million visitors in 2020 and 2021.
My major goals are to continue to install solar power generation at Forest Preserve facilities, continue to improve the physical and environmental infrastructure at our locations through the implementation of our Master Plan and our Building Renewal Program, continue and expand the habitat restoration projects, and grow the Forest Preserve system through strategic purchases of open lands.
The solar projects under my leadership started in 2019 and we have completed three major projects at: The Preserve at Oak Meadows, Willowbrook Wildlife Center, and Blackwell. Along with the solar power, the Willowbrook project will feature a Net-Zero energy efficient design that both heats and cools the facility using geo-thermal technology. Additionally, in 2019 we passed a bi-partisan Master Plan for the Forest Preserve. Our 2022 budget has allocated funding for work on many of these projects and we have initiated the projects that we will supervise in the coming years.
Graduated from Naperville Community High School and received a degree from Illinois College, graduating with high honors and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Received law degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law with honors.
-Chairman, Illinois Toll Highway Authority Board, 2015-2019
-Board of Trustees, Morton Arboretum, 2011-Present
-Board of Directors, Naperville Parks Foundation, 2011-2015
-Elected Chairman, DuPage County Board, 1998, 2002, 2006
-Chairman and Founder, Choose DuPage 2005-2010
-Elected Member, DuPage County Board, 1986, 1990
-President, Conservation Foundation, 1994-1998
-Trustee, Conservation Foundation, 1992-1994
-Commissioner, DuPage County Forest Preserve District, 1986, 1990 and 1998
-Member of DuPage County Regional Planning Commission, 1988-1992
-Commissioner and President, Naperville Park District, 1983-1987
-Commissioner DuPage County Water Commission 1994-1996
Climate Change: I will develop a tree planting plan on district property and plant thousands of trees to help mitigate climate change and also make the Forest Preserve carbon neutral.
- Develop a tree planting plan and plant trees.
- Develop a land acquisition plan, obtain approval from voters and acquire land for more Forest Preserves.
- Extend and improve trails along our rivers and in our Forest Preserves.
- Increase accessibility at all Forest Preserves.
- Improve water quality in our lakes and streams.
- Work with other local governments on shared services programs to improve efficiency and save taxpayer dollars.
- Develop a sustainability plan to make the Forest Preserve District carbon neutral.
- Make the Forest Preserve District the foremost advocate to mitigate the damage of climate change and work with other environmental organizations to become an environmental leader in DuPage.
- Use a zero budget approach to eliminate waste and allow the District to do more with taxpayer money.
- Not raise taxes unless approved by the voters of DuPage County.