I am running for DuPage County Forest Preserve Commissioner in District 2 because I am passionate about protecting and preserving the lands we hold while also ensuring opportunities for our community to connect with nature and our local history. Protecting our wild spaces is something I have always had a passion for since I was a child, spending time in our wonderful preserves here in DuPage County are what fostered that passion. Many kids I went to school with didn’t know much outside of our local parks and forest preserves, but we learned through field trips and other visits the importance of green spaces, trees, prairies and even the work the preserves do in flood control for our community. Like many I grew up rescuing wild creatures, taking the sick and injured to Willowbrook Wildlife for help and learning when to let nature handle the situation. When I was a teen, I remember Mayslake in disrepair and have watched the history come alive in the continued renovation of that great building and lands surrounding.
Currently I am an active volunteer with the DuPage County Forest Preserve in multiple areas; Natural Resources monitoring bluebirds, frogs and dragonflies, Special Events and as a photographer for volunteer services capturing all the wonderful volunteers in action. I am also a Master Naturalist, which I completed in Whiteside Co. through the University of Illinois Extension program that goes through everything from the geological history of Illinois to flora and fauna, waterways, prairie restoration and much more. As part of the Master Naturalist program, each year we must complete a standard set of volunteer and continuing education hours to keep our certifications. I also have completed the Nature Photography certificate program through the Morton Arboretum, which required numerous plant and tree identification courses.
Being part of the educational side with volunteer work is the most rewarding. I am often amazed at how much young kids know from school about conservation, or when a child pulls their parent in to show them something they have learned. I once was that child, and find so much joy in seeing anyone at any age connect with nature and learn something new.
I grew up in Lombard and went to school at Willowbrook High School. The rest of my educational career took me through College of DuPage, Columbia College Chicago, and then to Ireland at National University Ireland, Galway and Trinity College Dublin. I met my husband, Martin, while attending Trinity College and we married in Ireland. When we were living in Dublin, Ireland I was working with KPMG and Martin, my husband, was working with the largest media group in Europe. When we emigrated back to the US, we settled just a block away from my family in Lombard, where we continue to live.
I recently finished my CERT (Diamond Class) training through Milton Township, and enjoy volunteering for events, training courses and assisting when local fire and police need volunteers to aid in their training sessions.
Locally I am the elected precinct committeeman for my own precinct and recently was elected chair of the York Township Democratic Organization. I also do work with the Democratic Party of DuPage County and other various local campaigns.
My husband and I have travelled the world where we visited different cultures and saw innovative solutions to common environmental issues, fiscal responsibility and methods to increase the standards of living. I will work to adopt these solutions to the DuPage County Forest Preserve as we look to balance budgets whilst maintaining our standard of living.
I want to ensure that the voices of the District 2 are heard and welcome the views and opinions of the people. Together we can overcome the obstacles in our path and work together for our bright future.
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Currently chief of staff for State Representative Deb Conroy, District 46, where a main part of my work is handling constituent services. Along with recent work as part of the recent State Senate and Governor’s races, I own and operate a photography and florist business based in Lombard. My previous work as a consultant also had me doing work within the financial sector for multinational organizations.
DuPage Forest Preserve - Volunteer
CERT DuPage, Diamond Class - Volunteer
Precinct Committeeman - Elected Position
Villa Park Garden Club - Member
Active Member with: Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, Conservation Foundation, Sustain DuPage, World Wildlife Foundation, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resource Defense Council, National Audubon Society, Snow Leopard Foundation, and Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Chicago Area Rugby Union - Women’s Select Side Manager
Special Olympics Illinois - Volunteer
Past member International Order of Job’s Daughters #71 Lombard
Certified Master Naturalist - University of Illinois Extension
Nature Photography Certificate - Morton Arboretum
Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) - Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Master of Arts (M.A.) - National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) - Columbia College, Chicago
Associate in Applied Science (AAS) - College of DuPage
Certified Payroll Technician - Irish Payroll Association, Ireland