Looking for Dean Kilburg?
On Friday nights in the fall, you can find him on the chain gang of home football games at Burgess Field, marking yardage, as he has done since 1990.
Previous Wood Award winners• William C. Wood, 1985
• Robert Joshel, 1986
• Gloria McCleary, 1987
• Allen Mead, 1988
• Arthur Nelson, 1989
• J. Roger Morris, 1990
• Weldon Johnson, 1991
• Jamie Daniel, 1992
• Mack Olson, 1993
• Rae Johns Ellsworth, 1994
• Robert Krell, 1995
• Richard Lindholm, 1996
• Dave Rogers, 1997
• Bruce and Carolyn Simpson, 1998
• James T. Riley, 1999
• Alden L. Odt, 2000
• Sharon L. Jones, 2001
• Steve Lillie, 2002
• John Anderson, 2003
• Mary Bencini, 2004
• Mary Kay Brown, 2005
• Stephen Persinger, 2006
• Rodney B. Nelson III, 2007
• Scott Lebin, 2008
• Sam and Carolyn Hill, 2009
• Kent Shodeen, 2010
• Joe Stanton, 2011
• Tim Vetang, 2012
• Mary Stith and Jean Gaines, 2013
• Mary O'Brien, 2014
• Gordon Hard, 2015
• Michael Simon, 2016
On Monday nights, you will find him on the dais in the Geneva City Council room as 3rd Ward alderman.
In late August, he's leading the effort to put on the Geneva Community Chest's annual fundraising golf outing.
And during the school year, you can catch him volunteering at Harrison Street Elementary School, through the Proud Retired and Other Individuals Dedicated to Education group.
For his dedication to the city, Kilburg was given the Wood Community Service Award Thursday night by the Geneva Chamber of Commerce.
Kilburg said people have asked him why he volunteers.
"I tell my kids ... When you're involved in a community, you become the real beneficiary, and you meet so many wonderful people," Kilburg said. "It's not about the award. It's about the journey and the people that you meet."
Chamber Chairman Scott Lebin pointed out that Kilburg was quoted in 1977, in a Bellevue, Iowa, newspaper: "Washington, D.C., isn't going to solve all our problems. Some have to be solved by people in their own community."
"Dean's commitment to all things Geneva is hard to match. A genuine good guy, Dean selflessly invests his considerable talents for the betterment of everyone who calls Geneva home and reminds us that good citizenship is first and foremost about doing good for others," Mayor Kevin Burns said in a prepared statement.
Kilburg was on the Geneva school board for 12 years, stepping away in 2007. "Even though he may disagree with people, he is always respectful and willing to engage. (He has) a very calm approach to matters," said Mary Stith, Kilburg's former school board colleague.
Kilburg served as president of the Geneva Sports Boosters and is on the citizens advisory board at Fermilab.
"He likes to contribute to the community through volunteering and service. ... Wants to be involved and make a difference and is not looking for public attention for himself. He feels it is his duty as a citizen to give back," said Steve Lillie, who also served on the school board with Kilburg.
Kilburg was part of a Kane County advisory committee and the city's strategic planning committee, a member of the Geneva Academic Foundation, and was once national vice president of the United States Jaycees.
He grew up in Iowa; he was a teacher for seven years before going in to agribusiness. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Linda. They have four children and 10 grandchildren, some of who attended the ceremony.
"Through his service on the school board, city council and various other organizations, my father has made contributions to our community that I believe have positively impacted every resident and visitor of Geneva over the past three decades. I'm proud of all of these accomplishments," Kilburg's son, Aaron, said.
The Wood Community Service award is presented to an individual who has made significant contributions in the areas of business, education, youth involvement, civic organizations, art, recreation, charity or government. The award is named in honor of Bill and Elise Wood and Nell and Burton Wood.