Neighbors in the news: PR firm founder named Niles West Distinguished Alumnus

• Michelle Mekky of Mount Prospect was honored May 12 as a Niles West High School Distinguished Alumnus for 2022.

Mekky, the founder and president of Mekky Media Relations, Inc., graduated from Niles West in 1989. She received the award at the school's Accolades Ceremony, and spoke to members of the senior class about the important role her high school experience played in her life.

Mekky is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, and for a decade, worked in television news as a senior producer and news writer for stations in Chicago. She eventually transitioned into public relations, and today runs Mekky Media, a boutique PR agency that strategically partners with many leaders in their industries, helping them tell their stories to new audiences to fuel their growth.

"Starting Mekky Media and getting it off the ground is one of the hardest things I've ever done," Mekky told the students. "But today I'm living my dream. And none of it would have been possible if it weren't for the seeds that were planted here at Niles West."

Attorney Meghan Hartnett has joined the Business Law and Estate Planning practice groups at Lavelle Law in Schaumburg. Courtesy of Jim Mitchell

Attorney Meghan R. Hartnett joined Schaumburg-based Lavelle Law as an associate in the firm's Business Law and Estate Planning practice groups.

Hartnett, who completed her undergraduate work at Marquette University, received her J.D. from the DePaul College of Law. At DePaul, she received a Dean's Scholarship and was named Champion of the Hon. William J. Bauer Moot Court Competition. She was twice published in the Marquette Literary Review.

"We welcome Meghan to the firm," said Managing Partner Ted McGinn. "There has been a significant increase in people looking to establish estate plans over the last year or two, so Meghan will assist our highly-regarded team in that area right away."

John Kula, standing, with wind quintet players, from left, Kathy Rundell, flute; Kathie Bolthouse, oboe; Irwin Heller, clarinet; Seymour Horwitz, bassoon; and Edward Piorson, horn, at Covenant Living in Northbrook. Courtesy of Ada P Kahn

Mount Prospect resident John Kula conducted the premiere performance of his composition for wind quintet, "Allegro Pasticcio," at Covenant Living, Northbrook, in March. Participating musicians were members of the Evanston Music and the North Shore Musicians clubs.

Kula received a certificate commemorating the event from Ada P. Kahn, president of the Evanston Music Club. Kula is a past president of the Evanston Music Club, which has existed continuously for more than 100 years. He also conducts choirs throughout the North and Northwest suburbs.

Dr. Margaret Fruhbauer joined the Medical Group at Northwest Community Healthcare. Courtesy of Northwest Community Healthcare

Dr. Margaret Fruhbauer, a primary care physician, has joined the Medical Group at Northwest Community Healthcare, Arlington Heights.

Dr. Fruhbauer, a graduate of the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, did her residency at Cook County Hospital. She has an interest in diabetes management and will see patients at 15 S. McHenry Road in Buffalo Grove.

• The Waukegan Park District board of commissioners elected and appointed officers during its May 10 meeting.

The newly elected officers are: Janet E. Kilkelly, president; Jeremiah Johnson, vice president; and Anton L. Mathews, treasurer. Commissioners George Bridges, Jr. and Jacqueline Herrera Gironalso also serve on the board of commissioners.

Commissioner appointments, to serve as liaisons to the advisory committees and the Waukegan Parks Foundation board of directors, were also approved for a one-year term. Appointments are: Vice President Jeremiah Johnson, golf advisory committee; Commissioner Anton L. Mathews, master plan advisory committee; Commissioner George Bridges, Jr. and Commissioner Jacqueline Herrera Giron, recreation advisory committee; and President Janet E. Kilkelly, Waukegan Parks Foundation board of directors.

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