Neighbors in the News: Mount Prospect District 57 welcomes new administrators

• Eric Larson has joined Mount Prospect School District 57 as the principal of Lincoln Middle School.

Larson previously served as principal of Patton Elementary School in Arlington Heights District 25.

Larson says he is excited to be part of District 57 and the Lincoln community.

"Working with middle school students has always been a joy and passion of mine, as I get the privilege of watching them grow as individuals and learners," he said. "District 57 has a strong reputation for excellence, and I look forward to joining the Lincoln team to continue the great work being done."

District 57 has also hired Breanna Pustai as assistant principal of Lions Park Elementary School.

Previously, Pustai was a second grade teacher at Windsor Elementary School in District 25, where she has held several leadership roles.

Author Todd Caponi of Palatine Courtesy of Chris Guillen, Chris Guillen Photography

• Palatine resident Todd Caponi has released a new book titled, "The Transparent Sales Leader: How the Power of Sincerity, Science and Structure Can Transform Your Sales Team's Results."

Caponi, an author, speaker and sales leadership professional, is CEO and founder of Sales Melon LLC.

His new book from IdeaPress Publishing challenges long-held sales leadership standards and provides an easy to implement framework for sales leaders.

• Attorney Colleen Breems was named one of three recipients of the David C. Hilliard Award for Outstanding Committee Service by the Chicago Bar Association, in recognition of her work with the Young Lawyers Section Family Law Committee.

Breems is a part of the Family and Divorce Law practice group at Schaumburg-based Lavelle Law.

Breems, a graduate of the University of Illinois and the DePaul University College of Law, was recognized as an Illinois Rising Star in 2021 and 2022 by Super Lawyers magazine and as an Emerging Lawyer in 2021 by Leading Lawyers.

Lavelle Law attorney, Colleen Breems, second from left, was a recipient of the David C. Hilliard Award for Outstanding Committee Service by the Chicago Bar Association. Courtesy of Lavelle Law

"I'm honored and humbled to receive this recognition from my peers," Breems said. "It is important for each of us to give back to the profession we work in and I appreciate the opportunities that serving in the Young Lawyers Section of the CBA presents to me."

• Park Ridge resident Stephanie Mercado, CEO of the National Association for Healthcare Quality, led a session on "Advice for Advancing a Career in Healthcare" at Modern Healthcare's Women Leaders in Healthcare Conference July 15 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

The National Association for Healthcare Quality is dedicated to health care quality professionals, defining the standard of excellence for the profession, and equipping professionals and organizations across the continuum of health care to meet these standards.

Mercado moderated a panel that included Odette Bolano, president and chief executive officer at Saint Alphonsus Health System; Kate Renwick-Espinosa, president of VSP Vision Care; and Kelly Nierstedt, senior vice president, Orlando Health and president of Orlando Health Winnie. The discussion focused on strategies, skills development, and business advice to step into and succeed in leadership positions.

Mercado has more than 20 years of experience in the health care industry.

• Hugh Brady, a board member of NAMI Barrington Area, was honored with the Rona and Ken Purdy Award for Distinguished Service, by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

The award honors an individual or organization who has raised public awareness, reduced stigma and advanced NAMI's mission to build better lives for people living with mental illness and their families.

Brady, of Inverness, has been involved with NAMI in multiple ways for 16 years. He helped found the affiliate NAMI Barrington Area in 2006, was president for three years and has remained on the board of directors ever since. In 2010, he joined the board of directors of NAMI Illinois, and has served as board president for five years. His board membership at NAMI Illinois continues.

Brady, who is an advocate for a family member living with schizophrenia, has worked to help countless people who live with mental illness in Illinois, and their families. The advocacy he has striven for has reverberated nationally, setting a standard that helps all people who live with mental illness, breaking stigma and helping people get the care that they need.

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