Neighbors in the News: Vernon Hills Parks executive director receives top award

  • Jeff Fougerousse, executive director, Vernon Hills Park District

    Jeff Fougerousse, executive director, Vernon Hills Park District Courtesy of Vernon Hills Park District

Posted2/10/2022 2:14 PM

• Jeff Fougerousse, executive director of the Vernon Hills Park District, was awarded the Illinois Association of Park Districts Honored Profession Award.

The award is presented to a park, recreation, forest preserve or conservation professional who has worked closely with citizens and the IAPD to improve the quality of life for all people in Illinois.


Fougerousse, who has encouraged board members to excel as citizen advocates and advance in the field of parks and recreation, has worked above and beyond the call of duty to promote park districts in his community and throughout Illinois. He also has a long history of supporting the endeavors of the IAPD.

Fougerousse received the award at the IAPD/IPRA (Illinois Park and Recreation Association) Soaring to New Heights annual conference held Jan. 27-29 in Chicago.

Jeremy Gresham, CEO, Levenfeld Pearlstein LLC
Jeremy Gresham, CEO, Levenfeld Pearlstein LLC - Courtesy of Joel Epstein

• Barrington resident Jeremy Gresham was named chief executive officer at Chicago-based Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC. He will succeed Angela Sebastian, who has been with the firm since its founding in 1999.

Gresham, who joined Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC, in 2015, most recently served as chief financial officer, leading the firm's accounting and finance department through a sustained period of firm growth.

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During that time, he developed and implemented new procedures and strategies to help the firm adapt to and capitalize on its growth while continuing to deliver a consistent client experience. Additionally, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gresham has led the firm calmly through the challenging financial landscape.

"Jeremy has been an integral part of the firm for several years," said Robert A. Romanoff, chairman and managing partner of Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC. "His deep knowledge of the industry, as well as the culture we intentionally cultivate at Levenfeld Pearlstein, will be invaluable as we transition to the next generation of firm leadership and continue to prioritize the client experience."

Haaziya Saiyed
Haaziya Saiyed - Courtesy of District 207

• The National Speech & Debate Association has named Maine East High School senior Haaziya Saiyed an Academic All American.

Haaziya, who has participated in debate during all four years of high school, was recognized for her academic rigor, competitive speech and debate success and personal excellence.


Among the 140,000 student members of the National Speech & Debate Association, fewer than 1% of those students earn the Academic All American award each year.

• Vernon Hills resident John Lee, a junior at Vernon Hills High School, placed first in the senior division of Midwest Young Artists Conservatory's (MYAC) annual Walgreens Concerto Competition. The 2021 Walgreens competition hosted nearly 200 applicants in December.

Lee won with his performance of Prokofiev's second violin concerto, and has been invited to play with MYAC's Symphony Orchestra in their winter concert Feb. 19 at Pick-Staiger concert hall on the campus of Northwestern University.

• Lincolnshire native Payton Adkisson, a graduate of Adlai E. Stevenson High School, will compete for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater men's tennis team during the 2022 spring season, which began recently.

Adkisson, a freshman at UW-Whitewater, is majoring in business.

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