Daniel Hebreard: Candidate profile
Name: Daniel Hebreard
Office sought: President of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
Family: Married with two children
Occupation: Senior Ranger at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
Education: Parks and Recreation Management, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Master of Business Administration, Benedictine University
Civic involvement: PTO volunteer at Meadowview School; Woodridge coordinator DuPage Clean Energy Coalition
Elected offices held: none
Questions & Answers
1. Why are you running for this office? Is there a particular issue that motivates you?
I believe the forest preserve can allocate resources to better serve the public and meet our natural resources goals. The current board is overpaid, is not transparent, and does not function properly.
2. If you are an incumbent, describe two important initiatives you've led. If you're not an incumbent, describe two ways you would contribute to the board.
I am very knowledgeable about current green technologies and the best way to implement them. I would like to bring a significant increase to our solar panel inventory and start utilizing electric vehicles. As a current senior ranger, I know where our amenities are lacking completely and where we need to improve decades old, dilapidated structures.
3. How would you rate the job the board is doing to develop existing forest preserves and make them accessible to residents? How would you approach things differently?
I believe the current board is doing a fair job of developing our preserves, but we have far too many amenities that are not ADA accessible and almost all of our bathrooms are outdated pit-latrines. I believe the people of DuPage deserve flush toilets. We should be focusing on making what we currently have the best we can offer and not always looking just to add more. The forest preserve has 25,000 plus acres over 60 preserves and runs countless programs, but far too few residents know about all we offer. We need to communicate more effectively about who we are, what we do, and then deliver the excellent standard that we already have.
4. What is the most important issue facing the forest preserve district as a whole and how should it be addressed?
The district needs conservation leadership at the board level. We just completed our fleet building project and no green technologies were incorporated. Why wasn't solar incorporated; was geothermal explored as a possibility? We have large expenditures upcoming and we need to include these green technologies into the planning. We also need to spread the wealth and not put all of the monies into just golf. Several preserves need attention and it is unacceptable to spend $30 million at the Preserve at Oak Meadows alone.
5. Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Mary Jo Mullen, Lisle Township Supervisor. Mary Jo is very passionate about township government and improving things for the residents who depend on the food pantry and services they provide to families in need. Township government is not something that everyone takes note of, but all of these elected positions really are vital. Mary Jo saw that things could be improved, worked hard to spread her positive message and, after winning, is busy enacting her vision.
6. What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
Work hard for what you want to achieve, educate yourself to the highest level, and family comes first. My father worked 50-60 hours many weeks, and my mother worked part-time in addition to raising four boys. Their dedication to giving us fantastic opportunities has allowed all of us to excel.
7. If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
Conservation has always been important to me, but I did not look to actively engage and advocate until recently. But it's never too late, so I'm doing it now.
8. What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
Science was something I always enjoyed and excelled at. I utilize it in my career daily and science provides an understanding of how everything functions. This helps in trying to comprehend the world around us.
9. If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Chase your dream, do not listen to naysayers, and be passionate in your actions. But have a backup plan too.