Northbrook Park District welcomes new commissioners, salutes outgoing ones
The Northbrook Park District welcomed three new commissioners at its May 24 board meeting, and thanked three outgoing commissioners for their years of dedicated service.
Commissioners Edward Chao, Beverly Kumar and David Silverman were sworn in for their first term, and Commissioner Mary Ann Chambers was sworn in for her seventh term. All four were elected in April.
Also on May 24, the board elected commissioner Lisa Chalem as president and commissioner Michael Goodman as vice president for the second consecutive year.
The three departing commissioners - Matt Curin, who served four years, Michael Ziering, who served 16 years, and Jeff Simon, who served 20 years - did not run for re-election.
The Northbrook community is very fortunate to have dedicated individuals who volunteer their time to serve residents as park district commissioners, Park District Executive Director Molly Hamer said.
"As Jeff, Michael and Matt step away, I sincerely thank them for fulfilling their duties as board members. Each has provided thoughtful insight and strong leadership," Hamer said. "The swearing in of Ed, Beverly, and David last night brings new perspective and skill sets to the board, and we look forward to moving forward together to advance the mission of the Northbrook Park District."
The newly sworn-in commissioners shared their thoughts on their new roles.
• Chao, who works as IT manager at Exelon Corporation, said he's looking forward to getting to know the park district's staff, and wants to understand how residents use facilities and participate in programs to continue helping the district better serve the community. "I am excited to serve my community and help residents stay active and connect," he said. Chao has lived in Northbrook since 2013 and is married with three children. He has coached park district soccer and basketball, and his family frequents West Park and the Northbrook Sports Center. His favorite district events are those where he can meet residents, such as Autumnfest and public skating, he said.
• Kumar, a six-year Northbrook resident, lives with her husband and their rescue "fur baby," Dorie, and does social work with survivors of domestic violence. Her favorite district event is Northbrook-On-Ice and her favorite park is Stonegate Park, mainly because of its adaptive facilities that welcome users with different levels of abilities. "I am honored to serve this excellent community," she said. "It is the perfect way to give back." She is keen to explore any possible areas of opportunity for the district to remain engaged with members of the community, she said.
• Silverman is an equity partner with the law firm Ancel Glink, P.C., where he specializes in local government, land use and economic development. "I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the district and Northbrook community. I have worked with local governments around the state for several years, both as a professional planner and local government attorney, and to have the opportunity to lend my skills to the park district is an opportunity I could not pass up," he said. Silverman has lived in Northbrook since 2001 and is married with three children. He enjoys playing golf at district facilities and has played soccer and lacrosse at Techny Prairie Park and Fields. He enjoys the breadth and scope of the district's programming, which has provided recreational outlets for his family since the time his children were toddlers.
• Chambers, who is semi-retired and has lived in Northbrook since 1964, said she's excited to continue serving the community and see new commissioners bring new perspectives and ideas to the park district. "There is a great deal of energy and enthusiasm in the park district as we work through our capital plan and programs," she said, adding she's delighted to see the Leisure Center renovation process begin. First on the board's "to do" list will be to prepare for Hamer's retirement in the fall and hire a new executive director, Chambers said. "Molly has accomplished a great deal, and the park district is well-positioned for the future," she said.
The outgoing commissioners reflected on the highlights of their years of service.
• Simon, a resident of Northbrook since 1993, said he decided to step down to allow for fresh perspectives. "It's pretty amazing how time flies," he said. "I feel that I went into being a commissioner with no personal agenda, but with a goal of improving our community and being a steward of our taxpayer dollars." Simon pointed to three highlights of his time in office: the installation of artificial turf fields at Techny Prairie Park and Fields - at a time when the material was not yet commonly used - as well as the construction of Techny Prairie Activity Center and the renovation of Heritage Oaks Golf Club. A financial advisor with his own practice, Tryline Private Wealth of the Princeton Group, Simon said he plans to continue to enjoy life by working and spending time with family and friends. He serves as president of the Chicago Lions Charitable Association, which is building the Lions for Hope Sports Complex to provide a safe space for youth in the near west side of Chicago.
• Ziering, who's lived in Northbrook since 1986, said the highlight of his time in office was the reopening of Heritage Oaks Golf Club. Looking back on his time as commissioner, "mostly I feel gratitude for the friends I made and pride in what we built," he said. A family law attorney, Ziering is winding down his practice and plans "to find out if I'll enjoy retirement as much as I anticipate I will," he said.
• Curin was elected to the board in 2019. He works as director of Nemolizumab project management for Galderma and has lived in Northbrook since 2016.
Established in 1927, the mission of the Northbrook Park District is to enhance the community by providing outstanding services, parks and facilities through environmental, social and financial stewardship. For more information, visit nbparks.org.