Candidates for Homewood-Flossmoor Park District Board of Commissioners

Two six-year seats are at stake on the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District board. Candidates are Brent Bachus, Terrence F. Wright, Brit G. Volini, Dallas Collins and Dr. Louis C. Rutland. Bachus and Collins are incumbents. Two candidates are running for an unexpired two-year term on the park board. They are Christina Farley Jackson and Alesia M. Crockett.


  Brent Bachus

Brent Bachus
Education: B.S. mathematics/communications, Illinois State University, 1992; M.A. education administration.
Occupation: National Managing Director, Inclusion and Employee Engagement Centers of Excellence.
Current employer: Deloitte LLP.
Incumbent: Yes, appointed by the board last spring.
Other elected positions: None, but I have been an active participant in the H-F community in a variety of capacities, including founding member of the Cancer Support Center Community Board, commissioner and coach with Flossmoor Baseball/Softball, SD161 PTO, IJP athletics and the HF Soccer Club.

Most important issues: I believe that one of the HFPD’s biggest challenges, like many other organizations today, is the ability to keep up with the rapidly increasing pace of change in our world – e.g., technology, modes of communication, programming choices, facilities, etc. We must work hard to demonstrate a progressive, forward-thinking brand image, or we run the risk of appearing outdated and/or out of touch with our communities. This ability to continually “flex” our programming and services is vital to staying closely connected with our community and ultimately will contribute to our sustained levels of success.
     Additionally, I also believe that from a communications and community relations standpoint, we are increasingly competing for the time and attention of those that we serve in an era of “information overload.” We must continue to seek new and creative ways to reach our constituents, not only as a means to actively engage the HFPD community in the services the HFPD provides, but more importantly to engage our community as positive, enthusiastic ambassadors to help promote all of the wonderful opportunities and services the HFPD provides — we have a great deal to be proud of!

Goals: I have always been very proud of our Park District and think it is a cornerstone of this community. As a commissioner my number one goal is to do my part to support this strong track record and maximize the value our park district programs and services can bring to enhance the well-being and quality of life of all of our citizens.
     I also believe that one of the most important success factors for any community organization such as HFPD is its ability to closely and effectively collaborate with other community-related groups to achieve these common goals; more often than not strategic efforts cannot be successfully achieved in a silo and require strong collaboration across groups and committees.  I believe that my personal experiences and relationships in working with numerous other community-oriented organizations can contribute to the degree of collaboration needed to achieve common goals for the betterment of the HFPD community.


  Dallas Collins

Dallas Collins
Education: B.S. early child education, Southern Illinois University, 2004.
Occupation: Assistant preschool director 
Current employer: Flossmoor Community Church Weekday Preschool
Incumbent: Yes, six years.

Most important issues: It is important to provide excellent recreational opportunities while preserving green space that supports activities for all ages and abilities. Our Park District continues to offer an abundance of programs and facilities from which to choose (see Choices). These are all components that allow our Park District to contribute to the retention of its current population, while providing attractions to those considering HF as their potential new home.
     It is critical to be a diligent financial steward of fellow taxpayer dollars. Despite fewer state tax dollars, we must continue to balance the use of our existing resources, understanding their maintenance needs, and identify new opportunities for growth by way of financial benefits analysis. HFPD has consistently had to be creative to accomplish the tasks and demands of the community, which requires an involved and actively participating board of commissioners beyond Tuesday night meetings.
     It takes a lot of people to manage 35 parks and facilities. All great organizations have one common thread — they source, hire, and retain good people for the right job. During my first term, we were able to accomplish this goal for many key positions. It is critical that we continue to provide an environment that supports personal and professional growth. This creates continuity, which breeds a high level of customer service to the public and keeps our district operations running smoothly.

Goals: Maintaining aging facilities and buildings is one of our greatest challenges. We need to continue engaging our community and listening for opportunities that will deliver what HF wants and needs. The goal is to find ideal balance between facility repair and upkeep vs. determination that an asset is beyond its useful life. When the former is reached, it is being open to ideas, engaging our constituents, and being sure that we act within our fiscal bounds. Offering engagement that is structured, but also being approachable in an informal manner — where some of the best ideas can be generated – should always be a goal for anyone serving the public. Making myself accessible, encouraging ongoing conversation about how we can improve, and motivating others to be active with our District is a strength for which I am experienced and proud to offer every day.
     I would also continue striving towards the goal of expanded the inter-governmental relationships for future projects. This extends to staff and elected boards. Many of our respected programs overlap and together, we can better serve the interests of those we serve. By maintaining a collaborative approach, we maximize our abilities to provide HF with memorable experiences time and time again.


Terrence F. Wright
Education: B.S. accounting, Hampton University, 1995
Occupation: Medicare marketing outreach manager
Current employer: WellCare Health Plans Inc.
Incumbent: No

Most important issues: As a 12-year proud resident of Homewood, my wife and two sons have enjoyed many of the great parks, programs, and facilities of this community.  As a Board member, I plan to help represent the taxpayers of Homewood-Flossmoor while helping the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District continue to be the crown jewel of excellence in the Southland.

Goals: My goal is to increase the connectivity of the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District programs and services to the residents of the community for the purpose of increasing the engagement and quality of life for all the citizens of the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District.


Christina Farley Jackson
Education: J.D. University of Miami; B.A. international relations and Latin American studies
Occupation: Attorney
Current employer: Federal Defender Program
Incumbent: No
Most important issues: Making sure that the park district continues to provide programs and services that are reflective of the needs and wants of the residents of Homewood and Flossmoor.

Goals: My goal is to ensure that the park district continues to be a vital factor that adds to the quality of life in our community. I believe that there are a lot of ways to do this by providing programming that enhances family life, innovative programming aimed at enriching our children, and services that foster the feel of a close knit community. As someone who grew up in this community, is now raising a family here and benefitted from services provided by the park district, I want to make certain that our district continues to grow in relevance and stature.  The part district provides a strong backbone for our community.


Alesia M. Crockett
Education: B.A. criminal justice; M.A. public administration
Occupation/current employer: Special investigator
Incumbent: No

Most important issues: I want to be a part of the continued success of the H-F Park District through utilizing my years of participation as a reference. I was on the HFPD Leisure Services Committee from May 2006 to December 2008. This is a citizens advisory committee that helps review, evaluate and suggest recreation programs. I have been a resident of Homewood for 17 years. My family and I have volunteered for Park Pride Day for over 10 years as well as attended/participated in numerous park district events.

Goals: My goal is to actively participate on the Board by assisting with making sure our parks and its programs are meeting the needs of our diverse community.


  Brit Volini

Brit Volini
Education: Orono High School, Orono, Minnesota, 2002; Bachelors Sports Management, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 2006; K-12 Teacher's certification Physical Education and K-12 Health Education, Chicago State University, 2012
Occupation: Assistant Ice Arena Manager, current; Hockey Coordinator, Homewood-Flossmoor Park District 2007-2014
Current employer: Park District of Franklin Park
Incumbent: no
Other elected positions: Not like this, no. I was the president of the South Suburban Hockey league for a few years while at HF. Currently I'm the Chairwoman for the Hockey is for Everyone program that's supported by the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois.

Most important issues: The HF Park District is incredible. The variety of programs and events that are offered to this community is unparalleled. In order to maintain this, the park district needs funding and that's becoming a challenge. With fewer and fewer grants and funds available to Illinois agencies such as the Park District, I know they are thinking hard on how to continue to give the community what they need while being creative, green, and as economical as possible.

Goals: If elected, I would be very committed to supporting the HF Park District staff in all they do. I want to ensure they have the support they need and deserve to continue serving our community. Additionally, and I'm sure all candidates would agree, the goal is to engage the community as much and as often as possible, to learn from the community and to shift and change as the community shifts and changes.

Note: Ms. Volini's profile was submitted March 9.

 

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