The Board of Directors of the Waukegan Public Library Foundation is composed of community leaders who are passionate about literacy.


+ President, Mr. Octavius Hayes

Octavius D. Hayes Jr. is a life-long resident of Waukegan. He is a graduate of Waukegan High School and went on to attend Northeastern Illinois University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Social Justice with a secondary major in Political Science. Currently, Octavius is pursuing his master's in Public Service Management with a concentration in Metro Planning and Urban Affairs at DePaul University. Octavius continues to give back to the community through his volunteer efforts in various organizations; he currently serves as the Interim Secretary for the Coalition to Reduce Recidivism, and volunteers for Waukegan Main Street, Eddie Washington Center Advisory Council and the University Center of Lake County FAFSA campaign, among others. Octavius came back to his hometown to work towards making the City of Waukegan a vibrant community that welcomes diversity and multiculturalism and a government more mindful and reflective of the community they serve.

+ Treasurer, Mr. Raymond Zamora

Seventeen years of professional experience in the private sector that can strategically and hands-on strengthen the value chain of an organization ranging from Fortune-100 to mid-size to small-business entrepreneurship. As a bilingual leader in strategic, business, operations, engineering, and management consultancy capacities, have executed within 8- industries, 40-plus companies, and 7-countries (U.S., Europe, Latin America, & China).

+ Secretary, Dr. Jennifer Staben

Jennifer Staben, PhD has been a patron and fan of the Waukegan Public Library since she was a preschooler. Her first visits were to check out picture books and to visit her grandmother, who worked as a children’s librarian, but over the years, she worked her way up to the adult section and to a lifelong love of reading and libraries. Though she spent time in Minnesota, Iowa, and Pennsylvania for school and work, Jennifer returned to live in Waukegan in 2000. Since 2001, she has been a professor of English and Faculty Coordinator of the Writing Center at the College of Lake County. With a PhD in Composition and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), Jennifer teaches a variety of courses to a wide range of students—from inexperienced writers who are not quite ready for college-level courses to experienced students who have been hired to work in the college’s writing center. She particularly enjoys teaching at the Lakeshore Campus in Waukegan, which she does every semester, and working with second language writers. Last spring, her sabbatical project focused on developing ways all faculty at the college could better support the language and literacy development of multilingual students. Jennifer sees serving on the Library Foundation Board as not only a way to support an institution that played a powerful role in her own life, but also to support her community. When she’s not in class or reading students’ papers, Jennifer enjoys hanging out with her family, walking her energetic lab, Polly, challenging herself to train for triathlons and open water swims, and, of course, reading.

+ Joaquin Fernandez

Biography forthcoming.

+ Ann Hamlin

I worked in libraries starting in high school including being the librarian for the Inspector General's Office of the American European Military Command in Stuttgart, Germany. I retired from Civil Service as the Cost/Price Analyst for the Army Advertising Contract at Ft Sheridan Illinois. I was married for 62 years. My husband was in the U.S. Marine Corps for 32 years. He retired in 1983 as a Colonel and we settled in Lake Bluff, IL. I raised six children in 22 different locations and have five living children, 12 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren (I count 41 including significant others).

I started teaching literacy (one-on-one learning disabled) in 1986. I have been teaching from the Waukegan Library/College of Lake County offices since than time. I have been president and active for 32 years in the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff League of Women Voters and was on the library board of the Lake Bluff library for eight years in the 1980's. I feel that the Waukegan Library Foundation will activate and accelerate the funding requirements of the Waukegan Library and enlarge the programs it sponsors in all the surrounding communities and I want to be part of that. The library itself is an essential element of literacy in Lake County. It provides programs that are not fiscally available in the surrounding communities but are important to the enlarging of programs such as safety for workers, employment for residents, ESL for new immigrants and promotion of wellness in families among other things.

+ Richard Lee

Biography forthcoming.

+ Cass O'Keefe

Biography forthcoming.

+ Congressman Bradley S. Schneider, Honorary Member

Biography forthcoming.

Registered Agent

Selina Gomez-Beloz, Executive Director of Waukegan Public Library