The Board of Directors of the Waukegan Public Library Foundation is composed of community leaders who are passionate about literacy.
+ President, Mr. Tim Kirschner
I am a passionate fan of libraries because they often have a disproportionate benefit to the communities they serve. This is especially true of the Waukegan Public Library. I am proud to humbly serve on the Waukegan Public Library Foundation board. I am now in my fifth year as the parent and community partnership coordinator for Waukegan Public Schools. One of my very first acts upon taking the position was to contact the library because it is a critical partner in education from preschool to college and career readiness. My parents were and remain avid readers. We went to our local library all the time. They influenced me to learn and read. Now my wife and I read and go to story time with our two year old daughter. The Waukegan Public library is a critical asset to our community and its programs and resources extend well beyond the historical role we think of for libraries. As a captain in the Illinois Army National Guard, I had the opportunity to serve in Afghanistan. Our mission was to train their police and soldiers but many of them could not read so literacy classes were introduced. We should never underestimate the power of literacy and learning to bring positive change to our community and the world.
+ Vice 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. Dan Drury
This is my second time around serving at the Waukegan Public Library. First in the 1970’s on the board of trustees for six years as Treasurer and then as President. In 2005 I was asked to serve on the Foundation Board and currently am it’s Treasurer. Few people realize that WPL is a city library with its revenue budgeted through the city. To augment this funding the Foundation is able to apply for grants and ask corporations and individuals for contributions as a 501c3 organization. Our goal is to raise $100,000 per year for next 5 years to provide literacy based educational classes to bridge the divide between those who are literate and those who are not.
+ Geoff Deigan
Mr. Deigan serves a variety of roles in the environmental and educational communities throughout the Chicago Region. In 1997, Geoff founded and currently serves as President and CEO of WRD Environmental. Well-versed in sustainable development, he plays a leadership and intermediary role on interdisciplinary design and development teams helping clients realize their vision. His cost consciousness and understanding of what constitutes feasible design drive WRD’s client services.
Understanding that progress toward lasting ecological impact begins with children; Geoff serves as Executive Director of the environmental focused Prairie Crossing Charter School in Grayslake, IL. Formerly serving as Board President and now Director, Geoff is advancing the public school’s mission of Creating Natural Leaders - believing that children are our best hope to improve the world. Geoff is co-founder and Chairman for the Institute for Integrated Environmental Education (2I2E) a nonprofit organization that provides personal and professional development for groups who want to integrate environmental education into their teaching and their communities. He also currently serves on the Advisory Board for Growing Healthy People a nonprofit organization whose mission is to grow healthy people through work with veterans and others providing locally grown fruits and vegetables, education on nutrition and small-scale agriculture, and job tracks in local food production. He has spoken at numerous national conferences on sustainable land use, green infrastructure and land health issues and has been an advocate and resident of Lake County since 1999.
+ Joaquin Fernandez
+ Diana Garcia
+ 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.
+ Jacalyn Ramdin-Johnson
+ Jennifer Staben
Jennifer Staben 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.
+ 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).
Literacy development is part of my daily life. I have a lifelong commitment to literacy development, which originates from overcoming early childhood hereditary obstacles to migratory cultural change complications to highly ambitious entrepreneurial aspirations. I believe we all need to take social responsibility of literacy development by embracing it for oneself then sharing the fruits with everyone else regardless of their race, gender, age, physical appearance, or circumstance. That will shape and prosper the community!
Richard Lee, Executive Director of Waukegan Public Library
Jacalyn Ramdin-Johnson, Chair
Blanca Sepulveda, Co-Chair
Ann Hamlin, Co-Chair
Jennifer Staben, Co-Chair
Geoff Deigan, Chair
Verna Wilson, Co-Chair