Homewood-Flossmoor 2018-2019 Board

We hope you enjoy reading the biographies of this year’s Homewood--Flossmoor Area LWV Board, whom - - - -- as you will see –– are a multi—talented group. Each woman brings her own unique talents to this team. We are so fortunate that these ladies have agreed to serve on our Board this year! We look forward to working with them on the many interesting, informative programs and activities that are planned for the 2017--2019 year. Please join us for as many as you can. We look forward to meeting our new members and renewing friendships with the more “seasoned” ones. Remember, it is your active participation that will help us continue to make a difference in our communities.

Mary Emily& Barbara Hayes Co—Presidents

Mary Emily Grant, Co-President

Mary Emily has been a League member since 2011 and brings a wealth of work and life experience to our organization.  Mary Emily worked in the corporate world retiring after 22+ plus years at JPMorgan, completing her working days as a portfolio manager in the Private Bank. Mary Emily was born in Chicago and raised in the south suburbs.  She attended AscensionGrammar School, ThorntonTownshipHigh School and ThorntonCommunity College.  She received both her BA and MBA degrees from DePaulUniversity with a concentration in Finance.

Mary Emily and her husband, Eldrige (deceased), moved to Hazel Crest in 1968.  She participates in a wide variety of community activities, too numerous to list, and she received the Hazel Crest Good Neighbor Award in 2001 for her outstanding contribution to the community. . Mary Emily served as the Clerk for the Village of Hazel Crest from May, 200 Until April 2015, when she was elected to the village’s Board of Trustees. Mary Emily is a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians, working toward certification.

The Illinois State Board of Education appointed Mary Emily to the School Finance Authority for School District 152 ½ on January 1, 2002, where she served for ten years.  The School Finance Authority was comprised of five members: two residents of the district and three non-residents.  The School Finance Authority was respon­sible for the fiscal welfare of the district.

Mary Emily loves living in the south suburbs and is looking forward to working with the League to improve the quality of life in our communities.  Do get to know Mary Emily and get inspired to learn about all her accomplishments. 

Barbara Koger Hayes, Co-President

Barbara has been a proud resident of the Village of Flossmoor for more than sixteen years.  She is a retired Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Curriculum, and Special Education for School District #132.  She has also held many positions post-retirement, including being an interim Case Manager at Prairie State College, and an adjunct professor at Concordia University Chicago, where she taught graduate students in Educational Leadership.

Throughout her years, Barbara has been involved in volunteering her services to the community.  Barbara began with tutoring elementary students in reading and math.  She served as a Girl Scout Troop Leader for the South Cook Area.  She volunteered for Ingalls Hospital for over five years, and has been a Deputy Registrar for voters’ registration, and volunteer for other non-profit organizations.  Barbara has been a member of the League of Women Voters H-F Area for several years, currently serving as an executive member on the Board of Directors.

Barbara has two grown daughters who are both professionals.  Michelle is a Senior Specialist of Fraud Prevention, and Melanie is an Attorney.  Her daughters have blessed her with their amazing families, especially her four grandchildren, whom she loves dearly, and who help her to keep retirement interesting and exciting.

Some of her favorite hobbies include reviewing plays, reading, traveling, biking and dancing. Her best of times is when she is spending time with family and friends.

Deborah Hampton, Vice President

LWV-HF is pleased to welcome Deborah Hampton to the board as vice-president. Deborah is semi-retired and currently doing seasonal work as a Registered Certified Tax Preparer and part-time worker in the reference department at the Flossmoor Public Library. Prior to these endeavors, Deborah enjoyed a long and rewarding career in human resource management.

Deborah has a strong sense of social responsibility and has served the community in a number of ways including volunteer work for the South Suburban Family Shelter, the Homewood Flossmoor Area Green Committee, and her homeowner's association.  She also participates in voter registration drives. Her interest in social activism and working towards change drew her to the League of Women Voters, and she has been an active league member for four years. Deborah says she is inspired by the league's mission of advocacy, education and action and she routinely seeks opportunities to contribute and support its goals.

In her spare time, Deborah likes to read, garden, cook and travel. She and her husband Robert have lived in Olympia Fields for 23 years.

Dominque Newman, Secretary

Dominique lives in Lansing, IL with her husband and three children. She is the Director of Development and Community Relations of Suburban Access, a non-profit in Homewood that serves individuals with intellectual disability. She recently earned her Master's in Communication and Creative Arts from Purdue University Northwest, where she teaches Communication and Composition courses as a limited term lecturer.  She’s been involved in her community in a variety of ways, including serving on the PTA board, as an election judge, hosting a school board candidate's forum, and working with teens at her church.  Dominique joined the H-F Area LWV in 2015 and accepted the nomination to be its secretary in spring of 2017.

Laura Caroll DeBolt, Treasurer

Laura Carroll DeBolt grew up in Olympia Fields and now lives in Tinley Park with her husband, teenage stepdaughter and a menagerie of pets.  She is a recovering real estate finance lawyer who has worked in banking for several years.  She is also active as a pro bono immigration clinic lawyer and an avid gardener.  She was inspired to join the League when she realized she had not done enough to create a active and informed voters.

Annie Lawrence, Co-Program Chair

Annie has been a long time member of the Homewood-Flossmoor League. This is just one way she takes an active role in her local community. She earned a Bachelors Degree in Creative Writing from Knox College, in Galesburg, Illinois.  Today, she works as the Secretary for the Do one Arts and Activities Departments at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Co-Administrates another political not for profit, and runs a photography business. You will often find her with her family enjoying the parks, small businesses, and community events in the area. She is excited to help bring the work of the League to a wider audience in her roles as Publicity Chair and Co-programs Chair.

Joan Strohm, Co-Membership Chair

I was raised in the South Suburbs, graduating from Homewood Flossmoor H.S.  I also attended Prairie State College and the Art Institute of Chicago.  I have a national certification in Transportation Management. Early in my marriage I moved to Washington, D.C. while my husband attended law school. During that time I managed a drugstore for three years, after which we moved to Homewood and then to Flossmoor.

Professionally, I spent the greatest part of my career at Con-Agra, a huge food conglomerate. For the most part I managed the worldwide distribution of turkeys for the Butterball division, and then managed the nation-wide corporate vehicle fleet.I volunteered for the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance and the South Suburban Humane Society.

My interest in the League comes from a hereditary passion for social justice and an open democracy.  I am drawn to the League’s history of action for voters’ rights, voter registration and political transparency.  I am also proud of the HF League for developing the PADS program.

Email: memberships@lwvhfarea.com

Sandra Slayton, Voter Services Chair

Sandra joined the LWVHF in 2014, and is the current voter services coordinator.  She attended the LWVUS national convention in 2016 and the LWVIL state convention this year, which really helped her connect with the LWV mission.  Retired from a 38-year career with the federal government, she is busier than ever with volunteer work and serving as an elected Trustee for the Village of Hazel Crest.  Sandra devotes one day each week as a volunteer for the Illinois Department on Aging as a Senior Health Insurance Program counselor at Ingalls Hospital in Harvey.  She also serves as an advisory board member for Catholic Charities, helping to raise funds to provide emergency and supportive services to those in need, and advocating State legislators to sufficiently fund social service programs.    Sandra is active with her homeowners association and serves as a lector for her church, St. Anne in Hazel Crest.  Golfing during the summer and bowling during the winter are two of her favorite hobbies.    

Email: voterservices@lwvhfarea.com

Chris Schmitt, Finance Chair

Chris was born and raised in Peoria, IL.  After attending Illinois State University, she moved to the South Suburbs in 1963 to teach elementary school.  She later attended Chicago State Univ. receiving a Masters Degree in Library Science and pursued a library career as head of Media Centers at Hillcrest HS; SD #160, Country Club Hills, Parker Jr. High in Flossmoor; and 16 years at the Flossmoor Public Library as Reference Librarian.  She retired from SD#161 in 1994 when grandchildren -total of 6- started arriving.  She has 2 daughters--Renee with 4 girls living in Cincinnati and Cara with 2 boys living in Castle Rock, CO outside of Denver.

Chris was pleased to be invited to become a League member by good friend, Donna Roach.  In 2000 she began as Finance Chair and later as Bulletin Coordinator.  Pleasurable time is spent playing bridge, tennis, golf, gardening, reading for three book groups, and keeping up with the grandchildren who give her ample travel opportunity to visit them all over the country.

Jennifer Eick-Magan, Co-Membership Chair

Jennifer joined the HF Area League in 2015 with a desire to become more civically engaged, becoming a board member in summer of 2017. Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, Jennifer lived and travelled throughout Spain, Mexico and Colombia until moving to Chicago in 1999, eventually settling in Homewood in 2005. 

Jennifer has a Master's in TESOL and has taught English as a Second Language in colleges and universities for 25 years. As Associate Professor/Coordinator of the ESL program at Prairie State College, she teaches English to immigrants who live in the south suburbs, and she is passionate about empowering new Americans to learn the language and skills that will help them achieve their goals and engage in our communities. Jennifer loves cooking and gardening, and she lives with her husband, two school-aged daughters, and cats Betty and Veronica. 

Lillian Bacon, Hospitality Chair

Lillian joined the LWV-HF Area in 2015 to stay connected and become more involved in the community.  She assists the League with registering voters, has volunteered at the Homewood Farmer’s Market, and attended her first LWVIL Conference in June of 2017.  Lillian also participated in Homewood's 4th of July parade, helping to carry the banner.  As a member of our League's Observer Corps, she attends the monthly Country Club Hills' city meetings and submits reports which are posted on our website.  As chairperson of the Hostess Committee, she is coordinating the hostesses for our monthly program meetings.

Lillian was born in Illinois and lived on the West Side until 1974, and then moved to the South Side.  In 1984 she moved to Hazel Crest where she lives now. She received a degree from the UIC and worked as a nurse at Cook County, University of Chicago and the University of Illinois Hospitals.  She was a consultant for four nursing homes and trained the staff to work with programs that improve the quality of life for seniors who lived in the homes.  She also has worked for the Department of Children and Family Services for 23 years and will retire this year (2017).  Lillian has always been active in her community.   She serves on the Hazel Crest Park Distinct Board of commissioners where she has served for 10 years and has held the position of president, treasurer, and is presently the secretary for the second time.

She has two adult children and one grandson, and rescued three dogs that she loves dearly. Her hobby is roller skating which she does weekly.

Glenda Townsend, Co-Program Chair

Glenda was born and raised in Chicago and has resided in Homewood for 32 years. She enjoys spending time with her daughters and two grandsons, bicycling, nature walking and traveling. She served over thirty-six years as an educator and guidance counselor before her retirement from Hillcrest High School, Bremen School District 228 in 2014.  She remains committed to helping young people and adults uncover their life directions. More recently, she has become involved with the Homewood-Flossmoor League of Women’s Voters (LWV) intrigued and energized by their mission of non-partisan political enlightenment and civic action. Other interests include restorative and social justice, environmental preservation and line dancing. She is eager to begin work with the Programming Committee this year.

Geni Cutler, Board Member

Geni Cutler is one of the newest board members of the League of Women Voters H-F.  Geni is active in the community!  She is a member (and past president) of the Homewood Rotary, a board member of the Southland Chamber of Commerce, Unity Christian Academy, and previously served on the board of Seton Academy.  She also serves on the Care Committee at First Reformed Church of South Holland.  As executive director of Suburban Access since 2005, Geni has led a not-for-profit agency that connects individuals with intellectual disabilities to much needed services through service coordination and case management.  Suburban Access has offices in Homewood and Westchester serving families in south and west suburban Cook County.  Geni earned her Bachelor’s degree from Trinity Christian College and has a Master’s from St. Xavier University.  She was born and raised in South Holland, where she lives with her husband, Colin, and she enjoys spending time with her children and her grandson. Geni is excited to be involved in the League as a board member.