I am no stranger to change; in fact, I have made a study of recognizing when institutional changes are necessary and implementing them, both in my career and in my life as an active community member.
I am accustomed to confronting challenges head on. I started my own technology and services firm right out of business school as an economic downturn and war faced graduates in 1991. I also made a dramatic career change that would allow more time with my children, as they entered their school years. Together, with my wife, Betty, we addressed fundraising overhead issues at St. Mary’s School as Parent’s Club Presidents and made dramatic changes to “get back to basics” and provide more efficient funding to the school. After joining Lake Forest Club, we engaged a group to address serious financial management issues and affected dramatic managerial changes.
During 5 years of Lake Forest Caucus involvement, working with volunteers who meet for 2-3 hours bi-weekly to recruit and vet volunteers to serve on 22 boards and commissions, including school boards, I had the time to review recruiting processes. I developed an 8-step process and a Mayoral Selection Team for vetting the 16 candidates to select our Mayor–elect, Rob Lansing.
I was part of a 13-member School Board Search Committee managed by Caucus Treasurer Richard Chun, who also adhered to a consistent process to review, confirm and select our four candidates for both D67 and D115. This was no small task, and we approached it with a disciplined, professional methodology. We interviewed over 30 individuals, including current administration and board members, to ensure we had a thorough understanding of the state of the school districts. Most importantly, we solicited feedback from the community for potential and existing issues and geared our efforts to select candidates that exhibited the diversity needed to improve the board composition.
Our group had the freedom to de-select incumbent candidates and choose from over 12 new candidates had we deemed it necessary. We began the process on May 24, 2016 and finished with a final vote on October 4, 2016 – over 5 months of work. We found no issues with the currently serving candidates, school-related issues, or other concerns that would cause our committee to recommend drastic change – had there been issues of concern, I would have been the first to recommend making changes—just as I recognized and implemented major changes in both my career and family life.
I know what credibility is and have spent the time to earn it by engaging with people around me and working to lead. I would reach out to others who attempt to discredit through slander and ask them instead to serve through civic volunteerism or in a productive capacity rather than a destructive one.
I ask that you support our Caucus-nominated candidates. For D115 – Tom Nemickas, Sally Davis, Ted Moorman, and David Lane. For D67 – Mike Borkowski, Dr. Rob Lemke, Alice LeVert, and Jeff Folker.
I am posting relevant links to our processes.
Christopher J Collins
Lake Forest Caucus President
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