DAN JANOWICK could not have been more excited to be named the Executive Director of The Community House in February, after working at the nonprofit for 15 years. Being only the fifth person to hold the role in the organization’s almost 80-year history, Janowick certainly stepped into a big role. Perhaps most well-known for its recreation, education, and art programming; it was The Community House’s unique mental health services and support of a low-income neighborhood in unincorporated DuPage County that most attracted Janowick to the new job opportunity. “For a nonprofit organization to offer this wide range of services, without any tax support, is a testament to the vision and generosity of the Western Suburbs,” says Janowick. He and his wife, Amanda, live in Winfield with their two children—Josh and Will. Janowick believes in the power of an involved community and spends his free time volunteering as a coach, being a den leader, serving as an elected Park Commissioner, and exploring trails on hikes with his family. Here are a few of his most notable lasts:
LAST VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY THAT INSPIRED YOU? In early March, I had the opportunity to volunteer by sorting donated clothes at Walker School in Clarendon Hills for an organization called Cradles to Crayons. It was inspiring to see the generosity of local families, combined with the volunteer efforts of School District 181 administration, the Hinsdale Rotary Club, and community volunteers.
LAST BOOK YOU READ THAT GOT YOU THINKING? Good to Great, by Jim Collins. It was perfect to read during my transition to Executive Director and as our board and staff continue to find ways to help the organization reach new levels of service to the community.
LAST TRIP PLANNED? We had planned on going to visit Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Slovenia with a group of families this June. It would have been my first visit to Europe, but unfortunately, this trip has put on hold due to COVID-19 health concerns.
LAST COMMUNITY GATHERING THAT MADE A LASTING IMPRESSION ON YOU? I saw a friend’s social media post about celebrating birthdays while practicing social distancing and with a couple simple Facebook posts, our school community started planning “birthday parades” for kids who wouldn’t have the option of parties with friends and family. In the past three weeks we’ve participated in lots of horn-honking, smile-inducing, car parades for families, and one parade for a local senior home and its residents. It’s been a great reminder of how powerful communities can be when they work together and why doing the little things can truly make the world a better place.