July 2, 2020 at 12:03pm

A tradition of community pride and passion for public service remains as the Northbrook Park District Board of Commissioners changes leadership.

The Board announced its 2020-2021 Officers, swearing in former Vice President Mary Ann Chambers as President during its regular Board meeting on June 24. Lisa, Chalem, a Park District Commissioner since 2016, was sworn in as Vice President. Chalem, an attorney and mother of three, moved to Northbrook in 2005 and has been involved in Park District activities with her family for several years.

President Chambers’ vision for the district is to “continue to provide the places, spaces, programs and events where neighbors become friends.” She added, “connecting the community through recreation is important for all of us.”

A Northbrook resident since 1964, Chambers joined the board in 1999. She previously served as board president in the early 2000s, completing her term in 2006 just as her favorite park—Techny Prairie Park and Fields—was opening. Chambers, who raised three children in Northbrook, is grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community.

After serving as Board President since May 2017, Penelope Randel will remain a Commissioner. Randel, who joined the Board in 1993, believes parks and recreation enhance the quality of life. A Northbrook resident since 1979, she is active with many community organizations. As she reflects on her time as president, Randel is proud of the District’s accomplishments, particularly breaking ground on the Activity Center. This new facility is currently under construction at Techny Prairie Park and Fields along with the course renovations and new clubhouse construction at Sportsman’s Country Club. It has been an incredible team effort with staff getting these New Places to Play projects launched. The Activity Center is scheduled to open January 2021 while the Sportsman’s project is slated for completion in late Summer 2021.

“We have an effective staff that is very responsive to the needs of the community,” Randel said. “It’s rewarding when I hear Northbrook residents express how appreciative they are for all the Park District provides.”

Looking ahead, in addition to opening the Activity Center and continuing projects at Sportsman’s Country Club, updating the District’s Comprehensive Master Plan and the Strategic Plan will be top priorities, Chambers said.

“It’s exciting to watch it all come full circle,” Chambers said, referring to the construction at Techny Prairie Park and Fields. “With amenities like the Trail Through Time, the turf fields, walking trails and Anetsberger Golf Course, that area has become a destination the Activity Center is sure to enhance.”

Additional information about the Northbrook Park District Board of Commissioners and upcoming initiatives can be found here.