Past Villagers of the Year

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Wednesday Journal has named a Villager of the Year in Oak Park since 1985 and in River Forest since 2005. Here are the people we've previously recognized:

Oak Park

1985 Dan Elich, founder of the CARE political party

1986 Keith Bergstrom, Oak Park police chief

1987 Clifford Osborn, Oak Park village president

1988 J. Neil Nielsen, Oak Park village manager

1989 John Fagan, superintendent of Oak Park Elementary School District 97 

1990 Marjorie Judith Vincent, Oak Parker named Miss America that year

1991 Philip Rock, Illinois Senate president

1992 Joseph Mendrick, Oak Park police chief

1993 Allen Parker, Oak Park village manager

1994 Crime-fighting Harrison Street residents, organized to resist gang incursions from the West Side

1995 John FS Williams, director of Oak Park Township Youth Services

1996 Martin Noll, founder of Community Bank of Oak Park-River Forest

1997 Rev. M. Randolph Thompson, pastor and founder of Fellowship Christian, Oak Park's first predominantly black church

1998 Kathy Lamar, active in youth concerns and outgoing District 97 school board member

1999 Susan Bridge, superintendent and principal of Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 

2000 Carl Swenson, Oak Park village manager

2001 Seymour Taxman, developer of the Shops of Downtown Oak Park, River Forest Town Centers I and II, Euclid Terraces, and the Mews

2002 Nile Wendorf and Mila Tellez, community activists

2003 Robert Milstein, a rare trustee on the Oak Park village board who was not a member of the Village Manager Association party 

2004 John Schiess and Alex Troyanovsky, architect and developer, respectively, on numerous projects in Oak Park

2005 Citizens for Change, group of nine who helped shift power to a new political organization

2006 Ali ElSaffar, Oak Park Township assessor

2007 David Pope, village president, and Tom Barwin, village manager

2008 Gary Balling, park district executive director

2009 Mike Kelly, head of Park National Bank

2010 OPRF Citizens Council, fighting substance abuse

2011 Peter Traczyk, District 97 board president

2012 Collaboration for Early Childhood

2013 Anan Abu-Taleb, OP village president

River Forest

2005 Frank Paris, River Forest village president

2006 Charles "Chuck" Biondo, River Forest village administrator

2007 Steve Hoke, River Forest village trustee

2008 Frank Paris, River Forest village president, and Steve Hoke, River Forest village trustee

2009 Frank Limon, River Forest chief of police

2010 John Rigas, River Forest village president

2011 John Rigas, River Forest village president

2012 Al Popowits, citizen activist

2013 Catherine Adduci, RF village president

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