By Anna Lothson
The Downtown Oak Park business association has selected its new executive director.
Max Williams, who is serving in the same position for the Downtown Wheaton Association, will fill the position of Pat Zubak who retired in August.
Bob Johnson, DTOP board president, said the group is excited about Williams joining the association.
"During his two years there, Williams built strong relationships with surrounding community organizations, increased association membership, established a new long-term funding agreement and developed a modernized approach for rebranding and marketing Downtown Wheaton," according to a DTOP news release.
Williams was chosen from 75 applicants the organization received. A human resources consultant was hired to help in the two-month process. Johnson said nine members from DTOP were involved, which included a representative from the village and the Oak Park Development Corporation.
"It was a detailed process and we looked at each candidate," Johnson said. This involved a committee that held many meetings with in-depth discussions.
Because Williams is in an identical position in a town not far from Oak Park, Johnson thinks he'll be the right fit. In fact, he's already tackled issues that reflect similar trends in Oak Park. Negotiating the village improvement agreement in Wheaton is one project that Johnson said stood out.
"He brings a youthful, energetic passion to the job and is not going to have any problems rolling up his sleeves and getting to work," Johnson said in the release.
Williams, a resident of the Old Town neighborhood in Chicago, hopes to build on the established roots of the organization and continue goals established by the business leaders. He joins the group Oct. 8.
"Downtown Oak Park is a wonderful and well-established community with a distinct style and character all its own," Williams said in the release. "I cannot wait to meet with DTOP merchants and introduce myself to the greater Oak Park community."