Bridget Eileen Trainor, formerly of Oak Park, and Michael James Ward of New Jersey

A match made in South Bend

Bridget Eileen Trainor, formerly of Oak Park, and Michael James Ward of New Jersey, will be married at Ascension Church on June 4, 2011, with Rev. Larry McNally, Ascension’s pastor, as the celebrant.

Ms. Trainor, a graduate of Fenwick High School, met Mr. Ward during their sophomore year at the University of Notre Dame, where both served as student managers for the athletic teams. She is currently finishing her second year of law school at Seton Hall. He is in his second year of an MBA program at New York University’s Stern School of Business, while working for JP Morgan Chase. The couple will reside in New Jersey.

Bridget is the daughter of Matthew and Anita Trainor of Oak Park. Michael is the son of James and Valerie Ward of New Jersey.

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Max Douglas Brown was elected to the post of governor of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Illinois at that organization’s annual meeting on Nov. 20 in Springfield. Membership in the Society is limited to those persons who are able to prove a direct, lineal descent from one or more passengers on the Mayflower ship which landed in Plymouth, Mass. in 1620. Brown, vice president and general counsel of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, is a resident of River Forest where he lives with his wife Mary Anne Brown, executive director of Hephzibah Children’s Association of Oak Park.

Hosannas in Savannah

Soprano Christine Steyer of Oak Park won two major singing awards at the 17th annual American Traditions Competition, held in Savannah, Ga., January 24-29. Singers from all around the country competed for prize money, recording opportunities and concert tours. The judges included opera star Sherrill Milnes and Broadway veterans Christine Pedi, Craig Schulman and Chapman Roberts.

Steyer won the 3rd Place Bronze Medal as well as the Johnny Mercer Prize for the best rendition of a Johnny Mercer song, singing “The Days of Wine and Roses” with an arrangement by Chicago entertainer Beckie Menzie. (Savannah is lyricist Johnny Mercer’s hometown).

The competition featured singers from classical to Broadway to blues, spirituals and jazz. There were 67 initial applicants. Singers were required to sing three pieces in each round, each representing a different musical genre.

In the finals, Ms. Steyer sang “Barbara Song” from The Threepenny Opera by Kurt Weill, “Sea Air” from A Streetcar Named Desire by Andre Previn, and the folk song “Poor Wayfaring Stranger.”

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A Vandy dandy

Kelly Johnston, formerly of Oak Park, graduated from Vanderbilt University last spring with a degree in elementary education. She is currently teaching sixth grade reading/language arts at Wright Middle School in Nashville, Tenn.

She is the daughter of Julie Bernstein, a kindergarten teacher at Holmes School and Andrew Johnston, Wednesday Journal’s director of operations.

Strong showing

William Strong, 59, of Oak Park, has been named a partner at strategic communications firm Jasculca/Terman and Associates, Inc. They are the first new partners at the firm since it was founded in 1981 by Richard Jasculca (of River Forest) and James Terman.

Strong, who joined the firm in 1985 will assume the title of managing partner. He joined JT after 10 years as a reporter and editor with the Associated Press, including a stint as chief of the AP’s Illinois Statehouse Bureau. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Harvard University.

Jasculca/Terman is an award-winning independent strategic communications firm, specializing in public affairs, event management, design, new media and video, with a staff of 55 operating out of its base in Chicago.

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