I have known Val Lester for over 10 years, since we met in a park district tennis class. That turned into founding a tennis group for recreational players that now has over 80 members.

In all the time I have known Val, she has always been involved and committed to community organizations. This includes finding time to volunteer while she had a full-time position as a marketing director in a major private label food company. When Val retired, one of the first things she did was to get accepted to attend the Leadership Lab sponsored by the Community Foundation. The objective is leadership training to strengthen the skills of community leaders, and she excelled at it.

One of the things I have learned about her over the years is she has that special skill of being able to motivate and energize people to work together, even if they have their own individual agendas. She also has great listening skills, which is a sign of a good leader. Because of her history in business, she knows what is needed for fiscal responsibility but also to problem-solve how best to offer services within a limited budget. And she knows how to get things done, giving 100% to everything she undertakes.

As a 30-year resident of Oak Park, I think we would be lucky to have a township trustee with the skills and character of Val Lester.

Del Larkin, Oak Park

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