Downtown Oak Park names new leader

Executive director of Downtown Wheaton Association to take over post


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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

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."

Email: Twitter: @AnnaLothson

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Reader Comments

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Ageism from River Forest  

Posted: September 27th, 2012 4:08 PM

Sad to see DTOP employs ageism. There were a number of qualified candidates over the age of 30 but DTOP elected to hire a 27 year old with only 2 years of relevant work experience.


Posted: September 27th, 2012 10:57 AM

The person who has BEEN part of DTOP for many years should have gotten the title. Not sure an outsider who isnt familar with the vendors or people is the best match.

Mary Landreth from Wheato  

Posted: September 25th, 2012 3:27 PM

I am used to calling Max Mr. Wheaton, so I will now have to change that to Mr. Oak Park. You will find Max to be a consummate fan of your community and to work very hard to do his best for you! We will miss him like crazy!

S Weaver from Oak Park  

Posted: September 24th, 2012 6:07 PM

I sure hope that he is better than pat zubak. We need someone who is accessible, compassionate and progressive and NOT a snobby know it all who did what SHE wanted to do no matter what. Downtown Oak Park belongs to EVERYONE not just the 1% that ms. zubak seemed to cater too. Welcome aboard Mr. Williams!

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