August 24, 2016

My Approach to Local Government

I want to work collaboratively with community leaders, residents and businesses to ensure Evanston is as vibrant, as just, as diverse and as prosperous as it can be.

I have played many roles in our community – I am a business owner, an entrepreneur, an advocate on important local causes and a civic leader. Professionally, I focus on helping local governments of all kinds address major challenges – from helping New York City recover from the September 11th terrorist attacks to helping New Orleans residents rebuild from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

I hope you will read my specific plans to address the issues facing Evanston:

But I also wanted to share with you my general approach to local government. I believe you will find that I would bring a fresh and diverse set of skills and priorities to leading this dynamic and diverse city. Integrity and Accountability

I hold myself to a high standard ethically and professionally and will do so with others. I understand that governing is often about balancing legitimate competing interest and in doing so I will always treat all stakeholders in a respectful manner; being humble when my position prevails and magnanimous when it doesn’t. I recognize that good, well-meaning residents who only want what they feel is best for Evanston can hold opposing views.

Collaborative Leadership

I believe it is far easier to accomplish citywide objectives when we know one another. I proactively pull people together, whether it is attracting talent to my own firm, co-chairing the Evanston MashUp, initiating a campaign to help the victims of the Nepal Earthquake, suggesting the creation of RISE, leading a Facebook campaign – Chicago for Charleston – to help the people of Charleston, SC after the church shooting, serving as a sponsor for the Chessman, YEA, D65 Nichols American Heart Association Walk-A-Thon, or NU’s Dance Marathon, or gathering the YOU Board for conversation after board meetings. We can only make our city stronger if we work together.


As an entrepreneur my mind is wired to solve problems and identify opportunity.  I don’t pretend to have all the right answers, but I will not ignore our challenges as a City. Rather I will work with Alderman, City Staff, businesses, non-profits, clergy, and other groups throughout Evanston to develop, test, measure, and refine solutions, as well as suggest logical partnerships.

Community First

I care deeply about Evanston. I am grateful to live, work, and raise a family in one of the most ideal cities in America. While Evanston has its challenges, they are certainly manageable, particularly in light of the talent, resources, knowledge, generosity, and love that exists in this community.

Like many, I am trying to do my part to address issues in Evanston. I currently serve on the Board of Youth & Opportunity United (YOU), an organization that is helping 1,500 youth annually in this community strengthen their academic, emotional, and social skills. Additionally, I served on the successful 3-year YOU Capital Campaign Cabinet that, through the generosity of many in this community, raised $15M to build a new facility for YOU near ETHS, invest in additional youth programming, and start an endowment to ensure long-term sustainability.

I also serve on the Board of Directors of First Bank & Trust, a community bank started in Evanston 20 years ago, now with 11 locations and over $1B in assets. I also serve on the Advisory Board or as an ad-hoc Advisor and/or donor to many other notable organizations in Evanston including the YWCA North Shore, the McGaw YMCA, Youth Job Center (YJC), the Evanston Community Foundation (ECF), Evanston Scholars, Connections for the Homeless, Mental Health Association of the North Shore, and others. Previously, I served on the Executive Committee of Evanston Inventure and as the President of the Evanston Chamber of Commerce Board.

Civic Minded

My life’s work has been focused on the public sector. I graduated from the nation’s top public affairs school, The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, with a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA). I have worked closely with federal, state, and local agencies for the last 24 years – my entire career – helping them implement billion dollar programs, manage stakeholder relationships, and develop innovative solutions that are compliant with government regulations.