The Lincoln Central Association (LCA) Board of Directors and officers are voted into their terms during the annual LCA board meeting each January.
Here are the 2021 LCA officers and Board of Directors:
In 2017, Erik returned home to Chicago to join his family’s architectural practice: Heitman Architects, Inc. As Senior Project Manager and Senior Project Architect, Erik has overseen the design and construction of a diverse array of projects across the United States including the new Gotham Greens Greenhouse in Pullman Park and the Hernandez-Sanfilippo Fragrance Gallery in Barrington Hills, IL.
When tasked with finding a new place to call home, Erik and his wife, Annie, fell in love with Lincoln Park and saw it as a wonderful place to raise their two daughters. When the weather is nice you will often find the Heitman family strolling through Oz Park.
Before moving to Chicago, Erik practiced architecture in Kansas City for 16 years with BNIM Architects, leaders in sustainability and human-purposed integrated design. It was in Kansas City that Erik’s passion for historic preservation, design and planning developed into a deep commitment to serve his community. He served as President of the Plaza-Westport Neighborhood Association from 2010 to 2017. And in 2015, he joined the steering committee for the Midtown-Plaza Area Plan, a comprehensive masterplan for the heart of Kansas City including vibrant commercial districts, historic neighborhoods and treasured institutions.
Erik is most proud of his appointment, and seven years of service, to the Kansas City Historic Preservation Commission, during four of those years he served as Chair. During his tenure on the Commission, Erik presided over hundreds of cases, advocating for preservation in the city’s 20 historic districts.
Erik holds a Bachelor’s in Architecture from the University of Kansas and is a LEED accredited professional.
Jill is currently the National Director of Media Relations for the American Lung Association.
Prior to her move to Chicago in February 2017, Jill and her husband, Jay Dale, lived in Jackson, Wyoming.
After moving to Chicago, Jill & Jay fell in love with the neighborhood shortly after their move and in December 2017 purchased a home near Oz Park. According to Jill: We found the Lincoln Central Association by simply walking by an event and being welcomed in. We joined the Association that night and have attended multiple events since. I am very impressed by the work done by the Association and hope that I can lend my talents to help advance this wonderful organization.
In Jackson, Jill worked as a breaking news reporter for Buckrail News and a feature writer for JH Style Magazine. She spent the first ten years of her career working for public relations agencies in Denver, Colorado. Jill specialized in comprehensive communications and PR campaigns for hospitals, medical clinics and medical device companies.
Jill and Jay are lifetime members of LCA.
Brian Kasal is the Founder and CEO of FourStar Wealth Advisors LCC, a national registered investment advisor firm headquartered in Chicago and operating in 14 states and five continents. He is also a Chartered Advisor of Philanthropy.
Brian has a long history of philanthropic involvement, including positions as a National Foundation Trustee for the Boy Scouts of America, the Chairman of the Board for The Illinois Channel – Public Affairs TV, as well as previous involvement with Lincoln Central Association.
Paul moved to Chicago in 2001 with his wife, Terry, from New England and chose the Lincoln Park neighborhood for its vibrancy and closeness to all things Chicago, while still maintaining the look and feel of a place you could call home. Along with their nephew Russell, they live on West Dickens. They take part in many of the activities that the local community has to offer. Paul is an avid marathon runner and has competed in the marathon in Athens, Greece, the world’s oldest.
He is currently a Senior Project Manager for a global software company and has been a director / manager for larger manufacturing companies for over 20 years. In that time, he’s run various large capital projects that involved coordination with contracts, governmental agencies, and building trades.
He was a volunteer member of the Personnel Planning Board for Granby, Massachusetts, a small town in Western Massachusetts before making the move to Chicago. He received an MBA in Business from the University of Rhode Island and is a Certified Associate Project Manager.
Paul is a Lifetime Member of LCA.
Debra Dobbs and her daughter Katharine moved to Lincoln Park in 2003. Debra has been an active member of the community, personally and professionally, with a passion to support local businesses. Debra has been a member of the LCA Zoning committee since 2015.
Professionally, Debra began her real estate career in 1984, representing developers for some of Chicago’s earliest loft conversions. Beginning in 1987, Debra moved from development to representing buyers and sellers within the residential real estate market. During her 38 years as an agent, Debra has closed over $900M in sales volume and is honored to work with current clients that she first represented in the very early years of her real estate career.
Debra holds a 5-star rating on Google, Zillow, and @properties reviews, and is also recognized by her peers for her professionalism and integrity – she has received the Five Star Real Estate Agent Award each of the past 14 years, granted to a select group of agents rated highest in overall satisfaction by clients, peers, and industry experts. Debra is also a graduate of the Realtor Institute, a past President of the Women’s Council of Realtors, and a graduate of the University of Illinois’ Fundamentals of Urban Real Estate program.
Prior to real estate, Debra was a Marketing Director in an advertising agency, a theater producer, and an entrepreneur; at the age of 24 Debra trained in Italy to make Gelato then opened ‘Baci’ in Lincoln Park, the first gelateria in Chicago.
Debra is passionate about and actively involved in local and national politics, advocacy of women’s rights and equality, and animal welfare. During her free time, Debra enjoys cooking with her daughter and friends and is known for hosting lively Sunday Suppers.
Eudice was born in Chicago and raised in Elmhurst. After graduating from the University of Illinois with a bachelor’s degree in Education, she became a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools for 7 years before becoming a residential real estate agent. Eudice first worked with Berger Realty Group, then Rubloff, and Berkshire Hathaway, before joining Compass Real Estate as a Founder in 2017. Eudice and her daughter, Jayme Slate, have formed and work as the Fogel Slate Group assisting buyers and sellers in all aspects of their real estate needs.
Eudice lived in Sandburg Village from 1975 to 1983 when she and her husband moved to a townhome on Larrabee Street. In 1991, they bought land on the corner of Larrabee and Eugenie Street and built their current home where they still live.
Eudice’s three children attended Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, and then Francis W. Parker for high school. Eudice was a very active parent at Lincoln Elementary and, among other things, helped organize softball and basketball programs for the girls and boys. Her children played AYSO soccer and her husband was a coach, referee, and Commissioner of the program. Eudice and her family also participated in many Menomonee Club programs. The family experienced and enjoyed all of the benefits of living in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.
Eudice and Bob were supporters in the funding of and participated in the building of the Oz Park children’s playground. They have attended and supported many Lincoln Park programs over their 36 years living in Lincoln Park.
Eudice has been an avid runner for 45 years and completed 5 Chicago marathons. She still runs multiple times a week through the neighborhood and along the lakefront.
Dennis is a native of the Beverly neighborhood. He has resided in Old Town since 1977, raising three children in the community. He lives across from Bauler Park and served on the Bauler Park Advisory Council.
Dennis is the third generation of his family in the steel business in Chicago. He heads two steel service and processing companies: Standard Steel and D.D. Hack & Co.
Dennis served on the LEED Council, a local nonprofit that advocates for industrial retention, and was named by Mayor Richard M. Daley as a Commissioner of the Chicago Economic Development Commission, to work with DPD and business leaders to retain industry.
Dennis is an avid cycler who rides the lakefront. In summer he swims Lake Michigan and enjoys the beach.
Dennis looks forward to bringing his talents to advance the goals of LCA.
Nancy, a native of Kansas City, Missouri, graduated from medical school there in 1978. She completed her residency at Michigan State after which she started her career as an emergency room physician at West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park. After working as a physician in the Midwest for a number of years, Nancy returned to Kansas City to raise her three sons. Now she settled in Chicago seven years ago and lives on Orchard Street with her husband Kurt.
Nancy’s service to the neighborhood began several years ago when she volunteered to work in the Oz Park Gardens. She has remained an active volunteer ever since. She is also one of the most active volunteers at Fire Station Park and Gardens, one of LCA’s most important neighborhood initiatives. Regarding her community service, Nancy says: I have met lovely new people and deepened my appreciation for my new home city and neighborhood.
Now a grandmother, Nancy considers herself to be a “hopeful cook” and “want to be traveler.” She is a member of the “Ray” at DePaul and enjoys working out there to stay fit.
Nancy and Kurt are Lifetime members of LCA.
Chris, his wife JinHwa, and his children, Zoey and Serena, have lived in Lincoln Park across the street from Oz Park for the past 10 years.
Chris was born in the Portage Park neighborhood and comes from a long line of Chicagoans. When he was young, his family moved to the Northwest suburbs. He moved back to the city more than 25 years ago and has spent 20 of those years in Lincoln Park. He lived in Lincoln Square, the Loop and River North before returning to Lincoln Park to raise his family.
Chris works for TransUnion as a Senior Manager in the Financial Planning and Analysis department, and has been there for more than 10 years. Prior to that, Chris was an AVP at HSBC in various departments, including Process Improvement Teams/Project Management.
Chris has his B.A. in Criminology from Northern Illinois University. He has strong interest in Public Safety and is looking forward to working with the LCA Community Affairs committee.
JinHwa is an Associate Principal Architect at Perkins Eastman in Chicago. She currently donates her time on the LCA Zoning committee.
In his spare time, Chris is a guitar student of the Old Town School of Folk Music. He enjoys playing at various locations in the neighborhood.
Chris and JinHwa’s children are both CPS students and are active in many activitie,s and share a family love of travel.
Michael was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, but has considered Chicago home for nearly fifteen years. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in English from Boston College and a Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Michael has dedicated his legal practice to commercial real estate for more than ten years, and currently practices in-house at Griffin Realty Trust as Senior Associate General Counsel. Prior to joining Griffin Realty Trust, Michael was an Associate at DLA Piper LLP (US).
As a third generation lawyer, Michael draws inspiration from his grandfather and father to use his knowledge of the law to create a more equitable and sustainable world. He is excited about applying his legal experience to a directorship role in the Lincoln Central Association, particularly as it relates to zoning, planning, and neighborhood improvement.
Michael and his wife, Francesca, settled in Lincoln Park in 2019, and look forward to raising their family in the neighborhood for many years to come. They discovered the Lincoln Central Association during one of their many nightly walks through Lincoln Central Park, and were encouraged to find a group of neighbors committed to working together to promote the enrichment of the neighborhood.
Jacob Ringer loves Chicago. He is fifth generation Chicagoan and has fond memories of his father walking him around Lincoln Park as a young boy sharing stories about the houses, restaurants and people in the community. Jacob always knew he was going to return to Chicago after attending college at Tulane University and he settled in Lincoln Park over 13 years ago. Jacob has spent his career trying to improve the community in and around the city. He began his career as Chief of Staff to the CFO in the Office of the Mayor at the City of Chicago. In that role he drove high impact projects in finance, pension reform legislation, public-private partnerships, municipal marketing, municipal bonds and public policy. He also helped deliver over $250 million in new revenues to the City through innovative partnerships and coordinated the first of its kind biannual Municipal CFO Forum conference. In 2018, Jacob wanted to do more and as such, decided to run for Alderman of the 43rd Ward. Block Club called Jacob ‘an active force in the community’ during the election and Jacob ran because he believes the most change and impact a person can make is at the local level.
Outside of work Jacob supports many local nonprofits including The Night Ministry and Lincoln Park Zoo, where he helped raise over $500,000 in two years as President of the Auxiliary Board. Jacob is also currently Vice President of the Bauler Park Advisory Council where he helps organize events to bring the neighborhood together including the first annual movie in the park as well as a Glow-stick dance party that brought over 200 Lincoln Park families together. Jacob is committed to this neighborhood and is always striving to make it better.
Currently, Jacob is co-owner and developer of Sushi Hall, a family-friendly neighborhood sushi restaurant on Clark and Wrightwood, which is scheduled to open early 2022. Jacob lives in Lincoln Park with his wife Dana and their three children, Leo (6), Henry (4), and Sunny (1). You will see them often at the local parks like Bauler and Oz and frequenting their favorite neighborhood spots.
Larry Sachs and his wife Donna moved to Chicago’s River North area of Chicago in 1997 and relocated to Lincoln Park in 2003 (on Orchard St., close to their beloved Oz Park where Donna is a long-time volunteer in the gardens and a member of the park’s advisory council).
Larry was in government service for 47 years. He retired from Illinois Corrections in 2001 after serving in many facility-based (e.g. Reentry Manager; Accreditation Manager, Asst. Warden, Director of Clinical Services) and statewide (e.g. Juvenile Division Classification and Placement Manager) capacities.
Subsequently, as Director of Grants Management for the Chicago Police Department, Larry and his team brought in and successfully managed over $400,000,000 in grant funding and initiated the only police-led program in the country providing direct capacity-strengthening services to 501(c)3 programs (CPD’s A Force For Good supported over 100 Chicago-based, community-serving organizations). Previously, Larry also worked at other Illinois agencies where he helped people overcome barriers to employability and managed the federally funded Illinois Juvenile Block Grant program.
Larry co-founded and was the first President of the IBARJ (Illinois Balanced & Restorative Justice) 501(c)3, and in retirement he continues his commitment to public safety and justice reform by helping to develop a coalition of governmental and community-based organizations to advocate for prison reentry reform and resources, and by being elected to serve as a Midwest representative on the NCJA (National Criminal Justice Association) Advisory Board.
Tom Siracusa was raised in a suburb bordering Chicago. After completing law school, he moved to the City’s near west side and became involved with various community affairs and local politics. He, his wife Liza and their three children moved to Lincoln Park in 1996. In 2003, they purchased the home in which they currently reside.
The family enthusiastically supports neighborhood businesses and have developed many friendships through their patronage. Over the years they have successfully persuaded family members and friends from other communities to frequent Lincoln Park’s restaurants and shops.
Tom is a partner at the law firm of Power Rogers, LLP. For over thirty years he has represented injured persons and decedents’ estates in tort litigation. He authors chapters in texts published by the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education and serves on the Board of Managers of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association.
Tom received his degree in Business Administration from Loyola University of Chicago and his J.D. from IIT-Chicago Kent College of Law.
Tom is a lifetime member of LCA.