New leadership on Lake County Forest Preserve Board
Forest Preserve Board Elects Angelo D. Kyle president, Julie Simpson vice president
At a special election on Monday, December 3, the Board of Commissioners elected their new leaders, choosing Angelo D. Kyle of Waukegan (District 14) as President of the Lake County Forest Preserves. The Board also elected Julie Simpson of Vernon Hills (District 18) to serve as Vice President. Both will serve two-year terms, which end December 2020.
"I thank everyone for this privilege and wonderful opportunity,” Kyle said after he was named to the top post. He said he is looking forward to again serving and was taught by his parents that leadership starts with service. He previously served as a Forest Preserve Commissioner for 22 years, from 1990 through 2012.
Kyle, 61, served two terms as Vice President of the Lake County Forest Preserves from 1992 to 1994 and 2006 to 2008. He is proud of the 2011 expansion of the Greenbelt Cultural Center, a North Chicago venue that offers indoor and outdoor spaces for community events and educational programs, and corporate and private rentals, including an amphitheater and multi-purpose room with panoramic views of the natural setting.
During his previous tenure on the Forest Preserve Board, he was committed to all facets of the mission, serving on every standing committee and helping to double in size the acreage under the agency’s care and management. He also assisted in creating the Preservation Foundation in 2007 and served on its Board of Directors from 2010 to 2012.
Kyle also served as a liaison of the Illinois Association of Conservation and Forest Preserve Districts from 2010 to 2012, and he assisted in earning overwhelming support of voters for several Forest Preserve referenda.
Kyle, a pastor at St. Matthew Missionary Baptist Church in Waukegan, worked as Deputy Director of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for the state of Illinois for three years beginning in 2012.
New to the Forest Preserve Board, Julie Simpson, 36, was elected last month by voters during the General Election. Beginning in 2017, she started serving a four-year term on the Hawthorn Elementary District 73 school board.
As the newly elected leadership team, they will oversee 30,867 acres of natural lands, 203 miles of trails, 184 full-time and 321 part-time and temporary employees, and an 18-month July 2018–December 2019 budget of $112,646,415 million.
The Lake County Forest Preserves was created by referendum in 1958 and serves as principal guardian of Lake County's open space and natural areas. Its boundaries are the same as those of Lake County. The Forest Preserve is managed by an elected Board, made up of 21 Commissioners who also serve as members of the Lake County Board.