Brookfield resident Diane Slezak has been named president and chief executive officer of AgeOptions, the nonprofit Area Agency on Aging of suburban Cook County.

Slezak, who has been with Age Options since 1976, succeeds Jonathan Lavin, who has been president and CEO of Age Options since 1978. She will assume her new role on Nov. 1.

During her more than 40 years with Age Options, Slezak established the first Suburban Cook County Community Care Program, directed the first Senior Companion Program in the state, authored the “Best Kept Secret” proposal funded by the Chicago Community Trust and more.

Slezak lives in Brookfield with her husband, Dana Havranek. She received an MBA from Dominican University and bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College. 

I’d be honored

The Western Springs VFW Post 10778 presented Lyons Township High School teacher Jorge Sanchez with its Teacher of the Year Award in May.

Sanchez is the school’s Hispanic liaison and alternative education teacher. He began at the school in 2013 and has two master’s degrees, one from Northeastern University and another from Chicago State University.

Riverside-Brookfield High School teacher Carolyn Tomecek was accepted to attend the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History’s seminar “America in the Age of Discovery: 1492-1625” this summer at the University of Southern California.

The seminar will explore the discovery of America, how it disrupted the indigenous peoples who lived here and early colonial life. Tomecek teaches English and American literature at the high school.


Brookfield firefighter/paramedic Jason Baumruck has been named EMS coordinator for the village’s fire department.

Baumruck succeeds Mark Duffek, who handed over those duties in April when he was named fire chief. Prior to being named EMS coordinator, Baumruck assisted Duffek with EMS and hospital-related issues. He also helped the Brookfield Fire Department transition to a paperless ambulance reporting system in 2007.

He also assisted with ambulance billing, state inspections and purchasing two new ambulances.

Police news

Riverside Police Sgt. John Cairo recently graduated from Northwestern University’s Center of Public Safety, School of Police Staff and Command, a 10-week program to prepare top- and mid-level law enforcement managers and supervisors for senior agency positions.

The program focuses on management and its environment, organizational theory and behavior, human resource administration and skills for planning and analysis.

Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel in May was elected to serve his second term as vice president of the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System (NIPAS), a joint venture of suburban municipalities to ensure effective police mutual aid for extraordinary incidents.

The two major functions of NIPAS are supplying a special tactical squad known as the Emergency Service Team and a special crowd-control units known as the Mobile Field Force.

Riverside Detective Sgt. Leo Kotor and Detective James Lazansky were selected by Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart to receive the Cook County Sheriff’s Award of Valor, which honors acts of heroism and bravery.

Both officers were recognized for their actions on July 14, 2017 for aiding a motorcyclist injured in a crash at 73rd Street and Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview as they were transporting a prisoner.

The detectives called 911, stopped their unmarked squad car, activated emergency lights, blocked traffic to allow emergency crews to respond and rendered first aid to the injured motorcyclist.

On stage

Hannah Toriumi, of Riverside, is appearing on stage in the Gift Theatre’s production of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” through July 29 at the theater, located at 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago.

Toriumi plays the role of Rosencrantz in her first production as a Gift ensemble member. She last appeared at Gift Theatre in 2016 in “They Are Decided” and a prince Edward in “Richard III.”

Ticket and showtime information are available by contacting the box office at 773-283-7071 or visiting

On campus

Radoslava Pribyl Pierdinock, of Riverside, a senior at Riverside-Brookfield High School was presented with an engraved bronze medallion to recognize her selection as a Distinguished Finalist for Illinois in the 2018 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

The award is based exclusively on volunteer community service. Two state honorees – one middle and one high school student – plus a select number of Distinguished Finalists from each state and the District of Columbia, were selected based on criteria such as personal initiative, effort, impact and personal growth.

Pribyl Pierdinock led an initiative that turned a run-down room into a library for students at a school in a low-income community.

Riverside resident Colleen Mandell graduated magna cum laude from the honors program at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin, during commencement ceremonies on May 13. She was also named to the dean’s list for the 2018 spring semester, as was Riverside resident Matthew Pilewski, for attaining a GPA of at least 3.5.

Samantha Lenz, of Brookfield, has graduated from McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois, with a master’s degree in criminal justice.

Julia Boge, of Riverside, was named to the 2018 spring semester dean’s list at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, for earning a semester grade-point average of at least 3.6 on a 4-point scale.

Haven Clark, a senior from Riverside, was named to the 2018 spring semester dean’s list at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, for attaining a GPA of at least 3.5.

Michael Gruber, of Riverside, earned dean’s list recognition for the 2018 spring semester at Trine University in Angola, Indiana. The design engineering technology major earned a semester GPA of at least 3.5.

Brookfield resident Anthony T. Landahl and Riverside resident David S. Suriano were named to the 2018 spring semester dean’s list at Bradley University in Peoria for achieving a GPA of at least 3.5 for the semester.

Liliana Cortes, of Brookfield, was named to the 2018 spring semester dean’s list at the University of Jamestown (North Dakota).

Brookfield resident Jacqueline Skokna was named to the 2018 spring semester dean’s list at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, for attaining a semester GPA of at least 3.5.

Emily Pitts, of Riverside, was named to the dean’s honor list at Cedarville (Ohio) University for maintaining a 3.75 GPA in the 2018 spring semester, while taking at least 12 credit hours.

Elected in April to the Riverside-Brookfield High School Student Association Executive Board for the 2018-19 school year were the following: Michelle Jacobs, president; Rowan Elwart, vice president; Jessica Bajerek, secretary; Taylor Jurgens, treasurer; Sarah Pilewski, director of communications; and Dave Waas, student spokesperson.