PeopleCare, Inc. has announced the appointment of Judy Mantel, to the post of executive director. Mantel will assume the position held most recently by Bruce Jablonski, the current executive director and son of Helen Jablonski, the organization’s founder, who is moving to an emeritus role. 

The executive director serves as the chief operating officer of PeopleCare, reports to the board of directors, and is responsible for the organization’s mission and financial objectives. Mantel has spent the last 11 years at PeopleCare, most recently as the office manager of its Riverside headquarters.  

“At a pivotal time in PeopleCare’s history and with its important focus on serving area seniors, we are so delighted that a dedicated staff member will be sharing her considerable talents to guide us both day to day and as we grow into the future,” said PeopleCare’s president, Mary Coonda, in a press release. “We look forward to working even more closely with Judy, and are indebted to Bruce Jablonski for his long service and continued guidance.”

Mantel, a 32-year resident of Riverside, will be responsible for program development, strategy and administration, along with critical oversight of the volunteer corps. She started her career as a neonatal/pediatric respiratory specialist at Michael Reese Hospital and helped her husband, Tom, launch his electrical contracting business and continues to manage the operational details of the office.

In transition

U.S. Congressman Daniel Lipinski (D-3rd) and state Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago), both of whom represent parts of the Landmark coverage area, have been named to a gubernatorial transition committee created to advise incoming Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker on state infrastructure issues.

Lipinski, who is a member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has been appointed co-chair of the 45-member Restoring Illinois’ Infrastructure Committee. He will chair the transportation, rail, marine, air and intermodal infrastructure subcommittee. 

Having a ball

Judy Hsu, anchor of the 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscast at ABC7 Chicago, will emcee the Pillars Community Health annual gala, The Ball, on Jan. 19, 2019 at the Oak Brook Hilton resort in Oak Brook.

Pillars Community Health, a nonprofit provider of health, educational and social services is the result of the January 2018 merger of Pillars and Community Nurse Health Center.

The Ball, a black-tie optional soiree, features an evening of live music, dancing, raffles and casino gaming. Tickets are available at

On campus

Nazareth Academy students Carlie Merola, of Riverside, and Braden Schneider and David Sullivan, of Brookfield, have been recognized as 2019 Illinois State Scholars. The award is given annually by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission and represents approximately the top 10 percent of high school seniors from high schools across the state.

Casey Vileta, a recent graduate of Riverside-Brookfield High School, has won a four-year, $2,000 annual scholarship to support his pursuit of higher education from the united Food and Commercial Workers International union. He’s only one of eight winners of the award, given to UFCW members and their families across the U.S. and Canada. Vileta is a freshman at Lewis University in Romeoville, studying aerospace engineering and piloting.

Lyons Township High School student-artists, including Brookfield resident Mina Fredona, captured top honors in the annual Chicago Area 4X5 Art Exhibit, featuring more than 1,000 works of art from 40 area high schools, in October. The awards ceremony was Nov. 7. Fredona, a junior at LTHS, received honorable mention in the computer-generated art division.

Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park has announced its honor rolls for the first quarter of the 2018-19 school year. Among those on the A and B honor rolls are the following local students:

A Honor Roll (3.8-4.0 GPA) includes Brookfield residents Grace Acosta, Gwenyth Acosta, Leilani Dodson, Gunnar Hendrix and David Sullivan and Riverside residents David Hertogs, Matthew Ivansek, Nicholas Kraus, Carlie Merola, Elizabeth Pilarz and Justin Rokicki.

B Honor Roll (3.33-3.79 GPA) includes Brookfield residents Ashley Gamboa and Braden Schneider; North Riverside resident Diego Arroyo; and Riverside residents Michael Almeida and Joseph Lemon.