Cherryl T. Thomas

The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, has announced Cherryl T. Thomas as its new chair of the board of trustees. 

Thomas, a Chicago native, joined CZS’s board in 1999 and over the past 22 years has supported the organization by serving on various committees. Most recently, she was vice chair of the board and co-chair of the community engagement and social innovation committee.

“I am so pleased to be a part of animal conservation and efforts to preserve our fragile ecosystem, “said Thomas in a press release. “I look forward to collaborating with CZS’s board of trustees and staff in advancing the society’s mission, vision, and its master planning efforts.”

Thomas is the chief strategy officer of Chicago-based Ardmore Roderick, a full-service engineering and construction management firm. Prior to that she was president and CEO of Ardmore Associates, which she co-founded in 2003. 

Before starting her own engineering firm, Thomas worked in government for 34 years. She was appointed chair of the Chicago-based United States Railroad Retirement Board by President Bill Clinton from 1998 to 2003. She also has served in several leadership positions with the City of Chicago.

I’d be honored

On July 20, the national anti-crime group Fight Crime: Invest in Kids presented a plaque to former Riverside Chief of Police Thomas Weitzel, honoring his 37 years with the Riverside Police Department and his commitment to children in Illinois.

Thomas Weitzel

“Chief Weitzel has been a powerful voice for early childhood education, afterschool programs, and services that support families and strengthen communities,” said Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Illinois Deputy Director David Isaacson in a press release. “In conversations with state and federal policymakers over the years, he has provided a consistent vision for crime prevention that starts with investments in our state’s young children.”

Weitzel retired in May after serving as Riverside Chief of Police and as member of

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids for 13 years.

“Along with thousands of other law enforcement leaders from around the country, I am a deep believer in their mission to address the root causes of crime through support of research-based programs for children,” Weitzel said.

In memory

Family and friends the late Bill Sherman, longtime Riverside resident and the village’s deputy fire chief, gathered July 31 at the 16-inch Softball Hall of Fame in Forest Park to mark the setting of a memorial paver bearing Sherman’s name in the Hall of Fame plaza.

Bill Sherman
Family members gather around the memorial paver for Bill Sherman at the 16-inch Softball Hall of Fame.

Sherman, who died of cancer in 2019 at the age of 66, was an avid 16-inch softball player who over more than a decade played with a squad called variously through the years Strokers, Old Strokes and Leftovers.

The teams were inducted into the 16-inch Softball Hall of Fame in 2016, and Sherman was a big part of the team until his death, said teammate Jim Quinn.

“He was a great teammate and became a great friend of all those he played with,” Quinn said in an email. “He was always a pleasure to be around and a heck of a softball player. He could play any position while on defense and usually batted leadoff because he was an excellent hitter.”

On campus

Brookfield resident Anthony Delestowicz graduated in May from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a Bachelor of Science degree in general studies.

Charlie Marcou, of Riverside, graduated magna cum laude in May with Bachelor of Science degrees in both economics and statistics, with a minor in mathematics from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan.

Evan Jones, of Riverside, was among the more than 4,000 students from Miami University of Ohio who received degrees during the school’s spring commencement in May. Jones graduated summa cum laude, university honors with a B.S. in business and an M.S. in business analytics.

University of Wisconsin-Madison has announced several local students were awarded degrees during their May commencement ceremonies, including Brookfield residents Luke Graham (B.A. Japanese), Monica Schmidt (B.S. computer sciences) and Anna Souders (B.S. psychology) and Riverside resident Claire Hejna (B.S. nursing).

Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington awarded degrees to more than 360 candidates for graduation in May, including Riverside resident Rachel McCarthy, who graduated summa cum laude in English literature and psychology, and Brookfield resident Madeline Hanrahan, who graduated summa cum laude in vocal performance.

Kieran Hynes, of Riverside, was named to the 2021 spring semester dean’s list at the University of Minnesota for earning a semester grade-point average of at least 3.66 on a 4-point scale.