As most of you know, our Coalition Director, Khris Condon, will be moving on from LEAD and SpeakUP later this month. Over the past [almost] four years, Khris has been deeply committed to changing attitudes and beliefs about underage drinking and other drug use, and has led efforts in the Lake Forest and Lake Bluff communities to implement environmental prevention strategies. Khris has worked closely with all the local schools, police departments, hospital, community organizations, and has become very involved in county-wide prevention efforts through the Lake County Underage Drinking and Drug Prevention Task Force.
Khris has accomplished much over the past 4 years, most notably helping us to grow the annual Youth Summit, instituting post prom activities (which you’ll hear about later in this email) and putting together programming and resources that have benefitted local community members.
We are very proud of Khris and her accomplishments, and we wish her best of luck in her next endeavors. Khris’ last official day in the office will be Friday, April 15 but she will be assisting our staff and volunteers with the upcoming post prom event taking place on May 14.
We are having a celebration for Khris at the beginning of our coalition meeting on Thursday, April 7 at 12 Noon. Please join us as we send Khris off at her final coalition meeting. Lunch will be provided. No RSVP is necessary, but please don’t miss this opportunity to say thank you and see you later!
Our staff is growing! We are proud to welcome to our staff two new employees: Sonali Patel is our new Director of the SpeakUP! Coalition, and Danielle Franzese is our new Director of Policy and Community Outreach. We will send you their bios and introductory letters later this week, and you will have an opportunity to meet them at our coalition meeting this Thursday – or at one of the many upcoming programs we are offering through April and May.
… and Congratulations!
We have one additional staffing change. I have promoted Christy Marinic to Director of Operations. As LEAD continues to grow, we are in need of a slight organizational shift that will enable us to better manage the day-to-day operations. Christy has been with us on staff for over 2 years now, and she is intimately familiar with everything we do. She is respected among our staff members and among leaders in other organizations throughout the county. In this new role, Christy will be responsible for some staff supervision, for overseeing our growing intern program, and for helping to schedule and staff events.
I am incredibly thankful to our gala planning committee for their work on this year’s gala, “A Night on the Red Carpet” that took place on Saturday, March 12th at Exmoor Country Club. I am happy to report that this year’s event – in only its third year – brought in $75,000 in support of LEAD, Text-A-Tip and our other impactful programming. Special thanks to my wife, Lisa, and our friend Lauren Hirsh for their incredible work leading the planning committee. This crew knows what they’re doing! I would also like to pass along my thanks to Dave and Julie Abdallah, who were our member sponsors at Exmoor. Stay tuned for coverage and pictures in upcoming editions of both Make It Better and Forest & Bluff magazines.
We have many more events on the calendar than we were anticipating for April and May. Please keep an eye on our events calendar to learn more about what’s going on – both here in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff and beyond.
Andy Duran, Executive Director