Visit Lake County hosts annual luncheon, introduces new board

More than 125 gather for ‘Embracing, Emerging, Looking to the Horizon’ program

GURNEE – Eager to share its enthusiasm for supporting local economies with travel experiences throughout Lake County, as well as introduce its new board of directors, Visit Lake County recently hosted its annual luncheon for community and businesses partners at Waukegan Park District’s Bonnie Brook Golf Course.

More than 125 people attended the ”Embracing. Emerging. Looking to the Horizon” program, the first in-person gathering for the organization since the phased reopening of the state.

Attendees got a chance to network among the scenic views of the championship public golf course while taking in a complimentary workshop by JRudny Interactive Design Solutions that highlighted tips and takeaways for adapting marketing efforts through the recovery.

Keynote speaker Karla Flannery, the director of the DECO/Illinois Office of Tourism, spoke about reigniting tourism in Illinois and its powerful economic impact. She shared valuable insights from a and Meredith Predictive Family Travel Trends survey indicating that 70% of Americans are ready to travel and 82% of travelers are going to make it a “road trip.”

Knowing of the desire to take to the roads, Visit Lake County introduced the “Let the Ride Take You” campaign in the summer to tap into the willingness and appeal for travel, both nearby and throughout the Chicago area and beyond.

“It was valuable to reconnect, look to those positives on the horizon for our communities,” said Maureen Riedy, president of Visit Lake County. “Sharing the travel outlook, how it supports our local economies, our neighbors and creates jobs, and doing so on a face-to-face and personal level was so gratifying.”

A long-standing fixture of the community and business partner with Visit Lake County, Bonnie Brook Golf Course has a connection to incoming Visit Lake County Board Chairman David Motley, who has served for 28 years as the public relations director for the city of Waukegan and has worked throughout the years in support of the park district. The popular golf course, which dates to 1926, is often referred fondly by residents as “The Brook.”

Motley brings enthusiasm to his new board role. An avid musician and artist, he is a steward for communities, a volunteer and a champion of Lake County. His service includes involvement on several boards and organizations such as the Art Impact Project, Brothers Theatre, Waukegan Arts Council, Heart of the City Soccer, Jack Benny Center for the Arts Cultural Arts and Waukegan Park District.

At the luncheon, Motley gave heartfelt thanks from Visit Lake County to outgoing board Chairwoman Cheryl Ross, a Gurnee trustee.

Other new appointees to the board are vice chairman Randy Ebertowski (Gurnee Mills), treasurer John Krajnak (Six Flags Great America) and secretary Sonolito Bronson (city of Zion).

Board directors accepting new terms included Brad Burke (village of Lincolnshire), Carissa Casbon (Lake County Board), Jim Keim (village of Antioch), Ray Keller (village of Lake Zurich), Greg Koeppen (village of Grayslake/ Lake County Farm Bureau), Brad Lajoie (Lincolnshire Marriott Resort), Andrew Lichterman (village of Deerfield), Nadine Miracle (Great Wolf Lodge Illinois), Jonathan Petrillo (village of Vernon Hills), Heather Rowe (village of Libertyville) and Kerston Russell (village of Mundelein).

Visit Lake County shared its newest visual touchpoint to residents and visitors, the “Live here. Work here. Visit here. Lake County” video, which has been posted on YouTube.

To learn more about Visit Lake County, view a calendar of events or download the Outdoor Fall Guide, go to