Amy joined the Historical Society board in 2015 and was Vice President for 3 years prior to being appointed President in 2021. A Downers Grove resident since 2007, Amy is a licensed architect with Whitney Architects and also teaches architecture courses at College of DuPage. She is chairperson of the Historic Preservation and Design Review Board for the Village of Downers Grove and previously served on the Village’s Plan Commission. Amy, along with her husband Dave, founded American Foursquares of Downers Grove; an initiative which seeks to highlight and celebrate the American Foursquare home type. When not working or volunteering Amy enjoys spending time with Dave and their 3 kids, baking, and exploring historic buildings.
Greg Elisha has served on the Historical Society's board since 2015. He also co-chairs the Events Committee which oversees the Society's event marketing and branding efforts. Greg's work also promotes the Society's mission of community involvement in the rich and unique history of Downers Grove.
Greg has been working in the advertising field for over 33 years. He is the owner of Three Lakes Creative a marketing/design agency that provides creative services in industries including Healthcare, Medical, Government, Legal, Technology, Consulting, and Food Services.
A few of his past achievements with the Society include the development of the Main Street cemetery App, the lighting of Main Street Cemetery, and the community event known as History on Tap. His future plans include an online walking tour of Downers Grove and a publication that contrasts Downers Grove in the present with the past.
Marty Acks grew up in Decatur in central Illinois. Shortly after college, he moved into a 1890’s era Victorian home in Downers Grove. He and his wife, Carine, soon joined the Downers Grove Historical Society as a Life Members. Marty worked in the software industry in the western suburbs and co-founded Westmont-based Silvon Software in 1987. As retirement neared, Marty attended a Society event and signed up to volunteer. Marty currently serves as the Treasurer of the Society and Committee Chair of the Historic Home Program Committee. Marty is also an avid genealogist and enjoys learning more about the history of early Downers Grove residents and their impact on the village growth.
Not many people can say they grew up in a place where the center of town has a historical cemetery! Who wouldn’t want to live there — especially with the new cemetery lighting?
I joined the Historical Society Board in 2020 and volunteered to be Secretary. I learn something new about our town every meeting, event or program. The Historical Society Board is a great group of volunteers who work together to plan a huge variety of activities to promote local history. There’s something for everyone -all ages and interest levels. Come join us any time!
Rich became a board member in January, 2018 and served as Treasurer in 2019 and 2020. Before joining the Historical Society, Rich chaired a local historic preservation group. He currently serves on the Historic Home Program Committee and formerly served on the Events Committee. Rich has served as an elected Downers Grove Village Commissioner since May 2019. Prior to that he served on the Plan Commission for two years and Zoning Board of Appeals for two years before that. Rich has extensive experience as a Sales Vice President in the enterprise application software business on a national and global level. His travels took him to all 50 states and 24 countries. Rich grew up in Downers Grove, moved away three times and move back three times. He married his high school sweetheart from Downers Grove South, Kathleen Callahan Kulovany. They have been married since 1972 and raised their three children in Downers. Rich is proud that their children and a number of their ten grandchildren have or are currently attending O’Neill Middle School and Downers Grove South. He enjoys telling stories of how Downers Grove used to be in the “old days.”
As a history major in college I became interested in local history when we moved to Downers Grove in 1991.While a docent with the Downers Grove Museum and a former teacher I helped with educational programs and summer camps. After joining the Board of Directors of the Historical Society I became interested in the history and restoration of the Main Street Cemetery. Researching the lives of those buried in Main Street led to the creation of the Living Cemetery Program that the Society presents each October. With the help of local students and citizens we bring the lives of the people in Main Street to life. I am happy to be involved with this program and pass the history on to the people of Downers Grove. Researching the history of the people and places of the village is something I truly enjoy.
Ian Ogdon is a lifelong resident of Downers Grove. He has always been very interested in technology, which is how he found his way to a career in IT, and will be part of his focus as he gets started working with the Society. He is an avid reader, and has a special interest in the history of Downers Grove. He is one of only a few residents who can say he has read our history book, Downers Grove, 1832-1982 from cover to cover. Living in a vintage home, he also has an appreciation for historic Downers Grove architecture. We are very happy to have Ian on our team and look forward to working with him.
Downers Grove is a great place to live! After teaching here for many years, my interest in village history grew and grew. I was eager to join the Historical Society and have been a Director for quite a long time. It’s fun to continue to learn more about Downers Grove.
My favorite activities for DGHS revolve around award presentations honoring those who helped shape Downers Grove and those who continue to do so. Founder’s Day is a great event held in May with activities for all ages. Another fun outing is Historical Society participation in the Pine Hollow Open at the historic D. G. Golf Club. It has only snowed once, postponing this golf event!
So much history-so little time!
Andrea “Andi” (Bateman) Kinsella’s family has a long history in Downers Grove. She grew up in Downers, graduating from DG South in 1968. Her parents and grandparents also graduated high school in the town - the first being her grandfather in 1898. Andi and her husband, Bill, raised 4 children here. Their grandchildren are the 6th generation to attend school in DG. It came naturally for her to want to be involved in the historical society; at first helping with the Montrew Dunham Award Committee. Then, when she and Bill decided to investigate the Historic Home Program for their home, she became interested in that program. When asked to be a DGHS Board Member, she readily accepted. Andi looks forward to having the opportunity to help preserve our local history through the different events and programs offered by the historical society. Andi is an active member of the First United Methodist Church where she worked for 22 years, until her retirement in 2019. Bill and Andi live in Downers in the house her grandparents built in 1924. They have 4 grown children and 7 grandchildren.
Kurt and his wife Cathy first moved to Downers Grove in 1992 and then, after a two-year stint in New York City, moved back to D.G. in 1997. There, they raised their two sons and are now in their fourth home in Downers. He works as a freelance art director and web designer and has extensive experience working with non-profit organizations and educational institutions. After volunteering for a couple of years with the Historical Society, Kurt was honored to join the Board in 2023. In his spare time, he enjoys rehabbing homes, travel, live music and painting.
Liz Chalberg grew up on her family’s farm in Sugar Grove, IL attending local schools and graduating from Kaneland High School. She arrived in Downers Grove in 1981 where she met her future husband and 4 stepchildren. She attended both Aurora University and later graduated from Northwestern University. After spending 18 years in corporate America within the telecommunications industry (Illinois Bell and later GTE), she transitioned to a 30-year career in real estate in Downers Grove. Liz’s love of history evolved from living in (and fixing up) vintage homes during her married life and a love of antiques. Liz was invited to join the Historical Society board in 2014. She served as President from 2016 through 2021, and continues to volunteer on several of the Historical Society sub-committees.