The Chicago Hyde Park Village Board is a group of long-time residents who are concerned about the livability of our community for older adults. Members of the group have all lived in Hyde Park for years and hope to continue living here for years to come, just as you do. This desire to transform Hyde Park into a community friendly and accessible to residents of all ages motivated this dedicated group of individuals to devote hundreds of hours to the creation of Chicago Hyde Park Village. Board members have all been community activists in areas from climate change to women's rights and the rights of the elderly.
Susan Alitto, president of both the organizing Steering Committee for the Chicago Hyde Park Village and the Founding Board of Directors, initiated discussion on the idea with a group of friends and neighbors in her home.
Susan has lived in Hyde Park for over 30 years during which she has worked with several community organizations. She would happily stay in Hyde Park for her remaining days—hence her interest in establishing a Village to support older residents in an age friendly community.
Before arriving in Chicago, Susan had moved over 20 times and lived in 12 different communities including Taiwan. Educated at Wells College in Aurora, New York, and Columbia University in New York City, she has worked in a variety of fields from philanthropy and administration to education and a weekly Chinese TV show. She and
her husband Guy have one daughter Emily who currently lives and works in Shanghai. Susan still works part-time at The University of Chicago and full-time at helping to build a Village in Hyde Park.
Ann Audrain and her husband Cal have lived in the community for over forty years. They raised their four children in Hyde Park and over that time they have been involved in a wide range of community activities and organizations including political campaigns. After receiving her Master’s degree, Ann taught at the U of C Laboratory Schools for 30 years and after retirement wrote curriculum and was involved in math workshops in the public schools. She has remained active in educational issues. She is an involved member of the United Church of Hyde Park serving on many committees and outreach programs. Being involved in the community and reaching out to others is an important aspect of Ann’s life.
Jane Comiskey has lived in Hyde Park for over 40 and is on the TIF Board and a member of the Hyde Park/Kenwood Conference Board. She retired from teaching after 22 years at Wendell Phillips H.S.
Marianne Crusius A love of travel brought Marianne to the United States from Germany in the late 1960’s. She had just finished her studies in England and France but before settling down to a serious professional life she decided to see the USA and Mexico.
On this journey she had the good fortune to make contact with people at MIT who were launching a state-of-the-art Language Laboratory which fascinated her. Hence, she did not hesitate when she was eventually offered the opportunity to work at this new language learning facility,setting off a long and rewarding career in the management of Language Centers and instructional technology.
When computers came on the scene in the mid 1980’s she was immediately interested in learning how to use them. By this time she lived in Princeton with her husband and two children. There, she honed her computer skills while working for a small financial research company.
The combination of her knowledge of languages, Language Laboratory management experience, and computer skills landed Marianne her dream job at Princeton University: Manager of the Language Resource Center, where she remained until her retirement in 2008. This job was never stagnant, as computer technology presented constantly new possibilities in the implementation of language instruction. Instructional technology today continues to be an integral and ever evolving part in language acquisition.
In 2004 she was thrilled to be given the task of planning a new Language Resource Center at Princeton. Thanks to her many years in the field, she designed a cutting-edge facility that became an active center of campus life.
Upon her retirement she was called to Hyde Park by her son and his young family to be involved in raising her grandchildren. And as fortune would have it, her daughter also joined them here from the East Coast.
Marianne read about the village movement 12 years ago when the first one was started in Beacon Hill in Boston and she found the concept fascinating. When she became aware of such a village being planned in Hyde Park she immediately offered her services. Marianne is thrilled to serve on the board and to participate in the Village’s web site design, member database and some event planning.
Allison Hartman has lived in Hyde Park almost all her life. She lives in the house where she grew up and plans to stay in it forever. She was one of the first people in Hyde Park to find out about the Village movement and has been involved ever since, as Vice President of the Steering Committee and as a Board Member now.
As is happening more and more, Allison has chosen to have serial careers, first as a stay-at-home Mom with her two sons JR and Dan, then as the owner of Hyde Park Auto Service and a racing mechanic. When her parents needed more help, she stayed closer to home. After they died, Allison bought several abandoned buildings and with her son JR brought them back as viable housing.
Allison went back to school to finish her BA while working on the buildings and ended up with a JD plus a Masters in Real Estate law. She now has a law practice concentrating in "Elder Law" and real estate; but, like her car repair shop, her law practice is really about helping good people.
She is President of the Board of DARE, and she is on the Board of the Hyde Park Kenwood Community Conference.
Margaret Hellie Huyck, has lived in Hyde Park since 1961, when she arrived as a young bride to do graduate work with the Committee on Human Development at UC. Their first daughter, Liz, was born 12/63; she still lives in Hyde Park. Their second daughter, Karin was born 7/65; her daughter Madeline was born 8/2001. Margaret and her husband Tom are very embedded in Hyde Park, through their church (First Unitarian), friends, and because they bought their condo(s) when they were still affordable.
Margaret was on the psychology faculty at Illinois Institute of Technology 1969-2010. Her special areas of expertise are in adult development and aging, program evaluation, and the impact of gender on life course. As Professor Emerita, she is continuing her research exploring the ethical issues involved in sensory system implants.
She has been very active with OWL – the Older Women’s League; this is a national education and advocacy organization. She currently serves as President of the National Board; she has been very active with the Hyde Park OWL chapter since it was founded in 1989, and is currently the President; and she served as President of OWL Illinois for many years. In addition, she currently serves as Secretary of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club Board.
Margaret signed on to work to develop a village from the onset. She has served on the Steering Committee, as Chair of the Nominating Committee, and as a Founding Board member. Currently she is Interim Secretary of the Board, active in the Fundraising Committee, and Chair of the Nominating Committee. She is convinced that a strong Chicago Hyde Park Village will enhance the experience of growing up and growing older for all members in the community.
Rita McCarthy has lived in Hyde Park for over 20 years. She has been on the Board of the Hyde Park Historical Society where she is Development Chair, and she is also active in the Hyde Park Garden Fair Committee. She joined the Founding Board of the Chicago Hyde Park Village, where she is involved with fundraising and membership and she is Chair of the Marketing committee.
Rita comes from the world of art museums where for over 25 years, in a curatorial and directorial capacity; she was intimately involved with fundraising, marketing and event planning. Since 2005, Rita has worked as a realtor/broker of real estate and in 2007 she helped found the Coldwell Banker Residential Charitable Foundation which has raised in its short history, over $800,000 for housing-related needs in the Chicagoland area.
Rita has undergraduate degrees in Art History and Education from Boston University and graduate degrees in Art History and Museum Studies from the University of Illinois, Urbana and she has completed doctoral work in Art History at the University of Chicago.
Gary Worcester first lived in Hyde Park in the mid 1970's as a graduate student in English and the newlywed husband of Elaine. He returned to Hyde Park in 2000 when Elaine took a position with the University of Chicago Medical School. They put their three sons through Laboratory School and now have two through college with a third son nearly finished.
Gary's early work background was as an editor, but the heart of his career was spent in Chicago and Milwaukee as an attorney specializing in matrimonial law. He was also a pioneering stay at home father.
Since returning to Hyde Park, Gary has been an active member of Augustana Lutheran Church and Campus Ministry. He has chaired several standing church committees and served on numerous specialized call committees. He most recently was Augustana Church Council President.
As a member of the Baby Boomer generation, Gary has a growing interest (increasingly personal) and concern with the issues that surround America's senior citizens. He is inspired by the mission of the Village and hopes to help make it a successful organization serving the needs of Southsiders in the third act of their lives.