The Viking Service Organization and Geneva Chamber of Commerce announced this week that former longtime alderman and “beautifier in chief” Dorothy Flanagan has been named 2016 Swedish Days parade marshal.
“I’m so humbled that the chamber would bestow this honor on me,” Flanagan said. “I’m sure there are people more worthy than I, but no one could be more grateful.”
Prior to moving to Geneva, Flanagan worked at a recording company and a law firm. When the firm installed its first computer, she was given the responsibility of managing computer operation which eventually started her career in the computer industry and her partnership in Copia International, Ltd., a telecommunications software provider.
In 1990, Flanagan moved to Geneva with her family and over the last 25-plus years has been actively involved in her community. At St. Peter Church, she was a member of the Women’s Guild, worked a number of years for the annual Barn Sale and was a lector for 10 years at Monday-morning Mass. When her husband joined the Knights of Columbus, she decided to become part of the Ladies Auxiliary. In addition, Flanagan has volunteered her time at local charity events, SPAC, Geneva Skatepark Committee, Geneva History Museum, Festival of the Vine, Swedish Days and in 2013 won Dancing With Geneva Stars.
“I think one of the most rewarding experiences, when it comes to volunteer efforts, was to work with Paul DesCouteaux on the Beautification program,” she said.
What started out as a contest for the best improved streetscape, for both residential and businesss, became more than 50 downtown gardens. The flowers in the knuckles added to the appearance of the corners and the program. In 2007 the group received the Governor’s Hometown Award. Along with her co-chair, Sherri Weitl, and more than 100 volunteers, three plantings are done each year.
In 1993, she was encouraged to run for Geneva alderman. She never looked back and just retired last year after serving Geneva and the Fourth Ward for 22 years.
“Thank you, Geneva, for being my home. and thank you. Geneva Chamber, for this great privilege,” she said.
Swedish Days Festival, supported by Northwestern Medicine, runs June 21-26. The Grand Parade begins at 1 p.m. June 26.
For more information visit the Geneva Chamber of Commerce website. Brochures will be available around Geneva beginning of June.
SOURCE: Geneva Chamber of Commerce news release