In September, Kane County’s very own Matthew Tansley and Lindsay Hatzis were recognized as two of 12 recipients of the Kane County Chronicle’s annual Best Under 40 award.
Prior to accepting a position with the county as a land use planner, Tansley worked with a suburban non-profit organization, and his achievements as a professional and as a community leader were recognized during a Sept. 20 ceremony at the Royal Fox Country Club in St. Charles.
“I wanted to get involved with a community organization to be engaged with local community issues and continue to apply some of the skills I had picked up in grad school,” Tansley said.
The group that caught his attention, The Garden Works Project, builds raised bed vegetable gardens for clients in the western suburbs that have difficulty obtaining affordable, healthy food and want to grow produce at their homes. Tansley joined the board of directors in 2013 and helped the organization to register as a 501c3 non-profit.
While Tansley has enjoyed working with his fellow directors, the experience enabled him to secure his current position with the county as a land use planner. His role is largely focused on positioning the county to be a better partner with farmers and local producers providing healthy food options for the community.
He also manages the county’s Food and Farms blog, which serves a clearinghouse for news and information on agricultural issues and the local food system.
Hatzis is an assistant state’s attorney in the domestic violence unit who also served on the Mental Health Court, Elgin Branch Court Juvenile Delinquency Division and the Felony Division. She recently was named outstanding young lawyer of the year by the Kane County Bar Association and became editor-in-chief of the KCBA’s Bar Briefs newsletter.
Other winners were School District 303 Assistant Director of Curriculum Melissa Byrne, Waubonsee Community College Associate Professor of Biology Danielle Ducharme, Fox Valley Special Recreation Association Superintendent Alex Englehardt, Esther’s Place co-owner Nantasha Lehrer Lewis, GreenFields of Geneva Marketing Director Julio Macias, Manheim Architecture Inc. owner and architect Nicholas Manheim, Tri-Com Central Dispatch Supervisor Victoria Muller, Edward Jones Financial Advisor Nick Ninedorf, Jori and June owner Melissa Parkos and American Family Insurance owner/agent Justin Smitherman.
The award goes to Kane County business and civic leaders under 40 years old who represent role models in their communities and show commitment to excellence in and out of the workplace.
For more information, visit the Kane County Chronicle website.