The Openlands 2015 Annual Luncheon

Chair of the Openlands 2015 Annual Luncheon:
Christopher G. Kennedy

The relationship between nature and people is inextricably linked as we balance the growth of our region with the responsibility to protect our open spaces and natural resources. The 2015 Annual Luncheon focused on the importance of the deep bonds formed between people and the land. We highlighted the many ways Openlands fosters environmental stewardship, creating a vibrant and sustainable region for generations to come.

2015 Conservation Leadership Award Recipient

ToniToni Preckwinkle has been a dedicated community leader for over two decades. She serves as board president of both Cook County and the Forest Preserves of Cook County. President Preckwinkle has worked to implement major reform and reshape government based on the foundation of fiscal responsibility, innovative leadership, transparency & accountability, and improved services.

As president of the Forest Preserves of Cook County, Preckwinkle has increased focus on restoring Cook County’s most precious natural areas and driven strategic plans for camping, recreation, trails and other key areas. As part of the Forest Preserves’ Centennial celebration, she commissioned the Next Century Conservation Plan, an ambitious roadmap for the preserves’ second century that includes bringing new and diverse audiences to the preserves.

Before being elected Cook County Board President, Preckwinkle served 19 years as Alderman of the 4th Ward. Prior to holding elected office, President Preckwinkle taught high school history for ten years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree from the University of Chicago.

2015 Keynote Speaker


Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, writer and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York. She is the founding Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, whose mission is to create programs that draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability. Her research interests include the role of traditional ecological knowledge in ecological restoration and building resilience for climate change. As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. 

Openlands 2015 Annual Luncheon Corporate Sponsors
As of October 7, 2015

Emerald Sponsor
Northern Trust

Platinum Sponsors
Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.

Gold Sponsors
Bartlett Tree Experts

The Boeing Company
Christy Webber Landscapes
Liberty Prairie Foundation
Living Habitats
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
University of Chicago, Office of Civic Engagement and the Graham School
U.S. Bank

Silver Sponsors
PNC Bank
Wells Fargo

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities please contact or call 312.863.6263.