A New Era of Leadership

Hal Wilde has been the president of North Central College for nearly 22 years. In his time at the school, endowment and enrollment has reached all-time highs.

Peggy Frank has been President and CEO of Naper Settlement for 33 years, building it to one of the city’s top historical destinations.

Dave Dial has guided Naperville Police as Chief for the past 22 years.

Combined, they’ve been leaders in Naperville for 77 years. They’ve all made their impact on the city, and have stepped down from their positions this year, leaving room in some very important city roles.

“None of them will be easy to fill,” said Christine Jefferies, President of the Naperville Development Partnership. “[The new leaders] are replacing some very dynamic people.”

The police department found a new chief in Bob Marshall. Even though he spent the last seven years as Assistant City Manager, he still has nearly 30 years of experience in the police force.

“This is truly a dream come true,” said Marshall.

North Central College announced in October that Dr. Troy Hammond, a scientist, teacher and entrepreneur, will start January first as the school’s tenth president.

“The opportunity to lead an institution like North central College into the future requires the skills I have had in my academic and professional experiences,” said Hammond. “It gives me an opportunity to have impact that has a social component to it that can lead to really leaving a legacy of impact on other people’s lives through the work that I do.”
Naper Settlement is still undergoing a nationwide search for their next president. In the meantime, Frank has been named President Emerita.

Many other institutions across the city are also filling holes left by leaders.

Earlier in the year, District 203 Superintendent Mark Mitrovich resigned at the end of his three-year contract. In August, Dan Bridges was promoted from within the school district to take his place.

“I feel very fortunate to be in a community that really embraces the schools, parents who are interested in being involved and engaged,” said Bridges.

Similarly, the Naperville Chamber of Commerce and their President and CEO John Schmitt parted ways earlier this year. The Chamber found his replacement in Bolingbrook Chamber of Commerce President Mike Evans in November.

“I think they’ll see a lot of energy and character,” said Evans. “I’ve had a great track record and experience in association management being with the Bolingbrook Chamber of Commerce. I think they’ll see that my commitment to the members is above all else.”

Experts say each of the leaders need to quickly find their role in their organizations in order to move the new era of leadership in the city forward.


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