2024 Spring Meeting Update

Thank you to everyone who attended the Caucus’ Spring Meeting on April 2nd at Gorton Center.

The vote for the Caucus 2024 Officer Slate was 125 YES to 132 NO. The Caucus Committee will communicate next steps in the near future.

Caucus 2024 Officer Slate Bios

Please vote “Yes” for these highly qualified Caucus Committee Members at the Caucus Spring Meeting on Tuesday, April 2nd from 7 to 8pm at Gorton Center. These experienced leaders have the time and dedication to do the hundreds of hours of work to lead the Caucus, the planning, management, financial, problem solving, communication, and technical skills and experience to lead the Caucus, the institutional Caucus and Lake Forest City government knowledge to operate the Caucus, and strong relationships with city staff and volunteers on boards and commissions and elected officials to help support Caucus initiatives. Their individual skills and experience – consolidated as one leadership team – will ensure the Caucus continues to execute its 90-year old mission to identify, evaluate, and recommend the most qualified, unbiased volunteers for appointment to Lake Forest city boards and commissions and election to city council, mayor, and school boards.

Joe Oriti, President

Joe, his wife, and 4 children have lived in Lake Forest since 2015. He looks forward to educating them all in Lake Forest’s renowned public schools (Districts 67 and 115) and participating in the many programs our community offers.

Joe has more than 20 years of experience advising corporate clients in strategy, operations, and finance. He has previously served as Caucus Vice President and Treasurer and on numerous Caucus subcommittees leading searches for elected and appointed volunteers for various positions. He also serves on the Friends of Lake Forest Parks & Recreation Board.

Joe is honored to spend his time, skills, and experience to maintain and improve the many wonderful programs, institutions, and benefits that are available for Lake Forest residents.

Regina Etherton, Vice President

Regina and her husband have lived in Lake Forest for 23 years where they raised their daughter. Regina is currently the Owner/Director of Regina P. Etherton & Associates, LLC., a Chicago based law firm that specializes in prosecuting Personal Injury and Wrongful Death cases on behalf of significantly injured plaintiffs. Regina has been the Chairman of the Chicago Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service since 2015, on the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association’s Board of Managers since 2008, and on several other Boards. Regina has been practicing law for almost four decades and has achieved many noteworthy settlements and verdicts.

Regina received her J.D. from Loyola University Law School, Chicago, and her undergraduate B.A. degree from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, where she graduated with honors (Cum Laude).  She has served as Caucus Ward 4 Chairperson and on numerous Caucus subcommittees leading searches for elected and appointed volunteers for various positions. Regina has been an active participant in the Lake Forest schools her daughter attended and enjoys the wonderful activities/clubs and amenities available in Lake Forest. Regina is excited to continue to give back to the community that has been a wonderful place for her family to live.

Dale Tauke, Secretary

Dale is a musician and retired attorney with over four decades of legal experience. His legal practice ranged widely in areas of corporate law, including finance, securities, M&A and energy contracting. He and his wife of 40 years have lived in Lake Forest for nearly 36 years. All five of his now-grown children attended Lake Forest public schools.

Dale has served for six years as a member and Chairman of Lake Forest Legal Committee. Dale served as a citizen representative on the Finance and Operations Subcommittee of the Lake Forest District 115 Board of Education.  He has been active with the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 46. He was an AYSO girls’ team soccer coach. He has served as Caucus Secretary and on numerous Caucus subcommittees leading searches for elected and appointed volunteers for various positions. He has planned, organized, and run numerous Caucus events and communications including the annual Caucus Committee member election. He looks forward to continuing his service to the city on the Caucus.

Dale received a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Chicago Law School and a B.B.A. Degree with Highest Distinction from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.

Jennifer McGregor, Fundraising

Jennifer’s position as Chief Revenue Officer and Managing Partner for a virtual reality design technology platform leverages her relationships and leadership experience throughout her 25-year career in the architectural design industry- previously leading teams in the Middle East & Asia.

She has served locally as a Trustee for LFHS Foundation, LFHS Wall of Fame, District 67 and 115 APT, Citadel Theatre, Friends of Gorton and the Economic Club of Chicago, Lake Forest Symphony, and on numerous national boards for City of Hope, Melanoma Research Foundation and Board Chair for the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS.

As an alum of Lake Forest schools, Jennifer prides herself in her deep roots in the community having spent all but ten years of her life and ultimately raised her three children here. Jennifer has helped plan and organize numerous Caucus events and she looks forward to continue to serve our gem of a city.

Mark Pickett, External Communications

Mark Pickett and his family moved to Lake Forest in 2020. Originally from a small town in central Illinois, a sense of community has always been important to Mark. He currently leads a marketing team for an industrial AI company in Chicago.

Mark brings deep expertise across different marketing and advertising disciplines, with a focus on breaking down complex challenges and developing clear, straightforward solutions. Mark and his wife have two young children. He has contributed to numerous Caucus searches for elected and appointed volunteers for various positions and communication initiatives. A member of the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Rotary Club, Mark enjoys serving his community.

Jason Akemann, Internal Communications

After graduating summa cum laude with a B.A. in History from Illinois State University, Jason co-founded what is now a national restaurant company. Jason’s company, Bottleneck Management, has 16 locations in seven different states including eight in the greater Chicagoland area. He has worked extensively with development partners such as Walt Disney World and The Dallas Cowboys along with some of the largest real estate partners in the world.

Over the past twenty-plus years Jason has helped guide Bottleneck from having just two employees to employing well over a thousand people today. The constant changes to the hospitality landscape over the years have tested his organizational skill, leadership ability, and management style. Jason is looking forward to utilizing these skills while serving the community. He has contributed to numerous Caucus searches for elected and appointed volunteers for various positions and communication initiatives.

Jason grew up in Elgin. After an almost 20 years in Chicago, Jason, his wife, and their three children, proudly became residents of Lake Forest in 2017. They could not be happier with the place they now call home and he looks forward to continuing to serve the community as a Caucus Officer.

Fred Brewer, Treasurer

Fred lives in Lake Forest with his wife Leslie and their two young children. Fred graduated from the University of Wisconsin with an English degree. After working at an advertising agency, he started his own full-service agency where he helps companies grow their businesses. Fred has served as Caucus Treasurer and assisted on searches for elected and appointed volunteers for various positions. He has helped plan and develop numerous Caucus communications including the annual Caucus Committee member election.

Fred enjoys the outdoors, traveling, and spending time with family. Fred fell in love with the architecture and beauty of Lake Forest and enjoys giving his time to the community to help sustain it.

2024 Caucus Committee Candidates

We are pleased to announce the candidates for the 2024-25 Lake Forest Caucus Committee. Ballots will arrive via mail the third week of March, and must be postmarked by April 2. Information about the candidates is available on the website.

Caucus Community Event – March 9

Saturday, March 9, 2024
8:30am-10:30am at Gorton Center

You are invited to meet and talk with Caucus Committee candidates and current Caucus Committee members on Saturday, March 9th from 8:30am to 10:30am at Gorton Center. Learn more about Caucus Committee activities, including our School Board Search, and provide welcome feedback.

Please join us in this casual setting to mingle over coffee and donuts. Caucus Committee candidates from all 4 Wards will be present during these times:

  • Candidates from Wards 1 and 2: 8:30am – 9:30am
  • Candidates from Wards 3 and 4: 9:30am – 10:30am

Look for the Caucus Committee ballot mailing, called the Caucus Connection, in your mail in the second week of March! Please VOTE and return your choices for Caucus Committee members postmarked by April 2nd.

We hope to see you on March 9th!

2024 Spring Meeting

Tuesday, April 2, 2024
7-8pm at Gorton Center


  • President’s Report – Chris Benes, Caucus President, will present an update on Caucus Committee activities, including City Boards and Commissions appointment recommendations.
  • Treasurer’s Report – Fred Brewer, Caucus Treasurer, will provide an update on the financial condition of the Caucus.
  • 2024-25 Caucus Officer Slate election. To vote, bring a IL driver’s license or IL state issued ID to demonstrate Lake Forest residency.

Support the Caucus

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Our city has long been a place of natural beauty, historic significance, and a vibrant sense of community. It is this very community spirit that makes Lake Forest a truly special place to call home.

The Lake Forest Caucus is an essential organization that plays a vital role in maintaining and enhancing the unique character of our city. Comprised of dedicated volunteers, the Caucus tirelessly works to identify, recruit, and support exceptional individuals for leadership positions, both appointed and elected, within our local government. By doing so, the Caucus helps to ensure that our city remains a place of non-partisan responsible governance, fiscal responsibility, and open discourse.

It is essential that we all support this vital organization to continue its nearly 90 year mission of fostering good governance and community unity. However, we cannot do it without your help.
We are asking for your financial support. Your generous contribution will enable the Lake Forest Caucus to carry on its important work, supporting candidates who prioritize the well-being of our city and its residents.

Every donation, no matter the size, makes a difference. Whether it’s $25, $100, or more, your contribution will go a long way in ensuring that Lake Forest remains a place we are proud to call home. You can make your donation easily and securely here on our website, using the QR code below, donating at our upcoming Annual Meeting on November 7 at Gorton Community Center, or by sending a check payable to “Lake Forest Caucus” to 736 N. Western Ave, Suite 256, Lake Forest, IL 60045.

Your support will have a lasting impact on our community, preserving the values and character that make Lake Forest a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.

Thank you for considering this request, and for your commitment to our remarkable city. Together, we can ensure a bright future for Lake Forest.