Alliance Leadership

Chicago Wilderness is led by its Executive Council, representatives of more than 50 of our member organizations that contribute significant institutional resources to implement the collaborative work of Chicago Wilderness. Together, members of the Executive Council set collective goals and strategies for the alliance.

See our full member list for a complete account of all the organizations doing important, collaborative conservation work in this region.

The Chicago Wilderness Trust manages the funds of Chicago Wilderness and ensures compliance with all Internal Revenue Service regulations.

Executive Council 

Chair: Arnold Randall, Forest Preserve District of Cook County

Vice-Chair: Elizabeth S. Kessler, Executive Director of the McHenry County Conservation District    

President, Chicago Wilderness Trust: Peter Layton, The Tallgrass Group, LLC

Ex officio: Suzanne Malec-McKenna, Executive Director, Chicago Wilderness


  • Honorary Members
    George Rabb, President Emeritus, Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo
  • Laurel Ross, Former Chicago Wilderness Chair
  • Dale Engquist, Former Chicago Wilderness Trust President