Board of Directors & Officers

The Board is comprised of seven members, four of which are appointed by the Mayor of Waukegan and three of which are appointed by the Governor of Illinois (each via its own internal policies & procedures). Board Members serve an initial 6-year term, unless appointed to fill a vacancy.

Board of Directors

Grant B. Farrell
Chairman

Grant, a Waukegan native, fondly recalls exploring the Waukegan Harbor and lakefront during his youth. A graduate of Waukegan High School, he later attended Roosevelt  University  in Chicago where he received a certificate of Labor Leadership. Grant is a lifelong resident of Lake Country and currently lives in Lake Forest. As a licensed pilot since 1975, he has flown fifteen different types of aircraft from jets to helicopters and hangars his YAK 52 Warbird at the Waukegan Airport. Grant has a deep understanding of aviation needs as a resuit of his extensive flying experience.

As Chairman of the Board, Grant brings considerable experience in labor relations, sales, strategic planning, and business planning/accounting from his career in corporate facilities and construction management, consulting (GBF Management), and volunteer service with local and national organizations.

Grant’s professional memberships include the AOPA, EAA, EAA Warbird, and RPA (RedStar Pilots’ Association)

Gene A. Bach
Historian

Gene arrived in Waukegan in 1966 with General Marine Corporation and has remained a resident since that time. His career in the construction industry includes estimating, contract negotiation, project management, and business management. He has visited numerous commercial ports and marinas from North to South America and has sailed over 19,000 miles on the Great Lakes, including 35 Chicago to Mackinac Island Races , 47 Chicago to Waukegan Races, and numerous other regattas and boating events on the Great Lakes.

Gene is a founding member and the President Emeritus of the WYC Youth Foundation which teaches children 5 to 17 years of age safe boating in Waukegan Harbor. He is also a member of the Mackinac Island Goats Sailing Society which supports the Mackinac Island Medical Center and, for the past 34 years, he has been the Region 4 Representative for the Lake Michigan Per- formance Handicap Racing Fleet providing equitable racing handicaps for a diverse fleet of over 1,000 racing sailboats.

Thomas C. Evers
Board Secretary

Tom leads Abbott’s advocacy efforts in the U.S. and Canada as Vice President for U.S. Government Affairs. During his tenure at Abbott, he has served in a number of Health Policy and Government Affairs roles, including Divisional Vice President, State Government Affairs. Abbott hangars their corporate jets at the Waukegan Airport for business travel.

Tom’s interest in government extends to his personal life as well. He was elected to four terms on the Gahanna, Ohio city council from 2004 – 2010, serving as President in 2005 and 2009. In addition to be- ing a member on the Waukegan Port District Board, Tom also serves on the Board of Directors of the Public Affairs Council and the Board of Directors of the National Association of Manufacturers.

Tom earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and his Master of Business Administration degree from the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

Joseph J. Legat
Member

Joe launched Legat Architects in 1964 from his Waukegan home and gained a reputation for projects that were on time, on budget, and responsive to his clients needs. Under his leader- ship, the firm grew from three to two-hundred employees. Joe’s diversified architectural experience has been widely recognized for innovations, bold ideas, and new solutions in the design of buildings on six of the seven continents.

Joe has a lifetime of service as both a member and an office holder to many volunteer groups, hospitals, schools, charities, nonprofit and professional organizations.

Joe, a licensed architect in Illinois, earned his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Illinois. He is a member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, the American Institute of Architects, and Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, University of Illinois, Chicago, Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.

William F. McCaffrey
Member

Billy has lived near and loved the shoreline and harbor of Waukegan where early in his career he operated a boat building, repair, and storage services.

Billy is an entrepreneur whose current business, A Cuban Experience, is a premium cigar lounge in downtown Waukegan. He is a critical thinker who is involved in downtown business organizations focused on promoting the redevelopment of downtown Waukegan. Billy served on and chaired the Waukegan Stabilization Program in the 1990s. In May 2017, Billy received the Mark MacLeod Friend of Main Street Award. In the past, he served on the Waukegan Police Department in the patrol and detective divisions.

As an avid sailor and competitive sail racer for over 45 years, he has completed 31 Chicago- Mac Races and is a member of the Mackinac Island Goats Sailing Society which supports rac- ers and the Island Medical Center. He is a member and former Commodore of the Waukegan Yacht Club and managed the Youth Sailing program for five years.

Greg Petry
Member

Greg Petry a resident of Waukegan since 1987, served the Waukegan Park District for 30 years, with 22 years as the Executive Director/CEO of the district. His leadership guided the district through an unprecedented period of organization, development, and growth. The parks, programs, and services developed during his tenure, had a huge impact to the health and well-being of residents and the local and regional economy. Upon his retirement he created Greg Petry Consulting LLC. focusing on leadership and organizational development.

He earned a BS degree from Manhattan College, and an MS in Parks and Recreation Administration from The Pennsylvania State University. He is a Certified Park and Recreation Executive (CPRE).

Greg’s experience working with community boards, economic initiatives, professional associations, and governmental committees provides a background well-suited to serve as a member of the Waukegan Port District.

Ben Veal
Member

Ben Veal is a retired Chief Operations Officer and Sales Vice-President of Dynetics Engineering Corporation where he led the 46-year old international manufacturer of credit card mailing systems to profitability. Mr. Veal’s career includes prior positions with General Electric, and Square D Company. Ben is an award-winning business consultant and product development engineer with patented products represented by fortune 500 companies like Rubbermaid. His career continues as he is involved with several business enterprises.

Currently, an adjunct instructor at the College of Lake County, Ben has a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering from Southern University and a Master’s in Administration from Central Michigan University. He enjoys boating and has been a licensed pilot since 1974.

Ben lives in Lake County and wants to assist the Waukegan Port District to make both the Airport and Marina an exclusive destination.

Board Officer - Non Voting Member

Robert B. Hamilton
Board Treasurer

Bob is a registered professional engineer and founded Gewalt Hamilton Associates, Inc., where he served as President until 2009, and Chairman until retirement in 2014. His expansive background and experience as an engineer, business owner, expert witness, and professional traffic operations engineer is a valuable asset to the Board. Bob owns a 2000 Mooney Eagle, holds a commercial license with instrument rating (1400 hours), flies for Angel Flight Central, and is on call for Homeland Security.

Bob was awarded the Engineer of the Year Award, Illinois, in 2013 from the American Society of Civil Engineers. He contributes his time and expertise to many nonprofit and civic organizations.

Bob earned his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Detroit in 1972, his master’s degree in Civil Engineering in 1973 from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and his Master of Business Administration from Lake Forest School of Management in 1984.