© 2018 Hinsdale Historical Society

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P.O. Box 336, Hinsdale, IL 60522



HHS Women's Board Membership

The Hinsdale Historical Society Women's Board is dedicated to supporting the Hinsdale Historical Society's mission to bridge the past, present, and future. By engaging the community with its history and architecture, the Women's Board fosters an appreciation of Hinsdale history and architecture through its membership, events and programs.


Lee Gillman


Lee is a new member to the Women's Board this year - Welcome, Lee!  Lee had a wonderful time on the Women’s Board membership trolley ride and her favorite memory (so far) is the day trip to the Merchandise Mart this past fall. She purchased a table at the Hinsdale Historical Society Trivia Night on January 11 and is already looking forward to that fun event .


Lee has lived in Hinsdale since 2004 but grew up in nearby Western Springs in two different homes. Her grandparents lived in Western Springs and all her homes are still standing. Some of her favorite childhood memories are riding her bike over the walking/bike bridge to go for ice cream in Hinsdale or to her cousin’s home. 


Lee's favorite building is the Metropolitan Tower at 310 South Michigan in Chicago. When driving on Lake Shore Drive, her dad told her the story of the pyramid and beehive at the top of the building, symbolizing the motto of the company housed in the building: the pyramid stood for longevity and the beehive for industriousness. You can find it by looking for the blue light at the top of the building. She still always looks for it when she is in the city.


Lee had a wonderful 21 year career in healthcare and now stays busy with family and volunteer work in the community including the Hinsdale Hospital and Misericordia. 


Her family includes her husband and two daughters who attend Hinsdale Central. They are part of Boosters Club, and Lee is secretary and you can find her husband at the grill during home football games while one daughter is cheerleading on the sidelines and one in the stands. You also must know that Lee has a Golden Retriever name Dasher, and he is amazing. 


Lee's favorite hobbies are gardening and working in the yard. She is an avid golfer and paddle tennis player, and she is a devoted reader and book club member. Her favorite books are crime thrillers. She is passionate about anything she gets involved in. One of her favorite quotes is "leave it better than you found it". Lee also loves to travel and planning her next trip.  Next on Lee's agenda --- who knows.....but it’s gonna be good. 

Kristen Laakso

A teenage fascination with Marie Antoinette and the castle of Versailles inspired Kristen to pursue several degrees in French literature, art, and architecture. After a brief stint as a language teacher at the University of Southern California, she moved to Paris, France for what would become 15 years of life abroad. In the French capital she worked as a magazine editor for a bit and then spent more than a decade helping people discover the endless stories the City of Light has to tell as a guide and then Director of the private museum tour company, Paris Muse. In 2012 she moved to Hinsdale with her husband and two daughters.


Kristen has been a Woman’s Board Member since 2014. She has supported the Women’s Board as a docent, house captain, and floral coordinator for the Kitchen Walk. Kristen was particularly enthusiastic about organizing and underwriting the first Women’s Board Membership “Uniquely Hinsdale” Trolley Tour in 2017, because she wanted to share the pleasure of discovering the story of Hinsdale with others.


Kristen has fallen in love with two local buildings recently. One of them is the Farnsworth House built in 1951 by Mies Van der Rohe. It is the first modern house in America and sits just off the Fox River about an hour from Hinsdale. “This international architectural icon is a breathtaking example of design being a place where the beautiful meets the useful. And, being in the house amongst its meticulously crafted, simple lines is an outstanding example of architecture’s ability to exalt,” Laakso explains.


Her other favorite buildings are our very own R. Harold Zook Home and Studio built in 1924 when the architect moved his family to Hinsdale from Chicago. “I find it so inspiring that when threatened with destruction in 2005, the Hinsdale Historical Society saved the house and moved it to Katherine Legge Memorial Park. Almost the opposite of the Farnsworth House, the charming Zook buildings look like the kind of places where Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs might live or that an architect might call a Cotswold or English-style cottage. Replete with undulating roofs, spider webs, timber framing, and diamond-shaped window panes, the Zook Home and Studio are a precious example of work by a major contributor to the texture of our beloved village that is valuable far beyond our community to architects, students, and history buffs alike.


Kristen loves to visit an art museum, a historic house, or a new restaurant punctuated by sipping a glass of champagne and the purchase of a great pair of shoes. As a former museum guide, Kristen remains passionate about uncovering the story of a piece of art or a place and sharing that in an educational,  entertaining way with others. Basically, she loves to have good conversations with curious people.


Kristen finds art and architecture to be particularly powerful ways of enhancing and understanding life, so Gerhard Richter’s quote, “Art is the highest form of hope,” really resonates with her.


Her new favorite book is Why Old Places Matter: How Historic Places Affect Our Identity and Well-Being by Thomson M. Mayes. “Reading this book will help anyone who has ever loved an old place articulate why they are meaningful to people and their communities.”


Kristen feels fortunate to have an excuse to travel back to Paris often as she still does a bit of social media marketing for the museum tour company, Paris Muse. Feel free to ask her for any Paris tips, especially about the company’s outstanding family programming. For more check out: www.parismuse.com.


 As a newly minted trustee on the board of the Hinsdale Historical Society, Kristen looks forward to inspiring and educating people about why local history is meaningful and important. "The efforts required to record and tell the story of Hinsdale are worth supporting as they contribute so much to our sense of community and belonging.”


Includes a family membership to the Hinsdale Historical Society PLUS .....

  • Special admission to the Kitchen Walk

  • Pre-sale tickets to Kitchen Walk Trolley Tour

  • Pre-sale tickets to the Women's Board Guest Speaker Luncheon

  • Invitations to monthly social activities, including evening cocktails, lunches, and special gatherings

The Women's Board primary fundraiser is the annual Hinsdale Cooks! Kitchen Walk, which offers guests a tour of Hinsdale's most fabulous kitchens.  Historical landmarks including the Hinsdale History Museum, Immanuel Hall, and the R.Harold Zook Home and Studio are protected and maintained, in large, by funds raised by this event.

Learn more about our ever popular spring Hinsdale Cooks! Kitchen Walk

Questions about membership and Women's Board activities, contact WomensBoard@HinsdaleHistory.org


November 15    Alioto’s Sip, Snack & Shop

December 13    Holly Jolly Trolley Tour

December 14    Holiday Open House at the Hinsdale History Museum

December 15    Holiday Brunch and Ornament Exchange

January 11        Trivia Night

January 15        Kitchen Walk Kickoff Party

January 22        Luncheon at the Drake

February 15      Best of Second City 

March  15          Brunch with the Ladies at Steak + Vine

April 15             TBA

May 8                 Hinsdale Cooks! Kitchen Walk

Additional social events to be added as scheduled.


In honor of celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Hinsdale Cooks! Kitchen Walk, we will have an anchor date for a monthly member event on the 15th of each month. This will help members easily “save-the-date” in their calendar. Just as we did last year, we plan to continue to offer up a variety of fun outings. Whether it be a social evening, luncheon, or special tour, members are sure to have fun with friends new and old. As events are scheduled, they will be added to our calendar on the website and shared with all members via our closed Facebook group.


Not a member of our group?  Join the Women's Board, and we will add you to our Facebook group.

WOMEN'S BOARD 2019-2020

Women's Board Chairs

Heather Jashnani

Anne Kearns

Carrie Rozich

Membership Chair

Emily Bower

Social Chairs

Amy Prame

Meredyth Willits

Marketing and Communications Chairs

Cindy Klima

Shannon Weinberger

Kitchen Walk Chairs

Liz Oliverio

Emily Van Houtte


Honorary Kitchen Walk Chairs

Penny Bohnen

Laurel Haarlow

Sandy Williams

Luncheon Chair

Denise Marron

Holly Jollly Trolley Chair

Jane Coyne 

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