Good news


Thomas “Tommy” Parks, a Financial Advisor with North-western Mutual Chicago, has earned the Certified Financial Planner credential.

“We are proud of Tommy for achieving the highest standard in personal financial planning,” said Corey McQuade, managing partner, Northwestern Mutual Chicago. “Earning this designation demonstrates the value he places on doing what is in our clients’ best interest as well as his commitment to professional growth.”

The CFP certification recognizes individuals who have met the rigorous experience and ethical requirements, have successfully completed financial planning coursework and have passed the CFP® certification examination (covering the financial planning process, risk management, investments, tax planning and management, retirement and employee benefits, and estate planning). CFP® certificants must also agree to meet ongoing continuing education requirements and to uphold the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Financial Planning Practice Standards.

Parks joined Northwestern Mutual Chicago in 2016. He holds a bachelor’s in economics from the University of Chicago.

He, and his wife, Lauren, reside in Hinsdale.

D181 awarded for budget report

The Association of School Business Officials International awarded Community Consolidated Elementary District 181 the Meritorious Budget Award for excellence in budget presentation for the 2021-22 budget year. The MBA award promotes and recognizes best budget presentation practices in school districts.

This is the first year the district has submitted its budget presentation for the award and the MBA is the highest designation possible from the ASBO.

“One of our philosophies in the business office is that community members shouldn’t have to be financial experts to understand how their tax dollars are being used to support district initiatives,” said Rick Engstrom, D181 assistant superintendent of business and operations. “To be recognized for achieving this goal by the ASBO is a testament to our team’s hard work and dedication to transparency,”

To be eligible for the award, participants submit their applications and budget documents to a panel of school financial professionals who review the materials for compliance with the MBA criteria checklist and other requirements.

“The district’s budget document contains excellent spreadsheets, charts and graphs to help the reader fully grasp the data presented,” the ASBO stated in its letter to the district. “It is user-friendly for the average taxpayer with an abundance of data to meet varied readers’ needs.”

To view the presentation and D181 budget, visit


John Murphy of Hinsdale earned a bachelor’s in economics and political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison at the end of the spring 2021 term.