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Posted on: April 24, 2017

Woodridge Community Thanks Clerk Nystrom for Her Service

Clerk Nystrom
Eileene Nystrom, known as “Sam” to those close to her, moved to Woodridge in 1967 after a housing search that canvassed the Chicagoland region. She and her husband Lou decided on Woodridge due to the friendliness of the community, and she continues to reside in the same home today. Ms. Nystrom spent a few years as a stay at home mom, becoming involved in Woodridge’s community organizations prior to being hired by the Village of Woodridge.

In 1976, at the behest of a friend, she applied for and was hired as a Part Time Secretary for Mayor Joel Kagann. Ms. Nystrom was appointed Deputy Village Clerk in 1980, and served in that position until 2000, when she was appointed Village Clerk. Ms. Nystrom was elected Village Clerk in 2001, and was reelected to the position until this year when she chose not to run for another term.

Clerk Nystrom is a Certified Municipal Clerk, is a past President of the Municipal Clerks of DuPage County, and an active participant of the League of Women Voters of Downers Grove, Woodridge, and Lisle. She has been an active member of the Woodridge Special Events Committee since 1979, an organization to which she continues to contribute.
Sam’s favorite memories are the opportunities she had to plan and host special occasions, which included functions involving the Village Board. She fondly recalls bringing a lit birthday cake into the Board Room when one of the elected officials had a birthday. “I’d have to get the cake, make sure all the candles were lit, and then carry it into the Board Room without tripping!” she recalled. It was that, and other activities, that created an atmosphere of comradery that she enjoyed the most.

When asked about working for the Village for over forty years, she says she has been happy to see the professionalism of staff increase over the years and of the accomplishments that have been made. “I am proud of the Village being fiscally conservative while at the same time meeting the needs of residents,” she added, “and to have seen the Seven Bridges area to develop the way it has over the years.”

When asked for advice she would give to new comers to the local government profession, she encourages them to consider the public service aspect of their job. “Public service is wonderful and I found a lot of satisfaction in helping people. I very much hope that people choosing local government as a profession can find the same level of satisfaction in their work as I did through helping residents.”

Reflecting on Woodridge’s future, she said “the Village has grown in a good way. My daughters, both of whom grew up in Woodridge, can’t get over how nicely the community has grown and how many new amenities are now part of life here.”

When she began, the population of Woodridge was roughly 8,000 people and Village Hall was located on 83rd Street. Woodridge has now grown to nearly 32,971 people and Village Hall has moved twice since then. During her tenure, she helped institute a card cataloguing system that revolutionized how official Village documents were stored and retrieved. That effort continued in more recent times with the implementation of an electronic document management system, one that provides even greater, and more simplified, access to Village documents. The effort also greatly enhanced the Village’s efforts in providing governmental transparency.

“Sam” attributes the community’s success to the Village’s formula of carefully planned growth, being fiscally conservative, and delivering excellent services to Woodridge residents. She fondly recalls what longtime Mayor Bill Murphy used to say about achieving success, “all you have to do is stick to the knitting.”

After serving the Village of Woodridge for over 40 years, Eileene “Sam” Nystrom attended her last Village Board meeting on April 20, 2017. Just before, she was honored with a Coffee and Cake in the Village Hall lobby. This time, someone else carried in the cake.
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