News Flash


Posted on: March 15, 2023

Community Awards Recognize Village Employee, Police Officer and Firefighter of the Year


Each year, Glen Ellyn honors its local achievements at the Community Awards celebration, presented by the Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce. Part of this celebration is the announcement of Village Employee, Police Officer and Firefighter of the Year. The Village is pleased to recognize Meredith Hannah, Economic Development Coordinator as its Employee of the Year, Jacob Wollenberg as Police Officer of the Year and Assistant Chief Kirk Odiet as Firefighter of the Year.

1Employee of the Year

Meredith Hannah - Economic Development Coordinator

Meredith Hannah joined Glen Ellyn as the Economic Development Coordinator in September of 2013.  Over the nearly 10 years she has been with the Village, her top priorities have remained building relationships with the real estate broker and development community as well as local business owners. All the while, enhancing Glen Ellyn’s presence in the business market as a place to do business.

Hannah oversees the Village’s Business Award programs supporting new and expanding businesses.  Since the fall of 2013, she facilitated over $1 million in public investment directly into the business community, driving over $6 million in private investment and bringing new restaurants and shops to Glen Ellyn.  She also negotiated three sales tax rebate programs to fill vacant and underperforming commercial real estate properties.

During the height of the pandemic, she was an instrumental team member, working alongside with Village Staff, the Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce and the Alliance of Downtown Glen Ellyn in supporting Glen Ellyn’s business community and navigating the state’s Restore Illinois Plan.  She garnered Board support to implement a COVID-19 Support Grant Program utilizing CARES Act funds to reimburse private businesses for pandemic incurred expenses.  The $150,000 funded program provided assistance to nearly 40 Glen Ellyn businesses.

Hannah credits the team she works with to the many successes the community has seen.  “Glen Ellyn is a collaborative place to work,” Hannah stated, “I am very grateful for the colleagues I have the pleasure to work with every day, both at the Village and throughout the business community.”

In her role with the Village, Hannah serves as the staff liaison to the Alliance of Downtown Glen Ellyn, the Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce, the DuPage Convention and Visitors Bureau, Choose DuPage and represents the Village as a Founding Partner and Board Member for Innovation DuPage.   Hannah has her Master of Public Administration from Northern Illinois University and prior to Glen Ellyn, she worked in similar roles in Batavia and Elgin, Illinois.  

2Police Officer of the Year

Jacob Wollenberg

For the past eight years, Officer Jacob Wollenberg has served the Glen Ellyn Police Department, working on a variety of investigations, criminal incidents, emergencies, and civil matters. Inspired by his father, a local Chief of Police, Wollenberg followed in his footsteps wanting to become a police officer and give back to the community. He was attracted to Glen Ellyn’s small-town atmosphere and the reputation of the Glen Ellyn Police Department within the DuPage area. 

“When asked what being a police officer means to him, Wollenberg responded, “As a police officer, my fundamental duty is to serve the community; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality, and justice.”

Having spent the last several years as a detective in the Investigations Division, Wollenberg was recently assigned back to the Patrol Division to help serve the needs of the Department and is assigned as an officer-in-charge and field training officer. Wollenberg’s DUI enforcement was recognized three years in a row by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists, and he holds extensive training in active threat command, tactical leadership, homicide investigation, hostage situations, and evidence review among other areas. 

3Firefighter of the Year

Kirk Odiet - Assistant Chief

Kirk Odiet joined the Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Company as a probationary firefighter in September 2000, was promoted to lieutenant in 2011 and to Assistant Chief in 2019. He also performed the duties of Fire Inspector from 2013 to 2018 and became the Training Officer in 2017. 

In his role as Training Officer, Odiet coordinates the company’s classroom instruction, hands-on drills, and specialty training. In addition, he is responsible for reporting all mandatory training to the State Fire Marshal to ensure the firefighters maintain certifications and keep up to date on skills. With increased requirements from the state and a record high number of probationary firefighters, Odiet has risen to the challenge of planning, implementing and tracking training so that all of the volunteers are able to meet and exceed the standards of the fire service.

Odiet’s contributions are invaluable to the ongoing success of the Fire Company, and his passion for service is an excellent example Company’s decades-long mission of “neighbors protecting neighbors.” 

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