Board of Trustees

The Waukegan Public Library is a component unit of the City of Waukegan. It is governed by a nine-member board who are appointed by the Mayor of the City of Waukegan and approved by the City Council.  Annually, before the first of July, the Mayor shall appoint or re-appoint three trustees. If you are interested in applying for trustee positions when they become available, please fill out this form.

It is the duty of each of the members of the Board of Trustees to carry out the spirit and intent of the Illinois Local Library Act in maintaining a public library and providing library services to the residents of the city. Information on board meetings, agendas, and minutes are listed in the sidebar to the right. All meetings are open to the public.

For governing documents of the Board, please see their Bylaws.

For further information regarding the responsibilities of the Board of Trustees, please contact Tiffany Verzani, Executive Director, at 847-623-2041, ext. 230, or at

To ask questions or to share ideas or concerns with the Board, please submit an email to the Board Secretary at or by regular mail to his attention at Waukegan Public Library, 128 N. County St., Waukegan IL 60085. Items submitted to the Secretary are received as correspondence and are shared at the public board meeting, becoming a part of the public record.

The Board of Trustees

Robert F. Freeman
Term of Office as Library Trustee:  2021-2024
Current Position: Board Vice President
Robb Freeman has lived in Waukegan for most of his life. He spent a lot of time in the school libraries of Whittier, Cooke Magnet, and Abbott Middle School. In high school, he filled his bookshelves with used books from the Friends of the Library sales. While in college, he studied French and ESL/Bilingual Education at Loyola University Chicago and took courses on linguistics and samurai films at Universite de Nantes in France. He always thought he’d be a high school French teacher, but while teaching abroad he discovered how much he enjoyed teaching elementary.

Currently, he teaches English learners at Prairie Crossing Charter School in Grayslake, where he has worked for the past seven or so years. He has been recognized as WIDA’s monthly featured educator and part of a Those Who Excel award-winning team in 2021. The best part of his job is getting to see how the students grow and learn about their home languages and cultures. During the evenings, he volunteers with Mano a Mano Family Resource Center as the traveling US Citizenship Test Preparation teacher (even teaching some night classes at the Waukegan Public Library) and works at a dumpling shop as well.

To him, the library is a place to foster life-long learning.

Steve Bugg
Term of Office as Library Trustee:  2022-2024
Current Position: Treasurer
Steven Bugg moved to Waukegan in 2018 with his wife, Kathie, due to his appointment as President and CEO of Great Lakes Credit Union.  He is a native of Northwest Indiana and has lived and worked in the Mid-West and East Coast.  His wife was born on the Southside of Chicago and raised in Northwest Indiana.  They are proud parents of a son, daughter-in-law, and grandson.  Kathie and Steven enjoy the diversity that Waukegan has to offer, especially the many locally-owned restaurants, the lake, and the Genesee Theatre.

Steven graduated from the University of Evansville with a BA in Business Administration / Marketing.  He is also a graduate of The ProCon Leadership Institute for Cooperatives focusing on the development of CEOs and holds a real estate license in the State of Indiana.

Mr. Bugg has been and continues to be, actively involved in serving as a volunteer for many local non-profit boards in leadership capacities, including currently serving on the Lake County Community Foundation’s Board of Directors as their Board Chairman.  He and his wife also volunteer for several local non-profit organizations in Northern Illinois.  In addition, Steven and Kathie are the co-chairs of the United Way of Lake County’s 9th Annual Premier Leaders Event.  He was recently appointed to the Waukegan Public Library Board by the Mayor of Waukegan.

Steven also volunteers his time in the credit union industry and currently serves on the NAFCU Legislative Committee and is a board member for Credit Union Centers (CUC).  He also serves on the State of Illinois Bank on Illinois Financial Product Sub-Committee.

Mr. Bugg is a strong advocate and supporter of providing low-and-moderate-income households the ability to improve their financial well-being through financial literacy initiatives and partnerships with non-profits and government agencies.  This passion fits well into his willingness to serve as a library Trustee, as Steven sees the Waukegan Library as a “central hub” for the community in which children and adults can congregate for the mutual purpose of utilizing the tools and resources available to improve their well-being. He’s excited to be part of the future of the Waukegan Library by looking forward and increasing programming and partnerships to enhance what the library can provide to the residents in Waukegan through programming and outreach.  Steven views the Waukegan Library as a “community gem” that just needs to shine!

Nathan Thebarge
Term of office as Library Trustee: 2021-2024
Current Position:  Secretary
Nathan Thebarge is grateful to make his home in Waukegan with his wife Laura and their three children. He is a librarian at Trinity International University and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserve. In addition to serving as a library trustee, he also serves on the board of his children’s elementary school’s PTO, in various ministries at his church, and as a coach with Waukegan Youth Baseball. The library is “a space for the whole community, where all are welcome and can be encouraged in their growth and development.”
Gerardo Gordillo
Term of office as Library Trustee: 2021-2024
Current Position:  Trustee
Gerardo Gordillo was born, raised, and is currently living in Waukegan. Even though they’re banned from the Facebook group with the same name. Since then they have been finding places to trust, and then try to trust it for a while. This has led them into various galleries, basements, studios, theaters, and ravines. Among pulling everything out of their mentors, they hope their colleagues to pull everything out of them. What started off as booking DIY shows in a small town bakery has led to the discovery that people value community. They believe that the emptiness of Waukegan does us a favor, as it allows us to fill the space with anything we can imagine. They’re an elected official with an interest in arts and culture. As an outsider artist with a degree in art history, they are excited to rejuvenate the downtown area with the happenings that Waukegan wants. The library is a place where one learns who they are, who they were, and who they could become.
Jon Martin
Term of office as Library Trustee: 2022-2025
Current Position: Board President
Jon Martin moved to Waukegan in early 2020 with his now husband, following his promotion to serve a local nonprofit as a district director. He is a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and has moved throughout the Great Lakes Region spending time in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Wisconsin. Growing up, Jon was faced with a reading disability which the diversity of materials available in both the school and public library helped him overcome. While in college, he studied International Studies and Sustainability which helps him appreciate the diversity of people who make Waukegan home.

Currently, he is a Program Manager for the American Library Association headquartered in downtown Chicago. He enjoys meeting librarians from across the country and hearing about their love of the profession and the values of intellectual freedom. Locally, he has a strong friend group of Waukeganites who get together multiple times a week. To him, a library should be a place for lifelong learning that illuminates minds to ideas and ways of life outside of their own experience.

Renetrice R. Pierre
Term of Office as Library Trustee:  2024-2027
Current Position: Trustee

Renetrice Pierre is an ordinary citizen of planet Earth, cooperating with any/all persons seeking to produce Justice (“A system in which no one is mistreated, and those who need help get the most constructive help.” -Mr. Neely Fuller Jr) via universal compensatory logic.  This quest started during her military service in the 2000s, and proceeded while she and her family transplanted to Lake County, IL post the 2005 hurricane. Pierre considers herself an epistemologist, an outspoken contestant of Injustice within all people activities, and still learning.
Cathy Rogers
Term of office as Library Trustee: 2021-2024
Current Position: Trustee
Cathy Worklan Rogers grew up in Waukegan and has spent the majority of her life as a Waukegan resident. She attended Immaculate Conception grade school (along with her 10 siblings) and Holy Child High School. Her education continued at CLC, Barat College, and finally, Columbia College of Missouri where she earned a BA in Business Administration.  For much of her career, she worked in accounting, including 15 years as the controller for a local manufacturing company. Her successful career continued on the administrative side of the mortgage business for the past 20 years, including several years as the executive assistant to the president of the company. She is recently retired and felt that being a trustee at the library would be a way to give back to the community she loves.

Cathy has great memories of the original library in Waukegan where her mother would take her and several siblings to pick out books every week. The three books allowed at the time never lasted the whole week.  Later, she found the library’s great resources invaluable while researching for papers and projects for school. She still loves to read and jumps back and forth between historical fiction and non-fiction related to current social issues.  

She feels the library should be a welcoming place to everyone in our community, and it is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees to see that the needs of all generations and ethnic backgrounds, as well as, those of the staff members are met. She believes the library is an asset to our community and is committed to making it an award-winning jewel in our city.

Rebecca J. Solano
Term of office as Library Trustee: 2021-2024
Current Position: Trustee
Rebecca Solano is the co-founder and owner of Greentown Investments, a local real estate investment company. She is also a licensed real estate agent with Fathom Realty.  Before getting into real estate, Rebecca taught elementary and middle school in her hometown of Waukegan, Illinois for ten years.

Initially, Rebecca and her husband, Mauricio, started “flipping houses” and have purchased, renovated, and resold many homes in Waukegan since 2009. Slowly they began to acquire a portfolio of rental properties and eventually decided it was time to pursue real estate full-time. Rebecca became a licensed agent with Fathom Realty in 2019 and represents buyers and sellers on a day-to-day basis, and considers education – both clients and other real estate investors – the most important part of her role as a REALTOR®.  Rebecca also consults with investors to educate and empower other community members.

Rebecca is a graduate of Bradley University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and Sociology. She earned a Master’s of Science in Education from Northern Illinois University. Rebecca and her husband live in Waukegan, Illinois with their two children, Samuel and Benjamin. She enjoys all four seasons of exploring the outdoors, hiking, and traveling.

The library is important to Rebecca and has always been a wonderful place to visit. When she was a child, she loved going to the Bookmobile when it came to her neighborhood, and now she loves bringing her children to the Early Learning Center. She is an avid reader and is always searching for a new book to immerse herself in, whether for a book club with friends, a business book to help her learn a new strategy or skill, or just a new book someone recommended. She is excited to work as a Trustee on the Waukegan Library Board.

Christa Sanchez
Term of office as Library Trustee: 2023-2026
Current Position: Trustee
Christa Sanchez Bice is an Alumni of Waukegan High School. Her love for Waukegan Public Schools and the Waukegan Community began as a parent volunteer with the Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee. She has since worn multiple hats within the Waukegan Public School focusing on teaching, positive behavior interventions and supports, student success, family and community outreach, as well as college and career readiness. As a trustee of the Waukegan Public Library, she plans to increase family and community engagement within the library.

In 2011, Ms. Sanchez obtained her Bachelors of Science Degree from the University Center of Lake County Southern Illinois University’s Workforce Education and Development Program. In May 2016, she joined the Coalitión Latinos Unidos de Lake County where she was later elected as Vice-President. In the 2018-2019 school year, she began teaching at John Lewis Middle School, formally Jefferson Middle School, in the Dual Language Program. In August of 2019, she earned her Master’s Degree from Northeastern Illinois University in Higher Educational Leadership. Ms. Sanchez is currently working toward her 2nd Master’s in Secondary Education through Grand Canyon University with an expected completion date of December 13, 2023.