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Thank you, John Sonderegger

Updated: Jun 6

John Sonderegger has taken on a new role as our very first Board Member Emeritus.

After 15 years of dedicated leadership and service, John Sonderegger retired from the FamilyForward Board of Directors at the end of December 2022. John has contributed greatly to our organization’s direction and development since he joined the board in 2007.

Over the years Sonderegger has lent his talents for writing, planning, fundraising and problem solving to a variety of committees and projects. His generosity and serving spirit have been an example to his friends, neighbors and all with whom he has interacted on behalf of FamilyForward. “This organization, and the community at large, have truly benefited from John’s long-term, committed service,” according to Tim Wayman, board chair. “Additionally, I have always personally appreciated his straightforwardness, critical thinking and sense of humor.”

As he prepares to step away, Sonderegger shares some reflections, or “thoughts from the fence post,” as he calls them. These musings contain his observations, a few words of wisdom and even a little advice:


In many facets of my life, observing what is going on around me is a favorite pastime of mine. It is as if I am sitting on a fence post watching events unfold. Sometimes those observations are from a distance, other times from up close. And equally importantly, I have been able to offer suggestions and advice and impressions on the scene evolving, always seeking to be constructive in those thoughts.

Serving on the board of FamilyForward for a passel of years, I have had the opportunity to be nearer to the action, to watch very talented associates perform almost miraculously in guiding souls from at times the depth of despair into new life. I guess, in a way, my time on the board has been one of reflection, of advising, of supporting the organization and those more involved in the doing that makes possible achievement of its mission. Once in a while, I even challenge fellow board members and staff on why we are doing certain things. Equally important, such thoughts are viewed positively.

Greatly, I admire fellow board members for their dedication that makes the organization tick so successfully at first in Arlington Heights, then also in Palatine, and now in other nearby suburbs.

I wish I could see the future, but it is over the horizon. Assuredly, it will bring new challenges to FamilyForward, to its mission, to its outstanding supporters, to those it serves. Be nimble. Be not afraid to adapt to meet those challenges.

I will continue to root from the sidelines.


Fortunately for us all, Sonderegger accepted the invitation to serve as our very first Board Member Emeritus — an ambassador for FamilyForward and a resource when wisdom is needed. Thank you, John!


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