About Tracy

Dana is a resident of Westchester who has spent over 20 years in public service at the local and federal levels. Her wealth of knowledge and experience consists of: housing policy and programming, grants management, infrastructure and economic development, nutrition assistance policy and programming, labor relations, and union members’ rights.

Currently, she works for the federal government in the environmental protection and health and safety fields. Dana is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a focus on Public Administration. She also earned a master’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations. Rounding out her education, with a technical certificate from Northwestern University in Information Systems Project Management.

A proud mother of her two teenage boys and her very active five-year old dog, Willow. Dana’s hobbies include cooking and traveling, and taking long walks or runs in the nearby forest preserves.

Travis is a staunch supporter of entrepreneurship and is a retired Mortgage Broker where he managed and operated a budget of over $5,000,000. As a 33 year resident of Westchester, Travis and his wife, Dr. Anita, have been active supporters of local school and community organizations in the western corridor of Cook County.

Currently, Travis is serving on several Boards: Mission Director for North America of Broadview – Board Member, Multimedia Director, and Orchestra Member. As Missions Director he has led mission teams to every coast in the United States. In addition, he previously served as the President of Our Lady of the West Side School Board. Travis has also volunteered for Kids in Clubs benefiting disadvantaged youth wanting to participate in golf.

Travis and Dr. Anita are proud parents and grandparents to their two daughters and four grandchildren. He is a graduate of Wiley college where he earned his Bachelor Degree in HIstory and Music.

A dedicated member of the community, Travis wants to preserve our small town charm while balancing our anticipated growth. He is a strong believer in doing what is needed to help our community thrive. He is ready to fight for the future of all residents. He looks forward to the future growth of the Village of Westchester and being a part of its continued efforts.

Vanessa Sanchez is an alum of the University of Illinois-Champaign Urbana where she graduated with a degree in Sociology. Vanessa’s passion for people has resulted in her having an impact on thousands of lives which has been a key driver in her nonprofit management experience, which tallies well over 12 years.

Currently, she serves as the Community Advocacy Director at LiftUp Communities in Chicago.

In this role, she connects working families with resources that assist them in creating stability in their lives. Previously, her work included providing educational resources as a liaison to help support families in an effort to enhance their knowledge base. She facilitated programs and provided access to conversations for teens and adults around topics such as: mental health, social emotional learning, life skills development, and financial literacy.

Vanessa is dedicated to educating the masses on public health. She strongly believes in building up social components of wellness, quality of life, and access to a healthy lifestyle for all. For Vanessa, Seeing people’s strengths and creating pathways through sustainable action plans which strengthens families and communities at large is a passion of hers that will never fade.

Having worked at the Iocal, national, and international levels, Vanessa’s knowledge base has grown tremendously through studying communities, government, and the foundational needs of support people need. With these insights and ideas, she has identified various ways to reduce gaps among marginalized communities and populations.

Vanessa’s experience makes her an excellent addition to the team. Having worked on additional social causes such as violence prevention, substance abuse prevention, and teen pregnancy prevention has taught her how to be proactive. Being proactive on issues and having early and positive interventions in place help reduce the amount of issues that may actually arise. Her ability to problem solve is profound and her ability to listen has served her well and will serve the Village of Westchester in a positive way.

Vanessa is dedicated to this call to action and is ready to empower the residents of Westchester and use her purpose-driven approach and creative thinking abilities to have a positive impact on the community.

Outside of work, Vanessa enjoys spending time with her family, which includes extended family-members and close friends. She loves to travel, explore beaches, cultures and cuisines of the world. She coaches high school softball and participates in adult recreation teams to have fun and stay active.

Michael has over 22 years of experience in ministry, pastoral care, and community service. Currently serving as Senior Pastor of True Freedom Ministries in Oak Park, Michael is ecstatic to run for the position of Trustee in the Village of Westchester.

He and his family are no strangers to Westchester as they have been residents for over 22 years. Fond memories of his children playing at Gladstone Park and riding their bicycles around town fill his spirit.

Pastor Wright has been married to his lovely wife Tiffany Wright for 28 years and believes with every fiber in his being that Tiffany is a unique lady that has been the perfect partner in his life. Michael also has three marvelous sons: Michael, a Senior at Trinity Christian College, Donovan, a sophomore at Moody Bible Institute, and Phazione, an early graduate of Cornell University, who also holds a Master’s degree from Indiana State University in Sports Management.

Michael’s hands-on ministry and evangelism spans across two decades and four continents. His dedication and faithfulness to various church communities across the city and surrounding areas of Chicago has made a positive impact on his life but most importantly the lives of others. From being a Keynote Speaker for non-profit organizations to sharing the Good News when he can, Michael is a willing vessel, who is eager to serve the Village of Westchester.

His educational journey began when he graduated from Proviso West high school. After that Michael attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA. and continued to seek more knowledge by attending Progressive School of Ministry and engaging in theological studies at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. He also completed master- level Religious Studies coursework and research at Harvard University.

All in all, Michael Wright is an excellent choice for Trustee in Westchester and is ready to get to work for the Village of Westchester!

Personal Background

Tracy Jennings, a 27-year resident of Westchester. My beautiful wife of almost 30 years and I are the proud parents of two adult children whom we raised, right here, in Westchester. Our children matriculated through all three Westchester Public elementary Schools and graduated high school from Nazareth Academy. Our son earned his MBA from Texas Christian University and is a financial analyst and realtor. Our daughter is a barred attorney, an IT Manager, runs a small consultant business, and a mom to our first (& only) grandchild.

In a nutshell, I am a family-oriented, process-driven public servant. As an Army Veteran, a graduate of Northern Illinois University, a Triton College Board Trustee, a Village of Westchester Board Trustee, a State of Illinois Senior Public Service Administrator, a real estate entrepreneur, and the chief operator of a non-profit religious organization for nearly 20 years, I value transparency, honesty, and resident-lead community involvement. Collectively, I have acquired over thirty years of managerial experience in non-profit, for-profit, and governmental organizations, where I have implemented strategic changes through process overhaul. In other words, I’m known for delivering order into chaotic environments.

Tracy Jennings

Military Service

Tracy’s sense of civic duty led him to join the United States Army shortly after graduating from high school. His permanent party duty station was the 101st Airborne Division Fort Campbell, KY. Tracy was assigned to the 5th of the 101st Aviation Unit, where he was a Petroleum Supply Specialist and served 3 years active duty from 1986-1989.

While on active duty, being deployed to Davis Airfield, Oklahoma and Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, the Secretary of the Army awarded Tracy the Army Achievement Medal. This honor was awarded to Private First-Class Tracy Jennings for his ability to motivate and lead within the 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment of the United States Army.

Corporate Sector

Upon leaving active military duty, Tracy transitioned into the corporate sector. There, Tracy was extremely successful, working his way through two Fortune 500 companies into middle management. Over his 13-year career in the telecommunication industry, he was a two-time recipient of Tellabs Manager of The Year Award and credited with reviving a failing cable television system in the western suburbs of Chicago when he worked for Telecommunication Incorporated.

Entrepreneurship Experience

Passionate about being a self-starter and innovator, Tracy took a leap of faith. In 2003, he left a lucrative corporate organization and started his own real estate appraisal company, specializing in single-family dwellings and multi-unit buildings. Between 2003-2009, he appraised thousands of residential properties in Northern Illinois and the Chicagoland area. Tracy’s knowledge and ability to identify key factors that determine property value will not only help communities maximize the full potential of their properties but help enhance the quality of living within their communities.

Man of Faith

Tracy credits his success and who he is as a person to many things. However, he recognizes that he would not be where he is or who he is without being a man of great spiritual faith. Tracy was ordained as a minister in 2001. In 2003, he became the founding Pastor of Total Christian Life Ministry, a non-denominational, Christian faith-based church located in Joliet, Illinois. In addition, Tracy greatly credits his father, the late Pastor U.T. Jennings who was also a founding Pastor, for guiding his early spiritual life and setting a first-class example of what a true servant leader should be.

Community Service

Upon the purchase of their church building in the Fall of 2008, Tracy took a thorough assessment of the overall condition of the community and found it lacking in many essential services. Shortly thereafter, Tracy spoke to the Township Supervisor about the lack of services in the church’s immediate area. After months of meetings, it was determined by township officials that this particular area had always been that way and nothing would be changed.

A firm believer that even one person can make a difference, Tracy led a protest against Joliet Township in the Spring of 2009. The theme was “Equal Treatment for All in Joliet Township.” The protest was a resounding success!

Some example of changes put in place were:

  • 22 stop signs being installed
  • five uninhabitable homes demolished
  • eight street signs installed
  • approval of the bi-annual road stripping on Patterson Road
  • illegal signs on residential properties removed
  • landscaping for one of the oldest cemeteries in the Joliet area, the Zarley Cemetery.

In addition, Tracy has conducted other community projects in Westchester and various parts of the Illinois 7th Congressional District.

Tracy is a man of action and will continue to challenge the status quo to help enhance the lives of those around him.

Congressional Experience

Tracy submitted his candidacy to serve as Congressman of the Illinois 7th Congressional District in January 2019. He and his team ran a great campaign, overcoming obstacles that came about due to COVID-19 and running as an Independent candidate.

While the election results may not have turned out in his favor, Tracy and his team were happy to have made an impact, by hosting various conversations throughout the district, cleaning up parks, and supporting businesses that were struggling through the height of the pandemic.

Statistically, Tracy received well over 19,000 votes, the most EVER by an Independent candidate. He was also able to raise more than $20,000 in campaign funds without the assistance of political action committees. All of this was done with six people and roughly 20 total volunteers.

Tracy’s experience running a campaign and understanding the needs of the Illinois 7th Congressional District will be a value-add to the Village of Westchester. He has connections to resources that can and will take this town to the next level.

Working with the State

After taking a brief pause working for the state during his Congressional run, Tracy has returned to the state office serving as a Senior Public Administrator for the Department of Children and Family Services Legal Division. From 2013 to present day, Tracy has worked diligently to get to where he is with the State of Illinois and has held the title of a PSA in three state agencies: The Department of Human Services, The Department of Children and Family Services Legal Division, and The Department of Employment Security.

In the Department of Human Services, his staff aided clients through their application process for public assistance programs. While serving in the Department of Children and Family Services Legal Division, he was responsible for maintaining 52 service providers contracts with the State of Illinois that had an annual value of 500 million dollars. Tracy’s last assignment was with the Department of Employment Security. As the Local Office Manager for the largest call center in the State of Illinois, he was responsible for a staff of 84 union state employees who assisted claimants with filing for unemployment benefits.