Chicago, Illinois, September 18, 2019 – The Chicago City Council unanimously approved Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s appointment of Jose M. Muñoz, VP of External Affairs and CMO of Casa Central, as a Commissioner of the Chicago Park District at its September 18, 2019 meeting. As Commissioner, Muñoz will have a fiduciary responsibility to govern and vote on all matters related to the Park District. Muñoz was selected to fill a vacant seat previously occupied by Jesse Ruiz, who is now a Deputy Governor for the State of Illinois.
“As a lifelong resident of the city of Chicago it is an honor to have the opportunity to serve our city in this capacity,” said Jose M Muñoz. “I am grateful to Mayor Lori Lightfoot for having the confidence in me to serve in this role and I look forward to doing my part to ensure that our city is investing its resources equitably across all communities in Chicago.”
Muñoz’s appointment was one of several key appointments to boards and commissions Mayor Lightfoot made in her first 100 days in office, the full list is attached below.
“These diverse arrays of appointees are both experts in their fields and leaders in their communities,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Through their positions, they will ensure Chicago holds to its mission of expanding opportunities for residents, providing equitable services for families, and building a city that is safer, fairer, and more prosperous for all Chicagoans.”
Muñoz is a lifelong resident of Chicago who grew up in the Back of the Yards neighborhood and currently lives in Gage Park. He joined Casa Central in April of 2017, to help lead Casa Central’s sustainability and growth strategy. Prior to joining Casa Central Muñoz had designed and led social impact initiatives on health, education, housing, immigration, civic engagement and violence prevention, including #IncreaseThePeace a citywide initiative to engage youth in violence prevention efforts in Chicago. He also served in the Illinois Governor’s Office as Chief Marketing Officer for the state’s Health Insurance Marketplace and as Deputy Commissioner for the City of Chicago’s Department of Public Health.
“Jose Muñoz is an outstanding community leader with a tremendous record of impact in the government, business, and non-profit sectors. Casa Central is proud to share his expertise with the residents of Chicago. We commend Mayor Lightfoot for this exceptional appointment,” said Martin R. Castro, Interim CEO of Casa Central.
About the Chicago Park District
The Chicago Park District owns more than 8,800 acres of green space, making it the largest municipal park manager in the nation. The Chicago Park District’s more than 600 parks offer thousands of sports and physical activities as well as cultural and environmental programs for youth, adults, and seniors. The Chicago Park District is also responsible for 28 indoor pools, 50 outdoor pools, and 26 miles of lakefront including 23 swimming beaches plus one inland beach. From canoeing to soccer fields to arts and crafts, there is never a shortage of activities to participate in Chicago’s parks.
About Casa Central
Casa Central is one of the largest Hispanic social service agencies in the Midwest. Since 1954, Casa Central has delivered evidenced based, award winning programming in response to the needs of the Hispanic community, offering different programs for children, older adults and families in general. Through comprehensive, family-centered programming, Casa Central is the conduit by which thousands of individuals build hope for the future while equipping themselves to achieve a sustainable, higher quality of life to the benefit of self, family, community and society.
List of appointments made by Mayor Lori Lightfoot:
Appointed to the Chicago Plan Commission
• Teresa Córdova (Chair), Director of the Great Cities Institute (GCI), University of
Illinois at Chicago.
• Andre Brumfield, Principal of Urban Strategies & Design Leader, Gensler
• Deborah Moore, Director of Neighborhood Strategy and Planning, Neighborhood
Housing Services of Chicago
• Guacolda Reyes, Vice President of Real Estate Development, Bickerdike
Appointed to the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals
• Zurich Esposito, Executive Vice President, American Institute of Architects Chicago
• Jolene Saul, Vice President of Development, Brinshore Development
• Timothy Knudsen, Attorney, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
• James Rudyk, Executive Director, Northwest Side Housing Center
Appointed to Chicago Public Library Board of Directors
• Christopher Valenti, Founder, Valenti Interests, LLC (reappointment)
• Jodi Block, Creator and Former Owner, Chicago in Paradise Bookstore
Appointed to City Colleges of Chicago Board of Trustees
• Darrel Williams, Managing Partner, Loop Capital Principal Investments, LLC
• Karen Kent, President, UNITE HERE Local 1 (reappointment)
Appointed to Chicago Police Board
• Paula Wolff, Director, Illinois Justice Project (reappointment)
• John O’Malley, Director of Corporate Security, William Blair & Co (reappointment)
• Matthew Crowl, Partner, Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP
Appointment to the Chicago Park District Board
• Jose M Muñoz, Vice President of External Affairs and Chief Marketing Officer, Casa Central