Board Members

Marilyn Johnson


Mayor Johnson graduated from Unity High School and the School of Cosmetology in 1962. She and her husband Kent have lived on Ruehl Street for 50 years, where they raised their three children: Doug, Mary and Susan. Before retiring, Mayor Johnson opened and operated a prairie green house for 28 years. She enjoyed meeting people and selling plants. Mayor Johnson was first elected as Trustee in 1997 before being elected to Mayor in 2013. She has served as chair of the Activities & Events Committee, and has led the volunteer committee in the planning of the annual Forsyth Family Fest. The goal for the event has been to bring the community together each June for two days of festivities.


Bob Gruenewald


Trustee Gruenewald earned a Bachelor degree in Industrial Technology from Southern Illinois University and an MBA degree from Illinois State University. He served in the U.S. Navy for 8 years in the Nuclear Power Program. He has worked for Illinois Power/Ameren in various management positions for over 30 years. Most of that time has been focused on budgeting, scheduling, and project management. He also serves on the Habitat For Humanity Board and is responsible for Habitat home construction. 

He and his wife, Linda, have 4 married children and 11 grandchildren. Two of their children, and their families, live in Forsyth. 

Trustee Gruenewald was elected to his first term as trustee in 2013.

Dave Wendt


Trustee Dave Wendt grew up in Decatur, graduating from Stephen Decatur High School, and earning an Accounting degree from Illinois State University. After living and working in the Chicago suburbs for 4 years, he and his wife, Dawn, moved back to Decatur in 1994 and to Forsyth in 2004. He has been employed by Archer Daniels Midland in various internal audit and accounting positions since 1994, currently as the Director of Commodity Risk Management and Governance for the derivatives accounting and position reporting group. He is also a Certified Management Accountant. A veteran, Dave served in the Illinois Army National Guard for 11 years as a helicopter crew chief. Dave previously served on the volunteer board of Forsyth Youth League for 7 years, in the position of Treasurer for 6 years. Dave and Dawn have a son at Iowa State University and a daughter at the University of Missouri - Columbia. Both are graduates of Maroa-Forsyth High School. Trustee Wendt was elected to his first term as trustee in 2013.

Jim Peck


Trustee Peck was raised here in Forsyth and has lived here his whole life except for 10 years in his 20s when he lived in Decatur.  He has been employed by Decatur Memorial Hospital as the Facilities Manager.  Jim previously served on the Planning and Zoning Commission, past president of the Maroa-Forsyth Board of Education, past president of the Metro Decatur Homebuilders Association, former board member of the Decatur Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, former board member of the United Way, and former admin team member of First Christian Church in Decatur.  Jim and his wife Lisa have three grown children and one grandchild.  Trustee Peck was elected to his first term as trustee in 2015.

Kerry Denison


Kerry Denison was born and raised in Decatur, but moved to Forsyth in June of 2007. Kerry worked for A.E. Staley in Research & Development for 23 years, working primarily in corn syrup research. In 2003, Kerry left Staley and enrolled at Millikin, receiving his Bachelors Degree in Nursing in 2006. Kerry has worked in surgery and critical care nursing, but the bulk of his nursing career to date has been in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery at Carle in Urbana. Kerry and his wife Laura (who is an Electrical Engineer at Ameren) have six grown children and five grandchildren. Kerry is excited about his election to the Village Board as Trustee and hopes to make economic development a priority of his service.

Kerstin Trachtenberg


Kerstin Trachtenberg graduated from St. Louis University with a BA in Communication (Marketing emphasis). She worked in the Marketing department of Liguori Publications for 12 years as a copywriter, publicist, and finally as Trade Marketing, Sales and Public Relations Director. In addition to her role as Village Trustee, Kerstin serves as a Macon County CASA, advocating in court for local children who are abused, neglected or dependent. She and her husband, Jeffrey D. Trachtenberg, MD, have lived in the Village since 2001 with daughters, Grace and Margot. It is her desire to serve the residents of Forsyth with the honesty, values and unwavering work ethic of her late father, Joseph Dolan, who was born and raised here in Central Illinois.  Trustee Trachtenberg was elected to her first term as trustee in 2011 and reelected for her second term in 2015.

Larry Reed


Trustee Reed graduated from MacArthur High School in Decatur, IL. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Illinois State University and a Master of Science degree from Eastern Illinois University, Trustee Reed spent his entire career in the Decatur Public School District having taught 8 years at MacArthur High School before moving to administrative positions in the school district business office. He has two grown sons and a grown daughter. Trustee Reed is now retired and has lived in Forsyth since 2001 with his wife Carol. He was elected to his first term as trustee in 2003, was reelected for a second term in 2007, a third term in 2011, and reelected for a fourth term in 2015.

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