Our Executive Director Mark Hellner celebrated his five-year anniversary at CDEL in November. Mark, who had been a CDEL volunteer since 1986, joined the office as the Director of CDEL’s Senior Taxpayer Opportunity Program (STOP) in 2012. At the time, CDEL had just received a three-year grant from the Illinois Attorney General to expand the work that it had already been doing related to the annual Cook County Property Tax Sale. What had been a once-a-year outreach to senior homeowners who appeared on the tax sale list was expanded by Mark into a year-round effort to educate seniors about property tax relief and assist seniors with completing exemption forms and certificates of error when appropriate.
After three years focused on STOP, Mark transitioned into the role of Executive Director. In this role, he has worked to strengthen CDEL’s financial stability and recruited new Governing Board members.
During his five years with the organization, CDEL staff and clients alike have benefited from Mark’s counsel and expertise. Before he joined CDEL, Mark served as the General Counsel of the Illinois Department of Revenue, as a partner at law firm Schwartz & Freeman, and as the principal of his own private law practice. Mark has also taught a State and Local Tax course at the University of Illinois College of Law. Just this year Mark was one of two recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Illinois State University English Department.
CDEL looks forward to many more years with Mark at the helm!