BOLINGBROOK – The unknowing punchline of a playful ruse, longtime Bolingbrook resident Ken McConnaughay attended a Sept. 3 Village Board meeting to support a close friend he thought was being dignified with a Bolingbrook Person of the Year award.
But, when Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar blindsided McConnaughay, 71, by asking him to come up and accept the Man of the Year award, the guest of honor was shocked.
“I had absolutely no clue,” McConnaughay said. “I’m so humbled to receive this award. There are a lot of people who have done truly amazing things in Bolingbrook; it means a lot to stand by their side.”
McConnaughay, a Morgan Stanley Senior Investment Management Consultant, earned his place beside Bolingbrook’s best after nearly four decades of community service and leadership within the village.
A native of Chicago’s south side, McConnaughay graduated with a bachelor’s in education from Illinois State University and then attended Northern Illinois University, receiving a master’s in education, concentrating on business and business management.
Afterward, he taught high school business classes in Lansing, Mich., for two years before moving back to Illinois and attaining an assistant business manager position with the Hinsdale school district.
A combination of personal passion and professionalism, McConnaughay says his goal was to integrate business and finance classes into local school districts.
“I have always had a deep respect for the business community but I also wanted to teach and change lives,” McConnaughay said. “I loved working in an environment in which I could fuse my convictions by combining business and education.”
After marrying his wife, Sue, and having their first child, Mark, McConnaughay accepted a job in 1973 as the village of Bolingbrook’s first Director of Finance. A slight change from his previous employment, McConnaughay relished the opportunity to work alongside a burgeoning community.
“At the time, I was sold on the idea of working in Bolingbrook, a rapidly growing community,” McConnaughay said. “It seemed like a great place to raise a family and I thought it would be a good challenge.”
Settling in Bolingbrook yielded extracurricular opportunity, as well. McConnaughay became the Bolingbrook Jaycees Treasurer and promptly recruited about 20 new members into the organization.
Additionally, McConnaughay has been a Bolingbrook Rotary Club member for two decades, serving two terms as club president and initiating an annual project in which dictionaries are collected and donated to third-graders.
He also is a member of the Bolingbrook Area Chamber of Commerce and sits on the Heart Haven Outreach Board of Directors, and is an active New Life Lutheran Church parishioner.
“I like to aid the community in secular and non-secular ways,” McConnaughay said. “Community service is very important to me. I love helping children and like to live by the Rotarian motto ‘service above self.’”
McConnaughay has been married to Sue for 48 years, and together they have raised three sons, Mark, Brian and Eric, and two grandchildren, Breanna and Zachary.
“None of this would be possible without my wife,” McConnaughay said. “I couldn’t do all these wonderful things in the community without her help.”