Ann Tennes specializes in strategic local government communications and community engagement, having served as Director of Marketing and Communications for the Village of Skokie, Illinois for nearly 25 years. She has worked with elected officials, community groups, appointed boards and commissions, business leaders, fellow governments and peers with a track record of leadership, innovation and consensus-building. She is passionate about the importance of inclusive community engagement and best practices in local government communications.

As a Vice-President of GovHR USA, Tennes brings extensive experience in project management, broad-based community engagement, creative social media, crisis and public safety communications, media relations, economic development, targeted outreach to diverse constituencies, land use and more. Now a Skokie resident, she previously lived in Park Ridge, Illinois where she served as Zoning Board of Appeals Chairperson for eight years. Her experience extends to sustainability and environmental initiatives, having been the Assistant Executive Director of the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County prior to her position in Skokie.

Tennes has created and conducted numerous community engagement initiatives. Recently, she led a community review of the Skokie Police Department Use of Force Policy that involved education, active listening and consensus building during a nearly year-long series of monthly meetings with representatives of 16 diverse community groups and members of the Skokie Police Department. Tennes also directed a branding campaign for Skokie that spanned more than a decade and included cooperative marketing with the CTA. Her ability to create comprehensive communications initiatives and forge partnerships to benefit and strengthen the community were the cornerstones of her work in Skokie. Having also served for 12 years on the board of Oakton College, Tennes is well-versed in organizational and board dynamics, intergovernmental cooperation and best practices in local government and organizational administration.


  • Master of Public Administration, with honors, Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois
  • Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications, Columbia College, Chicago, Illinois


  • Instructor: Northern Illinois University Center for Governmental Studies Civic Leadership Academy—courses include Government Communications 101, Crisis Communications, Media Relations, Community Engagement and Branding
  • Conference Speaker: City-County Communications and Marketing Association National Conference—sessions include Strategic Media Relations, Public Safety Communications, Community Surveys
  • Co-Author: American Public Works Association Chicago Metro Region First Quarter 2023 Newsletter, Resident Storm Water Task Force Assists with Developing Solutions
  • Co-Author: American Public Works Association Reporter Magazine, April 2013, The New Yellow Line Station in Downtown Skokie


34 Years of Local Government Leadership and Management
  • Director of Marketing and Communications, Village of Skokie, Illinois 1998-2023
  • Assistant Executive Director, Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County, Wheeling, Illinois 1992-1998
  • Executive Director, Keep Des Plaines Beautiful, Inc., Des Plaines, Illinois 1989-1992


  • Trustee, Oakton College, 2007 to 2019; Board Chairperson from 2011-2012, 2016-2017
  • Chicago’s North Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau, founding Board Member and Executive/Finance Committee Member, 2002-2023
  • Northwest Municipal Conference Local Government Communications Committee, Founding Member, 1999-2023; Committee Chairperson, 2001-2002, 2014-2016
  • City of Park Ridge Zoning Board of Appeals, Commissioner 1997 to 2002; Chairperson, 2002 to 2010
  • Skokie Festival of Cultures, Board and Executive Committee Member, 2001-2023
  • Skokie Chamber of Commerce Marketing Task Force, Chairperson, 2018
  • Legacy Project, Member and Communications Committee Member, 2022-Present
  • Skokie Community Foundation, Vice-Chairperson, 2019 to Present
  • North Shore Center for the Performing in Arts Foundation, Vice-Chairperson, 2014-Present
  • Skokie Tennis Association, Founder and Vice-President, 2015 to Present
  • Skokie Valley Kiwanis Club Member, 2016-Present