Jo Ann Seagren co-chairs the Governance Committee of the Openlands Board of Directors. Jo Ann is an investment advisor with an independent wealth management firm, Geneva Advisors. Before joining forces with Geneva, she was co-owner of Advocate Asset Management. She began her career in wealth management in 2000 with a family office and prior to that, she worked for La Salle Partners (now Jones Lang LaSalle).
Jo Ann graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in business. She is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and the International Women’s Forum. She volunteer teaches in Openlands’ Birds in My Neighborhood® program. She is a co-founder of Smartfarm of Barrington and she is a member of The Fortnightly of Chicago.
Jo Ann traces her love of nature to growing up in California where she hiked, biked and explored the outdoors. “In high school, I invited my sister to go backpacking on the John Muir Trail in the Minaret Wilderness,” she recalls. “It completely changed the way I viewed the world. My own two grown children hike together, too, when they can, and I love that!”
“When I moved to Illinois, I was led to conservation through one of my dear friends who taught me all about the native plants and birds, and then introduced me to Jerry Adelmann in 1991. Jerry gave me the opportunity to help on a planning task force for the Canal Corridor Association. During my years in Barrington, I became a stewardship and restoration volunteer, and then a board member of Citizens for Conservation and President of the Barrington Area Conservation Trust.
“In 2012, I moved my home from Barrington to Chicago and that was my opportunity to become more involved with Openlands. What’s exciting about Openlands is its scope and broad reach. Openlands embraces conservation and land issues, social and urban issues, and especially the people in our region, all together in one package.”
Asked about where she likes to be outside in the Chicago region, Jo Ann thinks for a moment. “I love to go back to Barrington, particularly to hike in the Forest Preserves there. The bird songs, the stillness, the open space… I miss that. In the city, I like to do a lot of cycling really early in the morning. I get out at 6am and ride down the lakefront to Hyde Park and back, as the sun is rising over the Lake Michigan and before the city wakes up. Even from my bike, I can often hear birds singing.”
- B.S., Universty of Southern California, Marshall School of Business, Magna Cum Laude
Civic and non-profit affiliations
- Economic Club of Chicago
- International Women’s Forum
- The Fortnightly of Chicago
- Co-founder of Smartfarms.org