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Greg Bielawski, recipient of an ICMA Distinguished Service Award in 2011, began his local government career in Fort Worth, Texas, as an administrative analyst in 1967. He moved on to the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce in Pennsylvania in 1971; became assistant city manager of Naperville, Illinois, in 1973; and then village manager of Carol Stream, Illinois, in 1980 until his retirement in 2002.

Bielawski holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Wayne State University and a master of arts degree in political science, with an emphasis in municipal administration, from the University of Iowa. He is also a graduate of the Senior Executive Institute at the University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.

Although he is retired, Bielawski is determined to maintain involvement in local government. An ICMA Life Member, Bielawski serves as ICMA senior advisor-Range Rider program coordinator and is a member of the ICMA International Committee. He has served as a Range Rider for Illinois since 2002. A member of the Illinois City/County Management Association (ILCMA), Bielawski served as its president from 1986 to 1987, and received an ILCMA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.

A chance conversation with a city manager in 1964 led Bielawski to pursue a master’s degree, a decision that resulted “in a meaningful and satisfying career as a professional local government manager,” according to Bielawski.

On his involvement in ICMA, Bielawski commented, “My membership in ICMA since 1967 has afforded me networking and professional development resources that served me well while in active service and now allow me to give back to the profession, ICMA, and my state association. I urge all ICMA members in the 23 states where the Range Riders are located to avail themselves of this valuable member benefit. We were all ‘next geners’ in our day, then mid-career managers, and finally seasoned veteran city managers. So, there is a wealth of knowledge and experience that is an e-mail, phone call or text away. . .and there is no charge.”

He went on to say, “And for those members who are contemplating entering the second half of their life and thinking about encore activities, don’t overlook continuing to serve the profession either with your state association or ICMA. I always tell new Range Riders that such service is more rewarding than they might imagine.”