Alumni Spotlight Archive
Barrett Pedersen, Attended Triton from 1978-1982
President, Board of Trustees for the Village of Franklin Park
I graduated from Holy Cross High School and graduated with honors from Elmhurst College, earning a BA in Urban Studies. I received a Juris Doctorate Degree from Chicago Kent College of Law and completed continuing education courses in city planning, economic development, real estate and estate planning. I am a veteran of the United States Air Force and currently a partner in a Franklin Park law practice with concentration in real estate and estate planning law.
I have given back to my community as a public servant. My public service includes: Mayor and Former Trustee, Village of Franklin Park Trustee, Franklin Park Public Library Board District Commissioner, Village of Franklin Park Cable Television Commission Host, Illinois Issues, a cable television public affairs program.
What would you describe as your strong suit?
I believe that I am a fair and open-minded individual who seeks to listen and understand first before I offer my viewpoints and suggestions. I value the input and experience of my staff and seek their advice on important issues that face our village. I always welcome resident input and believe that our village is comprised of many voices - I respect them all and strive to have our residents involved in the decision-making process.
What have been some obstacles you've had to overcome in pursuit of your educational and career goals?
I was born with a learning disability that affected my elementary and high school performance. While attending college and law school, due to my family's financial situation, I had to work 30 hours or more per week while attending classes full time.
What has served as a source of inspiration both in your career and in your life?
I greatly admire President John F. Kennedy because he inspired a generation to commit themselves to public service and to do more than we dreamed we could. His speeches motivated young people to make the world a better place whether it was by going thousands of miles away to join the Peace Corp or just down the road to serve in their own communities. Also, I admire Robert Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. because they encouraged citizen activism and used grassroots campaigns to enact social change.
How has Triton College impacted your life?
The professors at Triton College were awesome. They prepared me for the rigors of Elmhurst College where I graduated with honors. I remember how well they interacted with the students making for a dynamic learning environment.
What advice would you give to someone who would like to pursue a career in your field?
I would advise anyone who wants to run for elected office to become a community volunteer. Get involved in your community and it will be as rewarding for you as it is for the people you work to serve. It will also give you the opportunity to get to know your neighbors and to learn about the issues that impact your community.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy spending time with my family and participating in my sons’ school and recreational activities, including coaching their little league baseball team. I also enjoy camping, fishing and other outdoor activities, and I am keenly interested in American history.
What are your plans for the future?
I hope that I can continue to help my community move forward economically and to make the transition to clean energy quickly. I look forward to watching my two sons play sports for the next 10 years.