Mayor Richard C. Irvin has appointed former Economic Development Chief, Sherman L. Jenkins, to fill his Alderman-at-Large seat on the Aurora City Council.
For more than 20 years, Jenkins served in leadership roles at the Aurora Economic Development Commission and led some of the City’s key economic development initiatives, including the Hollywood Casino and Chicago Premium Outlet Mall. He will serve in the appointed position until 2019, the remainder of Irvin’s term.
"When seeking someone who would fill the Alderman-at-Large seat, I considered experience, character and passion. Sherman Jenkins brings that and much more to the table," said Mayor Irvin. "He knows Aurora like the back of his hand and people know him. More importantly, Sherman’s experience will be key to enhancing our economic development arm of the City, retaining existing companies and attracting new businesses and new revenue streams to Aurora. During his tenure with the City and even now - five years after he retired - Sherman helps to plan and is present at community events all throughout Aurora. We need someone who will continue to represent all of Aurora and certainly, he has done that and will continue to do so as Alderman-at-Large."
Jenkins will be sworn-in during a special meeting of the Aurora City Council on Tuesday, May 16 at 6:00 p.m. at Aurora City Hall, 44 E. Downer Place. Judge Rene Cruz of the 16th Judicial Circuit Court will lead the swearing-in ceremony. A reception will be held immediately following the special meeting at the Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Place. The public is invited to both the special meeting and the reception.
“I would like to thank Mayor Irvin for his confidence in my experience and passion for the continued development of the City of Aurora," said Jenkins. "I will strive to serve the citizens of Aurora to the best of my ability. Greatness awaits us. Let’s get to work.”
In 1991, Sherman began as the Assistant Director of the Aurora Economic Development Commission (AEDC) where his main responsibility was to handle public relations and marketing. In 1999, Sherman was appointed as Executive Director of AEDC where he directed and coordinated the City’s "Company Is Coming" marketing and promotion campaign that prepared businesses and residents for the opening of the Hollywood Casino. He also led a negotiating team to attract the Chicago Premium Outlets here to Aurora. Throughout his tenure, Sherman worked to revitalize Aurora’s mature areas with redevelopment programs that spurred new businesses and attracted firms from outside the City. He retired in December 2012.
Jenkins is currently the President of Aurora-based SLJ Communications, Inc., a digital media company, as well as SLJ Development Corporation, which provides consulting services to for-profit and non-profit organizations throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. He publishes the "Tell Me Something Good" electronic newspaper and is the author of Ted Strong Jr.: The Untold Story of an Original Harlem Globetrotter and Negro Leagues All-Star.
An avid community volunteer, Jenkins is a member of the Ely Chapter of Lambda Alpha International, Rotary Club of Aurora, Past Chairman and Board Emeritus of the Aurora Public Library Foundation, a board member of the Northern Lights Development Corporation and a founding member of the Quad County African American Chamber of Commerce. He is an alum of Northern Illinois University.
He and his wife, Juliette, live on Aurora’s west side. He is the proud father of three adult children and proud grandfather of three grandchildren.