Geneva, Illinois , United States
|| August 26, 1964
Sep 10, 2007 12:07am
|Info||Geneva Mayor & University Official |
Kevin was born August 26, 1964 in Illinois and lived with his family in Arlington Heights until 1974. His family then moved to Geneva, Illinois, where his parents, John and Ann Burns, raised him, his brothers John and Brian and his sister Colleen.
Kevin and Terry Emma met on the first day of school during first-period Spanish class at Geneva High School. Throughout his career at GHS, Kevin participated in baseball, golf and football, the student newspaper, and student government and theatre productions.
Kevin and Terry attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, where Kevin served as assistant resident director, was elected to the student council, and hosted a campus radio show. In October 1986, Kevin and Terry were crowned Augustana’s Homecoming Vi-King and Vi-Queen. That weekend, Kevin proposed to Terry on stage in front of the student body.
In 1986, Kevin graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and Speech Communications, Terry with a B.A. in Elementary Education and Language Arts.
Kevin and Terry live in Geneva, Illinois with their three daughters: Emma, 17; Grace, 15; and Florence, 13.
Public service is a common thread in the Burns and Emma families. Terry’s great-grandfather, Dewitt Clinton Cregier, Mayor of Chicago, 1889-1891, influenced the U. S. Congress to select Chicago as host city for the 1893 Columbian World Exposition.
In that family tradition, Kevin and Terry’s parents have further inspired them to become active in public service. When Kevin was elected to the Library Board in 1989 he was named a Delegate to the White House Council on Libraries. In 1994 he was appointed to the Commission on Historic Preservation and then to the Plan Commission in 1995. In 1997 Kevin was elected Alderman and was appointed by Jim Edgar to serve on the Illinois Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports. In 2001, Kevin successfully ran for Mayor, receiving 72% of the vote. In 2005, he ran again, unopposed.
Kevin and Terry serve on many committees and boards and help with fundraising events in which Kevin often serves as auctioneer. These organizations are local, regional and national, including:
* The Association for Individual Development
* Delnor-Community Healthcare Foundation
* Community Chest
* The Geneva History Center
* Lazarus House
* Living Well Cancer Center
* Mid-Valley Neighborhood Association
* Paul Ruby/Michael J. Fox Foundation
* River Park
* Tri-City Health Partnership
Kevin has been the “Voice of the Vikings” since 1994 for football, soccer and basketball games at Geneva High School and has served as public-address announcer for the Illinois High School Association Class AA State Baseball Tournaments.
A fundraising professional for twenty-one years, Kevin has served some of America’s most prestigious not-for-profit organizations: the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Paramount Arts Center, U.S. Olympic Committee, Rush-Copley Medical Center, USA Equestrian and Midwestern University.
Kevin’s numerous awards include:
“Finest Under 40,” Augustana College, 2002
“Distinguished Contributor,” Waubonsee Community College, 2003
“Citizen of the Year,” Masonic Lodge, 2007
“Community Appreciation Award,” American Legion Post 75, 2007.
Terry Burns has served as the Student Activities Director and Public Relations Coordinator at Geneva Community High School since 2001.
With strong and effective leadership, Kevin has fulfilled every campaign promise. He has enhanced relationships with local, state and federal officials and has elevated historic downtown Geneva to become a premiere shopping, dining and tourist destination. Kevin initiated a state-of-the-art drinking-water facility and a 30-megawatt generating facility to provide a long-term, stable and affordable energy supply.
He led efforts to build public-safety facilities and established the Natural Resource Commission to address environmental issues.
Kevin has shared his experience and insight about municipal government with graduate level public-administration students at Northern Illinois University. He initiated innovative programs to engage young citizens with “Art for All at City Hall,” the Student Government Program “Mayor for a Day,” “Cool Ride to School,” and student internships.
During Kevin’s administration, the city’s tax rate has been reduced almost 20%.
And, in the spirit of giving credit where credit is due, Kevin continues to acknowledge the value of the city council members, professional staff, and volunteers.