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Late economic development director Herzog to be remembered in tribute

EAST ALTON – Colleagues, friends and family of the late John Herzog will gather this month to honor his legacy and to erect the beginnings of a permanent memorial at the site of one of the largest community development projects he brought to fruition.

herzog johnThe event in honor of Herzog, longtime coordinator of economic development with the Madison County Community Development Department, will take place 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 8, one year to the day that he died.

Herzog, 57, passed away suddenly on Sept. 8, 2016. An economic development professional who devoted more than 30 years to his job, Herzog was a consummate professional and widely respected among peers.

Friends and family will gather in East Alton at a community park surrounded by phase one of Emerald Ridge, an affordable housing community completed in 2015 whose success was due in large part to Herzog’s efforts. For months, individuals have been contributing money toward the development of a permanent memorial – including engraved park benches and a grove of trees – to signify and remember Herzog’s numerous contributions to the region.

“Together with East Alton Mayor Joe Silkwood, we chose the Bill Tite Lions Memorial Park (at Third and Ohio Streets in East Alton) as the perfect site upon which to build a permanent memorial to John,” said Kerry Smith, one of Herzog’s close friends and colleagues. “Emerald Ridge, the 46-unit, single-family residential community that surrounds the park, is but one example of the enduring legacy that John Herzog was instrumental in bringing to fruition through his exceptional work ethic, his ability to forge long-lasting professional relationships and his true friendship that stood the test of time.”

Greg Mudge, a longtime colleague and friend of Herzog’s, said, “John Herzog’s contributions to Madison County’s economic development program during the past 30 years are unparalleled.”

East Alton Mayor Joe Silkwood, a close colleague of Herzog’s, and Smith will speak at the brief ceremony. “It is an honor for the Village of East Alton to be the initial site of a permanent memorial to John,” Silkwood said. “John Herzog had a far-reaching impact upon communities across the Metro East. He contributed heavily to Madison County’s economic and community development success.”

Following the event, colleagues and friends will congregate at the Franchise Bar & Grill, 601 East Edwardsville Road, to further remember Herzog. Beginning at 4:30 p.m. the same day – Sept. 8 – friends and colleagues are also invited to gather at Big Daddy’s Edwardsville, 132 N. Main St. in Edwardsville, to celebrate Herzog’s life and legacy.

Those wishing to contribute to the park development are encouraged to mail their check, payable to the Village of East Alton (in care of Parks and Recreation Director Chris Logan), 615 Third St., East Alton, IL 62024.

For additional information, see the John J. Herzog Memorial Tributes Facebook page, @rememberzog.

PHOTO: Bill Tite Lions Memorial Park at Third and Ohio Streets in East Alton on which a permanent memorial to John Herzog will be built. One of Herzog’s development projects, Emerald Ridge, can be seen in the background.


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