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Meet Desiree

On April 6, 2021, the residents of Olympia Fields will vote for a new Village President to represent their village, located in the south suburbs of Illinois. Desireé Watkins, who has lived in Olympia Fields for over five years, and the Southland community for more than twenty years is a long time Business Owner, a Homeowners Association active member and current Olympia Fields Village Trustee – and is hoping that the residents of Olympia Fields will select her.

Desireé got involved in government to make a difference and because of her results as Trustee she has again been urged to run for a higher position. “It didn’t take long for me to see the challenges that we are facing as a village but more importantly the opportunities that are available” she says, running under the slogan of "I'm not running for office, I'm running for you".  Desireé donated her salary back to the Village in her first year as Trustee.

Desireé's current role as well as past experiences make her an excellent candidate for the Mayoral position. She has long held a vision of "people first" when working in civic positions and wants to be the person to create positive and deliberate change in her community. She says, “I believe in government working for the people. Reputation and relationships are key to bringing the needed change. It's not personal, this is "business", and we need to be better prepared and have a comprehensive plan for the future.”

Desireé believes that her civic involvement is important to improve communities – particularly at a local level.  She states, “As a healthcare administrator for over 20 years, I have seen first-hand how healthcare disparities can adversely affect a community. As COVID-19 numbers continue to increase, I have a plan for more testing and implementation of safety measures for our residents. As Mayor, I plan to fight to bring more economic development to our community by working with Franciscan Hospital and building upon my already personal relationships in the medical community. My husband, Neil L. Watkins MD is a board-certified Ophthalmologist and has been in private practice for almost 30 years.  My plan also includes working with State Representatives to ensure that Olympia Fields is recieving all state funding that is available to us.”

Desireé began her career in Accounting working at General Motors. She has also worked for companies such as Accountants on Call and Kelly Services Inc. where she has been very instrumental in their growth on a national scale. While working at Kelly Financial Group, she managed several offices, including hundreds of employees and a budget of over $20 Million dollars. She currently acts as Chief Financial Officer, overseeing the finances and operations of her family business of 30 years, 20/20 Eye Specialists along with her husband where she has been able to increase the company’s bottom line by over $1 Million in just a few short years. In addition, she is currently on the Board of Trustees for DuSable Museum, a Board Member of United Way South-Southwest Suburban Region, and the former Treasurer of the Trails of Olympia Fields Homeowner’s Association, in addition to an Alumni of Jack & Jill of America Inc. She is also an Executive Board member of the Windy City (IL) Chapter of Links, Incorporated, an active member of the National Circle-Lets, Inc. and National Smart Set, Inc.

“If I’m chosen for Mayor I will fight for tax fairness to help families stay in their homes by working with our Cook County Assessor, and I will help market Olympia Fields to bring high end businesses and jobs to our community ultimately resulting in new families moving here. I will also work hand-in-hand with the school board and superintendent to ensure that our children are getting the best education.” Desiree believes in a transparent and unified leadership and wants the communities help to make that happen. She says, “I cannot do this alone; I NEED YOU my constituents to help and support me! I am confident Together We Can Make a Difference!”

Desireé graduated from the University of Detroit-Mercy with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting and is currently pursuing a Masters in Liberal Arts from Harvard University. In addition to being married to Dr. Neil L. Watkins MD, they share one son, Christian.

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