The airport conference room will be dedicated to the late mayor of Prospect Heights


The boardroom at Chicago’s Executive Airport, where the late Prospect Heights Mayor Nick Helmer previously served as his city’s representative on the board for 14 years, will be dedicated to his name during the meeting of the board on April 20.

A love of aviation led Helmer to serve on the airport’s board of directors before his successful bid for mayor in 2011.

Since 1986, Chicago Executive Airport has been jointly owned by the two municipalities in which it is located, Prospect Heights and Wheeling.

More than halfway through his third term as mayor, Helmer died Jan. 26 at the age of 79, after a brief hospitalization for complications from a fall during an ice storm.

If and when the Chicago Executive Airport’s main building is replaced, the naming honor would carry over to the new facility’s boardroom, Executive Director Jeffrey Miller said.

“He was such a believer in new building,” Miller said of Helmer.

The board meeting at which the groundbreaking ceremony will take place is scheduled for April 20 at 6 p.m. at 1020 S. Plant Road in Wheeling.

Like all other meetings, it will be open to the public. But specific invitations are being sent to Helmer’s family, Prospect Heights aldermen and Wheeling administrators, Miller said.


Although it has become common for airports to name their meeting rooms after someone important to their history, Helmer’s name will not replace anyone else’s, Miller added.

At Helmer’s funeral in early February, his son Nick Jr. explained that his father was born into a middle-class family in Yugoslavia in September 1942, but spent most of his preschool years in a communist detention camp there. low.

The family fled to America after seeking help from relatives in Austria, young Helmer said. The first bar of chocolate his father had was given to him by an American serviceman during this passage, he added.

The future mayor will later interrupt his university studies to spend three years in the American army, as a journalist, photographer and radio host for the Center region of France and will become a true Francophile, said his son.

By profession, Helmer was a Certified Property Manager and Licensed Real Estate Broker. He had been a director of Inland Bank, his main purpose being the marketing of the bank’s property services.

Matthew Dolick, alderman for the 5th Ward of Prospect Heights, was named interim mayor until April 2023, when he said he intended to run again for 5th Ward rather than that of mayor.

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