By Jim Schmiedeskamp
Starting with this newsletter issue, I will be profiling various members of the Oak Brook TU Chapter as a way to for our membership to get to know each other better. With the election of our 2019 Officers at our January 16 annual meeting, I thought I’d start with our new President—Willie Beshire.
Willie became involved in Oak Brook TU after retiring as a teacher at Wheaton Warrenville South High School where he taught various math courses for 10 years. Teaching became a second career after working for 27 years as a management consultant for two global consulting firms, including Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting). His last consulting location was Australia where he worked for nine years.
Willie’s first OBTU volunteer role was as an Illinois TU Council Summer Youth Camp mentor in 2014 which grew into the Camp Director position in 2015. He has been the Camp Director through 2018. With his new responsibilities as Chapter President, Willie has turned over the Camp Director reins to Dan LaFave. As Camp Director, Willie has traveled the Chicago area visiting other TU chapters, attending various fishing and outdoor shows, and staffing special year-round events at Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops promoting the camp and its educational benefits for 13-18 young men and women. Besides the Illinois TU Council Camp Director position, Willie became more involved in the OBTU Chapter overseeing our membership meeting content as the Meeting Programs Committee Chairman in 2016. He became the chapter’s Vice President in 2017, a role he served through the end of 2018.
Like many OBTU volunteers, getting involved has provided many post-career benefits. “My experience at OBTU has exceeded my own expectations in many ways,” says Willie. “I look forward to continue developing new friendships and working with the OBTU team to optimize our collective experience. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any ideas for improving our chapter. Also, let me know if you would like to get more involved.”
Hometown: Medina, Ohio
Current home: Wheaton, IL
How long as a TU member: 7 years
Introduction to fly fishing: About 15 years ago by friends who were leading the Fly Fishing Field Studies course at the College of DuPage (COD). Later became an “Adjunct Instructor” assisting with the COD program.
Favorite “fishing hole”: Too many to count! Any good trout stream in the Driftless Area. The Muskegon River is a great place to chase steelhead. And the Au Sable River, the home of the IL Youth Camp and birth place of TU, is a sentimental favorite.