The Dole Announces New Leadership Team

Crystal Lake, IL, September 22, 2021 – The Lakeside Legacy Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Jody Fields and Erin McElroy as the new leadership team to guide The Dole forward and into the future. Both Fields and McElroy will report directly to the LLF Board President and work collaboratively with the Board to achieve the strategic vision set by the Board for The Dole.

Jody Fields, who has held the position of Business and Accounting Manager for the past 2 years, will assume the leadership role of Business & Finance Manager for The Dole. Her primary focus will be the financial management of The Dole, overseeing all business and campus issues at The Dole and interactively overseeing the thriving resident partner community.

New to the Dole team will be Erin McElroy, who will assume the newly created leadership role as Relations & Development Manager, effective 09/06/2021. Erin’s primary focus within the revisioned structure will be in community relations, corporate development, Cornerstone events, marketing and the Listening Room.

The Board’s decision to bring Erin McElroy to the Dole Team as one of the two leadership prongs was strongly influenced by the fact that Erin is a dynamic leader, well known throughout Crystal Lake and the surrounding communities for her commitment to The Dole, community vitality, and her steadfast patronage of all things local. Erin is an alumna of Leadership Greater McHenry County, who recognized her in 2020 as Alumna of the Year. She has also been recognized by Shaw Media in the Best Under 40 campaign, by the Crystal Lake Chamber with the Presidential Award of Excellence and by the Downtown/Mainstreet organization as a 2020 Diamond in the Rough Award recipient.

“We are thrilled to have Erin join The Dole team as we move to our 20th year as a foundation,” remarked Patti Lutz, President of the LLF Board. “Erin is energetic, collaborative and strategic with a proven track record of mission driven accomplishment.”

Long-time team members Dennis Barsasz, Building and Grounds Manager, and Patty Bell, Marketing Coordinator, will remain in their current positions at The Dole. Upon joining The Dole team, McElroy states “It’s with great honor that I join The Dole team. I look forward to collaborating with the team and the LLF Board of Directors. It is with profound respect for the mission and vision of the Foundation that I join The Dole team in this reimagined role and structure”. McElroy is excited to engage the community to bring resources to The Dole and looks forward to meeting with neighbors, the business community and those interested in investing in the property to have it prosper and thrive. The next chapter for the Dole is bright and includes expansion of the team to include a Relationships and Program Coordinator that will support the cornerstone events, volunteer recruitment and retention, development and marketing.

“I love The Dole and I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished here over the last 2 years, despite the difficulties of the pandemic. I absolutely love our community of Resident Artists, and I’m just thrilled that we have filled the space with such a diverse and creative group of people. I welcome Erin to the team and can’t wait to see what she will do here. We have an exciting future ahead of us, “remarked Fields.

Also new to the dynamic Dole team, the LLF Board of Directors announces the appointment of Jayson Hemphill in July of 2021 as the Listening Room Manager. Hemphill’s primary focus is the relaunching of The Listening Room as a venue and “THE spot to be seen” to experience a welcoming, sophisticated cozy atmosphere as a backdrop for incredible live music to enjoy on a weekend evening.

“J” comes to The Dole with a wealth of experience, including leading and coordinating performances, extensive experience as a production audio technician and is himself an accomplished keyboard artist and founding member of The Elevate Project Band. Pointing to the grand relaunching, Patti Lutz states, “As an organization, we know the value and tremendous asset that we have in The Listening Room. As a gift to the Foundation by a very generous group of people, this space is primed to be a vibrant venue for the community to enjoy. We intend to enhance what was established in 2012 and build upon that vision to provide a space for people to gather and enjoy great music together”.


In 2022 The Dole will celebrate the 20-year milestone as it moves forward to the next chapter for the property and its reimagined strategic vision for the organization The Dole is thankful to emerge from the pandemic with a bright outlook and a strong financial foundation. According to Board Vice President Jay LeCoque “While 2020 impacted so many organizations, we’re very proud of the efforts made by the Board, The Dole team and the community for positioning this gem which is The Dole for our next chapter NOW. The neighbors, resident partner tenants, the dedicated staff at The Dole, and the many generous supporters and volunteers of our newest endeavors of Farmer’s Market + and Music Under the Trees have been remarkable partners in helping us build back with strength and enthusiasm from the last few challenging months”.

The Dole is situated on 12 beautiful acres near the shores of Crystal Lake at 401 Country Club Road, Crystal Lake, Illinois. The Dole is a 501c3 with the mission to protect and preserve the historic property and grounds for community enjoyment. For more information visit