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Storytelling: Joan Yunker, Candidate for District 1 Alderman, City of Lake Geneva

“My father was a Detective with the Chicago Police Department. My mother, who immigrated from Ireland, was a homemaker. Together they had eight children, so I've always been surrounded by a loud & loving family. Some of my most cherished memories are spending summers in Twin Lakes with my grandparents. I remember coming to Lake Geneva and buying souvenirs for my friends from Trade Winds Souvenir Store.


My career in finance started when I worked at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for Merrill Lynch. A job opportunity was available at the Chicago Board of Trade for an assistant to work in the financial room. I applied & interviewed with Chicago Grain. Two of their commodity brokers needed help with order flow in the pit. I was able to create a system to keep track of all orders coming in from their clients. I worked with the phone clerks using hand signals to get the verbal orders filled & executed right away. I was the first financial clerk at the CBOT & set the standard for the position.


Later, I became an Independent Commodity Trader. I traded financial indices, government securities, precious metals, & the grain markets. I was one of the first women traders in the pit. I would wear platform shoes so I'd be the same height as the men so they could see me. I loved it. It was the best job ever. If the pits were still open today, I would probably still be there.


With the trading industry changing, I decided to pursue another career which led to opening the diner in 2014. It's been 10 years since we've opened & I am so grateful for the opportunity it's given me to meet new friends & become reacquainted with ‘past friends’.


As an alderman, it was difficult in the beginning. You're elected, learning, taking your course, & trying to figure out your role. I didn't expect that at first. The first two years were a learning curve. The second two years you get a little more acclimated to the inner workings of the city. It's interesting, when I first moved here with my husband, I thought, ‘What is going on in Lake Geneva? Where's all the money? Lake Geneva has the richest people on the lake.’ Well, that's not so true. Once I got on council & found out how we worked, I realized that the majority of the property taxes on lake homes are going to Linn, Williams Bay, & Fontana. We only get a small portion of it.


I want Lake Geneva to stay a community. If we all work together & get along, we will stay a strong community. I have the passion & dedication to keep the residents and the City of Lake Geneva our first & foremost priority.” Joan Yunker, Candidate for District 1 Alderman, City of Lake Geneva

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