NEW LENOX, IL — Swami Vivekananda, an Indian Hindu monk, was known for his commitment to service to others. Trinity Services Executive Director Art Dykstra was recently honored with an award in the revered Swami’s name for a similar commitment.
At the Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago’s Fall Banquet on Sept. 11 at The Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows, Dykstra was honored for his nearly 50 years of exceptional community services to persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities, and mental illness. His expertise has shaped practice and policy not only in Illinois, but throughout the United States. Dykstra’s guiding principles are simple: Treat others as you would want to be treated. Help those who cannot help themselves, or are down on their luck. And, continually pursue personal growth to make the world a better place.
Dykstra was invited to speak at the event and inspired the crowd of approximately 350 attendees with his speech on servant leadership.
“It is important that when we seek to serve others, we ask the question, ‘How do we want to be together as people, as friends, as families, as organizations?’” Dykstra said in his speech. “How we answer the question will have a lot to do with our success.”
Dykstra has served as Trinity’s executive director since 1987, following a 20-year career with the Illinois Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities during which he served in a multitude of positions, including facility director for two state-operated developmental centers, Chicago regional administrator for developmental disabilities, and policy and program advisor to the director of the department.
He has served as the president of the board at The Council on Quality and Leadership, past president of the Illinois Chapter of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the Illinois Council of Executive Directors of The Arc, and the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities.
Dykstra currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Community Services Foundation and Lifestyles Academy, and the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities. He also serves on the Advisory Committee to the Institute on Disability and Human Development, and Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities of the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is a fellow of the American Association on Intellectual and Development Disabilities.
Dykstra has received past awards and recognition from the IARF, Lewis University, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Bradley University, and the Autism Program of Illinois.
The banquet included a documentary on Swami Vivekananda, which paid homage to his life, celebrating his national and international impact. During his lifetime, he strove to promote peace and oneness across all humankind. He traveled around the world spreading this message and eventually landed in Chicago, where he spoke at the Parliament of the World’s Religions on Sept. 11, 1893, and received a standing ovation for his address.
The Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago was established in 1930 and aims to put into action the philosophy of Swami Vivekananda — “to make people aware of their inner divinity and to help them to manifest it in every moment of life” — through personal interviews, talks, lectures, seminars, inter-faith meetings, spiritual retreats and religious celebrations.
Trinity Services, Inc. is a 66-year-old, nonsectarian, nonprofit organization that serves 3,500 children and adults with developmental/intellectual disabilities and mental illness in 30 communities in Will, Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Peoria, Jackson and St. Clair counties, and Reno, Nevada. To learn more, visit www.trinity-services.org.
Communication and Media Development
Trinity Services, Inc.