Each month we will be introducing Village of Olympia Fields staff, both new and not so new, whose primary job is to make the Village work well for you, our residents, and to ensure that we are responsive to your needs. We exist to serve you. We want to get to know you, but, more importantly, we want you to get to know us!
Comings & Goings
If you have visited the Olympia Fields Village Hall, Police Department or Public Works Building recently, you may have noticed a few new faces. Joining the staff in the new fiscal year are Judge Drella Savage, Mr. Ruben Briceno, Officer Nicholas Burris, Mrs. Lisa Fifer-Smith, Mr. Miles Wade and Mrs. Jessica Washington, who collectively bring a wealth of talent and experience to the Village. We are excited to welcome them all to the Village.
Village Administrator/Chief of Staff
The Honorable Drella C. Savage is a retired circuit court judge who served the citizens of Cook County as an elected official for over 20 years in the Domestic Relations and Law divisions of the unified court system. She graduated from Northwestern University and Howard University School of Law cum laude. Judge Savage currently serves as the Chairperson of the Illinois Judicial Council Foundation and the Central Region Representative for the Connection & Social Action International Committee of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.®
Judge Savage is a resident of Olympia Fields, and previously served as the Village Clerk from 2019–2021. She returned to the Village as Administrator/Chief of Staff in May 2022. In this capacity, she manages the day-to-day business operations and administrative functions of the Village. Specifically, Judge Savage advises and consults with the President and Board of Trustees to ensure adherence to the administration’s guiding principles and operational tenets as they relate to governance, fiscal management, organizational structure and the efficient delivery of services to residents. She is pleased to work with a dynamic team of professionals and considers herself a servant leader, committed to maintaining the high standards that Olympia Fields has enjoyed for over a century.
Mr. Ruben Briceno is responsible for the general maintenance of the Village’s streets, sewer, and water systems. Prior to joining our Village in May 2022, Mr. Briceno worked for the Village of Richton Park. He has extensive experience in warehousing, having worked 10+ years in that industry. Mr. Briceno has been married for 14 years and is the proud father of two boys and one girl. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and is an avid gamer.
Officer Nicholas Burris was formally sworn-in as a police officer with the Olympia Fields Police Department on August 10, 2022. He is a graduate of Illiana Christian High School in Lansing and Prairie State College. Officer Burris also holds an EMT certificate from Prairie State College. Prior to joining the OFPD, he was employed with the Phoenix Police Department and the South Suburban College Campus Police Department. Officer Burris’s primary responsibilities will include basic patrol and observation of the Village and making a positive impact on the community through helpful and positive interactions. He hails from a law enforcement family, as both of his parents work in law enforcement as well.
Assistant Finance Director
Mrs. Lisa Fifer-Smith joined the Village in August 2022. A certified public accountant, Mrs. Fifer-Smith received a Bachelor of Science in accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has over 25 years of accounting experience. Prior to joining the Village, she was the controller for II in One Contractors, Inc., in Chicago. Ms. Fifer-Smith will assist in the management of the day-to-day accounting and finance-related matters of the Village.
Water Billing Clerk
Mr. Miles Wade began his tenure with the Village as a temporary employee. He became the Village’s full-time water billing clerk in July 2022. In that capacity, he handles all water billing related matters. Mr. Wade is a graduate of Rich Central High School. He attended Emporia State University on a four-year athletic scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. This is Mr. Wade’s first salaried position since graduating from college.
Executive Assistant to the Village President & Village Administrator/Chief of Staff
Director of Communications
Mrs. Jessica Washington will be responsible for managing the external communications and marketing for the Village. She also will serve as the Village’s FOIA officer, grant manager, human resources representative and business licensing contact. A resident of Olympia Fields, Mrs. Washington is a graduate of Augustana College and the Loyola University of Chicago School of Law. She practiced law for five years in the areas of family law, adoption and probate. Additionally, she is a published writer and editor with over 27 years of editorial experience, primarily serving law firms, bar associations, legal publishers and organizations catering to the legal profession. Prior to joining the Village in July 2022, Mrs. Washington served as executive assistant to the director of day-to-day operations at Southland College Prep High School in Richton Park and managed the communications for the Matteson District 162 Board of Education.
July and August saw the departure of two Village staff members: Ms. Cynthia Smith, account manager supervisor in the Finance Department and Mr. James Landini, director of Public Works. Though we are sad to see them go, we thank them both for their invaluable contributions to the work of the Village and their service to our residents and wish them both much success in their new career endeavors.