The Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce welcomed new leadership at its annual Holiday Luncheon on December 11 and announced its 2019 Citizen of the Year. The award went to Dennis Duffy, retired teacher and former director of the EP Recreation Department, for his many contributions in the areas of education, recreation, sports, family, and community programming.

Duffy led the Evergreen Park Recreation Department for 38 years and was credited for bringing many new ideas and events to the Village. He oversaw an expansion of the Recreation Department’s budget from $10,000 to $625,000 during his tenure.

“Dennis successfully blended the traditions and the activities of the past with new innovative and expanded programs of his own,” said EPCC Secretary Laura Shallow, in announcing the award.

His contributions to the Recreation Department include maintaining a successful preschool, day camp, and youth sports programs. He expanded the performing arts program and added several new sports offerings. Community events, including the 3rd of July Parade, also grew under Duffy’s leadership.

In addition, Duffy was a teacher for 35 years and chair of the History and Social Studies Department at Brother Rice High School, where he also served as a varsity football coach.

Duffy accepted the award with humility, thanking the local schools for their cooperation. He also singled out his two program directors at the Recreation Department, Karen Sexton and Jill Lynn.

“They make the recreation department go,” he said. “Every time I see M.A.S.H., I think, ‘I’m the colonel, and there’s Radar.’ They’re the best. I owe my success to them.”

During the luncheon, the Chamber also installed a new slate of officers and directors.

The 2020 Officers are:

President: Laura Freeman of Berkshire Hathaway Biros Realtors

First Vice President: Laura Shallow, World Data Systems and Saint Xavier University

Second Vice President: Michele Carmona, Evergreen Bank Group

Secretary: Maria Cantu-Dougala, First Midwest Bank

Treasurer: William Winters, Evergreen Park American Legion Post #854

Immediate Past President: Nicki Seidl, Evergreen Park Public Library


The 2020 Directors are:

Percy Allen, MEP Exterminating

John Anderson, Attorney at Law

Jeseña Hernandez, First National Bank of Evergreen Park

Sean Kelly, State Farm Insurance

Dr. Robert Machak, Evergreen Park Elementary School District 124

Ginger Morgan, Thompson & Kuenster Funeral Home

Thomas Ollenburger, H&R Johnson Bros., Inc.

Thomas O’Malley, Evergreen Park Community High School District 231

Bruce Smith, B Allan Graphics

Pam Waldrom, Academy of Self Defense

Chad Weiler, Little Company of Mary Hospital

Stephanie Welch, Humana


Dennis Duffy, center, poses with past Citizens of the Year.

Thomas O’Malley, Superintendent of Evergreen Park Community High School, introduces students on the 2019 Snow Court.

Officers and Directors of the Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce

The Evergreen Park Community High School Madrigals Choir perform

Outgoing EPCC President Nicki Seidl receives a plaque and a gift thanking her for her tenure.

EPCC Treasurer Laura Shallow and outgoing President Nicki Seidl welcome guests.

Installation of Chamber directors.

EPCC’s new president, Laura Freeman, and Nicki Seidl

2020 EPCC Officers

 The Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce is looking for members who are willing to serve a two-year term on the governing Board of Directors starting in 2019.

Is the time right for you to step up? Consider these benefits.

  1. Nothing promotes your business better than meeting people face to face. Serving on a chamber board gives you increased visibility and more opportunities to meet and network with people.
  2. Meeting people outside of your industry and your daily routines can help you improve your relationship building skills and can benefit you personally as well as professionally.
  3. The EPCC offers a number of free promotional opportunities to its members. As a Board member, you’ll be the first to hear about them and will be better positioned to boost the visibility of your business or organization.
  4. Serving on the Board allows you to be a voice for the local economy, advancing the chamber’s interests and concerns to government bodies and local officials.
  5. The Chamber provides a variety of educational presentations for member businesses throughout the year on topics ranging from financial literacy to marketing. As a board member, you’ll get a first-row seat in what are essentially continuing education courses in business management–just by attending chamber workshops.
  6. Your involvement on the Board means taking a part in planning and presenting Chamber programs and events. Consider it an opportunity to apply your skills in these areas, build your credibility, and give back to the community. Either way, your business will benefit from the time you give to the Chamber.

If you are interested in serving on the board, email
Also, please note that candidates must be available to attend a meeting the first Tuesday of every month.