Thanks to all of the families and community members who came out on December 1 to celebrate the beginning of the holiday shopping season in Evergreen Park. The Central Middle School choir gave a beautiful Christmas concert, and children took pictures of Santa. Thanks to our host, First National Bank of Evergreen Park!

Christina Musial, Danny Rosell and Jeseña Hernandez of First National Bank of Evergreen Park, posing with Santa, graciously hosted the Community Celebration.

The Evergreen Park Central Middle School choir performs a selection of Christmas carols.

Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce President Nicki Seidl welcomes community members and reminds them to support local businesses by choosing to shop within the community.

Chamber officials (L to R) Laura Shallow, Brian McKeown, Nicki Seidl, Tom Ollenburger, and Michele Carmona

The Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce hosted an informative Chamber Membership Breakfast on September 13, bringing business members together with local school officials to share information and exchange ideas.

Dr. Robert Machak, Superintendent of Evergreen Park Elementary School District 124, hosted the Chamber event at Central Middle School. He provided a delicious breakfast prepared by School District 124’s Director of Food Services Deb Michicich. The event included energetic performances by the Central Middle School band and award-winning choir, as well as networking and a presentation by District 124 administration officials on the state of the schools.

The four elementary schools and one middle school in Evergreen Park have seen a surge in enrollment over the past four years. The district’s student body has increased by 7 percent, adding some 127 children, according to Tim Kostecki, Director of Business Services for District 124. As a result, the district is financially strong and foresees continued growth.

School officials also reported on the district’s three-year strategic plan and on topics including school culture, buildings and grounds, safety, technology, curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

The Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce hosted a networking breakfast at Evergreen Park Community High School on May 17 that was open to all current, new, and prospective members. All enjoyed a delicious buffet while Thomas O’Malley, Superintendent of District 231, highlighted exciting upgrades to the curriculum and facility. Afterward everyone toured the school, which included a visit to the new, state-of-the-art workout and weight room.

Your next opportunity to connect with fellow members of the business community is at our Lunch and Learn event on Friday, June 22 at noon at the Evergreen Park Public Library, 9400 S Troy. Digital marketing professionals Jim and Laurie Cleary of the Argus Internet Company will share their expertise on how to present your business online. A catered lunch will be provided. Register here.

Congratulations to Credit Union 1 in Evergreen Park, which has expanded its location to include a brand new teller line that will allow them to better serve their customers and also guests from other credit unions. Credit Union 1 celebrated a grand re-opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the end of February. The credit union expanded its location into the suite next door, adding several new offices as well as establishing a traditional teller line with five stations.

The expansion will allow the credit union to serve its members more quickly and efficiently, said branch manager Cristina Torres. “We’re one of the top three busiest branches in the entire credit union, so we needed more space to accommodate everyone,” she said.

Having on-site tellers interacting with customers also will allow Credit Union 1 to participate in shared branching, a convenient service for credit union members from other states. “We allow members from other credit unions to come in here and we service their accounts from other states, so it’s a nationwide service that we will be able to provide. Before we had restrictions because we didn’t have face-to-face tellers. We used to have remote tellers, and so my tellers didn’t see my members,” Torres explained.

Another benefit of the larger facility, Torres said, is that she now has room for a larger staff. “We hired some new employees, and we’re definitely ready to get out in the community and start building relationships.”

This photo from the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Feb. 28 features (front, L to R) Cristina Torres and Ellie Krcmar from Credit Union 1, as well as Laura Shallow, Eva Salgado, Michele Carmona, and Nicki Seidl from the Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce; and (back, L to R) Timothy Rapson and Todd Gunderson from Credit Union 1.

The Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce closed out 2017 with a festive holiday party at Beverly Country Club on Dec. 13. Chamber members introduced a new group of officers and directors and presented Evergreen Park Mayor James Sexton with their Citizen of the Year award.

Guests also enjoyed a luncheon, a performance by the Evergreen Park High School Madrigals Choir, and a presentation of the school’s Snow Queen and Court.

New Chamber President Nicki Seidl spoke directly to members, encouraging them to do more in 2018 to strengthen the town’s economic base.

Keep the Green in Evergreen is a mandate,” Seidl said. “We are responsible for sustaining economic prosperity in Evergreen Park. The foundation of that prosperity is a healthy, vibrant, diverse, and engaged community. It’s that important and it takes more than 13 members on a board of directors to accomplish.”

She challenged members to volunteer their time to help sustain economic prosperity in Evergreen Park through the Chamber of Commerce. “When someone asks, ‘What does the Chamber do for me?’ Say, ’Not as much as it can do with your active participation.’ And then invite them to get involved,” she said.

Interested in joining the Chamber? Explore the benefits of membership today!