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.

Evergreen Park Mayor James Sexton presented his Annual State of the Village address to EPCC members on April 18 over lunch at Barraco’s Restaurant. He shared updates on many new businesses that have opened over the past year and additional businesses that will open in the coming months, including Whole Foods in the Plaza, scheduled to open in January 2019.

The next day, April 19, we learned that Carson’s woes will extend to the Evergreen Park store. However, Mayor Stexton told the Patch he is already speaking with interested retailers about leasing the Carson’s space. The white building abuts several other new businesses that have opened recently in the newly reimagined Evergreen Plaza, including DSW, Five Below, Petco, TJ Maxx, Ulta, David’s Bridal, Raising Cane’s, and others. Mayor Sexton said the Plaza development is in its final stages, with 14 of the 30 stores already open. In total, the project will have created 500 retail jobs and 200 union construction jobs.

In his address, Mayor Sexton stressed that economic growth is strong in Evergreen Park, which issues 500 business licenses each year. He said the Village government operates with a balanced budget, and all pensions are fully funded. Home values are rising, and the Village continues to invest in recreational services for residents, with a new $6 million Community Center scheduled to open in April 2019.

Mayor Sexton urged business owners and residents alike to support businesses in Evergreen Park rather than shopping online or in neighboring municipalities. “One percent of everything you buy here comes back to Evergreen Park, which allows us to continue to do good things,” he said.

You might know Tom Ollenburger as the owner of H&R Johnson Bros, Inc., a third-generation family-owned, union carpenter and contractor that has been a fixture in Evergreen Park since 1922. Perhaps you’ve met him in his role as 1st Vice President of the Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce. What you might not know is that Ollenburger is an avid bowler. And a pretty good one, at that. He recently finished in 5th place in a field of more than 225 bowlers in the 2018 Beat the Champs tournament, supported by the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicagoland Bowling Proprietors Association. Ollenburger is standing on the far left in this photo. The tournament supports local charities and has donated nearly $3 million to various charities since its inception in 1961.

Read about the tournament and Ollenburger’s impressive performance in this Chicago Sun-Times article.

 

 

 

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.

Help Wanted

The Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce (EPCC) is seeking an organized, outgoing, and media-savvy professional to serve as its Member Liaison. This new position will serve as the link between EPCC members and the Chamber’s Board of Directors. The EPCC Member Liaison will enhance the value of Chamber membership by focusing on opportunities for member relationships, education, and collaboration.

Specific duties include:

  • Developing an effective program of membership development that retains current members and grows the membership base.
  • Developing and maintaining an effective communications program responsive to the needs of the membership, through print, online, and social media outlets.
  • Developing and conducting a variety of events, including the annual meeting holiday luncheon, to enhance relationship and business building opportunities for the membership.
  • Developing and conducting education programs to advance the professional, technical, and managerial skills of the membership.
  • Cultivating positive member relations with the EPCC through personal contact.
  • Utilizing connections and partnerships within the community as appropriate to advance the goals of the Chamber
  • Attending monthly Officers and Directors’ meetings, on the first and last Tuesdays of each month.

Required knowledge, skills, and abilities:

  • Ability to communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing, and make presentations to groups.
  • Ability to use software functions such Microsoft Office, Facebook, gmail and Googledocs.
  • Ability to update EPCC web site using WordPress content management system.
  • Valid drivers’ license.

Time commitment

Flexible schedule, 12 hours/week.

Salary

$15/hour

A complete job description is posted online. Submit resume, cover letter, and three references to employment@evergreenparkchamber.org. No phone calls will be accepted.

FLSA Status

The Member Liaison is an independent contractor, not a paid employee. The contractor waives rights to regular employee benefits and is responsible for own income and employment taxes. Contractor will generally work from home; he/she will be reimbursed for office supplies but must use own equipment to perform duties.

Equal Opportunity Statement

The Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce does not discriminate in its hiring practices. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, creed, religion, origin, age, disability, sex, or any other characteristic protected by law, rule, or regulation.

Criminal Background Check

The contractor receiving a conditional offer of engagement will be required to undergo a criminal background check, and to provide the Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce with the resulting report. The contractor may refuse to obtain a criminal background check or provide the report, in which event the conditional offer of engagement will be withdrawn.

Posted 2/1/18

 

 

 

For his commitment to economic development, business recruitment, and overall leadership, Evergreen Park Mayor James Sexton was named the town’s 2017 Citizen of the Year by the Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce. He received the award at the Chamber’s holiday luncheon in December.

Mr. Sexton has served as the mayor of Evergreen Park since 2001. He was recognized for making numerous contributions to strengthen the business climate and enhance the quality of life in the village during his tenure.

“Jim has achieved great successes in developing a wonderful economic environment in which businesses can start, grow and thrive,” said Laura Shallow, secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, as she announced the award.

Those accomplishments include:

  • upgrading the streetscape along Evergreen Park’s main thoroughfare of 95th Street in 2002.
  • bringing in new development on Kedzie at 87th and 95th streets.
  • redeveloping Yukich Field into several sports fields, with a walking path and an ice skating rink.
  • transforming the Evergreen Country Club property into a community golf range, a farm with a variety of animals, a gazebo for concerts, and a dog park.
  • creating the Evergreen Park Senior Center at the site of a former church on 94th and Homan.
  • renovating Evergreen Plaza, bringing several new stores and restaurants to the site.

“All this great economic development reminds each of us, business people and residents alike, to shop local and ‘Keep the Green in Evergreen,’” Shallow said. The sales tax dollars Mayor Sexton has steered into the community helps to fund  important Village projects, she added.

The Citizen of the Year award, formerly called the Business Person of the Year, was changed in 2017 to be more inclusive of community members who help make Evergreen Park stronger. Past recipients include Laura Shallow of World Data Systems and Saint Xavier University; Sister Margaret Christina Hoban of Little Company of Mary Hospital; Nicki Seidl of the Evergreen Park Public Library; Linda Kosary of Kosary Funeral Home; Thomas Ollenburger of H. & R. Johnson Brothers; and Dennis Reilly of LCM Hospital. Last year’s recipient was Nick Barraco of Barraco’s Restaurant.

 

 

 

Congratulations to Evergreen Bank Group, named one of the Best Banks to Work For in 2017 by American Banker. In addition to this recognition, the bank also received another 5-star Superior ranking by Bauer Financial—the highest status this national firm awards.

The Best Banks to Work For program, initiated in 2013 by American Banker and Best Companies Group, identifies, recognizes and honors U.S. banks for outstanding employee satisfaction. This is the second year in a row that Evergreen Bank Group has received this honor.

How the 5-Star Ranking System Works

Bauer Financial performs its own, independent analysis on all banks nationwide. It starts with a bank’s information, then supplements with historical and other data to assign comprehensive star ratings.

Bauer has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of U.S. banks since 1983. Bauer’s Star-Ratings are not the same as Standard and Poor’s or Moody’s because its star ratings are geared toward depositors. Bauer Financial rates the strength of the bank as a whole, whereas S&P, Moody’s and Fitch rate on the investment offerings. Bauer ranks banks every quarter, and Evergreen Bank Group has received the 5-Star Status for many years in a row.

Evergreen Bank Group is a locally owned and managed, full service Illinois State chartered commercial bank. This community bank has locations in Evergreen Park, as well as in Oakbrook and Hinsdale. They also have two locations in Reno, NV, that do business as Freedom Road Financial and Performance Finance.

More Honors and Awards for Evergreen Bank Group:

2014 and 2015 Best Places to Work, Small Company by Daily Herald Business Ledger
2013 and 2014 S&B Top 15th Performer: Seifried and Brew’s Top 15% of Community Banks

The Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce is proud to count Evergreen Bank Group as an active member. If your business isn’t a Chamber member, explore the benefits of membership today!