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