Evergreen Park Mayor James Sexton receives the 2017 Citizen of the Year Award from the Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce at Beverly Country Club on December 13, 2017.

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.