Accomplishments

  • Corridor manager for the City of Chicago Invest South/West program focused on revitalizing 10 historic neighborhoods on the south and west side of Chicago.

  • Primary contact for the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund assisting local business in applying for grants to renovate businesses in  the west side commercial corridor.

  • 501c3 partner  for the build out of a new salvation army facility.

  • Collaborator on the build out of a new library in West Humboldt Park.

  • Collaborator on the build out of  a new Boys and Girls Club in West Humboldt Park.

  • Created the First Community Land Trust of Chicago which builds affordable housing for first-time homebuyers who are at or below 60% of area median income.

  • Lead designation of Chicago Avenue as a Special Service Area in collaboration with property owners, business owners, other key stakeholders, and Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr.

  • Creation of the Chicago Avenue Mural Project.  This project was created to shield vacant lots, beautify the corridor, promote inspiring messages, and create a sense of place. The West Humboldt Park Special Service Area #63 envisioned the project which was brought to fruition by Archi-Treasures.

  • Participant in Humboldt Park Quality-of-Life planning process which culminated in the Humboldt Park: Staking Our Claim Quality-of-Life Plan 2008.  The Plan outlines a vision and lists of strategies and projects that various community stakeholders will undertake to more Humboldt Park forward.

  •  Recruitment of, and complete development build-out for first sit-down restaurant on Chicago Avenue in over 15 years. Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill offers healthier fare sit-down, delivery, take-out, and catering.

  • Organized TIF advisory panel and annual TIF Town Hall community meetings.

  • Collaborated with LISC to execute MetroEdge retail audit which reported excellent opportunities for new retail investment.

  • Organized West Humboldt Park Business Association, which, in partnership with Chicago Community Ventures, provides technical assistance and mentoring to neighborhood businesses.

  • Partnered with Chicago Commons to create BEEP.  BEEP provides job referral & placement services, job readiness workshops, training and scholarship opportunities, re-entry services for offenders, and entrepreneurial workshops. Organized and assembled over 3 dozen neighborhood block clubs.

  • As a City of Chicago Neighborhood Business Development Center (NBDC) we build and maintain a strong neighborhood network and coordinate efforts with local aldermen, the City, and other community partners. We help implement the City’s Neighborhood Small Business Growth Strategy.

  • In a partnership with LISC and the City of Chicago was the lead organization serving businesses with Smart Communities technology program providing Technology Action Plans to over 30 businesses and trainings for over 90.

  • In partnership with CEED and CLOCC  developed Healthy Corner Stores Campaign to engage with corner stores and provide technical assistance and incentives to offer healthy foods and produce in a healthier store environment.

  • Creation of Chicago Avenue Mural Project (Part 2).  This project was created to shield vacant lots, beautify the corridor, promote Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill and their free hot meal site which provides free hot meals to the community every Monday.

  • Partnered with Matanky Realty to redevelop the Chicago-Kedzie Plaza into a vibrant shopping center with 22 stores providing over 70 jobs for neighborhood residents.