Hear from some of our Chamber members to learn how joining can impact your business or organization!
Bill Abplanalp, Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club
Bill Abplanalp, Director of Development for the Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club, has been a regular at Northcenter Chamber events for as long as he can remember. “It’s important for us as a nonprofit organization to get our mission out there and meet a lot of people in the business community,” Abplanalp says.Over the years, Abplanalp has shared the NBGC mission with Chamber members at events, made great friends and business contacts. While enjoying the company of his neighbors at events like the Blackhawks watch parties, networking luncheons and annual Arlington outing, he has developed relationships that have provided the Club with more resources and volunteers, from local businesses sponsoring events and providing offers to some local business owners even becoming intramural sports coaches!
NBGC is also a great example of the Chamber reinvesting funds back into the community. A Northcenter Chamber grant allowed the Club to remodel their small gym, and NBGC volunteers regularly staff Ribfest Chicago through the innovative volunteer grant program, and return the favor by assisting with the Chamber’s family and community events like Jingle Bell Breakfast and the Summer Concert Series. “If you become involved, you’re going to get something out of it, no matter what your business is,” Abplanalp says.
In 2015, Bill Abplanalp and NBGC Director of Operations Bonnie Werstein were honored with the Chamber’s Lifetime Achievement Award for their service to the community, and we loved having the opportunity to honor some amazing local partners.
Edward & Lynn Actaboski, Da SorceWhen Edward and Lynn Actaboski and William Bermudez opened their comic book, game and print shop, Da Sorce, on Lincoln Avenue in 2014, they knew they wanted to connect with their community. Almost immediately after opening, Da Sorce began utilizing the marketing and event opportunities available through the Northcenter Chamber of Commerce.
Da Sorce found creative ways to leverage their own events and services with the Chamber events. They participated in the Halloween Trick-or-Treat and used the event to cross-promote their Comic Book Day. The team got involved in Ribfest Chicago, too, by creating a fun, interactive game for Kids Square where participating kids could win a piece for a game sold in the store, incentivizing them to come back.
By participating in the Chamber events, Edward Actaboski says Da Sorce noticed an immediate and sizable increase in foot traffic to and interest in the store. Many families they met at Ribfest have since become repeat customers!
Now, the owners of Da Sorce are taking the lessons they’ve learned from their involvement in the Northcenter Chamber and collaborating with neighboring businesses such as Mainstream Boutique, Apart Pizza Company and Monty Gaels on initiatives, events and area branding to even further strengthen the local business community.
“If you get involved with the Chamber and participate, you’re connecting with other businesses and making the local community stronger,” Lynn Actaboski says. “It takes a village.”
Jessica Jafari, Swedish Covenant Hospital
Prior to opening a new Immediate Care Center in the Northcenter neighborhood, Swedish Covenant Hospital staff wanted to connect with the community and put some roots down. Jessica Jafari, Manager of Social Media and Community Events for Swedish, saw an opportunity and attended the annual meeting.
From there, Jafari joined the Chamber’s volunteer Marketing Committee and began learning more about the neighborhood and its businesses. She was quick to share ideas and through the committee, gained marketing and advertising contacts that helped promote Swedish Covenant’s Immediate Care Center to Northcenter. “It’s so easy to get involved,” Jafari says. “And it’s a great way to learn a lot about the community.”
After making the connections and learning more about opportunities through the Chamber of Commerce, Jafari and other members of the Swedish Covenant Hospital team worked with the Chamber on facilitating a ribbon cutting event, including media and local elected officials, to showcase their new space to the neighborhood. The event was well attended and we are excited to have this great wellness resource in the community.