02 July 2015

June meetings overview

8:38 AM

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A neighborhood is not merely people and houses, but rather neighbors and homes. While it’s true that hundreds of people could live in an area and never know one another, it’s believed that knowing your next door neighbor, or the family down the street, or the coffee shop owner, strengthens a bond that builds a community of vested partners interested in keeping the community prosperous, safe and enjoyable.

That belief would lend itself to an idea that having a group of creative individuals, each supporting a shared desire to get to know their neighborhood, and get to the know their neighbors, would build new bonds, and strengthen relationships with our local business and community partners and be a forum for sharing information with one another. With that, a group of individuals convened a meeting to explore the possibility that University Village residents could focus on a set of common goals to improve the community. Born was the University Village Neighborhood Alliance (UVNA). And so it began!

The selection of directors for the newly formed UVNA has been established.

Antonio Gonnella has been named President. He brings to the group motivation to make our community and neighborhood thrive. He brings new perspective to ways in which our community can be brought together by involving our different Associations.

Erin Weinland has been named Vice President of Communication. She shares her enthusiasm with the UVNA by being a member of the University Village Townhome Board of Directors. She’s an established liaison to our community with a visible commitment to the betterment of the neighborhood in which we live.

Matthew Thor has been named VP of Sales & Marketing. He has spearheaded building a relationship with our local University Village businesses. He stepped in the role and immediately took to the streets, gaining sponsorship for our Community Member of the Month award. He believes the University Village neighborhood at large, in concert with our boundary communities like Little Italy and Pilsen, have much to offer and will continue to bloom if we come together as a group working toward shared goals.

Erin Thor has been named VP of Events and has discovered several of our neighbors share the same engagement and entertainment desires as she’s planning. She has an energetic series of fun events and ideas that embraces the feeling of “neighborhood.”

Donna Campbell has been named Secretary and has volunteered for various Chicago and Corporate events. Residing in University Village townhomes for a short 3 years, she believes that the sense of community is more powerful when we build strong bonds with our community. She’s inspired by the thoughtful and creative group of individuals who want to make the community bright, better for one another by one another.

Our first Board of Directors’ and Property Managers’ Meeting was held on June 16th.  Many of the 18 attendees were neighbors who are in volunteer positions in the various Associations. The meeting was also attended by the UIC Police, sharing information on their role within our community and the importance of communication. They have offered to be partners with the UVNA in making the neighborhood safer for the students, the families and the community at large.

Alderman Patrick Thompson also attended the meeting, sharing his accomplishments he and his office have achieved since being sworn in to duty. He has shared his intention to join in our mission to improve the community by being available to discuss the wards potential resources. He has committed to being a line of communication to University Village and its members on topics such as community development, safety and City of Chicago concerns (i.e., “rogue tickets”)

The community leaders comprised of Property Managers and Boards of Directors brought insightful ideas to the meeting. These ideas will move us together toward the same goal: improving our surroundings taking many members, many neighbors and instilling the feeling of “Community.” These ideas will flourish in the coming months benefiting everyone.