Retired President Lisa von Drehle Gives Accomplishments and Thanks

Buena Park Neighbors under Lisa von Drehle Presidency

Last night at the Community Meeting I thanked the many volunteers who have been instrumental in my 3 years as President of Buena Park Neighbors. As I hand over the reins to Curt Wiley here is a little look back at what we all accomplished.

  • Re-wrote and updated By-Laws
  • Conducted Board retreat resulting in agreement on priorities and Committee system to enact these priorities.
  • Established Executive Committee and Advisory Board
  • Updated 501C-3 status
  • Expanded contact list from 800 to 1,600
  • Grew membership from negligible to over 200
  • Developed branding and graphic design program. Conducted Branding workshop confirming ‘Good Living by the Lake’
  • Redesigned and updated website
  • Initiated more robust Facebook and Instagram presence
  • Developed Architectural walking tours of Hutchinson Street
  • Creation of Advisory Board for Buena Circle Park and choice and of new playground equipment and tree planting
  • Development of Block Captain System
  • Creation of Young Professionals Group
  • Expansion of summer events from 2 to 4 Events in the Park
  • Big thanks to all who worked hard to make so much happen in Buena Park these past three years. It has been a gas!  See you in the hood.


Lisa von Drehle Buena Park Neighbors Extends Her Thanks

Three years ago Bill Petty, the former President, moved to Evanston and I inherited the Presidency of Buena Park Neighbors.  Bill was a great president, but also a one man band.

One of my main missions as President has been to expand the base and build a solid, committed group of volunteers.  I think I have been successful. I couldn’t have done this without the help of so many people. Please indulge me for a few minutes as I thank some individuals..

Two Volunteers have been with us for years

Gene Tenner – who handles all of the communication. It is thanks to Gene that you all know what is going on in the hood

Alice Leahy – who put her hand up to help me get Buena Park Open Day off of the ground and has stayed around as Treasurer ever since.

Over the past 2 years we have built a great Executive Committee. Special Thanks to

Estelle Chandler – Estelle blew in to a meeting over 2 years ago with all sorts of proposals and ideas. Her creative and inspired leadership of the Events Committee gives us so many opportunities throughout the year to get together.

Laura Flanagan – who named and built Buena Park Green, our beautification and environmental program. Laura is now moving to Pilsen but leaves a great organization and legacy

Jamie Willet – a committed and creative new business guru

And his partner in all things Buena Park Business, Jared Dolan, who also serves on the SSA

Asher Mayerson – a new addition, but one who has already made a huge difference with his creation of the Young Professionals Group and helming of the Block Captains Program

How did this Executive Committee come together, and how did we decide on our priorities? Malachy Walsh, a long term Buena Parker led two Vision Days for us over the past two years to help decide and refine our priorities. Thank you Malachy

Jennifer and Cesar Pacheco are long term Buena Parkers who always turn up when asked, particularly with Buena Park Bunnies.

 Jenny Maraccini is our volunteer Social Media director and has made a world of difference in our communication over the past year.

Above all of this is our Advisory Board, a group of ‘Wise Elders’ who have served as a sounding board to me, and now Curt. Ken Kandaras, Dominic Irpino, David Lynch and Karen Sims, thank you so much for all of your valuable counsel. And Karen, special thanks for keeping the Hutchinson Street architecture tours going

Huge thanks are due to all of our members and business sponsors, big and small. You are the people who make everything we do possible.

The Alderman and his whole crew, Martin Sorge and the team at Uptown United are the supportive professional back bone of Buena Park Neighbors.

Finally, I want to thank Curt Wiley who showed up with his wife Priscilla at a social 18 months ago and expressed an interest in getting involved. Starting as Secretary he quickly started seeking more opportunities to get involved. I am thrilled to be leaving Buena Park Neighbors in such great hands. We have had a great time working together for the past 6 months and I look forward to more of the same as he assumes the leadership.

And thank you all for being great neighbors.

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