The Business and Civic Council of Oak Park (BCC) is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing public policies that stimulate and encourage economic growth and civic vitality in Oak Park. The BCC believes that a vibrant commercial sector helps ensure the sustainability of Oak Park as an economically, culturally and racially diverse community.

Formally established in July 2004, the Business and Civic Council has three primary goals:
• Serve as a strategic resource to policymakers
• Provide a public forum for the presentation and exchange of ideas
• Advocate on behalf of policies advancing economic growth and vitality in Oak Park.

The BCC believes that economic growth – properly planned, financed and implemented – produces substantial benefits for all Oak Parkers. Economic growth affects virtually every aspect of our civic and community life, including the ability to fund schools, parks, public safety, social services and maintain our infrastructure. It increases the value of land and expands the property tax base, which helps ease the property tax burden on residential taxpayers.

Additional commercial activity also increases the amount of sales tax revenue available for Village services. And a robust business sector also provides financial and human resources for Oak Park’s not-for-profit organizations and other charitable purposes. Beyond these tangible economic benefits, new retail and entertainment venues enhance our quality of life and maintain the desirability of Oak Park as a community in which to live, work and play.

The BCC has sponsored community forums on a variety of issues:
• Property taxation
• Tax increment financing
• Downtown redevelopment
• Affordable housing
• Village Board candidate forums
• Reports from Oak Park State Senator Don Harmon
• Parking strategies for Oak Park business districts

The BCC was named 2005 runner-up “Villager of the Year” by the Wednesday Journal for providing fresh perspectives and leadership on community development issues facing Oak Park.

BCC Membership and Board of Directors

Council members include commercial and residential property owners, retailers, financial services professionals, health care executives, attorneys, former public officials and homeowners. The Council is governed by a board of directors elected to two-year terms at the BCC’s annual meeting. Members of the Council’s Board of Directors are:

Frank Pellegrini, president, Pellegrini & Cristiano law firm; president, Prairie Title
Martin Noll, treasurer, president, Community Bank
Bill Planek, secretary, president of Greenplan Management and
Sara Faust, director, president, Oak Park Development Corporation
Mike Fox, vice president of RP Fox and Associates, which owns and manages several commercial and residential properties in Oak Park
Willis Johnson, president of Tivoli Enterprises, owner of the Lake Theatre
Cathy Yen, Great Harvest Bread Company

BCC executive director: Steve Strahler, freelance journalist and correspondent for Crain’s Chicago Business; Oak Park homeowner.

For further information about the BCC, please contact:

Frank Pellegrini – 708.386.7900 ext.1301
Steve Strahler – 708.763.9795 or 312.649.5357