SOAR Annual Meeting

SOAR held its 42nd Annual Meeting at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Monday September 25th  to a full house. Members in attendance were fortunate to hear comments from both Streeterville Aldermen (42nd  Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly and 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins) as well as 26th District State Representative Christian Mitchell. Terry deGuzman, MCA Chief Operating Officer welcomed SOAR members. We thank the MCA for their warm hospitality. 
The theme of the meeting was #onlyinstreetervile, a salute to the uniqueness of the neighborhood and to SOAR's new social media initiatives. A map of Streeterville landmarks and institutions was shared to display Streeterville boundaries and illustrate the uniquness of the neighborhood while demonstrating why it is important for SOAR to represent the residents of Streeterville in this urban landscape surrounded by Lake Michigan and the Chicago River.  
Despite our successes this year, we have many areas to work on in the coming year. We must continue to focus on safety initiatives, ensure that our parks are useable and in tip top shape, and we also need to continue to educate, advocate and inform on behalf of Streeterville residents.   
Now entering into our 43rd year, we expect to continue our successes and expand our community efforts in the fulfillment of our mission and goals for the Streeterville Neighborhood!
We Build and Celebrate Community!  Thank You! 

Highlights from our Annual Meeting

Here are highlights of remarks by our special guests, all of whom included tributes to SOAR for longtime service to the community:

Left to right, State Representative Christian Mitchell, Alderman Brendan Reilly,      Alderman Brian Hopkins and Terry de Guzman


Representative Mitchell plans to re-introduce his bill to curb motorcycle and siren noise in the coming session. His previous attempt was blocked by the motorcycle lobby in Illinois. 

Alderman Reilly announced that as a result of his actions in light of recent violence around the underpass to Navy Pier, the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) and the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) will install a security camera at the corner of Ohio and McClurg and another on Ohio, mid-way between McClurg and Inner Lake Shore Drive. This is in addition to the closure of the underpass in late evening-early morning hours. Alderman Reilly is developing his menu of priorities for 2018 and urges residents to email him with descriptions and photos of trouble spots in the neighborhood; he also welcomes reports when neighbors observe suspicious incidents. Contact him at office@ward42chicago.com
Alderman Hopkins reported that Chicago Police District 18 has added six patrol officers and noted his efforts, along with Alderman Reilly's, to increase that number. He praised the Midnight Circus performances and Lake Shore Park and saluted Park Advisory Council David Kostelansky (story elsewhere in this issue), commenting that proceeds will be directed to upgrading the playground. Alderman Hopkins also announced that a portion of the restored Lake Shore Park Field will likely be a dog-friendly area.
Ms. deGuzman noted that the MCA has hosted the SOAR in the past, and now includes 12,000 square feet of redesigned space accommodating the learning and social activities "at the heart of the MCA." She briefly described the 50th Anniversary events taking place on October 21 and 22 (story elsewhere in this issue) and a special event for neighbors to be held in November. 
Howard W. Melton:
SOAR's outlook is positive
Financial Report Noting that membership dues accounted for more than half of SOAR revenue for 2016-17, Treasurer Howard W. Melton reported a positive year in terms of fundraising, sponsorship and special events. The organization is in good financial health. Click here for the full financial report.
Board News Officers re-elected by the Board of Directors for 2017-18 are President Deborah Gershbein, Vice PresidentBrian Butler and Treasurer Howard W. Melton; newly-elected Secretary is Clare Hennessy. Thanks to Bob Levin, who served several years as Secretary and remains on the Board.
Joel Brosk was newly-elected to the Board. Joel and his wife, Carol, have lived in Streeterville for 13 years  
Joel Brosk
and have been SOAR members for 10 years. He is a real estate attorney involved in a variety of commercial and industrial development and currently serves as general counsel to ServerCentral, an internet and cloud service provider to clients including Mesirow, ABN/Amro, Angie's List and the Cook County Treasurer. Joel has volunteered for the Farmers Market, Artisan Market and neighborhood clean-up, among other SOAR activities. Carol is co-chair of the SOAR Garden Club. We welcome Joel to the Board.
Mary Baim
Longtime Board member Mary Baim chose not to run for election this term and was named Board Emeritus. Among SOAR roles Mary took on with energy and enthusiasm were Chair of the Nominating Committee, Co-chair of the Artisan Market, which she co-founded. Earlier this term, David Lewin resigned from the Vice Presidency and the Board to focus on his family and legal practice. We will miss Mary's passion and David's counsel and wish them well.
Awards SOAR Vice President Brian Butler assisted with the presentation of the 2017 P.I.V. (Positively Invaluable Volunteer), Beautification and Green Ribbon Awards at the meeting.
P.I.V. Awards These honor volunteers who demonstrate a high degree of personal dedication, leadership
Charlie Wojciechowski, Deborah Gershbein, Linda Avery. Irene Newman was out of town and unable to receive her award in person
in a significant SOAR endeavor and a high standard of community service. Winners chosen by the Board of Directors for 2017 were: Linda Avery,honored for the technical skills she brings to SOAR special events, including the Artisan Market and the Blueprints Gala and for her innovative contributions to the first Farmers Market Kitchen Pop-Up this year; Charlie Wojciechowski, the highly respected reporter for WMAQ/NBC Chicago who lends his talent and professionalism as moderator of SOAR Town Hall meetings featuring Streeterville's Aldermen, State officials and other government officials; Irene Newman, who brought her many diverse interests and professionalism to SOAR as Treasurer of the Board, member of the Financial Committee and co-founder of the Artisan Market.
Beautification Awards Criteria for the SOAR Beautification award are landscaping that contributes to the overall quality of life in Streeterville, shows substantial improvements in quality and interest, 
Representatives from Beautification Award winners chosen in three categories by member voting, pictured with Deborah Gershbein, are, left to right, Valentine Sobirov, Assistant Property Manager, 600 N. Lake Shore Drive (Residential); Scott Greenberg, Owner, EMC2 (Commercial), and Steve Haemmerle, Executive Vice President, Design and Construction, Navy Pier. (Institutional.)
demonstrates creativity, color and interest, is well maintained and cared for and inspires those in other Streeterville buildings to improve their own landscaping. 
Greening and Sustainability: Green Ribbon Award This award recognizes an existing building in Streeterville with outstanding environmental practices and honors a condominium/co-op or rental building that has demonstrated the highest standards of performance with regard to greening and  
Presenting the Green Ribbon Award to 401 E. Ontario representatives is Deborah Gershbein. Accepting  are, left to right, Greg Kersting, Association President; Laura Hull,  Property Manager; Jim Stoller, President and CEO, The Building Group, and Marc Emmanuel, Chief Building Engineer.
sustainability. The first-ever Green Ribbon Award was chosen by members of the Greening and Sustainability Task Force with counsel by the City of Chicago's Energy Efficiency program, Retrofit Chicago.The winner was 401 E. Ontario Condominium Association, which has shown high performance and notable improvement in sustainability through energy efficiency measures, resource, waste, and water management and achieved a significant energy efficiency score of 88 out of 100.  
 All Annual Meeting photos by Chicago Corporate Photography & Video 


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