State of Edgewater

Stay in the know with what’s affecting your community & business this year

Join Edgewater’s community leaders, policy advocates and small business owners as they discuss and answer your questions concerning the pressing issues in our community for 2019. The Edgewater Chamber of Commerce’s program will focus on three distinct and engaging  panels around topics affecting residents and small business owners this year.


Mark Your Calendar

DATE: Thursday, June 6
TIME: 8:00am – 10:00am  (Breakfast will be served from 7:15am – 8:00am) 
LOCATION: Emanuel Congregation, 5959 N Sheridan Rd.

Ticket Fees

Purchase tickets online by Wednesday, June 5 at 12:00pm. Tickets will be sold onsite as well on a first-come, first-served basis.

Chamber Members: $30+ service fee
Non Members: $35 + service fee
Tickets include networking breakfast from 7:15am – 8:00am and parking.

What to Expect

Attendees can expect a highly engrossing program inclusive of a standing, networking breakfast followed by three panel discussions centering around local infrastructure, urban development and policy. Each panel discussion will conclude with an audience Q&A.


STATE OF EDGEWATER PROGRAM SCHEDULE (tentative and subject to change)



7:15am-   8:00am

Check-in opens and breakfast is available. NOTE: Food and drinks are not allowed in the panel’s seating area.


Welcome Remarks & Edgewater Innovator Award Announcement


Panel Discussion I

Policy: How policy decisions now will affect Edgewater in the future

(ends with 5-minute Audience Q&A)


Pat Whelan , Good Evening with Pat Whalen

Pat Whalen hosts Good Evening with Pat Whalen, a monthly late-night series that examines Chicago’s politics, arts, and culture through a satirical lens. Investigating the city’s socio-political climate while celebrating its cultural vibrancy, Whalen and his team strive to entertain, educate and give viewers their #besteveningever.


Greg Harris, Illinois State Representative for the 13th District

Greg Harris was elected to the Illinois General Assembly in 2006 and is Majority Leader of the House of Representatives. Harris serves as State Representative for the 13th District which includes parts of Uptown, Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, North Center, West Ridge and Bowmanville.

Harry Osterman, 48th Ward Alderman

Harry Osterman has been Alderman of the 48th Ward since May 2011. Harry was born in Chicago and grew up in Edgewater. For 11 years before being elected as Alderman, Harry was the State Representative for the 14th District, serving the Andersonville, Edgewater, and Rogers Park neighborhoods.  

Andre Vasquez, 40th Ward Alderman

Andre Vasquez was recently elected to serve as 40th Ward’s Alderman. Andre was born and raised in Chicago, the son of immigrant parents. Prior to being elected, he worked at a major utility company.


Panel Discussion II

Infrastructure: How the CTA Red Line Modernization Project will Affect You

(ends with 5-minute Audience Q&A)


Maria Sigman, Salon Echo

Maria Signman opened her environmentally-friendly salon, Salon Echo, in October 2005. Prior to that, she operated a salon in Old Town. Maria was born and raised in Edgewater and is a third generation small business owner in Edgewater. Maria serves on the board of the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce.


Maria Barnes, Uptown Bikes

Maria Barnes is the owner of Uptown Bikes and she organized a coalition of business and property owners,  affected by the 3-1/2 year long Wilson Station Reconstruction Project and the Red and Purple Modernization Program between Sunnyside and Leland (Fall 2014 – Summer 2018).

Jeff Wilson, Chicago Transit Authority

Jeff Wilson is the Director of Government and Community Relations (GCR) for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).  Jeff has worked at CTA for 19 years and was selected to be the GCR lead for the $2 billion Red and Purple Modernization Project (RPM) affecting the Berwyn and Bryn Mawr stations.



Panel Discussion III

Urban Development: What is the future of Edgewater?

(ends with 5-minute Audience Q&A)


Jay Koziarz, Curbed Chicago

Jay Koziarz is the associate editor of Curbed Chicago where he writes about topics related to Chicago architecture, development, transportation, urban planning, and preservation.


Andy Ahitow, City Pads

Andy Ahitow is the founder of Chicago Apartment Finders and City Pads, LLC which continues Andy’s entrepreneurial vision as a multifamily and mixed-use real estate investment company. Andy is the immediate past Chair of the Edgewater Uptown Builders Association.

Ellen Baren, Ellen Baren Real Estate Group @properties

Ellen Baren is a REALTOR© and broker with @properties experienced in short sales, estate sales and conventional sales of residential and commercial properties. A lifelong resident of Chicago, Ellen’s knowledge of the history and market along the lakefront and surrounding neighborhoods is unique.

Jennifer Clark, Loyola University Chicago

Jennifer Clark is Loyola University’s Associate Vice President of Campus and Community Planning. She sets the overall direction for the revitalization of Loyola’s four campuses and adjacent communities in Chicago, Vernon Hills, and Bull Valley, Illinois. Jennifer facilitates campus-community strategic planning, community infrastructure improvements, communications, and special events.

Bob Remer, Edgewater Historical Society

Bob Remer has been an Edgewater resident for 43 years. He was the President and then Board Chair of the Edgewater Community Council from 1978-1983; elected 48th Ward Democratic Committeeman in 1984, then in 1988 became a founding board member and VP of the Edgewater Historical Society, serving as President since 2008.


Closing Remarks


Tell Me More About The Panel Discussions

Is this Event for Me?

This event is open to the general public but will benefit Edgewater’s small business owners, neighborhood block clubs, policy advocates, businesses with high pedestrian and commuter traffic and residents that live along affected CTA stops most. If you are already aware of the CTA Red/Purple Line Modernization Project and are curious to learn more, this event is a can’t miss.


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Check out last Year’s Pictures