By Susan Flood, BAPA Executive Director
I fell in love with Beverly/Morgan Park nearly 30 years ago when I started to look for my first home. I was hooked when I first visited with a college friend. As my husband and I explored the Chicagoland area, the people, the culture, the architecture I had found here pulled me in. That was what I saw from the outside! Once we moved in, I quickly learned just how much heart and soul surrounded me.
As a newcomer to the neighborhood, my career in business development (a fancy word for sales) kept me downtown or on a plane most of the week until it was time to start my family. Three children came along and suddenly my appreciation for what Beverly/Morgan Park had to offer grew by leaps and bounds.
I grew up downstate and attended public school in the suburbs, making me a “transplant” with fresh eyes to what surrounded me. Right away, I joined everything I could. I started volunteering at the kids’ school, church, BAPA, the park district and with charities that I had a passion for.
The community welcomed me with open arms while I learned the tough lesson of where, when and how much I could contribute with only 24 hours in a day to give.
Through this early journey my appreciation grew enormously for just how special the bond is that creates this unique community. Later, when I returned to work in non-profit development (a fancy word for fundraising), I was lucky to land at the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, with a branch home almost in my own backyard. As I dug into the vast networks I needed to tap to get the job done for Mercy Home, I found myself comparing the neighborhoods that make up our city to my own. Once again, I became certain that Beverly/Morgan Park is one of Chicago’s best kept secrets.
As BAPA builds on a successful 70 year record of looking out for the neighbors, businesses and friends that make up Beverly/Morgan Park, I am prepared to bring everything I have to contributing in a meaningful way to meeting the challenges that face our community and sustaining the success that was built long before I moved in and makes this neighborhood so unique.
I am truly grateful for BAPA’s faith in me, and for the opportunity to dig in and contribute to this unique and valuable culture. I simply could not be more excited! It is a tremendous gift to be able work alongside such a talented and dedicated team of staff and volunteers who bring both hard and soft skills to serve all the residents of our community.
Once again, I find myself wishing for more than 24 hours in a day!