By Grace Kuikman
Craig Huffman, a BAPA Board member since 2016, moved to Beverly/Morgan Park from Hyde Park in 2008. Huffman and his wife, Rebeca, learned about the neighborhood when visiting friends. “I fell in love with the community,” Huffman said, citing the mix of small town feel and big city appeal that has drawn so many people to the Village in the City.
Soon after the Huffmans settled in their East Beverly home they joined BAPA. Supporting your neighborhood organization is, “the right thing to do,” Huffman said. Even though he didn’t know a lot about BAPA’s work when he first came to the community, he has since learned how much BAPA does to preserve and protect our community. When he got the call inviting him to consider serving on the BAPA Board, he said yes,
The expertise Huffman brings to BAPA includes wide experience in board governance and management including not-for-profits, financial analysis, and facilities maintenance – especially helpful as BAPA owns an old building.
A managing partner and co-founder of Ascendance Partners, a commercial real estate investment firm, Huffman brings exceptional insight and experience in this field to BAPA’s board. Ascendance Partners was established in 2006 with a focus on commercial real estate investments that target industrial, retail and office opportunities throughout metropolitan Chicago.
In addition to his commitment to BAPA, Huffman serves on a number of other boards including the Healthy Communities Foundation, a public policy organization that works for prison reform, and an organization that helps ensure that children from low families have access to higher education.
Huffman’s reputation for hard work and deep insights about Chicago communities were certainly factors to him being appointed to the diverse committee of Chicago business and community leaders invited by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to help make the case for moving Amazon HQ2 to Chicago.
In that capacity, Huffman has participated in briefing sessions and opportunities to advocate for Chicago as the best place for Amazon to locate.
Huffman called Amazon a “major player in commerce” citing its enormous span of influence, from affluent communities to poor ones. “Amazon is redefining what many of us know as conventional retail,” he said. Finalists cities should be announced soon, and the selection may be made by the end of this year. Huffman said he’s “hopeful” that Chicago will be selected but adds “We’ve got some tough competition.” “I think Chicago is the best city in the world, but people in other cities feel the same way,” he said.
Huffman’s experience and perspective gained in his career, in board work and as an active member of the community help shape the programs and goals of BAPA.
“Beverly/Morgan Park is a great community because of the level of the people who are here, and BAPA is a reflection of that,” he said. He encourages neighbors to actively support BAPA. “The more people getting involved in BAPA, the more we’re invested in making sure Beverly/Morgan Park remains a great community.”
The Huffmans have two children, Sofia, 11, a student at St. Barnabas School, and Solomon, 9, a student at Sutherland School.
For more information about supporting BAPA, call BAPA Executive Director Susan Flood, 773-233-3100, or visit www.bapa.org.