BAPA Board Announces New Executive Director

The Board of Directors of the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) today announced that Susan Flood is moving on from the role of BAPA Executive Director to pursue other opportunities and BAPA has promoted Mary Jo Viero to that position.  “It has been a real privilege to be able to give back to a community I love so much,” Flood said.

“Susan has been an outstanding leader for BAPA,” said BAPA Board President Maureen Gainer Reilly.  “We were delighted when she made the commitment to serve BAPA for two years as executive director.  In that time, BAPA has benefited greatly from her knowledge and experience. While we are sad to see her go, we wish her all the best in her next endeavor.”

During her time at BAPA, Flood enacted new procedures and technology to make the office operations more efficient; established valuable new relationships with community partners; expanded the scope of important committees working in the areas of economic development, housing and schools; oversaw projects to manage and improve the BAPA building; and energized engagement with volunteers, organization members, and donors.

“In the two years since I started, I’ve seen an increased awareness, respect and even excitement about BAPA’s role in the community,” Flood said. “It has been an honor and a privilege to get to know and work with the BAPA Board, staff, volunteers and members, and I look forward to continuing to partner in promoting this amazing neighborhood.”

A longtime Beverly/Morgan Park resident, Mary Jo Viero began her service to BAPA as a member and volunteer, then joined the Board of Directors in 2015.  Viero seized the opportunity to join the staff as a Community Organizer in 2016, confident her skills could better benefit BAPA as a staff member.

In that role, Viero helped to launch and elevate programs to connect residents to businesses, including the BAPA Card, Holiday Cookie Crawl, Sip and Shop and Tap Into BAPA; played key roles in planning, execution and development of BAPA’s Home Tour, Ridge Run/Memorial Day Parade, and Beverly Hills Cycling Classic/Bikes & Brews; created opportunities for meaningful community outreach including the New Neighbor program and working with civic associations; spearheaded the Love Where You Live community spirit campaign; and developed and executed “green” initiatives including Openlands Tree Planting grants and organizing community groups for the annual Clean and Green volunteer day at local parks, schools, train stations and institutions.

Before coming on Board at BAPA, Viero was an active member of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society – Greater Illinois Chapter where she oversaw the development and launch of programs targeted to caregiver education, community awareness and fund raising. Viero also led the vision and establishment of the chapter’s Junior Board and served as program leader and president.

As a community activist, Viero initiated the founding of the Ridge Park Advisory Council and serves as president; is a member of the Castle Restoration Taskforce; was active on committees at St. Barnabas Parish; and served as a member of the Executive Board of Beverly Ridge Homeowners Association.

“My motto is ‘Put your passion into action,’ and my goal is to empower our community to do just that,” Viero said. “Together, we can make Beverly/Morgan Park stronger and more vibrant than ever.”

Viero invites people to contact her with questions and ideas. Call 773-233-3100 or email


Neighborhbood Notes – Events for January 2020

The Ostrega-Uhl Project will present a recital of Mozart and Musicals Sat., Jan. 11, 3 to 4:30 p.m., Beverly Branch Library, 1962 W. 95th St. The recital will feature Mozart’s famous “Piano Quartet in G” as well as string quartet arrangements of his famous operas from the 18th century, and string quartet arrangements of works from musicals of the 20th century, including selections from “The Sound of Music,” “Phantom of the Opera” and “West Side Story.” Performers include Brian Osrega, violin; Stephen Uhl, piano; and guest artists Don Galat, violin; Emma Strohbusch, viola; and Brian Gaoma, cello. Free and open to the public. Info: 312-747-9673.

As part of their monthly wellness seminar series, Beverly Therapists presents “For Couples: Shifting Communication Patterns,” Sat., Jan 11, 3 to 5 p.m., 10725 S. Western. Kanosha Leonard, LCPC will lead participants in an open discussion about communication in their relationships, define primary and secondary emotions, and learn an emotionally-focused approach to communication. $10 per person. Registration required:

The Beverly Morgan Park Community Choir is recruiting new members for the 2020 season. Music pick-up is Sun., Jan. 12, 3:15 to 5:15 p.m., Immanuel United Church of Christ, 9815 S. Campbell. Rehearsals begin the following week, and the 10-week season culminates with a concert Sun., Mar. 29. Now in its 21st season, the choir was founded by the Beverly Morgan Park Community of Churches and is composed of about 60 singers. No audition is required; male voices especially welcome. Info: or

Longwood Writers Guild, a critique group for creative writers, will meet Mon., Jan. 13, 7 p.m., BAPA Community Room, 11109 S. Longwood Dr. Bring a piece in progress to read for productive input, or write from a prompt. For more information or to get the prompt, email

The new Rotary Club of Beverly/Morgan Park, Mt Greenwood will meet on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, and invites interested people to attend and learn more. The Jan. 14 and 28 meetings will be held at 6:15 p.m., BAPA Community Room, 11109 S. Longwood Dr.

The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service  at the Dan Ryan Woods will be held Mon., Jan. 20,  12. To 3 p.m. Volunteers age 10 and up will meet at the visitor center, 87th and Western, and help on stewardship projects such as removing invasive plant species from the woodland habitat, as well as outdoor and indoor activities to make the day fun. Community groups, school groups, families and individuals are encouraged to participate. If weather permits, there will be snowshoes for people to try out, a fire outside to warm up with and hot chocolate.  Groups of 5 or more people  are asaked to register in advance, and waivers need to be signed, so minors must be accompanied with a group or their guardians.  Info:

Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., is offering Winter Days Off School Arts Camps on days when CPS schools are closed: Dr. Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 20; End of Quarter 2 day, Jan. 31; and President’s Day, Feb. 17. Camps are open to children age 5 through 12, and activities include workshops in dance, music, theater and visual arts. Each camp is $42 per child ($38 for BAC members), with pre-camp and after care offered for additional fees. Info: 773-445-3838 or

The League of Women Voters of Chicago-Far Southwest Side Group will meet Wed., Jan. 22, 7 p.m., 9904 S. Damen Ave., to discuss the Chicago City Budget.  The League is a non-partisan organization that provides informal discussion of current political, social and economic issues.  Public welcome.  Info: 312-939-5949, 773-233-1420 or

Mother McAuley High School senior Kathryn Alvarez has been awarded a Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship. Alvarez is a graduate of St. John Fisher elementary school and caddie at Ridge Country Club.  At McAuley she is enrolled in honors and AP classes, and participates in the National Honors Society, Science National Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society. The Chick Evans Scholarship Foundation, sponsored by the Western Golf Association, has awarded nearly 11,000 scholarships for full tuition and housing college scholarships to hardworking caddies with limited financial means since 1930.

Congratulations to Tommy Harris of Beverly/Morgan Park, who was awarded a Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Bungalow Award for landscape design. His award-winning yard and gardens can be viewed on CBA’s website,  The annual Awards were created in 2005 by the Chicago Bungalow Association, with the generous support of The Driehaus Foundation. The Driehaus Awards honor the creativity and efforts of homeowners for the work they’ve done in interior and exterior renovations, restoration, and landscape design.

Congratulations to Brother Rice High School class of 2020 students and Beverly/Morgan Park residents who have been recognized as Illinois State Scholars. The scholars and their elementary schools are Henry J. Barsch (St. Barnabas), John R. Dolan (St. Barnabas), John M. Eastman (St. John Fisher), Ryan J. Kopale (St. John Fisher), Michael P. Nelligan (St. John Fisher), and Jeremy J. Zemgulys (Sutherland).

Congratulations to Earl Sean Simpson of Beverly/ Morgan Park, who is celebrating his 101st birthday on January 9th. Mr. Simpson served as Private First Class in the United States Army during WWII in a segregated unit, 696th Port Company (Transportation Corps), and has lived in Beverly since 2002.



Sweet Surprises at BAPA’s Holiday Cookie Crawl 

Sweet Surprises at BAPA’s Holiday Cookie Crawl 

Everyone’s smiling when they arrive at BAPA’s annual Holiday Cookie Crawl. What’s not to love about visiting neighborhood businesses and getting a sweet surprise at every stop! The 4th Annual Holiday Cookie Crawl will be held Sat., Dec. 14, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and at the time The Villager went to press, tins were available for purchase. Tins sales are online only at The cost is $25 each, limit two. 

The Crawl begins at the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., where participants will check in between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and receive their first two treats, one from the Misericordia pop-up and one from BAPA.  Cookie Crawl sponsors are Desmond & Ahern LTD., certified accountants and consultants, and County Fair Foods.  

This year’s event features more participating businesses, so tins are bigger to accommodate 17 treats. Cookie flavors include gingerbread men, eggnog snowmen, oatmeal with white chocolate, double chocolate with peppermint, red velvet, amaretti, pumpkin spice and more. Bakers and treat makers are Misericordia, Sweet Freaks, Laine’s Bake Shop, Home Run Inn, Smith Village, County Fair Foods, Beverly Bakery, Barraco’s, Alvin Green and Mr. Mike’s.  

Each of the cookie stops is located along Western Avenue. I It takes 4960 cookies to fill the 300 tins available for the crawl!  

In addition to collecting cookies, families can enjoy holiday music by the Chicago Children’s Choir at the Beverly Arts Center, visits with Santa at Beverly Bank, 10258 S. Western, 2 to 5 p.m., and special fun at other businesses. 

BAPA’s Holiday Cookie Crawl supports local businesses and encourages are residents to shop locally. 




What’s the SCORE?

By Kevin Scanlan 
Certified SCORE Mentor 

Tax Reduction Steps to Consider Before the End of The Year 

The holidays are almost here, ushering in the end of another year.  If your business is on a calendar year basis, there may be some tax reduction steps to consider before 2020 arrives.  (NOTE: this information is provided as general educational information and not tax advice.) 

Pay all Outstanding Payables. If your business in on a cash-basis accounting method, and you have cash on hand, you may want to consider paying outstanding invoices that are not due until next year, this year. This allows you to take the business expense this year which will reduce your net income and tax bill. 

Check Your Estimated Tax Payments. Businesses typically pay an estimated tax payment each quarter. If your estimated payments are too low at the end of the year, you could end up paying additional interest and fees. 

Defer Income. You can reduce your taxable income by deferring some of your business income until the following year.  For cash-basis accounting companies, income is taxed based on when you actually receive payment. 

Review the Depreciation Rules. There have been some changes to the depreciation rules by the IRS.  Check IRS Publication 946 for current rules. 

Check for Tax Law Changes. Just like depreciation rules, new tax laws are now in effect that could impact your business, some positive and some potentially negative. Check with your tax preparer to ensure that you are following all the tax laws and regulations. 

Employee Bonuses. Bonuses paid to your employees are deductible business expense. If you pay a bonus, consider making the payment prior to end of 2019 so you can deduct the expenses this year rather than paying in the early part of next year and waiting until next year to claim the business expense.   

As always, I’m happy to meet with you to discuss how SCORE might assist you with starting or growing your business. You can reach me at 


Local Actor Recalls a Brush  — or a Flush – with Broadway 

By Meg Massaro 

When the Beverly Theatre Guild (BTG) announced they were producing “Urinetown, I knew had to audition. I’ve played several roles in BTG productions over the years, but I really hoped that I would land a part in this show because I have a special connection to the playwright.  

Many years agoI was a supervisor of support staff at Bank of America (formerly Continental Bank)when a young man was brought in to help as an administrative assistant. He and I hit it off, not because of his word processing abilities that benefited the bank, but because of our shared love of improv and musical theater. He was very involved with the improv scene and musical theater here in Chicago, performing at The Second City and other venues. 

Behind the scenes, the young man was writing satirical and political musical comedies, including a crazy dark show he was working on with an improv partner. He confided to me that one day he hoped to bring a show to a larger audience, like New York 

That former bank employee with a dream to make it big is playwright Mark Hollmann who, in partnership with Greg Kotis, created “Urinetown,” which went to Broadway in the late 1990s and earned 12 Tony Awards, including one for best original score and one for best book.  

I’m thrilled to say that I will have the privilege to pee in the role of Josephine Strong in the BTG’s production of the hilarious “Urinetown” this month.  


“Urinetown the Musical,” a satire of greed, corruption and revolution, will be staged Fri., Oct. 11 and Sat., Oct. 12, 8 p.m., and Sun., Oct. 13, 2 p.m., Morgan Park Academy Art Center, 2153 W. 111th St. “Urinetown” is set in a big city in the throes of a severe water shortage. The government has banned private toilets, forcing citizens to use – and pay for — amenities regulated by a greedy company. A hero decides he’s had enough and plans a revolution that will bring the city reliefTickets are $24 at or 773-BTG-TIXS.  


Meeting the Financial Planning Needs of Local Families

In 2017, Robin House and Tony Michalek leveraged their wealth of knowledge earned through distinguished careers in finance to establish Our House Wealth Advisors.  Their goal is to champion the needs of the neighborhood’s investors.

Our House Wealth Advisors is here because Robin and Tony believe there needs to be a better model than ‘one size fits all’ investment strategies, generically based on someone’s age or stage in life.  This is one of the reasons Our House Wealth offers an expert College Funding Program designed to make college more affordable based on the individual student’s needs.

As the head of Portfolio Management at Our House Wealth Advisors, Robin works with every investor to tailor their portfolio to best achieve their specific needs. “We are a family run office specializing in working across generations to ensure all members of the family are healthy, wealthy and protected.”

Our House Wealth Advisors understands being more personally invested in their clients leads greater trust, communication, and the perspective needed to successfully build generational wealth.  The doors are always open and clients frequently stop in just to say hi or for bi-weekly coffee club to discuss current events.

Robin and Tony have deep seeded roots to the southside of Chicago.  You can catch them most days of the week feeding the girls H.S. swim team or Friday at a local H.S. football game.  They offer an internship and college scholarship for local graduating High School Girls pursuing business degrees.  They understand the needs of local families because they are a local family.

Our House Wealth Advisors supports local first responders, active-duty military personnel, and veterans by offering discounts, and annually organizing the “Celebration of Service” event to raise funds for charities serving those who have served.  They also support Misericordia Hearts of Mercy and the Andrew Weishar Foundation.  In to 2019 they will be sponsoring the Toys for Tots drive in both the 19th Ward and Evergreen Park Business districts.

For more information call Our House Wealth Advisors at (312) 819-4200 or visit the website at

BAPA Staff Profile: Meet Gary Jenkins, Education and Safety Program Coordinator 

By Kristin Boza 

Last month, Gary Jenkins joined BAPA’s core team as the new Education and Safety Program Coordinator. In this role, Jenkins will be a resource for local schools and parents, as well as work with the 22nd District Police and 19th Ward Office to promote neighborhood safety initiatives. 

Jenkins has lived with his wife Sharon in the neighborhood for over 15 years and they have been married for nearly 19 years. Sharon is a South Side Chicago native but Jenkins is a New York City native, born in Harlem and raised in the Bronx 

His background as an investigator for CPS and the Inspector General’s office, as well as a community leader has primed him to take on this new role. He is entering his second term as president of the Vanderpoel Improvement Association (VIA), and has served as the CAPS Beat Facilitator for Beat 2213 for the last 10 years. Knowing the ins and outs of the public school system allows him to knowledgeably develop key relationships with local public and private school principals and LSC groups. 

“I have a vast institutional knowledge of CPS, particularly when it comes to how parents, businesses and the community work with CPS,” he said. “With almost 40 years of work experience, I’ve worked with many different people in different environments and learned valuable ways to communicate with a variety of people.” 

BAPA’s initiatives to engage younger families in the Beverly/Morgan Park communities is integral to ensuring steady community support. Jenkins says he is looking forward to working with this population when it comes to questions about area schools and personal safety. 

As he begins his tenure at BAPA, Jenkins will be building relationships to find out what types of support schools need and how BAPA can help. He will also work with the safety committee to ensure it is a viable and long-lasting resource for the community. 

“I’m looking forward to getting out in the neighborhood and introducing myself. My goals are simple: to get out there and do good things,” Jenkins said. “I’ve been working in this community since we moved here and BAPA is a natural fit for me to expand my reach.” 

What’s the SCORE? Show Me the Money!

By Kevin ScanlanCertified SCORE Mentor 

One of the biggest challenges facing business owners is finding start-up and interim capital. My clients have used several sources to secure capital, usually requiring a combination of two or more.  

Self-funded. Usually owners need to have “skin-in-the-game, using some of their own money as capital for the business.  Typically, this is only one source of funding. 

Family/friends. Family and friends are frequently a source of capital for a new or existing business.  I’ve seen this take many forms: out-right gift, low interest loan, equity, or silent or active participation in the business. 

Angel investors. There are firms and individuals who will invest in both start-up as well as existing businesses. These investments can be carried by the company as debt or may be offered in exchange for equity in the business. 

Crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is typically an internetbased platform where business owners seek individual investors who commit a much smaller amount of resources than angel investors. Some examples of these platforms include Seed Invest, GoFundMe, AngelList and Crowdcube. 

Public/private grants. There is a variety of public and private funding sources for new and existing business. The City of Chicago Small Business Center offers a variety of grants. The State of Illinois also provides a variety of grants, some that are industryspecific.  Special grants are available for military veterans, and women-owned and minorityowned businesses.  The Small Business Administration (SBA), which is a Resource Partner of SCORE, has the Small Business Investment Company and also offers Federal Finance Assistance Grants in a variety of industries.  Connect with the SBA at Private companies and foundations also offer grants. Examples are the Coca-Cola Foundation, FedEX Small Business Grant Contest and Lending Tree Small Business Grant Contest. 

Loans. The SBA) offers are variety of loans for small businesses through several local, regional and national banks.  Go to to learn more. Several localstate and federal government agencies also offer loan programs. Private organizations including Accion (, Kiva ( Kabbage (, Bluevine ( and LendingClub ( also offer loans.  

Note: References to private grant and lending organizations are simply offered as examples and not as endorsements from me or SCORE. 

People with business questions are welcome to contact me at for assistance.  My office hours at the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) are on most Tuesday and Thursday mornings. 


By Kevin Scanlan 

Certified SCORE Mentor 

The Tax Man Giveth and He Taketh Away 

It’s that time of year again, Income Tax Season.  As we prepare to file our 2018 taxes there are several changes to our tax laws and regulations that may impact you, both positively and negatively. NOTE: This article is not intended as legal or tax advice. You should always consult with your attorney, accountant or tax preparer to determine how the changes in the tax laws and regulations will impact you. 

Among the major changes in 2018 are the provisions contained in the Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017. Many believe that these changes are the biggest changes enacted in many years. Here’s an overview of some of those changes and others: 

Standard business mileage deduction for 2018 is 54 cents per mile, 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes and 14 cents per mile driven in service of a charitable organization. 

With some exceptions, small pass-through businesses (those businesses that report their business income on their personal tax filing) are entitled to take a Qualified Business Income Deduction equal to 20% of the qualified business income. 

The new tax law increases the Estate Tax Exclusion, allowing small business owners to pass on more assets from their business to their heirs without incurring estate taxes. 

Depreciation is the common tax deduction for the gradual wear and tear on certain types of business assets, typically spread over the useful life of the asset. In 2015, Congress passed a law allowing for a 50% deduction in a single year. The new tax law increases the deduction to 100% in the first year.  This higher deduction is scheduled to decrease in future years. 

Some business deductions are gone or harder to take, including some business entertainment expenses.  Also impacted is Net Operating Loss Carryover. 

The maximum wage base for withholding Social Security has been increased in 2018. 

With few exceptions, the corporate tax rate has been adjusted to a flat 21%.   

If you are thinking of starting a business or need help in growing your current business and would like to schedule a meeting with me at BAPA, contact me at