Village Viewpoint – December 

By Mary Jo Viero 
BAPA Executive Director 

The gift I cherish the most is the gift of spending time with friends, family and neighbors.  I have been so fortunate that my job at BAPA gives me that gift on a daily basis.  I love to stop by our local businesses and talk with the owners and to chat with whoever happens to be there working or shopping. Countless times, I have run into a shop to buy something and come out an hour later with a smile on my face because of the people I ran into.  

One of the reasons I chose to move the BAPA offices was to make dropping in for a visit easier for our neighbors.  As a community organization, I want BAPA to connect with as many people in our community as possible. Connection is what gives me and my staff the energy and ideas to do what we do.   

Our new location at 1744 W. 99th St. gives us the opportunity to see more people. We’re in the heart of the 99th Street shopping district, across the street from the train station.  I invite you to stop in to say hi, tell me what interests you or concerns you, and, perhaps, ask me how you can get involved with BAPA.   

As our world evolves so must we.  BAPA is starting the new year in a new space and we are more focused than ever on bringing our community together in new and exciting ways.  I am excited about collaborating and partnering with businesses, neighbors and local organizations such as the Beverly Arts Center.  Our housing and economic development committees will be working to celebrate and showcase the incredible housing stock and small businesses that we have in Beverly/Morgan Park, and to address what we need to keep them beautiful and thriving. If you are interested in giving your time and talents on these or other BAPA committees, please reach out to me at 773-233-3100 or The more people we have working toward a common goal the better.   

As I reflect on 2021, I can’t help but think of all of the people in our community who have supported me personally as well as BAPA.  It has been a roller coaster, but the wonderful people in our community who have volunteered, sponsored, donated and participated in BAPA’s events and programs continue to fuel our goal of strengthening our incredible community.  I also deeply appreciate and thank each of every one of you who gave financially to support our efforts.  We could not do what we do without you! Your generosity goes directly back to our community.  Thank you.  

Wishing you and your families a very happy and safe holiday season.   


Mary Jo  




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