Annual Planning & Advocacy Summit
On Thursday, May 7, 2015 The Magnificent Mile Association hosted its annual Planning & Advocacy Summit at the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile. Special thanks to Doug Dean, General Manager of the hotel for providing wonderful services and facilities for the event. Attending the event were over 65 association members who voiced their concerns and challenges as well as opportunities for the future planning of the Magnificent Mile District. Special guest speakers included new Police Commander George Devereux of the 18th District, Maria Guerra Lapacek, Commissioner of the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP), the new Alderman of the 2nd Ward, Brian Hopkins, and the Association’s new Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships, John Curran.
The Summit’s first speaker was Cmdr. George Devereux, the new Commander for the Chicago Police, 18th District. Cmdr. Devereux answered numerous personal safety questions regarding panhandlers, peddlers, and teen groups.
Commissioner Maria Lapacek (BACP) also addressed member concerns over panhandling, but her main focus was providing information on the office’s programs including: Small business licensing, the restaurant startup program, a site selector program that provides information on vacant sites for potential new businesses, food truck diagnostic program, sidewalk café permits, and various other small business resources.
The Association’s new Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, John Curran presented insightful views on marketing and branding identity. The Magnificent Mile’s brand, according to Curran, is the experience, which is governed by Urban Design, traffic flow, signage, etc. The Association’s marketing role here is to manage assets that overall, serve to enhance sense of place.
The Summit’s last speaker was Brian Hopkins, Alderman of the 2nd Ward. Alderman Hopkins noted that he would like to begin his tenure by meeting campaign promises that include addressing illegal lodging, excessive noise complaints, reforming ward boundaries based on population and neighborhood boundaries, addressing the backlog of ward rehab projects, and creating overall balance and compromise among all stakeholders.