Five Questions With Heather Way

By Mike Fourcher | Monday, February 21, 2011

Heather Way in her office at the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce. Credit: Mike Fourcher.

A Lakeview resident for a dozen years, Heather Way, the Executive Director of the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce, now lives within steps of her office and spends most of her time in Lakeview. “Driving to Lincoln Park feels like the longest commute!” she says.

Nine years ago she jumped from a management position with Rosebud Restaurants to start work for the Chamber and she’s never looked back.

1. What’s your favorite spot in the neighborhood?

I really love Julius Meinl. I love to just sit there and read. The one on Southport.

2. What’s the goofiest thing you’ve seen in the neighborhood?

Remember when we had that earthquake a year and a half ago? The bus stop – the shelter – across the street fell over into the road. I don’t know if it was because of the earthquake. It was very odd and it took this massive team of people to put it back up.

3. If there’s something you’d change about the neighborhood what would it be?

How much time do you have? There were things I would change…my number one priority, this is as a resident and as the head of the Chamber of Commerce, something has got to be done about Lincoln-Belmont-Ashland, the intersection and the LaSalle National Bank Building. It is horrible.

It’s something I walk by and look at every single day. I have to negotiate the intersection every day to get here. Just looking at that building, that’s the gateway to our community. Something has to give. Something has to be done.

We’re strongly advocating for that this year. It’s one of our key messages: Fix up Lincoln-Belmont-Ashland.

It’s gone on too long.

4. What’s different about the neighborhood since you first moved here?

Not the Lincoln-Belmont-Ashland intersection!

A lot has changed. There’s a lot of new businesses. You what I thought of that I totally love? Klein Park at Addison Avenue – that’s the unofficial name – and then the renovations of the playlot at Sheil Park which we played a big part in and I played a big part in so that’s important to us.

Those kinds of community-wide improvements that specifically serve the demographic that lives here. Those are the kinds of things I like to see happen and we, as the Chamber, like to help see happen. It helps to fulfill our mission in a different way.

Whatever kind of community vibrancy we can generate, then everybody wins.

5. Retro on Roscoe or Summer on Southport?

I have to go Summer on Southport. Because it’s my backyard! I’m going to stick here on the East side of the tracks.

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