Lincoln Square-Ravenswood Chamber Director Resigns

By Sam Charles | Thursday, October 25, 2012

Melissa Flynn at her desk. Credit: Mike Fourcher

The executive director of the Lincoln Square-Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce is resigning, effective Dec. 1.

Melissa Flynn, who has led the chamber for eight years, is stepping down to spend more time with her family and pursue consulting opportunities, according to Jason Kraus, president of the Lincoln Square-Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce. Flynn will also serve as director of the Lincoln Square Foundation. Rudy Flores will be taking on the role of executive director upon Flynn’s departure.

“It is the right time for change for myself, my family and for the organization. From intern to membership director, [Flores] has been an integral part of our team at the Chamber and he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience. I am thrilled to turn over the reins to such a talented and passionate individual,” Flynn in a statement.

Kraus said Flores’ assumption of the position was in the works for some time.

“[Flores] was being groomed for the position,” Kraus said. “[Flynn] and I wanted to create a succession plan for the future.”

According to a statement from the Chamber, Flores was unanimously voted into the position by the executive board of the chamber. Flores comes to the Lincoln Square-Ravenswood chamber with a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois Chicago.

47th Ward Alderman Ameya Pawar said Flynn notified him of her decision a few weeks ago. Pawar said Flynn has been “a transformative figure in the Lincoln Square area.”

The Lincoln Square-Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce operated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It received a $68,000 grant form the City in 2012. The Lincoln Square-Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce also oversees Special Service Area 21, specially designated areas where an additional tax is levied on businesses to provide funding for area maintenance and beautification. The budget for SSA 21 in 2012 was approximately $143,000, according to Flynn. The provider agency—The Lincoln Square-Ravenswood Chamber—receives 10 percent of that budget to cover operational costs.

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