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Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce Will Close

By Mike Fourcher | Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce shares office space with the Ravenswood Community Council at 1756 W. Wilson Ave. Photo credit: Mike Fourcher

Burdened by the weight of two federal tax liens, a state tax lien and a board of directors in disarray, the Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce, 1756 West Wilson Ave., is likely to dissolve by February 2011 says the organization’s acting executive director, Patricia Martinelli.

“We’re in the process of dissolving [the chamber],” said Martinelli. “We’re working on how to do this and figure out some of the options we’re going to have.”

Martinelli, who is also a Ravenswood Chamber board member, is working without pay to develop a payment plan with the Internal Revenue Service and the Illinois Department of Revenue for almost $40,000 in unpaid payroll taxes and unemployment insurance fees.

Seth Boustead, who recently resigned from the Ravenwood Chamber board, confirmed Martinelli’s plans. “The decision [has been] made to dissolve the organization, probably in February. There’s a couple of vouchers out and then we’re going to close down.”

Once a visible organization in the community, the Chamber stopped holding events in August when Executive Director Tom Kamykowski was asked by the Chamber board to leave his position. Soon after Kamykowski’s departure, Board President David Ochab resigned his position from the board.

Chamber members have not been notified of the changes because Kamykowski took the member list when he cleaned out his desk.

“When Tom left, he took the whole chamber contact list with him, so we haven’t been able to contact the members about what happened,” says Boustead.

Not surprisingly, chamber members are confused as to the status of their organization. “There was no Dash on Damen this year and no tree lighting ceremony for the tree on Damen and Leland,” says Eye See Ravenswood owner, Dr. Andrea Stein. “The tree got lit, so I guess somebody took care of it.”

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