Ian Tobin, VP & Director of Community Development at the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce.
About the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce:
We are the booster of the Lincoln Square and Ravenswood neighborhoods in Chicago, the liaison between residents and businesses whose mission is to attract customers, and manage and grow our business corridors.
How many years do you have in the nonprofit industry?
Seven years professionally, and four years as a Board volunteer for other neighborhood associations.
What is an area of focus you dedicate a lot of time to that may be unseen work but has a critical impact?
The overall experience a customer has in a business district is truly the sum of its parts. Between events, landscaping, holiday decorations, and building design, these all come together to make a business district attractive. One of the least flashy (yet crucial) parts of that is trash and litter: businesses and residents rarely remark about how clean a sidewalk is, but will always call you when it is not. Directing our litter abatement crew to stay on top of trash is essential to keeping customers curious about our businesses and off of the condition of the sidewalk.
What is one thing you wish someone had told you about the nonprofit industry?
When you go to Thanksgiving, you will tell your family about all the different projects you are working on, the personalities you manage, and the fires you put out, and that will be met with a glassy stare and a “Huh. I’m really not sure what your job is.”