Uptown United

Uptown United is Uptown’s community economic development organization serving the entire Uptown community, from Irving Park on the south to Foster on the north, the lake on the east and Clark Street on the west.

In order to work most effectively, we are structured as an umbrella organization with three partner groups: Business Partners – the Chamber for Uptown, a separate 501(c)(6) corporation with its own governance;  Development Partners – developers and property owners working to address development issues in the community by initiating planning projects and guiding private development, and Community Partners – that works to support Uptown’s many not-for-profits and service providers through professional development, advocacy, and networking activities. Uptown United also serves as the sole service provider for Uptown Special Service Area #34, a special taxing body that focuses on commercial corridor improvements and marketing efforts throughout the district.


Working with all stakeholders, Uptown United will lead efforts to: build a strong, unified business environment though marketing, advocacy, and technical assistance; facilitate economic development through smart urban planning, arts development, and business attraction; and strengthen community through capacity building and placemaking efforts – all to nurture a diverse, vibrant, thriving and strong Uptown.

Development Partners

Development Partners works to guide and encourage healthy and sustainable development in Uptown, as well as engaging in its own development projects.  Development Partners is organized as an advisory Council made up of landowners, architects, real estate professionals and developers from across the community.

Working closely with the other arms of Uptown United, Development Partners’ mission is to initiate and participate in strategic planning, promote appropriate land use, and encourage development projects that provide employment opportunities, a strengthened economic base, and an enhanced quality of life for Uptown’s diverse population.

Development Partners meets the last Wednesday of every moth at 8:00 am. Contact us if you like to learn more or present to the Development Partners committee.

Community Partners

Uptown is home to an active community of not-for-profit organizations, including arts organizations, social service providers, educational institutions and ethnic and cultural associations.  While many of these organizations are members of Business Partners, they have unique needs as not-for-profit businesses that Community Partners hopes to fulfill.  Community Partners works to support these organizations through a number of programs and initiatives, striving to:

• Promote the integration of social and economic efforts in Uptown;
• Act as a catalyst, building effective partnerships among businesses and community organizations; and
• Ensure that Uptown’s diverse population continues to enjoy access to housing and community-based goods and services.


Suellen G. Long, Chair – Bridgeview Bank
Lucio DiPaolo, Vice Chair, Business Partners – Aardvark Insurance
Jacqueline Loewe, Vice Chair, Dev. Partners – Sheridan Park Consulting
Mary Kay Gilbert, Vice Chair, Community Partners – Heartland Alliance
Jacqueline Zanders, Secretary – Illinois Action for Children
Rafael Leon, Treasurer – Chicago Metro. Housing Dev. Corp.


Cindi Anderson, Uptown Chicago Commission
Maria Barnes, Uptown Bikes
Ricardo Cazares, Weiss Memorial Hospital
Scott Baskin, Mark Shale Company (retired)
Shawn Jackson, Harry S Truman College
Mary Laura Jones, ICA
Tam Van Nguyen, Chinese Mutual Aid Association
Patrick Thompson, MDT Architects
Paul Tsang, Hon Kee Restaurant