About 75 local entrepreneurs and community members attended the One Year Anniversary Party for Austin Weekly News’ West Side Business Network on March 13, 2014 at ABC Bank, 5645 W. Lake Street in Chicago. 

The evening included light refreshments, networking, and a guest presentation from the Oak Park Regional Housing Center on their ‘Austin Ascending‘ program where building owners are given grants to improve the appeal of their rentable units. Austin Coming Together also gave a guest presentation about their many programs and services that build capacity for collaborative action in four focused areas: Early Childhood, Youth, Workforce, and The Built Environment.

Each attendee was given the chance to introduce themselves and to explain what types of connections they are looking to make. Many expressed their appreciation for this chance to meet so many interesting individuals, and some even described their positive experiences and relationships that resulted fromt their membership in West Side Women, West Side Bridge, or West Side Men.

Notable guests included staff from Austin Weekly News such as Columnist Arlene Jones; Bonni McKeown, author of “West Side Blues Blog;” and Publisher Dan Haley. Other attendees included as Ron Lawless, candidate for 1st District Commissioner, and Amara Enyia, Austin Chamber of Commerce Executive Director and candidate for the Mayor of Chicago in 2015.

An exciting announcement was made at the event: Dawn Ferencak, Sales Representative for Austin Weekly News, has been promoted to Associate Publisher! Read more about Dawn here.