Waukegan IL Digital Publication

City of Waukegan Mayor’s Welcome


On behalf of the City of Waukegan, I proudly welcome you to explore the unique opportunities that our community offers. Whether starting a business, relocating your family, or just visiting, Waukegan offers a supportive approach to help you succeed. Waukegan’s neighborhoods, schools, scenic lakefront, entertainment, award-winning parks and golf courses are sure to enrich the lives of you and your family.

Waukegan is perfectly located on the North Shore of Lake Michigan between Chicago and Milwaukee. The picturesque lakefront includes recreational activities such as kite surfing, sport fishing, natural dune trails and a beachfront concert bandshell. Our deep-water harbor serves the needs of both the commercial and boating communities.

Arts and culture are the heart of our downtown, anchored by the Waukegan Arts District, which includes the world-famous Genesee Theatre, the nationally awarded Waukegan Public Library, art galleries, unique shops, performing arts spaces, eateries and a monthly ArtWauk Festival that celebrates the creative wealth of our diverse community.

Waukegan is pro-development and open for business. Businesses looking to expand will find a competitive advantage with Waukegan’s welcoming approach to economic development, a skilled labor force and major transportation access to port, rail, interstates and the Waukegan National Airport with U.S. Customs.

As the Lake County Seat since the late 1800s, we offer the governmental services along with the commercial, industrial and retail opportunities that developers compete for and quality neighborhoods and family-friendly activities that homeowners wish for; making us one of the best values in Illinois.

The City of Waukegan proudly supports the Waukegan Chamber of Commerce as a Platinum Sponsor.

We welcome you to take a closer look at Waukegan and #ExploreWaukegan to discover what makes us special.

Sincerely yours,

Sam Cunningham
Mayor, City of Waukegan
Office: (847) 599-2510

Chamber Chairman Welcome

With so much going on in Waukegan, where do I begin? To start, please welcome our new executive director, Dawn Simerly, to our Chamber family and our newest board member, Tom LeBaron!

We moved! We are now located within Waukegan City Hall. Our goal is to offer great networking opportunities to help your businesses grow and succeed. Every month we have a Lunch and Learn, a Business After Hours and a quarterly Wake Up Breakfast with featured business leaders in our community. Our HUGE Annual Golf Outing and Business After Hours will be held on June 13, 2018, at Glen Flora Country Club. We have our annual beer tent at Scoop in July.

There’s big news in the health care scene! Oak Street Health opened a new clinic on Grand Avenue and US HealthVest acquired Vista West, which will be operating as the Lake Behavioral Health Hospital.

Enjoy daily restaurant specials and check Harbors Edge for special weekend events. Every third Saturday brings more fun with ArtWauk. Check out new shows at Three Brothers Theatre and the amazing schedule at The Genesee. Join our email list to stay up to date on all the events and fill every day with fun.

Jack Orlov
Chamber Board Chairman
City of Waukegan Chamber of Commerce

Chamber Leadership


Chairman – Jack Orlov
Right Healthcare Ventures

Vice Chairman – Tiffany Dutton
NorStates Bank
Assistant Vice President

Secretary – Lucy Torres
Express Employment Professionals

Treasurer – Dane Morgan
NorStates Bank
Senior Vice President


Kim Needham
Vista Health System
Assistant CEO, COO

Mike O’Neil
NRG Energy
Administrative Manager

Michael Purtell
City of Waukegan
Building Commissioner

Dr. Michael J. Reed
Family Chiropractic & Sports Rehab
Founder, Physician (ADD)

Ray Vukovich
Ray Vukovich Consulting

April Dean
SpringHill Suites by Marriott
Director of Sales & Marketing

Tom LeBaron
17 North Bar & Grill
CBS Realtors/17 North/The Taproom/TR’s Front Row on Greenwood

Victor Gonzalez
First Midwest Bank
Branch Manager


Dawn Simerly
City of Waukegan Chamber of Commerce
Executive Director

City of Waukegan Chamber of Commerce

Join the Chamber
Become part of a dynamic community organization!

Our mission
The City of Waukegan Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to promote business growth in Waukegan, to serve members with personal and professional development opportunities and to affect public policy decisions to the benefit of the Waukegan business community.

In addition to the opportunities and benefits available to member businesses, the City of Waukegan Chamber of Commerce also facilitates action on issues of larger concern to both businesses and citizens of the area.

Who we are
The City of Waukegan Chamber of Commerce is a group of dedicated business professionals that work together. As a member of the City of Waukegan Chamber of Commerce, you are a part of a growing number of businesses who recognize the power of many is greater than the power of one.

Our Chamber members are as diverse as the city itself, representing businesses of all sizes and industries. Together, we are shaping Waukegan’s dynamic business environment by making the city an exceptional place to live and work. Join us and make your own connection in Waukegan and the business world.

Invest in your success
Chamber membership is an outstanding value whether your company is big or small. When your company joins, every employee automatically become a Chamber member, eligible for all of the programs and services we offer.

Your investment increases your opportunities to make new contacts, attract customers, bolster your customer base and provides a voice for your business. The Chamber offers professional training programs to help you succeed and make our community stronger. Membership is the driving force behind a successful organization and we urge you to become involved.

Join today and take advantage of these valuable benefits of chamber membership…

● Connect
Our breakfasts, lunches and after-hours events offer a variety of ways to network and connect with other members as well as the public.

● Lunch and Learn
Lively topics, great networking and great food! The Chamber’s monthly luncheon is held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month at the Waukegan Public Library.

● Business After Hours
Hosted by a different Chamber member business each month, this casual after-hours event is always a fun time to catch up with colleagues, or serve as host and showcase your products and/or services. (5-7 p.m., third Thursdays)

● Wake up with Waukegan
Series of educational events to connect the community with local business leaders. Guest speakers cover a range of topics and food and beverage is catered to all in attendance.

Get noticed
Among our initiatives are publications that reach every household and beyond, cooperative advertising opportunities and, of course, terrific online promotional opportunities.

● The Chamber’s community website
Every Chamber business is listed in our online business directory free of charge.

● City of Waukegan Community Guide
This is THE annual guide for the City of Waukegan delivered in the spring to over 13,000 businesses and residents in our community. In addition to civic information and community contacts it also features an alphabetical and categorical listing of all chamber members, free of charge. For those desiring a greater presence, display advertising is available exclusively for Chamber members.

● Newsletters & social media
Our weekly e-newsletter offers the opportunity for members to share their news with our email networks. Simply forward your events with a hyperlink or PDF for more information and we’ll be happy to pass it on. Let us also share your news through our Facebook page and Linkedin accounts!

Tap resources
Learning opportunities, business services, bridge-building through partnerships, advocating for our businesses – our resources are yours.

● Education workshops
Whether a session on the latest trends in social media for business, or a discussion on a human resource issue, we bring the specialists in to share their expertise.

● Advocacy
We represent our constituents’ interests when a local, regional, state or federal issue impacts them and collaborate with other partners on issues where appropriate. We share information through our regular communications.

● Facilitating connections
Exploring an idea, looking for the right contact or just need a little guidance? Contact our staff – we will be happy to try to direct you to the right people or answer.

Join today!

For more information, visit
www.waukeganchamber.org or contact the Chamber office at (847) 623-6800 or

2018 Chamber Calendar of Events


4 – Lunch and Learn
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Waukegan Public Library

19 – Business After Hours
5-7 p.m.
Holiday Inn Express


1 – Wake Up with Waukegan
7 a.m.-8:30 a.m.
Glen Flora Country Club

2 – Lunch and Learn
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Waukegan Public Library

17 – Business After Hours
5-7 p.m.
Signature Flight Support


6 – Lunch and Learn
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Waukegan Public Library

13 – Annual Golf Outing
Glen Flora Country Club

13 – Business After Hours
5-7 p.m.
Glen Flora Country Club


11 – Lunch and Learn
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Waukegan Public Library

13-14 – Scoop Waukegan
11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Downtown Waukegan

19 – Business After Hours
Landa Insurance Group


1 – Lunch and Learn
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Waukegan Public Library

7 – Wake Up with Waukegan
7 a.m.-8:30 a.m.

16 – Business After Hours
5-7 p.m.
17 North Bar & Grill


5 – Lunch and Learn
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Waukegan Public Library

20 – Multi-Chamber Event
5-7 p.m.
Waukegan Yacht Club


3 – Lunch and Learn
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Waukegan Public Library

18 – Business After Hours
5-7 p.m.


6 – Wake Up with Waukegan
7 a.m.-8:30 a.m.

7 – Lunch and Learn
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Waukegan Public Library

15 – Business After Hours
5-7 p.m.
Heart of the City


5 – Lunch and Learn
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Waukegan Public Library

Annual Holiday Party
5-7 p.m.
Genesee Theatre

Signature Events

Business After Hours
Third Thursday of every month
Business Networking
5 to 7 p.m.

Lunch & Learns
Business development workshops
Located at the Waukegan Public Library
First Wednesday of every month
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Scholarship Awards Dinner

Wake Up with Waukegan
Breakfast and speaker series, 7-8:30 a.m.
2018 Dates
Feb. 27, Bonnie Brook Golf Course
(Annual Meeting)
May 1, Glen Flora Country Club
Aug. 7
Nov. 6

12th Annual Golf Outing – Glen Flora Country Club
Lunch and golf
June 13, 2018

Scoop Waukegan Classic Car Show
Downtown Waukegan
July 13 and 14, 2018

Multi-Chamber Mega Event
Sept. 20, 2018
Waukegan Yacht Club
5 to 7:30 p.m.

(847) 623-6800

12th Annual golf outing

You’re invited!

Event: 12th Annual Golf Outing
Date: June 13, 2018
Time: Registration begins at 11 a.m., shotgun start at noon and Business After Hours from 5 to 7 p.m.
Location: Glen Flora Country Club
Presented by: The City of Waukegan Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber’s annual fund-raising golf event will be held at the beautiful Glen Flora Country Club with our Business after Hours to follow immediately afterwards. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to golf at this great location and visit the stunning clubhouse with readily available food and drink.

Established in 1911, Glen Flora is a country club unlike any other. Known as The “Hidden Gem,” it offers a unique blend of timeless tradition and contemporary amenities which create a special environment. A classic course design provides an enjoyable and memorable experience.

Our golf outing is the perfect environment for building relationships and creating memories.

Each year, the Waukegan Chamber strives to continue moving our community forward by supporting our local businesses and residents. Our annual scholarship program is one of the many ways we give back to our local community by awarding two $1,000 scholarships to two Waukegan High School seniors.

Our annual golf outing draws over 100 supporters, volunteers and participating businesses, and registration fills up quickly.

Register today at www.waukeganchamber.org and reserve a sponsorship package at your favorite hole! Sponsors will be prominently featured at the event.

Welcome to Waukegan

Welcome to Waukegan, Illinois, where big-city amenities and small-town charm blend to form a community that is culturally rich, economically secure and family friendly.

With an area of nearly 25 miles, Waukegan is home to over 88,000 residents. Centered between the thriving metropolises of Chicago and Milwaukee, at the northeast corner of Illinois near the Wisconsin border, Waukegan is literally “At the Top of Illinois.” The city is special in that it offers a diverse blend of cultures, backgrounds and ethnic heritages.

Residents are provided excellent educational opportunities with award-winning schools and parks. Waukegan provides easy access to major transportation systems along with a vital downtown and thriving business climate. We also are home to some of the most picturesque residential areas in Northern Illinois. It’s ideal location, nestled along the western shores of Lake Michigan, attributes to its reputation as an ideal place to live, work and play.

Whether starting a business, relocating your family or just visiting, Waukegan’s cooperative approach will help you succeed. We invite you to take a closer look at Waukegan and experience its beauty, diversity and growth first-hand. We guarantee that once you come for a visit, you’ll want to stay for a lifetime.

City of Waukegan At a Glance

Population: 89,078
Housing units: 30,746
Area: 24.41 square miles
County: Lake
Township: Waukegan
Government: Mayor-Aldermanic
Incorporated: Feb. 2, 1859
Distance from Chicago: 37 miles

Elementary Schools: Carman-Buckner Elementary School, Andrew Cooke Magnet School, Greenwood Elementary School, Lyon Magnet School, Oakdale Elementary School, John S. Clark Elementary School, Glen Flora Elementary School, Hyde Park Elementary School, H. R. McCall Elementary School, Washington Elementary School, Clearview Elementary School, Glenwood Elementary School, Little Fort Elementary School, North Elementary School, Whittier Elementary School

Middle Schools: Robert Abbot Middle School, Jack Benny Middle School, Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Miguel Juarez Middle School, Daniel Webster Middle School

High schools: WHS-Washington Campus, WHS-Brookside Campus, Alternative/Optional Education Center

Area churches: Over 44 in the Waukegan area

Health care: Vista Health System, Oak Street Health, Lake Behavioral Health, PromptMed Urgent Care, Waukegan Immediate Care Center

Residential Living

Some of the glories of calling Waukegan your home are obvious: A location along the shore of blue Lake Michigan, within easy commuting range of downtown Chicago and at a fraction of the price you would pay compared to most of Chicago’s “North Shore” suburbs. A settled, long-established town that allows homebuyers and renters to choose from homes in a wide variety of styles, ages and price points. A diverse population mirroring the rainbow of people who make up America.

Less commonly known is how Lake County’s county seat and biggest city has become a center of the fine arts, a magnet for big-name entertainment and a center for boating and summer fun.

James D. Smith, a Realtor with RE/MAX Showcase, grew up in Lake County and currently works in the Waukegan area. Smith said this convergence of positives has led to an explosion of demand for Waukegan homes, greater than any he has seen in his 28 years in the business.

“Housing is definitely more affordable in Waukegan than other northern suburbs,” Smith said. “Property values have increased about 50 percent in a year and now there is more demand for homes in Waukegan than there are properties on the market. A lot of times people will put their home on the market and end up with multiple offers.”

Chicago is just an hour south of Waukegan on Metra Rail’s Union Pacific North Line. Along the way riders can make stops at Ravinia music park, Naval Station Great Lakes and Northwestern University.

The Pace commuter bus service provides rides within Waukegan. Interstate 94 and other highways connect Waukegan, not only with the Windy City, but with Milwaukee and Kenosha, Wisconsin, which are just a short drive to the north. Highways also take commuters to the numerous corporate headquarters and office parks that are located in other Lake and northern Cook County suburbs.

“I work with a lot of people who either grew up in Waukegan or went to school there, and with all the improvements that are being made, they want to stay in the city,” Smith said.

Along the city’s harbor, a festival area called Harbor’s Edge will be expanded to include Siver Park across the street, plus a new stage, temporary retail space and a three-season pavilion. In summer 2017 that area hosted five music and food festivals, featuring more than 40 local, regional and international musical and cultural acts, spanning country, blues and Latino genres.

A monthly project with the punning name “ArtWauk” also has helped turn downtown Waukegan into a beehive of activity for visual artists.

Also downtown is the almost-century-old Genesee Theatre that has been taken over by the city and totally renovated. It now draws people from all over the region to see shows by a who’s-who of A-list musicians and comedians each week. Meanwhile, the local Three Brothers Theatre stages live community theater.

Smith said this spirit of rehab has extended into the residential neighborhoods too, as the many homes left over from the 19th- and early 20th century attract people who yearn to live in a “painted lady” or some other Victorian or Georgian abode.

“I actually sold a home on Julian Street that Abraham Lincoln had slept in,” Smith said.

Rehabbed or not, Waukegan offers the homebuyer a wide variety of choices, from classic Victorian to mid-century ranch, from vintage farmhouse to mail-order bungalow.