Evanston100 website recaps city’s 2014 success stories

Billy Kobin, Reporter

Evanston100.com, which was unveiled last month at the Evanston Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards night, features 100 Evanston success stories from 2014.

Miguel Wong, co-founder of the collaboration space coLab Evanston, and Patrick Hughes, founder of Inclusion Solutions and a recently retired Chamber of Commerce board member, created and developed the site. Wong and Hughes used Evanston business districts, the city’s Economic Development Division and Chamber of Commerce records to help with the development.

“The singular thing that we wanted to convey was how vibrant of a business community we have,” Wong said.

The website includes recaps on Northwestern events, new business openings, nonprofit achievements and notable people among other topics. The content aimed to cover all of the different Evanston business districts, Hughes said.

“It was a team effort,” Hughes said. “It was sort of a fun, creative thing.”

Wong said he and Hughes had about three weeks to design the site before the annual awards night, so time was limited.

“I think it actually shows that a couple of local people working together with a pretty well-managed structure can make something pretty cool happen in a pretty short time,” Wong said.

Michael Corr, president of the Chamber of Commerce and First Bank & Trust’s senior vice president of commercial banking, said the website has received a good amount of traffic so far, and plans are underway to begin receiving story nominations for next year’s edition of the website.

“We, as a board, have to get together and determine what the best thing would be for the ongoing Evanston100 program,” Corr said. “It’s been discussed whether we should (update the site) a lot more frequently, so that would certainly be an option, but I’m assuming at this point that it would be more of an annual thing.”

Wong said he, along with Hughes, will likely be part of a task force that plans future editions of the website.

Hughes hopes Evanston residents submit ideas for the website as well, he said in a news release.

“We know this is not a complete list of city accomplishments,” Hughes said in the news release. “We hope that the list will grow.”

Corr thinks the website is successful in promoting Evanston, he said.

“If you just kind of go through there and look, there are a lot of really great articles about some of the things going on in our city,” Corr said. “And I think that the more we promote ourselves, the more people will consider Evanston as an option to move their business or to do business in general.”

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