Breaking News Bar
updated: 4/24/2013 8:04 PM

Highwood officials address 2013 National Main Streets Conference

Success - Article sent! close

  • Jim Adams

Cassy Murphy

NEW ORLEANS, LA (APRIL 14-16, 2013) -- Five members of the City of Highwood and Highwood Chamber of Commerce were chosen as panelists at the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 2013 National Main Streets Conference, addressing Highwood's cultural economy and tactics used to revitalize the city through its Celebrate Highwood series of special events. Held from April 14-16, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana, the three-day information-packed convention and networking event took place in the historical French Quarter, and featured city officials, key executives, administrators, and Main Street representatives from across the country.

Highwood Mayor Charlie Pecaro, Fourth Ward Alderman & Chairman of Special Events Eric Falberg, Vice President of Related Midwest William Tippens, Highwood Chamber of Commerce president Kenn Nelson, and Ripple Public Relations partner Ilyse-Strongin Bombicino, spoke collaboratively to a full house audience, on a panel entitled, "Celebrating the Eccentric: Establishing a Niche in a Competitive Market," receiving praises and a plethora of questions.

"It was really great to see how Highwood took a somewhat typical fall event like Pumpkin Fest, and created a huge phenomena," says Lori Fairfield, executive director of the Illinois Main Street Premier Community, and attendee at Highwood's presentation. "Their tactics really came through as successful, getting people to come back to visit the community again and see the rich history and all the things that there are to do."

According to another audience member, Jef Buehler of Main Street New Jersey, "The session provided a host of truly actionable practices that can be scaled to a variety of community and district sizes. It was so well presented -- with strategies, tactics and real passion. I know MSNJ will be leveraging what we learned into technical assistance for our local programs throughout the state."

Main Street has been in existence for over 30 years, with over 2,000 communities across the nation adopting its tools of preservation-based economic development. The objective is to bring commercial districts back to life by managing change and facing new challenges. The conference is held to provide professionals with the tools to maintain the heritage and character of their towns, while also making them profitable and vibrant. The expo is the perfect place for city officials to learn, share, and explore new ideas for innovative strategies in leading their towns to success.

"It was truly an honor to stand up and represent the City of Highwood and talk to a room full of people about Highwood's achievements," says City of Highwood Mayor, Charlie Pecaro. "Our city's success is based on every member of our community and we were proud to articulate that."

Highwood takes great pride in their city, intertwining its rich cultural background with its fresh new take on special events. The City's festivals make up about 20 days out of the year, but the anticipation building prior to and the community love after the events make them talked about all year long. Highwood was incredibly honored to be able to speak on the trials and tribulations of holding these large-scale events, such as Pumpkin Fest. They educated attendees on how the festival made them stand out as a community and gain national attention. Officials also described the multi-year process of developing an exciting calendar of events, and driving in new business & residents to the community.

For more information on the conference, visit For information on Highwood's festivals and events, please visit, or call 847-432-6000. For updates on all else, please visit the City of Highwood Facebook page, or follow Celebrate Highwood @CityofHighwood on Twitter.


The Highwood Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting and improving the business community in Highwood, Illinois. The Chamber continues to improve the unique and vibrant city through special events, cultivating new business, and implementing successful business strategies. Known as a "regional chamber", Highwood provides businesses from all over Illinois and Wisconsin with valuable networking opportunities. 2013 marks the 50th anniversary for the Highwood Chamber.

The Highwood Chamber of Commerce is located at 445 Sheridan Road, with a mailing address of P.O. Box 305, Highwood, IL 60040. For more information, please visit,, or call 847.433.2100.


Highwood was founded in 1868 by William Wallace Everts, a Chicago civic leader and world-renowned educator. His concept of a family-based community has endured for more than a century. The beautiful Everts Park, in the heart of downtown Highwood, has been named in the founder's honor. Benches and trees in the park celebrate and remember people who, through turbulent times and peaceful ones, built and sustained the community. Many of Highwood's street names recall Everts' family and friends whom the founder encouraged to build homes here. Residents of Swedish, Irish, Italian, Latino and other heritages have since populated the community, each enriching the community through their cultural traditions.

The Village of Highwood was incorporated in 1887. The name briefly became Village of Fort Sheridan and then City of Fort Sheridan. In 1904, the community officially became known as the City of Highwood. Fort Sheridan, a former army base slightly northeast of the City, has had a profound influence on Highwood's development, and it continues to do so today as part of its land, incorporated into the City, nearly doubled Highwood in size. Today, Highwood is blending the past and present with exciting new plans for its future.

The City of Highwood, IL administrative offices are located at 17 Highwood Avenue, Highwood, Illinois 60040. For more information, please visit Tel: 847.432.1924.