WEST LOOP — An Albany Park leader has been hired as the new director of the West Loop Community Organization.
Carla Agostinelli replaces Martha Goldstein, who served as executive director of the West Loop agency. Agostinelli previously served as director of economic development at the North River Commission, and as director of the North River Commission affiliate agency the Albany Park Chamber of Commerce.
Goldstein retired from the post Dec. 1, and Agostinelli's first day on the job was Dec. 2. Goldstein led the West Loop agency for 13 years, she said.
On Wednesday, Goldstein said Agostinelli brings a new skill set to the organization that will serve the West Loop well.
"I am very excited for the new administration," she said.
Goldstein said that it was a privilege to work for the West Loop Community Organization and she would fondly remember all that the agency accomplished during her tenure.
Agostinelli, a West Ridge resident, was chosen for the post by the agency's board.
Under her direction, the West Loop Community Organization will work to bring more resident members into the organization, Agostinelli said Wednesday. That will include working with the police department, outreach activities at CAPS meetings and organizing safety seminars.
"We want to network the residents with the businesses in the neighborhood to promote a healthy commercial district," she said.
In a neighborhood that is represented by a number of community groups — including the West Central Association Chamber, the Randolph/Fulton Market Association and Neighbors of the West Loop — Agostinelli said it was "crucially important" that the organizations work together as the community considers new development and other initiatives.
"It is going to be crucially important to bring all of the parties to the meeting table, regardless of whether we agree," she said. "I believe strongly in keeping that line of communication open."
Prior to working with the Albany Park Chamber and North River Commission, Agostinelli served as interim director of the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund at the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County.
At the West Loop group, Agostinelli will be assisted by Sammie Muzikowski, who was hired as assistant director of the organization a few months ago. Sammie Muzikowski is the daughter of Bob Muzikowski, founder of Chicago Hope Academy.
Muzikowski replaced Laura Benson, who previously served as assistant director.
The West Loop Community Organization is a delegate agency for the City of Chicago. Formed in 1991, the organization represents businesses and residential communities within the West Loop community boundaries.
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