Community > Wheeling
lot of the information in our Wheeling Circular (formerly
known as Village Views) newsletter can be
found in various places throughout our website. This page
will feature an article from the most recent issue.
We also have an archive of past newsletters available in our
Reference Desk section.
here to go to the Archive page.
January - February 2016
From the Desk of President Argiris
On behalf of the Board of Trustees and Village Clerk, I would like to
wish you and your family a healthy, happy, safe, and prosperous New
Year! While so many great things happened in 2015, the highlight for me
in my role as Wheeling Village President was a long-awaited exchange
mission to South Korea which established lasting partnerships in the
areas of culture, education, tourism, and business. I and three key
staff members were a part of this delegation, along with representatives
from the area business community, educational institutions, and the
tourism industry. The trip was a great success, and as promised, I have
many highlights of the trip to share with you.
Joining me on the
exchange mission were Village Manager Jon Sfondilis, Economic
Development Director John Melaniphy, Business Development Coordinator
Dru Garcia, Congressman Bob Dold, and representatives from Township High
School District 214, Northeastern Illinois University, and several
Wheeling businesses. The delegation was coordinated and sponsored by the
Wheeling-based Korean Cultural Center of Chicago (KCCOC), which
conducted fundraising to cover the travel expenses for participating
public officials. It was a whirlwind trip, but so much was accomplished
and so many relationships were formed!
Our delegation first
visited the South Korean capital and cultural hub, Seoul. In Seoul we
met with Mr. Hyun Kyung-dae, Vice Chairman of the National Unification
Advisory Council (NUAC). The NUAC has an office in the KCCOC in
Wheeling, and Korea’s president, Park Geun-hye, is the Chairwoman of
NUAC. The meeting focused on the reunification efforts of the advisory
council and the United States. Other groups we met with in Seoul
included the Korean National Assembly, the National Assembly Education
and Culture Committee, and the National Tourist
While in Seoul, our visit focused primarily on the Gangnam District.
There we toured the Yangje Ecological Park, where a polluted stream was
beautified and restored to a clean recreation area. The Yangje
Ecological Park area now offers walking/biking trails, a music pavilion,
and the recovered stream. There has been a significant amount of
high-rise multi-family development in proximity to the Yangje Ecological
Park, since it is such a great recreational amenity for the residents.
The Deputy Mayor of Gangnam, Mr. Joo Yoon-joong, met with us at the
park. The project was tremendously successful, and a great example of
what Wheeling could potentially do to beautify areas in our Village.
Also in Gangnam, the Congressman and I met with the Korea Research-based
Pharmaceutical Industry Association (KRPIA), representing multinational
pharmaceutical companies in Korea.
Our visit to the District of
Gangnam was climaxed by the gracious Mayor Shin Yeonhee, who hosted a
welcome luncheon where Congressman Dold and I both delivered speeches. I
presented Mayor Shin with gifts from the Village of Wheeling, which
included a quartz statue produced by Wheeling’s own Terrazzo & Marble
Supply and Marblecast Products. The statue featured the Village of
Wheeling logo. The Gangnam District of Seoul is vibrant and dynamic,
with nearly 600,000 residents in that one district alone.
Seoul and the Gangnam District, our delegation traveled to the City of
Suncheon, where city representatives hosted a press conference and
matchmaking meetings between business, education, tourist, and economic
development delegates and government officials at the Suncheon City
Hall. These meetings provided an opportunity to discuss our role with
the delegation and further explore a city-to-city relationship. As
you’ll see on the front cover of this newsletter, I and Congressman Dold
presented another Village of Wheeling logo statue to Mayor Cho
Cheong-hoon of the City of Suncheon. We also took a tour of the Suncheon
Gardens, a major city park with elaborate gardens, landscaping, and
walking trails, and took a guided boat tour of Suncheon Bay, where we
learned more about the efforts to preserve this area. It was a very
enlightening and inspiring tour!
The last stop on our visit was
the port city of Busan, which has a sister city relationship with
Chicago. While there we visited the United Nations Memorial Cemetery and
toured the Memorial Cemetery and the Korean War Memorial Wall, which was
a great privilege for us all and a sobering reminder of the
international coalition of thousands of soldiers who gave their lives to
protect the freedom and way of life of the people of South Korea.
Following the United Nations Memorial Cemetery tour, we traveled to the
city’s transportation and convention center where we were treated to a
tour of an exhibition dedicated to architectural history of Chicago.
There was also a video featuring images of Chicago buildings. It was a
very interesting tour and made us all proud of our region’s hub!
Busan Deputy Mayor Jung Gyung-jin hosted us at a luncheon where I was
able to speak more about Wheeling. Economic Development Director John
Melaniphy and Business Development Coordinator Dru Garcia also spoke
regarding Wheeling’s industrial base, and invited interest for
international trade and investment. There were many opportunities for
with business, education, tourist, and economic
development delegates. Other notable meetings included a dinner hosted
by Dr. Chon Yong-joo of TaeKwang, Inc., the maker of Nike shoes, as well
as a fascinating tour of the Hyundai auto factory in Ulsan, the largest
car manufacturing facility in the world.
including visits here in Wheeling, are already being planned, and we
continue to work with our liaisons to foster lasting partnerships with
each of these communities. The benefits of this exchange are only just
beginning to be realized!
I look forward to telling you even
more about what we as a team accomplished in 2015 in our next
newsletter, which will feature the annual State of the Village address.
There’s so much to be proud of as a community, and I hope you carry the
same pride as I do to be a Wheeling resident!