Community > Wheeling Circular/Village Views

Click here to go to the Village Views Archive in the Reference Desk section of our website.A 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. 
Click 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
Organization.
 
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.
 
After 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 matchmaking meetings
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.
 
Future exchanges, 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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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