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New Concepts, Old Traditions


RPBG members and guests discuss screening policies at the RPBGs first Best Practices Workshop at our March meeting

RPBG has started the year off with a bang. With Mike Glasser once again serving as President of the organization (this is his second time in the role), the organization has already presented two events that have been both well attended and well received.

The first was our annual Trends Workshop. This year marked the 15th annual presentation of this RPBG favorite. Almost 100 people attended. As in the past, the audience members broke into smaller tables of eight to ten people. Each table had a table leader. As a group, each table had to make a set of predictions about economic and real estate conditions two years hence that would be expected to impact property owners in Rogers Park. The resulting conversations are always interesting, and bring out a whole host of related political and social issues that are relevant to property owners, tenants and the wider Chicago region.

At the end of the evening, the table leaders all convene as a panel to discuss the results of the survey, and any interesting or unusual issues that emerged from the table discussions. Some of the panel members have particular expertise in certain aspects of the Rogers Park real estate market, and give especially insightful views on specific topics, such as investments sales, rental demand and condominium prices.

The evening always ends with an announcement about the winner of the predictions from two years before. It is always entertaining to hear what predictions were made, and how well (or poorly) these predictions match up with current realities.

But Mike Glasser appears not to be satisfied resting on his laurels. Not content to have put together another fun and successful Trends Workshop, Mike was already scheming to come up with ideas for a new format that would give the organization yet another signature event. Working closely with Vice President Sarah Lisy and Communications Chair Linda Liberatore, Mike came up with the idea of a round-robin workshop featuring two sets of six tables, each with a different lead speaker on a topic of interest to the RPBG membership. This first-of-its-kind meeting was held at the Chicago Math and Sciences Academy on Clark Street in late March, and brought together a number of experts in subjects that our members want to know more about.

The feedback from this second event was excellent. The speakers were informative and interesting, and the subjects were wide-ranging and pertinent. The two-round format gave members a chance to choose two topics of interest. Each round lasted 25 minutes, giving members enough time to get educated and ask any questions they might have, and to choose two topics of interest. Additional time was set aside after the meeting for any follow-up questions. The setting at the Math and Sciences Academy was also inspired. The work this school is doing, preparing mostly local Rogers Park kids for careers in the STEM fields, is impressive. The theme of the evening was clearly all about education, both for the children of Rogers Park and for the members of RPBG who always strive to be more informed and better property owners.

We don’t know what Mike has in store for the remainder of the year, but we do know that he’s already outdone himself and given the organization one of its strongest starts to a new year ever. Thank you Mike, Sarah, Linda, Sher and all the other people who have worked so hard to keep RPBG interesting and relevant. You are doing great work, and it is sincerely appreciated.




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