Neighborhood Advisory Council


Josie Pacheco, Chairperson

A long time resident of Chicago Lawn, Josie is Branch Manager of Banco Popular at North Avenue and Pulaski.  She brings her expertise as a banker and her experience as a neighborhood resident, as well as a passionate belief in the neighborhood, to her work with NHS.

Betty Gutierrez, Vice-Chair

Betty is one of the top leaders in Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) who has led meetings and actions taking on the Governor, Senators, State Officials and others in her work for the neighborhood and its people.  She has become an expert on housing issues and is a past winner of the Chicago Lawn/Gage Park Neighborhood Award.

David Betlejewski

David is one of the original members of the Chicago Lawn/Gage Park Local Board.  He is Executive Director of the 18th Street Development Corporation and purchased a historic bungalow in the neighborhood.  He has served on the NHS Central Board and is now on the Neighborhood Lending Services Board.

Earl Johnson

After winning the Chicago Lawn/Gage Park Neighborhood Award in 2004 for his courageous efforts facing down drug dealers on his block, Earl joined the Local Board.  Since then, he has been tireless in his efforts helping other blocks revitalize and become a neighborhood leader.

Ann Neal and Richard Neal

Long time residents of Chicago Lawn, the Neals lead by example and by challenging their neighbors on their block.  For years they have led their block club to keep the neighborhood clean, hold absentee building owners accountable, and build relationships among all the residents.  Their yearly block parties are legendary.  They took direct action revitalizing their block by purchasing the building next door and reaching out to help their other neighbors who were facing foreclosure and eviction.

Alfred Rodgers

For twenty-five years Al Rodgers has been a force in the community.  He is a community leader who never stops trying to make the community better, especially when it comes to his special passion, school improvement.  He is an LSC member at Morrill School and Gage Park High School.  He is a lay leader at St. Rita Church.  Long retired, he continues to work helping seniors in the community on an ongoing basis.  He is a founding member of NHS in Chicago Lawn/Gage Park serving on the first Local Board.

Alex Peralta

Alex purchased his home in Chicago Lawn from NHS in 2002.  Soon he became a leader in CAPS and in 2004 was invited to join the Local Board of NHS.  His home stands out on his block because of the care he has for it and the seasonal decorations that make it distinctive.  He has made it a point to everyone on his block, and through his work at NHS has helped other blocks revitalize.

George Havelka

In the mid nineties, George was instrumental in helping NHS start an office in Back of the Yards as a manager at Cole Taylor Bank.  A few years ago, George joined the Local Board of Chicago Lawn/Gage Park as representative of Bank of America.  His expertise in the banking world has been invaluable to the work of the Local Office.  Recently retired, he is now volunteering several hours a month working on helping residents avoid foreclosure.

Manuel Jimenez

Manny joined the Local Board of Chicago Lawn/Gage Park as a representative of Marquette Bank.  Marquette is an anchor in the community and Manny has helped it to continue to maintain a strong and effective relationship to the residents.  He brings an understanding of the community to the work of NHS, and he shows how a community bank with a sensitivity to the people can be an effective lender in the neighborhood.

David J. Leeney

Dave joined the Local Board as a representative of First American Bank.  Soon, he was instrumental in bringing a branch of the Bank and its community sensitive financial services to the neighborhood. Dave goes above and beyond his role as representative and has become an actor in the community, attending and participating in community meetings and actions and willingly bringing his knowledge and insight to the work NHS is doing.