Neighborhood Beautification and Safety
Through Special Service Area #18, the Northalsted Business Alliance’s street beautification program provides regular street and sidewalk cleaning, as well as the maintenance of our seasonal planters. Together with the Chicago Police Department, the Northalsted Business Alliance also administers the Special Service Area #18 Security Rebate Program, which encourages businesses and residents to make their properties safe and secure.
Commitment to Community
Strengthening community is a priority. The Northalsted Business Alliance proudly supports local charities and other non-profits through event driven programming and strives to set the standard for giving-back for our community. Partnering with The Legacy Project, The Alliance endeavors to educate, promote, and foster a positive community through charity, family programming, and neighborhood awareness.
Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club
The Chicago Diner
Dr. Andrew Knecht
For over fifteen years, Christopher has worked with non-profit organizations to help them strategically achieve their goals and further their missions. Christopher has worked with client organizations in multiple fields throughout the country and is committed to work that is focused on engaging both sides of the non-profit sector (funder and funded) in conversations and practice around sustainability, leadership development and thoughtful change management. Within LGBTQ community he has worked with organizations including: Act-Up, Ali Forney Center, Anti-Violence Project, Immigration Equality, In the Life Media, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and SAGE.
In addition to his work with organizations, Christopher runs a successful philanthropic advisory firm; working with individual donors throughout the country to help them set and maximize their philanthropic priorities. The firm’s work is focuses on presenting next generation solutions by merging best practices with impact-related investing. Through thoughtful research and collaborative conversations, the firm invests across the sector in emerging and established organizations creating change.
In his role with the Northalsted Business Alliance (NBA), Christopher works in collaboration with the NBA’s Board of Directors to set the vision and direction for the organization. Additionally, he is oversees a tremendously talented staff working to maintain and enrich the vibrancy of Boystown. His focus is on long-term development of the neighborhood by maintaining its rich history as a beacon for the LGBTQ community.
As a volunteer, Christopher is an avid swimmer and swim coach, having led the Chicago Smelts to two consecutive Illinois State Championships, and previously having coached Team New York Aquatics. Additionally, he served as Co-Chair and Co-President of International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics (IGLA), during Gay Games VII. He presently serves on the board of Chicago House, the advisory committee of the Pride Action Tank and as is active supporter of the Chicago Dancemakers Forum.
Director of Special Events
A native of Minnesota, Dustin Erikstrup now calls Chicago home after nearly 13 years. Dustin studied Marketing Communications and Retail Business at Columbia College. He was a key member of the management staff that launched Taverna 750, a popular bar/restaurant in Boystown.
Dustin began his fundraising career in 2009, leading his CMSA flag football team in the annual benefit, Leather & Lace. His passion for development work brought him to Center on Halsted, where he developed and executed LGBTQ community events, exceeding fundraising goals while increasing the visibility of the Center and its mission. In 2014, Dustin was awarded with Windy City Times’ 30 Under 30 for his work in the LGBTQ Community.
As the Director of Special events for the Northalsted Business Alliance, he oversees the Strategic Priority of Organizational Vitality, ensuring sustainable, diverse funding resources through events and traditional development work.
Dustin is a leader in the Network of Development Professionals for many LGBTQ non-profits; meeting quarterly to stay connected about how to partner on community initiatives. He is also a member of the Gay Marketers of Chicago.
Director of External Affairs
Chad joined the Northalsted team in January 2015 as the Assistant Director of External Affairs. Moving into his Directorship this year, Chad has spearheaded different neighborhood projects and initiatives aimed to make Boystown a world class entertainment district that is a fun, safe and beautiful place to live, work and play. Chad’s role within Northalsted encompasses marketing, advertising, media relations, member resources, Special Service Area management and editorial generation.
In his spare time, Chad is very active with Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association and the Athletic Alliance of Chicago, playing football and volleyball year-round. Chad also chairs the annual Pride Bowl tournament, is on the Board for CMSA football, and Director of fundraising and social events for Chicago’s tournament teams. An active world traveler, Chad enjoys exploring new cities and countries and bringing back those ideas to implement positive change into the community.
Victor Salvo is a Chicago native and business owner who has devoted the last 35 years of his life to LGBT activism. His multi-faceted career has covered a broad spectrum of causes and levels of engagement from basic volunteer through several key leadership roles in both local and national initiatives, and political campaigns. Today he serves as the Executive Director of the award-winning Legacy Project – a multifaceted museum-based research effort that integrates an array of teaching and promotional tools to combat anti-gay bullying by celebrating the contributions Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) people have made to world history and culture. The central achievement of the Legacy Project is the creation and ongoing maintenance of “The Legacy Walk” – the only outdoor LGBT History Museum in the world.
An avid amateur historian and former journalist, Victor is an accomplished writer with decades of experience in technical, creative, editorial, and expository writing. He personally crafted over 75% of the biographies in the Legacy Project database, including nearly every biography on the Legacy Walk’s 35 bronze memorials. He manages the day-to-day operations and fundraising for the Legacy Project while overseeing the research and editing that propels its evolution through annual nominations, selections and dedications. The project has been recognized by the AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION with an award for outstanding work in public LGBT history in 2014.
Victor is an alumni of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he earned a combined degree in Architectural Design and Community Development in 1980. His work on the Legacy Project began in 1987 and has been ongoing throughout his activist and business careers. In 2008 he chose to begin working on the project full-time to bring the long-sought dream of the Legacy Walk to fruition. In addition to his responsibilities as Executive Director of the Legacy Project, in 2016 Victor joined the staff of the Northalsted Business Alliance where he serves as Director of Programming – most notably creating the “Legacy LIVE” series of programs and events to bring the content of the Legacy Project to life on North Halsted Street. Victor is a 1998 Inductee to the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame.
Eric oversee the various operations and programs that keep the Northalsted Business Alliance functioning. This includes management of contracts that keep the neighborhood beautiful and safe. Maintaining communications and reporting to the City of Chicago to ensure that Special Service Area #18 is providing the best services for our district. As well as ensuring that Northalsted branding and graphic design best reflects the character of our neighborhood.
Eric has been a resident of Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood for five years and enjoys the business mix that keeps this area vibrant. Eric enjoys running on the lakefront trail and participating in races across the city. When not in Chicago Eric enjoys traveling to other LGBT neighborhoods and events.
Since its inception, the Northalsted Business Alliance has grown to represent more than 100 businesses along North Halsted Street from Barry Street to West Irving Park Road. The Association has been recognized by the media, the City of Chicago and local residents as a major force in the community, championing positive change and growth.