Bank president plays role in economic development
Ross Mathee plays a key role in helping make the Village of Skokie a desirable place for small businesses. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 7, 2013 6:05AM
SKOKIE — As chairman of the economic development task force for the Skokie Chamber of Commerce, 15-year Skokie resident Ross Mathee plays a key role in helping make the Village of Skokie a desirable place for small businesses. Mathee, president of the North Shore Community Bank Skokie branch, also is a member and two-time past president of the Skokie Lions Club and president of the Rotary Club of Skokie Valley. The married father of three children shares his thoughts on why being engaged in the community outside of the bank is important to helping the local community thrive.
Q: Why is it important to you to dedicate a large part of your free time to public service?
A: In order to shape the community you live in, you have to stay involved. The ability to work in the same community I live in makes me feel fully invested in Skokie. I’m knowledgeable about everything happening here, and I’m fully invested in the village, so any positive change I can help foster to make it a better place is well worth my time.
Q: What does your position as chairman of the economic development task force entail?
A: Our job is to provide information about opportunities for businesses that are already here in Skokie or prospective businesses interested in moving here. We help present the benefits of doing business in Skokie and provide business leaders with the knowledge they need about the services available to them.
Q: Are you involved in any other organizations?
A: I’m a parent board member of the Niles North Junior Viking Football Program and I volunteer as a referee for American Youth Soccer Organization. My wife Mira is involved in the Parent Teacher Association and together we support several non-profit programs that give back to the community.
Q: What do you like most about living in Skokie?
A: We chose to move to Skokie 15 years ago from Lake Forest because of the great schools, and the library and park district — it’s a very well-run village. More importantly, we appreciate and value the diversity of the community because we feel it’s important for our kids to have a well-rounded childhood experience dealing with all different types of cultural backgrounds. I didn’t have that level of cultural diversity growing up in Lake Forest, so I want my children to experience it.
Q: What do you like about working for a small bank like North Shore Community?
A: The bank is located in downtown Skokie, so we’re right in the mix with other local businesses. We feel that we play a key role in helping to get businesses established in the downtown area by providing lending and depository services to them. A great thing about a community bank like us is that you get to deal directly with the decision-maker instead of having to go through several people to get your questions answered at bigger banks. We know all of our customers by name, and they appreciate that. It’s kind of like Cheers – everybody knows your name when you walk in.