Every day throughout communities in Illinois and Wisconsin, we make a positive and lasting impact together with our member financial institutions and partnering organizations. At FHLBank Chicago, we want to showcase our District's stories of innovation, adaptability, and resilience serving these communities. Stories like this may include:

  • Community partnership
  • Community development
  • Affordable housing support
  • Small business successes
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Economic development in your communities

In the form below, please share a brief summary of your story, important details, and any relevant attachments to help us tell your story and share it in our District and beyond. 

Story Attachments

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Find Inspiration From Our Story Examples

Partnering With Community Banks to Support Main Street in Deerfield

Deerfield Coffeehouse in Dane County, Wisconsin is more than a quick stop for your morning joe and a bite to eat. Since opening on Deerfield’s Main Street in 2019, the shop has been a popular destination for people who live and work in the area.

Before opening, owner Teresa Pelletier knew she’d have to eventually make improvements to the space—it had strong bones and character but was run down from weather and needed repairs to the storefront. When she started hearing from new customers that the building was tough to find due to the building’s appearance and signage, she knew she needed help.

Her local banker at the Bank of Deerfield, Ben Mlsna, told her about FHLBank Chicago’s Community First Accelerate Grants for Small Business, which provides grant funds to strengthen small businesses. Pelletier applied and received a $25,000 grant for building upgrades, and a 5% match from Bank of Deerfield. “A lot of our job as a small community bank is focusing on the relationship,” said Mlsna. “When you have an opportunity to give back like that, and you know the people personally, it makes the decision easy.


Expanding Affordable Housing for Chicago Residents

FHLBank Chicago plays a significant role in supporting affordable housing in Illinois and Wisconsin through our Affordable Housing Program, which includes our competitive AHP General Fund awards and down payment assistance through our DPP® Programs.

In 2022, final renovations at Carlton Apartments were completed providing modern amenities like a computer lab and Wi-Fi.

“Between the addition of the lab and free Wi-Fi, we have enabled our residents to more effectively access their healthcare, find employment resources, and secure appropriate government benefits. The central AC is certainly a major and much-needed upgrade, but the technological improvements have brought the Carlton into the 21st century and made immediate quality-of-life improvements for our residents.” - Brian Campbell, Case Manager, Mercy Housing Lakefront

Shattering Aggressive Goals for Supplier Diversity

When FHLBank Chicago decided to move into the Old Post Office in Chicago, it needed to create approximately 129,000 square feet of new office space in the 100-year-old building. FHLBank Chicago set an ambitious goal to spend greater than 50% of the project budget on diverse suppliers. One of those contractors was Kathy Dziedzic of Slate Demolition, a woman-owned demolition company in Chicago.

"It makes me proud to be who I am and to know that other people see that it’s not just about me being a person that owns a company but actually about me being part of a project of such enormity when it comes to diversity and inclusion."

FHLBank Chicago worked closely with Executive Construction Incorporated (ECI), to track the spend to diverse vendors. The total project spend was over $24 million from 2020-2021. We shattered our goal with 81% of the spend going to 20 diverse contractors.

For ECI, the project represented its highest net spend on diverse vendors. “When new clients come to us and want to know if we can hit their 30% diverse subcontract spend, we say ‘not a problem,” said Jason Watland, ECI Vice President. He said now they are in a place to “exceed everyone’s expectations” on supplier diversity thanks to the FHLBank Chicago project.