The Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce has named Forest Park National Bank its “Member of the Year,” recognizing the community bank’s decades-long commitment to the chamber.

“It recognizes that we are a player in the community, that we have been really actively involved in doing as much as we possibly can to help start up businesses financially, and a lot of those are in Oak Park and some in River Forest and, of course, a lot in Forest Park,” said Don Offermann, senior vice president of business development.

“The money that comes here on deposits is from the community and, to the extent that it’s possible, we need to get that money into the community as capital to make improvements in the businesses that we have or to help start up businesses.

“Every community needs capital in order to thrive and that’s where a community bank comes in,” he said.

The chamber chose Forest Park Bank for the leadership, promotion of business success, and friendship it has provided to its roughly 500 other members over the years. In the two decades the bank has been a member of the chamber, Offermann said, this is the first time it has been honored with the award.