Riverside has been a member of the Visit Oak Park tourism agency for years, but now for the first time, Riverside has a representative on its board of directors.

On Jan. 30, the village announced that Riverside Village Manager Peter Scalera had been elected to a three-year term as a member of the board of directors of Visit Oak Park. The tourism bureau counts 21 communities among its membership.

“I saw an opportunity to get events that take place here, like the arts weekend, getting a broader base and letting people know Riverside is here,” said Scalera. “It’s a different tool to bring awareness of Riverside to a greater region.”

Scalera said he was approached by Visit Oak Park’s president and CEO, Tom Lynch, in November about taking on a more active role in the bureau.

While much of the bureau’s efforts go into promoting tourism in Oak Park, there are opportunities for partner communities, even ones as small as Riverside. Last spring, for example, Riverside took advantage of discounted advertising rates through the bureau that allowed the village to plug Riverside Arts Weekend on WGN Radio.

“We want to use any way we can to let people know who aren’t aware of Riverside,” said Scalera. “We’re here, we have Frank Lloyd Wright homes, we have the Olmsted landscape, we have a central business district. This is a way that allows me to do that.”