From sweeping the floors at Civic Center at night to supervising entire city departments. Our next People You Should Know takes us to the Maple Street Garage where Evanston Fire Chief Paul Polep interviews Lukasz Tatara, a Polish immigrant-turned Northwestern graduate who you’ve probably seen around Evanston during his 14-plus years of public service.
Lukasz Tatara is simply everywhere in Evanston. Lukasz moved to Evanston from Poland at the age of 20 and shortly after started working shifts as an after-hours custodian for the contractor responsible for cleaning Evanston Civic Center. He worked his way up the civic ladder including positions as a daily porter at the Evanston Fire & Police Headquarters and as a building coordinator with the City of Evanston. While serving as facilities supervisor (of over 50 buildings) and as fleet supervisor (of over 600 pieces of equipment) he enrolled in Northwestern University to complete his studies. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Organization Behavior and Business Leadership in 2021.
Most recently Tatara became the interim parking division manager. His department oversees three downtown garages (including the Maple Street Garage, where the interview takes place), thousands of on-street parking spaces, and 30-plus surface lots.
In this edition of People You Should Know, Tatara is interviewed by close friend and colleague Paul Polep, Chief of the Evanston Fire Department. Polep, a long-time public servant himself, has worked within the Evanston Fire Department for over 25 years.
People You Should Know is a video series produced as a joint product of the RoundTable, the Evanston Chamber of Commerce and Byline Bank introducing you to people and organizations in Evanston worth getting to know.
As former fire chief, I can confirm Luke was and will continue to be a true asset for the COE. His work ethic and positive attitude are infectious. It was always a pleasure to work with Luke. Keep up the great work Lukasz!
As a co-worker I watched Lukasz Tatara rise through the ranks at the City of Evanston. Luke worked incredibly hard and always was positive and level-headed. It’s great that his accomplishments are being recognized. Most residents have no other way to know what goes on behind the scenes. It takes a strong and dedicated team to keep buildings and fleets functional so other employees can do their jobs effectively.
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