Registration for spring programs begins Feb. 13

February 9th, 2016

 

AURORA – Residents of the Fox Valley Park District may register for spring programs and events beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13. Non-resident registration will begin the following week on Monday, Feb. 22.

The park district is offering hundreds of programs and activities for youth, adults and seniors, ranging from sports to nature programs to performing arts and expanded offerings of health, wellness and fitness programs. For a complete listing of activities, classes and events, the Spring 2016 Activity Guide is available at all community centers and accessible online at www.foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.

Registration is taken in one of three ways:

 

  • By mail or drop off: Fill out a registration form and mail to FVPD, 150 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora, IL 60506. Make checks payable to Fox Valley Park District and mark “brochure registration” on the outside envelope. Registration forms are downloadable from the website and included in the Spring 2016 Activity Guide that is available at all Park District community centers.

 

 

For resident families and individuals who are approved for the Park District’s scholarship program, registration will begin at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16, at the Cole Center (101 W. Illinois Ave. in Aurora).

All registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and must be accompanied by payment.

This Chamber Newsletter is Packed with Information

February 8th, 2016
Here is this week’s newsletter to members of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce. If you have Member News to include,
please send it to us by Wednesday the week prior to publication. For more information, contact the Chamber at (630) 256-3180.
Header
February 08, 2016
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Basils Greek Dining
BKD, LLP
BMO Harris – Bilter Rd.
BMO Harris – Eola Rd.
BMO Harris – Lake St.
BMO Harris – N. Farnsworth Ave.
BMO Harris – W. Indian Trail
CARSTAR North Aurora Collision Center
Caterpillar, Inc.
Chicago Premium Outlets
Chicago Tribune Media Group
ComEd
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Dolan & Murphy
Eby-Brown
Ice Miller LLP
Idilus, LLC
ieple, LLC.
K-Rise Systems, Inc.
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency
Leave Me Bee Pest Control, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Incorporated
Martin Whalen Office Solutions
Mind and Body Chiropractic
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Northwestern Medicine
Cadence Fitness & Health Center
Cadence Health Convenient Care & Medical Offices
Central DuPage Hospital
Delnor Glen Senior Living
Delnor Hospital
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
Old Second National Bank
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Resurrection Lutheran Church/School
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
Ryland Homes – Ingham Park
S&S Metal Recyclers II
Safeguard Construction Company, Inc.
St. Charles Bank & Trust
Sign*A*Rama – Aurora
Sleepy’s – Farnsworth
Sleepy’s – North Aurora
Sleepy’s – Rt. 59
SmithAmundsen, LLC
Sole Unique Dance Complex, Inc.
Sprint
State Farm Insurance Companies
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
The UPS Store – Kirk & Butterfield
The Voice
Trust Lending
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WIT-Enterprises, LLC
WSPY
Zippy Shell Fox Valley

Welcome New Members

Bickford Senior Living
Amy Orlando
7 S. Orchard Road
Aurora 60506
(630) 667-8206
Supportive Housing/Assisted Living

Eby-Brown
Michaleen Nendeau
2051 Baseline Road
Montgomery 60538
(630) 449-1337
Distribution Center

 

Contact Us

Mail: 43 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180
Fax: (630) 256-3189
www.aurorachamber.com

 

 

Share Your Thoughts: Pulse to Report State of Regional Business
The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is pleased to partner with Old Second Bank and Invest Aurora to survey regional business and take a pulse on the economy for the area. The results of the survey will be made available at a lunch hosted by the three organizations on Wednesday, March 16. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AuroraPulse

2016 Leadership Academy Scheduled for February
Established in 1979, the Aurora Chamber’s Leadership Academy has a rich history of providing confidence, knowledge, professionalism, and strong leadership skills that not only benefit the attendee but also their employers. The goal is simple: To create a development opportunity for participants to serve and enhance themselves, their employers, and the community.

Thirty hours of class time, over the course of 10 meetings, will focus on personal and professional development of the participants through a personality inventory identification and leadership development. In addition, the unique positioning and potential of the Aurora region will be highlighted with discussions on community and economic development, local government and cultural diversity, as well as civil and social services.

Academy begins Friday, Feb. 19. For information and the application, click here.

State of the Village
Wednesday, March 9
Registration at 11:30 a.m.
Oak Street Restaurant, 945 Oak Street, North Aurora

Presented by SmithAmundsen, SALT, and Fast Color

http://business.aurorachamber.com/Events/details/ 2016-state-of-the-village-address-10335

Join us for the Annual State of the Village address. Meet with Village of North Aurora leadership and regional business owners. Hear from President Dale Berman on where the Village wants to go as a municipal government, as an organization, and as a community over the next several years. A great deal has happened over the past year in North Aurora – and a number of new and exciting opportunities to come.

http://business.aurorachamber.com/Events/details/ 2016-state-of-the-village-address-10335

Premier Members
Premier Members
Next Session Days
Both the House and Senate will return to session on Wednesday, Feb. 10, and Thursday, Feb. 11. President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak to the General Assembly Feb. 10. This marks the first time in nearly 38 years since a sitting president will address the General Assembly.
Member News
John Gorzak of Naperville was recently named vice president of commercial banking with Old Second National Bank. He will be responsible for new business development and cross-selling of bank products, as well as servicing new and existing commercial relationships.

Visit our blog for more news for and about our great members:

Farnsworth Offices’ Coffee and Conversation features a 2015 Income Tax Update

Community Foundation Announces Spring 2016 Grant Cycle Has Begun

The CF is Excited to Announce Its Newest Funds

Naper Settlement Announces March Programs

Junior Volunteers make a difference in their community

 

Events for Members
Business Development Leads Group
Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 7:45 a.m.
Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Ambassadors Committee
Thursday, Feb. 11, at 11:30 a.m.
Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Ribbon Cutting: Bright Oaks
Tuesday, Feb 23, at 10:30 a.m.
Bright Oaks, 1340 N. River Street, Aurora

Business Development Leads Group
Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 7:45 a.m.
Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, Feb. 25, at 8:00 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora

2016 State of the Village Address
Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 11:30 a.m.
Oak Street Restaurant, 945 Oak Street, North Aurora

2016 State of the City Address presented
by Walter E. Deuchler Associates

Thursday, April 14, 2016
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Piper’s Banquets, 1295 Butterfield Road, Aurora

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce | 43 W. Galena Blvd. Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180 Fax: (630) 256-3189 | www.aurorachamber.com
This email was sent by Email Patron on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

 

The CF is Excited to Announce Its Newest Funds

February 6th, 2016

The Humane Society of Aurora Fund has been created to support the Humane Society and its adoption program. The Humane Society of Aurora works in partnership with Aurora Animal Control and Care to increase adoptions and rescues, improve shelter conditions, and to educate and assist the community in responsible pet ownership. To learn more about the Humane Society of Aurora, visit their fund profile page.

The Wayne and Karin Greenawalt Family Fund has been established to provide ongoing financial support for Wayside Cross Ministries in Aurora. Wayside Cross serves not only men whose lives are troubled and in crisis, but also homeless women and children, at-risk youth, people behind bars, and low income families. Wayne Greenawalt was the executive director of Wayside Cross Ministries from 1984-2010. Karin Greenawalt is a kindergarten teacher at Aurora Christian School where she has served for more than 30 years.

The Clyde and Kathryn Case Shields Kiwanis Legacy Endowment Fund kicks off a campaign for the Aurora Kiwanis Club’s centennial anniversary year. Clyde Shields, the current president of the Aurora Kiwanis Club, and his wife Kathryn are the first members to create a Kiwanis Legacy Endowment Fund within the Foundation. The goal is for 10 Kiwanis Club members to establish their own centennial endowment funds to support the next 100 years of Kiwanis in Aurora.

Richard and Irma Larson of Sugar Grove recently established the Richard J. and Irma E. Larson Scholarship Fund. Richard served as a judge for over twenty years, and Irma was a school teacher. Richard’s parents worked in the fields of ministry and agricultural. To pay tribute to the careers of the Larson family, the Richard J. and Irma E. Larson Scholarship Fund will be awarded to students who choose law, education, ministry or agriculture as their fields of study.

Community Foundation Announces Spring 2016 Grant Cycle Has Begun

February 6th, 2016

CF Now Accepting Letters of Intent

The Community Foundation is now accepting Letters of Intent from non-profit agencies for the spring 2016 grant cycle. Letter of Intent forms are available on our grantmaking page.

Foundation grants are awarded for capital purposes in the areas of education, social services, health care and arts & humanities.

During the fall 2015 grant cycle, the Foundation awarded fourteen grants - the most in Community Foundation history! A total of $153,070 was awarded to help local organizations fulfill their missions. A total of 26 grants were awarded for more than $302,000 in all of 2015.

After Letters of Intent are submitted, the director of community involvement and partnerships will contact each agency to determine their eligibility, talk about their project, and schedule a site visit.

The deadline to submit a Letter of Intent is Friday, April 8, 2016.

If you have any questions, please visit our Grant FAQ Page or contact Julie Christman at (331) 208-9428 or jchristman@communityfoundationfrv.org.

Junior Volunteers make a difference in their community

February 6th, 2016

Customer service training begins February 20 

At Naper Settlement, Junior Volunteers help to provide an immersive experience that transports visitors back in time.

Young people in grades four through seven wear period appropriate clothing (e.g., overalls or dresses), play old-fashioned games, demonstrate chores and other activities related to a child’s life in the 19th century during Naper Settlement’s Summer Season (April through October).

The skills that juniors develop include self-confidence, public speaking, customer service and learning the history of their town and others like it that were founded throughout the Midwest.

Some of the best aspects of volunteering are the friendships and the unforgettable experiences. Being a junior volunteer is an opportunity to make a difference in the community.

Shifts are one three-hour weekend shift in April, May, September and October, and two three-hour shifts consisting of one weekday (Thursday or Friday) and one weekend in June, July and August.

E-mail Director of Organizational Resources Josh Chartier at nsvolunteer@naperville.il.us or call (630) 305-5256. Customer service training begins on February 20, so sign up today!

Mandatory training dates for fourth through eighth grade junior volunteers

Option 1: Saturday, Feb. 20, 10:00 to 11:45 a.m., Junior Customer Service Training. Junior Parent Information Meeting (mandatory for all new Junior parents) will be held at 9:30 a.m.

Option 2: Sunday, Feb. 21, 1:00 to 2:45 p.m., Junior Customer Service Training.

Junior Parent Information Meeting (mandatory for all new Junior parents) will be held at 12:30 p.m.

Naper Settlement Announces March Programs

February 6th, 2016

School’s Out Day Camp – Imaginarium
It’s time to think out of the box and let your imagination run wild during the School’s Out Day Camp – Imaginarium from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, March 4, at Naper Settlement. Activities include inspecting the elements of structure while building and testing toothpick towers; making your own sundial to discover what the universe has to do with telling time; and mixing and measuring different ingredients to create your very own dessert bars. For grades 1-5, fee is $45 per camper per day. Registration is required.

Super Scout Sunday – Playing with History
Dress up as a Victorian young adult and experience life as they would have during Super Scout Sunday – Playing with History from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 6, at Naper Settlement. Tour the Martin Mitchell Mansion to see where you would have lived and visit a one-room schoolhouse for a lesson with the schoolmarm. Make accessories to match your new look. Play games from the turn of the 19th century. Earns the Junior Playing the Past Badge. Fee is $27 per Girl Scout; $10 per adult; one adult per four Scouts is the maximum. Registration is required.

Maple Sugaring Spring Fever
Welcome warmer weather and shake off cabin fever during Naper Settlement’s annual tribute to the changing of the seasons from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 12, and from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, March 13, at Naper Settlement. Learn the time-honored method of collecting sap the old-fashioned way and see a maple tree tapping demonstration. Enjoy hands-on activities and presentations that recount Illinois’ Native American heritage and pioneer past and try a tasty maple treat. Each of the historic buildings will have a different theme and special activities for families to enjoy. Admission is $12 adults, $10 seniors (62+), $8 youth (4–12), Naperville residents* and members are free.

Girl Scouts troops are invited to attend Maple Sugaring Spring Fever on Sunday, March 13. Registration is required for Girl Scouts Register for this program through the Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana Council website http://gcnwiprograms.org/program/2178 or contact the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois Registrar through https://gsusa.ebiz.uapps.net/VP/NoPortal.html. Scouts are $13, adults are $10.

History Speaks Lecture Series: Tribal Tales from the River’s Edge
Before ethnology was a scientific discipline, 19th century explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark collected stories, songs and artifacts from the dozens of distinct cultures they encountered in their journey west during the Corps of Discovery. In this dynamic performance, Brian “Fox” Ellis shares both folklore and true history from the American Indians met along the way. Part of the History Speaks Lecture Series, Tribal Tales from the River’s Edge will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 13, at Naper Settlement’s Century Memorial Chapel. Day of event tickets are $7 adults, $6 youth (4–12), students and Settlement-6 members and above; advance tickets save $1 each.

Weed Ladies Spring & Summer Show & Sale
The spring and summer sale features creative seasonal floral arrangements silk and dried florals. The sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, March 17, through Saturday, March 19, in the Daniels House at Naper Settlement. Free admission to the sale.

School’s Out Day Camp – Artful Antics
Reach beyond the ordinary and create art that is uniquely you during Naper Settlement’s School’s Out Day Camp – Artful Antics from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 30. Express your creativity while experimenting with different techniques in multiple art forms. Activities include repurposing old crayons and turning duct tape into a masterpiece; making expressive collages using recycled magazines and newspapers; designing and molding a coil pot using Native American techniques and much more. Fee is $45 per camper; registration is required.

Farnsworth Offices’ Coffee and Conversation features a 2015 Income Tax Update

February 6th, 2016

Want to know how changes in the tax code may affect your business, as well as your personal taxes? Farnsworth Offices will host a free income tax informational program at their building on Wednesday, Feb. 24, to help you prepare this year’s taxes.

Stephen VerHalen, an independent C.P.A., will discuss recent changes to the tax code that will affect businesses, including the Protecting Americans from Tax Hike Act of 2015, which makes permanent several tax provisions from recent years. These include the $500,000 Expensing Limit for Equipment Purchases under Code Section 179. Changes for individuals under the Act include the Enhanced Earned Income Tax Credit and the Enhanced Child Tax Credit, and the deduction for state sales tax in lieu of state income tax. VerHalen also plans to discuss the Bonus Depreciation for Purchases of Equipment, which was recently extended.

Farnsworth Offices’ Coffee and Conversation: a 2015 Income Tax Update is part of a series of “Coffee and Conversation” business-related topics hosted by Farnsworth Offices at 1444 North Farnsworth Avenue in Aurora. The presentation will begin at 8:00 a.m., and be followed by a question-and-answer session at 8:30 a.m.

All are welcome, and there is no charge. Reservations are not required, but seats can be reserved by phoning (630) 585-1250.

You’re Invited…Share Your Thoughts, Join Us at Events

February 1st, 2016
Here is this week’s newsletter to members of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce. If you have Member News to include,
please send it to us by Wednesday the week prior to publication. For more information, contact the Chamber at (630) 256-3180.
Header
February 01, 2016
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Basils Greek Dining
BKD, LLP
BMO Harris – Bilter Rd.
BMO Harris – Eola Rd.
BMO Harris – Lake St.
BMO Harris – N. Farnsworth Ave.
BMO Harris – W. Indian Trail
CARSTAR North Aurora Collision Center
Caterpillar, Inc.
Chicago Premium Outlets
Chicago Tribune Media Group
ComEd
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Dolan & Murphy
Ice Miller LLP
Idilus, LLC
ieple, LLC.
K-Rise Systems, Inc.
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency
Leave Me Bee Pest Control, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Incorporated
Martin Whalen Office Solutions
Mind and Body Chiropractic
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Northwestern Medicine
Cadence Fitness & Health Center
Cadence Health Convenient Care & Medical Offices
Central DuPage Hospital
Delnor Glen Senior Living
Delnor Hospital
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
Old Second National Bank
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Resurrection Lutheran Church/School
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
Ryland Homes – Ingham Park
S&S Metal Recyclers II
Safeguard Construction Company, Inc.
Sign*A*Rama – Aurora
Sleepy’s – Farnsworth
Sleepy’s – North Aurora
Sleepy’s – Rt. 59
SmithAmundsen, LLC
Sprint
St. Charles Bank & Trust
State Farm Insurance Companies
The UPS Store – Kirk & Butterfield
The Voice
Trust Lending
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WIT-Enterprises, LLC
WSPY
Zippy Shell Fox Valley

Welcome New Members

GioMari Salon
Giorgio Gonzalez
1815 Church Road
Aurora, IL 60505
(630) 820-5999
Hair Salon

 

Contact Us

Mail: 43 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180
Fax: (630) 256-3189
www.aurorachamber.com

 

 

Share Your Thoughts:
Pulse to Report State of Regional Business
The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is pleased to partner with Old Second Bank and Invest Aurora to survey regional business and take a pulse on the economy for the area. The results of the survey will be made available at a lunch hosted by the three organizations on Wednesday, March 9.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AuroraPulse

This survey should take less than 15 minutes and will provide valuable information to assist our region’s employers throughout the coming year.

If you have any questions, comments, or difficulties with the survey, please contact Joseph Henning, Aurora Regional Chamber president & CEO, via email at jhenning@aurorachamber.com or phone at (630) 256-3180.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AuroraPulse

Thank you for your time.

Premier Members
Premier Members
2016 Leadership Academy Scheduled for February
Details are being finalized for the 37th session of the Aurora Regional Chamber’s Leadership Academy. The Leadership Academy is offered to representatives of member businesses and organizations and is designed to prepare a select group of qualified candidates for future leadership roles in the Aurora area.

Established in 1979, the Aurora Chamber’s Leadership Academy has a rich history of providing confidence, knowledge, professionalism, and strong leadership skills that not only benefit the attendee but also their employers. The goal is simple: To create a development opportunity for participants to serve and enhance themselves, their employers, and the community.

Over the past 35 years, more than 800 community leaders have participated in the program. Many have gone on to lead local businesses and organizations. Some have gone on to public office. All have left their mark on the community.

Thirty hours of class time, over the course of 10 meetings, will focus on personal and professional development of the participants through a personality inventory identification and leadership development. In addition, the unique positioning and potential of the Aurora region will be highlighted with discussions on community and economic development, local government and cultural diversity, as well as civil and social services.

For information and the application, click here.

State of the Village
Wednesday, March 9
Registration at 11:30 a.m.
Oak Street Restaurant, 945 Oak Street, North Aurora

Presented by SmithAmundsen, SALT, and Fast Color

http://business.aurorachamber.com/Events/details/ 2016-state-of-the-village-address-10335

Join us for the Annual State of the Village address. Meet with Village of North Aurora leadership and regional business owners. Hear from President Dale Berman on where the Village wants to go as a municipal government, as an organization, and as a community over the next several years. A great deal has happened over the past year in North Aurora – and a number of new and exciting opportunities to come.

http://business.aurorachamber.com/Events/details/ 2016-state-of-the-village-address-10335

Policy Updates
General Assembly Spring 2016 Session Opens

The Illinois House reconvened on Wednesday, Jan. 27, to hear Gov. Bruce Rauner’s State of the State Address. This was followed by discussion on new bills introduced by members for committee consideration and floor debate during the 2016 spring session. At the top of every list of discussion, however, was the continued impasse affecting the FY16 budget.

On Thursday, Jan. 28, Illinois House and Senate Democrats passed SB 2043. The bill, as amended in the House, was a measure appropriating more than $700 million in unfunded money for higher education. If the bill were to become law, it would add to the existing total of $6.6 billion in State unpaid bills. Gov. Rauner has stated that he will veto SB 2043. The bill did not break the impasse in the FY16 budget process.

For more public policy news, visit our blog:

Gov. Rauner’s 2017 State of the State Address

FY16 Budget Still Elusive

Illinois Unemployment Uptick Higher than Nation

Governor Issues Executive Order to Modernize Illinois’ Technology

Member News
Ayeza Mohsin, DO, has joined the Hospital Rounding Team at Advocate Dreyer. Dreyer Medical Clinic launched its hospitalist program in 1997 to optimize care for its inpatients. Dreyer’s hospitalists spend all of their time caring for patients at the hospitals. Research has shown hospitalists can reduce hospital stay costs and length of stays while improving the quality of patient care and satisfaction.

Visit our blog for more news for and about our great members.

Fox Valley, Central Kane United Ways Announce Merger

Area Youth Tackle Hunger with “Souper Bowl of Caring”

Executive Director Announced for Hesed House

Mayor Weisner, Chief Ziman Recommend New APD Deputy Chief, Commanders

Mayor Weisner Selects Fire Marshal as next Aurora Fire Chief

Promoting Business Excellence (PROBE) Offered to Kane Manufacturers

Industry-Driven Youth Program Offers Train-to-Hire Internships

Save the Date
2016 State of the City Address presented by
Walter E. Deuchler Associates

Thursday, April 14, 2016
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Piper’s Banquets, 1295 Butterfield Road, Aurora
Events for Members
Business Development Leads Group
Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 7:45 a.m.
Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Ambassadors Committee
Thursday, Feb. 11, at 11:30 a.m.
Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Ribbon Cutting: Bright Oaks
Tuesday, Feb 23, at 10:30 a.m.
Bright Oaks, 1340 N. River Street, Aurora

Business Development Leads Group
Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 7:45 a.m.
Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, Feb. 25, at 8:00 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora

2016 State of the Village Address
Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 11:30 a.m.
Oak Street Restaurant, 945 Oak Street, North Aurora

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce | 43 W. Galena Blvd. Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180 Fax: (630) 256-3189 | www.aurorachamber.com
This email was sent by Email Patron on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

 

Gov. Rauner’s 2017 State of the State Address

January 30th, 2016

Governor calls for General Assembly to enact laws to bring prosperity to all citizens and all parts of Illinois.

In the midst of budget standoff that has lasted more than seven months, Gov. Rauner delivered Illinois’ annual State of the State address Wednesday. During the address, the Governor briefly touched upon his administration’s accomplishments in his first year in office which they believe saved Illinois $938 million. According to the Governor, these savings were achieved by reducing state spending by $500 million; saving $188 million through unemployment insurance fraud reduction; and saving $250 million through reforms within the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. The Governor also touted implementing a revolving door ban on state officials becoming lobbyists and reforming the EDGE credit to eliminate special deals.

In his annual address to the General Assembly, Gov. Bruce Rauner told lawmakers that “Illinois’ economy has been split in two – one part with modest growth, the other in decline.” Some neighborhoods, suburbs, and workplaces located within 90 minutes of O’Hare  have partly participated in global recovery from the severe economic downtown of 2008-2009. Gov. Rauner reminded lawmakers that the remainder of the state, including areas traditionally oriented towards industry and manufacturing, have not benefitted from this global recovery. These regions need to see changes in Illinois laws and policies that will be sufficient to help communities throughout the state share in economic growth and opportunity.

Pointing out that “factory workers in Texas are now making more than Illinois folks, even without adjusting for the cost of living,” Rauner renewed his call for serious discussion, debate, and enactment of his Turnaround Agenda. Job-creating elements of the agenda include workers’ compensation reform, mandate relief for local governments, changes in relationships between the public sector and labor unions, and property tax relief. Striking a bipartisan note, the Governor called attention to elements of the Agenda that have, in the past, been supported by a wide variety of leaders.

The Governor noted that in order to improve the quality of life for all residents, Illinois needs to increase the economic opportunity for all individuals. This requires excellent education and vocational training combined with multiple career opportunities made available by companies competing to hire workers. The Governor stated that despite the natural benefits that Illinois has to offer, including economic and strategic viability, Illinois is failing its citizens by promoting an economic status quo that benefits politicians and trial attorneys at the expense of the middle class. This failed economic policy forces people and businesses out of Illinois which exacerbates the middle class deterioration while depleting the state of much needed taxes dollars that could be used to promote and protect infrastructure and programs for the most vulnerable citizens. The Governor’s proposal to address these problems is his Turnaround and Transformation agendas.

In closing, the Governor admitted that the last year was difficult but wants to build off the bipartisan progress that resulted in Criminal Justice Reforms, Police Reforms, and Unemployment Insurance changes to jumpstart mutual participation to achieve a grand compromise to move Illinois forward.

As is always the case, immediately after the State of the State, each caucus leader spoke to the media. Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin made it clear that Illinois requires the structural reforms contained within the Governor’s Turnaround and Transformation agendas rather than relying on just raising taxes. They echoed the Governor’s belief that raising taxes without real institutional reform will continue Illinois’ political, structural, and financial downward spiral.

House Speaker Michael Madigan organized some human service program advocates to present their concerns regarding the lack of a state budget to the media during his press conference. Speaker Madigan reiterated that he is willing to work with the Governor, but he believes that discussions should only include budget matters and he has doubts about the Governor’s sincerity of bipartisanship when he continues to advocate for changes that are in direct conflict with Democratic Caucus core principles.

During the State of the State, Governor Rauner trumpeted his tentative bipartisan agreement to support Senate President John Cullerton’s pension proposal. In somewhat of a surprise development, the Senate majority caucus voiced their hesitancy to pass their pension proposal with the Governor’s support before a budget solution is in place.

Governor Issues Executive Order to Modernize Illinois’ Technology

January 30th, 2016

State Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego), a 25-year small business owner of an information technology consulting firm, applauded Governor Bruce Rauner’s action today to create the new Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT). The agency will transform the state’s information technology functions into one agency to provide better service to Illinois residents and businesses.

Illinois consolidates its redundant information technology functions into new Department. After studying existing redundancies in State of Illinois management operations, Gov. Bruce Rauner issued an executive order. The order directs that State information-technology (IT) operations be moved from the various departments of which they were parts to form the new Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology. These operations currently employ approximately 1,700 State personnel specializing in information technology solutions and maintenance. Executive Order 16-01 was issued on Monday, Jan. 25.

Under the State’s charts of organization that existed up until this week, each of the more than 100 State departments, bureaus, and agencies that operate under the overall supervision of the Governor had the right to operate separate, free-standing IT offices. Over time, this created significant barriers to operational productivity. Different offices developed more than 1,000 separate and incompatible software solutions, at least one of which dates back to 1974. Once adopted, these platforms became embedded into operations.

The Governor has instructed the executive personnel of the new Department to centralize and consolidate all information technology decisions and spending. This is the standard model recommended by IT management professionals and utilized by 29 other U.S. states. With Rauner’s executive order, Illinois has become the 30th state to set up a consolidated department of information technology. The head of the new Department, Hardik Bhatt, is Illinois’ Chief Information Officer.

Rauner and Bhatt have stated that one of their first priorities will be to use this consolidation as an opportunity to reduce the vulnerability of the State’s electronic infrastructure to hacking and other cyberattacks, including cyberattacks originating from terrorists and other sources outside the U.S.