Archive for the ‘catalyst’ Category

Aurora Chamber Member Events, News

Monday, June 19th, 2017
Header
June 19, 2017
In This Issue

 

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For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Advance Auto Parts
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora Bank & Trust
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Caterpillar, Inc.
ComEd
Company 251
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
CyrusOne
Do or Dye Designs
Dolan & Murphy
Downtown Auroran Magazine
Eagle Digital Marketing
Endiro Coffee
First Secure Community Bank
Ice Miller LLP
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Inc.
Meyer Wealth Advisors
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Old Second National Bank
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pilmer Real Estate
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
S&S Metal Recyclers II
ServPro of Aurora
Sign*A*Rama
SmithAmundsen, LLC
State Farm Insurance Companies
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WSPY

Welcome New Members

Xplore Tumbling and Gymnastics
Michelle Masciola
223 S. Lincolnway, North Aurora
(630) 229-6115
Gymnastics

 

Contact Us

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

 

 

Register Today for July Golf Classic
Golf Sponsors
Jump Start Your Member Profile
Join us Tuesday, June 27, at 3:00 p.m. to see and hear about all of the benefits of your membership profile on AuroraChamber.com. Increase your visibility. Gain more referrals. Motivate your target audience.

This hands-on workshop will guide you through:

• Setting up your login with user name and password;
• Posting jobs to increase the candidate pool;
• Submitting events to increase traffic and sales;
• Offering hot deals to members and the community;
• Sending communications to others within the database;
• Making changes to your representatives and contact listings; and
• Tracking your ROI by reviewing available metrics.

We encourage you to bring your laptop, tablet, or smartphone to update your listing while at the workshop. We will answer questions and help trouble-shoot any difficulties you may encounter. This program is for new members as well as those who may want a refresher on using www.ChamberLogin.com.

For questions, contact Reba Morgan Osborne, director of membership, at (630) 256-3184.

http://business.aurorachamber.com/Events/details/jump-start-your-member-profile-14439

Behind the Scenes at the Chamber
Golfer registration remains open for the 2017 Golf Classic at Aurora Country Club presented by Meyer Wealth Advisors. Registration for members is $175 through June 30. For information on sponsorships, contact Maureen Gasek at (630) 256-3182.

In addition to several meetings with Chamber members as well as prospective members, the team supported Sky Zone’s ribbon cutting. There was a great turnout for the Trade Forum at Waubonsee Community College’s downtown Aurora campus where we shared what is necessary for our local exporters to obtain a certificate of origin.

We were happy to support a number of our members in the several processes and meetings with various local government organizations. There is a great deal of development occurring in our region and we’re looking forward to announcing some job creating projects in the near future.

Workforce and education were a major theme of the week as we participated in a Mayor’s Transition Team meeting on Education and Workforce Development, attended the national association’s annual meeting on education attainment, and continued organizing a resource fair for parents and students with disabilities (including services, opportunities, and career support).

This week we are looking forward to meeting with members and employers and preparing for next week’s programs, including a ribbon cutting for AAA on Monday and Fox Valley Networking Professionals on Thursday, June 29.

Don’t forget: “Jump Start Your Member Profile” workshop is scheduled for June 27 at 3:00 p.m. Members – whether new to the Chamber or wanting a refresher – will learn how to maximize their directory listing and the additional benefits available online.

If you would like to know more about any of these activities – or more of what we are working on to support our business members, please reach out and let us know: jhenning@aurorachamber.com or (630) 256-3180.

Have a great week.

Did You Know?
As a member of the Aurora Chamber, we are available to assist you in coordinating and working with our elected and municipal officials. For instance, we can help you plan, coordinate, and celebrate a ribbon cutting, grand opening, or groundbreaking. We can help coordinate meetings to discuss various public policy topics with our elected officials to explain the impact of these policies on growth, job creation, and expansion. Our goal is to help you succeed; give us a call or email if there is something we can do to help. For questions, contact Reba Morgan Osborne, director of membership, at (630) 256-3184
Calendar of Events
Grand Opening: AAA
Monday, June 26, 3:30-6:00 p.m.
35 S. Route 59, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting 4:00 p.m.

Jump Start Your Member Profile
Tuesday, June 27, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Aurora Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, June 29, 8-9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora
Sponsorships Available

Register Today: Chamber Golf Classic
Presented by Meyer Wealth Advisors
Monday, July 10, 2017
Aurora Country Club, 1548 Prairie St., Aurora

 

Premier Members
Premier Members
Public Policy Update
For the latest in public policy news, be sure and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Visit the Chamber blog:

May Unemployment Drops Slightly

Budget Threatens Lottery Games

Transportation: Construction Shutdown Looms

Higher Education, No Budget Impact

Gov. Calls for Special Session

Illinois Budget Update

Minimum Wage Increase a Bad Bet for Job Creators

Local Government: Ill. Township Consolidation

Ill. Budget: Debt Rating

Budget: Ill. General Assembly

Pre-K effort that advances ’21st Century skills’

End-of-Session Wrap Up in Springfield

Ill. Chamber Shares Springfield Update

Ill. House GOP on Budget

Springfield Update

Illinois Budget: An Opion From State Rep. Keith Wheeler

Equal-Pay Act Changes Limit Employer Defenses

‘Grand Bargain’ Update

Member News
If you have news to share with your fellow members, please forward to info@aurorachamber.com. Be sure and check out our blog and social media for what’s happening in our region.

Mayor Recruits Execs to Lead City’s Innovation, Technology Efforts

Tee Times Available for Golf for Kids Outing at Orchard Valley on June 26

With Groundbreaking Event, Construction of Blackhawk Park Begins

VNA Health Care and Fox Valley Park District host “Summer HealthFest” on June 21

CMT Employee Anniversaries

Aurora Chamber Awarded Five-Star Accreditation by U.S. Chamber

Mayor’s Transition Team to Host Town Hall Meetings

Meyer Wealth Honors Two East High Grads with Scholarships

You’re Invited: Mayor Irvin to Make Special Announcement

Park District, City, Illinois DCFS Team Up to Promote Water Safety, Prevent Drowning

VNA Health Care Announces New Chief Financial Officer Don Klink

Community Initiative to Combat Gangs and Drugs

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 Bee Atomic on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Pre-K effort that advances ‘21st Century skills’

Friday, June 9th, 2017

The following appeared in the June 5 issue of the Daily Herald and penned by Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Joseph Henning, IOM, CAE.

 

They’re known by many names: Soft skills, character skills, employability skills, social-emotional skills. I prefer “21st century skills,” because they’re as current and meaningful to workforce success as the so-called hard skills.

Initiative and creativity, flexibility and perseverance, collaboration and good communications – whatever you call them, they’re tough to measure, but impossible to do without. And nearly every manager seems to have a story to demonstrate.

An IT worker with the sharpest computer skills still can be a major detriment to his office if he can’t work well in teams and manage his frustration with colleagues. Voices are raised, meetings are called, warnings are issued – and too often, the cycle repeats itself, burning-up time and money until the employee exits, one way or another. Then come the costs of turnover, from lost productivity to recruiting and any necessary training.

In a new, national poll of 300 executives, conducted for the ReadyNation business leader network, almost two-thirds reported knowing someone who’s lost a promotion – or a job – due more to poor social-emotional skills than technical capabilities.

Furthermore, more than three out of five reported bigger challenges finding workers with adequate social-emotional skills than with good technical expertise. Ninety percent of business leaders said it’s harder to develop those 21st century skills among adults entering the workforce than among the young. Nearly as high a percentage indicated support for doing just that: focusing on children – our future workforce – through greater public investments in early learning supports.

This subject is as important in Illinois as anywhere else in the country. Our state ranks 11th nationally in the number of youngsters under age 5 who’ve encountered two or more Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs. These range from poverty to parental divorce to parental addiction problems – circumstances that, individually or collectively, can sadly stunt a youngster’s learning and development in long-lasting ways.

We can help to rein-in the effects of such experiences, setting children on a course toward success in school and careers, through better investments in high-quality preschool and similar supports. Research has demonstrated that participation in high-quality preK can curb problematic behavior and improve kids’ self-control. And one longitudinal study of kindergarteners showed that, for every one-point increase in “character skills” scores, a child was 54 percent more likely to graduate from high school and 46 percent more likely to have a full-time job at age 25.

These are reasons I’m proud of our preK efforts in Aurora – one of nearly 20 Illinois communities that are combining state and federal preschool resources in a new way, extending Illinois’ typically half-day preK program into a full day of developmental services for thousands of the most at-risk 4-year-olds statewide. This initiative already has opened 170 such classrooms in the past couple of years – but it requires further state investment to continue.

Similarly, our state should bolster child care and birth-to-3 efforts that are vital components of the early learning system. Examples include the home-visiting services that provide “coaching” to new parents of at-risk infants and toddlers. Dozens of those programs have gone without state funding since last July, and many are slashing services or closing entirely.

Stabilizing such programs ultimately means stabilizing our economy by helping to shape the skills – technical and otherwise – that will form the bedrock of our 21st century workforce.

 

You’re Invited: Mayor Irvin to Make Special Announcement

Friday, June 9th, 2017

This Week’s News from Aurora Chamber

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017
Header
May 30, 2017
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
Advance Auto Parts
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora Bank & Trust
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Caterpillar, Inc.
ComEd
Company 251
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
CyrusOne
Dolan & Murphy
Downtown Auroran Magazine
Eagle Digital Marketing
Endiro Coffee
First Secure Community Bank
Ice Miller LLP
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Inc.
Meyer Wealth Advisors
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Old Second National Bank
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pilmer Real Estate
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
S&S Metal Recyclers II
ServPro of Aurora
Sign*A*Rama
SmithAmundsen, LLC
State Farm Insurance Companies
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WSPY

Welcome New Members

The Granite and Marble Depot
Tarek Merhebi
850 Ridgeway Ave., Ste. B, Aurora
(630) 966-9666
Home Repairs

Your Timeless Treasures Resale
Constance Doggett
61 S Broadway Street, Aurora
(630) 692-9979
Retail

Java Plus
Mike & Vicki Morkert
1677 Montgomery Road, Aurora
(630) 518-2761
Coffee & Tea Products

Aurora Limousine Service
Mahommed Tahir
133 S. Lake Street, Aurora
(630) 947-8282
Taxi Services

 

Contact Us

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

 

 

Behind the Scenes at the Chamber
The Chamber team continues to focus on this summer’s events and programs. Thank you to Meyer Wealth Advisors for their presenting sponsorship of the 2017 Golf Classic at Aurora Country Club as well as more than 25 other sponsors. A limited number of opportunities remain – starting at just $250. For information on sponsorships, contact Maureen Gasek at (630) 256-3182.

In addition, Maureen is gathering volunteers interested in serving on the Golf Committee for a variety of roles. If you are interested, please contact her.

In response to requests from both new and existing members of the Aurora Chamber, Reba Osborne is organizing two orientation programs this summer. On Tuesday, June 27, we will host an orientation and overview to ChamberMaster. If you are interested in learning more about your online presence – as well as opportunities to post job openings, hot deals, events, and more…this is the program for you. Contact Reba for details and to reserve your spot.

Later this summer, we will host an overview and orientation opportunity for current Ambassadors as well as those members interested in becoming an Ambassador. While the date has not been set, Reba will have more information in the coming weeks.

We have met with a number of existing employers in the region (and a few planning to relocate to the area) to support their needs, including hiring opportunities for job growth. On a related note, for those who have followed our goal to engage a greater number of local employers in providing job opportunities for students with disabilities, we have seen great success. Last week, three more of those students were hired by local businesses. If you are interested in more information on the program, please let us know.

Finally, with just days left in the current session of the General Assembly, our phones, email, social media applications have been following (and weighing in as appropriate) dozens of pieces of legislation of interest to our local employers and community.

This week, in addition to honoring those service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice at the City’s parade, we are looking forward to a number of meetings (including a new group creating a Leadership Alumni group) as well as the ribbon cutting at James Town Allstate office on Downer.

If you would like to know more about any of these activities – or more of what we are working on to support our business members, please reach out and let us know: jhenning@aurorachamber.com or (630) 256-3180.

Have a great week.

Calendar of Events
Ribbon Cutting: James Town Allstate
Friday, June 2, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
7 W. Downer Pl., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting 4:00 p.m.

Grand Opening: Metro 59 Apartments
Wednesday, June 7, 4 – 8 p.m.
1016 Station Blvd., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting: 4:30 p.m.

Grand Opening: Sky Zone Aurora
Thursday, June 15, 4-5:30 p.m.
87 Executive Drive, Suite 100, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting: 4:30 p.m.

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, June 29, 8-9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora
Sponsorship Available

Save the Date: Chamber Golf Classic
Monday, July 10, 2017
Aurora Country Club, 1548 Prairie St., Aurora
Registration Opens: Thursday, June 1

Premier Members
Premier Members
Public Policy Update
For the latest in public policy news, be sure and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Visit the Chamber blog:

Ill. Chamber Shares Springfield Update

Ill. House GOP on Budget

Springfield Update

Illinois Budget: An Opion From State Rep. Keith Wheeler

Equal-Pay Act Changes Limit Employer Defenses

‘Grand Bargain’ Update

Member News
If you have news to share with your fellow members, please forward to info@aurorachamber.com. Be sure and check out our blog and social media for what’s happening in our region.

VNA Health Care Announces New Chief Financial Officer Don Klink

Community Initiative to Combat Gangs and Drugs

Upgrade Your Manufacturing Skills at Waubonsee

Summer Institute @ IMSA

Aurora Library to Host Free Concerts

Aurora Fire Department Launches New Fire Cadet Program

Registration is under way for Mid-American Canoe & Kayak Race on Fox River

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 Bee Atomic on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Professional Development Available in Conjunction with Ill. Chamber

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

Webinar: Advanced Work Comp Challenges: Aging, Obesity & Co-Morbidities

Wednesday, May 10, 10:30 a.m. – noon

The costs for workers’ compensation claims in Illinois continue to rise in spite of prior reform efforts. But you should understand what can also drive costs in way that cannot be controlled by legislation or legal precedent. Employers “take the employees as they find them” at the time the accident occurs. Employers cannot change the facts as to an employee’s age, obesity or co-morbidities and pre-existing conditions, which may delay or prohibit a full recovery. What can an employer do? We’ll discuss strategies for mitigating these claims in this 90-minute webinar.

Taught by attorney G. Steven Murdock, Inman & Fitzgibbons

 

Webinar: Legal 101: What Claims IL Employers Can Face When Using Background Checks and How to Avoid Them

Thursday, May 11, 10:30 a.m. – noon

One of the most important tools that an employer has in screening and hiring quality employees is the application and hiring process. The law limits what information an employer can request on an application, as well as specific procedures that must be used when conducting background checks, using those background checks to make adverse employment decisions and in storing the background checks after the fact. As such, when using background checks, employers need to know what laws they need to comply with and what claims they should be trying to avoid. Michael D. Wong of SmithAmundsen LLC will present this important webinar. The presentation will include important information and strategies for structuring an application and hiring processes to minimize potential liability and risks.

Topics will include:

• What laws Illinois Employers should be aware of;

• Types of information employers should not use – and should be careful in using;

• Using the Internet and Social Media when hiring;

• The potential claims Illinois Employers can face; and

• Recent developments in federal and state laws and cases Illinois Employers should be aware of.

 

Workers’ Comp. Workshop for Illinois Employers

Wednesday, May 17, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Naperville

Workers’ Compensation in Illinois is complicated…. Do you know everything you need to know about the Illinois WC system?

Attorneys from Keefe, Campbell, Biery & Associates will begin with a review of the basics of Workers’ Compensation in Illinois, including benefits, the Workers’ Compensation Commission, and handling a claim of injury from the beginning to end. They will then analyze and discuss in-depth important topics such as Temporary Total/Partial Disability, Nature and Extent of Injury, Wage Loss Differential, Discovery, Liens and related claims against WC benefits in Illinois, Surveillance, Retaliatory Discharge and How to Handle WC Death Claims.

The final section of the day will include a number of essential factors to be considered when you are dealing with any workers’ compensation claim. You will receive helpful information on pushing your claim targets, using real time examples. Keeping in touch with your workers and how to drive claim closure are key, so these will also be discussed.

Taught by attorneys from Keefe, Campbell, Biery & Associates

 

Webinars: Federal Employment Policy- An Update for All Illinois Employers

$79 per webinar for Chamber members

$249 for all five in series for Chamber members (plus receive 2017 HR IL Compliance Certificate

”"

Part 1: Federal Employment Policy and the Trump Administration: The Impact on Employers – Introduction, May 24, 1:30–3:30 pm

And Federal Wage and Hour Compliance – An Update on What Employers Should Expect from the Trump Administration. Trump’s first 100 days started out with a flurry of activity including executive orders, working to fill positions, and starting to fulfill campaign promises. The first section will review actions, then will move on to talk about the next steps. Wage and Hour compliance discussion will include what may happen with the enjoined increase in salary test for white collar exemptions, opinion letters, joint employment, leave laws, and other DOL actions. Presented by attorneys Patrick Rock and Matthew Brown.

 

Part 2: The Future of the ADA and the DOL Fiduciary Rule, May 25, 10–11 am

How soon will Trumpcare replace Obamacare and what will it look like? And taking a look at the DOL Fiduciary Rule –and Retirement Accounts. Presented by attorneys Natalie Nathanson and Joshua Rafsky

 

Part 3: Immigration Policy: An update on policy in the Trump Administration, May 25, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

How might Trump impact Immigration? We’ve already seen executive orders on increased regulation and enforcement. How will E-Verify affect immigration? H-1B Visas? Deportation? This discussion will center on what has already taken place and what further actions may be forthcoming. Presented by attorney Jessica Feinstein

 

Part 4: The EEOC’s Strategic Plan: A Look Ahead, May 31, 10 -11 a.m.

How might Trump change the EEOC? And, the updated Strategic Enforcement Plan was issued in Oct. 2016 – What has changed in their priorities and the commitment of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission? Presented by attorneys Paul Patten and Jason Selvey.

 

Part 5: The Impact of the Elections on Recent NLRB Decisions, May 31, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

How might Trump change the NLRB? Possible scenarios and what a quickly seated business-oriented NLRB might mean for employers? And, how will recent decisions be affected? Important issues for both union and non-union employers will be discussed. Presented by attorney Greg Andrews.

 

Supervisor Training for Effective Management

Wednesday, June 21, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Naperville, IL

One of the most difficult tasks ANY supervisor faces is how to provide leadership to employees. It takes experience and training for one to obtain and constantly maintain the skills necessary to manage others effectively. Supervisors of all levels (especially in this day and age) need to know and understand areas of vulnerability and realize that those are constantly changing. This is an interactive half day seminar which will provide insight and guidance to help YOUR supervisors become stronger leaders and manage YOUR employees more effectively within the always developing labor and employment laws.

 

HRCI, SHRM, CLE available for each topic.

Summer Institute @ IMSA

Monday, April 24th, 2017

This summer, grow your skills and delve into new interests at IMSA’s professional development programs in problem-based learning, innovation and entrepreneurship topics.

Innovation & Entrepreneurship: June 12-15, $400 (all four days)

Design Thinking – Norman “Storm” Robinson III Ph.D.
This one-day workshop is for educators or individuals wishing to explore how to use design thinking to support innovative practice and creative solution-finding. Activities are designed for use in the classroom and can be translated to other ventures.
June 12, $125 (one day price)

Designing Innovation Spaces – Britta McKenna, IMSA CIO
Join us at IN2, Illinois first secondary school innovation center, as we tour innovation spaces coast to coast, and then apply design thinking principles to your real-time or future innovation spaces (maker, hacker, entrepreneurship).
June 13, $125 (one day price)

Makerspace Fast Start – Erik Swanson, IN2 Maker Manager
This one-day intensive program prepares you to operate a makerspace in your school, library or community center. Spend the day at IMSA’s state of the art makerspace in IN2. Delve into the software, hardware, student engagement, and programs you need to get your makerspace kick started, and go home with our fast start handbook.
June 14, $125 (one day price)
Entrepreneurship Education – Carl Heine, Ph.D.
This day covers lean start-up methodology in the design of entrepreneurial teaching and learning, internships, pitch contests, the TALENT curriculum and Chicago’s 1871 digital incubator.
June 15, $125 (one day price)
Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Design Institute
PBL focuses on experiential learning organized around the investigation and resolution of complicated, real-world problems. Through exploration of different methods of teaching and a deeper understanding of problem based learning pedagogy, teachers will enhance student success in the classroom. June 13-15 – $600

July 10-14 “Live Lab” Educator & Student: Teaching Entrepreneurship – Carl Heine, Ph.D.
This hands-on professional development experience provides participants proven methods for teaching entrepreneurship to middle school and high school students. Students form and run startup teams, develop new products, services, effective business models, marketing strategies, pitch to investors and use the money raised to go to market.
July 10-14, $175 (curriculum may be purchased separately)

To learn more about IMSA and its programs, visit www.imsa.edu.

Aurora, Five Others to Receive Grants to Implement the PWR Act

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

In late July 2016, Governor Rauner signed into law HB5729, also known as the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (PWR) Act. The Act implements strategies identified through a multi-year process led by the P-20 Council’s College and Career Readiness Committee to better align the transition from high school into college and careers. You can learn more about the Act at www.pwract.org.

To support implementation of this effort at the local level, Education Systems Center at Northern Illinois University, on behalf of the Illinois 60 by 25 Network, awarded six Leadership Communities grants of $7,500 each in April 2017. The grants will be used to plan and begin initial implementation of one of two elements related to the PWR Act — transitional math instruction delivered to high school seniors to avoid remediation; or college and career pathway endorsements on high school diplomas. The communities that received the grants include Aurora Regional Pathways to Prosperity, East Side Aligned, Making Opportunities Real for Everyone in the Rock River and Mississippi River Valley (MORE), Northwest Educational Council for Student Success (NECSS), Rockford and the Starved Rock Region represented by North Central Regional Betterment Coalition. Aurora will focus on college and career pathway endorsements while the other five communities will focus on transitional math. All these efforts will be aligned with those occurring at the statewide level. For more information on each community’s work please click here.

Metro Chicago Exports is accepting applications for the 2017 Grant Program

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Metro Chicago Exports is accepting applications for the 2017 Grant Program, presented by JP Morgan Chase & Co.

The 2017 Grant Program will award up to $5,000 to small and medium-sized companies in the seven-county region to implement an export plan. The grant will reimburse 50% of eligible expenses related to the plan.

Businesses located in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties that are existing exporters with fewer than 500 employees are encouraged to apply.

Businesses located within Kane County are also eligible for up to an additional $5,000 per the Kane County Export Grant Matching Funds. We are asking you to share this information with any Kane County company you know who may be able to advantage of this opportunity.

The application process involves the online submission of a grant application. Applicants may save the form and complete in more than one sitting. Past Grant Program award recipients are eligible to re-apply and their evaluation will include their prior performance in the grant program.

If potential barriers to maximizing export potential are identified during the Grant Application, companies may be referred to export service providers to assist them in formulating international export plans.

In order to be considered for grant funding, an authorized representative of the company must certify that the company meets all of the following requirements:

  • Registered to do business in one of the following seven counties: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, or Will with a valid W-9 form listing company address.
  • Meets the Small Business Administration’s definition of a small business – under 500 employees.
  • Been in business for at least one year from the date the application is submitted.
  • Operating profitably, based on domestic operations.
  • Provides a product/service manufactured in metro Chicago or made outside the region from which metro Chicago will derive a significant benefit from increased international sales or investment.
  • No legal liabilities which inhibit performance of grant/exporting.
  • Must be willing to share results from use of grant funds in the form of survey feedback or success stories.

 

Small and medium-sized companies that provide either goods or services are eligible to apply to the Metro Chicago Exports 2017 Grant Program. No preference will be given based on target export market, specific industry sector or to company location within the seven-county region.

Find more about the Export Grant and apply here.

Contact Lisa Reijula, Program Director at Metro Chicago Exports, at lreijula@metrochicagoexports.com or by phone at (312) 589-5773

Local Election Results, More from Aurora Regional Chamber

Monday, April 10th, 2017
Header
April 10, 2017
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
Advance Auto Parts – Kirk & Butterfield
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora Bank & Trust
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Caterpillar, Inc.
ComEd
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
Dolan & Murphy
Downtown Auroran Magazine
Eagle Digital Marketing
Endiro Coffee
First Secure Community Bank – Aurora
Ice Miller LLP
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency
Magnetrol International, Incorporated
Meyer Wealth Advisors
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Old Second National Bank
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pilmer Real Estate
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
S&S Metal Recyclers II
Sign*A*Rama
SmithAmundsen, LLC
State Farm Insurance Companies
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Stonebridge Country Club
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WSPY

Welcome New Members

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Andre Salles
P.O Box 500, Batavia
(630) 840-6733
Education

Eagle Digital Marketing
(Elite Member)
Brandon Lyon
2863 W. 95th Street, Suite 143-225, Naperville
(331) 205-8200
Marketing & Advertising

Best Elder Home Care, LLC
Antoinette Gerencir
1659 Montgomery Road, Aurora
(630) 222-0621
Health Services

 

Contact Us

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

 

 

Congratulations, Mayor-elect Irvin
Last week, Alderman At-Large Richard Irvin was elected the 57th mayor of the City of Aurora. In contested races, Mayor and Alderman At-Large Robert J. O’Connor was re-elected to City Council and Alderman-elect Judd Lofchie was elected to represent Ward 10. In uncontested races, Aldermen Juany Garza (Ward 2), Bill Donnell (Ward 4), Sheketa Hart-Burns (Ward 7), and Edward Bugg (Ward 9) were re-elected to City Council. All will be seated on Tuesday, May 9, at the City Council meeting.

The region elected for the first time commissioners to the Fox Valley Park District. Alex Alexandrou (at-large) and District One Commissioners Chuck Anderson and Matt Hick, Jr., were elected in uncontested races. Jerry Butler and Mary Ann Cummings were elected in District Two while Holly Scholz and Cynthia Penne were elected in District Three.

For more results, visit the Chamber blog.

Board Nominations Sought
The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for members willing to be considered to serve on the Board of Directors. All eligible nominees will be considered by the Nominating Committee. Nominations may be found online. Forms should be returned by Thursday, April 20, at 5:00 p.m.

A Board of Directors governs the business, property, and affairs of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce. The Board is responsible for establishing policy, budgets, and the guidance of affairs. The Board is composed of up to 22 persons who shall be members in good standing of the Chamber. Directors are elected for a term of three years which are staggered so that approximately one-third of the directors are elected each year. Vacancies in the board shall be filled by a majority vote of the remaining directors.

To be considered to be a Director, nominees must be members in good standing.

Did You Know?
A chamber of commerce is an organization of businesses seeking to further their collective interests, while advancing their community, region, state or nation. Business owners in towns, cities and other territories voluntarily form these local societies/networks to advocate on behalf of the community at large, economic prosperity and business interests. While most chambers work closely with government, they are not part of government although many consider the process of appropriately influencing elected/appointed officials to be one of their most important functions. For more information, visit the Aurora Regional Chamber blog or contact Reba Osborne, director of membership, at (630) 256-3184.
Calendar of Events
Ambassadors Meeting
Thursday, April 13, at 4:00 p.m.
Orchard Valley Apartments, 1240 W. Indian Trail Rd., Aurora

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, April 27, 8-9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora
Sponsord by Advanced Auto Parts

Grand Opening: Round One
Thursday, April 27, 3:30-8 p.m.
Fox Valley Mall, 195 Fox Valley Center Drive, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting: 4 p.m.

A Report Card: The First 100 Days of Trump Administration
Wednesday, May 3, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location TBA
Sponsorships Available

Grand Re-Opening: West Suburban Bank
Thursday, May 4, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
1311 Butterfield Rd., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting: 11:30 p.m.

Ambassadors Meeting
Thursday, May 11, at 4:00 p.m.
Location TBD

Grand Opening: Advance Auto Parts
Friday, May 5, 12 – 1:30 p.m.
1386 Butterfield Road, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting: 12:30 p.m.

New Location Celebration: All Spoked Up
Friday, May 5, 4 – 5:30 p.m.
14 W. Downer Place Unit 12, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting: 4:30 p.m.

Grand Opening: Pet Supplies Plus
Wednesday, May 10, 12 – 1:30 p.m.
180 N. Randall Rd., North Aurora
Ribbon Cutting: 12:30 p.m.

Save the Date: Chamber Golf Classic
Monday, July 10, 2017
Aurora Country Club, 1548 Prairie Street, Aurora

Premier Members
Premier Members
Public Policy Update
For the latest in public policy news, be sure and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Visit the Chamber blog:

Register Now for Employer Action Day

US Chamber Releases Congressional Scorecard

Fair Maps

Jobs

Human Services: New ID Cards

Education: School Accountability Plan

Economy: Tourism

Chicago: Population Trends

Budget: COGFA Projections

Budget: Pension Reform

Member News
If you have news to share with your fellow members, please forward to info@aurorachamber.com. Be sure and check out our blog and social media for what’s happening in our region.
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 Bee Atomic on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

What Is Your Chamber of Commerce?

Monday, April 10th, 2017

chamber of commerce is an organization of businesses seeking to further their collective interests, while advancing their community, region, state or nation. Business owners in towns, cities and other territories voluntarily form these local societies/networks to advocate on behalf of the community at large, economic prosperity and business interests. Chambers have existed in the US for more than two centuries, with many having been established before the jurisdictions they represent. A business-led civic and economic advancement entity operating in a specific space may call itself any number of things – board of trade, business council, etc. – but for the purposes of this primer, they are all chambers of commerce.

Chamber missions vary, but they all tend to focus to some degree on five primary goals: Building communities (regions/states/nations) to which residents, visitors and investors are attracted; Promoting those communities; Striving to ensure future prosperity via a pro-business climate; Representing the unified voice of the employer community; and Reducing transactional friction through well-functioning networks. Chambers have other features in common. Most are led by private-sector employers, self-funded, organized around boards/committees of volunteers and independent. They share a common ambition for sustained prosperity of their community/region, built on thriving employers. Most are ardent proponents of the free market system, resisting attempts to overly burden private sector enterprise and investment.

Local businesses are voluntary paying members of a chamber (non-profits, quasi-public and even public sector employers also sometimes pay dues to belong). The membership, acting collectively, elects a board of directors and/or executive council to set policy for, and guide the workings of, the chamber. The board or executive committee then hires a chief executive (various titles), plus an appropriate and affordable number of staff to run the organization.

In the majority of countries, the use of the term “chamber of commerce” is regulated by statute, though this is not the case in the US. Only trademark, copyright and domain name rules protect a chamber’s identity – only state corporation law defines their existence and reason for being. While most chambers work closely with government, they are not part of government although many consider the process of appropriately influencing elected/appointed officials to be one of their most important functions.

The most difficult aspect for the general public, media, government officials and even some businesses to understand is that there is literally no inherent hierarchical structure in the chamber world. This can be extremely confusing to those who naturally assume that a few thousand entities sharing the same name must be related and that some ordered lineage must exist among them. That is simply not the case in the US. When business and economic policy priorities align, which is usually the case, chambers of all sizes attempt to work together and speak with a unified voice. Inevitably, conflicting positions will arise about some issues, or about strong positions (or lack thereof) of chambers at various levels.

To illustrate: The head of a community-based organization like a retired citizen group may wrongly assume that a position taken by a state chamber is shared and endorsed by their local chamber. Likewise, a large metropolitan chamber of commerce could take a strong position in favor of an infrastructure project or educational reform initiative, which will not be embraced or supported by suburban chambers operating within the same metro region.

Chambers of commerce in the US operate almost exclusively as non-profit entities known as 501(c)(6) corporations. Unlike charities, these 501(c)(6) non-profits have the authority under state and federal tax rules to represent their members in public policy debates. They may lobby and take positions on actual or proposed legislation, subject to local, state and federal laws. Chambers may legally endorse candidates for public office and/or ballot propositions (but most do not). The use of general fund revenues for chamber political and lobbying purposes is strictly regulated. The chief executive or another member of the staff is sometimes a state-registered lobbyist. The portion of any member’s dues investment allocated to direct lobbying is not deductible as a business expense.

The processes of choosing and articulating specific policy positions vary by organization and issue. For the most part, a vote (or expression of consensus) of a chamber board of directors determines the stand to be taken in the name of that chamber on any issue. In recent years, with the increased involvement of public sector and non-profit employers in chambers, consensus-building has become more difficult at all levels. Chamber boards are independent, but they usually take into account the recommendations of state and national organizations when larger issues are considered.