Archive for the ‘catalyst’ Category

This Week’s Chamber Newsletter

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015
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
March 04, 2015
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora University
Bad Monkey Circus Agency: Websites-Video
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Basils Greek Dining
BKD, LLP
BMO Harris
Cadence Fitness & Health Center
Cadence Health Convenient Care & Medical Offices
Caterpillar, Inc.
Central DuPage Hospital
Chicago Premium Outlets
ComEd
Continental Acura of Naperville
Continental Audi of Naperville
Continental Mazda of Naperville
Delnor Glen Senior Living
Delnor Hospital
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Global Data Sciences
Green Buddha Life Books dba E3HRA, LLC
Ice Miller LLP
ieple, LLC.
Junior Achievement of Chicago – Western Division
K-Rise Systems, Inc.
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency
Leave Me Bee Pest Control, Inc.
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
Magnetrol International, Incorporated
Martin Whalen Office Solutions
McKesson
Mind and Body Chiropractic
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
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
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
St. Charles Bank & Trust
State Farm Insurance Companies
Stumm Insurance, LLC
The UPS Store – Kirk & Butterfield
The Voice
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WSPY
Zippy Shell Fox Valley

Welcome New Members

Immigration Law Office of Jeremy Lime
Jeremy Lime
900 N. Lake St., Ste. 200
Aurora, IL 60506
(630) 995-3088
DLegal Services

M/I Homes – Lehigh Station
Tanya Naji
847 Station Blvd., Ste. 230
Naperville, IL 60563
(630) 577-5220
Builders & Developers

Smart Beginnings
Marie Bill
4105 Healthway Dr.
Aurora, IL 60504
(630) 618-3797
Childcare

Trust Lending
Aaron Resnick
3 N. Lincolnway
North Aurora, IL 60542
(630) 800-2702
Loans

 

Contact Us


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

 

 

State of the City Registration Open
Mayor Thomas J. Weisner The Hon. Thomas J. Weisner
Mayor, City of Aurora

Thursday, April 16, at 11:30 a.m.
Piper’s Banquets
1295 Butterfield Road, Aurora

$50 General Admission
$35 Aurora Chamber Members

Register

Thank You to the Following Sponsors

Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Cadence Health
Old Second National Bank
Centrue Bank
OnLight Aurora
Chicago Premium Outlets
Presence Mercy Medical Center
Cordogan, Clark & Associates
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Dreyer, Foote, Streit, Furgason & Slocum
Rasmussen College
Engineering Enterprises, Inc.
Republic Services
First Midwest Bank
Restoration Techs
FHP-O-Cedar
Rush-Copley Medical Center
Heartland Recycling
SmithAmundsen
Hollywood Casino – Aurora
Waubonsee Community College
HRGreen

Public Policy Update
Last week, the House was in session Wednesday and Thursday. The deadline for bill introductions in the House was Friday. Senate members spent the week in district. Senate-bill introductions concluded last Friday. The next substantive deadline is Friday, March 27, which is the deadline for bills to be passed out of standing committees.

Deadlines are for stand-alone introductions. As such, introduced bills may be amended at any time. Committee hearings for both houses will begin this week.

A brief listing of some of the recent introductions can be found on the Chamber blog.

Mark Your Calendars; Save the Dates
Ribbon Cutting: Stericycle
Tuesday, March 3, at 10:00 a.m.
3557 Butterfield Rd., Suite 151, Aurora

Ribbon Cutting: Dr. Gadget
Friday, March 6, at 3:30 p.m.
4430 E. New York St., Aurora

Business Leads Group 1
Tuesday, March 10, at 7:45 a.m.
Chamber offices

Business Leads Group 2
Wednesday, March 11, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber offices

Ambassador Committee Meeting
Thursday, March 12, at 11:30 a.m.
Chamber offices

Coffee & Connections
Tuesday, March 17, at 8:30 a.m.
Painters District Council #30
1905 Sequoia Dr., Aurora
Register

Ribbon Cutting: M/I Homes Lehigh Station
Thursday, March 19, at 4:30 p.m.
847 Station Blvd., Aurora

Business Leads Group 1
Tuesday, March 24, at 7:45 a.m.
Chamber offices

Business Leads Group 2
Wednesday, March 25, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber offices

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, March 26, at 8:00 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant
55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora
Register

State of the City 2015
Thursday, April 16, at 11:30 a.m.
Piper’s Banquets
1295 Butterfield Road, Aurora
Register

Premier Members
Premier Members
Member News
PLS

Thank you to PL$ for sponsoring the February Fox Valley Networking Professionals Breakfast.

Advocate Dreyer Medical Clinic new West Aurora facility is scheduled to open in March of 2016 and will offer primary and specialty care.

Naper Settlement‘s Camp Naper Summer Day Camps registration begins March 1, for kids in grades one through eight. More information is available online.

The Committee on Accreditation for the Emergency Medical Services Professionals, has awarded initial accreditation status to Waubonsee’s Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) – Paramedic program. Waubonsee Community College and Delnor Hospital have partnered to develop and operate the EMT-Paramedic program since 2007.

Refer a Prospective Member During March
It is always the right time to refer a prospective business! When you refer a prospective member in March and they join, you and your business will be highlighted in our eNewsletter and receive ChamberBucks to use toward an eBlast, membership list, website sponsorship or a Fox Valley Networking breakfast. Submit your referral to Jane Abe, IOM, ACE, director of membership.
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.

Register Today for 2015 State of the City Address

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

 
You’re Invited: State of the City 2015

The Hon. Thomas J. Weisner’s Annual Address
Join us Thursday, April 16, at 11:00 a.m. to hear from Mayor Weisner.

From highlights of 2014 to major announcements for 2015 and forward, Mayor Weisner’s annual State of the City Address is an opportunity for business leaders, community members, and our elected officials to hear the latest from the Mayor. Space is limited.

Thursday, April 16, 2015
Registration & Networking at 11:00 a.m.
Lunch at 12:00 p.m.
State of the City Address at 12:50 p.m.
Piper’s Banquets, 1295 Butterfield Road, Aurora

The Hon. Thomas J. Weisner,
Mayor, City of Aurora

Mayor Weisner is currently serving his third term as Mayor of Aurora, the state’s second largest city, with a population of nearly 200,000. As Aurora’s Mayor for nearly a decade, Weisner has propelled this former “blue-collar town” into the 21st century as a high performing, progressive city by strengthening neighborhoods, revitalizing Aurora’s riverfront core, promoting sustainable development practices, developing a top-notch telecommunication infrastructure and vastly reducing crime. By focusing on public private partnerships to spur revitalization, Weisner is successfully cleaning up polluted riverfront areas and breathing new life into Aurora’s downtown urban core.

 

 
Thank You to Our Sponsors

 

 

 

Recent Bills Introduced in General Assembly

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

Last week, the House was in session Wednesday and Thursday. The deadline for bill introductions in the House was Friday. Senate members spent the week in district. Senate-bill introductions concluded last Friday. The next substantive deadline is Friday, March 27, which is the deadline for bills to be passed out of standing committees.

Deadlines are for stand-alone introductions. As such, introduced bills may be amended at any time. Committee hearings for both houses will begin this week.

Here is a brief listing of some of the recent introductions.

SB 1836 creates the Healthy Workplace Act and requires employers to provide seven paid sick days to part-time and full-time employees each year they are employed.

HB 3554 provides that employees must be given notice of the shifts to be worked two weeks in advance of the scheduled shift. In addition, it establishes requirements for minimum pay for working shifts outside of scheduled shifts.

HB 3619 expands the Equal Pay Act of 2003 to include all employers rather any employer with four or more employees. It increases the maximum civil penalty for all violations to $5,000.

HB 3336 provides a sales tax exemption for building materials, machinery, and equipment used in the construction and operation of data centers. It includes an electricity excise tax exemption to help offset some of the high-power costs incurred in the operation of data centers.

SB 1863 would encourage new investment in several infrastructure areas including public buildings, transportation assets, and other public assets that are in dire need of improvements.

SB 1660 focuses on the EDGE Credit sale or transfer. The EDGE credit is a credit against the Illinois Income Tax Act awarded for a combination of investment and new job creation in Illinois. This legislation provides that a company that is unable to use the credit against its own income taxes because it has no income may sell or transfer the credit to another company.

SB 1737 amends the Illinois Income Tax Act to allow small businesses to immediately expense property that must be depreciated for federal income tax purposes.

HB 3888  addresses the sunset of the Manufacturers’ Purchase Credit by modifying the definition of manufacturing machinery and equipment to include production-related, tangible personal property used in a manufacturing operation.

Minimum wage legislation SB 11 seeks to raise the minimum wage from $8.25 to $9.00 beginning July 1 and increases it by $0.50 each July 1 until July 1, 2019, at which point the minimum wage will be $11.00. It creates a $1,500 per employee income tax credit for employers with fewer than 50 employees.

HB 166 creates the Family Leave Insurance Program Act, which requires the Illinois Department of Labor to establish and administer a Family Leave Insurance Program that provides family leave insurance benefits to eligible employees who take unpaid family leave to care for a newborn child, a newly adopted or newly placed foster child, or a family member with a serious health condition. The program is financed by a $2.50 per month fee paid by employees of employers of 50 or more employees.

HB 432 proposes employers would be required to pay overtime to any employee earning less than $69,000 per year. The weekly or monthly equivalent will increase annually by the percentage of increase in the consumer price index.

Kyle McCarter introduced four senate bills (SB 765,766,767,768) to improve the unemployment insurance system by addressing fraud, an improved definition of misconduct, and eligibility requirements.

Several Events for Aurora Chamber Members on Calendar

Monday, February 9th, 2015
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 09, 2015
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora University
Bad Monkey Circus Agency: Websites-Video
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Basils Greek Dining
BKD, LLP
BMO Harris
Cadence Fitness & Health Center
Cadence Health Convenient Care & Medical Offices
Caterpillar, Inc.
Central DuPage Hospital
Chicago Premium Outlets
ComEd
Continental Acura of Naperville
Continental Audi of Naperville
Continental Mazda of Naperville
Delnor Glen Senior Living
Delnor Hospital
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Global Data Sciences
Green Buddha Life Books dba E3HRA, LLC
Ice Miller LLP
ieple, LLC.
Junior Achievement of Chicago – Western Division
K-Rise Systems, Inc.
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency
Leave Me Bee Pest Control, Inc.
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
Magnetrol International, Incorporated
Martin Whalen Office Solutions
McKesson
Mind and Body Chiropractic
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
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
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
St. Charles Bank & Trust
State Farm Insurance Companies
Stumm Insurance, LLC
The UPS Store – Kirk & Butterfield
The Voice
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WSPY
Zippy Shell Fox Valley

Contact Us

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

 

 

Public Policy Update
Public Policy Update: House Announces Committees
Last week, the Illinois House posted the committees and members of the 99th General Assembly. Local representatives and their committee assignments may be found here.

Gov. Rauner Delivers State of the State Address

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s agenda, presented to the General Assembly in his State of the State address on Wednesday, February 4, called for comprehensive reforms to the “iron triangle.”

Rauner’s office has posted a video of his speech online and welcomes social-media discussion of the points made in it using the hashtag #ILTurnaround.

For more on the Governor’s address, visit the blog.

Ill. Senate Passes Minimum Wage Increase
Partisan Senate majority passes minimum wage increase; bill moves to House. SB 11 would increase the standard Illinois minimum wage, applicable to most employment positions, from $8.25 an hour (current rate) to $11.00 an hour over a five-year period. The Senate vote was 35-15-1. Full details can be found on the Chamber’s blog.

Mark Your Calendars; Save the Dates
Business Leads Group 1
Tuesday, February 10, at 7:30 a.m.
Chamber offices

Business Leads Group 2
Wednesday, February 11, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber offices

Ambassador’s Committee Meeting
Thursday, February 12 at 11:30 a.m.
Chamber offices

Multi-Chamber Business After Hours
Thursday, February 19 at 4:30 a.m.
Orchard Valley Golf Course
Register

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, February 26 at 8:00 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant
Register

Premier Members
Premier Members
Member News
For more news and program information from your fellow Chamber members, visit the Aurora 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 Friday, February 13, 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.

ScaleUp Aurora to Launch Second Cohort in March
The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Women’s Business Development Center to support economic growth and job creation among small businesses. For information and details, visit our blog.
Register Now for GreenTown Aurora
The City of Aurora, in collaboration with other Fox River Valley communities, will be hosting Greentown Aurora-Fox River Valley on February 26 at Two Brothers Roundhouse. This event will bring together the public and private sectors to facilitate the sharing of ideas and promote the collaborative implementation of ongoing sustainability initiatives.

More information is available on the Chamber blog.

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.

Bid Documents Available for Library Asphalt Paving, Curbs

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

R.C. Wegman Construction Company requests Bid Proposals on behalf of the Aurora Public Library for the construction of the New Main Library. Bid Proposals will be received at the Main Branch of the Aurora Public Library 1 East Benton Street, Aurora, IL. 60505 – Lower Level. Hand delivery or mail to the attention of the Aurora Public Library by 1:00 p.m. local time on Friday February 20, 2015 for Bid Packages BP3-01. At this time, the  Bid Package  Proposals  will  be publicly read aloud.  Any proposals received later than   1:00 p.m. Friday February 20, 2015 shall not be accepted. It is the responsibility of the Bidder to guarantee delivery either by mail or hand prior to the appropriate times and dates listed in this Advertisement for Bids.

Bid Proposals must be sealed in an opaque envelope with Bidder’s Name on the outside of the envelope and designated as follows:

Sealed Proposal
Aurora Public Library
Attention: Aurora Public Library
New Main Library – Bid Package No. 3
Bid Category: (insert Bid Package Number and Name)
Contractor Name, Address, Phone Number

 

Proposals shall be based on the requirements set forth in the Bidding Documents prepared by the Construction Manager and the Architect/Engineer for the following Bid Categories:

All Bidders will be required to furnish bid security in the form of a bid bond, bank cashier’s check or cash in the amount of (10%) of the base bid amount and shall be submitted with the Bid Proposal.

REJECTION OF BIDS: The Aurora Public Library reserves (i) the right to reject any or all bids, (ii) the right to waive irregularities or informalities in bidding procedure, and (iii) the right to award any portion or award on basis of total bid.  Any such decision shall be considered final.

All Bidders must comply with applicable Illinois Law regarding the payment of prevailing wages by all labors, workmen and mechanics working on public funded projects. If during the time period of work, these rates change, the Bidding Contractor shall be responsible for any associated additional costs without any change to the proposed contract amount.

The proposed contract is subject to the requirements of the Equal Employment Practices Commission and the Illinois Human Rights Act (HRA) Illinois Revised Statute, CH. 69, Par. 10102, etc.

Minority Business Enterprise Participation: Minority business firms are encouraged to submit bids for this project. The successful contract bidder(s) are encouraged to utilize minority businesses as subcontractors for supplies, equipment, services and construction.

BID DOCUMENTS: Bidding documents will be available after 1:00 p.m. on Thursday February 5, 2015. Please contact the Construction Managers R. C. Wegman Construction Company for information on obtaining Bid Documents. Phone: 630-844-3000 – Fax: 630-844-3003 – E-Mail:  LisaG@rcwegman.com

Last Call for Leadership Academy…and More in Your eMail

Monday, February 2nd, 2015
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 02, 2015
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora University
Bad Monkey Circus Agency: Websites-Video
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Basils Greek Dining
BKD, LLP
BMO Harris
Cadence Fitness & Health Center
Cadence Health Convenient Care & Medical Offices
Caterpillar, Inc.
Central DuPage Hospital
Chicago Premium Outlets
ComEd
Continental Acura of Naperville
Continental Audi of Naperville
Continental Mazda of Naperville
Delnor Glen Senior Living
Delnor Hospital
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Global Data Sciences
Green Buddha Life Books dba E3HRA, LLC
Ice Miller LLP
ieple, LLC.
Junior Achievement of Chicago – Western Division
K-Rise Systems, Inc.
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency
Leave Me Bee Pest Control, Inc.
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
Magnetrol International, Incorporated
Martin Whalen Office Solutions
McKesson
Mind and Body Chiropractic
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
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
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
St. Charles Bank & Trust
State Farm Insurance Companies
Stumm Insurance, LLC
The UPS Store – Kirk & Butterfield
The Voice
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WSPY
Zippy Shell Fox Valley

Welcome New Members

The Learning Experience
Andrea Gast
1555 Mesa Ln.
Aurora, IL 60502
(630) 692-0550
Education

Advanced Physicians
Debbie Brooks
3052 Weber Dr.
Aurora, IL 60502
(630) 898-9700
Health Services

 

Contact Us

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

 

 

Leadership Academy Begins Friday
The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce 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. This program focuses on the unique strengths of our community and encourages a diverse mix of participants to engage in our community’s success.

Again this year, we are partnering with the Quad County African American Chamber of Commerce to provide the opportunity to a wider audience.

Registration is due by Wednesday. For more information and application, visit the Chamber website.

Public Policy Update
Why Aren’t We Getting Our Fair Share?
Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner and Chamber President Joseph Henning will join Congressman Bill Foster for a panel discussion on Illinois’ “Payer State” problem. Business and community leaders are invited to join the discussion Friday, Feb. 6, in Aurora City Council Chambers at 44 E. Downer Place. The event begins at 1:30 p.m.

Other panelists include Illinois Deputy Treasurer Jay Rowell and Illinois Poison Center Medical Director and MCHC Physician Michael Wahl, MD.

In a typical year, $20 billion leaves Illinois because we are a “payer state.” In fact, we pay $1.36 in Federal taxes for every dollar of Federal spending returned to the state. Illinois ranks in the bottom three nationwide when it comes to return on the Federal dollar. What could Illinois do with that money?

To attend, register at foster.house.gov/payerstate.

Public Policy Update: Senate Announces Committees
Last week, the Illinois Senate posted the committees and members of the 99th General Assembly. Local senators and their committee assignments may be found here.

Gov. Bruce Rauner, State of the State address preparations
Preparations continue for the State of the State address to be delivered by Gov. Bruce Rauner to the General Assembly on Wednesday, February 4. The Governor and his executive staff have published an advocacy platform, “The Illinois Turnaround,” that sets forth the broad goals he will be looking for in State policymaking. Gov. Rauner has fleshed out the points made in this package in a series of speeches delivered in key Illinois cities. For full article, visit the blog.

Mark Your Calendars; Save the Dates
Ribbon Cutting
Tuesday, February 3, at 4:00 p.m.
Sunnymere, 925 Sixth Ave., Aurora

2015 Leadership Academy
Begins Friday, February 6, at 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Chamber Offices
Register

Ambassador Committee Meeting
Thursday, February 12, at 11:30 a.m.
Chamber Offices

Premier Members
Premier Members
Member News
For more news and program information from your fellow Chamber members, visit the Aurora 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 Friday, February 13, 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.

ScaleUp Aurora to Launch Second Cohort in March
The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is continuously looking for ways to provide our members with additional services and resources. Today, we are excited to announce a partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that welcomes you, through your existing membership with the Aurora Chamber, as a new member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at no additional cost.

The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Women’s Business Development Center to support economic growth and job creation among small businesses. For information and details, visit our blog.

Register Now for GreenTown Aurora
The City of Aurora, in collaboration with other Fox River Valley communities, will be hosting Greentown Aurora-Fox River Valley on February 26 at Two Brothers Roundhouse. This event will bring together the public and private sectors to facilitate the sharing of ideas and promote the collaborative implementation of ongoing sustainability initiatives.

More information is available on the Chamber blog.

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.

Why Aren’t We Getting Our Fair Share?

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner and Chamber President Joseph Henning will join Congressman Bill Foster for a panel discussion on Illinois’ “Payer State” problem. Business and community leaders are invited to join the discussion Friday, Feb. 6, in Aurora City Council Chambers at 44 E. Downer Place. The event begins at 1:30 p.m.

Other panelists include Illinois Deputy Treasurer Jay Rowell and Illinois Poison Center Medical Director and MCHC Physician Michael Wahl, MD.

In a typical year, $20 billion leaves Illinois because we are a “payer state.” In fact, we pay $1.36 in Federal taxes for every dollar of Federal spending returned to the state. Illinois ranks in the bottom three nationwide when it comes to return on the Federal dollar. What could Illinois do with that money?

To attend, register at foster.house.gov/payerstate.

Register Now for GreenTown Aurora

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

The City of Aurora, in collaboration with other Fox River Valley communities, will be hosting Greentown Aurora-Fox River Valley on February 26 at Two Brothers Roundhouse. This event will bring together the public and private sectors to facilitate the sharing of ideas and promote the collaborative implementation of ongoing sustainability initiatives.

The conference will feature a presentation and an associated panel discussion on the state of the Fox River and breakout sessions covering a variety of topics under the headlines of Green Infrastructure, Resource Conservation, and Healthy Communities & Mobility. Topics will be presented by various planning professionals from across Kane County. To see the agenda for the conference, click here. The conference will kick off with a networking event at Two Brothers Roundhouse which will run from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. on February 25, the night before the main event.

 

ScaleUp Aurora to Launch Second Cohort in March

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Women’s Business Development Center to support economic growth and job creation among small businesses.

The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) has opened an office in Aurora to support economic growth and job creation with the ScaleUp Aurora program. The SBA recently launched ScaleUp America to support development of entrepreneurship ecosystems that assist high-potential, growth-oriented entrepreneurs, and small businesses that have revenues between $150 -750,000. The focus is on taking established businesses to the next level. Upon completion of the program participants will have the tools to grow and access to a professional support network and mentors.  All services are provided at no charge.

The ScaleUp Aurora program consists of our proven entrepreneurial education curriculum for growth-oriented business owners and various types of technical assistance, including:

  • Individual counseling sessions
  • Workshops
  • CEO roundtables
  • Mentoring
  • Connection opportunities to build networks and link business owners to the market and other business resources, like access to capital.

There are 4 requirements for a business to qualify for a cohort:

  1. At least 2 employees (1099 employees count)
  2. In business at least 2 years
  3. Revenues between $150-750,000
  4. Attend a 3 hour class, one day a week, for 12 weeks

Male and female entrepreneurs are eligible to participate.

The application and program information are on our website. Applications for the next cohort which begins on March 12, 2015 are being accepted through 5:00pm, February 27.

Contact:

Judith Dawson, ScaleUp Aurora Project Coordinator

(630) 896-3101

jdawson@wbdc.org

Aurora chamber executive Joe Henning works hard to make sure the city he loves succeeds

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Reposted from the January 28, 2015, Daily Herald:

by Susan Dibble

Joe Henning says he’s a shy guy who finds it hard to talk about himself.

But his work on behalf of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce for the past decade has made him well-known among businesses in the Fox Valley area, local elected officials and educational institutions, and chamber officials on the state and even national levels.

Henning, president and CEO of the Aurora chamber that he has led since 2005, was named the 2014 Illinois Chamber Executive of the Year late last year by his peers in the Illinois Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

“I was completely surprised. It was a great honor,” said Henning, who serves with the Aurora chamber full-time. “It’s something I love doing.”

A Kendall County native and Aurora resident since 1998, Henning didn’t seek out the chamber job. He had a background in organizational development, had worked in health care for 15 years and was employed with a nonprofit school in Elgin when he received a recruiting call.

Henning said he wasn’t ready to relocate, but might be interested if there were a position in his own backyard. “It is your backyard. It’s Aurora,” the recruiter said. Henning agreed to talk, and the rest is history.

“I absolutely love the community,” he said.

Partnerships

During the 10 years Henning has been with the Aurora chamber, he has led it through national accreditation twice, reached out to elected officials to push for business-friendly legislation in Springfield, and worked with employers, local high schools and Waubonsee Community College so students can be better prepared for the workforce.

In the process, he’s built collaborative partnerships with dozens of other organizations. Henning said when he started, the Aurora chamber had about a dozen partners and last year it counted 58.

One is the Quad County African American Chamber of Commerce that has about 150 members in DuPage, Kendall, Kane and Will counties.

Clifton E. Mason, executive director of the Quad County Chamber, said Henning has served as a mentor and coach. The two chambers cooperate in holding a monthly Before Hours/Business Diversity Network, holiday celebration, bimonthly Coffee Connections and Leadership Academy.

Mason said one reason the partnership works so well is that Henning doesn’t feel a need to take credit for himself.

“He’s an advocate for all businesses. He’s a collaborator,” Mason said. “He’s well-known in the community, the Fox Valley region and highly regarded.”

The Aurora Regional Chamber serves as the primary chamber for Aurora and North Aurora, but includes members from 65 communities stretching from Chicago to DeKalb County.

Its membership, which stood near 1,000 before the 2008 economic crisis, has climbed back to around 900.

Henning — who holds designations from the Institute for Organization Management, the Illinois Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives as a Chamber Accredited Executive and from The Center for Association Leadership as a Certified Association Executive — has been interested in not just recruiting members, but developing them.

He led the Aurora chamber through a monthslong process in 2007 to be accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Aurora Chamber was accredited again in 2012 with a five-star designation, an honor earned by only 1 percent of the chambers in the United States.

“It’s an opportunity for us to make sure we have a strong organization for our business members,” Henning said of the accreditation process.

Developing workers

Henning is interested in developing not only business leaders, but a strong workforce prepared to fill the positions demanded by today’s economy.

“That’s my passion — lifelong learning, workplace development,” he said.

The chamber has been an active participant in the Aurora Regional Pathways to Prosperity Project, formally launched in January 2013 to target career readiness for students. The cornerstone for the project is a 2011 report from the Harvard Graduate School of Education that challenged the overemphasis on four-year colleges as the best pathway to success.

Aurora obtained assistance and funding to form its own Pathways project with partners that include the mayor’s office, the chamber, four school districts and Waubonsee Community College.

A community assessment done in 2012 had shown that area employers needed workers with skills in health sciences, information technology and advanced manufacturing. The high schools are expected to implement those career pathways in fall 2015, and Aurora-area businesses have agreed to provide internships and student workplace opportunities.

Jill Hlavacek, curriculum director for Indian Prairie Unit District 204, said the Pathways project builds on what the district already was doing to expand career opportunities for students.

“Joe Henning has been a positive force on this (Pathways) committee,” she said. “He brings a wealth of knowledge about the Aurora business community and the skill sets that are needed by students entering the workforce. He is passionate about involving all parties in the process. He keeps our work moving forward.”

Lesa Norris, dean of workforce development for Waubonsee Community College, said Henning also has been instrumental in making area businesses aware of the workforce training opportunities and knowledge of funding resources that the college can provide to employers.

“We’re here to help employers connect the dots and the chamber helps us do that,” Norris said. “I can’t speak highly enough of the collaboration between the chamber and Waubonsee.”

Public policy

Henning said the Aurora chamber also has reached out to state legislators during the past five years to create a more business-friendly economy in Illinois.

The chamber’s legislative agenda includes workers’ compensation reform, economic development, opposition to a progressive income tax, and support for new transportation and infrastructure construction programs. It opposed the minimum wage legislation as it was written in the Illinois General Assembly.

“We’re primarily looking at high school students entering the workforce,” Henning said. “We understand what fair compensation is, but we also know there’s a direct impact that we’re going to see.”

State Sen. Linda Holmes of Aurora, a Democrat elected in 2006, said chambers of commerce are better known for cultivating relationships with Republicans, but Henning has shown a willingness to work with legislators from either party.

“Joe reached out to me right away,” she said. “I’ve appreciated how he’s always worked with us no matter what side of the aisle we’re on.”

Henning said he hadn’t yet met newly installed Gov. Bruce Rauner, but had talked with his staff and knows people on the governor’s transition team.

“He’s got a lot on his plate. We’ll make sure we do everything we can do to help him turn the state around,” he said.

Henning was appointed by former Gov. Pat Quinn to the Illinois 21st Century Workforce Development Fund Advisory Committee and serves on the River Valley Workforce Investment Board. He has been named to serve a two-year term on the national board of trustees of the Institute for Organization Management, the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

With his interest in learning and professional development, Henning served as an adjunct instructor at a local community college for four years, but he said any further teaching will have to wait until he’s no longer working for the Aurora chamber.

“It really does keep me busy,” he said.

Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner said Henning’s dedication to Aurora goes far beyond serving the business community.”

“Even beyond his official capacity, Joe Henning is a resident who loves and believes in this community, Weisner said. “He regularly attends community events and volunteers countless hours to helping others in Aurora.”

When not working, Henning said he enjoys travel, reading and all Aurora has to offer with his wife. He applauds the city’s efforts to bring traffic into the downtown with the promotion of venues such as the Paramount Theatre and RiverEdge Park.

“There are so many opportunities,” he said. “There’s just so much to do.”