Archive for February, 2014

More News, Programs from Aurora Chamber

Monday, February 24th, 2014
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.
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February 24, 2014
In This Issue

 

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Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora University
Bad Monkey Circus
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Basil’s Greek Dining
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.
Fox Valley Country Club
Global Data Sciences
Ice Miller LLP
Konen Insurance Agency
Liberty Mutual – Dawn Tully
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
McKesson
Mind and Body Chiropractic
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Old Second National Bank
Organo Gold
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pipefitters Local 597
Piper’s Banquets
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Rush-Copley Medical Center
S&S Metal Recycling
Safeguard Construction Co.
Sequoia General Contracting Corp.
Sign*A*Rama – Aurora
SmithAmundsen, LLC
State Farm Insurance Companies
St. Charles Bank & Trust
Stumm Insurance, LLC
TCE Company
The UPS Store – Kirk & Butterfield
The Voice
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WERV FM Radio (Next Media)
WSPY
Zippy Shell Fox Valley

Welcome New Members

Bear Paddle Swim School
Emily Everson
4308 E. New York St.
Aurora, IL 60504
(630) 692-7946
Swimming Center

Midland States Bank
Rick Waggoner
951 Dixie Highway
Beecher, IL 60401
(815) 465-7266
Bank

Village Profile
John Dussman
Barry Kenis
33 N. Geneva St.
Elgin, IL 60120
(847) 468-6800 Publishing

 

Contact Us


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

 

 

Leadership Academy 2014 Registration Open
Leadership Academy

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 graduates 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.

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

With the encouragement and support of the Dunham Fund, the Academy has completed its first phase of redevelopment. This year’s program focuses on the unique strengths of our community and encourages a diverse mix of participants to engage in our community’s success.

Our community needs you! Realize your potential to make a difference in the Aurora region. The program begins Friday, March 7. Registration is limited.

For information and an application to the Academy, click here.

Legal Update: What’s New for 2014
Are Your Company’s Policies Ready for 2014: There’s Still Time
Thursday, March 20, 8:00 a.m.
Stonebridge Country Club, 2705 Stonebridge Blvd, Aurora
Sponsored by SmithAmundsen, LLC
$59 General Admission / $39 Aurora Chamber members

2013 saw a number of legislative acts that impact business. Is your company ready? Have you reviewed and/or updated your human resources and organization policies to reflect these changes? Join us for a Legal Review seminar on Thursday, March 20, at 8:00 a.m. for an update on the many changes, including:

  • Concealed Carry
  • Medical Marijuana
  • Hands-free Mobile Phones
  • Whistleblower Procedures
  • Employee Contracts and more.

Julie Proscia, partner with SmithAmundsen, LLC, will provide guidance and information for companies of all sizes. Whether you are the CEO, HR Director, or department manager, this seminar is a must to make sure you are prepared for the changes in how your business operates. Attendees will receive policy templates for many of these new requirements.

A continental breakfast will be served at 8:00 a.m. followed by the program at 8:30 a.m.

Register

Premier Members
Premier Members
Illinois General Assembly Activity
Both chambers of the General Assembly were in session Tuesday thru Thursday last week. As expected, committee action was sparse. Committee action will likely escalate as we get past the March 18 primary election and closer to the first committee deadline of March 28. There are significant issues being discussed.

Efforts to increase Illinois’ minimum wage from the current $8.25 per hour have been underway for over a year. Last spring, efforts to increase the minimum wage failed to garner enough support in the Senate. SB 68 (Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D- Westchester) continues to be the likely vehicle. Senate Amendment #4 has been assigned to the Senate Executive Committee and is scheduled to be heard this Wednesday. Illinois is one of the few states named as being in danger of falling back into recession. As the national unemployment number has fallen to 6.6%, Illinois unemployment is at 8.5%. Making it more expensive to hire and encouraging automation will not help Illinois’ unemployment rate.

SB 3405 (Sen. Dan Biss, D-Skokie) attempts to implement restrictions on patent trolls. It makes it unlawful to claim that someone has infringed on a patent if the claim falsely threatens adverse administrative or judicial action or if the assertions lack a reasonable basis in fact or law. It would also not allow a person to make a claim if they don’t own or represent someone who owns the patent.

SB 2776 (Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago), which reduces the fee for filing as an LLC from $500 to $39 and for series LLC from $750 to $59, is scheduled to be heard by the State Government and Veterans Affairs Committee. Illinois presently has among the highest limited liability company (LLC) fees in the nation.

Eblasts: Available Dates for March & April
Do you have a special event to promote or a March seminar you would like to invite fellow Chamber Members to? This is a great opportunity to target business-to-business or business-to-consumer prospects and customers.

Eblasts are a great way to communicate your message – exclusively sent – to an email list of 2,400 member addresses, based on availability on Wednesdays or Fridays.

Contact Jane E. Abe, IOM, ACE, director of membership for dates. First come, first reserved.

Mark Your Calendars: Programs for
Member Businesses
Business Development Leads Group 1
Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 7:15 a.m.
Chamber Offices

Business Development Leads Group 2
Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber Offices

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, Feb. 27, from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Drive, Aurora
RSVP by Tuesday, Feb. 25
$12 Aurora Chamber Members
$15 General Admission
Sponsored in part by Fox Valley Credit Union
Register

Diversity Network
A Collaboration with the Quad County African American Chamber
Tuesday, March 4, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber offices
Register

2014 Leadership Academy Begins
Friday, March 7, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Chamber offices
Applications due this Friday
Register

Legal Update: What’s New for 2014
Thursday, March 20, at 8:00 a.m.
Stonebridge Country Club, 2705 Stonebridge Blvd, Aurora
$39 Aurora Chamber members
$59 General Admission
Register

State of the Village
Wednesday, April 9, at 11:30 a.m.
Oak Street Restaurant & Bar, 945 Oak Street, North Aurora
Register

State of the City
Thursday, May 1, at 11:30 a.m.
Registration opens Monday, Mach 3

Sponsorships for these and other programs are available. Contact the Chamber at (630) 256-3180 for details.

Do You Like Referrals?
If you do, refer one of your customers or clients to the Chamber! When you refer a prospective member by 2/28, your business will be acknowledged in the member newsletter and on the Chamber blog. In addition, you will receive a complimentary ticket to an upcoming Fox Valley Networking Professionals breakfast. Submit your referral to Jane E. Abe, IOM, ACE, director of membership. Remember the best compliment you can give is by giving a referral.
Thank You FirstMerit
FirstMerit
FirstMerit
FirstMerit

A great group of business professionals turned out for the Business After Hours at FirstMerit Bank. We greatly appreciate the hospitality the bank extended.
2014 Community Map – Can’t-Miss Opportunity!
Community Map

The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that sales for its upcoming community map are now underway. The 5,000 maps are on target to print this summer, and will be distributed in and around the Chamber service area.
Why Illinois? Part I
For years Illinois citizens, especially business owners and managers, have suffered embarrassment over political corruption, higher taxes and fees, chagrin over failed government fiscal policies, frustration with anti-business rhetoric and public employee discontent.

Employers have suffered anti-business initiatives by our own elected officials while Governors from other states routinely launch business-poaching parties to entice our highly desirable job creators to seek greener pastures.

Enough! Despite governmental and political headwinds Illinois remains a great state that offers business owners and leaders many advantages that should not be overlooked or dismissed.

For full article, visit the Chamber blog.

Member News
Souper Bowl of Caring Rescheduled: The Souper Bowl of Caring has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 1. Come in to your local Jewel-Osco, the Montgomery Market Place, or Prisco’s Fine Foods from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and help the Fox Valley United Way raise funds and food for the Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry and Kendall County Food Pantry.

Twenty-two suburban based companies, organizations and agencies have been selected as honorees of the 24th Annual Awards for Business Excellence (AABEs). The AABEs are presented in recognition of business achievement, growth and community involvement, to outstanding suburban businesses and non-profit organizations. Honorees this year were selected in 11 categories of competition. Congratulations to Kluber Architects + Engineers and Kelmscott Communications for being among those recognized.

Naper Settlement continues to inform and entertain with part three of “The Columbian Exposition – Through the Eyes of a Visitor.” This interactive presentation on The Midway Plaisance will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 18, from 7:00 to 8:15 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person. Naper Settlement is also wrapping up their Downton Abbey-inspired “Tea & Talk” program with tea, treats, and trivia on Saturday, Feb. 22, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person and reservations are required.

Residents of the Fox Valley Park District may register for spring programs and events now. Non-resident registration will begin next week on Monday, Feb. 24.

Come to Aurora University‘s Chorale and Chamber Choir Tour Concert on Tuesday, Feb. 25, from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. at the Crimi Auditorium in the Institute for Collaboration at 1347 Prairie St. To register, email auartsandideas@aurora.edu or call (630) 844-4924.

The Board of Directors of Senior Services Associates, Inc. invites you to attend their 40th Annual Meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 26, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Please RSVP by February 20 by calling (847) 741-0404.

Rasmussen College is hosting a career fair for the Aurora/Naperville Area at their local campus on Thursday, Feb. 27 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Gain job market insight, find employment, advance your career goals and develop professional skills all in one place.

The YWCA of Aurora‘s new Ready for Anything: Women’s Empowerment Workshops begins on March 3, with “Living Authentically” presented by Cmdr. Kristen Ziman. For more professional development workshops and to register, visit www.ywcaaurora.org/readyforanything.

Starting March 4, Presence Mercy Medical Center Health Institute will host “Live Well, Be Well,” a Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, every Tuesday through April 9 from 9:00 to11:30 a.m. The program is a series of workshops, designed for adults who want to take charge of their ongoing health problems such as arthritis, MS, fibromyalgia, COPD, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Anyone wanting to register needs to call (877) 737-4636.

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 Illinois? Part I

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

Illinois Chamber President’s Message: Doug Whitley

For years Illinois citizens, especially business owners and managers, have suffered embarrassment over political corruption, higher taxes and fees, chagrin over failed government fiscal policies, frustration with anti-business rhetoric and public employee discontent.
 
Employers have suffered anti-business initiatives by our own elected officials while Governors from other states routinely launch business-poaching parties to entice our highly desirable job creators to seek greener pastures.
 
Enough! Despite governmental and political headwinds Illinois remains a great state that offers business owners and leaders many advantages that should not be overlooked or dismissed.
 
The key components for business success are present. There is an abundance of land, fresh water, highly educated and trained workers, competitively priced energy, state of the art data capability and extensive transportation networks to move people, raw material, goods, and services. Population density assures a substantial labor pool. A higher than average personal income for Illinois residents and the appeal of an attractive destination city for visitors guarantees a robust and extensive consumer market. Illinois is home to quality educational and health care facilities, as well as renowned research institutions and national laboratories.
 
Chicago is a world-class city with the ethnic diversity and global connections to cultivate and propel international business growth. Illinois’ second urban area, comprised of the “metro-east” communities of southwestern Illinois, accounts for much of the industrial output of the St. Louis region. The “metro-east” helps anchor the state’s position as a transportation center and a gateway to the west.
Natural Benefits
Illinois is blessed with the most productive farmland in the world. It is the foundation upon which agri-business industries rely. Food processing, farm supplies, grain handling, global markets and advances in bio and machine technology are derived from ever-improving productivity on Illinois farms. If your business is connected to agriculture Illinois is the place to be.
 
Illinois sits above vast reserves of high BTU coal deposits. There are more BTUs under Illinois than under the Saudi desert and Kuwait combined. Most Illinois coal production is currently being shipped to international markets. Thanks to a new hydraulic fracking law Illinois oil and gas production is poised for a resurgence that could greatly improve opportunity and economic fortunes in Southern Illinois.
 
Unlike much of the eastern United States, Illinois still offers an abundance of land in both urban and rural settings that is readily available for development. And, unlike many of the western states, Illinois has an abundance of fresh water resources.
 
In addition to having freshwater for irrigation and industrial use, commercial barge traffic is plentiful and efficient. Illinois-based shippers have access not only to the Great Lakes and the inland river waterways of the heartland, but also have saltwater access through the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico through the port of New Orleans and the mouth of the Mississippi River. The Mississippi River provides direct access to the soon to be expanded Panama Canal and the Pacific Ocean.
 
Illinois hosts large population centers in the heartland of the nation and provides access to suppliers, industrial markets and raw materials. Illinois’ central location facilitates one-day business travel schedules and offers a convenient location to gather for meetings and conventions. Illinois is the center of a twelve state agricultural and industrial region that 65 million people call home.
 
The central time zone is a business advantage because it facilitates convenient workday communications with other locales throughout the continental United States, Canada and Mexico.
 
The expanse of Shawnee National Forest that extends across the Illinois Ozarks is an overlooked and underutilized recreational wilderness that continually amazes visitors, as does the grandeur of Lake Michigan and the width and palisades of the Mississippi River that shapes the state’s western border.
Man-Made Benefits
Transportation networks are one of the cornerstones of Illinois’ economy. Illinois is known for transportation, logistics and warehousing. Our state contains the largest rail hub in the nation and is the only state served by all of the class-one railroads. Illinois holds 165 rail yards and 12 expansive, modern intermodal terminals. Currently, 25 percent of all U.S. rail traffic and 46 percent of all intermodal units in the U.S. touch the Chicago region. Based on containers handled Chicago is classified as the third largest port in the world and is the only mega shipping port in the top 10 not located on saltwater.
 
America’s Central Port located on the east bank of the Mississippi River in Granite City has 84 tenants on 1200 acres. It currently serves 2500 barges and three million tons of cargo each year. The river facilities at St. Louis make the region the second busiest inland port and the northern most ice free dockage in the U.S
 
Illinois has the third largest interstate highway system in the country and is served by 15 interstate routes – more than any other state. Eight interstate highways converge on the Chicago region while four major east-west arteries converge at St. Louis.
 
Chicago’s O’Hare airport hosts the nation’s two largest airlines, but also accommodates 40 other airlines. O’Hare airport handles direct flights to 255 cities, nearly half of which are international destination. Chicago’s Midway airport handles direct flights to 140 U.S. cities and 57 international locations.
 
The nation’s oil, gas, chemical and fiber optic networks converge in Illinois. Chicago’s Union Station is the hub for AMTRAK nationwide passenger rail service.
 
The RTA is the third largest public transit system in the United States, services a population of 8 million and provides nearly 2 million rides every day. Public transit service in the remainder of the state, including the Bi-State Development Agency serving St. Louis region, accommodates 40 million riders per year.
 
More than 81 percent of Illinois households can subscribe to a broadband service that downloads up to 100 mbps. More than 93 percent of households can subscribe to broadband service with download speeds in excess of 25 mbps. AT&T alone offers the super fast mobile broadband 4G LTE network coverage to 99 percent of the Chicago market area and coverage for 88 percent of the state’s population. Verizon, T-Mobile and others offer similar service. In short, almost all Illinois citizens and businesses have access to the fastest mobile broadband capability.
 
Specialized networks for dedicated users also exist throughout the state. For example, Illinois Rural HealthNet (IRHN) is a high-speed, 3,100-mile, fiber-optic network. It is revolutionizing healthcare in rural areas by creating a fiber-optic network linking hospitals and clinics to a statewide Health IT network. The IRHN allows healthcare providers to connect to the fiber backbone and exchange vital information over a dedicated healthcare network, at speeds up to 1 Gig.
 
Illinois is well equipped to move people, physical products and electronic commerce.
Energy
Illinois was one of the first states to deregulate electric energy pricing and embrace free market pricing of electric energy. In 2013, 78 percent of electricity used by residential and business customers in Illinois was purchased through competitive bidding. There are over 80 companies permitted to sell electricity in Illinois. More than 600 Illinois communities are making wholesale purchases and offering aggregated pricing to the residents of their communities. Consequently, the average delivered price of electricity in Illinois is among the lowest in the United States.
 
Despite great change in the industry during the last decade our state has increased electric generation capacity and is a net exporter of electric power to customers in other states. Illinois is the home of the largest number of nuclear power plants in the country, has the nation’s newest and cleanest coal fired generation plant, and has emerged as the headquarters for most of the companies developing wind energy capacity in the U.S.
 
Natural gas customers have also benefited from the state’s leadership in accepting competitive wholesale market pricing. There are more than two-dozen certified non-utility natural gas suppliers seeking customers in Illinois. Nearly 100 percent of industrial users and two-thirds of commercial business in Illinois are taking advantage of open market purchasing arrangements for their natural gas supplies.
 
Besides providing a clean, efficient and low priced heat source for almost 3.9 million Illinois homeowners, natural gas is a highly desired resource for industrial use and as a basic feedstock for many products like chemicals and fertilizer. The presence of natural gas pipelines is an essential requirement for heavy industry that Illinois easily satisfies.
 
Illinois offers a variety of energy resources. Renewable fuel choices such as wind, solar and bio have a growing presence on the landscape. Illinois has also embraced new fuel choices for vehicles, including electric, bio-diesel, E-85 and LNG. The abundance and diversity of energy choices is attractive, but even more compelling is research being conducted at Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Illinois, Caterpillar’s engine research and ADM’s experiment with carbon capture technology.
 
Illinois has been and continues to be a leader in energy policy, energy production, consumer benefits and emerging technologies.
Markets
The Economist released an interactive map comparing the economies of U.S. states to world countries. According to this, Illinois’ economy is equivalent to Turkey’s – which is ranked 15th in the world, with a GDP of about $615 billion.
 
Illinois is home to the third largest metropolitan area in the nation. It is a region that must legitimately be recognized as a three state conglomeration of interdependent commerce extending from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to South Bend, Indiana. The Chicago MSA is home to 9,522,434 people. Likewise, the “metro-east”, Illinois’ second largest population center, accounts for a quarter of the three million people that make the St. Louis metropolitan area the 19th largest in the county.
 
Despite anemic growth in recent decades, Illinois remains the fifth most populated state in the country. Chicago is the de facto capital of the Midwest and is ranked ninth in PricewaterhouseCooper’s report identifying global cities of opportunity. Chicago is one of only three U.S. cities to make the list.
 
International trade accounts for approximately 18 percent of the state gross product. Chicago hosts more than 80 foreign consulates and trade offices, more than any other U.S. city except for the nation’s capitol and the host city of the United Nations. It is an indication of how significant global enterprise is to Illinois’ economy.
 
Illinois boasts eight foreign trade zones. Illinois’ most significant foreign trading partners are Canada, European Union nations, Mexico and China. Canada and Mexico account for approximately 38 percent of Illinois foreign exports. Illinois is Canada’s top importer of crude oil – we spend around $12 billion per year on the product, which is processed at three Illinois refineries and the BP facility in Whiting, Indiana, and a part of the Chicago MSA. China is the number one importer of Illinois grain.
 
The Chicago area alone is home to over 1500 foreign-based companies and represents over $40 billion in direct foreign investment.
 
Business & Industry
Illinois is the fourth most productive manufacturing state. Such a large state, both from a geographic and a population perspective, means that Illinois commerce is highly diversified. No single economic segment totally dominates the economy. Such diversity means the state boasts pace setters and industry leaders in practically every business category.
 
Illinois boasts headquarters status for 31 of the largest publicly traded companies as identified by Fortune magazine. St. Louis is home to nine additional Fortune 500 companies. Of the 224 largest privately held companies identified by Forbes, 21 have Illinois or St. Louis as their headquarters’ location.
 
Illinois companies are global leaders in advertising, agriculture, aviation, business services, consumer products, commodity-options-futures-derivatives trading, communications, construction, energy, entertainment, financial services, food products, food service, health care, hospitality, insurance, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, publishing, retail, technology and water treatment to name a few.
 
For example, the Rockford region employs over 4,000 engineers, including more than 500 engaged in the aerospace industry. The concentration of engineers per capita is 1.3 times the U.S. average. In aerospace alone, Rockford has access to an instant supply chain of more than 200 aerospace and aviation firms within 150 miles and an even wider variety of other supplier and support companies. Long recognized as a center for manufacturing excellence the Rockford area has the sixth highest concentration of aerospace production employment in the nation.
 
Illinois is well established as a leader in the life sciences and as a region the Midwestern states are outpacing the life science sphere in California and on the East coast. For example, the St. Louis region is home to the world’s largest concentration of plant science PhDs.
 
The overall economic output of Illinois’ biotechnology industry is more than $98.6 billion with 81,000 direct jobs and more than 3,500 biotechnology companies in the state. In fact, Illinois residents employed by biotechnology companies earn up to 91 percent more than the average Illinois resident. The biotechnology industry in Illinois has demonstrated the strongest revenue growth in recent years (averaging 13.3 percent) among all of the states analyzed according to a recent iBio report.
 
The University of Illinois research facilities are among the best in the world. The university secured more than $1 billion in competitively awarded federal research grants last year and now ranks sixth among universities nationwide. The Institute for Genomic Biology, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and Blue Waters (one of the world’s fastest supercomputers) are academic leaders.
 
There are 11 designated incubators and tech parks throughout the state, including University of Illinois facilities in Urbana and Chicago aimed at commercializing faculty discoveries by launching successful startup enterprises. In addition to four national labs and academic research at several universities it is estimated the private sector is investing over $12 billion annually in research and development.
 
Chicago is ranked 10th in the world for start-up by the on line data base “Start-Up Genome”. Site Selection magazine recognized Illinois for having the fifth highest number of corporate expansion in 2012. Illinois Innovation Network reported Chicago had the second highest number of new business startups (behind Los Angeles) in 2012. Most of the new businesses were associated with marketing and e-commerce.
 
Conventions and tourism attracts an increasing number of visitors to Illinois. In 2013, Illinois hosted over 2 million international visitors. The Chicago Metropolitan Pier and Exhibition Authority offer 2.6 million square feet of convention space. Rosemont’s convention facilities alone host about 120 events and 1 million people per year. There are nearly 700 hotels and 101,000 guest rooms in the Chicago area.Chicago is considered the fifth most prominent convention city in the country, behind Las Vegas, Washington D.C., Miami and Orlando.
 
The state’s major tourist attractions include world-renowned museums, Navy Pier, Willis Tower, Wrigley Field, the riverboat architecture tour and Millennium Park in Chicago. Natural beauty is celebrated along the Great River Road, the Illinois River Valley, the Shawnee National Forest, the Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge and Lake Michigan’s shoreline. Premiere historic sites include Cahokia Mounds – a United Nation’s designated world heritage site – in Collinsville, Lewis and Clark State Historic Site also near St. Louis and the numerous Abraham Lincoln sites in Central Illinois, including the Presidential Museum and Library. Twentieth century progress, mobility and America’s fascination with motorized vehicles is commemorated by thousands of intrepid travelers who pursue the historic Mother Road Route 66 that traverses the state.
 
Illinois is 390 miles long. The northern border lies parallel to Boston, Massachusetts and extends south to point far below the historic Mason Dixon Line, even below Richmond, Virginia. Cairo, Illinois is two hours driving time closer to Memphis than it is to Chicago. Thus, southern Illinois’ proximity to servicing industrial facilities in the Deep South is comparable to Chicago’s access to the upper Midwest.
Conclusion
Illinois has been blessed with many strengths and assets to capitalize upon.
 
As a result, Illinois business continues to do well despite years of political scandal, poor management of governmental finances, dysfunctional government and frequent missteps that challenge employers’ sensibilities. Many elected officials simply fail to recognize there are real economic consequences to political decisions, regulatory indecisions, inefficiencies and delays.  
 
Even what they say and how they say it gets the attention of investors and business owners looking for clues that Illinois is a stable, predictable, progressive and supportive business environment.
 
With such a history of great business leaders, entrepreneurs, inventors, innovators, and creative minds who have founded and grown highly successful enterprises in our state, I cannot help but wonder how successful today’s businesses could be if Illinois public officials would devote more attention and effort to providing the job creators a strong tailwind.
 
Until such time as Illinois’ unemployment numbers are once again among the lowest in the nation the objective for our public officials should be to help private sector employers become successful and prosperous with the expectation that successful business will invest and grow jobs in Illinois. The goal for every public official should be to promote prosperity and job growth so the citizens of our state can achieve self-sufficiency and a better quality of life.
 
I do not think the General Assembly can tax our way out of the current fiscal conundrum, but a robust and growing economy that puts large numbers of people to work in private sector jobs could do a great deal to restore the state’s financial health. In so doing, our public officials could also help restore confidence and pride in Illinois by acknowledging and building upon our many inherent strengths.
 
Post Script
 
Obviously, I cannot have adequately captured every element, strength, benefit, capability or nuance that helps to make Illinois businesses successful or Illinois communities attractive. So, I invite every reader to respond by pointing out and suggesting additional data points, factoids and related matters that I could have included or at least should be aware of their importance. Please know I consciously avoided significant references to arts, culinary, cultural, civic, sports and quality of life.
 
Part two of the “Why Illinois” message will focus on education and workforce. You are welcome to contribute your ideas, data points and suggestions for what should be included in the message

Leadership Academy Registration Now Open

Friday, February 21st, 2014

The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Quad Country African American Chamber to put on the Aurora Chamber’s Leadership Academy.

Registration for the program is now open. Classes begin Friday, March 7.

Established in 1979, the Leadership Academy has a rich history of providing confidence, knowledge, professionalism, and strong leadership skills that not only benefit the attendees, but also their employers. The goal is simple: To create a development opportunity for graduates 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.

With the encouragement and support of the Dunham Fund, the Leadership Academy has completed its first phase of redevelopment. This year’s program focuses on the unique strengths of the Aurora community and encourages a diverse mix of participants to engage in our community’s success.

For more information or to register, please visit the Aurora Chamber’s website at http://www.aurorachamber.com/leadership.asp or call (630) 256-3180. Space is limited.

Leadership Academy, 2014 Legal Updates, & More

Monday, February 17th, 2014
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 17, 2014
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Balihoo Productions
Basil’s Greek Dining
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
Create Cut Invent
Delnor Glen Senior Living
Delnor Hospital
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Fox Valley Country Club
Global Data Sciences
Ice Miller LLP
Idea Marketing Group
In & Out Creative – Log Web Video
Konen Insurance Agency
Liberty Mutual – Dawn Tully
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
McKesson
Mind and Body Chiropractic
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Nelson Multimedia/WSPY
Old Second National Bank
Organo Gold
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pipefitters Local 597
Piper’s Banquets
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Rush-Copley Medical Center
S&S Metal Recycling
Safeguard Construction Co.
Sequoia General Contracting Corp.
Sign*A*Rama – Aurora
SmithAmundsen, LLC
State Farm Insurance Companies
St. Charles Bank & Trust
Stumm Insurance, LLC
TCE Company
The UPS Store – Kirk & Butterfield
The Voice
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WERV FM Radio (Next Media)
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

 

 

Leadership Academy 2014 Registration Open
Leadership Academy

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 graduates 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.

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

With the encouragement and support of the Dunham Fund, the Academy has completed its first phase of redevelopment. This year’s program focuses on the unique strengths of our community and encourages a diverse mix of participants to engage in our community’s success.

Our community needs you! Realize your potential to make a difference in the Aurora region. The program begins Friday, March 7. Registration is limited.

For information and an application to the Academy, click here.

Legal Update: What’s New for 2014
Are Your Company’s Policies Ready for 2014: There’s Still Time
Thursday, March 20, 8:00 a.m.
Stonebridge Country Club, 2705 Stonebridge Blvd, Aurora
Sponsored by SmithAmundsen, LLC
$59 General Admission / $39 Aurora Chamber members

2013 saw a number of legislative acts that impact business. Is your company ready? Have you reviewed and/or updated your human resources and organization policies to reflect these changes? Join us for a Legal Review seminar on Thursday, March 20, at 8:00 a.m. for an update on the many changes, including:

  • Concealed Carry
  • Medical Marijuana
  • Hands-free Mobile Phones
  • Whistleblower Procedures
  • Employee Contracts and more.

Julie Proscia, partner with SmithAmundsen, LLC, will provide guidance and information for companies of all sizes. Whether you are the CEO, HR Director, or department manager, this seminar is a must to make sure you are prepared for the changes in how your business operates. Attendees will receive policy templates for many of these new requirements.

A continental breakfast will be served at 8:00 a.m. followed by the program at 8:30 a.m.

Register

Outstanding Ambassador for
2013 Award Winners
Ambassador Award Winners

A great group of dedicated Ambassador Committee Members were awarded “The Extra Effort Awesome Ambassador Award” this month. The award was based on the number of Chamber events they attended/volunteered to work, referrals generated and the number of new members they brought to the Chamber.

The 2013 Top Award Winners (L – R): Mike Cooper – Sales Kitchen; Dawn Tully – Liberty Mutual; Rob Garritano – Big Broadcasting WBIG Radio AM 1280; Denise Blettner – Fox Valley United Way and Becky Gilbert – Montage Apparel and Promotions (Jim Gilbert is accepting on her behalf).

The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Ambassadors are members who volunteer their time to provide a crucial link between the Chamber and its members. They ensure that all members receive the maximum benefit from their investment. They enjoy the rewards of making new contacts, strengthening relationships and accessing a wealth of information and resources. Their primary responsibilities are to help in the retention of members, the recruitment of new members and to assist at events.

The Chamber could not be successful without our Ambassador Committee Members. Thank you to all and congratulations to the top 2013 Ambassador Winners!

Premier Members
Premier Members
Eblasts – Available Dates for March & April
Do you have a special event to promote or a March seminar you would like to invite fellow Chamber Members to?

Eblasts are a great way to communicate your message-exclusively sent-to an email list of 2,400 member addresses, based on availability on Wednesdays or Fridays.

Contact Jane E. Abe, IOM, ACE, director of membership for dates. First come, first reserved.

Mark Your Calendars: Programs for
Member Businesses
Aurora First
Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 11:00 a.m.
Chamber offices

Business After Hours: FirstMerit Bank
Wednesday, Feb. 19, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
FirstMerit Bank, 2430 W. Indian Trail Rd., Aurora

Business Development Leads Group 1
Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 7:15 a.m.
Chamber Offices

Business Development Leads Group 2
Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber Offices

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, Feb. 27, from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Drive, Aurora
$15 General Admission
$12 Aurora Chamber Members
Sponsored in part by Fox Valley Credit Union
Register

Diversity Network
A Collaboration with the Quad County African American Chamber
Tuesday, March 4, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber offices
Register

2014 Leadership Academy Begins
Friday, March 7, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Chamber offices
Register

Legal Update: What’s New for 2014
Thursday, March 20, at 8:00 a.m.
Stonebridge Country Club, 2705 Stonebridge Blvd, Aurora
$39 Aurora Chamber members
$59 General Admission
Register

State of the Village
Wednesday, April 9, at 11:30 a.m.
Oak Street Restaurant & Bar, 945 Oak Street, North Aurora
Register

State of the City
Thursday, May 1, at 11:30 a.m.
Registration opens Monday, Mach 3

Sponsorships for these and other programs are available. Contact the Chamber at (630) 256-3180 for details.

Don’t Miss This Opportunity
The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that sales for its upcoming 2014 Community Map are now underway. The 5,000 maps are on target to print this summer, and will be distributed in and around the Chamber service area. Click here for more information.
Aurora Officers Taking The Plunge For Special Olympics
Several Aurora Police Officers will be ‘taking the plunge’ for Illinois Special Olympics during the 11th annual Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge on March 2 at Silver Springs State Park in Yorkville.

Last year, a team from the Aurora Police joined almost 400 other brave men and women as they jumped into the freezing waters of Loon Lake inside the park. The event raised over $92,000 for Special Olympics.

The goal of the plunge is to raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics Illinois so the organization can continue to provide year-round training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Donations for the Aurora Police team known as the “Zombie A-Cop-Alypse” are being taken by Ofc. Lisa Carter who can be reached at (630) 256-5347 or emailed at carterl@apd.aurora.il.us. A dedicated Special Olympics fund has also been established at the Aurora Police Credit Union, 1200 E. Indian Trail. Direct donations are being taken at www.firstgiving.com/team/254181.

The plunge will take place at 1 p.m. Interested spectators can show up at the Kendall County Fairgrounds on Rt. 71 and East Highpoint Rd., Yorkville, where they will be bused to Loon Lake beginning at 12:30.

Referrals Build Business
Referrals

When you refer a prospective member in February (and they join) your business will be acknowledged in the member newsletter and on the Chamber blog. In addition, you will receive a complimentary ticket to an upcoming Fox Valley Networking Professionals breakfast. Submit your referral to Jane Abe, IOM, ACE, director of membership. Remember, the best compliment you can give is by giving a referral.
Member News
Naper Settlement continues to inform and entertain with part three of “The Columbian Exposition – Through the Eyes of a Visitor.” This interactive presentation on The Midway Plaisance will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 18, from 7:00 to 8:15 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person. Naper Settlement is also wrapping up their Downton Abbey-inspired “Tea & Talk” program with tea, treats, and trivia on Saturday, Feb. 22, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person and reservations are required.

Community Career Center invites you to attend “Ask the Recruiter: Nalco/Ecolab” Q&A on Thursday, Feb. 20, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; “Windows 8 and Office 2013 Toolbar Review” workshop on Tuesday, Feb. 25, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.; or “Managing Job Loss Stress and Anxiety” seminar, also on Tuesday, Feb. 25, from 12:30 to2:30 p.m. Admission is free for members and $15 for non-members per event. Interested in becoming a member? Come Feb. 20, 22 or 27 at 9:30 a.m. to learn what services and resources are available to you. Tour the Center and optimize your search efforts today.

Join State Representative Stephanie Kifowit and the Illinois Department of Transportation for an IDOT Construction Update on Thursday, Feb. 20, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Aurora Public Library‘s Eola branch. Learn of several ongoing and upcoming construction projects throughout the Aurora and Naperville area. For more information, or to RSVP, please contact Stephanie’s constituent service office at (630) 585-1308, email Stephanie.Kifowit@att.net, or visit www.ILDistrict84.com.

The Growing Place is holding a “Landscaping 101: Curb Appeal” workshop at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, at their Aurora location. For $15, learn how to create appealing front yard landscapes. Attendees will receive a $15 coupon towards a front yard plant purchase of their choice. Registration is required and spots are limited.

Win big prizes with your bean bag tossing and dice rolling skills by attending the Association for Individual Development‘s Benefit Bean Bag Tournament and Bunco Game on Saturday, Feb. 22, at 2:00 p.m. All proceeds go towards AID programs and services. Contact Wendy Bialek at (847) 931-2291 for more information.

Rosary High School‘s annual Candlelight Ball is being held on Saturday, Feb. 22. Cocktails start at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be held at 7:00 p.m. All proceeds go to benefit Rosary High School. Tickets are $100 per person and semi-formal attire is required. Contact Linda Fritz at lfritz@rosaryhs.com to reserve your seat today.

Residents of the Fox Valley Park District may register for spring programs and events now. Non-resident registration will begin next week on Monday, Feb. 24.

Come to Aurora University‘s Chorale and Chamber Choir Tour Concert on Tuesday, Feb. 25, from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. at the Crimi Auditorium in the Institute for Collaboration at 1347 Prairie St. To register, email auartsandideas@aurora.edu or call (630) 844-4924.

The Board of Directors of Senior Services Associates, Inc. invites you to attend their 40th Annual Meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 26, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Please RSVP by February 20 by calling (847) 741-0404.

Rasmussen College is hosting a career fair for the Aurora/Naperville Area at their local campus on Thursday, Feb. 27 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Gain job market insight, find employment, advance your career goals and develop professional skills all in one place.

The Souper Bowl of Caring has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 1. Come in to your local Jewel-Osco, the Montgomery Market Place, or Prisco’s Fine Foods from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and help the Fox Valley United Way raise funds and food for the Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry and Kendall County Food Pantry.

The YWCA of Aurora‘s new Ready for Anything: Women’s Empowerment Workshops begins on March 3, with “Living Authentically” presented by Cmdr. Kristen Ziman. For more professional development workshops and to register, visit www.ywcaaurora.org/readyforanything.

Starting March 4, Presence Mercy Medical Center Health Institute will host “Live Well, Be Well,” a Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, every Tuesday through April 9 from 9:00 to11:30 a.m. The program is a series of workshops, designed for adults who want to take charge of their ongoing health problems such as arthritis, MS, fibromyalgia, COPD, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Anyone wanting to register needs to call (877) 737-4636.

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.

 

Just Announced! More Programs to Benefit You, Community

Sunday, February 16th, 2014
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 10, 2014
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Balihoo Productions
Basil’s Greek Dining
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
Create Cut Invent
Delnor Glen Senior Living
Delnor Hospital
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Fox Valley Country Club
Global Data Sciences
Ice Miller LLP
Idea Marketing Group
In & Out Creative – Log Web Video
Konen Insurance Agency
Liberty Mutual – Dawn Tully
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
McKesson
Mind and Body Chiropractic
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Nelson Multimedia/WSPY
Old Second National Bank
Organo Gold
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pipefitters Local 597
Piper’s Banquets
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Rush-Copley Medical Center
S&S Metal Recycling
Safeguard Construction Co.
Sequoia General Contracting Corp.
Sign*A*Rama – Aurora
SmithAmundsen, LLC
State Farm Insurance Companies
St. Charles Bank & Trust
Stumm Insurance, LLC
TCE Company
The UPS Store – Kirk & Butterfield
The Voice
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WERV FM Radio (Next Media)
Zippy Shell Fox Valley

Welcome New Members

Project Green Environmental Solutionsr
Christina Derwin
Michael Holms
631 Beloit Ave., Ste. 100
Forest Park, IL 60130
(708) 366-4733
Energy Solutions

 

Contact Us

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

 

 

Leadership Academy 2014 Registration Opens
Leadership Academy

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 graduates 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.

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

With the encouragement and support of the Dunham Fund, the Academy has completed its first phase of redevelopment. This year’s program focuses on the unique strengths of our community and encourages a diverse mix of participants to engage in our community’s success.

Our community needs you! Realize your potential to make a difference in the Aurora region. The program begins Friday, March 7. Registration is limited.

For information and an application to the Academy, click here.

Legal Update: What’s New for 2014
Are Your Company’s Policies Ready for 2014: There’s Still Time
Thursday, March 20, 8:00 a.m.
Stonebridge Country Club, 2705 Stonebridge Blvd, Aurora
Sponsored by SmithAmundsen, LLC
$59 General Admission / $39 Aurora Chamber members

2013 saw a number of legislative acts that impact business. Is your company ready? Have you reviewed and/or updated your human resources and organization policies to reflect these changes? Join us for a Legal Review seminar on Thursday, March 20, at 8:00 a.m. for an update on the many changes, including:

  • Concealed Carry
  • Medical Marijuana
  • Hands-free Mobile Phones
  • Whistleblower Procedures
  • Employee Contracts and more.

Julie Proscia, partner with SmithAmundsen, LLC, will provide guidance and information for companies of all sizes. Whether you are the CEO, HR Director, or department manager, this seminar is a must to make sure you are prepared for the changes in how your business operates. Attendees will receive policy templates for many of these new requirements.

A continental breakfast will be served at 8:00 a.m. followed by the program at 8:30 a.m.

Register

Do You Love Your Customers?
If you do, refer one of your customers or clients to the Chamber! When you refer a prospective member in February (and they join) your business will be acknowledged in the member newsletter and on the Chamber blog. In addition, you will receive a complimentary ticket to an upcoming Fox Valley Networking Professionals breakfast. Submit your referral to Jane Abe, IOM, ACE, director of membership. Remember the best compliment you can give is by giving a referral.
Premier Members
Premier Members
Eblasts – Available Dates for March & April
Do you have a special event to promote or a March seminar you would like to invite fellow Chamber Members to?

Eblasts are a great way to communicate your message-exclusively sent-to an email list of 2,400 member addresses, based on availability on Wednesdays or Fridays.

Contact Jane E. Abe, IOM, ACE, director of membership for dates. First come, first reserved.

Mark Your Calendars: Programs for
Member Businesses
Business Development Leads Group 1
Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 7:15 a.m.
Chamber Offices

Business Development Leads Group 2
Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber Offices

Ambassador Committee Meeting (& Homemade Cookie Bake-Off)
Thursday, Feb. 13, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Chamber Offices

Aurora First
Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 11:00 a.m.
Chamber offices

Business After Hours: FirstMerit Bank
Wednesday, Feb. 19, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
FirstMerit Bank, 2430 W. Indian Trail Rd., Aurora

Business Development Leads Group 1
Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 7:15 a.m.
Chamber Offices

Business Development Leads Group 2
Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber Offices

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, Feb. 27, from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Drive, Aurora
$15 General Admission
$12 Aurora Chamber Members
Sponsored in part by Fox Valley Credit Union
Register

Diversity Network
A Collaboration with the Quad County African American Chamber
Tuesday, March 4, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber offices
Register

2014 Leadership Academy Begins
Friday, March 7, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Chamber offices
Register

Legal Update: What’s New for 2014
Thursday, March 20, at 8:00 a.m.
Stonebridge Country Club, 2705 Stonebridge Blvd, Aurora
$59 General Admission
$39 Aurora Chamber members
Register

State of the Village
Wednesday, April 9, at 11:30 a.m.
Registration opens Monday, Feb. 17

State of the City
Thursday, May 1, at 11:30 a.m.
Registration opens Monday, Mach 3

Sponsorships for these and other programs are available. Contact the Chamber at (630) 256-3180 for details.

Looking For Ways to Save Money? Members
Have an Advantage
100% Off

The ComEd Small Business Energy Savings (SBES) program is establishing a campaign to offer up to 100% off high-efficiency indoor fluorescent lighting upgrades to small businesses in our area. Now, for a limited-time, small businesses can brighten up, become more energy efficient, and improve their bottom line. Their Spring campaign offers up to 100% off high-efficiency indoor fluorescent lighting and up to 75% off other electric-saving improvements from ComEd Smart Ideas for Your Business®. Plus, the energy assessment is free. The offer is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Small businesses must receive their free assessment before March 24, 2014, to be eligible for the increased incentives. SBES offers free energy assessments and incentives up to 75 percent off the cost of recommended electric-saving projects. Additionally, natural gas-saving upgrades are also being offered at up to 100% off from the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program.

Project Green will be contacting ComEd customers in Aurora to conduct free energy assessments and install electricity-saving improvements.

Member News
Congratulations to Dreyer Medical Clinic pediatricians Lorene S. Eckberg, MD, and Andrew D. Jung, MD, who have both been recertified recently by the American Board of Pediatrics.

Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers were recently surveyed by The Joint Commission, which renewed Gateway’s accreditation for the next three years. Considered the gold standard in health care accreditation, The Joint Commission’s evaluation of 11 Gateway locations-like the one right here in Aurora-verified that Gateway provides the highest standards in care for substance abuse and mental health issues.

If you are a caregiver, come to Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice‘s “Care for the Caregiver” support group. They meet Mondays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., from Feb. 3 through March 3. Contact Jeannine Farwell or Christy Pitol at (630) 232-2233 for more information. Registration with a refundable deposit is required.

Rush-Copley Medical Center is starting an art therapy class for those who suffer from movement disorders. It is free to the public and meets the second and fourth Monday of the month through May, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.

Naper Settlement continues to inform and entertain with part three of “The Columbian Exposition – Through the Eyes of a Visitor.” This interact presentation on The Midway Plaisance will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 18, from 7:00 to 8:15 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person. Naper Settlement is also wrapping up their Downton Abbey-inspired “Tea & Talk” program. There’s still time to sign up for the “Tea & Talk Servant Tour” on Tuesday, Feb. 11 (rescheduled from Jan. 28 due to the weather), from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. and there will be tea, treats, and trivia on Saturday, Feb. 22, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. The fee is $15 per event and reservations are required.

Community Career Center invites you to attend “LinkedIn: Just the Basics” workshop on Tuesday, Feb. 11, from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.; their “Understanding, Surviving & Thriving: The Affordable Care Act” seminar on Thursday, Feb. 13, from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.; their “LinkedIn: Beyond the Basics” workshop on Saturday, Feb. 15, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.; or their “Ask the Recruiter: Nalco/Ecolab” Q&A on Thursday, Feb 20, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Admission is free for members and $15 for non-members per event. Interested in becoming a member? Come Feb. 13, 15, 20 or 22 at 9:30 a.m. to learn what services and resources are available to you. Tour the Center and optimize your search efforts today.

Come to Aurora University‘s Graduate Education Open House on Tuesday, Feb. 11, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and learn about Aurora University’s extensive graduate education program offerings, including endorsements, master’s degrees and doctoral degrees. If you are interested in the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership – Principal Preparation or Teacher Leader program, a special information session will be held at 4:30 p.m. For those interested in social work, the university is also holding a Graduate Social Work Programs Open House on Saturday, Feb. 15, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The Growing Place is holding a “Build a Succulent Terrarium” workshop at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15, at their Aurora location. Learn how easy it is to cultivate a terrarium with succulents that do well in open vessels with sharp drainage. Registration is required.

Interested in becoming a medical interpreter? Metaphrasis Language & Cultural Solutions, LLC is offering 48-hour medical interpreter training that will introduce participants to the role and modes of interpreting, standards of practice and code of ethics for medical interpreters, OSHA, HIPAA, medical terminology, role-play, group discussions, and more. No previous experience in healthcare/medical field is required. Candidates must pass a brief entrance exam to be considered for admission. The last day to test for admission into the March session is Thursday, Feb. 15. To schedule your exam, call (815) 464-1423 or fill out the online application at http://www.metaphrasislcs.com/ training-schedule/.

Win big prizes with your bean bag tossing and dice rolling skills by attending the Association for Individual Development‘s Benefit Bean Bag Tournament and Bunco Game on Saturday, Feb. 22, at 2:00 p.m. All proceeds go towards AID programs and services. Contact Wendy Bialek at (847) 931-2291 for more information.

Rosary High School‘s annual Candlelight Ball is being held on Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Naperville Marriot. Cocktails start at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be held at 7:00 p.m. All proceeds go to benefit Rosary High School. Tickets are $100 per person and semi-formal attire is required. Contact Linda Fritz at lfritz@rosaryhs.com to reserve your seat today.

Aurora Officers Taking The Plunge For Special Olympics
Several Aurora Police Officers will be ‘taking the plunge’ for Illinois Special Olympics during the 11th annual Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge on March 2 at Silver Springs State Park in Yorkville.

Last year, a team from the Aurora Police joined almost 400 other brave men and women as they jumped into the freezing waters of Loon Lake inside the park. The event raised over $92,000 for Special Olympics.

The goal of the plunge is to raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics Illinois so the organization can continue to provide year-round training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Donations for the Aurora Police team known as the “Zombie A-Cop-Alypse” are being taken by Ofc. Lisa Carter who can be reached at (630) 256-5347 or emailed at carterl@apd.aurora.il.us. A dedicated Special Olympics fund has also been established at the Aurora Police Credit Union, 1200 E. Indian Trail. Direct donations are being taken at www.firstgiving.com/team/254181.

The plunge will take place at 1 p.m. Interested spectators can show up at the Kendall County Fairgrounds on Rt. 71 and East Highpoint Rd., Yorkville, where they will be bused to Loon Lake beginning at 12:30.

Don’t Miss This Opportunity
2014 Community Map. The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that sales for its upcoming community map are now underway. The 5,000 maps are on target to print this summer, and will be distributed in and around the Chamber service area. More information on the map program may be found on the Chamber’s 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.

 

From Public Policy to Member Benefits and Programs…and Member News

Monday, February 3rd, 2014
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 03, 2014
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Balihoo Productions
Basil’s Greek Dining
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
Create Cut Invent
Delnor Glen Senior Living
Delnor Hospital
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Fox Valley Country Club
Global Data Sciences
Ice Miller LLP
Idea Marketing Group
In & Out Creative – Log Web Video
Konen Insurance Agency
Liberty Mutual – Dawn Tully
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
McKesson
Mind and Body Chiropractic
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Nelson Multimedia/WSPY
Old Second National Bank
Organo Gold
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pipefitters Local 597
Piper’s Banquets
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Rush-Copley Medical Center
S&S Metal Recycling
Safeguard Construction Co.
Sequoia General Contracting Corp.
Sign*A*Rama – Aurora
SmithAmundsen, LLC
State Farm Insurance Companies
St. Charles Bank & Trust
Stumm Insurance, LLC
TCE Company
The UPS Store – Kirk & Butterfield
The Voice
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WERV FM Radio (Next Media)
Zippy Shell Fox Valley

Welcome New Members

Project Green Environmental Solutionsr
Christina Derwin
Michael Holms
631 Beloit Ave., Ste. 100
Forest Park, IL 60130
(708) 366-4733
Energy Solutions

 

Contact Us

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

 

 

Statement on Minimum Wage
Illinois already has a minimum wage higher than all of our neighboring states and we are tied for the sixth highest minimum wage in the country. If Illinois were to pass a $10 minimum wage, that amount would almost double the rate since only 2003. This is far too drastic. For the full statement, visit the Chamber blog.

Share your thoughts on how a proposed minimum wage increase would impact your business.

DuPage Committee to Host Public Hearing Tuesday about Graduated Income Tax
The DuPage County Economic Development Committee will host a public hearing this Tuesday to gather the facts about the graduated income tax proposal in Springfield. Tonia Khouri, chairwoman of the Economic Development Committee, believes the proposed graduated income tax would have a direct impact on DuPage County’s economic development.

“The Economic Development Committee’s mission is to ensure DuPage County maintains a business-friendly environment in order to grow our local economy. While the graduated income tax proposal is a state issue, it will have a significant impact on our residents and small business owners. It is extremely important that we learn the facts regarding this issue,” said Khouri.

The final hearing, which is open to the public, will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, at the DuPage County, JTK Administration Building’s County Board Room, 421 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton. The featured presenters include Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, and Doug Whitley, president and chief executive officer of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

The proposed constitutional amendments, HJRCA 33 and SJRCA 40, which have been introduced in the Illinois House and Senate, would change the state’s income tax from a flat or single rate to a graduated scale. A three-fifths supermajority from each chamber would be needed for a referendum to be put on the November 2014 ballot.

For full story, visit the Chamber blog.

Do You Love Your Customers?
If you do, refer one of your customers or clients to the Chamber! When you refer a prospective member in February (and they join) your business will be acknowledged in the member newsletter and on the Chamber blog. In addition, you will receive a complimentary ticket to an upcoming Fox Valley Networking Professionals breakfast. Submit your referral to Jane Abe, IOM, ACE, director of membership. Remember the best compliment you can give is by giving a referral.
Have You Checked Out Reboot Illinois Lately?
Reboot Illinois is a nonpartisan website, e-mail, and social media organization working to educate and engage citizens about the big challenges we face in Illinois – especially those faced by the business community.

Reboot Illinois is dedicated to:

  • improving our jobs/business climate
  • state debt and taxes
  • corruption and waste
  • improving our schools

Reboot is a unique one-stop shop for Illinoisans who are concerned about the future of our state and want to stay informed on key issues and reform efforts. They do so by providing great news, commentary, infographics, lists and a platform to help concerned citizens weigh in with policymakers on the issues they care about most.

The award-winning journalists at Reboot have written in support of keeping the minimum wage where it’s at, keeping taxes flat and not progressive, and in support of pension reform and lower LLC fees. They agree with us that businesses need a stable, predictable tax structure, fewer regulations, and an end to the big deal-making environment here. And they’ve advocated those views.

I’m asking you to simply click this link to add your email address to receive Reboot’s daily email at no charge.

Reboot Illinois also provides wall-to-wall coverage of the 2014 governor’s race and other key elections.

Looking For Ways to Save Money? Members
Have an Advantage
100% Off

The ComEd Small Business Energy Savings (SBES) program is establishing a campaign to offer up to 100% off high-efficiency indoor fluorescent lighting upgrades to small businesses in our area. Now, for a limited-time, small businesses can brighten up, become more energy efficient, and improve their bottom line. Their Spring campaign offers up to 100% off high-efficiency indoor fluorescent lighting and up to 75% off other electric-saving improvements from ComEd Smart Ideas for Your Business®. Plus, the energy assessment is free. The offer is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Small businesses must receive their free assessment before March 24, 2014, to be eligible for the increased incentives. SBES offers free energy assessments and incentives up to 75 percent off the cost of recommended electric-saving projects. Additionally, natural gas-saving upgrades are also being offered at up to 100% off from the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program.

Project Green will be contacting ComEd customers in Aurora to conduct free energy assessments and install electricity-saving improvements.

Chamber Highlight Latest Public Policy Issues
The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce has added its support to the growing bi-partisan coalition that is working to improve the business climate in Illinois. Below are four of the latest issues that the Chamber is addressing:

Resolution Urging Workers’ Compensation Reform
Resolution Opposing Graduated/Progressive Income Tax
Resolution Supporting Illinois’ Independent Redistricting Amendment
Resolution Supporting New Transportation Infrastructure Construction Program

Thank You
Zippy Shell

Thank you to Todd Temaat of Zippy Shell Fox Valley for sponsoring the January Fox Valley Networking Professionals Breakfast. What a great way to get in front of business professionals with your business commercial. We appreciate Zippy Shell’s dedication and support!
Eblasts – Available Dates for February & March
Do you have a special Valentines event to promote or a March seminar you would like to invite fellow Chamber Members to?

Eblasts are a great way to communicate your message-exclusively sent-to an email list of 2,400 member addresses, based on availability on Wednesdays or Fridays.

Contact Jane E. Abe, IOM, ACE, director of membership for dates. First come, first reserved.

Premier Members
Premier Members
Save the Date: Mark Your Calendars
Business Development Leads Group 1
Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 7:15 a.m.
Chamber Offices

Business Development Leads Group 2
Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber Offices

Ambassador Committee Meeting
Thursday, Feb. 13, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Chamber Offices

Business After Hours: FirstMerit Bank
Wednesday, Feb. 19, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
FirstMerit Bank, 2430 W. Indian Trail Rd., Aurora

Business Development Leads Group 1
Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 7:15 a.m.
Chamber Offices

Business Development Leads Group 2
Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber Offices

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, Feb. 27, from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Drive, Aurora
$15 General Admission
$12 Aurora Chamber Members
Sponsored in part by Fox Valley Credit Union
Register

Member News
Sign*A*Rama has moved. They are now located at 197 Poplar Place, Unit #3, in North Aurora. Pay them a visit and see their new space!

Waubonsee Community College will be offering new degree and certification programs designed to help students prepare for the demands of modern manufacturing. They will focus on Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Operation, CNC Programming, Manual Machining and Advanced Manufacturing Technology, among others.

Congratulations to Tammy Laas, APN/FNP-BC, who has joined Dreyer Medical Clinic‘s Fox Valley Villages location.

Rush-Copley Medical Center welcomes Suzanne Bergen, MD, a gynecologic oncology specialist, to the fold. Feel free to view Dr. Bergen’s profile to learn more about her. Rush-Copley is also starting an art therapy class for those who suffer from movement disorders. It is free to the public and meets the second and fourth Monday of the month through May, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.

Restaurant.com, the nation’s largest dining deals website, has released a Top 50 Most Romantic Restaurants list just in time for Valentine’s Day, based on criteria such as customer feedback and certificates sold. Coming in at #2 is Aurora’s very own Domo 77.

If you are a caregiver, come to Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice‘s “Care for the Caregiver” support group. They meet Mondays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., from Feb. 3 through March 3. Contact Jeannine Farwell or Christy Pitol at (630) 232-2233 for more information. Registration with a refundable deposit is required.

Naper Settlement is holding the second of their three-part presentation on “The Columbian Exposition – Through the Eyes of a Visitor” on Tuesday, Feb. 4, from 7:00 to 8:15 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person. There is also an informational meeting of their Junior Volunteer Program for children in grades 4-5 that interested parents and children must attend, on Thursday, Feb. 6, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Lastly, Naper Settlement’s History Speaks Lecture Series continues with “The Last Years of Mary Todd Lincoln,” with Donna Daniels as Mary Todd Lincoln, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9. Advance tickets are $6; on the day of the presentation, tickets are $7.

Come to the Community Career Center on Feb. 6, Feb. 8, or Feb. 15 at 9:30 a.m. to learn what services and resources are available. Tour the Center and optimize your search efforts today.

Come to Aurora University‘s Graduate Business Programs Open House on Saturday, Feb. 8, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and learn about program options from business faculty, a recent graduate, and current students. Admission representatives and financial aid counselors will also be available to answer your questions.

The Growing Place is holding a “Create a Strong Garden” workshop at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8, at their Aurora location. For $20, learn how to build a kokedama, or string garden, around a selection of small houseplants. Registration is required.

The Robert Crown Center for Health Education (RCC) welcomes acclaimed motivational speaker Harriet Turk on Feb. 8, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Harriet will provide girls in fifth grade and above with powerful tools to help develop self-esteem. Admission is $50 per person. Contact Barb Thayer at bthayer@robertcrown.org for more information.

Quad County African American Chamber of Commerce is holding their 6th Annual Jazz Brunch on Saturday, Feb. 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The keynote speaker will be Dan Seals, assistant director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Admission is $55 per person.

Interested in becoming a medical interpreter? Metaphrasis Language & Cultural Solutions, LLC is offering 48-hour medical interpreter training that will introduce participants to the role and modes of interpreting, standards of practice and code of ethics for medical interpreters, OSHA, HIPAA, medical terminology, role-play, group discussions, and more. No previous experience in healthcare/medical field is required. Candidates must pass a brief entrance exam to be considered for admission. The last day to test for admission into the March session is Thursday, Feb. 15. To schedule your exam, call (815) 464-1423 or fill out the online application at http://www.metaphrasislcs.com/ training-schedule/.

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.

 

Statement of Minimum Wage

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Source: Illinois Chamber of Commerce

The Illinois employers as represented by the organizations below, and their members in Illinois, have not wavered and are speaking with one voice: Illinois employers cannot afford another minimum wage increase.

 

Illinois already has a minimum wage higher than all of our neighboring states and we are tied for the sixth highest minimum wage in the country. If Illinois were to pass a $10 minimum wage, that amount would almost double the rate since only 2003. This is far too drastic.

 

While the national unemployment rate continues to drop, Illinois is easily the highest in the Midwest and fourth highest in the country. Another minimum wage increase will only make hiring entry-level workers more difficult, and keep people who need these jobs, especially young people out of work. The number of teens with a job in Illinois has fallen consistently over the last ten years leaving only about a quarter currently employed. Younger workers in urban areas fare even worse; less than one in ten African American teens in Chicago are employed. Chicago’s Hispanic and Caucasian teens also face difficulty finding work, but they are statistically more than twice as likely as the city’s African American teens to be receiving the experience of a paycheck. The result is a significant number of young people are not gaining the basic and valuable work experience to propel them up the economic ladder in the future.

 

The National Restaurant Association notes that nine out of ten salaried restaurant workers, including owners and managers, started as hourly workers. Inexperienced employees have the ability to garner the necessary skills to advance and earn higher wages. Another minimum wage increase will deny them those skills and their start on the economic ladder.

A broad coalition of Illinois employers and their associations are unified in opposition to an increase in the minimum wage:

  • Illinois Retail Merchants Association
  • National Federation of Independent Business
  • Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
  • Illinois Chamber of Commerce
  • Illinois Association of Convenience Stores
  • Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association
  • Hospitality Business Association of Chicago
  • Illinois Beverage Association
  • Illinois Manufacturers’ Association
  • Illinois Farm Bureau
  • Illinois Food Retailers Association
  • Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association
  • Illinois Licensed Beverage Association
  • Illinois Lumber & Material Dealers Association
  • Midwest Equipment Dealers Association
  • Midwest Hardware Association
  • Six Flags Great America
  • Technology Manufacturing Aligned
  • Automotive Parts & Service Association of Illinois