- Dec 20, 2021
As we approach the start of a new year, I’m honored to be taking on a new role as Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. As the new Chair, I feel fortunate to inherit a strong organization, superbly managed by a dedicated and talented staff, and supervised by a committed Board of Directors.
I am eager to accept the challenge of leading this organization that has been guided so well. My predecessor, Bob Caldwell, and our past Treasurer, Steve Schmit, did an exemplary job at the helm during the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic. Bob and Steve each generously agreed to add an extra year to their service in order to provide stability and consistency. Our professional staff rose to the occasion with determination and creativity, and our board remained solidly committed to keeping the organization vibrant and relevant to our members. I appreciate their trust in asking me to take on this position, and I will rely on their example and advice.
My goal is to maintain the high level of programming, events, and value the Chamber has provided to our members and to the entire community–even through the challenges of the last two years. While we still face many unknowns in the coming months, we will continue to evolve and adapt our traditions and programs as needed to stay on a positive trajectory and to meet the needs of our members and the community.
I feel a personal connection to this Chamber and its members that has grown over the past eight years of my membership. For my day job, I am an attorney with Franklin, Greenswag, Channon & Capilla LLC, concentrating my practice in civil litigation and advocacy on behalf of individuals and businesses involved in legal disputes. The Northbrook Chamber was one of the first networking organizations I joined. I also joined several other local chambers of commerce and other networking groups. Eventually I decided to get more involved with a few select groups. As I narrowed the focus of my commitments, the Northbrook Chamber rose to the top of the list. As all our members know, this Chamber draws you in with its great collegiality and energy. In addition, as a resident of Northbrook for 30 years, I have a strong affinity for this community–not just as a businessperson, but as a resident who raised my family here.
My personal philosophy is, if you’re going to commit to an organization, you should get involved. Before joining the Chamber Board, I enjoyed working on committees for the Golf Outing and the Auction & Taste. I encourage all of you to make the extra effort to find ways to volunteer and participate in the Chamber. Not only does this involvement help the Chamber, but it creates more opportunities for you to meet fellow members and get to know them on a personal level, which is just as valuable and rewarding as the business relationships you develop. People want to do business with individuals they know, like, and trust. Those personal relationships grow with Chamber involvement. At this Chamber, we view each other as friends and many members have created strong friendships that extend beyond Chamber activities. Please watch for newsletter announcements about ways to get involved, or ask the Chamber staff for ideas. New faces are always welcome!
If we have not yet met, please say hello at an upcoming meeting or feel free to reach out for a conversation. I’m looking forward to getting to know many more members as we move into 2022 together. Happy New Year!
Julie Lerman, 2022 Chamber Board Chair