- Dec 19, 2018
I’m honored and excited to serve as the new chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. Honored, because I have great respect for this organization and its members; and excited, because I see so much potential for the continued growth and evolution of our mission.
For those who may not know me, I joined the Northbrook Chamber in 2011, shortly after founding my company. It was the welcoming atmosphere that made this Chamber really stand out to me. Here was a remarkably diverse membership — sole entrepreneurs, large corporations, and everything in between, covering all types of industries and professions – but it was still an association of like-minded and like-hearted people, committed to their businesses and each other.
A friend advised me in those early days that the best way to benefit from the Chamber is to get really involved. I may have taken that advice to extremes, but I’m glad that I did! Participating in the golf outing, the golf league, the Auction & Taste, and our wonderful networking events has connected me to new friends, business opportunities, and community organizations. On the Chamber Board, I’ve had a front row seat that has helped shape my vision of our goals for the coming year.
First, I hope that the Chamber will continue to strengthen our relationship networks, both internally and externally. Between members, we should support each other through referrals, advice, volunteering, and active participation. I especially encourage our “veterans” to reach out to new members to help them make the most of their Chamber experience.
Our relationships extend throughout the community, including local government, religious groups, and service organizations. Chamber members serve on Northbrook commissions including the ICDC, EDC, Plan Commission, and Senior Services Commission (of which I am a member). The Chamber partners with the Village on projects that benefit everyone, like our very successful holiday retail marketing campaign. Outside Village Hall, the Chamber supports vital community agencies like the Civic Foundation, Northfield Township Food Pantry, and Youth Services of Glenview/Northbrook. I am especially proud of the new Hunger Free Northbrook Initiative in which several members are involved, raising awareness and finding innovative solutions for the problem of food insecurity in Northbrook. All these connections demonstrate the Chamber’s values and our commitment to making this a great place to live and work.
Our relationships also give us an important opportunity to educate, both within our organization and in the broader community. For our members, the Chamber’s publications and educational events are great resources to learn about legislative actions, economic trends, new development projects, and more. I hope that we can expand the platforms for us to learn from each other, as we did with the recent SOHO discussion of the new Paid Sick Leave requirements.
We also have the singular responsibility to educate the public on how a positive business climate contributes to the health of the entire community. Northbrook historically has been one of the North Shore’s success stories, with a business tax base that supports excellent schools, parks, and other public services that enhance the Village for all residents. We plan to explore ways to proactively share this message with voters and civic leaders. As we move into the year with a newly elected Village Board addressing pivotal topics, the Chamber will continue to be a voice to explain our concerns and demonstrate that we are all in this together.
I’m looking forward to working in this new role with our dedicated Board and Chamber staff, and I hope to get to know many more members as well. Let’s make 2019 a banner year for our Chamber and our community!