Archive for the ‘community development’ Category

Aurora Area CVB Releases FY2018 Highlights

Thursday, August 16th, 2018

The Aurora Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) has released their FY 2018 sales and marketing results which show continued growth in influencing travel to the region. This is supported by data that shows the economic impact of tourism on local municipalities. For calendar year 2017, the CVB saw gains across the board in visitor expenditures, hospitality employment & payroll, and local tax receipts collected.

Tourism is a $200 million business in the Aurora Area. Visitors to the service area spent more than $200.5 million on food, lodging, transportation, and entertainment in 2017. This represents a 3.7% increase over 2016.

Local tourism tax revenue increased four percent in 2017. Increased spending on tourism activities in the Aurora Area led to $3.9 million in local tax receipts generated for the service area communities.

Aurora Area CVB sales efforts in FY 2018 produced 43 leads worth 17,382 estimated room nights with a projected local economic impact of more than $4.4 million.

Destination marketing in FY 2018 achieved 72% growth in website traffic; 69% increase in social media engagement; a 5% lift in Visitors Guide leads.

The Aurora Area was recognized with a Reader’s Choice Award by Sports Destinations Management magazine.

The Aurora Area CVB celebrated its 30th Anniversary with a celebration at J.A. Air Center. A proclamation recognizing the anniversary was signed by the current mayors of the original four communities: Mayor Richard C. Irvin of the City of Aurora, Village President Matt Brolley of Montgomery, Village President Dale Berman of North Aurora, and Village President Sean Michels of Sugar Grove.

To learn more about the CVB or attractions in the region, visit enjoyaurora.com.

 

September: National Preparedness Month

Thursday, August 16th, 2018

It is that time of year again! September is National Preparedness Month. The devastating natural disasters of the past year have reminded us that we must be ready for anything. Many times, the people of a community are the first ones to take action after a disaster. It is more important than ever to be prepared. National Preparedness Month is a time for you and your family to discuss important questions about disasters, make plans, and learn practical safety or life-saving tips.

The theme for this year is “Disasters Happen: Prepare Now, Learn How.”

So, how should you prepare?

  1. Make and Practice Your Plan: Learn what types of disasters can affect you. Then, ask how you will receive emergency information and warnings. Discuss your family’s shelter and evacuation plans and create a communication plan. Do you know where to go, what to do, and how to reconnect? How will you contact family members when disaster strikes?
  2. Learn a Life-Saving Skill: This can be anything from CPR and First Aid classes to knowing how to turn off the utilities in your home.
  3. Check Your Insurance Coverage: Does your insurance cover flooding? Even just a few inches of water can cause thousands of dollars in damage. Will you be able to get your home back after a disaster?
  4. Save for an Emergency: Do you have copies of your personal, financial, legal, and medical documents stored in a safe place? Do you have cash on hand in case ATMs do not work? Do you have an emergency savings account for crisis situations?

For more information about National Preparedness Month and how you can be ready, visit ready.gov. Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses. Minutes can matter during a disaster.

Contributed by Maria Pergi, MPH, Kane County Health Department

 

IMSA Promise Receives Insight Into Diversity Award

Thursday, August 16th, 2018

National Recognition of Programs That Are Making a Difference for All Underrepresented Groups in the Fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

This week, the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) received the 2018 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education. The Inspiring Programs in STEM Award honors colleges and universities that encourage and assist students from underrepresented groups to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). IMSA will be featured, along with 77 other recipients, in the September 2018 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

Inspiring Programs in STEM Award winners were selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity based on efforts to inspire and encourage a new generation of young people to consider careers in STEM through mentoring, teaching, research, and successful programs and initiatives.

“The PROMISE Programs are an excellent opportunity for students to learn more about IMSA and the way we provide instruction,” stated Dr. Anita White, PROMISE program directors. “Participants work directly with IMSA faculty, staff and student tutors. Students participate in activities that encourage creativity, collaboration and thinking “outside the box.””

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected IMSA PROMISE because it addresses the challenges of underrepresented and underserved students from across Illinois through year-round academic enrichment programming at low or no cost. With transportation from Chicago to IMSA’s campus in Aurora provided, PROMISE programs provide students the opportunity to work with IMSA faculty, staff and student mentors to explore the unique learning laboratory and encourage future admissions to the tuition free residential academy.

“We know that many STEM programs are not always recognized for their success, dedication, and mentorship for underrepresented students,” says Lenore Pearlstein, owner and publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We want to honor the schools and organizations that have created programs that inspire and encourage young people who may currently be in or are interested in a future career in STEM. We are proud to honor these programs as role models to other institutions of higher education and beyond.”

For more information about the 2018 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award and INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, visit insightintodiversity.com.

 

Join Us in Support of Future IT Careers

Thursday, August 16th, 2018

The City of Aurora, in partnership with the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce, has submitted a grant application to Illinois DCEO in support of creating IT pathways opportunities for out-of-school youth (between 18 and 24 years of age) who hold either a high school diploma or GED. Two training cohorts of up to 20 participants each are planned.

Participating youth will develop skills sets in data entry, word processing, help desk functions (hardware and software), as well as other administrative tasks.

Part of the program is to identify placements for short-term internships with local employers.

Short-term paid internships will be covered by the grant. It allows employers to “try before you buy” similar to the current Manufacturing Careers Internship Program. For either program, there is no further obligation to the employer upon completion of the internship.

Internships are 160 hours – either four weeks of 40 hours or part-time. Again, the $13.29 wage per hour plus associated benefits (as applicable) will be covered by the grant.

Please contact Adrienne Holloway, City of Aurora Chief Innovation Officer, or Joseph Henning, Aurora Chamber President, if you are interested in participating.

We look forward to partnering with you to further expand workforce development opportunities and further our region’s economy.

Exhibit at Illinois Governor’s Mansion Features Aurora Item

Friday, August 10th, 2018

A shining example of Aurora’s industrial and artistic history is now on display at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield, Illinois, thanks to the Aurora Historical Society.  It is an ornate silverplate water pitcher made in 1892 and the public can see it while taking free tours of the mansion through the end of Illinois’ bicentennial year, 2018.

“The art historian for the exhibit came to us several years ago,” said John Jaros, Executive Director of the historical society, “wanting to know if we had anything special enough for this first-ever public presentation of historical art in Illinois.  She loved several of the things we showed her, but decided on the Aurora Silverplate Company pitcher because it tells so many different stories at once.”

Part of the story is the growth of consumerism in America.  The discovery early in the 19th century of how to electroplate common metals had made it possible for the average household to own attractive silver tableware and decorative items at one-tenth the cost of fine silver.

Another part of the story is the growth of industrialism in the north.   After the Civil War, city leaders in Aurora were fretting over the lack of diversity in manufacturing which, in their opinion, made local merchants too dependent on the railroad for business.  They managed to persuade a startup silverplating business in Chicago to relocate to Aurora.

With rail and river access to vast swathes of a barely-settled country, and with eager local investors and a swelling work force of European immigrants, the Aurora Silverplate Company flourished from 1869 until 1919.  After the first factory burned down, a second one was erected on Fox Street (now Downer Place), this time made of brick over limestone foundations.  It was three stories high, encompassed 20,000 square feet of manufacturing space and boasted 185 windows.  Today a small portion of the building remains at 6 East Downer Place, the northeast corner of Downer and Stolp Avenue.  The business was sold to Mulholland Brothers Silver Company, which continued to manufacture silverplate for several more decades.

The art piece on loan from Aurora is a tilting water pitcher with outrider goblets.  These were popular wedding and special-occasion gifts in the Victorian era and this particular one is a brilliant example of the work of the firm, which had a national reputation for quality and artistry.   Heavily engraved with the good wishes of the board of directors, it was presented to the company’s president, William Dickinson, on the occasion of his 78th birthday in 1892.

It is on display in a third-floor sitting room at the mansion.

The exhibit, which celebrates the Illinois bicentennial, is entitled Art of Illinois, and presents 93 objects made in Illinois over a period of 750 years, most of them on loan from private collectors or museums and historical societies, with a few being the property of the State of Illinois.  It coincides with the reopening of the Governor’s Mansion, which received a $15 million, privately-funded makeover in the last two years.

The exhibit will run through the end of December, 2018.  Sixty-minute guided tours are free and are currently offered every half hour from 1-4pm daily.  The mansion, built in 1855 and, thanks to a 1970s addition, the second-largest governor’s mansion in the country, is at 410 East Jackson Street in Springfield.

Chamber News for Week of August 06, 2018

Monday, August 6th, 2018

Toy Drive for Childhood Cancer Awareness

Aurora Chamber

  In This Issue  

Member News »
Premier Investors »
Elite Members »
New Members »
Calendar of Events »

Member News

If you have news to share with your fellow members, please forward to info@aurora-chamber.com. Be sure and check out our blog and social media for what’s happening in our region.
Aurora-Area Business Launches September Toy Drive for Childhood Cancer Awareness »
Suburban Series: Networking in Kane County »
Kane County 2018 Exports Grant Program »
Chicagoland Safety Health and Environmental Conference »
Technical Assistance to Boost Small-Scale Manufacturing »
On the Road in Kane County »
Aurora Area CVB Wins 2018 Reader’s Choice Award »
Aurora Ranks as One of Best Cities to Live the American Dream »

Premier Investors

Premier Investors

Elite Members

 +Intention      95.9 The River      Aaron’s      Above Board Indoor Environmental      Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.      Aurora Bank & Trust      Aurora Collective      Aurora Limousine      Aurora University      Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston      Barbara Geiger – Keller Williams Experience      Beans Greens Proteins      Caterpillar, Inc.      Chicago Steel Hockey Team      City Segment      ComEd      Company 251      Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics      Country Financial – West Aurora      CyrusOne      Do or Dye Designs      Dolan & Murphy      Downtown Auroran Magazine      Endiro Coffee      First Secure Community Bank      Fox Valley Mall      Freedom Development Group, LLC      ganc.io      Gateway Mortgage Group      Healthcare Solutions Team – Deepti Srivastava      Henkels & McCoy, Inc.      Jiffy Lube Multi-Care      Kluber Architects + Engineers       Konen Insurance Agency, Inc.      Magick Woods, Inc.      Magnetrol International, Inc.      MedCom Group, LLC      Midwest Coach Limousine, Inc.      Mitutoyo America Corporation      Mooney & Thomas P.C.      Old Second National Bank      New York Life Insurance Company and Nylife Securities, LLC      OnLight Aurora      Painters District Council 30      Palo Creative, PLL      Paramount Arts Centre      Pilmer Real Estate      Plum Landing Retirement Community      Prairie Technology Solutions Group, LLC      Presence Mercy Medical Center      Pure Skin Solutions, LLC      R.C. Wegman Construction Company      Rasmussen College      Rich Harvest Farms      Rush Copley Medical Center      S&S Metal Recyclers II      Scientel Solutions      ServPro of Aurora      Sign*A*Rama      SmithAmundsen, LLC      Staffing Network, LLC & QPA       Staffmark      Thoughtwave Software & Solutions      T-Mobile     Two Brothers Roundhouse      Valley Fastener Group, LLC      VivirMED, LLC      The Voice      Waubonsee Community College      Weldstar Company      Woodforest National Bank      World Finance Corporation      WSPY 

New Members

Your Highest Light, LLC
Elizabeth Cermak
319 Butterfield Road, North Aurora
(630) 750-2311
Mental Health Services

Prairie Technology Solutions Group, LLC (Elite)
Carolann LaPointe
1005 Internationale Parkway, Suite 102, Woodridge
630-739-9900
Information Technology Consulting

Dave Richert Homes – eXp Realty
Dave Richert
260 LRA Drive, Aurora
(630) 906-7266
Real Estate

DRF Trusted Property Solutions
Javier Claycombe
10242 S. Bode Street, Plainfield
(312) 292-6703
Property Management

Wendy’s – Kirk Road (Opening Soon)
Andrea Yates
2962 Kirk Road, Aurora
(630) 236-3982
Restaurants & Taverns

Porto’s Peri Peri
Sedat and Mona Dilek
4151 McCoy Drive, Suite 153, Aurora
(847) 528-0014
Restaurants & Taverns

TEMPUR-PEDIC Stores – Route 59
Nate Brewer
740 North Route #59, #100, Aurora
(630) 299-0251
Specialty Retail

Nali Jewelers, Inc.
Nabeel Ali
1214 Fox Valley Mall, Aurora
(630) 978-4695
Specialty Retail

Chinese Mutual Aid Association
Ket Herena
164 Division St. Suite 403, Elgin
(847) 532-9989
Utilities

IPS-Solar
Amit Shukla
(952) 239-5896
Mental Health Services

Calendar of Events

IT Lunch & Learn: VIA & ARCC
Thursday, August 9, 12 – 1:30 p.m.
2000 S. Batavia Ave, Suite, 110, Geneva

Ribbon Cutting: Earthmover Credit Union
Tuesday, August 14, 5 – 6:00 p.m.
2205 Baseline Rd, Oswego
Ribbon Cutting @ 5:15 p.m.

Ribbon Cutting: Face to Face Beauty Studio
Wednesday, August 15, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
1222 N. Eola, Suite C, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, August 30, 8 – 9:30 a.m.
Location TBD, Aurora
Sponsored by Caton Commercial Real Estate

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Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce
43 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, IL 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180
Fax: (630) 256-3189

www.aurora-chamber.com

Aurora-Area Business Launches September Toy Drive for Childhood Cancer Awareness

Monday, July 16th, 2018

In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, Aurora-based Quality Logo Products is launching a community toy drive to support the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation in Orland Park, Illinois.

The Hope Chest Toy Drive comes at an optimum time, with childhood cancer rates higher than ever before. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 10,590 children and teenagers in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer this year.

Founded in 1996, The Treasure Chest Foundation is a national organization that provides comfort to kids diagnosed with cancer by offering them the special experience of selecting a gift from a treasure chest after each medical treatment. While it does not change the reality of their circumstances, these small gestures mean the world to children who would do anything for a distraction from their discomfort.

During the month of September, Quality Logo Products will provide Aurora-area businesses with their own treasure chest to place in their lobby or office to collect donations for the organization. All contributions will be picked up by Quality Logo Products at the end of the month and donated to the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation in Orland Park.

“Cancer is indiscriminate,” said Bret Bonnet, president of Quality Logo Products. “Being a new parent myself, I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be in these parents’ or kids’ shoes. We all need to do more to help our friends, neighbors, and families in need. After hearing about the Treasure Chest Foundation during the Daily Herald Business Ledger’s Annual Awards for Business Excellence, I was deeply moved. I knew there had to be something Quality Logo Products could do to help in a meaningful way.”

Treasure Chest Foundation CEO and Founder Colleen Kisel said, “We feel so blessed and honored to have the support of Aurora-based Quality Logo Products. Their upcoming community-wide toy drive will help support thousands of children and teens who endure years of unending cancer treatments by rewarding the children with a toy, gift, or gift card after every procedure.”

Local businesses who are interested in placing a treasure chest in their office for donations may contact Kelsey Brown by emailing press@qualitylogoproducts.com.

#AuroraChamber News for July 16, 2018

Monday, July 16th, 2018

Thank You for a Great Golf Classic

Aurora Chamber

  In This Issue  

Thank You for a Great Golf Classic »
Premier Investors »
Member News »
Elite Members »
New Members »
Calendar of Events »

Thank You for a Great Golf Classic

Golf Classic

Premier Investors

Premier Investors

Member News

This Paramount Theatre has an urgent need for 16 matching laptop computers to be used in their upcoming production of Legally Blonde. These laptops do not need to be functional and are needed from early August through October. If you can have can help out, please call Jesse Gaffney at (314) 359-0724 or email her at jesseg@paramountarts.com

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

Chicagoland Safety Health and Environmental Conference »
Technical Assistance to Boost Small-Scale Manufacturing »
On the Road in Kane County »

Elite Members

 +Intention      95.9 The River      Aaron’s      Above Board Indoor Environmental      Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.      Aurora Bank & Trust      Aurora Collective      Aurora Limousine      Aurora University      Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston      Barbara Geiger – Keller Williams Experience      Beans Greens Proteins      Caterpillar, Inc.      Chicago Steel Hockey Team      City Segment      ComEd      Company 251      Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics      Country Financial – West Aurora      CyrusOne      Do or Dye Designs      Dolan & Murphy      Downtown Auroran Magazine      Endiro Coffee      First Secure Community Bank      Fox Valley Mall      Freedom Development Group, LLC      ganc.io      Gateway Mortgage Group      Healthcare Solutions Team – Deepti Srivastava      Henkels & McCoy, Inc.      Jiffy Lube Multi-Care      Kluber Architects + Engineers       Konen Insurance Agency, Inc.      Magick Woods, Inc.      Magnetrol International, Inc.      MedCom Group, LLC      Midwest Coach Limousine, Inc.      Mitutoyo America Corporation      Mooney & Thomas P.C.      Old Second National Bank      New York Life Insurance Company and Nylife Securities, LLC      OnLight Aurora      Painters District Council 30      Palo Creative, PLL      Paramount Arts Centre      Pilmer Real Estate      Plum Landing Retirement Community      Presence Mercy Medical Center      Pure Skin Solutions, LLC      R.C. Wegman Construction Company      Rasmussen College      Rich Harvest Farms      Rush Copley Medical Center      S&S Metal Recyclers II      Scientel Solutions      ServPro of Aurora      Sign*A*Rama      SmithAmundsen, LLC      Staffing Network, LLC & QPA       Staffmark      Thoughtwave Software & Solutions      T-Mobile     Two Brothers Roundhouse      Valley Fastener Group, LLC      VivirMED, LLC      The Voice      Waubonsee Community College      Weldstar Company      Woodforest National Bank      World Finance Corporation      WSPY 

Calendar of Events

Grand Opening: Fundamental Health
Monday, July 16, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
4255 Westbrook Drive, Suite 203, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ Noon

Coffee & Connections Networking
Tuesday, July 17, 8:30 a.m.
Painters District No. 30, 1905 Sequoia Drive, Aurora

Grand Opening: Treasures Paradise
Wednesday, July 18, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Fox Valley Mall, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.

Grand Opening: Aurora Collective
Wednesday, July 25, 4 – 6 p.m.
675 Station Boulevard, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4:30 p.m.

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, July 26, at 8 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons, Aurora
Sponsored by Healthcare Solutions Team

Ribbon Cutting: Glanbia
Friday, July 27, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
948 Meridian Lake Drive, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.

Ribbon Cutting: Face to Face Beauty Studio
Wednesday, August 15, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
1222 N. Eola, Suite C, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.

Facebook    Blog    Twitter

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce
43 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, IL 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180
Fax: (630) 256-3189

www.aurora-chamber.com

Suburban Series: Networking in Kane County

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

CFBN is on the road! You are cordially invited to join us for happy hour to learn about Chicagoland Food& Beverage Network, and meet other food & beverage industry professionals based in Kane County.  If you are interested in building meaningful business relationships, growing your network and increasing your visibility, we hope you will join us.

All are welcome….bring a friend, bring a colleague, or bring your whole office! We look forward to seeing you there!

https://www.chicagolandfood.org/event-2951260

Agenda:

Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018

4:00 pm Check In, Cocktails & Networking
4:45 pm Program Begins
5:45 pm Q & A
6:15 pm Additional Networking

Matching Pallet Fundraiser Set for June 29

Monday, June 25th, 2018

On June 29, Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry and Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry will be joining forces to end summertime childhood hunger. The two food pantries, both located in Aurora, will be taking part in the annual Matching Pallet fundraiser, with a goal of $25,000 – an amount that will be matched by six local businesses: Dolan & Murphy Real Estate, Erie Insurance, Gerald Subaru, Konen Insurance, The Lakone Company, and Mooney & Thomas, P.C. for a total of $50,000!  The event will kick off with an all-day Radiothon on Friday, June 29, on 95.9 The River.

The summer is a critical time for food pantries. Opposite the holiday giving season, summertime is when pantry shelves are at their lowest stock. Compounding the problem is that thousands of children are no longer receiving free/reduced price lunches in school. Within some of the area school districts, anywhere from 65% to 100% of the students at some schools are receiving free lunch.

“Good nutrition is important for everyone, but especially children,” said Marilyn Weisner, executive director of Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry. “Kids should be having fun during the summer, not worrying about where their next meal is coming from or being unable to play and exercise because they haven’t eaten.”

The Matching Pallet fundraiser will get food to where it is most critically needed. Donations will fund pallets of food that the pantries are able to acquire at discounts through Northern Illinois Food Bank. Each donation will be matched by the fundraiser’s sponsors, greatly increasing the impact. For example, a $105 donation will provide an amazing 1,000 bags of pasta.

Live remote broadcast of The River’s Radiothon on June 29 will be held at Spartan House (1032 Prairie St.) from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“Every single dollar will change a child’s life, and thanks to our generous sponsors, every dollar will be worth two,” Weisner said.

Online donations can be made by visiting aurorafoodpantry.org and clicking on the Matching Pallet link. Donations may also be mailed to either pantry; donors should write “Matching Pallet” on check’s memo line. Donations may also be made by phone by calling (630) 692-3056.  Additional information can be found on aurorafoodpantry.org or mariewilkinsonfoodpantry.org.