Archive for June, 2016

VNA Health Care Receives Federal Grant to Expand Dental Care in Aurora

Thursday, June 30th, 2016
Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) and Linnea Windel, President & CEO of VNA Health Care, announced that $350,000 in grant funding from the Department of Health and Human Services will be awarded to VNA Health Care for the expansion of their oral health services.
“Oral health is an important part of our overall physical health and well-being,” said Windel.  “The funding awarded to VNA will reduce barriers to quality dental care and increase our capacity to serve those in need.”
The area served by VNA Health Care experiences multiple barriers to care, including poor English language skills, high poverty rates and lack of insurance. There are no other providers in the service area that provide dental care on a sliding fee scale.
“A major aspect of providing quality healthcare is making sure everyone has access to oral health services as well,” Foster said. “This funding will give VNA the ability to provide dental care to an additional 1,300 patients and provide resources to hire new dental professionals.”
VNA will be able to add a fifth dental operatory to the dental clinic suite, located within VNA’s health center at 400 N. Highland Avenue in Aurora. The grant also allows VNA to add full-time hygienist and an additional dentist as demand increases.
VNA Health Care provides affordable health care to 65,000 women, men and children living primarily in Kane, DuPage, and Will counties.  VNA runs ten community health centers and is nationally ranked as a top performing health center as a result of patient outcomes such as prenatal care, adolescent weight screening and counseling, vascular disease treatment, blood pressure control, healthy birthweights, and asthma care. VNA’s combination of convenience (by appointment or walk-in), patient-centered technology and expert care delivered with respect and compassion have led to these results. VNA is accredited by The Joint Commission.

New Bike-Share Program Available in Aurora

Thursday, June 30th, 2016
The City of Aurora and Zagster, Inc. today launched a bike-share program that will provide Aurora residents and visitors with a convenient, affordable and healthy way to get around town.
Just in time for the holiday weekend, 18 cruiser bikes are available at three downtown stations for riders to use for on-demand, local trips. Stations are located at RiverEdge Park – 360 Broadway Ave., Aurora City Hall – 44 E. Downer Place and Santori Public Library of Aurora – 101 S. River Street.
“We are excited about this partnership with Zagster, Inc. that will benefit the Aurora community,” said Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner. “Aurora aims to be a bicycle friendly community and we are taking another step – or ride – in that direction through the Zagster Bike-Share Program. This initiative creates new opportunities for residents and visitors to experience our city from a different vantage point and see Aurora in a whole new light.”
Riders join the program by signing up for daily, monthly or seasonal passes. Rides for members – who must be 18 or older – are free for the first hour, and then just one dollar per hour after that.
Bikes can be found via the free Zagster Mobile App – available for iPhone and Android – or online at Each bike has a unique number which riders enter into the app to obtain a single-use code to open the lockbox on the back of the bike. (Alternatively, riders can obtain unlock codes via text message.) A key, stored inside and tethered to the lockbox, allows the bike to be locked and unlocked throughout a ride. After the rider returns the bike to a designated Zagster bike station, the rental ends and the bike is available for the next person to enjoy.
Aurora’s bike-share features the Zagster 8, an award-winning bike known for its practical design, comfortable ride and easy handling. The bike includes a spacious basket that’s perfect for carrying groceries, takeout or personal belongings. And because rider safety is a priority, every bike includes automatic lights, a bell and full reflectors.
“According to the People for Bike’s national survey, 53 percent of Americans say they want to ride more, yet 52 percent say they don’t have access to a working bike,” said Tim Ericson, Zagster co-founder and CEO. “Thanks to Aurora’s investment not only in bike trails but also bike sharing, residents and visitors will now have the ability to get out and ride.”
Operating in more than 130 communities across North America, Zagster manages all aspects of its programs – from bikes and technology, to maintenance and marketing.

Letter Supporting Our Region’s Community Services

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

As the heads of the following chambers of commerce and business associations across the State of Illinois, our mission is to grow and sustain our regional economies. We know the health of our communities depends greatly on supporting businesses both small and large and by providing a welcoming and stable environment for workers.

Unfortunately, that mission is at risk due to our elected officials’ inability to pass a state budget. For an entire year, our nonprofit members in our communities have suffered through inconceivable and unnecessary hardships directly caused by the impasse – laying off staff, eliminating or greatly reducing benefits to their employees, closing programs, cutting clients or closing their doors altogether.

It is no surprise that over the last year we have seen the drastic effects of the state’s budget impasse in our own backyards. A rise in unemployment, more crime and violence in communities, and the inability of many nonprofit partners to continue their innovative work. We are actively destroying the stable communities we worked so hard to build.

Our nonprofits are not simply charities who operate out of the goodness of their hearts. They are employers, many with hundreds to thousands of employees in a given community. They provide services that save our taxpayers millions of dollars in the long run. Programs like job training and youth guidance lead to additional economic growth and increase public safety in their areas. The total of our nonprofit members’ work keeps our communities afloat.

We understand there are political differences that may not be resolved in the near future. But we implore our elected officials – in both branches of government, on both sides of the aisle, in both chambers – to give our nonprofits the adequate resources they need to continue to pay their employees and keep their doors open.  Honor their contracts and ensure we do not waste the hard work we have accomplished together to build these communities in Illinois.



Joseph Henning, IOM, CAE, Aurora Regional Chamber

Charlie Moore, IOM, CCE, McLean County Chamber

David Hinderliter, IOM, Chicago Southland Chamber

Desiree Bennyhoff, IOM, Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber

Norma Lansing, IOM, Effingham County Chamber

Chris Hembrough, Greater Springfield Chamber

Lisa Musch, Jacksonville Area Chamber

Les O’Dell, Carbondale Chamber

John Quigley, Elmhurst Chamber

Laurrie Minor, Sullivan Chamber

Mindi Terrell, Pontiac Chamber

Mary Jaworski, IOM, Joliet Region Chamber

Suzanne Corr, Barrington Area Chamber

Cindy White, IOM, Charleston Area Chamber

Jane Bushong, Homer Glen Area Chamber

Kathy Waters, Macomb Area Chamber

Bill Fleming, IOM, ACE, Pekin Area Chamber

Kerry O’Brien, IOM, Wheaton Chamber

Angie Hibben, IOM, Oswego Chamber

Kevin O’Keefe, Bolingbrook Chamber


Upcoming with the Chamber: Golf, Overtime Seminar

Monday, June 20th, 2016
June 20, 2016
In This Issue


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For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
BMO Harris – Bilter Rd.
BMO Harris – Eola Rd.
BMO Harris – Lake St.
BMO Harris – N. Farnsworth Ave.
BMO Harris – W. Indian Trail
CARSTAR North Aurora Collision Center
Caterpillar, Inc.
Chicago Premium Outlets
Chicago Tribune Media Group
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
Dependable Contracting Services
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Dolan & Murphy
Ice Miller LLP
Idilus, LLC
ieple, LLC.
K-Rise Systems, Inc.
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency
Leave Me Bee Pest Control, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Incorporated
Martin Whalen Office Solutions
Mind and Body Chiropractic
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Northwestern Medicine
Cadence Fitness & Health Center
Cadence Health Convenient Care & Medical Offices
Central DuPage Hospital
Delnor Glen Senior Living
Delnor Hospital
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
Old Second National Bank
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Resurrection Lutheran Church/School
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
Ryland Homes – Ingham Park
S&S Metal Recyclers II
Sign*A*Rama – Aurora
SmithAmundsen, LLC
Sole Unique Dance Complex, Inc.
State Farm Insurance Companies
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
The UPS Store – Kirk & Butterfield
The Voice
Trust Lending
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WIT-Enterprises, LLC
Zippy Shell Fox Valley

Contact Us

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



Final Overtime Rules Released
What You Need to Know
Tuesday, June 28, 7:30 a.m.
Meyer Ballroom, North Island Center, Aurora

The Department of Labor recently released their final version of the overtime regulation. The final rule is massive in scope and imposes radical changes for employers across all sectors, including small businesses and non-profits. The final regulation raises the salary threshold under which employees would have to be paid overtime for hours worked beyond 40 per week to $47,476. Do you know how it will impact your business? Join us June 28 to hear the ins and outs.


Join Us for Golf on June 23
Presented by


Orchard Valley Golf Course, Aurora
Thursday, June 23


Limited sponsorships remain. Please contact the Chamber today for opportunities.


If you don’t golf, join us for lunch or the evening reception.

Premier Members
Premier Members
Events for Members
Ribbon Cutting: Aurora Bank & Trust
2287 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora
Tuesday, June 21, at 4:00 p.m.

2016 Golf Classic presented by Presence Mercy Medical Center
Orchard Valley Golf Course, Aurora
Thursday, June 23
Lunch at 11:30 a.m.
Shotgun Start at 1:00 p.m.
Cocktail Reception at 6:00 p.m.

What You Need to Know: Final Overtime Rules
Meyer Ballroom, 8 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora
Tuesday, June 28, at 7:30 a.m.

Business Development Leads Group
Chamber offices
Tuesday, June 28, at 7:45 a.m.

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora
Thursday, June 30, at 8:00 a.m.

Public Policy Update
For the latest in public policy news, be sure and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Visit the Chamber blog:

Rep. Anthony resigns to take position with IDOC

Budget: General Assembly

Budget: Education

Economy: Unemployment Rate

Budget: Unpaid Bills

Budget: Transportation

Budget: Bond Sale

Member News
If you have news to share with your fellow members, please forward to Be sure and check out our blog and social media for what’s happening in our region.

Morning tee times available for Golf for Kids Outing at Orchard Valley on June 27

CNN Names GiGi’s Founder CNN Hero

Buhl Press, Kelmscott Communications and Rider Dickerson Merge to Create a Dynamic New Company Named Fuse

Award-Winning Duo Named Grand Marshals of Independence Day Parade

The Growing Place of Naperville to Host Gardener’s Art Festival June 25

Reports of West Nile Virus Activity Prompt Health Department Advisory

Park District offering free concerts this summer

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce | 43 W. Galena Blvd. Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180 Fax: (630) 256-3189 |
This email was sent by Email Patron on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.


Morning tee times available for Golf for Kids Outing at Orchard Valley on June 27

Saturday, June 18th, 2016
Morning tee times are available for the annual Golf for Kids Benefit Outing that will be held on Monday, June 27, at Orchard Valley Golf Course.
Players may register individually or as a group, with the choice of team scramble or individual stroke play. The registration fee for morning golfers is $150 per player (a $35 discount) and includes a tee gift (Adidas Polo Shirt), green fees with cart for 18 holes, breakfast, lunch and dinner at Orchards Restaurant, along with door prizes and raffle prizes that include a big screen (55-inch) TV, Bears tickets, Cubs tickets and a Weber gas grill.
Hole-in-one prizes – including a resort getaway and a 2016 Mustang Coupe – will be available on all four par-3 holes.
Morning play begins at 7:30 a.m. and afternoon play at 1 p.m. with a shotgun start for each. An evening putting contest will be held, with a $500 Macy’s gift card to the winner.
Company sponsorship packages and promotional opportunities are available as well. This year’s leading sponsor is Alarm Detection Systems of Aurora.
The Golf for Kids Benefit Outing supports The Fox Valley Park Foundation, whose proceeds benefit local youth in the Fox Valley area to give all children the opportunities to experience enrichment programs, sports and camps regardless of financial standing.
Over the last two decades, the Fox Valley Park Foundation has raised over $500,000 to fund youth programs offered in over 50 local schools. More than 3,000 local youth have benefitted.
“Our mission is to impact the lives of young people in a positive way because you only have one chance to be a kid – and every child deserves to play,” said Cathy Schwieger, Fox Valley Park Foundation Development Officers.
For more information on the Golf for Kids Benefit Golf Outing, visit  or call 630-966-4515.

CNN Names GiGi’s Founder CNN Hero

Saturday, June 18th, 2016
GiGi’s Playhouse is thrilled to announce that our fearless founder and GiGi’s Mom, Nancy Gianni, has been officially chosen as a CNN Hero!
12 years ago, Nancy envisioned a better world, one full of potential and acceptance. That is when the first GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center opened. Available to all, GiGi’s is a place for families and the community to learn about and celebrate the diagnosis of Down syndrome and benefit from free therapeutic, educational and career training programs that unleash one’s “Best of All”. Today there are 31 free-standing Playhouses throughout the United States and Mexico serving more than 25,000 participants and families. Programs are offered 100% free to all families so that cost will never be a barrier to achievement and acceptance. Going beyond Down syndrome, Nancy’s vision for global acceptance for ALL comes to life through GiGi’s Playhouse and the Generation G campaign.
“This is not about me or GiGi. It is about all of us stepping up to make this world a better place. The real Heroes of GiGi’s Playhouse include the participants themselves, (they inspire me every day!), the volunteers who run 97% of all programming, the courageous families who embrace the journey of opening a Playhouse in their own community, and the believers who make this all possible.”
The entire segment and Nancy’s official CNN Hero profile may be viewed on by clicking here.

Rep. Anthony resigns to take position with IDOC

Saturday, June 18th, 2016

Representative John Anthony of the 75th District, an Interstate 80-oriented district centering on Morris, Illinois, announced his resignation from the Illinois House this week in order to take on a new opportunity with the Illinois Department of Corrections. The lawmaker’s last full day in the Illinois House was Thursday, June 16.

Anthony, a former sheriff’s deputy, specialized in questions of criminal law and law enforcement in the House. Republican Leader Jim Durkin praised Rep. Anthony’s work in the General Assembly. “A former law enforcement officer, John quickly became a go-to guy on issues related to criminal justice and corrections. His expertise and insight on these matters will be missed,” Leader Durkin said.

During his time in the Illinois House, Anthony was the lead Republican co-sponsor of HB 1, the bipartisan 2015 measure to reform Illinois laws relating to heroin addiction, other opiate addictions and opiate-related deaths. HB 1 includes provisions to place opiate agonist drugs, such as Naloxone, in the hands of police officers and other first responders.

Budget: General Assembly

Saturday, June 18th, 2016

Illinois House session cancelled; negotiations continue to end budget impasse. House Republicans have been full participants in the continuing negotiations that are taking place to develop answers to the current questions that are affecting the Illinois budget. Talks are taking place on a variety of related issues that include school funding, higher education funding, funding for social services, labor/management reforms, and public-sector personnel expense issues.

House Speaker Michael Madigan cancelled the second of four scheduled Wednesday session days this week. Lawmakers would have met on June 15 to enable public discussion and debate on these issues, but as a result of the cancellation no meeting took place. The cancellation was criticized by Republicans, headed by Governor Rauner, who want all sides to work together to end the current impasse. “We’ve got to keep the government running,” Rauner asserted.

Budget: Education

Saturday, June 18th, 2016

School districts begin to plan for truncated 2016-17 school year. A shortened school year could become a reality in Illinois if no State budget is enacted to appropriate money to public school districts. While education was funded in 2015-16 even in the absence of a state budget, this happened because the General Assembly passed a one-year spending bill that packaged together most of the usual line-items of State school aid. Democratic legislators last spring suspended what has become their overall refusal to appropriate money in a form tolerable to Governor Rauner and appropriated money for schools. However, the same lawmakers have so far refused to do the same thing this year.

School district spokespersons are telling the press that they are making plans for emergency budgets that will not include State school aid. Most school districts are dependent on both property tax revenue and State school aid, and will suffer if deprived of either source of funding. For example, the Monmouth-Roseville school board in west central Illinois is making preliminary plans to shut down operations and lay off teachers/other educational personnel after one semester of the 2016-17 school year. The plans include a proposal to hold an early graduation ceremony for the high school seniors of the district.

Economy: Unemployment Rate

Saturday, June 18th, 2016

Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announces 0.2% drop in Illinois jobless rate. In May 2016, the jobless rate declined from 6.6% to 6.4%. The widely-tracked figure of Illinois economic strength was released on Thursday, June 16.

IDES did not say that the decline was the result of any special strength in Illinois job creation. The unemployment rate remained significantly higher than one year earlier (from 5.9% to 6.4%) and only 46,400 net new jobs have been created in Illinois during this twelve-month period, an increase of less than 0.8%. Illinois continues to support fewer total jobs than were paid during the most recent period of peak employment, a benchmark reached in September 2000. The drop in the month-by-month unemployment rate was attributed, by IDES Director Jeff Mays, to an overall decline in the Illinois workforce as Illinoisans leave the state or drop out of the employment picture.

Illinois lost 2,500 jobs overall in May 2016. Areas of comparative Illinois strength continued to be financial activities and professional and business services, with 3,200 jobs created in these two sectors in May 2016. Educational and health services saw a net loss of 2,300 jobs, partly due to significant layoffs in Illinois higher education associated with the current budget situation. The budget situation also contributed to a net loss of 2,100 jobs in government. Illinois manufacturing lost 1,100 jobs, in line with long-term trends in the factory sector.