Archive for September, 2017

Special Needs Fair to Connect Residents with Services

Friday, September 29th, 2017

The Fox Valley Special Needs Resource Committee is holding its inaugural Special Needs Resource Fair on Saturday, October 14, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Vaughan Athletic Center, 2121 W. Indian Trail Rd.

Organized by the City of Aurora, the Fox Valley Park District and the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce, the committee is hosting the fair to provide direct access to resources in the Fox Valley community for children and adults with special needs.

“Parents and caretakers of those with special needs have an incredible responsibility,” said Alex Voigt, Aurora Assistant Chief of Staff. “The resource fair can help connect the pieces and increase the quality of life for the entire family.”

More than 30 exhibitors will be available to discuss educational opportunities, transition programs, government services, recreational programs, legal support, employment opportunities and other services available for those with special needs.

The fair is free and open to the public. To volunteer at the fair, visit

For more information, contact Alex Voigt, Mayor’s Assistant Chief of Staff, at 630-256-3010 or


NIU Law School Names Irvin ‘Alumnus of the Year’

Friday, September 29th, 2017

Mayor Richard C. Irvin was honored by Northern Illinois University College of Law as the 2017 Alumnus of the Year.

In a special ceremony held this week, Irvin was presented the prestigious award before an audience of fellow NIU College of Law alumni, his former professors and supporters from Aurora.

“Mayor Irvin lives a life of public service, and his accomplishments date back to his years as a law student here at the NIU College of Law,” said Attorney Melinda Rosales-Byerly, chairman of the NIU College of Law Alumni Council. “Richard exemplifies the very best of leadership and sheer determination. NIU is very proud of him.”

A class of 1998 graduate of the NIU College of Law, Irvin worked as a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney and a prosecutor for Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office prior to opening the Law Offices of Richard C.  Irvin in downtown Aurora.

“As a young law student, I saw the photos on the wall of distinguished alumni who were honored with this award. I never once thought I might be among them,” said Irvin. “I am very humbled by this honor. I appreciate the opportunity to have attended NIU College of Law, a place that inspired me to serve and give back to my community.”

Irvin served as an alderman-at-large for the City of Aurora from 2007-2017. He was elected as the 59th mayor of the City of Aurora on April 4, 2017.

“I always knew he was going to do amazing things in life,” said NIU Law Professor Emeritus Lorraine Schmall.

A class of 1988 graduate of East Aurora High School, Mayor Irvin received the East Aurora High School Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009.

2017 IN2@IMSA Fall FUNshops

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

IN2 will offer four different middle school fall FUNshops for students grades 6th-8th.  Spots are filling up fast so secure your spot soon!

IN2 Design Thinking: Crafting the Perfect Lemonade Stand

Saturday October 14,2017; 10 am – Noon @IN2

Fee: $45; grades 6-8

Class Size: 22 paid spaces +

2 scholarships

Imagine yourself in charge of creating the most successful lemonade stand possible. Where do you even begin? What recipe do your customers want? Where do you setup your lemonade stand? All those questions and more will be answered in this fun yet informative hands-on entrepreneurship workshop. Join us as we explore how techniques that real companies use to sketch their products like Design Thinking can be applied to outline the perfect lemonade stand. And yes…you will be making lemonade. Presented by IMSA eleMENT students.


IN2 Makerspace: Introduction to 3D Modeling

Saturday October 21,2017; 10 am – Noon @ IN2

Fee: $45; grades 6-8

Class Size:  11 paid spaces +

1 scholarship                                                                                       

Are you an inventor, an artist, or a future engineer? In the modern world, that means you need to know 3D Modeling and CAD software. This workshop teaches you 3D modeling fundamentals and sets you on the path to making your own designs in less than an hour. Draw gear assemblies for robots, create action figures to 3D print later, or design your own dream house. We’ll use the free-for-students Autodesk Fusion 360 to teach you the basics and get you ready to design on your own. We provide the technology, you provide the awesome ideas. Laptops provided.


IN2: Startup Mystery Box Challenge

Saturday November 18,2017; 10 am – Noon @ IN2

Fee: $45; grades 6-8

Class Size: 22 paid spaces +

2 scholarship

We have a box full of __________ (it’s a surprise). Once you open the box, you have 90 minutes to think like an entrepreneur and figure out the best thing to do with the contents. This is a simulation game, team competition that calls on collaboration, creative problem solving and entrepreneurial thinking. Practice using a Business Model Canvas, Design Thinking and Kanban methods–the same as real startups–and develop a brand that attracts interested customers who really need your product or service. Become a better problem solver and, as a team, achieve the greatest potential value for your efforts.


IN2 Makerspace: Holiday Cards and Stickers

Saturday December 9, 2017; 10 am – Noon @ IN2

Fee: $45; grades 6-8

Class Size:  11 paid spaces +

1 scholarship

This winter get out of the cold and craft some holiday gifts. Learn to use technology to make your crafting faster, and more fun. In this workshop we’ll use the Silhouette Cameo Craft Cutter to design and cut our own Vinyl stickers and Holiday Cards. Try your hand at stick-on snowflakes, snowman cards, or paper reindeer ornaments. We’ll provide the materials and technology, so bring your brilliant ideas and holiday spirit.

Manufacturing: Perception vs. Reality

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

Manufacturing Day is designed to show students, parents, educators, and their communities, what is really happening in modern manufacturing.

Why? A recent study by Deloitte revealed the conundrum we face in the industry: Americans recognize the importance of the manufacturing industry yet they don’t have a positive impression of current manufacturing jobs.

In fact, roughly one-third of Americans surveyed wouldn’t encourage their children to pursue a manufacturing career, pointing to concerns around job security and stability, weak career path, and poor pay. As anyone close to the manufacturing industry knows, many of these concerns couldn’t be further from reality.

So what can you do? Know the facts:

  • The average tenure of workers in the manufacturing industry is highest among all private sector industries at 9.1 years. The industry also has one of the lowest employee turnover rates (2.3 percent) among all private-sector jobs.
  • Modern manufacturing jobs require sophisticated technical and problem-solving skills. With many senior-level Baby Boomers retiring, we’ll see many job openings in high-skilled, high-tech positions, as well as in leadership positions.
  • The average manufacturing worker in the U.S. earns almost more than $20,000 above the average employee working in other industries: $81,289 for the average manufacturing worker compared to $63,830 for the average U.S. worker.

And, of course, participate in Manufacturing Day! MFG DAY received consistently high marks with student event attendees:

  • 88 percent indicated the activities/tours are interesting and engaging
  • 89 percent became more aware of manufacturing jobs in their communities
  • 84 percent were more convinced that manufacturing provides careers that are interesting and rewarding
  • 64 percent were more motivated to pursue careers in manufacturing.

Congratulations! Mayor Irvin Elected to IML Board

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

The Illinois Municipal League (IML) elected new officers and members to the Board of Directors, at its 104th Annual Conference, held September 21-23 at the Hilton Chicago and attended by more than 2,000 local elected and appointed officials.

On Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, the IML membership elected Mayor Richard Irvin to serve a one-year term as a Vice President on the statewide organization’s Board of Directors.

“I look forward to collaborating with mayors from around the state on the issues that affect all of our communities,” said Irvin. “Together, we will continue to advocate for local government at the state and federal level.”

Belleville Mayor Mark W. Eckert was elected to serve a one-year term as President, Macomb Mayor Michael J. Inman was elected as First Vice President and Mayor Leon Rockingham, Jr. of North Chicago as Second Vice President.

Mayor Irvin will serve with a team of Vice-Presidents that includes Rockford Mayor Thomas McNamara, East St. Louis Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks, Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder, River Forest Mayor Catherine Adduci, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and other municipal leaders across the state.

This Week’s Member News, Emergency Planning, Gov. Debate

Monday, September 25th, 2017
September 25, 2017
In This Issue


Quick Links

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For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Advance Auto Parts
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora Bank & Trust
Aurora Limousine
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Beans Greens Proteins
Caterpillar, Inc.
Chicago Steel Hockey Team
City Segment
Company 251
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
Do or Dye Designs
Dolan & Murphy
Downtown Auroran Magazine
Eagle Digital Marketing
Endiro Coffee
First Secure Community Bank
Ice Miller LLP
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Inc.
Meyer Wealth Advisors
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Old Second National Bank
OnLight Aurora
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pilmer Real Estate
Pipe Fitters Local 597
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
ServPro of Aurora
SmithAmundsen, LLC
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company

Welcome New Members

Magick Woods, Inc.
Susan Peradotti
1600 Sequoia Drive, Aurora
(847) 452-5912
Home Designs

Casa Dei Bambini Montessori
Salim Ali
432 Belvedere Lane, Aurora
(630) 907-7554

Cain & Abel House West East
Steven Hathorne
31 W. Downer Place, Aurora
(331) 212-1065
Community-Based Organization


Contact Us

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



What You Need to Know: Emergency Preparedness
Emergency Preparedness

When business is disrupted, it can cost money. Lost revenues plus extra expenses means reduced profits. Insurance does not cover all costs and cannot replace customers that defect to the competition. A continuity plan to continue business is essential. This WYNTK seminar will assist businesses and organizations in developing a preparedness program by providing tools to create a plan that addresses the impact of many hazards.

Premier Members
Premier Members
Calendar of Events
WYNTK: Emergency Preparedness Planning
Tuesday, Sept.. 26, 8 a.m.
Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, Sept. 28, 8 – 9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora
Sponsored by City Segment

5th Anniversary: McLaughlin & Associates
Thursday, Sept. 28, 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
495 N. Commons Dr. Ste. 103, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4:15 p.m.

Jump Start Your Membership Profile
Tuesday, Oct. 3, 8:30 – 10 a.m.
Chamber Offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd, Aurora

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:

Three More Ill. Legislators Announce Retirement

Gov. Rauner Vetoes Geolocation Bill to Protect Business

Illinois Jobs

Bipartisan Legislation an Important Tool for Job Growth in Illinois

Illinois: Gambling

Illinois Education

Illinois: Opioid Epidemic

Economic Development: Amazon

Reps. Currie, Sente to Retire; AG Madigan Out

Procurement Streamlining a Win for Illinois Business

Ill. Senate, House Release Fall Veto Schedules

New UI Process Streamlines Tax Experience

U.S. Chamber: Tax Reform

U.S. Chamber: Overtime Rule Update

New Form I-9 Required by Sept. 18, 2017

Join Us for an Ill. Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on Oct. 18
Gubernatorial Candidate Forum

On Wednesday, Oct. 18, the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce will join Daily Herald Media Group, Business Ledger, ABC-7 News and several other business organizations to host a gubernatorial candidate forum focusing on business-related issues facing Illinois. The event will be from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Victoria in the Park, 1700 Elmhurst Road, Mount Prospect.

Candidates confirmed to attend include J.B. Pritzker, Daniel Biss, Ameya Pawar, Bob Daiber, Scott Drury, Alexander Paterakis, Chris Kennedy, and Tio Hardiman.

$25 admission includes breakfast, networking, and forum. Register at -candidate-forum-tickets-37242741041. When ordering your ticket(s), enter Aurora in the Promo Code box.

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.

2018 USA Badminton Junior National Championships to be Held in Aurora Area

IMSA Named One of the Top 100 Finalists for the 16th Annual Chicago Innovation Awards

Oct. 1: National Mental Health Week

Walk to School Day: Oct. 5, 2017

EEI Announces Newly License Professional Engineer

Pumpkin Weekends throughout October at Blackberry Farm – 11 days in all

World-Renowned Artist Paints Multicultural Mural in Aurora

GAR Museum Earns Top Honors from Ill. Assoc. of Museums

Martin Lipton Joins Team at Konen Insurance

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 Bee Atomic on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Oct. 1: National Mental Health Week

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

Providing support and fighting stigma are goals of National Mental Illness Awareness Week.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 out of 20 Americans 12 years of age and older have reported current depression. In acknowledging this issue, the Kane County community chose behavioral health as one of its top health priorities in the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).

During Mental Illness Awareness Week, Oct. 1-7, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and other agencies from across the county and the nation are raising awareness of mental illness. Each year, the movement grows stronger.

National Depression Screening Day is dedicated to raising awareness and encouraging screening for people for depression and related mood and anxiety disorders. Depression Screening Day falls within Mental Illness Awareness Week. Each year, the week provides an opportunity to fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care. Unfortunately, individuals and families affected by mental illness are still often subjected to stigma and discrimination.

During Mental Illness Awareness Week, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and other agencies from across the county and the nation are raising awareness of mental illness. Each year, the movement grows stronger. Mental health issues are important to address year-round, but highlighting them during #MIAW provides a time for people to come together and display the passion and strength of those working to improve the lives of the tens of millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

If you or someone you know may need a mental health assessment, anonymous online tools are available. For National Depression Screening Day on Oct. 5, you can get a free mental health screening at

To learn more about the Behavioral Health CHIP priority please click HERE.  You can also visit the Kane County Behavioral Health Council website.


Walk to School Day: Oct. 5, 2017

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

Walking the walk:  Walk to School Day promotes active lifestyles.

Making Kane County Fit for Kids is excited to open registration for Walk to School Day 2017 on Thursday, October 5. Last year, we had over 70 elementary and middle schools actively participate and promote safe, healthy and active transportation to school. This year we hope to engage even more schools, students and families in this great awareness raising event.

Walk to School Day is a fun activity that encourages community leader to consider the feasibility and accessibility of walking to school in their neighborhoods.

Fit for Kids is offering a $150 stipend to the parent teacher organization at each participating elementary and middle school. Sponsors for this year’s event include: Aldi, Shodeen Family Foundation, City of Elgin, City of Aurora, Advocate Sherman Hospital, Presence Health, and the Rotary Club of Aurora.

Walk or Bike to School Day is a day celebrated internationally to promote the importance of physical activity by engaging schools, students, and communities. It’s a one-day event geared toward creating change in community culture and creating mobility and transportation options for all. While the event only occurs once per year, it’s a conversation starter and change initiator for schools and communities.


EEI Announces Newly License Professional Engineer

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

Engineering Enterprises, Inc. (EEI) is proud to announce that Christopher Walton whose hometown is Buffalo Grove, Illinois has passed the Professional Engineer (P.E.) exam and has earned the title of Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois. 

Walton is a 2011 graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Since joining EEI in 2013, Chris has become an important member of our Environmental Group working on various water and wastewater projects. He is an active member of the Illinois Section American Water Works Association Young Professionals Committee.

With his P.E. licensure, Walton joins 19 other licensed professional engineers at EEI. In addition, he has also been promoted to Senior Project Engineer I status within the organization.

The P.E. license is the engineering profession’s highest standard of competence, regulated by the State in the interest of supporting integrity within the profession and public safety. It is a symbol of achievement and assurance of quality.

Engineering Enterprises, Inc., founded in 1974, is a progressive, award winning consulting engineering firm which provides planning, design and construction services for water, wastewater, transportation, stormwater and GIS to municipalities, counties, and state agencies throughout northern Illinois.  For additional information, visit [../../Marketing%20Collateral/PR%20Release-Announcement/]

Pumpkin Weekends throughout October at Blackberry Farm – 11 days in all

Sunday, September 24th, 2017
Blackberry Farm will celebrate the fall season throughout the month of October with its popular Pumpkin Weekends beginning Saturday, Sept. 30.
Each weekend – and Columbus Day (Oct. 9) – Blackberry Farm will be festively decorated in the spirit of pumpkin season. A picnic area will have pumpkins for purchase, and an assortment of decorating materials will be provided.
Carousel rides, hay wagon rides, pony rides, paddle boats, Little Farmer’s Junction (6Y & under) and tours on the “Pumpkin Train” are part of each weekend’s festivities, along with the historic museums and interactive farm animal areas.
Among the unique attractions is the Victorian Halloween Party that traces back to the origins of Halloween with an event host leading crafts and games. Hosted in the Huntoon House, it’s a ghoulish balance of scary and fun.
Other popular features include the Corn Crib – similar to a large sandbox, but filled with corn – where children can roll and wriggle, farm style. Also, there’s the famous Adventure Playground, a uniquely innovative play area that incorporates climbing decks, slides, ropes and catwalk-style bridges connecting an array of playhouses on multiple levels – and a 70-foot zip line.
Park hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Admission is $7 per person. Children under 2 are free.
“Pumpkin Weekends originated as a fall festival day, but it was so popular that we expanded it to include every weekend,” said Sandie Gilmer, facility supervisor at Blackberry Farm. “This is such a fun time of year that we want to make the season last just a little longer.”
Special attractions will be featured throughout the month, including:
·       Sept. 30: Professional Storyteller, One-Room Schoolhouse, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
·       Oct. 7: Fox Valley Concert Band, picnic area 1, 2 p.m.
·       Oct. 8: Pumpkin carver, town square, 1 to 2 p.m.
·       Oct. 14: Superhero Day, picnic area 4, noon to 3 p.m.
·       Oct. 21: Trick or Treat, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
·       Oct. 21: Costume Parade (led by farm ponies), Events Plaza, 1 p.m.
·       Oct. 29: World’s Tallest Scarecrow, 2 to 3 p.m.
For more information on Pumpkin Weekends, call Blackberry Farm at 630-892-1550 or visit and the Blackberry Farm Facebook page.