Archive for May, 2018

General Assembly Update: May 25, 2018

Friday, May 25th, 2018

Both chambers have cancelled previously scheduled Saturday and Sunday sessions this weekend. They will return to Springfield on Monday — leaving just four days for regular session.

The Chamber has been monitoring nearly 100 pieces of legislation in Springfield this session. Below are a few highlights.

Business Regulation (6)

  • HB 4081 establishes egregious regulations on call centers and back office operations. The bill was postponed again in Senate committee at the request of the sponsor who did not have enough votes for passage. The Chamber has submitted an opponent witness slip.

Economic Development (9)

  • HB 4858 passed both houses recently. Sponsored by Rep. Pritchard, the bill allows local school districts and community colleges to apply for and receive grants for the acquisition of land, construction of facilities, and purchase of equipment, dedicated solely to the instruction of occupations in manufacturing.
  • HB 5214 would amend the Illinois Income Tax Act to allow for more Angel Investment opportunities and passed both houses.
  • SB 3285, creating the Illinois Home Grown Business Opportunity Act, remains on third reading in the House.

Education & Workforce Development (4)

  • HB 5247 would allow for high school youth (16 years and older) to participate in registered apprenticeship programs toward a certificate or degree. It has returned to the House after Senate approval with amendment.

Environment (4)

Gaming (4)

  • HB 5186 and SB 3432 create Sports Wagering Act. Both remain in original committee in respective chamber.

Government (6)

  • Both constitutional amendment resolutions failed in their respective houses (HJRCA 0043 and SJRCA 0026).

Healthcare (5)

  • HB 3479 requires fair reimbursement to pharmacies under managed care agreements.
  • HB 4146 prohibits modification of drug coverage during plan year.
  • HB 4900 establishes generic drug price controls.
  • SB 2332, the Tobacco 21 legislation, remains on second reading in the House.

Infrastructure (5)

Labor & Employment (20)

  • HB 2771 will require employers (with the exception of school districts, City of Chicago, unions, and park districts to provide 40 hours of paid sick time annually. It passed in the Senate and returned to the House on order of concurrence.
  • HB 4572 amends the Illinois Human Rights Act to include all employers with one or more employee. It has passed both houses.
  • HB 4595 establishes a state mutual insurance program for workers compensation. It has been postponed in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
  • HB 4743 requires equal pay for African Americans for the same or similar job and has passed both houses.
  • HB 5046 requires employers to post employee schedules 72 hours before the first shift and includes provisions for when schedules are cut or reduced. This has been re-referred to House Rules Committee under Rule 19(a).
  • SB 0193 establishes a workers protection unit in the attorney general’s office. It was vetoed by the governor. Having passed an override vote in the senate, the bill waits in the house.
  • SB 2213 requires that state environment and workplace safety laws remain as strict as current federal laws, even if the federal laws are eased.

Taxes and Fees (22)

  • HB 2717 which would have allowed for the Ill. Department of Revenue to disclose confidential information failed to pass the House.
  • HB 4293 would have established a 20% fee on investment services was re-referred to House Rules under Rule 19(a). A similar bill, SB 3189, remains in Senate Assignments Committee.
  • HB 4415 would establish an exemption of use and service taxes. It is in the Senate on third reading.
  • HR 0955, which remains in the Rules Committee, is in opposition to the Graduated Income Tax.
  • HR 1028 was Speaker Madigan’s response in support of the Graduated Income Tax and has been placed on the calendar for order of resolutions.
  • SB 2577, better known as the Marketplace Fairness Act, passed the Senate on a 039-010-001 vote and is in the House Revenue and Finance Committee.
  • SB 2604 would rescind underpayment penalties and passed the Senate on a 053-000-000 vote. It is now in the House Revenue and Finance Committee.
  • SB 3189 which imposes an investment service tax of 20% remains in Assignments.
  • SB 3229 amends and revises the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act to correct unintended changes of SB 0009 last year. It remains on third reading in the Senate.

Technology (4)

  • HB 4819, a net neutrality bill at the state level, is on its second reading in the House. A similar bill, SB 2975, remains in the Senate Assignments committee.
  • SB 1451 which established 5G wireless capabilities has been signed by the governor.
  • SB 1502 remains on third reading in the House with consideration to postpone. This legislation would create the Data Transparency and Privacy Protection Act adding cumbersome layers to businesses operating services on the internet.
  • SB 3291 provides regulations of unmanned aircraft systems passed the Senate unanimously and waits in the House on second reading.


16th Annual Hispanic Heritage Breakfast Set for Next Month

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

The Aurora Hispanic Heritage Advisory Board (AHHAB) will host its 16th Annual Community Breakfast at 7 a.m. on Thursday, June 14.

The annual community-wide event brings together hundreds of supporters to celebrate excellence in Aurora’s Hispanic community by honoring students and community leaders for their commitment to the City of Lights.

AAHAB will award more than $20,000 in scholarships to graduating high school seniors and current college students. In addition, awards will be presented to emerging leaders in high school and winners of the board’s elementary and middle school coloring, poster and essay contests.

Recipients of the coveted 2018 Pete Perez, Delia Basile and Maria Merced Awards will also be honored.

Individual tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at or by contacting Dee Hakala at or 630-256-3408. Discounted tables of 10 seats can be purchased for $200 by contacting Dee Hakala.

YWCA Aurora to Become the YWCA Aurora Foundation

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

Organization to Provide Funding for Aurora-Area Non-Profits  Focused on YWCA Mission

The YWCA Aurora Board of Directors today announced that it will become the YWCA Aurora Foundation later this year. The transition to a foundation will allow the YWCA Aurora to financially support the work and programs of other area non-profits aligned with the mission of the YWCA to enhance women’s economic empowerment and lead racial justice initiatives. The YWCA Aurora Foundation will be incorporated as a not for profit organization and begin its operations with more than $4 million in funds acquired from the sale of its building in 2009.

In December 2017, the YWCA Aurora board embarked on a diligent three-month process, led by YWCA Northwestern Illinois CEO Kris Kieper Machajewski, to help determine the organization’s strategic direction. This effort included internal reviews, conversations with organizational leadership and meetings in the Aurora community with business and municipal leaders.

After considerable research and evaluation, it was determined by the Board of Directors that YWCA Aurora would drive the most positive impact for the Aurora community by transitioning its model from serving as a program provider to that of a foundation to support the exceptional work of other non-profit program experts. As a result, the YWCA Aurora in its current form will be dissolved and the YWCA Aurora Foundation will be formed as a new entity.

“The YWCA Aurora Board of Directors has been an exceptional steward of the funds received from the sale of our building nearly a decade ago. Through our transition to a foundation, we will remain committed to supporting the mission of the YWCA by providing funding to area non-profits that have the ability to positively impact racial justice and women’s economic empowerment,” said Amy Baudouin, YWCA Aurora Board Chair. “We believe that by supporting those organizations best positioned to offer programming that addresses the needs of our community, we can continue to serve as a powerful social driver.”

The YWCA Northwestern Illinois has been contracted by YWCA Aurora Board of Directors to manage and administer the dissolution process and will assist in the creation of the foundation. By the end of 2018, the foundation will share its funding cycle, guidelines for support and the application process for qualified non-profits.

YWCA Aurora provides women and girls with the leadership skills necessary to achieve greater personal power and economic success; and, provides a safe forum for discussing race relations. Our mission is to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Bronze Star Recipient to Lead Memorial Day Parade

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

Lifelong Auroran, veteran and Bronze Star recipient, Sergeant First Class (SFC) Christopher Hess, has been named Grand Marshal of the 2018 Memorial Day Parade.

“SFC Hess has been in the military for nearly three decades and is still on active duty,” said Mayor Irvin, a veteran of the United States Army. “He put his own life on the line to protect our nation during multiple tours of duty and continues to serve the greater Aurora community by preparing the next generation of young military leaders.”

Born and raised in Aurora, Hess is a Class of 1985 graduate of Aurora Central Catholic High School, where he has been inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. He earned an sssociate’s degree from Waubonsee Community College and a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University.

After college, Hess enlisted into the United States Marines where he served for four years, including a tour of duty in Operation Desert Storm. Since 2001, Hess has served with the Illinois Army National Guard completing tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he earned the Bronze Star Medal for heroic achievements.

In his current role as career counselor of the Illinois National Guard Armory at East Aurora High School, Hess helps to guide the career paths of the next generation of military leaders.

“This is such an incredible honor,” said Hess when he was informed of the selection. “I’m humbled and grateful to serve my country and my community.”

Hess has received dozens of honors and recognitions, including the Bronze Star Medal, an Army Commendation Medal, the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, an Army Commendation Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Illinois Lincoln Medal of Freedom, and the National Guard Master Recruiting Badge.

An active member of the Aurora Veterans Advisory Committee, Hess is also a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Marine Corps League. He is the proud father of Emily Marie and Elizabeth Anne Hess.

SFC Hess will lead the 2018 Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 28, at noon in downtown Aurora. He will be honored at the next meeting of the Aurora City Council on Tuesday, May 22, at 6 p.m. at Aurora City Hall, 44 E. Downer Place. The parade and meeting are open to the public.

Aurora Chamber News for May 14

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018
#AuroraLeadership Academy Recap

Aurora Chamber

  In This Issue  

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

Premier Investors

Premier Investors

Member News

Aurora Chamber

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.
#AuroraLeadership Academy Recap »
Aurora University Presents Honorary Doctorate to Mayor Irvin »
Aurora Ranks as One of Best Cities to Live the American Dream »
Ill. Chamber Opens EDIE Nominations »
Earthmover Credit Union to Host BBQ for Local Man »
Bringing Leadership Awareness to the Masses »
What Service Leadership Means to Me »
Empowering Women in Leadership »
Collaborative Leadership »
A Call to Leadership – Get Involved »

Elite Members

+Intention 95.9 The River Aaron’s Above Board Indoor Environmental Accurate Personnel 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 ComEd Company 251 Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics Country Financial – West Aurora CyrusOne Do or Dye Designs Dolan & Murphy Downtown Auroran Magazine Eagle Digital Marketing Endiro Coffee First Secure Community Bank Gateway Mortgage Group Healthcare Solutions Team – Deepti Srivastava 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 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

Saffron Clothing Store
Matt Cannon
Sugar Grove
(402) 968-5721

Dunkin Donuts
Raj Patel
444 N. Route 59, Aurora
(630) 788-9200
Restaurants & Taverns

Dunkin Donuts
Raj Patel
3999 75th Street, Aurora
(630) 499-7313
Restaurants & Taverns

Calendar of Events

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, May 31, 8 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons, Aurora
Sponsored by Pure Skin Solutions

Dedication Ceremony: Fire Museum
Friday, June 1, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
53 N. Broadway, Aurora
Apple Tree Dedication @ 12 p.m.

Grand Opening: Aurora Collective
Thursday, June 7, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
675 Station Blvd, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4 p.m.

Marketing Lunch & Learn: VIA & ARCC
Thursday, June 14, 12 p.m.
2000 S. Batavia Ave, Suite 110, Geneva

Grand Opening: Telescript Pharmacy
Wednesday, June 20, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
3535 E. New York Street, Suite 117, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.

35th Anniversary: Banana Split
Wednesday, June 21, 4 – 5:30 p.m.
820 Church Road, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4:30 p.m.

Grand Opening: VivirMed
Wednesday, June 27 12:30 – 2 p.m.
630 N. Lake St., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 1 p.m.

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, June 28, 8 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora
Sponsored by North Star Credit Union

Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting: M14 Hoops
Friday, June 29 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
2414 Church Road., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 1 p.m.

Aurora Chamber Golf Classic
Thursday, July 12
Orchard Valley Golf Course
2411 West Illinois Ave, Aurora
Sponsorships Available

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


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


#AuroraLeadership Academy Recap

Friday, May 11th, 2018

We are coming up on the last of ten weeks with the 2018 Leadership Academy and I must say it has definitely been worth the while.

From leadership development, social services, cultural diversity, community sustainability, and local government, we have learned much from passionate professionals in these areas.

My biggest takeaway from these sessions has been to have obtainable goals, to be honest with myself, and to listen to others’ needs and desires. These are clues as to how you can help them be successful in their field.

Do not make any preconceived ideas or concepts about anyone. Treat everyone you meet with open arms and a smile; you will no doubt get one in return.

Genuinely listen to what other people have to say, ask questions and comment on the conversation. Be in the habit of doing good deeds for others without expecting anything in return.

Invite them to events and refer them to others that are seeking their type of business. Eventually these good deeds will come back around to you tenfold and remember: People like to do business with people they know and they trust, it’s as simple as that.

A participant in the Aurora Chamber’s 2018 #AuroraLeadership Academy, Michael Latone is a former electrical engineer from Southern Illinois University who has had a long career as an entrepreneur, field engineer for Northrop Grumman, Second City actor, residential real estate broker, and energy consultant. Due to a recent family health issue in 2011, he recently has settled in on the health and wellness industry offering TeleHealth services from 1.800MD. 

Aurora University Presents Honorary Doctorate to Mayor Irvin

Thursday, May 10th, 2018

Aurora University conferred three honorary doctorates at its 125th Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 6. Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin is one of the recipients who received a Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

“I am extremely humbled by this honor,” said Irvin. “Thank you to the Aurora University Board of Trustees and President Dr. Rebecca Sherrick for such a prestigious recognition. Aurora University is a fine institution of higher learning and a stalwart community partner. With the utmost pride, I look forward to being in the presence of the Class of 2018 Spartans and their families.”

Mayor Irvin received his honorary doctorate during the university’s Graduate Commencement Ceremony that morning along with State Representative Robert W. Pritchard. During the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony that afternoon, longtime educational psychologist Pearl H. Rieger received her honorary doctorate.

“I am pleased to recognize three leaders during our Commencement ceremonies who embody Aurora University’s core values of citizenship and continuous learning,” said Rebecca L. Sherrick, president of Aurora University. “These individuals have dedicated their lives to advancing the well-being of our society through efforts that promote the transformative power of learning. They are shining examples for our graduates and students as they begin to build lives of meaning and service.”

Honorary degrees are awarded by the Aurora University board of trustees. Hilary Brennan, AU alumna and chair, board of trustees, presented Rieger with the Doctor of Humane Letters. The Doctor of Humane Letters degree was presented to Irvin by Linnea Windel, AU alumna and member, board of trustees. The honorary degree was presented to Pritchard by Scott Palmer, AU alumnus and member, board of trustees.


Aurora Ranks as One of Best Cities to Live the American Dream

Thursday, May 10th, 2018

Once again, Aurora, Ill., has been ranked one of the top cities in country to live the American Dream.

In its annual study, SmartAsset, a personal finance company, uncovered the best places to live the American Dream by ranking the largest 257 cities in America. Aurora ranked number 4.

To find the cities where the American Dream is still alive and well, SmartAsset started with data of the 257 largest cities. The study compared diversity, inter-generational economic mobility, home-ownership rates, home values and unemployment rates — all important facts when considering the American Dream.

“It is difficult to come up with any one definition for the American Dream that every American will agree on,” said SmartAsset representatives. “For some, it means a white picket fence, a trimmed green lawn and 2.5 children. For others, it means achieving your own personal goals and dreams, regardless of your background.”

For Aurora residents, it means both of these and so much more.

“I was born here, raised here, became an attorney here and now serve as mayor of Aurora. I live the American Dream every day.” said Mayor Richard Irvin. “This past year, I’ve met so many residents in every part of our city who share the same sentiments. We are fortunate to live in a diverse community where people of all walks of life have been able to turn their dreams into reality while inspiring others to do the same.”

Aurora was also recognized as the most diverse community of the top 10 cities in the study.

Other cities in the Top 10 include: West Valley City, Utah (1st); Odessa, Texas (2nd) Midland, Texas (3rd), Aurora, Illinois (4th), Round Rock, Texas (5th), Forth Worth, Texas (6th), Aurora, Colorado (7th), San Jose, California (8th), Amarillo, Texas (9th) and Rochester, Minnesota (10th).

Ill. Chamber Opens EDIE Nominations

Thursday, May 10th, 2018

Is there an economic development project in your area that deserves recognition? Tell us about it!

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce is once again teaming up with the Illinois Economic Development Association (IEDA) to present our tenth annual awards program for economic development in Illinois – the Edies. We are excited to have Nicor sponsor the Edie Awards again and cherish this partnership over the years. Nicor is a leader in economic development in Illinois. Nicor’s longstanding commitment to northern Illinois communities has had a sustained impact on helping the state attract businesses and investment. Given Nicor’s strong engagement in Illinois, their sponsorship is a natural fit.

For a decade, the Edies have honored those who imagine, design, invest and build in Illinois, and by doing so bring jobs, growth and prosperity to our communities. We believe it is important to showcase these accomplishments – especially when they have translated into increased economic opportunity and activity for our state.

The Edies are also a great opportunity to generate positive exposure for local businesses and communities that achieved great things in 2017. Over the past years, we’ve been proud to honor a wide variety of developments throughout Illinois, including the following:

  • Manufacturing facility rehab turned glass company in Decatur
  • Tollway expansion and improvements in Downers Grove
  • Distribution centers opening in Edwardsville and Romeoville
  • Export collaboration program serving Chicago and seven surrounding counties
  • Soap factory in Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood
  • North American headquarter relocation to Schaumburg
  • Port expansion in Madison County

These projects created jobs and promoted economic development during some of the most challenging economic times Illinois employers have faced in decades.

In order to again showcase great projects in 2018, we need your help.

The Illinois Chamber and IEDA are asking for nominations from across the state for projects completed in calendar year 2017. While we have a general knowledge of projects this year, we believe that business and economic development leaders like you know best what’s happening in your communities.

The Edie Awards have 18 separate categories based on geography (City of Chicago, Metropolitan Chicago or statewide projects) and development type (manufacturing, commercial, energy, technology, transportation/distribution and other) to nominate a project. The “other” category encompasses those projects that helped transform the local economy, but simply don’t fit into one category.

An awards committee will review the nominees and determine the projects most worthy of recognition. The awards will be presented during the Illinois Chamber’s annual meeting on Thursday, Sept. 20, in Chicago.

To nominate a project, please fill out the nomination form and email it by 5 p.m. CDT on Friday, June 15, to Katie Stonewater, Illinois Chamber of Commerce,

Any inquiries and questions can also be directed to the above email address.

Why are we doing this?

We believe Illinois is a great place to grow a business and we want to recognize those companies that chose to locate, expand and contribute to the economy in our state.

We hope you’ll take the time to nominate a worthy project, or let someone know about the opportunity to help celebrate their success.

Every year we enjoy this chance to recognize those who are creating economic development and jobs in our state – please help us find those who deserve our applause.

For more information, visit the Edie Awards page on the Illinois Chamber’s website.

Earthmover Credit Union to Host BBQ for Local Man

Thursday, May 10th, 2018

Earthmover Credit Union is selling 5 B’s BBQ tickets to help raise funds for Chad Hornback, 28 of Sandwich. The drive-thru event will take place on Wednesday, May 30, from 4:30 to 6:30 at the Yorkville branch located at 1008 N Bridge St, Yorkville. Tickets are $14 and include: BBQ pork chops, ½ chicken, or a combo meal. You can purchase tickets at any Earthmover location or at the event. You can visit or call (630) 844-4950 for more information.

Chad was recently diagnosed with Stage 3 Adenocarcinoma in his esophagus after a routine doctor’s appointment. In March, Chad went through five weeks of Chemo and radiation. Chad will undergo surgery April 27 and will not be able to work. All donations will go towards Chad’s medical needs.

EarthMover Credit Union is a not-for-profit and member owned financial institution that has been in operation for 60 years. Open to the community. There are five branches conveniently located in Yorkville, Montgomery, Oswego, Aurora, and North Aurora. Visit or search EarthMover Credit Union on Facebook for more information.