Archive for January, 2019

Illinois Department of Revenue Set to Accept Tax Returns for 2018

Sunday, January 27th, 2019

State tax returns will be accepted starting next week. The Department encourages taxpayers and their preparers to submit their returns electronically, noting that electronic returns are processed faster and can draw faster tax refunds for taxpayers. The new tax forms will be published on Monday, Jan. 28. A taxpayer may request that any refund be directly deposited into his or her bank account.

Leader Durkin, House Republicans Introduce Fair Maps Amendment

Sunday, January 27th, 2019

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin announced this week that he, along with the entire House Republican caucus, has filed HJRCA 10, a constitutional amendment for the independent drawing of legislative maps.

“Governor Pritzker has urged the legislature to create an independent commission to draw legislative maps, so House Republicans are proposing to do just that,” said Leader Durkin. “Not only are we answering the Governor’s call on this issue, but we are also prepared to provide the majority of the votes required to pass this out of the House and on to the Senate. So I call on my Democratic colleagues to join us and Governor Pritzker in supporting the independent drawing of legislative maps and pass HJRCA 10 this legislative session.”

HJRCA 10 would establish an independent commission, comprised of 11 members, charged with proposing a legislative map. The commission would be required to hold public hearings both before and after releasing a proposed plan.

The map would need to receive the affirmative vote of at least seven commissioners, including two from each political party whose candidate for Governor received the most and second-most votes and two commissioners not affiliated with each such political party.

If the commission fails to adopt a new map by June 30 of the year following the decennial census, the Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court and the next senior Justice, not of the same party as the Chief Justice, will be required to appoint a Special Commissioner for Redistricting that must adopt and file a map by August 31 of the same year.

Leader Durkin’s Fair Maps proposal quickly won the endorsement of the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board, which stated: “The makeup of the Illinois Legislature — and of every state legislature — should reflect the will of the voters, not party bosses.”

Food Pantry Names New Exec

Friday, January 25th, 2019

Cat (Catherine) Battista has been selected to be the new executive director of Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry.

An attorney by training, Battista has served the people of Kane County in both a professional and volunteer capacity for more than a decade.

Prior to joining the Food Pantry, she served in a leadership position at CASA Kane County, advocating for the rights of abused and neglected children where she worked closely with Aurora area social service agencies. Additionally, Battista worked as a litigator, defending the rights of the elderly against abusive and neglectful nursing homes and volunteered at Aurora area legal clinics as a pro bono attorney.

She served on the Kane County Board as a commission member and helped to advise and lead the county to the implementation of a paperless case management system for the 16th Judicial Circuit.

Battista and her husband, Jeff, reside in St. Charles with their three children. Her husband owns and operates an Aurora-based electrical company.

Food Pantry Board President Lynn Flores adds, “We are confident that Cat’s experience, passion and commitment to our mission will help our organization continue to thrive and grow as it meets the ongoing needs of the community.”

Cat succeeds Marilyn Weisner who has served as AAIFP executive director for 10 years and who will remain until the end of February to ensure a smooth transition.

#EconomicPulse, Business Registration, More from #AuroraChamber

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

We learned last week of former Mayor Thomas J. Weisner’s passing.

Aurora Chamber

  In This Issue  

4th Annual Economic Pulse »
Business Registration Program »
Leadership Academy »
College & Career Fair »
Public Policy Updates »
Premier Investors »
Welcome New Members »
Elite Members »
Calendar of Events »
Member News »
Henning Graduates »
Did You Know? »
Spotlight On Membership »
About The Aurora Chamber »

4TH ANNUAL ECONOMIC PULSE

Economic Pulse

CITY DISCUSSES BUSINESS REGISTRATION PROGRAM

The Aurora Business Registration Program is a proposal being reviewed by City Council that will have all current and future businesses operating within Aurora submit a completed registration form to the City of Aurora. For more information or to register for the upcoming discussion, visit our website.

LEADERSHIP ACADEMY REGISTRATION OPENS

Leadership Academy

Applications are now available for the 2019 Aurora Chamber Leadership Academy that begins on Friday, March 1.

To read prior participants’ experiences in the program, visit our blog.

JOIN US FOR REGIONAL COLLEGE, CAREER FAIR

West Aurora is organizing a College & Career Fair for area high school students in Kane, DuPage, and Kendall counties on Friday, March 1, 2019, from 8 to 11 a.m. If you are interested in participating, information may be found at www.bit.ly/wamarch1.

Public Policy Updates

Governor JB Pritzker was sworn in Monday, Jan. 14, as the 43rd Governor of Illinois along with the other five Executive Branch officers. During his speech, the Governor shared his vision to work together to create boundless opportunities and fulfill the state’s possibility and promise. The Governor made clear that he will move swiftly on priorities for working people so that the government works for the people and will confront the state’s deep challenges.
Other Recent Policy News
Senate Democrats Announce Leadership Positions »
Senate Republicans Announce Leadership Positions »
Wheeler, Wehrli, Batinick Namedx to House GOP Leadership »
Gov. Pritzker Inaugural Address Lays Out Agenda »
New Year, New Laws »
Pritzker Makes Personnel Announcements »
101st General Assembly to Begin »
Taxes, Infrastructure Proposals Discussed »
Ill. GA Reduces Govt. Duplication »
New Illinois Laws to Take Effect on Jan. 1 »
Nov. 30: This Week in Illinois in Springfield »
2018 Midterm Election Recap »
This Week in the General Assembly »
Ill. House Subcommittees Hold Joint Hearing on Gaming Issues »
Highlights of Tax Reform for Businesses »

Premier Investors

Premier Investors

Welcome New Members

Burger King – Butterfield Road
Jake Smith
1378 Butterfield Road, Aurora
(815) 444-2009
Restaurants & Taverns

Anderson Animal Shelter – North Aurora
Dale Hazelwood
180 N. Randall Road, North Aurora
(847) 697-2880
Community-Based Organization

Elite Members

 95.9 The River      Aaron’s      Above Board Indoor Environmental      Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.      Aurora Bank & Trust      Aurora Collective      Aurora University      Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston      Barbara Geiger – Keller Williams Experience      Beans Greens Proteins      Caterpillar, Inc.      City Segment      ComEd      Company 251      Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics      Country Financial – West Aurora      Dolan & Murphy      Endiro Coffee      Energy Bot      ERC Delivery      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.      Luke Singh – Country Financial      Magnetrol International, Inc.      MedCom Group      Midwest Coach Limousine, Inc.      Mitutoyo America Corporation      Mooney & Thomas P.C.       New York Life Insurance Company and Nylife Securities, LLC- Duckie Huynh      Obregon Medical Clinic      Old Second National Bank      OnLight Aurora      Painters District Council 30      Paramount Arts Centre      Pilmer Real Estate      Plum Landing Retirement Community      Prairie Technology Solutions Group, LLC      Presence Mercy Medical Center      Quality Logo Products      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      Stonebridge Country Club      T-Mobile     Tempur-Pedic Stores      Thoughtwave Software & Solutions      Two Brothers Roundhouse      Valley Fastener Group, LLC      VivirMED, LLC      The Voice      Waubonsee Community College      Weldstar Company      WSPY      Woodforest National Bank      World Finance Corporation 

Calendar of Events

2019 Economic Pulse Lunch
Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 11:30 a.m.
Stonebridge Country Club, 2705 Stonebridge Blvd., Aurora
Sponsored by NorthStar Credit Union, Konen Insurance, and Invest Aurora

Grand Opening: Randal Crossings Townhomes
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
1279 Comiskey Ave., North Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.

Burger King
Wednesday, Feb. 14, 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
1378 Butterfield Rd., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 9:30 a.m.

Leadership Academy
Applications Due
Friday, Feb. 22, 2019
Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce
43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

State of the City Address
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Reception @ 4 p.m.
Mayor’s Address @ 6 p.m.
Sponsorships Available

Member News

Bill McSkimming, president of River Front Chrysler Jeep Dodge, proudly announces the dealership’s 30th anniversary. In 1989, McSkimming opened the doors to his Chrysler Plymouth store then located at 1261 N. Lake Street in Aurora. The dealership moved to its current 36,000 square foot, state of the art location in the North Aurora Auto Mall on Easter weekend 1996. Expansion has taken place with the acquisition of Jeep in 1994 and Dodge in 2009 and Chrysler Corporation’s transformation of Ram into a separate line. This growth and increase in available inventory necessitate the need for use of nearby storage lots.
2-1-1 Info Hotline Now Available in Kane »
AID President O’Shea Retires after 20 Years of Service »
Historical Society Creates New History Awards »
Free STEAM Classes Now Available to Batavia, North Aurora Students »
VNA’s Windel Inducted into American Academy of Nursing »
VNA Health Care Receives Proclamation for 100 Years of Service »
Employers Should be Aware of W-2 Scam, Protect Employee Information »
Tanner House to Sparkle with Holiday Decor »
Police, Fire Subject of Aurora Historical Society 2019 Calendar »
EEI Announces Two Junior Engineers »
Congratulations, West Aurora School District 129! »
Can You Save with an Association Health Plan? »
Volunteers Sought to Serve on City of Aurora Boards, Commissions »
Save the Date: March 1 – College & Career Fair »
Aurora Police First in State to Join ‘Neighbors’ App »

HENNING GRADUATES FROM WORKFORCE FELLOWSHIP

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation today announced Joseph B. Henning, IOM, CAE, president and CEO of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce graduated from its premier business leadership program. The inaugural Business Leads Fellowship Program trained and equipped leaders from state and local chambers of commerce with resources, access to experts, and a network of peers to build their capacity to address the most pressing education and workforce challenges. More information is available on our blog.

Did You Know?

Last fiscal year, the #AuroraChamber website saw more than four million hits from nearly 350,000 visitors. One of the most popular destinations was the Member Directory with nearly 275,000 hits – an average of nearly 400 hits per member. Is your directory listing up to date? If you see something that needs to be changed or added, contact Reba Osborne, director of membership, for assistance.

SPOTLIGHT ON MEMBERSHIP

The #AuroraChamber has a number of videos online to assist you in using your member profile to your advantage. Current videos include:

How to Pay Invoices Online
How to Post a Hot Deal
How to Add a Job Posting
How to Update Your Personal Profile
How to Update Your Company Profile
How to Manage and Post Events

About The Aurora Chamber

The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is a private, not-for-profit, membership-driven organization comprised of more than 700 members representing nearly 40,000 employees. Our mission is be the catalyst for business success by providing leadership that facilitates the creation of a prosperous regional economy and effective advocacy for our members.

Not a Chamber member? Learn more about the benefits of membership.
Already a Chamber member? Make the most of your membership today.

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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

River Front Celebrates 30 Years

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

Bill McSkimming, president of River Front Chrysler Jeep Dodge, proudly announces the dealership’s 30th anniversary.

In 1989, McSkimming opened the doors to his Chrysler Plymouth store then located at 1261 N. Lake Street in Aurora.   The dealership moved to its current 36,000 square foot, state of the art location in the North Aurora Auto Mall on Easter weekend 1996.  Expansion has taken place with the acquisition of Jeep in 1994 and Dodge in 2009 and Chrysler Corporation’s transformation of Ram into a separate line.  This growth and increase in available inventory necessitate the need for use of nearby storage lots.

McSkimming, has been in the automobile business since 1970. He believes River Front’s success is due to his staff in management, sales, service, parts and office staff. “One of our employees has been with us since 1990. Others have been here for 20 plus years.  There is a cohesiveness that exists from department to department.  The teams work together with the common goal of satisfying our customer’s needs. Our employees enjoy what they do and it shows.” He added, “Chrysler builds the vehicles, and for 30 years River Front has been delivering the experience.  It’s been our mantra and it will continue to shape our future.

River Front Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram was recently awarded the Chrysler Customer First Award and for several years running, has earned an  A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau.  McSkimming, states that, “Our customers are our best referrals.  In every sales meeting I remind the crew that if we keep our customers  satisfied, they’ll come back— for the excellence of the product we sell and the unparalleled service we provide. And, in turn they will share their experience with family, friends, and neighbors.

Henning Graduates from U.S. Chamber Foundation Education and Workforce Fellowship Program

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

Fellowship Provided State and Local Chambers with Opportunities to Engage Nationally on Critical Education and Workforce Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation today announced Joseph B. Henning, IOM, CAE, president and CEO of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce graduated from its premier business leadership program. The inaugural Business Leads Fellowship Program trained and equipped leaders from state and local chambers of commerce with resources, access to experts, and a network of peers to build their capacity to address the most pressing education and workforce challenges.

“The Aurora Chamber has been involved in education attainment and workforce development for many years,” Henning explains. “This Fellowship gave me the opportunity to not only learn from national experts, but also to share and gain information from other chamber professionals who are involved.”

“As clearly displayed throughout this program, state and local leaders know better than anyone the critical link between education and economic development,” says Cheryl Oldham, senior vice president of the Center for Education and Workforce. “Not only did the Fellows gain a network of peers and experts in the field, the program is designed to help these leaders find opportunities to develop initiatives that will continue to advance the growth of their local economy and put education policy into practice.”

Following a competitive application and selection process, Henning was selected along with 34 other state and local chamber executives to participate in the inaugural class. The four-month program, which ended this week, covered the entire talent pipeline, including early childhood education, K-12, higher education, and workforce development.

Upon completion, Business Leads Fellows join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s dedicated network of 200 chambers of commerce and statewide associations from around the nation who regularly engage on education and workforce initiatives.

Given the overwhelming interest in the program, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host a second cohort in spring 2019.

For a full list of participants in the Business Leads inaugural class, visit the U.S. Chamber Foundation website.

Senate Democrats Announce Leadership Positions

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

The Senate Democrats will continue to be led by Senator John Cullerton. Senate President Cullerton announced the following leadership team:

  • Senator Kimberly Lightford, Majority Leader
  • Senator Terry Link, Assistant Majority Leader
  • Senator Anthony Munoz, Assistant Majority Leader
  • Senator Don Harmon, Assistant Majority Leader
  • Senator Iris Martinez, Assistant Majority Leader
  • Senator David Koehler, Assistant Majority Leader
  • Senator Maggie Hunter, Majority Caucus Chair
  • Senator Suzanne Collins, Majority Caucus Whip
  • Senator Martin Sandoval, Majority Caucus Whip
  • Senator Linda Holmes, Majority Caucus Whip

Majority Leader Lightford replaces former Majority Leader James Clayborne who announced his retirement last spring and did not seek re-election to the Senate.

Senate Republicans Announce Leadership Positions

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

The Senate Republicans will continue to be led by Senator Bill Brady. Leader Brady announced the following leadership team:

  • Senator Dave Syverson, Deputy Republican Leader
  • Senator Sue Rezin, Assistant Republican Leader
  • Senator Chapin Rose, Assistant Republican Leader
  • Senator Jason Barickman, Assistant Republican Leader
  • Senator Neil Anderson, Assistant Republican Leader
  • Senator Dale Righter, Senate Republican Caucus Chair
  • Senator Jim Oberweis, Senate Republican Whip
  • Senator Jil Tracy, Senate Republican Whip

Senator Anderson is the only new appointment to the Senate Republican Leadership.

Wheeler, Wehrli, Batinick Namedx to House GOP Leadership

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

The House Republicans will continue to be led by Representative Jim Durkin. Leader Durkin announced the following leadership team:

  • Representative Dan Brady, Deputy Republican Leader
  • Representative Tom Demmer, Deputy Republican Leader
  • Representative Avery Bourne, Assistant Republican Leader
  • Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer, Assistant Republican Leader
  • Representative Norine Hammond, Assistant Republican Leader
  • Representative Michael McAuliffe, Assistant Republican Leader
  • Representative Grant Wehrli, Assistant Republican Leader
  • Representative Keith Wheeler, Assistant Republican Leader
  • Representative Tim Butler, Republican Conference Chair
  • Representative Mark Batinick, Republican Floor Leader

Representative Avery Bourne is set to become the youngest Republican Leader ever and other new leaders include C.D. Davidsmeyer, Tim Butler and Mark Batinick. Representatives Wheeler and Wehrli were appointed to leadership posts last year after the early retirements of Representatives Bellock and Hays.

Gov. Pritzker Inaugural Address Lays Out Agenda

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

Governor JB Pritzker was sworn in Monday, Jan. 14, as the 43rd Governor of Illinois along with the other five Executive Branch officers. During his speech, the Governor shared his vision to work together to create boundless opportunities and fulfill the state’s possibility and promise. The Governor made clear that he will move swiftly on priorities for working people so that the government works for the people and will confront the state’s deep challenges.

Most of the promises made during the inaugural speech were promises made during the campaign. These include:

  • Revitalizing the “hollowed out” state government;
  • Promoting policies that support paid parental leave;
  • Promoting policies that support affordable child care;
  • Creating a progressive income tax;
  • Changing the regressive property and sales tax;
  • Delivering high speed broadband internet coverage to everyone;
  • Funding a Capital bill;
  • Signing Illinois as a member of the U.S. Climate Alliance which upholds the goals and ideals of the Paris Climate Accord;
  • Instituting a $15 minimum wage; and,
  • Legalizing the sale of cannabis.