Your #AuroraChamber Enews

January 11th, 2019

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

Aurora Chamber

  In This Issue  

In Memoriam »
Economic Pulse »
Registration Roundtable Discussion »
Public Policy Updates »
Premier Investors »
Welcome New Members »
Elite Members »
Calendar of Events »
Member News »
Did You Know? »
Spotlight On Membership »
About The Aurora Chamber »

In Memoriam: Mayor Thomas J. Weisner

It was with sadness and mourning that we learned last week of former Mayor Thomas J. Weisner’s passing. The 57th mayor of Aurora, Weisner succumbed after a long-fought battle with cancer. His wife of 46 years, Marilyn, and his family were at his side.

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Economic Pulse

Economic Pulse


The Aurora Business Registration Program is a proposal being reviewed by City Council that will have all current and future businesses operating within Aurora to submit a completed registration form to the City of Aurora.

Read More

Public Policy Updates

On Wednesday, Jan. 9, the new 101st General Assembly officially gets sworn in. However, before the new General Assembly is sworn in, the current General Assembly will meet for its final two days of session (known as ‘lame duck’). In all, there is nothing major expected to be brought up during the lame-duck session. While the legislature gets sworn in on Jan. 9, the Governor and other constitutional officers are not sworn in until Jan. 14.
Other Recent Policy News

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

Inkd Apparel
Ben Dunn
140 Ambassador Drive, Suite 132, Naperville
(630) 615-6575

Oakhurst Liquors
Steve Dellis
2681 E. New York Street, Unit 109, Aurora
(630) 229-0098
Liquor Store

Advocate Financial Partners
Chris Yokley
2000 W. Galena Blvd., Suite 306, Aurora
(815) 274-1491

Foxmoor Veterinary Clinic, LLC
Ashley Anderson
2258 Ogden Avenue, Aurora
(630) 851-1312

SER Central States
Jose Zambrano
31 W. Downer Place, Suite 308, Aurora
(708) 715-5300
Workforce Development

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      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

Jump Start Your Member Profile Workshop
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 8:30 a.m.
Chamber offices

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

Member News

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 »

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.


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

Aurora Business Registration Roundtable Scheduled

January 8th, 2019

The Aurora Business Registration Program is a proposal being reviewed by City Council that will have all current and future businesses operating within Aurora to submit a completed registration form to the City of Aurora.

Business operations can involve the use and storing of chemicals, can have fire/smoke alarms, and can have licensed firearms on the premises. When this information is not available to our public safety personnel, it’s is not only a potential safety concern for public safety staff, it can pose a similar concern to business employees and to the general public.

The ABRP will capture this (and limited economic development related) data that will be shared with designated City staff so that they are better informed and equipped to provide services to our business owners.

The Aurora Regional Chamber’s Aurora First® in partnership with City of Aurora is hosting a roundtable discussion on Wednesday, Jan. 23, at the Chamber offices. The 90-minute roundtable will begin at 3 p.m.

Space is limited and registration/RSVP may be made at

In Memoriam: Mayor Thomas J. Weisner

January 6th, 2019

It was with sadness and mourning that we learned last week of former Mayor Thomas J. Weisner’s passing. The 57thmayor of Aurora, Weisner succumbed after a long-fought battle with cancer. His wife of 46 years, Marilyn, and his family were at his side.

Born and raised in Batavia, he attended Marmion Academy. It was at this time that he had stated he began to appreciate the many opportunities Aurora offered. He eventually chose Aurora as his home.

He and Marilyn served a number of years in the Solomon Islands with the Peace Corps.

After serving various roles in the City of Aurora, he began his first of three terms as mayor in 2005.

“I met Mayor Weisner when I began at the Chamber in July 2005,” explains Joseph B. Henning, IOM, CAE, and president and CEO of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce. “It was an honor to have worked with him and his team throughout the years on such beneficial projects for the city.”

“From Pathways to Prosperity to business recruitment and retention,” Henning continues, “Mayor Weisner was committed to making Aurora better and better. His ability to work with state and national leaders as well as local business and community representatives was a great example of collaborative work.”

“It is without a doubt,” Henning states, “Mayor Weisner left his mark on the community. History will forever appreciate his foresight while enjoying RiverEdge Park and other community amenities as well as his intense focus on infrastructure and public safety.”

“On behalf of the Aurora Chamber Board of Directors, members, and staff, our sincere and heartfelt condolences go out to Marilyn and his family,” Henning concludes.

In addition to Marilyn, Mayor Weisner is survived by their son Tony (Allison) and granddaughters Olivia and Zoe. He was preceded in death by his son Thaddeus, who died from complications of cerebral palsy in 2006.

A public wake will be held from 2 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10, and again on Friday, Jan. 11, at New England Congregational Church, 406 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora.

A public memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 14, at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. A private burial will take place at Marywood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Weisner Foundation or the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry. Contributions can be mailed to P.O. Box 2602, Aurora, IL 60507-2602.


2-1-1 Info Hotline Now Available in Kane

January 5th, 2019

Just as you dial 9-1-1 for emergencies, individuals can call 2-1-1 in Kane County and be connected to a live specialist, any time of the day or night, to provide information and referral to community resources.

With more than 1,000 government, nonprofit, and faith-based organizations providing much-needed services throughout Kane County, it can be overwhelming and confusing to know who does what and exactly where to start to get help needed. 2-1-1 is a free, centralized, anonymous place to start with a specialist on hand to help sort out the options.

No computer or internet is required. Translation is available in more than 150 languages and callers of all ages can use this service as often as needed.

AID President O’Shea Retires after 20 Years of Service

January 5th, 2019

Since beginning her tenure as AID president/CEO in 1998, Lynn O’Shea has tirelessly advocated for the positive growth of the Association for Individual Development (AID).

O’Shea actively worked with legislators by advocating for best industry practices and improved funding. Her proactive nature influenced public opinion and support for individuals with diverse disabilities and mental health needs.

She expanded AID programs and services to multiple counties throughout Northern Illinois. More than 5,500 individuals now receive services thanks to this expansion. To serve new clients,
O’Shea prudently managed resources — most recently exemplified by the near-completion of a $2.5 million capital campaign. This campaign eliminates mortgages and reroutes funds to programs and services.

O’Shea is succeeded by Lore Baker who assumed the role of AID president/CEO on Jan. 1.

New Year, New Laws

January 5th, 2019

Last Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, 253 new laws went into effect into Illinois.  The complete list may be found here.  Below are some key pieces that employers should be aware of.

HB 1595/P.A. 100-1003 (Stuart/Haine) provides for reasonable break time (instead of “unpaid break time each day”) during the first year after the child’s birth each time the employee needs to express milk. The break time may run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee and an employer may not reduce an employee’s compensation for time used for the purpose of expressing milk or nursing a baby. An employer shall provide reasonable break time as needed by the employee unless to do so would create an undue hardship as defined by the Illinois Human Rights Act.

HB 2617/P.A. 100-1102 (Gabel/Murphy) amends the Illinois Insurance Code to require a policy of accident or health insurance to provide coverage for medically necessary expenses for standard fertility preservation services when a necessary medical treatment may directly or indirectly cause iatrogenic infertility to an enrollee. Prohibits a policy from imposing a deductible, coinsurance, copayment, or any other cost-sharing requiring on coverage for contraceptives and does not apply to coverage of voluntary male sterilization procedures to the extent that such coverage would disqualify a high-deductible health plan from eligibility for a health savings account.

HB 4795/P.A. 100-0759 (Demmer/Syverson) defines “substance use disorder”, and removes certain terms and their definitions. Requires Illinois DHS to encourage all health and disability insurance programs to include substance use disorder treatment as a covered service and to use evidence-based best practice criteria as maintained in administrative rule and required in P.A. 99-0480 in determining the necessity for such services and continued stay.

SB 2826/P.A. 100-0714 (Morrison/Olson) amends the Human Rights act to include status as a person protected under the Protective Orders Article of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963, the Stalking No Contact Order Act, and the Civil No Contact Order Act to the “order of protection status”.

HB 4275/P.A. 100-0658 (Andrade/Steans) amends the Physical Fitness Services Act by removing the arbitrary cap on how much gyms can charge for membership.

HB 4743/P.A. 100-1140 (Ford/Lightford) amends the Equal Pay Act of 2003. Provides that no employer may discriminate between employees by paying wages to an African-American employee at a rate less than the rate at which the employer pays wages to another employee who is not African-American for the same or substantially similar work on a job that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions.

HB 5253/P.A. 100-0688 (Sente/Althoff) amends the Illinois Procedure Act to require state agencies to issue an economic impact analysis when proposing new rules or amendments that affect small businesses.

SB 2999/P.A. 100-1094 (Van Pelt/Conyears-Ervin) amends the Wage Payment and Collection Act to require an employer to reimburse an employee for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee directly related to services performed for the employer. The expenditure must be within the scope of employment. An employer is not responsible for losses due to an employee’s own negligence, losses due to normal wear, or losses due to theft unless the theft was the result of the employer’s negligence. If an employer has a written expense reimbursement policy that establishes specifications or guidelines for necessary expenditures, then the employer is not liable for the portion of the expenditure amount that exceeds the specifications or guidelines of the policy.

SB 3285/P.A. 100-1084 (Sims/Bristow) this new law creates the Illinois Home Grown Business Opportunity Act. Provides that the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity shall develop an economic plan to assist businesses and municipalities located geographically close to bordering states.

SB 3527/P.A. 100-0629 (Stadelman/Gordon-Booth)  this law amends the Illinois Income Tax Act and in a section concerning a credit for qualified expenditures incurred in the restoration and preservation of a qualified historic structure located in a River Edge Redevelopment Zone, provides that the total amount of such expenditures (i) must equal $5,000 or more and (ii) must exceed the adjusted basis of the qualified historic structure on the first day the qualified rehabilitation plan begins (currently the total amount of such expenditures (i) must equal $5,000 or more and (ii) must exceed 50% of the purchase price of the property).

SB 3547/P.A. 100-1101(T. Cullerton/Chapa LaVia) Service Member Employment Creates the Service-Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act concerning matters relevant to the employment rights of service-members, including employment protections, additional benefits for public employee members of a reserve component, prohibitions on discrimination, a notice of rights and duties, violations, enforcement, remedies, and rulemaking.

Pritzker Makes Personnel Announcements

January 5th, 2019

Before the New Year, Governor-elect Pritzker made a few personnel accouterments, including the announcement of three deputy governors.   Former Comptroller Dan Hynes, current State Representative Christian Mitchell (D – Chicago) and current President of the Chicago Park District Board Jesse Ruiz will all serve as Deputy Governors.

The Governor-elect has also filled three department agency directors.  Former General and Republican State Representative David Harris from Arlington Heights will head up the Department of Revenue, former Democrat State Senator John Sullivan will head up the Department of Agriculture, and current regional general manager for Uber Midwest Erin Guthrie will serve as director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Rounding out the remaining announcements: Ann Spillane, previously chief of staff for Attorney General Lisa Madigan, will serve as general counsel; Alexis Sturm will serve as Director of Governor’s Office of Management and Budget; and, Nikki Budzinski will serve as senior adviser.

Additional personnel announcements will be made on a rolling basis.

101st General Assembly to Begin

January 5th, 2019

On Wednesday, Jan. 9, the new 101st General Assembly officially gets sworn in.  However, before the new General Assembly is sworn in, the current General Assembly will meet for its final two days of session (known as ‘lame duck’).  In all, there is nothing major expected to be brought up during the lame-duck session.  While the legislature gets sworn in on Jan. 9, the Governor and other constitutional officers are not sworn in until Jan. 14.

The recent November election coupled with the high turnover of legislators in the previous few years has provided a lot of changes in the makeup of the General Assembly.  Many key business allies and long-serving icons are departing.  In all, 46 new members of the General Assembly will be beginning to serve their first full term upon swearing in.  New members who will be serving the Aurora region include:


  • Laura Ellman (D – Naperville) defeated GOP Senator Michael Connelly in the general election.

The total makeup of the 101st Senate will be 40 Democrats to 19 Republicans.


  • Amy Grant (R- Wheaton) will replace outgoing GOP Rep. Jeanne Ives.
  • Karina Villa (D – West Chicago) will replace outgoing GOP Rep. Mike Fortner.
  • Dan Ugaste (R – Geneva) will replace outgoing GOP Rep. Steve Andersson.
  • Jeff Keicher (R – Sycamore) is replacing outgoing GOP Rep. Robert Pritchard.
  • Anne Stave-Murray (D – Naperville) defeated GOP Rep. David Olsen in the 2018 general election.

The composition of the 101st House will be 74 Democrats to 44 Republicans, resulting in Speaker Madigan’s largest supermajority since he became Speaker.

Historical Society Creates New History Awards

December 21st, 2018

Two rooms included in the Tanner House Museum holiday open houses have been named recipients of a new history award from the Aurora Historical Society.   They are the Kitchen, which features homemade gingerbread and dried fruit decorations, and the Upstairs Sitting Room, which depicts a Victorian-era matron on a walk through a snowy park with playful children and mischievous dogs.

The “Victoria” award, given for the first time in 2018, recognizes rooms that capture some aspect of history especially well, according to Tanner House docent coordinator Karen Blee Nickels, who came up with the idea.

“Of course we still have the Favorite Room award,” she said, referring to the balloting by visitors to the house throughout the holiday season.  “People have a lot of fun, and sometimes a lot of difficulty, choosing their favorite room.  It’s a big part of the program.”

But the program guidelines encourage freedom in interpreting the holidays, according to Nickels.  This year, for instance, one room features a spaceship arriving at a dollhouse, carrying tiny space creatures bearing even tinier gifts.  Another shows a modern New Year’s Eve scene.   The Victoria awards will be a tip of the hat to the late-Victorian era of the house.

The awards in both categories are entirely for bragging rights, Nickels said.  There are no trophies or monetary rewards.

Rachel Rose Bee of Aurora designed the kitchen and created the scale-model Tanner House using an authentic gingerbread recipe.  She hung garlands festooned with citrus fruits and apples which she oven-dried over several days.   Patti Baroni, also of Aurora and a docent at the museum, used her collection of antique German dolls to create the starry-evening tableau.

Tanner House Holidays open houses are scheduled for every Friday from 4pm-7pm, and every Sunday and Wednesday from 1-4pm through January 30.  Admission is free, although donations are appreciated.  The museum is located at 304 Oak Avenue, the corner of Oak and Cedar, in the historic Tanner neighborhood on Aurora’s west side.  After December 30 the house will be closed until June except for scheduled groups.  Call 630-906-0650.

More information is available online at or on Facebook at aurorahistory.

Free STEAM Classes Now Available to Batavia, North Aurora Students

December 20th, 2018

Changes have been made to the Ripple Effect program to expand accessibility to both Batavia and North Aurora students, ages 8 to 12. Instead of being held at the Batavia elementary schools, all classes are now being held at Water Street Studios in downtown Batavia with sessions available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 5 to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 to 10 a.m. Online registration is open for all sessions running in 2019, January through April.

Ripple Effect is a free STEAM course that combines STEM topics with art. The three-week course, which explores dendrites and fractals, is provided by Water Street Studios and is generously funded by The Dunham Fund. It is completely free to Batavia and North Aurora students.

The course meets weekly for three weeks. Families may choose the three-week session that fits their calendar best. Parents should visit the Water Street Studios website for more information and to register online.