CFFRV Seeks Director of Development

March 22nd, 2019

Are you highly organized, detailed, and creative?

Do you thrive in situations where you can connect with individuals in your community?

Are you passionate about promoting philanthropy and providing exceptional service?

You could be our new Director of Development. 

Click here to read the full job description and application details. We look forward to hearing from you!

Rich Harvest Farms to Host 2019 Western Junior

March 22nd, 2019

Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois, will host the Western Golf Association’s 102nd Western Junior on June 17-20.
The annual championship features an international field of 156 top junior players, all vying to win the country’s oldest national junior golf championship.

First held by the Western Golf Association in 1914, the Western Junior has served as a proving ground for many future PGA TOUR stars, including past champions Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan and Jim Furyk. Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar also have competed in the Western Junior. The event was not played for several years during World War I and World War II.

The Western Junior has been played in more than 15 states and at several prestigious Chicagoland golf clubs. The event was played last year at Evanston Golf Club in Skokie, Illinois, and was won by Jeff Doty of Carmel, Indiana.

Rich Harvest Farms first hosted the Western Junior in 2003, when Brady Schnell posted a 72-hole total of 2-over-par 290 to claim the title. That remains the record for highest winning score since the Western Junior switched from a match play format to a 72-hole stroke play event in 1999.

“We’re excited to bring the Western Junior to such a distinguished venue as Rich Harvest Farms,” said Vince Pellegrino, Western Golf Association senior vice president of tournaments. “The layout of this course should again prove to be a true challenge for our entire field of exceptional junior players.”

Among those expected to be in this year’s field are: Vanderbilt verbal commit and 2018 U.S. Amateur match play qualifier Jackson Van Paris of Pinehurst, North Carolina; Rolex Junior All-American Alexander Yang of Carlsbad, California; and Arizona State verbal commit Jeewon Park of South Korea.

Designed by owner and Western Golf Association Director Jerry Rich, Rich Harvest Farms was rated fifth “Best New Private Course” by Golf Digest in 1999. In designing the course, Rich drew upon his background as an avid golfer who has played many of the world’s finest courses.

“I am thrilled to once again host the best junior golfers in the world,” Rich said. “It’s all about growing the game and elevating junior golf tournaments to the level of professional ones. With the way junior golfers play today, you’d think you’re watching members of the PGA TOUR!”

Rich Harvest Farms also hosted the WGA’s 2015 Western Amateur, won by Dawson Armstrong in one of the most dramatic finishes in the championship’s storied history. On the 20th hole,

Armstrong closed out the final match against reigning PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Aaron Wise by holing a 20-yard bunker shot for eagle.

“Mr. Rich has been a loyal supporter of our championships and of the Evans Scholars program,” Pellegrino noted. “We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to return to Rich Harvest Farms for another Western Golf Association championship.”

Attendance and parking for the Western Junior are free. For more information, visit www.thewesternjunior.com.

House GOP Lawmakers Urge Colleagues: ‘Stop Ignoring Tax Realities’

March 22nd, 2019

State Representatives Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) and Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) spoke at a Capitol press conference on Wednesday to call for an end to the barrage of tax increases that earned Illinois the new title of “highest tax burden state in the nation.”

“As legislators, it is our duty and obligation to inject some realism into the debates that happen here,” Demmer said. “We can’t simply ignore that we have the highest taxpayer burden in the nation, and we can’t ignore the fact that people are leaving Illinois in record numbers. We can’t ignore that better opportunities and economic growth is occurring in states all around us. We need to get serious about making some changes to how Illinois does business, and provide meaningful tax relief to individuals. We need to provide better opportunities for families and make Illinois a place where jobs and investments grow.”

“One of the reasons I ran for office is because I’ve seen my friends, family members, neighbors, local businesses and my constituents leave Illinois for cheaper living and less regulations,” Windhorst added. “The reason people are leaving is because it is too expensive to live here and do business here. When it comes to state and local taxes, our citizens are maxed out.”

The statements from the Deputy Republican Leader from northwestern Illinois and the freshman member from southern Illinois came in reaction to a WalletHub study which found Illinois has the highest overall tax burden in the nation. Illinois’ median tax rate is 14.9%, while the national average is 10.76%. Illinois’ overall ranking in taxpayer friendliness is #49 in the nation when the cost of living adjustment is taken into consideration.

The governor’s proposed graduated income tax would only make matters worse, Demmer said. “What that does is open up the tax rates to continued interference by lawmakers. If approved, forever more, the General Assembly will no longer be bound by a flat tax mandate in the Constitution. The question isn’t ‘what is the initial rate schedule?’ The question is, ‘can Illinoisans count on politicians in Springfield to do the right thing and not overtax?’ The answer, without a doubt, is ‘no.’ With a graduated income tax, it will be too easy for lawmakers to come back year after year and take a little bit more from taxpayers until we end up with a significantly increased burden on average families.”

Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA) Issues Report on State Employee Group Insurance

March 22nd, 2019

The report focuses on the growing cost to taxpayers of the health insurance policies purchased by the State on behalf of State employees and retirees. The State Group Health Insurance Program (SEGIP), like all facets of U.S. health care, is affected by growing American health care costs. These costs include not only new treatments and technologies, but also the growing tendency of health care providers to practice strategic cost-shifting. Conscious of their duty to provide care to all patients, including patients without means or whose care is covered by charity-care programs such as Medicaid, health care providers often move facets of the overall cost of health care around. The State of Illinois is one of the entities affected by these cost shifts.

CGFA staff estimates the cost of SEGIP to be $3.023 billion in FY19, the fiscal year that will end on June 30, 2019. With continued increases in U.S. health care costs, the cost of SEGIP is anticipated to increase to $3.130 billion in the approaching fiscal year, FY20. Continued efforts at the containment of costs upon State taxpayers from this expensive program have minimized some facets of this increase. SEGIP beneficiaries are being required to make higher copayments, and are being subjected to various care wait-times and other care features familiar to patients throughout the United States. The overall SEGIP increase from FY19 to FY20, in percentage terms, will be only 3.5%. However, because of the great size of this program, even this comparatively modest percentage increase will exact an additional cost of $107 million anticipated additional dollars upon the hard-pressed State budget.

The CGFA report on SEGIP and its costs represents one facet of the General Assembly’s ongoing nonpartisan attempt to maintain lawmaker understanding of the overall budget pressures facing Illinois.

Major Sports Wagering Proposals Introduced

March 22nd, 2019

Illinoisans could see new solicitations to bet money soon, this time on sporting events such as football and basketball games. The proposed Sports Wagering Act, introduced in the Illinois House as HB 3308, would govern the legalized and regulated bookmaking of bets on sports games and contests. Amendments to HB 3308, introduced in the Illinois House on Thursday, March 21, describe how sports betting would be legalized, regulated and taxed in Illinois. These amendments could be discussed in the Illinois House and its Committee on Revenue & Finance next week. Opponents are concerned about how sports betting could potentially spur compulsive gambling, and could entangle young adults who themselves play sports into the betting business. Other states, led by Nevada and New Jersey, have already legalized sports betting.

City of Aurora Launches Engagement Website

March 18th, 2019

The City of Aurora has launched a pilot citizen engagement website at www.letstalk.aurora-il.org. This project will allow the City to share information on projects with constituents and to receive feedback that can inform future project action and/or activity.

There are currently three projects on the site: Business Registration, Senior Services, and Citizen Engagement.

 

Business Registration

The City of Aurora is developing a proposed business registration program for City Council consideration. On the engagement site you will find documents associated with the program and related outreach activity. Engagement tools on this project page include: Forum: moderated discussion among site (registered) participants; Q&A: Participant asked questions with staff responses; Ideas: participant shared ideas.

 

Senior Services

The City of Aurora is currently assessing the extent of services available to seniors via stakeholder partners to determine the most appropriate services to be delivered by city staff. Engagement tools on this project page include: Forum: moderated discussion among site (registered) participants; Q&A: Participant asked questions with staff responses; Survey: two surveys are provided, one for senior services providers and one for seniors.

 

A New Way to Engage

This project is a feedback loop on the engagement site. Participants and visitors can what they like about the site and what they would like to see improved. Engagement tools on this project page include: Quick Poll: an opportunity to demonstrate an engagement tool without requiring registration; Ideas: participant-shared ideas; Feedback: a quick survey to gather participant opinions on the site.

 

In order to participate on any engagement tool (not including the quick poll), a simple registration is required. Registration enables the city to capture demographics that will add nuance to reporting on engagement activity.

This Week’s #AuroraChamber Newsletter

March 18th, 2019

Save With The Chamber’s Insurance Plan

Aurora Chamber

  In This Issue  

Save With The Chamber’s Insurance Plan »
State of The Village Set »
Public Policy Updates »
Premier Investors »
Elite Members »
Calendar of Events »
Businesses Help Combat Opioid Crisis »
We’re Hiring »
Board Nominations Sought »
Member News »
Welcome New Members »
Spotlight On Membership »
About The Aurora Chamber »

SAVE WITH THE CHAMBER’S INSURANCE PLAN

One of our Chamber services partners, Konen Insurance and Keystone Insurers Group, have recently finalized a group health insurance plan. The plan was built using member data to ensure competitive rates and plan features. To find out how this plan can save your business money while improving your employees’ health, join us for the complimentary webinar on Thursday, March 21, at 11 a.m. Register here.

STATE OF THE VILLAGE SET

State of The Village

Public Policy Updates

Throughout the general election campaign last year, then-candidate JB Pritzker advocated for the need for Illinois to amend its constitution to scrap the current flat-tax and, instead, allow the state to create and impose a graduated income tax. During the campaign, he avoided questions as to what rates he would suggest repeatedly stating that such rates had to be negotiated with the Assembly. Today, the Governor’s Office released their suggested plan although the plan was not negotiated with the leaders – at least to this point. You can peruse the proposed plan here.

Tobacco 21 to Governor »
Consumer Liquor Home Delivery Passes Committee »
Gov. Pritzker Unveils Graduated Tax Proposal »
Illinois GA Bills to Watch »
COGFA Reports on Impact of Local Government Pensions »
Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor’s Respond Negatively to Pritzker Budget Proposal »
House Republicans File Resolution Opposing Gov. Pritzker’s Unfair Tax »
More Work Must Be Done on Tax Credit »
Gov. Pritzker Delivers Budget Address »
House GOP Opposes Costly, Job-killing Minimum Wage Hike »
Minimum Wage Bill Passes Senate Along Party Lines »
$15 Minimum Wage Passes Senate »
Illinois Pushes Toward $15 Minimum Wage »
Aurora Chamber Joins Ill. Chamber, Others in Release of Study on Data Centers »
Leader Durkin, House Republicans Introduce Fair Maps Amendment »

Premier Investors

Premier Investors

Elite Members

 95.9 The River      Aaron’s      Above Board Indoor Environmental      Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.      AMITA Health Mercy Medical Center      Artesan Lofts      Aurora Bank & Trust      Aurora Collective      Aurora University      Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston      Barbara Geiger – Keller Williams Experience      Best Rates Heating and Cooling      Caterpillar, Inc.      City Segment      ComEd      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      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      Ochoa & Associates LTD.      Old Second National Bank      OnLight Aurora      Orchard Wine & Liquor      Painters District Council 30      Paramount Arts Centre      Pilmer Real Estate      Plum Landing Retirement Community      Prairie Technology Solutions Group, LLC      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
Tuesday, March 19, at 8:30 a.m.
Aurora Chamber offices
43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Webinar: Intro to Chamber’s Association Health Plan
Thursday, March 21, at 11 a.m.
Complimentary for members

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, March 28, at 8 a.m.
Location: Luigi’s Pizza and Fun Center,
732 Prairie Street, Aurora

State of the Village Address
Wednesday, April 10, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Oak Street Restaurant
945 Oak St., North Aurora
Sponsorships Available

Grand Opening: Art of Emergency Care Exhibit
Friday, April 12, 4-7 p.m.
Ribbon Cutting at 4:30 p.m.
Aurora Regional Fire Museum, 53 N. Broadway, Aurora

Coffee & Connections
Tuesday, April 12, 8:30-10 a.m.
Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

BUSINESSES HELP COMBAT OPIOID CRISIS

The Aurora Regional Chamber is partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation on the launch of the new Sharing Solutions resource hub designed to empower businesses to help combat the opioid crisis. We hope that you will take the time to explore the site and benefit from the information provided.

Sharing Solutions highlights employer and employee resources and showcases innovative solutions to address the opioid crisis. Resources include – education and prevention techniques, how to create a drug free workplace, how to work with benefit providers and more. This site also offers the ability to suggest a resource or story you have found helpful.

Join businesses across our community and country in combating the crisis and saving lives.

WE’RE HIRING

The Aurora Chamber is looking to hire a Membership Development Manager and a part-time Office Manager. If you know of anyone who meets the requirements and may be interested, please share the link(s) with them.

Board Nominations Sought

The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for members willing to be considered to serve on the Board of Directors. All eligible nominees will be considered by the Nominating Committee. Nominations may be found online. Forms should be returned by Friday, March 29, at 12:00 p.m. To be considered to be a Director, nominees must be members in good standing.

Member News

EEI Announces New Director of Business Development »
Nock and Feather Raises Game »
Leadership Not One-Size-Fits-All »
Business Leaders: Why Early Childhood Learning Is Key »
Learn the Signs of Teen Dating Violence »
Leadership Is Service »
CMT Wins Top Engineering Excellence Awards »
Aurora Farmers Market Announces New Season, New Location »
Go for Bold: Support Local Girl Scouts »
Join Cosmopolitan Club for Wine Tasting Fundraiser »
US DOL Opens Applications for HIRE Vets Medallion »
State of the City Set for March 5 »
Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry Establishes Evening Food Distribution »
Food Pantry Names New Exec »
2-1-1 Info Hotline Now Available in Kane »

Welcome New Members

Papa Saverio’s
Mike Walsh
2933 Kirk Road, Unit 113, Aurora
Restaurants

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

Asking “Why”

March 18th, 2019

We all experience failure, especially when doing something new for the first time. All too often, when we fail, those in positions of leadership are quick to ask questions like, “Why did you do that?” or “Why did this happen?”. Questions like these imply an intent to fail and place blame on individuals. No one intends on failing at something, so there is nothing to gain from asking questions like this.

A common leadership style today is one of selfishness and that uses fear as motivation. These are the leaders and managers that ask “why” and look for individuals to blame, without taking any responsibility of their own. They are usually setting out with the goal to solely benefit themselves, rather than for the sake of their team. As a result these teams will continue to fail and fall apart.

Servant leadership is a style that opposes the “why” questions. It is a style that does not look to place blame on individuals, but rather focuses on learning from failure. These leaders know that their role is to guide members of their team to success by being a resource and advocate for them. Servant leadership builds trust within their team, and inspires them to succeed. They don’t ask “why did you do that”, they ask “how can I help you”.

I am fortunate to be part of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce Leadership Academy, where I am surrounded by great leaders, and servant leadership is cultivated.

Michael Tucker has been the Environmental Compliance Technician for Fox Metro Water Reclamation District for three years. Mike earned his Bachelors of Science in Health Science from Aurora University in 2014. He currently lives in Montgomery with his wife, Cate, and two-year-old daughter, Aubrey.

Tobacco 21 to Governor

March 15th, 2019

Tobacco 21, HB 345 (Rep. Camille Lilly, D-Chicago/ Sen. Julie Morrison, D-Deerfield), passed the House with a vote of 82-31 and the Senate by a vote 39-16. Tobacco 21 passed the Senate and narrowly passed the House last spring with 61 votes before being vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner. In the meantime more than 34 Illinois municipalities passed a Tobacco 21 measure.

HB 345 prohibits a licensed Illinois retailer from selling tobacco products to anyone below the age of 21, but removes the penalties for the purchase, possession, selling, or consumption of tobacco for the same individuals. It completely removes the specific prohibition of the possession of tobacco products by a minor.  And it only prohibits a minor from selling tobacco products, as an employee, at a licensed retailer. In fact, the only thing SB 21 penalizes a minor for is using a fraudulent identification.

As a result, since the Illinois statutes would no longer penalize a minor for any of the aforementioned, SB 21 makes it “legal” for a person under the age of 21 to: (1) possess tobacco, (2) consume tobacco, (3) sell tobacco, (4) buy tobacco from an unlicensed Illinois retailer or individual, or (5) buy tobacco from a licensed out-of-state retailer or online.  As such, the bill protects unlicensed, unregulated, and, untaxed individuals selling tobacco to minors while prohibiting licensed Illinois retailers from selling tobacco products to anyone below the age of 21.

The legislation has been sent to Gov. Pritzker for his signature. Part of the Governor’s budget relied on vaping and tobacco taxes. As of this writing, there has been no word on how this will impact those revenue estimates. If signed, the changes will go into effect July 1.

Consumer Liquor Home Delivery Passes Committee

March 15th, 2019

SB 54 (Sen. Don Harmon, D-Chicago) expressly allows retailers to deliver liquor to consumers. The retail industry is ever-evolving and growing as technology offers more conveniences for consumers. One innovative step has included the use of mobile phone apps, telephone and internet orders, and curbside pickup to facilitate the purchase of groceries and alcohol. Illinois currently allows this innovation to thrive and retailers have used various procedures to facilitate liquor delivery either through an independent contractor, employee, third-party contractor delivery, or curbside pickup.

Safeguards to verify the age and identity of the consumer are required at the point of sale and at the point of delivery.

Inconsistency has arisen as some local municipalities have been prohibiting it while others have been expressly allowing it through ordinance. In order to encourage continued innovation and establish a consistent policy, Sen. Don Harmon brought stakeholders together that include the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois, Wine and Spirits Delivery Distributors of Illinois, and the Illinois Beverage Association to work on an industry compromise.

The legislation allows retailers to continue using the aforementioned delivery methods and ordering platforms while also inserting consumer safeguards. The legislation also requires the liquor to be delivered during applicable hours of sales from an Illinois retailer to an Illinois consumer within a 30-mile radius.

The legislation passed the Senate Executive Committee by a unanimous vote with the agreement that Sen. Harmon will bring an amendment back to the Committee for consideration.