Bringing Leadership Awareness to the Masses

May 8th, 2018

I can’t express enough how much I’ve enjoyed participating in this year’s Aurora Chamber Leadership Academy. Each week we have been introduced to a new leader and his or her insight on leadership. Through this insight and recent events in the news, I developed this awesome vision! Dr. Adrienne Coleman and Chief Kristen Ziman teaming together to speak to organizations on cultural diversity and being solution-orientated. What a great formula for a successful business culture! This one-day training would be held at the Paramount and companies would bus or fly their employees in to attend…end vision!

Why is it so important to bring this awareness to the masses?

In Dr. Coleman’s session, we were encouraged to engage in uncomfortable conversations about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Putting this into practice, I shared with another Leadership Academy participant something I’d never spoken in public. Subconsciously, I think about being black/African American and try to dispel bias thoughts when interacting with customers. My partner in this discussion shared that in his field of business, he hasn’t had to think about his ethnicity. I believe these two perspectives (our truth) is the case with employees within many organizations. As business owners and leaders, it’s important to have these discussions in the workplace. When we learn to respect other’s perspective… we can give respect away freely! And then we can work together to become a solution-oriented organization.

Chief Ziman discussed how the Aurora Police Department has transitioned into a solution-oriented organization. She expressed you can’t change culture overnight, but it does change ever so slowly. And one of the most powerful tools she’s used in this implementation is respect!

Step 1 to developing a solution-oriented organization starts with attitude! We should “give respect freely, don’t wait for it to be earned.”

Step 2, using critical-thinking skills, break the problem apart to understand it from the root to the surface.

Step 3, employ creativity to surface solutions that break the boundaries of traditional thinking and surface differentiating solutions

Step 4 includes disciplining ourselves to adopt the attitude of a champion, commit to focus and analysis, and leverage our creativity, then act.

I gained more insight on how to develop a solution-oriented organization from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-horgan/4-steps-to-developing-a-solution-orientation-_b_6826514.html

Chief Ziman has done an excellent job of incorporating these steps!

Yolanda Dunn is a participant in the 2018 #AuroraLeadership Academy. She is co-owner with husband Tito Dunn of Leave Me Bee Pest Control, Inc. Leave Me Bee is a full-service pest control company for residential and commercial customers. 

What Service Leadership Means to Me

May 1st, 2018

When you hear the word leader, who comes to mind?  If someone asked me that question a few weeks ago, I would say a leader is the head of an organization, politician, or other lead decision maker.  Participating in the Aurora Chamber’s Leadership Academy, however, has broadened my horizons of leadership.  I was especially intrigued the week we discussed service leadership.  We heard from organizations like Rush Copley, VNA, and Strong Prepared and Ready for Kindergarten (SPARK) and I thought to myself….THIS IS WHAT I DO!  During my short time in the workforce, I’ve switched between different types of service leadership roles.  After college, I started working in a library as a children’s services assistant.  This job wasn’t what I was expecting to do with my life, having graduated with my bachelors in Telecommunications: Broadcast News. Although my path diverted, I enjoyed working in a library, as I was able to use some of my journalistic research skills to help library customers locate information. Plus, working with children was fun.  I was able to read silly books, sing songs, and make crafts!  Who could ask for a better job?

Six years later, though, my path diverted again. I found myself moving to Iowa after my husband got a job at a local newspaper as a reporter. I knew I would need to find work in Iowa, but there weren’t many library positions available.  Luckily, there was an opening for a news director at the local radio station. Starting my new job was strange.  I was new to a community I didn’t know and who didn’t know me. The radio station I worked for was also in direct competition with my husband’s newspaper for reporting stories, so there was this strange competitiveness between the two of us. Being the newbie in town with no connections was hard.  However, after showing up continuously at town meetings and events, I was able to start forming connections.  As I got to know people in the community, I started receiving invites to help out with special projects around town.  I was asked to help with the local chamber’s holiday parade, I became a board member of the local arts council and library, and I was invited to speak to a radio/ television class at a local middle school.  I surprised myself by how much I enjoyed these roles.  I felt like I was making a difference by serving the community.

After a year, however, I knew that my heart was in librarianship and my husband and I moved to Aurora.  As a children’s librarian I enjoy serving the community through helping customers locate needed materials, presenting diverse programs for people of all ages, attending school and community events as a library representative, and always striving to provide customers with what they need. Whether I am hosting a storytime where a child learns the basic skills necessary to start attending preschool, or visiting school literacy nights to highlight all the programs and services the library offers, I truly enjoy serving my community.  Being a part of Leadership Academy has not only helped me establish more opportunities for partnerships between the library and area organizations, but it has given me a glimpse of the Aurora community. I am happy to call Aurora home and help serve this community.

Angela Van Vuren is the children’s services manager at the Eola Road Branch of the Aurora Public Library. She has worked in libraries for more than 10 years. She mostly reads children’s books with her favorites being anything by Jan Thomas or Neil Gaiman. She lives in Aurora with her husband Zack and their dog Hammy. Angela is a participant in this year’s #AuroraLeadership Academy program.

Happy #SmallBusinessWeek

April 30th, 2018

Aurora Chamber

  In This Issue  

Wednesday: Small Business Expo, Fair »
Premier Investors »
Member News »
Elite Members »
New Members »
Calendar of Events »

Wednesday: Small Business Expo, Fair

Small Business Expo

Premier Investors

Premier Investors

Member News

Aurora Chamber

If you have news to share with your fellow members, please forward to info@aurora-chamber.com. Be sure and check out our blog and social media for what’s happening in our region.
Engineering Enterprises Announces APWA Award-Winning Project, Employee »
Old Second Adds Three Residential Lending Professionals to Team »
Empowering Women in Leadership »
Collaborative Leadership »
Engineering Enterprises Announces Meyer Certification »
Proposal Streamlines Use of Biometrics »
Net Neutrality Battle Heads to Illinois House Floor »
Gov. Rauner Signs Bill to Bring 5G Wireless to Illinois »
A Call to Leadership – Get Involved »
EEI’s Talsma To Retire From Engineering Enterprises »
Proposed Bills Would Stall Jobs, Economic Development »
Workplace Equity over Equality »
Registration is on for Barnyard Dash 5K at Blackberry Farm on April 28 »
Early Detection Saves Lives »
A Cohesive Community »
A Life in the Shadow of a Leader »
Board Nominations Sought »
City of Aurora Raises Smoking Age to 21 »
Courageous Conversation »
Old Second Adds Four to Support Commercial Lines »
‘Col•lab•o•ra•tion’ – Food for Thought »
Aspiring to Servant Leadership »
Spring Yard Waste Collection Begins Next Month »
Re-think “The Best Fit” »
Leadership: Play to Your Strengths »

Elite Members

+Intention 95.9 The River Aaron’s Above Board Indoor Environmental Accurate Personnel Advance Auto Parts Alarm Detection Systems, Inc. Aurora Bank & Trust Aurora Limousine Aurora University Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston Beans Greens Proteins Caterpillar, Inc. Chicago Steel Hockey Team City Segment ComEd Company 251 Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics Copy King Office Solutions, Inc. Country Financial – West Aurora CyrusOne Do or Dye Designs Dolan & Murphy Downtown Auroran Magazine Eagle Digital Marketing Endiro Coffee First Secure Community Bank ganc.io 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 Meyer Wealth Advisors 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 Stonebridge Country Club 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

Tredwell Coffee
Chad Dawes
14 W Downer Place, Suite 18, Aurora
(630) 897-3433
Coffee & Tea Products

Calendar of Events

Coffee with Congressman Hultgren
Wednesday, May 2, 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Belle Salle Banquets, 1920 E. New York St., Aurora

Small Business Expo and Procurement Fair
Wednesday, May 2, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Belle Salle Banquets, 1920 E. New York St., Aurora
For more information on participating or attending, contact (630) 256-3180

Ribbon Cutting: Rush Copley Medical Group
Thursday, May 3, 3:30 – 6 p.m.
1901 W. Galena, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4:00 p.m.

Ribbon Cutting: Endiro Coffee
Friday, May 4, 2 – 3:30 p.m.
29 W. New York Street, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 2:30 p.m.

Ribbon Cutting: Aurora Historical Society
Friday, May 4, 3:30 – 5 p.m.
20 E. Downer Place, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4 p.m.

Ground Breaking: Scientel Solutions
Wednesday, May 9, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
5S045 N. Eola Rd., Aurora
Ceremony @ 11 a.m.

Conversation with Comptroller Mendoza
Monday, May 7, 1 – 3:30 p.m.
Chamber Office, 43 W. Galena Blvd. Aurora

Grand Opening: Pure Skin Solutions
Thursday, May 9, 3:30 – 6 p.m.
26 S. Stolp Avenue, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4 p.m.

IT Lunch & Learn
Thursday, May 10, 12 – 1:30 p.m.
2000 S. Batavia Ave, Ste, 110, Geneva, IL

Coffee & Connections Networking
Tuesday, May 15, 8:30 – 10 a.m.
Painters District No.30, 1905 Sequoia Drive, Aurora
Sponsored by World Finance Corporation

Facebook

Blog

Twitter

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

www.aurora-chamber.com

 

Engineering Enterprises Announces APWA Award-Winning Project, Employee

April 27th, 2018

The City of Elgin accepted the American Public Works Association, Fox Valley Branch Project of the Year Award in the Transportation category for $5-25 million for the South Street Roadway Extension.  The project, built by Copenhaver Construction, was designed and managed by Engineering Enterprises, Inc. The award was accepted by the City of Elgin earlier this year at a luncheon held at Two Brothers Brewing Company in Aurora, Illinois.

The South Street Roadway Extension from Longcommon Parkway to Randall Road was a highly anticipated east/west collector awaited by both the City and its residents. Construction of the 1.1 mile boulevard section roadway started in the fall of 2015 and was completed approximately one year later. Aspects of the project included new water main and storm sewer, installation of a 24-inch interceptor sewer, a bike path, street lights, parkway trees and a new box culvert at Otter Creek.

In addition, Brad Sanderson, P.E., vice president of the firm, received the Donald C. Stone Excellence in Education award from both the APWA Fox Valley Branch and the Chicago Metro Chapter. The award recognizes outstanding and meritorious achievement of the individual’s assisting in the area of continuing professional education for public works professionals. Brad has served the Fox Valley Branch educational needs as a member of the education committee for the past four (4) years and more recently he has become a co-chair of the Education Committee. He is also the head of EEI’s Corporate Learning Committee which ensures that our continuous learning environment stays on track.

Engineering Enterprises, Inc., founded in 1974, is a progressive, award winning consulting engineering firm providing services to public agencies throughout northeastern Illinois.  Experienced firm members including licensed professional civil engineers and land surveyors, LEED Accredited Professionals, and support team members provide a full range of services for planning, design, and construction of infrastructure projects, plus grant and funding assistance.  For additional information, visit www.eeiweb.com.

Old Second Adds Three Residential Lending Professionals to Team

April 26th, 2018

Frederick Nosal of Addison has been named first vice president of residential lending at Old Second National Bank. He will manage regional loan officers in developing Old Second’s markets.

Nosal brings more than 25 years of residential lending managerial experience to the bank. He earned Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Elmhurst College. In the community, he has coached more than 50 youth sports teams. He and his wife are former PTA members of Indian Trail Junior High School, former officers at Fullerton Elementary School in Addison School District 4, and former PTO members at Addison Trail High School. Nosal also served on the board of directors for Alpine Country Club, Addison Recreation Club, Addison Park District Youth Sports, and Addison Girls Sports Program.

Anita Janiszewski of Naperville has been named senior loan officer with Old Second National Bank. Her experience makes her a resource in assisting homebuyers at every stage of the loan process, including educating and offering assistance.

Prior to joining Old Second, Janiszewski served as a loan officer with First Midwest Bank and has more than 15 years of residential lending experience.  She has a degree in education and is also fluent in Polish.

Raul Escanio of Chicago has been named senior loan officer. He will specialize in helping first-time homebuyers identify optimal loan programs and to guide them through the process.

Escanio has more than 15 years of lending experience and more than 40 years of banking experience. Prior to joining Old Second, he served as mortgage loan consultant with Lakeside Bank.

In the community, Escanio is a member of the Southwest Realty Board and a director since 2012. He is also a member of the Hispanic National Association of Realtors.

Old Second National Bank is a diversified bank holding company headquartered in Aurora, IL. The Company operates through its subsidiary, Old Second National Bank, with over 25 banking offices across seven counties in northern Illinois. Old Second Bancorp, Inc.’s common stock trades on The NASDAQ Stock Exchange under the symbol OSBC. More information about the Company is available by visiting the “Investor Relations” section of its website www.oldsecond.com.

Empowering Women in Leadership

April 26th, 2018

As women, we face unique challenges as leaders, whether we work in the corporate world or as a business owner. There are many aspects of leadership, but the core question is this: As strong and capable women, how can we lead by example?

I must admit, in my early days of my career as a leader, I had a few great mentors who cared about me enough to confront me all about leadership. As leaders, we need to be able to recognize people who are not performing at their greatest level and provide support and feedback to them.

I do believe that some people are born leaders and some learn throughout life to become better leaders.

One of the best lessons I learned was that it is not about me. When I made the transition from valuing myself to valuing my people, I was transformed as a leader. When we learn to turn our focus from ourselves to others, the whole world opens up to us. When you understand this and take the focus away from you, it will change who you are as a leader.

As a woman in leadership here are a few nuggets to develop a more authentic Leadership Style.

Yes; authenticity matters. It’s easy to play the game and pander to what others expect us to be in the workplace. Women who lead by mimicking men reveal a lack of professional identity. Professional confidence is not gender-based; it’s all about authenticity and developing the qualities that resonate with who you are.

First, look to leaders you admire. Observe their traits, how they interact within a team and work under pressure.

Second, stop putting yourself first. Leadership is an exercise in service. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader. As a woman, it’s a tricky balance because as a figure of authority, you must often be the deciding voice on things. Instead of focusing on your authority, let’s start from a place of service by giving support, training, encouragement, mentorship, and resources to the team and business.

Third, find and refine the balance between personal and professional. Get to know your team and set clear boundaries and expectations. When you’re working, it’s important to perform to get results. Professional behavior and authenticity have to go hand in hand. Often a casual leadership approach, which women gravitate towards, can easily be sabotaged by overly personal behavior.

Other good leadership qualities, you would usually see factors like integrity, effective communication, influence, respect, power, human influence, kindness, vulnerability, listening, and accountability. These are all wonderful qualities of a leader, but I am going to share something I believe has helped me and made me stand out as a leader — putting my people ahead of myself.

Some last tips:

• Acknowledge and appreciate people. Everyone wants to be valued. It is critical as a leader to give your people credit and recognition for the incredible things they do.

• Know your people. Getting to know them in a more personal way will make them feel valued and increase their respect for you as a leader.

• Empower your people. Everyone wants to be trusted to make decisions. Empower your people to make certain decisions.

Deepti (Dee) Srivastava is a health Insurance broker with Healthcare Solutions Team. Her specialty is Medicare for seniors, group health insurance for small to mid-size companies, travel insurance, short-term disability, life insurance, and long-term care. She is a proud mom, daughter, sister, wife, woman entrepreneur, and so much more. Dee is a participant in the 2018 #AuroraLeadership Academy.

Collaborative Leadership

April 23rd, 2018

This last Friday, I had the privilege of listening to Chief Kristen Ziman speak in front of my Aurora Leadership Academy’s weekly meeting. She not only provided a history of her work as a police officer, she also explained to all of us how she personally evolved as a leader.

She mentioned that even when faced with a situation today, she will lean on the knowledge of her commanders when she is unsure on how to handle a situation that arises. Rather than make a quick and uninformed decision, she will collaborate with other members of her team to ensure that the decision made is in the best interest of everyone involved.

While it’s hard for me to relate to the large-scale decisions Chief Ziman has to make on a daily basis, I can relate to engaging others when making a decision in my professional life.

I am still relatively young in my field when compared to my peers. Because of this, I tend to lean on more experienced co-workers when I have a difficult decision to make. I will start with saying what my gut instinct is, and then listen to their suggestions. Even if I know my initial choice is correct, I will go to them for validation on my thoughts.

By doing this, I am not only making sure I am making the best decision for my company and/or my customer, but I am also furthering my knowledge to better myself in my career.

Will Garcia has delivered commercial banking solutions for over 5 years working with small to mid-size businesses in the Chicagoland area, serving currently as a Commercial Banking Representative at Old Second National Bank. He is a graduate of the University of St. Francis in Joliet and is pursuing a MBA from NIU. He is a participant in the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Leadership Academy program.

Engineering Enterprises Announces Meyer Certification

April 23rd, 2018

Engineering Enterprises, Inc. (EEI) is proud to announce that Tyler Meyer, E.I. has earned his Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) certification from the Illinois Association for Floodplain and Stormwater Management Association of State Floodplain Managers.  Meyer is a 2015, Summa Cum Laude graduate of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois with a BS in Civil Engineering. The CFM certification demonstrates that Tyler has a proven level of expertise in floodplain mapping, is familiar with the requirements and standards of the National and Illinois Flood Insurance programs and knows the administrative procedures needed to make floodplain management work at the community level.

Engineering Enterprises, Inc., founded in 1974, is a progressive, award winning consulting engineering firm providing services to public agencies throughout northeastern Illinois.  Experienced firm members including licensed professional civil engineers and land surveyors, LEED Accredited Professionals, and support team members provide a full range of services for planning, design, and construction of infrastructure projects, plus grant and funding assistance.  For additional information, visit www.eeiweb.com.

Proposal Streamlines Use of Biometrics

April 17th, 2018

The Illinois Chamber is pushing SB 3053, sponsored by Sen. Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) and Sen. Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst), which would amend the state’s biometric law. In 2008, Illinois enacted the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), a law that was designed to regulate the collection and storage of “biometric data.”

The use of biometric data has become increasingly prevalent among employers trying to solidify pay practices and maximize inventory control or facility security. BIPA went largely unnoticed after its enactment, until a series of lawsuits were brought in against private entities that allegedly collected and used biometric data in violation of BIPA. With biometric technology becoming more commonplace in the workplace, BIPA has been used as a potentially lucrative new litigation mechanism for the trial bar.

Dozens of employers have been caught off guard by the rash of class-action lawsuits recently filed in Illinois alleging violations of BIPA. The suits target many industries, including restaurants, hospitality, grocery stores, gas stations, nursing homes, logistics and building management companies. The surge in BIPA litigation results from employers’ increased use of fingerprint scan technology, and the fact that BIPA is the only existing biometric privacy statute that creates a private right of action against employers for damages and attorneys’ fees.

Currently Illinois is one of only three states that have a biometric statute. However, both Texas and Washington statutes limit the scope to commercial purposes only. The Chamber’s proposal simply exempts employers from the Act for internal employment purposes (i.e. time keeping, human resources, fraud prevention, or security purposes.), as long as the employer is not selling or similarly profiting from the biometric identifiers.

Opponents of the bill are attempting to defeat the proposal because they have a monetary incentive to keep the status quo in place. Various boutique law firms who have created a cottage industry on filling class action lawsuits on employers who have allegedly committed minor technical violations of the BIPA. It is important for employers to evaluate their HR and timekeeping purposes to ensure they are compliant with the BIPA.

Net Neutrality Battle Heads to Illinois House Floor

April 17th, 2018

Last week, a proposal that seeks to address a Federal issue, passed out of the House Cybersecurity Committee.  HB 4819 (Williams) creates the Broadband Procurement and Disclosure Act and states that the state may not award any contract to an Internet service provider that includes broadband service unless the contract provides specified terms concerning access to and impairment of Internet services.

Further, the bill requires each Internet service provider to make available on its website a clear and conspicuous statement informing end users of the Internet service provider’s network management practices and performance, including commercial terms offered to end users.

It is also important to note that the FCC repeal of the Obama-era net neutrality rules specifically preempted state’s from enacting their own enforcement.

The bill passed out of committee by one vote and now heads to the floor for a full vote.