Community Foundation Seats New Directors

September 30th, 2018

The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley welcomes new board members Lulu Blacksmith, Ed.D., and Joyce Hemphill, Ph.D. They were officially recognized recently at a board meeting held at the Santori Aurora Public Library.

Blacksmith joins the board with an impressive background in community relations. She took on her role as Waubonsee’s director of government and community engagement in 2008; this July, she was appointed dean for student and community engagement. Prior to her work at the college, Blacksmith served as the director of community relations for the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and the manager of community outreach for Presence Mercy Medical Center. She is also the founder of Compañeros en Salud/Partners in Health, NFP, a coalition that helps connect Hispanic community members with needed social services and healthcare.

One of nine children, Blacksmith came to the United States from Mexico at the age of 16. Despite a strong desire to succeed, she struggled to engage in her community. Her husband, a Batavia native, was often recognized in public by friends and neighbors, but Blacksmith didn’t enjoy that same connection.

Community Foundation Chairman of the Board John Diederich said he is “thrilled” to have Blacksmith on the Board.

“I have known Lulu for many years and have enjoyed watching her engage in the community,” Diederich said. “She has become someone who is sought after in our community for her dedication to empowering individuals to better themselves and the communities they serve.”

Hemphill is a self-described “play advocate” who took action when her sons’ school district eliminated recess in 2001. Her passion for play and its role in child development shows in her extensive volunteering experience, as well as the contribution to various blogs and magazines. In 2014, she co-authored a book, The Power of Playful Learning: The Green Edition, that includes games and activities along with their developmental benefits. She recently retired as a faculty associate in The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s educational psychology department, and now serves as the co-founder and “play consultant” of Shinyhill.

Diederich believes Hemphill’s extensive knowledge and passion will only continue to strengthen the Community Foundation.

“It’s been great to have Joyce serve on our Distribution Committee, and now take the next step of joining our Board,” Diederich said. Her enthusiasm and sheer love of philanthropy will be a great addition to our Board.”

During her time as a professor, Hemphill emphasized service learning and hands-on learning, no matter the schedules or resources of her students.

“I always told my students, ‘Even if you don’t think you have much, you are so incredibly blessed,’” Hemphill said. “Maybe you have kids at home, and that doesn’t give you much time to give back. I suggest inviting the child’s friends over and creating a ‘Reading Buddies’ group, which builds friendships and social skills. You can always serve in some capacity.”

It’s this “giving back” mindset that Joyce learned from her parents as a child and hopes to carry into her role as a Board member.

“I grew up in a family that encouraged volunteering,” Hemphill said. “I’m so blessed, so fortunate. . .why wouldn’t I give back?”

Mamie Eisenhower to Be ‘Guest’ at Historical Society Fundraiser

September 25th, 2018

Mamie Doud Eisenhower, in the person of historian and interpreter Ellie Carlson, will bring the presidential campaign of 1956 to Aurora as part of “Politics and Pink Squirrels,” the Aurora Historical Society’s fall fundraiser on Oct. 12 from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

Mamie, known during her White House years as “The Sweetheart of the GOP,” will mingle with guests at the Aurora Country Club as she thanks them for their support of her husband and seeks their votes for his reelection in the 1956 campaign. She was always at ease in social situations; at the party conversations will undoubtedly touch upon her personal life, which include her marriage at age 19 to the dashing Army Second Lieutenant Dwight D. Eisenhower, her efforts to make homes at military posts all over the world, and what it was like to live alone and isolated in Washington while her husband was the Supreme Allied Commander during World War II.

In keeping with Mrs. Eisenhower’s high standards of entertaining, the event will feature hors d’oeuvres of the period and a full open bar including popular drinks of the 1950s, such as the Mai Tai, the Sea Breeze, and the frothy and colorful Pink Squirrel. Bonnie Werthmann of Aurora will provide the cocktail piano music.

Reservations are $65 per person, or $60 per person for historical society members, and can be made online at www.aurorahistory.net or by calling (630) 906-0650.

Aurora Named a Top 100 Finalist for the Chicago Innovation Awards

September 24th, 2018

Vote online for Aurora to also receive the People’s Choice Award

The City of Aurora has been named a Top 100 Finalist for the 2018 Chicago Innovation Awards.

During a special reception held in Chicago with the 519 nominees, the Chicago Innovation Awards committee selected Aurora as one of the Top 100 Finalist to advance in the annual competition that recognizes innovators in the region.

Judges will select the final winners in 5 categories. The general public can vote for a People’s Choice Award winner by visiting https://chicagoinnovation.com/peoples-choice-award-voting/. Supporters of the City of Aurora are encouraged to vote by October 5. Aurora is listed in the Neighborhood Awards category on the voting site.

“We are honored to be named a finalist in the Chicago Innovation Awards,” said Mayor Richard C. Irvin. “Our IT team has been focused on innovation in technology since we took office nearly 500 days ago. So much progress has been made and many national collaborations have been formed during the process. As we continue to grow as a technology leader in the region, nods like this from the Chicago Innovation Awards prove we are on the right track.”

The City of Aurora was nominated for its fiber optic network – operated by OnLight Aurora – which has enhanced the business climate of the state’s second largest city while serving the connectivity needs of Aurora’s schools, healthcare providers, social service agencies and other community anchor institutions. In addition, the City’s commitment to technology, improvements in the IT Department and plans for an Open Data Portal were significant factors in the decision of the panel of judges.

“Fiber is the fourth utility and our fiber optic network is one of Aurora’s greatest assets,” said Aurora’s Chief Information Officer Michael Pegues. “Mayor Irvin has set an ambitious goal to make the City of Aurora a regional technology hub, and our IT team and partners are diligently driving these smart city efforts.”

The Top 100 Finalists will each be awarded a scholarship to “The Practical Innovator” at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Valued at $2,500, this day-long education course teaches the practical skills of innovation at its internationally known executive education facility.

Winners will be announced at the 17th annual Chicago Innovation Awards held at Chicago’s Harris Theater on Monday, October 29, with nearly 1,500 business and civic leaders, and supporters of innovation in attendance.

Last year, the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora won a 2017 Chicago Innovation Award for its IN2 Innovation Center.

EEI Announces Newest Licensed Professional Engineer

September 24th, 2018

Engineering Enterprises, Inc. (EEI) is proud to announce that Nadia Simek from Aurora, Illinois has passed the Professional Engineer (P.E.) exam and has earned the title of Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois.

Simek is a 2014 graduate from University of Illinois at Chicago, Illinois with a BS in Civil Engineering. Nadia interned with EEI prior to coming on staff full time in 2015. Since joining EEI, Nadia has become an important member of our team working on numerous municipal projects.

With her P.E. licensure, Simek joins 19 other licensed professional engineers at EEI. In addition, she has also been promoted to Senior Project Engineer I status within the organization.

The P.E. license is the engineering profession’s highest standard of competence, regulated by the State in the interest of supporting integrity within the profession and public safety. It is a symbol of achievement and assurance of quality.

Engineering Enterprises, Inc., founded in 1974, is an award-winning consulting engineering firm providing services to public agencies throughout northeastern Illinois.  Our experienced diverse staff includes licensed engineers, licensed surveyors, technicians, and support staff that provide a full range of services for planning, design, and construction of infrastructure projects, plus grant and funding assistance. For additional information visit our website at www.eeiweb.com

Aurora Business Organizations to Host Manufacturing Day Job Fair

September 24th, 2018

The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is partnering with Invest Aurora and Valley Industrial Association as well as Quad County African American and Aurora Regional Hispanic chambers of commerce for a Manufacturing Day Job Fair on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018 at the Prisco Center, 150 W. Illinois Ave, in Aurora.

This will be our fifth job fair and the first specifically focused on manufacturing opportunities. The job fair is free to the public and hiring manufacturing companies.

Agenda for Friday, Oct. 5:

9 a.m.          Set up and Continental Breakfast

10 a.m.        Job Fair

Noon           Break-out sessions (lunch provided for employers)

1 p.m.          Job Fair

2 p.m.          Job Fair Concludes

 

The break- out session for employers will focus on available funding to assist with hiring and training employees. The breakout session for job seekers will focus on resume writing and interviewing.

Please contact Judy Dawson at dawsonj@investaurora.org or (630) 256-3163 to reserve your space.

#AuroraChamber Announces New Programs, Members

September 18th, 2018

The Aurora region has a long history of innovation.

Aurora Chamber

  In This Issue  

From The Aurora Chamber »
Premier Investors »
Public Policy Updates »
Welcome New Members »
Elite Members »
Calendar of Events »
Caught On Camera »
Member News »
Did You Know? »
Partnering For Our Community »
Money-Saving Programs For Members »
About The Aurora Chamber »

FROM THE AURORA CHAMBER: A STATE OF INNOVATION

JOIN US FOR INNOVATION SUMMIT

2018 State of Business: Innovation
Friday, Oct. 19, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Belle Salle Banquets, 1920 E. New York Street, Aurora
Register Here

The Aurora region has a long history of innovation — from the first city with electric streetlights throughout and the first free public school district in the state to the 45-mile fiber optic ring and Aurora Regional Pathways. Our community — and its residents and employers — know that innovation is key to the economic development of the region for healthcare, manufacturing, education, small business, and more.

On Friday, Oct. 19, The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce will focus on the State of Business: Innovation. The first of its kind summit will include exhibitors spotlighting their innovation through products and services, panels of innovators sharing their experiences, and our Annual Celebration of Membership at noon.

Our featured presenter will be Tom Kuczmarksi. He is president and founder of the global consulting firm Kuczmarski Innovation and an internationally recognized expert in the innovation of new products and services. Kuczmarski is the author of seven books on innovation and leadership, including his most recent book, Lifting People Up: the Power of Recognition (Book Ends Publishing, 2018), co-authored with Dr. Susan Smith Kuczmarski

For more information on the event — and to register as a sponsor, exhibitor, or attendee — visit our website.

Premier Investors

Premier Investors

Public Policy Updates

Ways and Means to Vote on Tax 2.0 Package: On Sept. 13, the House Ways and Means Committee passed its “Tax 2.0″ package that would make permanent already-passed tax changes for individuals and small businesses and make it easier for families to save for retirement.
Other Recent Policy News

U.S. Senate to Vote on JOBS Act 3.0 »
‘Honor 200′ Deadline Approaches to Nominate Illinois Veterans »
Governor Signs Bill to Transition to Multi-year
Vehicle Registration Opportunity
»
Governor Signs Legislation to Help Keep Illinois Students in Illinois »
State of Illinois Sells $965 Million in Bonds »
Unemployment Falls in All Metro Areas »

Welcome New Members

Law Offices of Peter Cullotta
Goda Bravo
3535 E. New York Street, #215, Aurora
(630) 898-7800
Attorneys

The Right Guy Carpet Cleaning, Inc.
Rob Reynolds
2948 Kirk Rd., Ste 106-185, Aurora
(630) 264-4369
Carpet & Flooring

Shelter Insurance – Shawn P. Flaherty
Shawn Flaherty
1231 Farmington Lakes Dr. Ste 100, Oswego
(630) 800-1549
Insurance

Country Financial
Alyssa Fonseca
1161 Oak Street, North Aurora
(630) 449-0928
Insurance

Obregon Medical Clinic
Andrew Obregon
23 North Lincolnway, North Aurora
(630) 966-2637
Medical Office

EnergyBot
Lorren Thomas
1601 Bryan Street, Dallas, TX
(424) 372-1995
Utilities

Elite Members

 +Intention      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.      Chicago Steel Hockey Team      City Segment      ComEd      Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics      Country Financial – West Aurora      Dolan & Murphy      Downtown Auroran Magazine      Endiro Coffee      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.      Lendio of Naperville      Magick Woods, Inc.      Magnetrol International, Inc.      MedCom Group, LLC      Midwest Coach Limousine, Inc.      Mitutoyo America Corporation      Mooney & Thomas P.C.      Old Second National Bank      New York Life Insurance Company and Nylife Securities, LLC      OnLight Aurora      Painters District Council 30      Palo Creative, PLL      Paramount Arts Centre      Pilmer Real Estate      Plum Landing Retirement Community      Prairie Technology Solutions Group, LLC      Presence Mercy Medical Center      Pure Skin Solutions, LLC      R.C. Wegman Construction Company      Rasmussen College      Rich Harvest Farms      Rush Copley Medical Center      S&S Metal Recyclers II      Scientel Solutions      ServPro of Aurora      Sign*A*Rama      SmithAmundsen, LLC      Staffing Network, LLC & QPA       Staffmark      Thoughtwave Software & Solutions      T-Mobile     Two Brothers Roundhouse      Valley Fastener Group, LLC      VivirMED, LLC      The Voice      Waubonsee Community College      Weldstar Company      Woodforest National Bank      World Finance Corporation      WSPY 

Calendar of Events

Coffee & Connections
Tuesday, Sept. 18, 8:30 a.m.
Painters District No.30
1905 Sequoia Drive, Aurora
Sponsored by New York Life

Grand Opening: Wendy’s
Wednesday, Sept. 19, 9 – 10:30 a.m.
2962 Kirk Road, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 9:30 a.m.

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, September. 27, 8 – 9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons , Aurora
Sponsored by North Star Credit Union

50th Anniversary: Gateway Foundation
Thursday, Sept. 27, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
400 Mercy Lane, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.

Open House: Glanbia
Friday, Sept. 28, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
600 N. Commons Street, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.
RSVP is required

Retail Roundtable
Wednesday, Oct. 3, 8:30 – 10 a.m.
Fox Valley Mall Food Court

50th Anniversary: Aurora Regional Fire Museum
Thursday, Oct. 4, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
53 N. Broadway, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.

Jump Start Your Membership
Tuesday, Oct. 9, 8:30-10 a.m.
Chamber offices, 43 W Galena Blvd. Aurora

Grand Opening: GlowZone
Friday, Oct. 12, 3:30 – 5 p.m.
301 S. Route 59, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4 p.m.

State of Business Summit: Innovation
Friday, Oct. 19, 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Belle Salle Banquets
1920 E. New York Street, Aurora
Sponsorships Available

Caught On Camera

Caught On Camera

The first half of September saw the #AuroraChamber celebrating a number of grand openings for our members. My Place Hotel opened in North Aurora. Fox Valley Park District opened their new fitness center at Prisco Community Center. Premier Investor Henkels & McCoy held a community open house for their new facility. M14 Hoops welcomed the community to their new facility in northeast Aurora. Check out these events and more on Facebook and be sure to follow us.

Member News

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.
W-2 Wage Earners Should Do a Paycheck Checkup ASAP »
An Estimated Tax Payment in 2018 Could Help Avoid a Penalty in 2019 »
Free Fall Leaf Collection Begins Next Month »
House Method Names Aurora ‘Most Underrated Town’ in Illinois »
Mayor Irvin Selected for Prestigious Leadership Program »
Aurora Police First in State to Join ‘Neighbors’ App »
Landmark Agreement Reached on Old Copley Hospital »
Mayor Irvin Appoints Simon Rodriguez as City’s New Youth Manager »
Applications for Export Assistance Now Open »
IMSA Promise Receives Insight Into Diversity Award »
Join Us in Support of Future IT Careers »

Did You Know?

#AuroraChamber Shared Interest Groups: The Aurora Chamber has several existing and soon-to-launch Shared Interest Groups designed with our members in mind. The newest SIG to launch is the Retail Roundtable. In partnership (and sponsored by Fox Valley Mall), the Retail Roundtable is designed to support retailers by creating an atmosphere of knowledge sharing among peers as well as presentations by subject-matter experts geared to the retail environment. The first meeting is shcheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 3, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at Fox Valley Mall Food Court. For details, contact Maureen Gasek, director of events and marketing, at the Chamber.

Partnering For Our Community

So another great accolade for Aurora! Among the criteria used for selection:

• Commerce and the supply of good jobs for residents;
• An interesting art scene and rich cultural history;
• A “lovely place” where people want to live or visit;
• A surprise unique “gem” — in the case of Aurora, they cite the focus on academics and intellectual discovery;
• And finally, a community “often overlooked for their more famous neighbors”.

To view House Method’s post, visit this link.

Money-Saving Programs For Members

Money-Saving Programs For Members

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.

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

Join Us for Innovation Summit

September 17th, 2018

2018 State of Business: Innovation

Friday, Oct. 19, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Belle Salle Banquets, 1920 E. New York Street, Aurora

Register Here

The Aurora region has a long history of innovation — from the first city with electric streetlights throughout and the first free public school district to the 45-mile fiber optic ring and Aurora Regional Pathways. Our community — and its residents and employers — know that innovation is key to the economic development of the region for healthcare, manufacturing, education, small business, and more.

On Friday, Oct. 19, The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce will focus on the State of Business: Innovation. The first of its kind summit will include exhibitors spotlighting their innovation through products and services, panels of innovators sharing their experiences, and our Annual Celebration of Membership at noon.

Keynoting the morning will be Thomas D. Kuczmarski, president and founder of the global consulting firm Kuczmarski Innovation and an internationally recognized expert on innovation. During the course of his career, he has helped hundreds of clients, ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 corporations, learn to systematically unlock the value of innovation.

Kuczmarski teaches product and service innovation at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University where he is Senior Lecturer and Visiting Scholar in the Center for Innovation and Technology. For 38 years, his executive education courses at the Kellogg School have attracted leaders from around the world.

Kuczmarski is co-founder of the Chicago Innovation Awards, which annually celebrates, educates, and connects innovators in the Chicago region. The awards showcase the creative spirit of the heartland. He is the author of seven books on innovation and leadership and frequently appears on radio and television, and in periodicals around the world. He earned an M.B.A. and an M.I.A from Columbia University.

Illinois has long been a leader as the birthplace of groundbreaking inventions including the cell phone, the wireless remote, and the first-ever web browser. Our state is a place where ideas become patents, businesses, and life-changing technologies.

The state’s history of innovation continues today thanks to its robust digital infrastructure, venture capital networks, and continually growing talent base. In fact, Illinois is the second largest producer of computer science graduates in the country, awarding nearly 10 percent of the nation’s computer science degrees, and ranks fifth in the nation for access to capital, according to CNBC’s Best States for Business 2017.

For more information on the event – and to register as a sponsor, exhibitor, or attendee – visit our website.

W-2 Wage Earners Should Do a Paycheck Checkup ASAP

September 17th, 2018

The IRS urges everyone who works as an employee and has income from other sources to perform a Paycheck Checkup. This includes income from sharing economy activities, interest, dividends, self-employment, capital gains, or prizes and awards.

A Paycheck Checkup can help you avoid receiving a lower refund, an unexpected tax bill or underpayment penalty when you file your tax return next year.

You can do a checkup using the IRS Withholding Calculator or Publication 505. This is especially important in 2018 due to tax changes taking effect this year.

You can pay taxes throughout the year anytime.

An Estimated Tax Payment in 2018 Could Help Avoid a Penalty in 2019

September 17th, 2018

Taxes must be paid as you earn or receive income during the year, either through withholding, estimated tax payments or a combination of both. A Paycheck Checkup using the IRS Withholding Calculator can help you see if you need to make an additional payment to avoid an unexpected tax bill or underpayment penalty when you file your tax return next year.

You may need to make estimated payments if you:

  • have multiple jobs—especially if you don’t have each employer withhold taxes
  • are self-employed or an independent contractor
  • are a representative of a direct-sales or in-home-sales company
  • participate in sharing economy activities where you are not working as an employee
  • receive pension income

Visit IRS,gov to learn more.

Free Fall Leaf Collection Begins Next Month

September 17th, 2018

Fall is soon to arrive and Aurora residents will be able to dispose of their leaves for free as part of the City of Aurora’s Annual Leaf Collection Program.

The free Fall Leaf Collection Program begins on Monday, Oct. 15, and ends on Friday, Dec. 7.

Leaves must be put into a 30-gallon Kraft paper yard waste bag and placed at the curb on the regular garbage pickup day by 6 a.m. No waste sticker is needed.

YARD WASTE

Yard waste collection will also take place through Friday, Dec. 7 as well. On the regular garbage pickup day, yard waste must be placed in a 30-gallon Kraft paper yard waste bag not to exceed 50 pounds. Each bag must have a waste sticker attached. The stickers used for yard waste are the same as the stickers used for excess garbage. Yard waste mixed with trash or yard waste in a trash can or plastic bag will not be collected.

BUNDLED BRUSH

Residents are also being reminded that brush must be bundled for collection. Unlimited bundled brush collection is in process and will end on Friday, Nov. 2. Branches and limbs 1/2 inch to 4 inches in diameter and 2 feet to 4 feet in length must be bundled. Each bundle must weigh less than 50 pounds. Bundled brush does not need a waste sticker. Brush less than 1/2 inch in diameter is considered yard waste and must be packaged as previously described.