Kevin Cassidy has served as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce since 2021. As our city emerged from the pandemic, Cassidy provided the Chamber with steadfast leadership and a model of stability. Cassidy, who serves as Chief Growth Officer for Health Care Service Corporation, has been a strong advocate and cheerleader for the Chamber — and the entire business community — throughout his tenure.

To highlight his achievements, we sat down with Kevin to take a look back on his three-year tenure to discuss his proudest moments, his thoughts on the future of Chicago, and why he loves the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

What are you proudest of from your time as Chair?

“I’m very proud of the way the Chamber, the city, and the business community worked together and brought business back to Chicagoland. We faced a true challenge, but I feel we rose to the occasion by investing in jobs and in both the city and state. We’ve had to do the granular, day-to-day work, but we’ve also pushed for forward-looking projects that will benefit us down the road. For instance, we created several councils to help address issues in the workforce, and another to help women in the workplace. The Chamber also introduced two bills that would double the amount available for investments into Illinois quantum projects. That helps us now and in the future.”

What was your biggest challenge?

“The pandemic is the first thing that comes to mind — that was far beyond anything we could have ever expected. The videos of Michigan Avenue completely empty were absolutely surreal. I think we did a phenomenal job, but the work is always ongoing. You can see the difference today, though — if you walk down Michigan Avenue you’ll see the sidewalks are packed. People are coming back downtown to play and work, and we’ve helped create an environment where people felt confident enough to venture back out– but it was not easy.”

What do you see for the future of Chicago’s business community?

“I think we’re going to have to change the way we look at the city, in general. A lot of things are different now, and we have to take a larger, more holistic view of Chicago. For our city to be successful, we need to promote all 77 neighborhoods, as well. On a personal level, I’m proud of the investments that our Illinois health plan has made with our hyperlocal Neighborhood Centers in Pullman, Morgan Park and South Lawndale. Not only have they created jobs within our own organization, but in the last year alone, the centers have hosted nine community job fairs attended by over 600 participants seeking their next employment opportunity.”

What is something you’re looking forward to in Chicago?

“I think Chicago is going to become a more experiential city, which will improve things here immensely. We’re going to put a greater emphasis on our culture with our world-class museums and music venues, and we’re going to do more with our beautiful lakefront and gorgeous riverwalk. Sports and entertainment are both growing industries, and we’re going to host more innovative events like NASCAR’s Chicago Street Race. This is a timely move, because our sports scene is getting more and more exciting — I can’t WAIT to see Caleb Williams on the field.”

What is something about you that would surprise people?

“People might be surprised to know that I’m a huge Red Hot Chili Peppers fan. Their music is diverse enough to have a song fitting any mood, and it has stood the test of time for 40 years as they still sell out arenas. I’ve seen them live 10 times, and I defy anyone to point me toward a more energetic stage experience.”

On behalf of Chicago’s business community, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce thanks Kevin Cassidy for his tremendous leadership and vision in helping move Chicago’s economy forward.