The Daily Whale, a comprehensive online information service for businesses and professionals with a significant stake in government actions, published a Q&A with Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Theresa E. Mintle on Monday, June 16.

Among other topics, Mintle discusses her experiences working in government for Mayor Emanuel, the minimum wage issue’s impact on the local economy, and the importance of fostering international connections.

“Our storied history of being a city that has a great relationship between business, civic and government communities still continues today,” said Mintle. “We have a great city … and a wide variety of leaders who continue to honor our civic engagement practices from the


An excerpt from the Q&A below:

DW: How would you describe your leadership style?

TM: I like to lead by example. By that I mean I have a very strong work ethic. I like to throw out ideas and questions; no question or idea is dumb. … I like to encourage my staff to work very

hard but also be innovative and idealistic. … I like to … ask everybody’s opinion about things. I don’t like working in silos, I think the more collaboration the better.

DW: How do you believe small businesses fuel our area’s economy?

TM: Almost 99 percent of all registered businesses in the state of Illinois have 100 or fewer employees. Our membership here in the Chicagoland area, about 68 percent have 100 or fewer
employees. So the small businesses are important not only because they are job creators in the state and in our region, but if I’m willing to listen to my members and give them what they want, then the small business [community] is definitely a group that has a large voice.

Click here to read the full Daily Whale Q&A.