From The President’s Desk: A Historic Election

Historic change is happening in Chicago. I congratulate Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle, the candidates who emerged successful from last week’s mayoral election and will now campaign one-on-one toward a final runoff election on April 2. One thing we know is that the children of our city are seeing firsthand that any person, of any gender, of any color can become the Mayor of Chicago. That’s good for everyone.

The Chamber will seek to meet with each candidate, and will consider making an endorsement for the runoff election. As I told ABC 7 News and WTTW’s Chicago Tonight, it is crucial that the next mayor has a productive dialogue with all stakeholders, including the business community, when making decisions that will affect our city’s ability to create jobs, grow our economy, and bring new career opportunities to the people who live here.

The Chicagoland Chamber looks forward to working with the next mayor, whoever she is.

I am excited about the announcement earlier this week of the Chamber’s agenda for our 2019 Mid-Market Chicago programming. The middle market is a workhorse of our region’s economy. It comprises just 1.5% of companies, but generates 22% of all business revenue and provides jobs to 26% of private sector employees.

Next month, we’ll publish the findings of our new middle market survey. The research analyzes the performance of middle market firms in 2018, and provides a data-based outlook for the rest of 2019. We’ll unveil the survey findings at two State of the Mid-Market events; one in downtown Chicago on April 2, and one in Naperville on April 3. All business people are welcome to attend. For middle market firms, registration is complimentary.

I thank the drivers of the Chamber’s work to help the middle market thrive: our Presenting Sponsor BDO, and our partners AONBMO Harris BankDLA Piper, and Colliers International. To have your company be involved in our Mid-Market programming, please contact our Vice President of Programs, Joey Mak.

The Chamber hosts more than 100 business networking events per year. But there’s only one where our members, literally on-the-spot, sign new clients to contracts. That event is The Exchange, our annual all-industry trade show being held on April 9. It’s a business development event with a casual vibe, for firms of all sizes. Chamber members can invest in exhibit tables, and everyone from the business community is welcome to walk the floor and make connections.

The Exchange also has a dash of thought leadership, and I’m excited to announce that our panel moderator once again this year is Ryan Chiaverini, of ABC 7’s Windy City Live. Our main panel topic is Maximizing a Multigenerational Workforce. We’ll also have breakout sessions focused on Social Networking, Talent Acquisition, and managing team members from multiple generations. I hope to see you there!


Jack Lavin

President & CEO

Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce