From The President’s Desk: A Big Two Months

Something I quickly noticed after coming to the Chicagoland Chamber is that there’s always something interesting in the works. The pace at which the team here develops and produces events, content, and other strategic initiatives for members is impressive. This is especially true with some big things happening over the next two months.

James Tyree Award

The Chamber has $50,000 to give to an entrepreneur running a business that’s demonstrated growth and philanthropic values. Applications are now being accepted for the James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award. If you know a small business that’s doing great things, please tell them. The Tyree Award honors the legacy of Mesirow Financial’s beloved late Chairman and CEO, Jim Tyree, who also served as Chairman of the Chicagoland Chamber from 2007 to 2010.

Mesirow and CIBC partner each year to provide the cash prize. Past winners have gone on to remarkable success, including expanding nationally, winning other major awards, landing on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies, and even joining forces with global enterprises like Salesforce. If you know of an entrepreneur doing great things, please point her or him to this link for more information and to apply for the James Tyree Award.

March Matchmaking Madness

Chamber membership is about making business connections. March is a time when we make sure everyone knows it and takes advantage. There are six events on our calendar in March, and we’ll be adding more. For each one, after you register we’ll send you a list of everyone else who is attending. You can then tell us which people you would like personal introductions to – and we’ll make them happen. We might also make some suggestions of our own about people to connect with.

For Chamber members at the Leadership and President’s Circle levels, we’ll make introductions among Chicago’s most elite business decision makers. Chamber team members will be reaching out to you over the coming weeks to find out which companies, and exact people within them, you would like to connect with. We will then make three high-level connections for each member and facilitate 15-minute phone calls, or an in-person meeting at our next Board of Directors Meeting.

Our members have seen new significant contracts come from March Matchmaking connections.

The Exchange

The Exchange 2018 is a chance to get an inside look at the new Wintrust Arena at McCormick Square, and raise awareness about your business. The Exchange is one of the Chamber’s Signature Events and draws upwards of 700 people from all industries, with 100 Chamber members showcasing their businesses (video of last year’s event is here). The Exchange also features a panel discussion. This year’s panel is “The Business of Entertainment & Culture.” The event is April 18th. Information about showcasing your business, sponsorships and tickets is here.

The power of the Chamber network gets real results. Let’s all use it. Here’s our full schedule of upcoming events. I hope to see you soon.


Jack Lavin

President & CEO

Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce