The Chamber is here for you. Meet the hardworking team that curates programs, makes introductions, advocates on behalf of business, plans events, shares your news and supports you in every way.

Chamber Senior Executives

Jack Lavin

President and Chief Executive Officer

Jack Lavin is the sixth President and Chief Executive Officer of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce since the organization’s founding in 1904. He has more than thirty years of financial and management experience in both the public and private sectors. Throughout his career, Jack has focused on economic and business development in order to create jobs and improve the quality of life for people in Chicago and Illinois.

Jack served as Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the State’s economic and workforce development agency. He revamped and rebranded the organization to incorporate technology and entrepreneurship into the overall mission. He worked closely at the time with the Chicagoland Chamber to incubate the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center and developed an early stage venture capital fund, which led to the founding of 1871. His work with the Chamber also established the award-winning Disabilityworks program, which provides job training for people with disabilities and promotes their hiring.

Jack also served as Chief of Staff for Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, and Chief Operating Officer of the State of Illinois. He led the passage and implementation of the largest capital infrastructure bill in Illinois history and was responsible for managing the operations of the Governor’s office and all State government agencies. Prior to that, he served in financial leadership positions for Abbott Laboratories and a private restaurant company.

Jack serves on boards for the Chicago Children’s Theatre, the University YMCA, and the Chicago Leadership Alliance. He has also served on the City of Chicago’s 2016 Olympic Bid Committee, Navy Pier’s Long Range Strategic Plan Committee as Co-Chair, and the BIO Convention Steering Committee. Jack is a strong advocate for people with disabilities. He led a Task Force for Mayor Daley on Special Education in the Chicago Public Schools and serves on the advisory board of the Adult Down Syndrome Center.

Jack holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, a master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Chicago, and a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Illinois. He lives in Chicago with his wife and three children.

Jan Kostner

SVP, Membership and Corporate Relations

Jan is the Senior Vice President, Membership and Corporate Relations. She has a wealth of experience in both the private and public sectors. She began her career at Jasculca Terman Strategic Communications, where she served many corporate clients. In government, Jan was the longest-serving Director of Tourism for the State of Illinois. She later was part of the team that created the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. Most recently, Jan served as Director of Marketing at the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Jan is a graduate of New England College with a BA in Communications and holds a certificate in Social Media Marketing from DePaul University.

Sara E. Barnett

Vice President, Operations

Sara is the Chamber’s Vice President of Operations, and Interim Executive Director of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Prior to joining the Chamber staff, she served as President and CEO of the destination marketing organization, Visit Oak Park. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Council of Convention and Visitors Bureau. Earlier, Sara worked in high-level positions with the Illinois Lottery and the office of the Illinois Governor.

A Chicago resident, Sara graduated from Marquette University with a BA in Political Science, and earned her MA in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University.

Marianne Floriano

Vice President, Corporate Development

Joey Mak

Vice President, Programs

Joey is Vice President, Programs at the Chamber. Prior to joining our team, he launched several business assistance programs and public-private partnerships at the University of Illinois, where he served as Director of Economic Development and Innovation. Earlier, he led the Office of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, where he focused on accelerating high-growth industries and assisting small businesses.

Joey graduated from Loyola University Chicago with degrees in Political Science and Anthropology, and received his Master of Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a proud resident of Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.

Brad Tietz

Vice President, Government Relations

Brad Tietz is the Vice President, Government Relations at the Chamber. Previously, Brad served as the Director of Legislative Affairs for the Illinois Department Commerce and Economic Opportunity. In this role, Brad was successful in shepherding through the legislative process a number of bills that created new programs and modernized existing programs always with a focus on transparency and ensuring greater access for small and minority-owned businesses. Before that, he served as a Senior Legislative Analyst for revenue and labor issues for the Illinois House Republican Caucus.

Brad graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a BA in Political Science. He currently resides on the northwest side of Chicago with his wife and son.

Chamber Staff

Cathy Bonfield

Manager, Membership Retention

Stacey Pitts Caldwell

Center Director – SBDC

Energized by her experience in business, marketing and development, Stacey comes to the Chamber with a passion for helping entrepreneurs and small business owners thrive. Through individual advising, programs and community outreach, Stacey works to elevate and bring awareness to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Stacey earned both her Bachelor of Arts in Management and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees from Benedictine University. She is a small business owner and always takes a creative approach to her endeavors, both personally and professionally.

Amanda Clemons

Director, Marketing

Amanda oversees the marketing efforts of the Chamber to ensure information is fun, interesting, accessible and a true resource to our members. With expertise in social media, email marketing, website content, and event campaigns, Amanda is a true asset to the Chamber. She is a proud University of Michigan alum (Go Blue) and has worked in corporate, retail, and non-profit marketing including the Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce, PulteGroup, and franchise consulting with Pet Supplies Plus Corporate.

Brandi Hovizi

Associate, Member Resources

Erin Leary

Director, Member Engagement

As Manager, Member Engagement, Erin loves connecting with Members. She has a strong background in hospitality sales and is passionate about entrepreneurship and small business. When not working, she can be found in the yoga studio or making jewelry!

Adrienne McFarland

IL SBDC Virtual Coordinator

Adrienne is a Marketing and Event Planning professional born and raised in Memphis Tennessee. She has been a Chicago resident since 2012. She is the owner of Chaibles, an event supply small business, she and her husband launched in 2017, located in Chicago, Illinois.  Adrienne began her career as a marketing and game day operations coordinator for the NCAA Ohio Valley Conference. She knows what truly drives conversions, builds relationships, and engagement strategies. She believes it’s not mastering the marketing plan, it’s how well you connect with people you’re trying to help and get to know and then communicating your understanding back to them.

Upon arriving to Chicago, Adrienne held a fundraising position with ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, overseeing various donor relationships and fundraising events across the Midwest region. In addition to her professional career, She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She was married in 2016 to her husband Billy. They have a 2 year old daughter, Aja.  Adrienne holds a BA in Mass Communications and a MA in Sports Administration from Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee.

Eva Paredes

Senior Director, Member Engagement

An experienced networker with a background in entrepreneurship, Eva is responsible for developing membership and providing our Chamber members with strategies to successfully leverage their involvement and grow their business. Eva is a compulsive reader, has a passion for cycling and will try anything new (within reason).

Sofia Rivera

Executive Assistant

Amelia Salter

Director, Programs

Amelia Salter is the Director of Programs at the Chamber. Over her career, Amelia has worked on collaborative projects with startups, nonprofits, government and corporate partners in the U.S., India, and Australia. Prior to joining our team, she was the Assistant Director for Economic Development & Innovation for the University of Illinois System, where she developed initiatives to drive economic development and connect Illinois-based corporate, community and university stakeholders.

Amelia holds a BA in Communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA with a concentration in International Business from the University of Illinois at Chicago. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling, cooking, and running.

Lily Scannell

Senior Events Specialist

Jill Synoga

Controller

Jill received her Bachelors and MBA from St. Xavier University. She is responsible for preparing the monthly financial statements, audit and tax preparation, and payroll and employee benefits. She enjoys shopping, baking and spending time with her family.

Sarah Tuohy

Manager, Member Engagement

Othello Van Calbert

Business Advisor – SBDC

Othello helped run his family-owned businesses from an early age until his late twenties. Since then, he has helped run other small businesses, earned his bachelor’s degree at DeVry Institute of Technology, and worked for Argonne National Lab as a data acquisition and project management. He also worked at Mitsubishi Electric Automation as a quality control engineer.

As founder and CEO of Othello Business Solutions, a management consulting firm, Othello helps businesses through data analytics and data science. Othello is enthusiastic about collaborating with entrepreneurs and companies, big or small, supporting them to reveal hidden insights into their data, perform a market analysis, chalk out strategies, and analyze their financial structure for better profitability.

Othello is happily married with three kids. He enjoys martial arts, spending quality time playing games, and going for walks with his family. Othello also enjoys coding with Excel, R, Python, Spyder, Visual Studio Code, MS Power BI, and Azure for apps and dashboards. He is also pursuing a Charter Financial Analysis certification.

John Yoo

Senior Manager, CRM Administrator & IT

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