Scott Swanson, Regional President, PNC Bank, Illinois; Jerry Roper, Former President & CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber; Carol Roper, Jerry's Wife; and Theresa E. Mintle, President & CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber in February when Roper was honored as the first recipient of the Chicagoland Chamber PAC Advocacy Champion Award.
Chicago – Early this morning we learned of the passing of Jerry Roper, former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce from 1993 until 2013.
“Not only did Jerry Roper have a profound impact on the business community here in Chicago, he was a compassionate, generous man that connected on a personal level with everyone he met,” said Theresa E. Mintle, President & CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. “Chicago is a better place to live and work today because of the contributions of Jerry Roper.”
“Jerry Roper was a great friend and I had the honor of working with him for many years,” said Paul La Schiazza, Chairman of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and President of AT&T Illinois. “He was a tireless leader and advocate for the small business and entrepreneurial communities in Chicagoland.”
Roper spearheaded advocacy efforts which brought about the elimination of the city’s head tax, a rollback of the county sales tax, and workers’ compensation reform. He also played an integral role in the development of Chicago’s Perishable Center at O’Hare Airport in 2013 and has been a long-time advocate for a land-based casino in Chicago to boost tourism and economic development.
Under Roper’s leadership, the Chamber launched the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center in 2000, which now operates the highly successful 1871 digital startup incubator. In 2005, he helped lead the launch of disabilityworks, a collaborative effort among the Chamber, the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities and DCEO to implement solutions to the issues that confront people with disabilities. In 2007, the Chamber was awarded a 5-star designation by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the highest level of accreditation for a Chamber.
Roper’s positive impact on the Chicagoland business community began well before his time at the Chamber. In 1978, he served as the head of marketing and sales for the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau for nine years before being elected as its President & CEO in 1988.
About the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce combines the power of people with our legacy of leadership and business advocacy to drive a dynamic economy. We focus on delivering value for our members, making Chicagoland a world-class place to live and work. Visit ChicagolandChamber.org.