Gerald J. Roper is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, recently awarded a 5-Star accreditation – the highest possible – by the United States Chamber of Commerce for its sound policies, effective organizational procedures, and positive impact on the region’s business climate. The award is given to only the top five percent of all Chambers in the country. The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce serves as the greater voice of the business community in the six-county Northeastern Illinois region.
Before joining the Chamber in 1993, Roper served as President and CEO of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau. Roper was with the Convention and Tourism Bureau for nine years where he was the head of marketing and sales for both the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau and McCormick Place before being elected the Bureau’s President and CEO in 1988.
Prior to his work at the Bureau, Roper served as the Director of Operations of P & S Management Company – one of the largest Holiday Inn Franchise owners and was also General Manager for theHoliday Inn O’Hare-Kennedy from 1983 to 1988.As President and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Roper has been a leader and an advocate for the entrepreneurial community in Illinois – as demonstrated by his leadership in the formation of Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, an affiliate of the Chamber, the Center’s innovative Bridge Program that connects emerging companies to established firms to their mutual benefit, and the Illinois Innovation Accelerator (I2A) Fund to bolster access to venture capital.
Roper represents the voice of the Chicagoland business community on the Mayor’s Zoning Reform Commission, the Mayor’s Council of Technology Advisors, and the Chicago Workforce Board. Roper was also appointed by Mayor Daley to serve on the Chicago 2016 Transportation Advisory Council, the Mayor’s Taskforce on the Employment of People with Disabilities, and by Governor Blagojevich to serve on the Illinois Works Executive and Steering Committees, the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Board, the Illinois Blue Ribbon Pension Commission, and the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
An outspoken voice for the preservation of our regional aviation industry, Roper previously served as President of the Midwest Aviation Coalition, which was dedicated to preserving Chicagoland’s preeminence as the aviation capital of the world. His aviation advocacy also included service on the National Commission to Ensure Consumer Choice and Information in the Aviation Industry as an appointee of House Speaker Dennis Hastert in 2002.
Roper’s advocacy for transportation is not limited to aviation. He is a strong advocate for rapid transit and high speed rail, and the key organizer behind the National Business Coalition for Rapid Transit. He is also a founding member of the Business Leaders for Transportation, which focuses on the various forms of transit and transportation that businesses and their employees use every day.
Roper also actively participates in a number of civic and industry organizations, serving as Chairman of the President’s Advisory Council for Harold Washington College and Chairman of Gateway Green. He serves on the boards of the Chicago Sister Cities International Program, the American Chamber of Commerce Executives, the International Visitors Center of Chicago, the Library of International Relations, the Chicago-China Economic Development Center, the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, LifeSource, and is on the Executive Committees of the Manfred Steinfeld School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Roosevelt University and the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations.
Roper has received numerous awards recognizing his service to the association, convention, and tourism industries, as well as the business community, including: Meeting Planners International, Chicago Chapter, 1997 Kathy Osterman Industry Award; the 1997 Harold Washington College Distinguished Business Leader Award; the 2000 Roosevelt University Lifetime Achievement Award; the 2003 Illinois Hotel and Lodging Associations Ambassador of Hospitality Award; a Master of Hospitality and Tourism Management Honoris Causa from Roosevelt University, Evelyn T. Stone University College in 2003; and the 2005 Good Citizen Award, from the Chicago Area Council, Boy Scouts of America and the Learning for Life Law Enforcement Luncheon Steering Committee.
A native of Pittsburgh, PA, he and his wife Carol reside in the city of Chicago.
Last Updated on 2011-02-14 13:12:30.06