|Thursday, April 13, 2017
From the President’s Desk: A Perfect Circle
This week has been a snapshot of the integrated vitality of the Chicago area business community, and the ways we can work together to keep rising together.
Last night, the Chicagoland Chamber held a reception at Mesirow Financial for the James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award. Mesirow Financial and The PrivateBank sponsor the $50,000 Tyree Award, and twelve up-and-coming small businesses made “Shark Tank”-style pitches to judges and a voting audience in the semi-final round of the award process. The future of Chicago’s economy was on display. It dazzled. The six finalists are: North Shore Exchange, CPURX, Dill Pickle Food Co-op, Fort Knox Studios/2112 Chicago, Inverom/Innova UEV, and Mawi Learning. We congratulate the bright faces and very sharp minds.
As these emerging businesses introduce themselves to many of us for the first time, Chicago’s most iconic businesses are teaming up with the Chamber for an essential event. We just confirmed Scott Hagel, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications for the Chicago Bears, will join our Business of Sports panel at the 2017 Exchange on April 25th at Soldier Field. The Exchange’s Keynote Panel now includes:
- Brooks Boyer – White Sox SVP, Sales & Marketing
- Scott Hagel – Bears SVP, Marketing & Communications
- Atul Khosla – Fire COO
- Michael Reinsdorf – Bulls President & COO, NBA Governor
- Laurence Holmes – 670 The Score (Panel Moderator)
Our sports teams are integrated operations in the extreme, and they’re innovating at every level. They’re also doing it all under a microscope; front office executives get as much scrutiny as players. Business people in every industry have much to gain from hearing this group.
The Chamber’s other major announcement this week is about the 113th Annual Meeting of Membership on June 6th at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Chef Rick Bayless, whose restaurant Topolobampo last month received a James Beard Award nomination, will give the Keynote Speech, titled “Growth with Integrity.” Bayless has advanced the notion and practice of making artisan products accessible to a wide customer base. He achieved scale, including a growing list of grocery brands, while raising the bar on quality. This, too, is something we can each learn from.
What I see in all this, as I mentioned on WGN Radio’s The Business Lunch with Steve Bertrand (timecode 18:40 at this link), is the ecosystem of the Chicago regional business community working full-circle. Our large, established members are investing in the youngest, smallest and most promising; our highest profile members are sharing experience and insight with those of us in slightly less glamorous, but equally important industries; and a chef-turned-Chicago-global-ambassador is sharing his personal recipe for business success.
It’s been a good week. The real beauty: it sets up even better things to come.
Theresa E. Mintle
President & CEO
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce