February President's Message

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February 01, 2017

Dear Members:
Although the year 2017 is still in its infancy, I want to update you on some of the Chamber’s Centennial Celebration planning for our 100th Anniversary come 2018.
For 2017, our Membership Committee—chaired by ECCI Board of Directors member, Executive Committee member and Second Vice Chair Kevin Kost of Edward Jones Investments—developed, for the first time, a two-year membership discount to assure that new members for 2017 will be part of our Centennial year.
In January, three of the four new members recruited by Director of Member Services Tessa Zemgulys opted to taken advantage of our Chamber’s Buy One, Get One Half Price (BOGO ½) offer, saving each of them $176 or more.
Our Marketing Committee—chaired by Director, Executive Committee member and First Vice Chair Ken Bartels of Community Bank of Elmhurst—is working to complete our first-ever Communications Plan, to redesign our logo and tagline, and to reformat our website to be responsive to any kind of accessing technology.
Our Ways and Means Committee—chaired by Director, Executive Committee member and Treasurer Ralph Pechanio—is undertaking a once-in-a-century Capital Campaign to raise $250K to accomplish three goals:
  • First, to endow our Chamber’s Student Intern Reimbursement Fund at Elmhurst College;
  • Second, to fund construction of a public Civic Hall of Fame Memorial; and
  • Third, to establish a Second Century Fund to secure our Chamber’s future for the next 100 years.
I am happy to report that we are already halfway to reaching our lofty goal thanks to two major benefactors.  In December, retired Elmhurst banker Ralph Pechanio, a long-time Chamber member and volunteer, donated $100K to Elmhurst College to endow our Student Intern Reimbursement Fund.  And, in tribute to my 25-year history with ECCI, I have pledged $25K to start the Second Century Fund.  Plus, donations of $500 or more were given by the Elmhurst Women in Business group and Charity Ahlgrim.
And we have reached out to City officials in hopes of including our Civic Hall of Fame Memorial within their future redevelopment of the Schiller Walkway between York Street and Addison in downtown Elmhurst.
When done, our Chamber hopes to raise $150K for the Elmhurst College Student Intern Endowment, $50K for the Civic Hall of Fame and $50K for the Second Century Fund.
To those ends, I trust that each of you will consider how best you, your business or both can support our cause, be that with a cash donation or by gift-in-kind.
Thank you in advance for whatever you may decide to contribute to our cause.

15th Economic Outlook Luncheon
On February 3, William A. Strauss, Senior Economist and Economic Advisor in the Economic Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, will deliver the Keynote Address at the 15th Annual Economic Outlook Luncheon for the 10th year in a row.  The multi-chamber event is organized by the Westmont Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau and our Chamber, with 14 other west suburban chambers joining us.
“State of Our City” Mayoral Address
Elmhurst Mayor Steve Morley’s fourth "State of Our City" Mayoral Address delivered at the Chamber's January 10 Membership Breakfast sponsored by Community Bank of Elmhurst, will be broadcast by Elmhurst Our Kind of Town in February on Thursdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. on Comcast Channel 6 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99.  After February, you can view the program at elmhursttv.com and on our website.
Happy Anniversaries
Seven members are celebrating Chamber anniversaries in February, as follows:  50 yearsStolper State Farm Insurance; 25 yearsMessiah Lutheran Church; 20 yearsCastco Communications, Patrick T. Sheehan & Associates and West Automotive Service, Inc.; 15 yearsRaceway Electric Co., Inc.; and 5 yearsBannerville USA.

New Members
The Chamber welcomed four new members in January, as follows:  Evolution Dance Experience, LA Fitness, The Elmhurst Titan and Two Chefs Catering.
In advance of LA Fitness’ February 4 Grand Opening, City of Elmhurst officials will join our green-coated Chamber Ambassadors at a special ribbon-cutting today at 11:30 a.m.
No Longer Members
The Chamber said goodbye to the following eight members in January: Dennis Saviano CPA, MOD Pizza, Redco, Inc. Real Estate Brokerage (Ray), The Reiki Share Project, Riordan Artistry, SIGN*A*RAMA, Tom’s Photo Repair and Zelko Aesthetics/ZBodySculpt.