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Run, volunteer, or sponsor People Resource Center’s 5K

user by Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce
calendarTuesday, 28 February



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Indiana Tech partners with the Chamber to reduce tuition!

user by Talented Workforce Committee
calendarTuesday, 28 February

Indiana Tech and the Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce are working together to make pursuing a degree an easier and more affordable endeavor for its member company employees. In partnership with the Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce, Indiana Tech will reduce your undergraduate or graduate tuition by 20 percent!

Members can click HERE for more information. This link is designed for the Greater Oakbrook Chamber member company employees to request more information about Indiana Tech.


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Oak Brook Park District to introduce teen service camp

user by Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce
calendarMonday, 20 February

Local teens will have service hours at their finger tips this summer thanks to a new program offered by the Oak Brook Park District. From June-August, Tic Tac Toe, or T3 for short, will provide teens the opportunity to participate in up to seven comprehensive service projects designed to positively impact the community.

T3 stands for Teens Impacting Communities, Teens Activating Citizens, and Teen Outreach and Empowerment. “We know that there is a demand to fulfill service hours and we have the connections and the opportunities to help these kids reach their goals,” says Karen Spandikow, the district’s assistant director of recreation.

According to the program supervisor, Amanda Piasecki, the service projects are designed to get teens out of their comfort zones and develop a broader world view. Piasecki has worked with local organizations such as the Hinsdale Humane Society, Northern Illinois Food Bank, and Project Linus to provide a diverse range of opportunities for teens to participate in productive work.

The 7-week camp runs Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9am-3pm from June 13-August 3. On Tuesdays, teens will complete necessary prep work and research at the Family Recreation Center, 1450 Forest Gate Road. Projects will be completed on Thursdays at a different location each week.

Service projects will include reading to seniors and children, environmental clean-up and recycling, work with the Hinsdale Humane Society, and assisting with the Special Olympics. Participants may register week by week, or for the entire series. “Flexible registration allows teens to sign up for projects they feel connected to, which will help them stay engaged,” says Piasecki.

Registration for T3 will open on March 13 for residents and March 27 for nonresidents. Registration for is $84/week for residents and $109/week for nonresidents.

For more information, please contact Amanda at [email protected] or visit


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Peters & Associates advises on untapped Office 365 features

user by Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce
calendarMonday, 20 February

The pace of change in the cloud can be overwhelming. That’s why we took the time on January 10th to help educate Office 365 customers. During our hour long webinar, we detailed some of the lesser-known and unheralded Office 365 features that can provide significant value to Microsoft customers. The most important part about this: In most cases, you already own the licensing. This webinar was all about helping you to leverage the technology investments that you’ve made.

If you weren’t able to join us on the 10th, it’s your lucky day. In this blog post, I’ll recap some of the features that we covered. As a side note, we ran a couple of webinars of this same title back in early 2016. About half of the features discussed and shown last week were new to our presentation.

As usual, if left untethered by reader attention-spans and time constraints, this post could stretch a few pages. However, I will be demonstrating restraint today and keeping my synopsis brief. If you would like to dive deeper on these features or other topics, reach out to your Peters & Associates account manager or [email protected] and we can schedule a conversation. Let’s get to it…

Mandatory, Dreaded Licensing Paragraph

As mentioned above, this webinar was all about educating Office 365 customers about the lesser-known components of Office 365. The components that customers already own, but don’t fully understand yet. I am not a Microsoft licensing junkie and I will only discuss licensing to the extent that this webinar recap requires. I have that narrowed down to two sentences. Every feature discussed is available in E3 and E5 licensing plans. Some, but not all of the features are available in Small Business and E1 plans. If you need more specifics, I’m happy to answer questions in a follow up conversation.


Office 365’s Untapped Features

For the presentation, I divided these untapped features into two categories: Productivity and Security/Compliance. The first set of features that I will discuss fall under the Productivity category. These are the features that Microsoft added to help your users work smarter, collaborate more efficiently, and, generally, just get stuff done faster. The next set of features that I will discuss are the Security/Compliance features. These are the features that help to secure your organization’s sensitive data and to meet industry or vendor compliance policies.


We highlighted 6 features that Microsoft introduced to help organizations get more done. Here are the productivity features that we covered, along with a high-level explanation of their functionality:

  • Office 365 Groups – A collaboration platform that Microsoft introduced to help employees to work together outside of normal organizational siloes. Groups includes shared calendars, email, a conversation feed, a notebook, and files. As opposed to traditional workspaces, Groups is based around the idea of end-user driven collaboration.


  • Microsoft Teams – Teams is the most recent edition to Microsoft’s collaboration toolset. Building on the strengths of Groups (and including some integration), Teams emphasizes chat-based collaboration and integration with third-party tools like ZenDesk, Google Analytics, Constant Contact, and more.
  • Office 365 Planner – Planner is another feature that is based on the premise of Groups. Planner is a light-weight project planning platform that includes task creation, assignment, and process tracking. Integration with Teams and Groups adds more value to both platforms.
  • Azure Active Directory – Some of you may be familiar with Microsoft’s Azure AD Premium offering as part of their Enterprise Mobility + Security Suite, but many don’t know that they have a lighter-weight version available with your Office 365 subscription. Azure AD allows you configure Single-Sign On to third party cloud applications like Salesforce, Dropbox, Box, and 2,700 others. This saves your users from having to remember multiple sets of credentials and reduces the chance that they will continue poor security habits (like writing down their passwords). Advanced features like universal Multi-Factor Authentication and Self-Service Password Reset are available in the premium offering.
  • SharePoint Workflows – Many people know SharePoint as a document management system – which it does a good job of. However, the openness of the SharePoint platform often abstracts some of its strong process-based features. SharePoint Workflows can help to automate processes and increase efficiency. To help make the value of this more concrete, we’ve developed an out-of-the-box solution with pre-built workflows for HR departments. Ask your account manager or email [email protected] for more information.


Security and Compliance

In addition to the productivity features that we covered, we spent a good deal of time on the security functions included in Office 365. Here are some of the security features in Office 365 that you may not be aware of:

  • Data Loss Prevention – Data Loss Prevention is a compliance tool that is built into Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business. It is a tool designed to prevent sensitive information from going to the wrong place. Sensitive information could be credit card information, social security numbers, other compliance standards, and any custom identifiers that you choose. This compliance engine scans documents and email to identify sensitive information and allows you to determine how it should be dealt with.
  • Message Encryption – Exchange Online Message Encryption is an email encryption solution that can be applied to emails based on Data Loss Prevention policies or other mail flow rules. This is a great tool for protecting sensitive information or allowing employees to encrypt any email that they choose. Authorized recipients inside and outside your organization can view the email contents securely.
  • Information Protection – Information Protection is a step beyond message encryption. Information Protection is document and email-level security. It allows for rules and actions that can take place on a particular document or email – prevent editing, prevent printing, prevent save as, prevent forwarding, etc. This can be applied to email, SharePoint, and OneDrive for Business. Microsoft also has a premium offering that extends this functionality to on-premises file servers.


  • Multi-Factor Authentication – Originally introduced for administrator accounts only, Multi-Factor Authentication in Office 365 has been extended to all users. Requiring a 2nd factor of authentication (like a mobile device code or phone call) can greatly increase the security of your environment. This is an especially important feature for administrator accounts.
  • Mobile Device Management – Mobile Device Management has become an increasingly important technology as organizations expand their Bring Your Own Device policies. Microsoft has built Mobile Device Management into Office 365 – allowing administrators to require passwords, force encryption, provision corporate email, and selectively wipe corporate data on devices. This is a subset of the features provided with Microsoft’s Intune solution – but still a substantial offering for basic Mobile Device Management Needs.


This is just a subset of the features that Microsoft adds and enhances in Office 365 on a regular basis. As I mentioned at the outset, this forum doesn’t allow me to dig deep in this particular post. We will have future posts that discuss some of these features at a deeper level but if you’d like to learn more, contact us and we can talk through your Office 365 strategy.

Be on the lookout in the next couple of weeks for blog posts and webinars that explore Peters’ HRPortal solution, Microsoft Teams, and basic Office 365 collaboration strategy. In the meantime, email us at [email protected] to discuss how your organization can get more out of Office 365.



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Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce presents Annual Meeting and Awards Breakfast – March 20, 2017

user by Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce
calendarMonday, 20 February

The Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Awards Breakfast will be presented March 20 at the Marriott Hotel from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. Enjoy a fantastic breakfast and special keynote address by Chamberlain Group CEO JoAnna Sohovich. JoAnna is a seasoned leader and executive across multiple and diverse manufactured-goods businesses spanning industrial, commercial, residential and consumer end users. Ms. Sohovich is also an independent director for the Barnes Group, Inc., a member of The Committee of 200 and a retired Navy officer. She holds a BS in Economics from the United States Naval Academy and an MBA from Santa Clara University.

The breakfast will run from 7:00 to 7:45 a.m. The program, keynote address and awards presentation will follow from 7:45 to 9:00 a.m. The Chamber will again present the Model Workplace and Champion for Young Professionals Awards and present two new awards for Exceptional Service and Under 40 Leadership Recognition.

We invite members, partners and friends to be our guest at this always important annual event. Please register online at Please also feel free to contact Jenny Stanko at 708-609-4163 or [email protected] for information about this event.

CLICK HERE to register for this event.


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Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra announces its March 11 concert & silent auction fundraiser

user by David Carlin
calendarThursday, 16 February

The Elmhurst Symphony Association will be holding a Silent Auction at its March 11, 2017 concert. All funds raised by this event will go to support the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra and the continuing programs of the Elmhurst Symphony Association, but they can’t do it without your help!

The Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra is a cultural gem of the western suburbs – one that attracts a sophisticated audience looking for an evening of entertainment, dining and cultural experiences. They bring exhilarating performances right to the heart of the local community. Every concert has something for everyone. World-class music and highly professional players, led by their outstanding conductor plus spectacular collaborations with a wealth of guest performers and groups allow them to offer a diverse repertoire and the chance to see both acclaimed and up-and-coming artists.

In addition the Elmhurst Symphony Association brings music to life for students throughout Chicagoland. In-school, interactive demonstrations, competitions and opportunities for students to perform with the orchestra expand the students’ musical horizons and help to foster a lifelong appreciation for diverse types of music. Your support will help them maintain classical music’s position as a pillar of the community’s diverse cultural offerings for generations to come. The Silent Auction will offer concertgoers a wonderful variety of quality items donated by businesses and organizations such as yours.

The Donor receives: • Mention at auction table • Distribution of your promotional materials next to the donated item • Listing of name, address, phone, email & URL in a post auction email.

They appreciate your participation and support of this fundraiser, your contribution of merchandise and/or services is fully tax deductible as provided by law. If you have questions, please contact Silent Auction Coordinator Elizabeth Robinson at 630-941-0202.


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Peters & Associates introduces PULSE Assure Security Services

user by Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce
calendarMonday, 13 February


With the New Year behind us, most organizations are well into their strategic plans for 2017.  Among the goals of growing revenue, improving efficiencies and increasing marketing share, protecting digital assets and data is a top priority.  In the past year, business owners, executives, boards, and the government have increased their levels of concern and involvement in security.  The scope of what needs protection will only continue to increase as new technologies emerge.  Cyber attackers are more cutting-edge and innovative than ever before, increasing the likelihood that your organization will be targeted and compromised in the near-term future.

For those that do not have a dedicated Security Officer or IT Team, figuring out how to protect your organization may seem impossible.  Working with a managed service provide can help you fill the gaps in your security strategy.  Partnering with a trusted security service provider can be a game changer for your business.

While getting started can be intimidating, we can help take the guess work and uncertainty out of the process.  Beginning with an assessment, we evaluate your organization’s security posture at various levels such as data, infrastructure, application and process, in addition to compliance and regulatory requirements.  The results are assembled into a report that acts as a roadmap for you to begin building your organization’s Information Security Program.

Once you have your roadmap, our PULSE Assure Security Services offers a best-in-class suite of products and services to support your Information Security Program by managing multiple aspects of your environment for you.

peters chart

To learn more about Peters & Associates, go to  To speak with one of our security experts, reach out to [email protected] or 630.832.0075.

Meet one of our Security Experts – Thomas Johnson (TJ)


As the lead Information Security Architect at Peters & Associates, TJ is responsible for providing security and compliance leadership to our clients. This includes budgeting and risk management, vendor management, customer management, business continuity, data protection, security vendor/product selection, disaster recovery and incident response. TJ has over 25 years of experience in security and technology, as well as extensive compliance related expertise in banking, healthcare and manufacturing.

To connect with TJ, ping him on LinkedIn at:





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Policy update regarding a proposed Oak Brook business registration program

user by Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce
calendarMonday, 13 February

The Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce (OBCC) and Greater Oak Brook Economic Development Partnership (EDP) strongly oppose a business registration program in Oak Brook, for the following reasons:

  1. Unnecessary increased expense of doing business. This is an expensive and unnecessary program that would place an operational and financial burden on businesses and the Village of Oak Brook.
  2. Negative impact on business climate. As such, this program would have a significant negative impact on Oak Brook’s business climate.
  3. Impairs business development and retention efforts. This program will also impair Oak Brook’s ability to attract and retain companies.

Voices in support of business registration argue that the fire department needs more information in order to conduct inspections. However, we are not aware of a compelling reason to ramp up fire inspections in Oak Brook, nor do we believe that a business registration program in Oak Brook would add anything to Oak Brook‘s current ability to conduct inspections or improve its inspection efficiency. In fact, a business in one nearby community recently lodged complaints against its municipality for using its business registration process to disrupt their business operations with intrusive and arbitrary inspections.

Furthermore, if the Village has an interest in registering businesses for the purpose of tracking and monitoring all businesses on an ongoing basis, it should realize that municipalities can never accomplish this, with or without a registration program. Such a program would require the Village to significantly and continually increase its administrative and fire department personnel, at an increasing cost, while providing little, if any, benefit to Village operations. This seems impractical, especially given the current budgetary burdens of municipalities, including Oak Brook.

The proposal also implies that the Village should be concerned that some other municipalities have business registration programs, while Oak Brook does not. A municipality like Oak Brook, which has a longstanding history of working closely with its business community to grow its local economy, should not focus on doing what other less prosperous communities are doing. If the Village had not followed its own unique and innovative plan, which is based on a mutually beneficial economic relationship between businesses and residents, Oak Brook would not be the thriving community it is today. A business registration program had nothing to do with this success.

The communities that have business registration programs include home rule communities with heavy taxing authority that charge extremely high fees and taxes to businesses and residents. Some of these communities have tax rates three and four times higher than Oak Brook’s. They also have very different corporate community demographics and, therefore, large property tax burdens. In addition, superfluous fee programs like this proposed business registration program usually necessitate more and more fees and taxes for businesses and residents over time. This would eventually have an impact on the cost to do business here and the cost for Oak Brook’s residents to live here. This will chip away at Oak Brook’s current strong corporate cost advantage over surrounding communities.

Instead of instituting an onerous and nonessential business registration program, we hope the Village will stay focused on ensuring Oak Brook’s economic growth and long-term sustainability. We urge the Village to strengthen its efforts to solve Oak Brook’s emerging commercial development and infrastructure challenges and keep working to manage well the continually growing number of planning, zoning, and permitting requests from residents and businesses. We firmly believe that a business registration program will distract the Village from essential governmental responsibilities and will likely impair Oak Brook’s performance and success in these areas.


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Peters & Associates, together with Mesh Systems presents Internet of Things on February 16

user by Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce
calendarSaturday, 04 February


Gartner forecasts that by 2018 smart machines and industrialized services will reduce the total cost of ownership for business operations by 30%. Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer a futuristic concept — it’s here. Does your organization have a strategy to harness the power of the data coming from these devices and machines? This can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.

In this informative session, we will show you how you can get more out of your existing assets and transform your business through IoT. We will illustrate how a combination of tools and technology can help transform the data from your “things” into actionable insight and business results.   

Rachael Narel will discuss how, through the Azure IoT Suite and Power BI, Peters & Associates can help you can join leading organizations in becoming more agile and proactive in running your business. She will provide examples to help you envision the possibilities for IoT for your company and a model of how we partner with clients in an iterative and pragmatic way to introduce and expand its use throughout their organizations.

John Rouse will discuss how you can transform everyday devices with IoT, move from IoT concept to commercial reality, and where you can capitalize on new opportunities by harnessing the data of connected THINGS. John will conduct a live demonstration of a real-time IoT solution and will also share a few real-life client examples, including insights into how the projects moved from ideation to reality.

Register Now!


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STEP UP to the CHALLENGE and join American Lung Association at the Fight For Air Climb

user by Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce
calendarWednesday, 01 February

Will you climb the 680 stairs to the TOP? The American Lung Association, a Chamber member, would like to share their involvment with the Greater Oak Brook community! Please join them on Sunday, February 12th in the fight against lung disease!

Will you step up to the challenge and join them?

Register today!



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P.O. Box 3691,
Oak Brook, IL 60522-3691

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