business BLOG



user by David Carlin
calendarTuesday, 31 July

Opportunity to engage future workforce earlier in the talent pipeline

The Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce presented its first Greater Oak Brook Intern Day Luncheon honoring 75 college interns working with member employers in Oak Brook and Oak Brook Terrace this summer. The event, coinciding with National Intern Day, was held on July 26 at The Clubhouse in Oak Brook from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.   Interns from member companies including Ace Hardware, ComEd, Elkay Manufacturing, HUB Group, Millennium Trust Company, Inland Real Estate, Hyatt Lodge and Child’s Voice attended the event. The luncheon’s program shared information with local interns regarding the benefits of choosing the Greater Oak Brook area when they consider the launch of their own careers.

Table Discussions among Chamber Young Business Leaders and Interns

Each table was be hosted by a member of the Chamber’s Young Business Leaders group, offering perspective on their own career development working within the Greater Oak Brook community. The interns had the opportunity to benefit from a panel discussion of experienced hiring managers, sharing insider recommendations on making the most of internship opportunities and standing out in the graduate hiring process. The interns were also be entered into a raffle to win generous prizes from area retailers, hospitality and wellness providers including Michael Jordan’s Restaurant, Kendra Scott, Vineyard Vines, Pandora Jewelry, Roka Akor, Alex and Ani, Waxing the City, West Suburban Wellness, Oakbrook Center, Hyatt Lodge, Marriott Oak Brook, Top Golf and others.

Chamber staff member Jenny Stanko presents a raffle prize.

Internships are seen as one of the most effective tools employers have in developing their pipeline of future talent. According to the National Association of College and Employers 2018 Internship and Coop Report, intern offers and acceptance rates indicate a robust hiring market. U.S. employers expect to hire 3.4% more interns in 2018 than last year. The 2017 offer rate for interns was 59%, the acceptance rate was 77.3%, and the conversion rate was 45.6%, demonstrating the great value for interns and employers in participating in this process.

“Our fellow Chamber member companies have dedicated themselves to providing quality experiences for their interns this summer, knowing how important this tool is in building our future workforce,” said Nora O’Connor, Chair of the Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce’s Talented Workforce Committee and Executive Vice President of The Inland Real Estate Group. “We appreciate the Chamber enhancing this experience by introducing our interns to current young business leaders in the area and highlighting the hospitality and networking advantages of launching a career in the greater Oak Brook area.”


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user by David Carlin
calendarWednesday, 18 July

Public-Private Collaboration Expands Commuter Options and Connects Employees, Public to Oak Brook via Elmhurst Metra Station


The Regional Transportation Authority of Northeastern Illinois (RTA), the Village of Oak Brook, the Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce, and Chariot have teamed up to launch a new weekday microtransit shuttle route to connect commuters from the Metra station in Elmhurst to 10 commercial properties along and near Commerce Drive in Oak Brook. Acting in its role as community connector, the Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce identified and engaged 10 multi-tenant properties in a densely populated area, allowing local companies and their employees to jointly benefit from the RTA and properties’ investment in the project.

The pilot is a first-of-its-kind public-private engagement with a microtransit company in the RTA region. The project uses Chariot’s service to address the first- and last-mile commuter challenge and leverages the support of local employers who wish to offer more transportation options for their employees. Rides are provided both to and from the 10 properties and the Metra station.

The 14-passenger Ford Transit vans are outfitted with free WiFi and driven by Chariot’s W-2 employee drivers. Users can reserve a seat up to 45 minutes in advance on the day of their ride via the iOS or Android app and meet their Chariot outside the Elmhurst Metra station or outside the properties for a ride to the Metra station.

“At Chariot, one of our major initiatives is to work with transit agencies, businesses and organizations to create commuting solutions that connect residents with nearby rail and bus stations,” said Chariot CEO Dan Grossman. “We’re looking forward to helping area employees and the local community easily get around the Oak Brook area, and becoming another sustainable transportation option people can rely on in the region.”

Tenants in the participating Oak Brook properties ride for free, and other passengers can ride for the price of $6.30 per ride. 10-ride passes are also available for $58 (a $5 discount), and new riders may use the promo code “oakbrookfreeweek” for a free week of Chariot rides.

“We are always looking for innovative new ways to eliminate barriers to transit ridership,” said Leanne Redden, RTA Executive Director. “This pilot is an opportunity to work with a microtransit provider to allow riders to get to jobs in a community near, but without a Metra station. The project uses tools that were not available even a few years ago, with a greater flexibility to respond to riders and businesses needs and lower public investment, than expanding the current ‘fixed route’ transit system.”

The pilot program is scheduled to run for up to two years. In the first year, 80 percent of the funds will come from RTA, and 20 percent from participating property owners. In the second year, each party will be responsible for 50 percent of the cost.

“Attracting and retaining top talent within our community is a primary focus of the Chamber’s programming,” said Susan Lindquist, Board Chair of the Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce and Chief Talent Officer at BCS Financial. “Expanding that pipeline through access to mass transit and innovative commuting solutions will further fuel the economic growth of our members. Many of our member companies are closely connected to the City of Chicago, through their employees, clients or multiple corporate locations. The shuttle enhances the strength of those relationships.”

The first rider was Sandro Plamp, an energy efficiency engineer who heard about the service while he accepted a position in Oak Brook and was determining how he would commute to his new job.

“I don’t own a car and I am used to relying on public transit to get around,” said Sandro. “This service really expanded my possibilities for employment. The Metra – Chariot combination for my commute is reliable and extremely comfortable.  It is also very flexible if I need to stay late or come in early for meetings, and it is a great value.”

Millennial workers aged 18-34 make up about a third of the region’s workforce. They are multimodal and increasingly not as interested in getting their drivers’ licenses. 2016 data from Governing Magazine show that 28 percent of households in the city of Chicago have no car.

“Partnering with our businesses and other government entities promotes the economic development, stability and sustainability of our workforce,” said Oak Brook Village Manager Rick Ginex. “For Oak Brook to remain competitive and well serve its over 60,000 daily employees, we must provide a transportation system to bring a highly skilled workforce from the surrounding suburbs and the Chicago metro area. This pilot program provides a great additional commuting tool to the Village.”


About the RTA

The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) is the transit agency charged with regional financial oversight, funding, and transit planning for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace bus and ADA paratransit. The system provides more than two million trips each weekday on the RTA region’s transit system in six counties with 7,200 transit route miles throughout Northeastern Illinois.  The Agency also provides customer services including online and telephone travel planning assistance and travel training for seniors and people with disabilities.  For more information, visit


About Chariot

Chariot is reinventing transportation with a microtransit solution that is fast, reliable and affordable for people living in today’s cities. Riders can easily reserve a seat on a Chariot via the iOS or Android app, and hop on one of the company’s 14-passenger Ford Transit vehicles operated by friendly, professional employee drivers. After launching in San Francisco in 2014, the company participated in Y Combinator’s Winter 2015 class and was acquired in September 2016 by Ford Smart Mobility to serve as the cornerstone for its global shuttle services business. Chariot runs more than 100 daily routes serving San Francisco, New York, Austin, Seattle, Columbus and London. For more information, visit


About the Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)6 business association governed by a board of directors comprised of executives from Greater Oak Brook companies representing a wide range of industries: small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, hospitality and retail businesses, technology companies, commercial real estate firms, and more. The related Greater Oak Brook Chamber Economic Development Partnership is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that brings Oak Brook and Oakbrook Terrace businesses and government together to understand and address the economic needs of the Oak Brook area. The EDP conducts research, gathers and analyzes data, publishes information, and coordinates activities on behalf of Oak Brook and Oakbrook Terrace to attract and retain businesses and employees, support commercial revitalization efforts and transportation and infrastructure improvements, and attract and retain a skilled workforce. For more information visit and


Photo Credit: Laura Meyer Photography



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NAI Hiffman Aubrey Van Reken represents tenant in a new East-West Corridor lease

user by David Carlin
calendarMonday, 09 July

NAI Hiffman is proud to announce it has represented Kriha Law Firm in a new lease for a 4,213 square-foot office space at Two TransAm Plaza Drive in Oak Brook.

Darcy Kriha, owner of Kriha Law Firm, practices educational law and provides preventative advice and proactive solutions for many Illinois school districts. In May 2018, Kriha decided to leave a Chicago law firm and advance her career by opening her own practice in Oak Brook. “It’s rewarding to know that Two TransAm Plaza provides such favorable lease terms and the quality office build-out Kriha needs to develop and grow her new practice,” said NAI Hiffman Vice President Aubrey Van Reken, who represented Kriha Law Firm in the transaction.


About NAI Hiffman

Comprised of more than 160 real estate professionals, NAI Hiffman provides leasing, management, investment sales and capital markets representation for owners and occupiers of commercial real estate in the Chicago metro market. It currently leases and manages an 80+ million SF portfolio of over 700 commercial properties throughout metropolitan Chicago, Northwest Indiana and Southeast Wisconsin. NAI Global offices are leaders in their local markets and work in unison to provide clients with exceptional solutions to their commercial real estate needs. NAI Global has more than 400 offices strategically located throughout the world, with 7,000+ local market professionals, handling over $20 billion in transaction value and managing 425+ million SF of property. For more information, please visit


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Illinois Chamber of Commerce To Present Cybersecurity Conference on July 24

user by David Carlin
calendarMonday, 09 July

Cybersecurity is an issue that impacts all of us, regardless of who we or what we do. Collaboration and communication between government entities and the private sector is essential to our success combating cyber threats. This event brings together public and private entities to discuss policy and best practice in cybersecurity to help businesses be prepared for whatever the future brings for both small and large businesses.



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

[email protected]

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