Thousands of American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) members—with Director of Membership Kevin O’Keeffe and I among a strong Illinois contingent—from across the United States, Canada and elsewhere convened in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, from July 23-27 for both personal development and the betterment of our organizations.
I also served on the three-judge panel that selected the ACCE Convention’s 2013 Awards for Communication Excellence (ACE) Best in Show honorees for small and large chambers from category winners in publications, advertising, campaigns and electronic.
In his July 26 Keynote Address titled “Bringing the Dream Back,” entrepreneur and author Michael E. Gerber, who is touted as the “World’s No. 1 Small Business Guru,” reported that American businesses’ sole proprietors need only hire one employee to immediately expand the workforce by 70,000 jobs.
Gerber also noted that the name “Chamber of Commerce,” which pre-dates Coca-Cola by a century, stands among the most-iconic brands and well-known businesses. Chambers of Commerce, you see, is where the spirit of entrepreneurship unites for a common good.
Entrepreneurship: The American Dream
Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Nike, Microsoft and Apple are among the most-iconic brands and well-known businesses around the planet, but each of those international corporate giants traces its roots back to the entrepreneurial spirit upon which America’s economic system of free enterprise is based.
While Dr. John Pemberton formulated a new cocaine-extract-based tonic back in 1886, it was fellow Atlanta pharmacist Asa Candler who, after purchasing the beverage recipe in 1887 for $2,300, forcefully marketed Coca-Cola into a soda fountain drink sensation.
Mac and Dick McDonald opened their popular San Bernardino, California, burger joint back in 1940, but it required a Ray Kroc, who had already filed for bankruptcy multiple times, to envision what his 1955 Golden Arch franchise in nearby Des Plaines could become before buying out the brothers in 1961 for $2.7 million.
Former University of Oregon distance runner Phil Knight represented a small Japanese fish (Tiger running shoes) competing in a big pond of German manufacturers until a 1964 handshake with Ducks track and field coach Bill Bowerman, a running shoe-designing guru, formed the pre-Nike Swoosh Blue Ribbon Sports.
IBM (International Business Machines), or Big Blue as it was known, dominated the computer software market before geeks Bill Gates and Paul Allen combined brainpower in 1975 on their way to developing the most-user friendly operating systems in Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office. What the Gates-Allen team accomplished for software users mirrored the computer- designing feats of Steven Jobs and Steven Wozniak in the world of personal computers, starting in 1976 with Apple I.
The aforementioned vignettes shine a spotlight on the very best of America’s entrepreneurial spirit, but they are but a fraction of the individual successes that make up our business communities and labor force.
Despite the daunting statistic that four in five new businesses typically fail, entrepreneurs by the thousands are willing to resign from the corporate life, invest their savings and even mortgage their homes for a chance at doing what they love AND earn a living.
Board Resolution on Addison LLC
The Board of Directors at its July 16 regular meeting at Community Bank of Elmhurst approved a resolution regarding the Addison LLC Redevelopment Project, as follows:
“Be it hereby resolved that the Board of Directors of the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry supports redevelopment of the vacant Addison Avenue property in downtown Elmhurst that provides first-floor retail space along Addison and the Schiller Walkway, considers options for multiple floors of office space and maximizes the amount of garage parking for both the public and tenants.”
The resolution was sent to the Elmhurst City Council’s Development, Planning and Zoning (DPZ) Committee, which is reviewing the proposed redevelopment project.
Chamber Mobile Web Page
At no cost to our members, the Chamber has upgraded its database management software package to ChamberMaster Plus, which will allow for development of a mobile web page, integration of our social media pages, expansion of Hot Deals and so much more.
Six members are celebrating Chamber anniversaries in June, as follows: 35 years—Elmhurst Artists’ Guild; and 5 years—Affiliated Agencies, American Mattress, Flight 112 Wine House, LifeSource Chicagoland’s Blood Center, and Richard F. Blass & Associates, Attorneys at Law.
The Chamber welcomed eight new members in July, as follows (in alphabetical order): Collaborative Education Solutions, CR Embroidery, Fast On Site Computer Repair, Goalie’s Goodies, LMN Consulting, The Snuggery and Verdant Health.
The following business reactivated as Chamber members in July: PACT, Inc.
No Longer Members
The Chamber said goodbye to the following 11 members in July: Avid Painting & Remodeling, Boy Scouts of America-Three Fires Council, Chicagoland Refreshments, Creative Media Consultants, Doc Ryan’s, Geri’s Spa Sheli and Salon, Grace Bible Church, Just Tires, Porter Specialty Advertising Corporation, Remedy Intelligent Staffing and Timothy Christian Schools.