Dear Members:


With Julie Miller becoming the first former student intern to ascend to Chair of the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Board of Directors, now is the perfect time for me to ask your financial assistance toward our continued participation in the Elmhurst College’s JOBPATH Program.

Julie was my first student intern after I became Chamber President and CEO back in November of 1999, but then-Director Patrick T. Sheehan hired her away prior to her graduation—starting a tradition of members offering interns full-time employment—and she has successfully managed his tax law office ever since.


Aside from Julie, three other interns have served on the Chamber Board, including current Second Vice Chair Mike Himmes of Suburban Bank & Trust.  Preceding them as Directors were Joe Skibbie (then with Community Bank of Elmhurst) and Jillian Milinkovich (then with OEC Business Interiors) in 2004 and 2006, respectively.


For Fiscal Year 2013, the Illinois Board of Higher Education approved $1,114,500 in funding for the Illinois Cooperative Work Study Program to serve more than 1,300 students attending 54 colleges and universities.  A 21-year participant, Elmhurst College was awarded $33,858 (seventh highest in the state) to serve 39 JOBPATH students.


Paid internships in the private sector have a 50/50 salary match with the employer, while student interns in the non-profit sector (such as our Chamber) have a 60/40 salary match.  Our interns, who are paid $10 per hour, also receive course credit based on hours worked.


According to the project synopsis submitted by Holly Coffin, Internship Coordinator at Elmhurst College’s Center for Professional Excellence, students benefit from the program both academically and financially. They are given the opportunity to earn money, therefore decreasing the need for student loans, while enhancing their career development, earning credit hours and exploring a potential career field.


Back in 2004, an anonymous benefactor donated more than $53,000 to Elmhurst College to reimburse our Chamber for the 40% of the intern salary not covered by JOBPATH, and has made annual gifts of $3,000 each of the last three years.  In a given year, that non-JOBPATH reimbursement can amount to as much as $4,000 per intern.


In the past decade, a total of 16 student interns have benefited from that donation, including Tessa Zemgulys, a non-traditional student who has served as my Executive Assistant since graduating in May of 2011.  Maybe you remember Heather, Rachel, Marie, Mike, Amanda, Kelly, Anna, Kimberly, Sean, Kristin, Nicole, Kaitlin and Erin?


If you care to make a tax-deductible donation in support of our student interns, please contact Ann Palumbo, the College’s Corporate Relations Officer, by phone at 630-617-6458 or via e-mail at


Health Care Exchange Updates

Small businesses across DuPage County can get on-line assistance finding health insurance coverage for their employees at, a one-stop course for information regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) managed by the DuPage County Health Department with funding from the Illinois Department of Health.  Call 1-888-724-0077 for more info.


Small business, individual and families can also access the State of Illinois’ public health care exchange, and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Flexible Benefit Service Corporation (Flex), which exclusively offers InsureXSolutions®, to develop a private exchange to provide small employers and their employees, as well as individual consumers, with the most appropriate and affordable health insurance plan.


Social Media Pages

Our Chamber’s Facebook page is nearing the 400 Like mark, so become a fan following us if you haven’t already done so.  More than 625 of you are following us on Twitter, too.


Happy Anniversary

Three members are celebrating Chamber anniversaries in December, as follows: 35 yearsElmhurst YMCA; and 5  yearsBody & Soul Spa Retreat and Kramer + Olson Architecture.


New Members

The Chamber welcomed four new members in November, as follows (in alphabetical order):  Adventist Health Partners, Hokkaido, Power Play and Real Living Gobber Realty.


Reactivated Members

The following business reactivated as Chamber member in November:  Bethel Assembly of God.


No Longer Members


The Chamber said goodbye to the following six members in November:  American Mattress, Character Counts in Elmhurst, Cocomero Frozen Yogurt, Hamburger Jones, State Farm Insurance Recruiting (Cornwell) and Sterling Engineering.