Dear Members:

WOW!!!  Now that’s how you kick off a Centennial Celebration year!!!  Thanks to the “sellout” crowd of members and guest who celebrated our Chamber’s 99th Annual Award Gala and 100th Birthday Bash at The Drake Oak Brook Hotel on January 26.  And mark your 2019 calendar so as not to miss our 100th Annual Awards Gala on January 25.

Three years in the planning, our Centennial Celebration officially kicked off at the 2018 Awards Gala, which Elmhurst Our Kind of Town will air on Comcast Channel 6 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99 in February on Saturdays and Tuesdays at 5 p.m.  After that, you can watch it online via our Chamber website’s video library or at

ECCI Board of Directors Chair Ken Bartels of Community Bank of Elmhurst and Ken Bartels Consulting says it best:  “Centennials are very special whenever they happen.”

My special thanks go out to event sponsors Suburban Bank & Trust and Inland Bank, and IRS Trouble Solvers for hosting our champagne toast.

Sponsored by SBT, Mrs. Illinois International 2018 Kaili Kaminski, President of the Schaumburg Business Association, made a special appearance and helped sell $525 in tickets to get our year-long Second Century Fund Split-The-Pot Raffle off and running.  Click HERE to purchase your $5 raffle tickets online.

Congratulations once again to all of our 2017 honorees:
Brewpoint Coffee as the A.J. “Toche” Terrones Business of the Year;
*  Jack Island of The Silverado Grill as the 26th inductee into our Civic Hall of Fame;
*  Board of Directors Treasurer Ralph Pechanio as the Chairman’s Award recipient;
*  Nancy Peterson of Elmhurst-Yorkfield Food Pantry as Ambassador of the Year;
*  Joe Muchow of E.L. Foust Co. as outgoing Board Chair; and
*  Former Directors Diane McGinnis and Betsy D’Onofrio of Inland Home Mortgage.

Capital Campaign
I am happy to report that our $250,000 Centennial Celebration Capital Campaign—featuring the $150,000 Ralph P. Pechanio Student Internship Fund at Elmhurst College and $100,000 Second Century Fund (including $50,000 for development a public Civic Hall of Fame Memorial)—is at 67 percent of goal, with $168,818 in gifts and pledges.

Thanks to a gift from 2002 Civic HOF inductee Willis Johnson of the York Theatre-Classic Cinemas,  the Pechanio Endowment Fund is at 81 percent of goal ($121,151), not including nearly $11,500 in 2017 earnings.

The Second Century Fund is at 49 percent of goal ($48,667), including the $50,000 unrestricted fund at 77 percent ($38,295) and the Civic HOF fund at 20 percent ($9,800).
Recent donors to the unrestricted fund included Joyce Slone of Sloan Commercial, Jim Hallberg of the Elmhurst Lions Club, Director of Member Services Tessa Zemgulys, Bartels and Johnson, who also donated to the Civic HOF fund.

In partnership with Cincinnati, Ohio-based Late for the Sky, our Chamber will produce an Elmhurst-Opoly board game (quantity of 1,000) to market our community to residents and visitors, with proceeds benefitting the Second Century Fund.  Look for our e-mail on game sponsorship options, so you don’t miss the opportunity to jump on board (get it?).

Community Directory
Some 19,200 copies of the 2018 Elmhurst Community Directory—featuring an eight-page centerspread Special Section about our first 100 years—was delivered via Every Door Direct Mail to Elmhurst residences, businesses and post office boxes in January.  Thanks to Shaw Media for its work in producing the Directory and selling ad space.

Traveling Centennial Display
Members are invited to book the Chamber’s new portable 8’-by-8’ promotional popup screen with 40” TV monitor to display in their storefronts or lobbies.  Our eye-catching display made its non-Chamber event debut at the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra’s Vivacious Vivaldi concert held at Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church on January 28.

Next week (February 5-9) is open on a first-come basis and, typically, only one week per month will be available given our Chamber’s regular schedule of events.

Like/Follow Us On Social Media
Our social media pages hit multiple targets to begin our Anniversary year by surpassing the 1,000 milestone both in Facebook likes (1,117) and followers (1,007), and the 1,600 plateau in Twitter followers (1,604)—most of whom are residents and consumers rather than Chamber members—and next up for redevelopment is our LinkedIn page.  If you haven’t already done so, please like/follow us on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter.

Happy Anniversaries
Nine members are celebrating Chamber anniversaries in February, as follows:  25 years—CB Health Insurance; 20 yearsElmhurst Garden Club and David S. Pezen, M.D.; 15 yearsElmhurst Animal Care Center, Elmhurst Baseball and Softball League, Ernie’s Automotive and Elmhurst Walk-In Assistance Network; and 5 yearsCuvee Cellars and Wilkins Hyundai Mazda Dealership.

New Members
The Chamber welcomed 14 new members in January as follows:  A.V. Stumpfl, USA, Corp.; Bacci Pizza; Betty’s Blow Dry & Beauty Bar; Coora Construction; Edward Jones Financial Advisor – Bandel; Gem Car Wash; HomeSaleNow Property Inspections; Kristin Petro Interiors; Love Christian Clearinghouse; Marco’s Table; Nyhan, Bambrick, Kinzie & Lowry, P.C.; Spinutech Web & Digital Marketing; The ETown LowDown and Veralution.

Reactivated Members
Citizen Advocacy Center and St. Peter’s United Church of Christ reactivated their Chamber memberships in January.

No Longer Members
The Chamber said goodbye to the following 13 members in January:  Beams Technologies, Byrnes & Walsh LLC, Nothing Bundt Cakes, LGC Hospitality Staffing, Peters & Associates, Predictive Personnel Assets, Providence Bank, SportClips, Stemware Design, TBC Health & Wellness, The Law Office of Joseph Calcagno & Associates, P.C., Thorntons Gas Station and Convenience Store, and Trinity Academy of Irish Dance.

Gone, But Not Forgotten
Long-time Chamber member Don Feeley passed away on January 27 after an extended illness.  An attorney, Don was a member of the Kiwanis Club of Elmhurst and a former Elmurst City Councilman for Ward 2.

Charles Hammersmith, 91, former President, Past Board Chair and 50-year club member at his family-owned Elmhurst-Chicago Stone Company, the oldest business in Elmhurst, recently passed.