Dear Members:

The United States Chamber of Commerce’s Regional Governmental Affairs Conference made its return swing through the Midwest at Loews Chicago from October 25-27, attracting chamber representatives from across the country, including yours truly.

Retired four-star General Michael Hayden, Principal at The Chertoff Group, delivered last Thursday’s luncheon Keynote Address of “Tectonic Shift in Global Security.”  As the former Director of both the Central Intelligence Agency (2006-09) and National Security Agency (1995-05), Gen. Hayden provided great insight into the War of Terrorism and the paradigm shift in conflicts from nation based to cultural based.

Delivering last Friday’s closing remarks, Juan Williams, Political Analyst and Co-Host of Five News’ The Five, discuss a similar conflict shift in American politics from party based to culture based, contrasting the ideologies of the more conservative Baby Boomer senior population versus the more liberal millennial and younger demographic.

Prior to Thursday’s 216-212 vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to approve a Senate version of the 2018 federal budget that opens the door for sweeping tax reform, attendees at Thursday’s “Breakfast with the U.S. Chamber” opening session used their cell phones to text automated messages of support to their respective elected officials.  Every Democrat and 20 Republicans voted against the bill, leaving no margin for error.

America’s last tax reform act came back in 1986 when the United States had the highest income taxes in the world, as is the case again today—with small business paying a higher rate than large corporations.

President Donald J. Trump wants the corporate tax cut from 35% to 15%, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) favors 23% and the Office of Budget Management is at 20%, the last of which is expected to be the most-easily negotiated rate.

The U.S. Chamber is also lobbying the Trump Administration in support of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), which directly affects 14 million American workers, with $3.5 billion traded daily between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.  Here in the State of Illinois, Canada and Mexico rank No. 1 and 2 are trade partners.

Centennial Celebration Capital Campaign
Since going “public” as part of September’s Chamber of Commerce Month activities, our one-of-a-kind $250,000 Centennial Celebration Capital Campaign is at 62 percent of goal and growing thanks to $1,950 in gifts and pledges.

Part of ECCI’s 100th Anniversary in 2018, the Capital Campaign features the Ralph P. Pechanio Student Internship Endowment Fund at Elmhurst College and Second Century Fund special projects, including development of a public Civic Hall of Fame memorial.

With some $113,350 in gifts and pledges, the Pechanio Endowment Fund is at 76 percent of its $150,000 goal.

October’s donor to the Pechanio Endowment Fund is former Member Advocate Ann Palumbo at Elmhurst College.

With some $40,895 in gifts and pledges, the Second Century Fund is at 41 percent of its $100,000 goal, including 71 percent (or $35,695) of the $50,000 unrestricted goal and 11 percent (or $5,450) of the $50,000 Civic Hall of Fame goal.

The Second Century Fund received an unrestricted gift from Capital Campaign consultant Lea Ann Skogsberg of Dollars and Sense, while 2005 Civic Hall of Fame inductee Jackie Haddad contributed to the memorial project fund.

Your tax-deductible financial support, as a business and/or individually, in cash or as a gift-in-kind donation at any level is both wanted and needed—and much appreciated.

Happy Anniversaries
Four members are celebrating Chamber anniversaries in November, as follows:  30 yearsCity of Elmhurst, DeWitt Dentistry and Sal’s Beverage World; and 20 yearsLife Education Center.

New Members
The Chamber welcomed eight new members in October, as follows:  Alvir H Hair Salon, Care & Comfort at HomeE-Town Fitness, Evelyn on Second, Livia Italian Eatery, Midwest Legacy GroupNew Prairie Counseling Center and Smallcakes Elmhurst.

Reactivated Members
Affiliated Agencies, Ankle & Foot Center of Elmhurst and Country Inn & Suites reactivated their memberships in October.

No Longer Members
The Chamber said goodbye to the following 11 members in October:  Baird & Warner Real Estate Sales, Café Amano, CNG Financial, Cottage Hill Dental Care, Creative Inks, Len’s Ace Hardware, OMG! Brunch & Boutique, PowerForward DuPage, Rejuvenate Med Spa, Thrivent Financial and Wing-Hamlin.

Gone, But Not Forgotten
It is with deep regret that I report on the October 14 death of friend and colleague, Duncan Skogsberg, 68, Investment Advisor Representative with The Principal Financial Group.  Duncan had been a Chamber member since 2008 and served as a member of the ECCI Ways and Means Committee since 2015.  He also was an award-winning member of both the Rotary Club of Elmhurst and Elmhurst Jaycees.

Also, our condolences to the Stolper State Farm Insurance family on the recent passing of former Office Manager Bonnie Reinke, 75, sister of Bob and Don Stolper.