Cathy Yen is the Executive Director of the Oak Park River Forest Chamber of Commerce. She has lived in Oak Park for 21 years and done business locally, first as a retailer and then as a small business consultant. With previous careers in large corporate finance, budgeting and strategy she brings a broad perspective to local business issues. Cathy holds degrees from the Unversity of Chicago (MBA), UC Berkeley (MA) and Princeton (AB). She spends her free time devoted to her husband Scott and her two children, Erin and Chris.
Businesses must create opportunitities to provide feedback - before customers take their opinion online. Our community's consumers are vested in the success of local business, and want to share the good as well as the bad.
Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park each wrestle with their own unique issues surrounding economic development along Madison Street. Residents and business owners are invited to public meetings in each of the villages this month to educate themselves and add their voices to the debate.
River Forest is contemplating a creating a TIF district along Madison that seeps into residential areas. While this offers flexibility to improve the neighborhood for the homeowners, it also underscores the potential for commercial redevelopment on these same sites. That potential already exists, but the residents are asking whether the TIF makes the scenario more likely.
The Chamber of Commerce created a Business Spotlight Awards program to recognize excellent in: customer experience, innovation, investment or development, sustainability, marketing and community character.