The Chamber exists to create a supportive community for local businesses by offering resources, programming and voice. Our expanded team will help move the needle forward.

We have some exciting news at the Chamber.  Five terrific new people are joining our team this month.  Coincidentally, April marks my four year anniversary at the helm, overseeing a time of significant growth and change.

Over the past four years, membership has grown by twenty-five percent.  Our programming has expanded exponentially.  We went from a monthly member lunch, an evening networking party and two annual events to a robust schedule with well over one hundred opportunities for members to network, connect and belong.  New special events such as Bite Nite, our upcoming Community Health and Wellness Fair on April 23 and our annual economic luncheon give us the opportunity to reach out to the broader community.

Our incredible volunteer board along with fewer than two full time people have been carrying the load, trying to build sufficient scale to afford additional help.  I am proud to say that day has come!

This week, we welcome Liz Holt in the full-time role of Deputy Director.  Liz will be helping me run all aspects of the Chamber, including our work with the local business districts.  

Janice Moskoff comes on board as our part-time Special Events Manager.  Janice will assist the various volunteer committees that run our major community events and annual member celebrations like the Annual Meeting and Spotlight Awards.  She joins Mark Walden who will soon reach his one-year anniversary as our part-time Program Manager.  Mark will continue to run the regular programs we offer as a benefit to members, such as the networking functions and educational series.

We are thrilled to welcome three local business consultants for project work.  Christine Barnard will focus on building a membership sales and retention tool.  Jenny Yang will concentrate on our business districts, with specific attention to brand and neighborhood needs.  Ronnie Marlin will develop communication vehicles to help spread the good word.

Happily, our new team members all hail from our local community where the depth of available talent is humbling.  I am excited to lead this expanded team as we move the Chamber forward in supporting our mighty small businesses.  Welcome!

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Cathy Yen

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...

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