Performance Reviews, Our Team and Fruitcake

Getting Down to Business with the OPRF Chamber

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

By Cathy Yen

Executive Director OPRF Chamber of Commerce

Year-end brings with it holiday cheer, family, warm feelings and an easy friendliness.  But those who run businesses know that year-end also means closing the financial books, preparing next year's budget, sizing up unsold inventory and the dreaded annual employee performance reviews.

Announcing to the team that it is time to schedule individual meetings for performance appraisals is received about as well as the proverbial Christmas fruitcake.  Nice in theory, but if not done right, it can be a dense, sticky, spicy mess that no one really wants to sink their teeth into.  Best if we put it aside and hope everyone forgets about it.

There is no shortage of academic literature or leadership workshops on how to do performance reviews well.  About how important they are.  About how to make them not only painless, but productive.

Turns out all that advice from management gurus isn't necessary when your employees are awesome.

In fact, performance reviews at the Chamber were a breeze this year.  A joy.  A series of great conversations about where we were, where we are going and how we can get there.  Honestly, talking to these professionals was a privilege, not a chore.

We had a great year at the Chamber, and that is entirely due to the team in the office.  Growth in membership, an increase in revenue and generous funding from the Village of Oak Park allowed me to invite incredibly talented people to join our team.  They have done nothing but build positive momentum and support small business since they started in April.  We faced challenges and transitions but did so together, successfully.

With gratitude and pride, I want to publicly thank Deputy Director Liz Holt, Communications Manager Ronnie Marlin, Special Event Manager Janice Moskoff, Program Manager Mark Walden, Business District Liaison Jenny Yang and Business Managers Carolyn Henning and Maria Murzyn.  Shout-out to Julie Thompson who does our books.  While all but Liz and myself are part-time, this team makes a full-time impact.

By the way, my mother-in-law makes an amazing fruitcake.  When you have the right recipe and the best ingredients, people actually look forward to that fruitcake.

Happy Holidays, all.


Email: Twitter: @OPRFChamber

Love the Journal?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Wednesday Journal and We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

No Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad