Today I write to you as the president & CEO of the Bolingbrook Area Chamber of Commerce for the last time. While I am full of excitement, energy, and passion for my new position I am also overwhelmed with memories, gratitude, and optimism for the future of the Bolingbrook Chamber. It will have been six years in March that I served at the helm of this terrific association and I am confident that the chamber is poised for success upon my exit. Serving in this capacity is an experience like no other. One that I thought I would do only for a short while, now it has become a lifelong career after seeing the absolute positive impact a progressive chamber can have on the regional and local economy. I am also driven by how powerful our ability to drive success for members is.
When I first came to the Bolingbrook Area Chamber of Commerce we were an organization of cliques. Today I am proud to say that we are an association that clicks! It was not easy to get here. Our Board of Directors along with the talented team in the office has always held our members in high regard and believed that providing high quality programs and services had to be our first priority. I would not have been able to achieve any success if it was not for the support given by our members, the assistance of the right arm of the Chamber, Sabrina Jones, and the flexibility and vision provided by the Board. I have had the privilege of working with some of the finest board and committee chairs who truly understand the philosophy of servant leadership. As a member of this chamber, you should be honored to have such a distinguished group working on your behalf.
I also must take some necessary time to thank our membership. After all it is you that have stepped up to the plate when we launched new programs and events. It is you that opened your checkbooks for sponsorship and investment and it is you and your employees that contribute your time each day in making this one of the most progressive chambers in the country. It has also been you every time I have called on your personally to chair a committee, or volunteer at an event. In my journeys around the country and in all my conversations with chamber leaders, I have yet to find a membership so welcoming of new ideas and new businesses. You individually roll out the red carpet at every ribbon cutting and business after hours, even when that business is your competition.
Throughout my career here in Bolingbrook, I have also been fortunate to always work with a very pro-business leadership in village hall. Mayor Claar and his team of trustees, department heads, and village employees have always put the needs of our business community parallel with the constituents they serve. They clearly understand that the vitality of our business environment is critical to sustaining a high quality of life for residents. We have not always agreed on policy and decisions, but we have always maintained strong communication, respect, and vision for the future. Together the goal has always been consistent, make Bolingbrook a great place to grow your family and business.
We have accomplished a lot together. In the last five plus years we opened a new shopping center, a new hospital, and over a hundred new businesses with our very own ribbon cutting. We have watched the return of major manufacturing and Bolingbrook has taken its place on the map as a center of influence for the logistics community. The community is home to industry leaders in food processing, technology, and consumer goods. Companies such as Salisbury, Dell Alpe, G&W Electric, and Ulta Cosmetics among many others call Bolingbrook home for their corporate headquarters. Our economy is critical to the success of Illinois and we will never be left out of the discussion for the future, rather we help set the agenda.
At the Chamber we have launched business development programs that are helping young professionals, minority entrepreneurs, women leaders, and our small business owners achieve their dreams. Our electric cooperative together with our partner DaCott Industries is saving hundreds of thousands of dollars every year for the participating businesses. We have helped the launch careers and been a catalyst for success to many restaurants, professional service providers, and retail stores. The Bolingbrook Area Chamber of Commerce is a value added asset for the community.
While I move professionally across the borders, my intent remains the same. Establish our region as the premier destination or business throughout the country. The future holds many opportunities ahead of us and I guarantee you I will still remain an active participant in this community. Together we are positioned to do some amazing things for our members and I look forward to leading that charge. My family will remain here in Bolingbrook and I hope to see you all actively involved in the chamber. My offer stays the same, if I can ever be of assistance to your business please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. You are and will always be a special part of my life. Thank you for what you do for the chamber, for Bolingbrook, and for your business.
All the best,
Michael A. Evans
President & CEO