A packed house of Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce members and other luminaries gathered for the organization's annual meeting and awards ceremony Feb. 27 at The Cubby Bear.
Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce/Special Service Areas Executive Director Maureen Martino kicked off the festivities with a video highlighting the chamber's successes over the past year, including 50 new businesses ( now more than 900 total ), expanded boundaries, a second office, Wrigley Field renovations and expansion, and increased membership. There was also a feature on the chamber at various events such as the Pride Parade and Northalsted Market Days.
Martino noted that Lake View is changing and more development is not a competition but an opportunity. She also talked about new retail and restaurant trends and initiatives and encouraged business owners to adopt them in order to be successful.
In her keynote address, Illinois Retail Merchants Association Vice President and General Counsel Tanya Triche Dawood noted that about 112,000 people have left Illinois. Dawood said that, in turn, has affected sales to the tune of $2.3 billion in lost economic activity and $149 million in lost sales tax. She explained that employers need to do more to advance women in their ranks including increasing wages, scheduling and promotion to a higher positions. Dawood noted this also includes people of color and people with disabilities. She also spoke about data privacy versus a businesses use of data and monetization of that data and how that will either hinder or help their business.
Dawood also received a recognition award from the Chamber.
Among the many awards given to chamber businesses were LGBTQ-owned Bar Pastoral, CRAM, Foursided and Robert Jeffrey.
A special recognition award was given to PR Italian Bistro owner Juliana Montbello-Roman for her years of service to the chamber.
While receiving her award, Montbello-Roman said that she was severing her business and personal relationships with FedEx and Amazon due to their continued NRA support following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting. This announcement elicited cheers from the audience.
Former alderman and current candidate for Cook County Board President Robert Fioretti made a brief appearance ahead of Martino and Dawood's remarks.
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