Chamber Advantage

March 31st, 2024

As we bid farewell to Women's History Month and eagerly embrace the vibrant spirit of spring, I am honored to extend my warmest greetings to each of you. As the Board Vice President, I find immense joy in commemorating the remarkable achievements of women throughout history, whose contributions have shaped our communities and businesses. This month, we celebrated their resilience, leadership, and unwavering dedication, recognizing that their impact transcends time and continues to inspire us all.

With the rejuvenating energy of spring upon us, I am filled with excitement for the opportunities that lie ahead for our chamber members. As nature blooms anew, so too do our prospects for growth, collaboration, and innovation. I am eager to witness the blossoming partnerships and successes that await us in the coming months, as we continue to work together to foster a thriving business community. Let us embrace this season of renewal with optimism and determination, knowing that together, we can achieve remarkable feats. Here's to a fruitful and inspiring journey ahead!

Esther Grachan

Board Vice President

OPRF Chamber of Commerce

Did you know we have a list of self-identified Women-Owned businesses on our website?



Submissions due by April 2nd!

Are you an expert in your field? Want the opportunity to present to local Oak Park-River Forest business leaders? Well, this one's for you!

Join us on May 21st at the 2024 Economic Symposium, where we'll delve into the theme of "Economic Resilience: Insider Tactics on Surviving and Thriving in Today’s Economic Climate." This half-day event is designed specifically for small business owners seeking practical strategies to navigate economic challenges with confidence.

We're currently looking for speakers to fill out our breakout session lineup. If you want to teach business owners real, tangible tactics for navigating today's economic climate, submit a proposal to speak at this year's event.

Speaker submissions will be accepted until April 2nd. The application process is short and easy.

If selected to participate, you will be contacted in early April.


Don’t miss one of the biggest area health & wellness events of 2024 – the 8th Annual Community Health & Wellness Fair! Presented by Rush Oak Park Hospital and organized by the Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce.

Taking place for one day only, on Sunday, April 21 from 11am - 2pm at the Community Recreation Center (CRC) in Oak Park, attendees will enjoy complimentary screenings, free family activities, healthy snacks and excellent giveaways from 60+ area health & wellness exhibitors.

This is a FREE event, however, we do need some information from you to allow access to the building. Completing this ahead of time will ensure smooth and easy entrance into the event. Which means quicker access to our wonderful community of service providers.

What your FREE advance registration includes:

  • Admission to the 7th Annual Community Health + Wellness Fair and ability to interact and consult with 60+ health & wellness providers
  • Complimentary screenings
  • Complimentary tote bag, while supplies last
  • Fun family activities
  • Healthy snacks



Why Be A Vendor? It's EXCELLENT MARKETING. Health + wellness businesses come face-to-face with hundreds of engaged residents. We promote this event to an audience of 70k+, via e-blasts, web postings, PR, social media, and print advertising. It's OUTSTANDING NETWORKING. 60+ health-related businesses, their owners + managers will be present. Your booth neighbor could be your next referrer. It's AFFORDABLE.


Plan Your Week!

Like to plan ahead?

Here are some events we have coming up over the next week so you can register now and receive a reminder right before the event.

Come join us for these wonderful networking opportunities and continue to grow your business!

Thursday Apr 4, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM -

Nonprofit Affinity Group / Managing Board and Staff Transitions

Come join our nonprofit affinity group for camaraderie and professional development! 


During this session, led by Shailushi Ritchie of Sevah Consulting, we will talk about managing the inevitable: turnover among staff and board members. Shailushi focuses her work on providing interim executive leadership services to organizations in transition, often incorporating aspects of strategic and operational planning, governance, board training, and change management. She has served as Interim Executive Director for several Chicago and national organizations and helped organizations maintain stability and structure for nonprofits during a significant transition.


The Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce is working on a strategic plan and we need YOU! You do need to be a business operating within Oak Park and River Forest; however, you do not need to be a Chamber member. After completing the survey, you will have a chance to enter into a raffle for one (1) of five (5) $50 gift card packs from local businesses.


Plan Your Month!

Like to plan ahead?

Here are some events we have coming up over the next month so you can register now and receive a reminder right before the event.

Come join us for these wonderful networking opportunities and continue to grow your business!

Tuesday Apr 9, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM -

Business After Hours at The Oak Park Art League

Join us at our monthly networking event! Business After Hours (BAH) occurs on the second Tuesday of every month. This is your chance to connect with other members in a more casual setting. All members and non-members are welcome. (Members are free.)

Our April Business After Hours (BAH) will be hosted by The Oak Park Art League

Founded in 1921, the Oak Park Art League (OPAL) is one of the longest, continually running non-profit arts organizations in Illinois. The OPAL’s mission is to be a welcoming center of artistic inquiry, creative expression, and art appreciation in Oak Park and surrounding communities. 


Thursday Apr 11, 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM -

Ribbon Cutting at Krys Rollins FNP

Come celebrate with us! Ribbon cuttings provide an opportunity to welcome and connect with a new business, network with other attendees, and celebrate our growing business community. Connecting business to business, and business to community.

Who Is Celebrating This Week?

This week we'll be celebrating at Krys Rollins FNP, a local Nurse Practitioner who offers a variety of health services! We'll be celebrating this business, taking pictures of the ribbon cutting, and enjoying light refreshments and a great networking opportunity! Come meet the owner and discover the services she offers!  


Friday Apr 12, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM -

Women in Business / Mastering Connections: A Small Business Networking Workshop

Join us for an empowering workshop where we delve into strategies and skills that can elevate your business and professional relationships to new heights. 

Bridgett Allen Hedgeman is the visionary owner of Upgrade Sales Consulting.  With a passion for driving revenue and profits, Bridget specializes in designing strategic, customized approaches focusing on Sales Consulting, Client Engagement, and Sales Strategy & Operations. 

Adding to the wealth of knowledge is Leora Dowling, a dynamic public speaking coach.  Leora is committed to helping her clients enhance their public speaking, presentation, and interpersonal communication skills.


Don't miss the opportunity to gain insights, refine your skills, and connect with fellow Women in Business members.


Thursday Apr 18, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM -

Chamber 102 - Your Marketing Advantage

Welcome to Chamber 102! Perfect for new members and those who need a refresher, this fast-paced seminar will review all of your member benefits to maximize your marketing advantage.

In this seminar, we will go over all of the marketing benefits that come with your membership, including:

  • how to maximize your e-blast benefits.
  • the role of your Member Profile in your marketing advantage and how to track digital traffic.
  • how to generate marketing collateral that can be shared on your social media.
  • how to tap into our Affinity Groups to grow your network and feature your business.

Friday Apr 19, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM -

Meet Me For Lunch at Charlie's Restaurant

Join us for a Chamber sit-down luncheon! A business lunch in a casual setting, with small group networking. Come enjoy the food while you connect and get to know Chamber members.

We'll be at Charlie's Restaurant, enjoying food, great company, and mimosa towers!

We'll get to meet the owner and get to know other local business and nonprofit people at Charlie's Restaurant, with a leisurely lunch of tasty food in a cozy setting.  Charlie's is letting us choose anything off the lunch menu, other than steak! So take your pick of a salad, sandwich, melt, wrap or burger. If it comes with soup, you have your choice of clam chowder or chicken noodle.

Contact Ben Stumpe
Contact Lourdes Nicholls

Job Title: Executive Coordinator

Organization: Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce

Reports to: Executive Director

Position Type: Part-time (20-25 hours per week); ability to grow to full time. 

Hourly Rate: $20.00-$25.00/ per hour

Location: Oak Park, Illinois


The Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce is seeking a highly motivated and organized individual to fill the role of Executive Coordinator. This position offers an exciting opportunity to work closely with the Executive Director in a dynamic and community-focused environment. The Executive Coordinator will play a vital role in supporting the Chamber's mission by providing administrative assistance, managing social media marketing efforts, handling communications, and ensuring the smooth operation of daily tasks.

Application Process:

To apply for the position of Executive Coordinator, please submit a resume and cover letter detailing your relevant experience and qualifications to Darien Marion-Burton, Executive Director. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. 


The Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We encourage individuals from all backgrounds to apply.


Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce

141 S Oak Park Avenue

Suite 3


[email protected]

This eBlast was sent out by the OPRF Chamber of Commerce on behalf of a member in good standing as a member benefit. For information about the event described please contact the host. For information about joining the Chamber, click our website below.

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