Chamber Advantage

March 17th, 2024

As we honor Women's History Month, I want to express my deep appreciation for the incredible women who have been a pillar of support throughout my journey, including our esteemed Board Members, dedicated staff, and my own mother, sisters, and female friends. Your unwavering encouragement fuels my passion for our work at the OPRF Chamber, and I am immensely grateful for each and every one of you.

I am excited to announce the 2024 Economic Symposium, taking place on May 21st, where we will delve into the theme of "Economic Resilience: Insider Tactics on Surviving and Thriving in Today’s Economic Climate." This half-day event is tailored for small business owners seeking practical strategies to navigate challenges confidently. We are currently seeking speakers to fill our breakout session lineup. If you have insights to empower business owners in today's economic landscape, submit a proposal by March 31st for consideration. Let's celebrate Women's History Month together and empower one another to thrive in business and beyond.

Darien Marion-Burton

Executive Director

OPRF Chamber of Commerce


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 March 31st. The application process is short and easy.

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


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!

Tuesday, March 19, 5:00 - 7:00P -

Boost Your Network! Health & Wellness Fair Vendor Pre-Party

Learn how to "Boost Your Network" while enjoying food & drink at our Health & Wellness Fair Vendor Pre-Party on March 19, 2024 and get attendees excited about your business! The party is also a great opportunity to network with the other 80+ vendors who will be attending the Health & Wellness Fair

This event is FREE to all confirmed 8th Annual Health & Wellness Fair vendors and their guests, as well as any Chamber members in the Health & Wellness sector. Reconnect with your previous network and continue to grow your current network at this event aimed at helping you to have your best Health & Wellness Fair experience possible!


Thursday Mar 21, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM -

Chamber 101 - Your Digital Advantage

Welcome to Chamber 101!

Perfect for new members and those who need a refresher. This fast-paced seminar will review all of your digital benefits to maximize your digital advantage.

What will You Learn?

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

  • how to significantly increase your SEO
  • how to leverage your Member Profile to boost traffic to your website
  • how to track your Member Profile statistics
  • how to be sure that your website is linked to your membership

Friday Mar 22, 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM -

Ribbon Cutting at Sweat It Off Fitness

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.

This week we'll be celebrating at Sweat It Off Fitness, the cycling studio in Oak Park! We'll be celebrating this business, taking pictures of the ribbon cutting, and enjoying a great networking opportunity! Come meet the owner and discover the services they offer!


This event is a showcase of outstanding health & wellness services available throughout the western suburbs and attracts hundreds of area residents who interact with 50+ exhibitors, receive complimentary screenings, enjoy family activities & appreciate excellent giveaways. 

Why Be A Sponsor? Health Fair sponsorships include "CHOOSE YOUR OWN" BOOTH premium location, booth fees, and social media, online + print marketing. Sponsorships sell out quickly and are available on first-come basis. Presenting sponsorship already sold for this event. Remaining available sponsorships range from $550-$3,000 with varying benefit levels. Contact us to learn more.


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.


Carolyn is a lifelong resident of Cook County and lives in Oak Park. She spent 15 years working at consumer ad agencies in Traffic/Print Production. One day she responded to a Mom's Mail help-wanted ad that down the road fortuitously landed her a job at the OPRF Chamber. Carolyn likes good barbecue and beer and is thankful that she can find both in abundance in the area. She dabbles in gardening and cooking.

Carolyn is the person you will be contacting to talk about your e-blasts, your billing or updating your membership data.

Contact Carolyn: [email protected]

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


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.


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!

Monday Mar 25, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM -

Celebrating the Women of BIPOC

This month we will be celebrating the Women of BIPOC, in honor of Women's History Month. We will be gathering at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, 101 N. Oak Park Ave. at 5:30 pm. Connect with Latinx, Asian-American, Black, and indigenous peers from the OPRF business and nonprofit community! Food and Beverage will be provided.

Come join us to make connections with great folks, and be part of this group!


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.


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. 


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.


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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