Chamber Advantage

March 26th, 2023

Last week we saw the arrival of the Spring Equinox - it's officially spring! Days are getting longer, and all this rain is making the grass grow and the earth smell sweet. It's officially time to get outside - leave the office and go for a walk to your favorite cafe or to your next appointment and enjoy the journey. The earth is blooming and you do not want to miss it!

Liz Holt

Executive Director


Plan Your Week!

What is coming up this week?

We know you are busy. To help make it easier and help you to join us at as many things as you would like, we have gathered our events for this week.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Monday March 27, 5:30 - 7:00pm - BIPOC Game Night at Styles4Kidz

Tamekia Swint and her team at Styles4Kidz invite everyone to a BIPOC Game Night. Enjoy board games, puzzles, and more as you relax and network with fellow Chamber members. 

We look forward to you joining us each month as we stay connected with Latinx, Asian-American, Black and Indigenous peers from the OPRF business and nonprofit community! 


Friday March 31, 12:00 - 12:30pm - Takeout Stakeout at The Urban Dining League

Come join your fellow Chamber members for our next Takeout Stakeout, this time with The Urban Dining League! For this event, we convene at a designated establishment to pick up our takeout lunch choices, and get to meet new folks and see our peers from other businesses and organizations. Come meet the staff and pick up a delicious lunch!


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.

Join us for these wonderful networking opportunities and

continue to grow your business!

Thursday April 6, 1:00 - 2:00pm - NPO Affinity Group: Networking & Collaboration!

Come join the us at Wonder Works Children's Museum for our monthly gathering. This month is all about connections and collaboration! Affinity group co-chairs Cheryl Flinn of the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest, and Judy Klem of the Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory, will facilitate conversation among attendees about ways that local nonprofits can work together.

Please come be part of the dialogue! 


Tuesday April 11, 5:00 - 7:00pm - Business After Hours at Jeffrey Hines State Farm

Our April Business After Hours (BAH) will be hosted by Jeffrey Hines State Farm and will also feature Leadership Lab, the local leadership development program of the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation. Join us for your chance to connect with business owners from all over the Oak Park and River Forest areas.


Wednesday April 12, 11:00am - 7:00pm - Stop & Shop at Civinte Candle Bar

Join us for new monthly program, Stop & Shop, this time at Civinte Candle Bar. At Civinte, their overall mission is to help you redefine elegant living, by bringing the essence of opulence safely into your home. Stop by this Oak Park gem and get your safely made candles or sprays. Make sure to mention the Chamber to get your discount!


Friday April 14, 9:00 - 10:30am - Women in Business Affinity Group Meeting

The 2023 Women in Business programs continue at The Sheridan at River Forest with a double feature in April! We are launching our annual WIB Tampon & Diaper Drive and we are celebrating National Gardening Day & Earth Month. You don't want to miss this! Stay tuned for more details, coming soon!


Wednesday April 19, 2:00 - 3:00pm - Chamber 101 via Zoom

In this seminar we will go over all of your 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 own website

- how to track your Member Profile statistics

- how to be sure that your website is linked to your membership

This event is perfect for new members, or those who need a refresher!


Thursday April 20, 9:30 - 11:00am - #ChamberLOVE Call Campaign!

Love the OPRF Chamber and eager to share your story? Looking for ways to connect with potential referrals and likeminded people? Join us at Grachan Agency for our quarterly Membership Call Campaign!

Haven't done this before or unsure what to say? Don't worry, we will have a script for you.

This is a great way to connect with our members and help them to feel seen, valued and heard!


Health & Wellness Fair!

Vendor & Sponsor Registration Still Available!

The Health & Wellness Fair is just ONE month away! We already have over half the vendor spaces filled, but there is still time for your business to join.

With our focus this year being on access and education to resources and healthcare, there has been a lot of interest from not only Oak Park and River Forest, but the surrounding communities as well.

This is your chance to be part of the largest Health & Wellness Fair in the Chicagoland area!

There are still spaces available for both Vendors and Sponsors. Reach out if you have any questions!

Registration Deadline April 9th!


Exclusive Presenting Sponsor

Diamond Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Health & Wellness Insert

There are still spaces available!

This insert will not only be included in all of the papers that Growing Community Media sends out, but also will be handed out to the attendees at the Health & Wellness Fair!

Ad Deadline - April 9th


Get to know your Board!

Want to learn more about your Board of Directors?

Each month we will be featuring a different Board Member (or two). These features will tell you who they are, what they do, and some fun facts about them. This month we are featuring two, Aracelis Sanchez & Carrie Summy.

Name: Carrie Summy

Place of Business: Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation

What does she do for fun?

I've started learning tennis and golf, which is really fun. And I love being outside at our fire pit, hiking and camping with family and friends.

Favorite Park in the Villages?

When the kids were little, the parks were our daily destination. They were where I met my friends as a young mom, and where we collectively played and socialized and watched over each other. We'd pack blankets and snacks and spend hours together. I can't pick a favorite because each one has stories and history!

Best secret parking spot?

If I shared, it wouldn't be a secret! Actually, I did have a special place I parked because it was oddly less expensive in that particular zone, but the Village recently re-did the meter system and alas, my special place is now as pricey as all the others. Everyone should download the Passport app. And, shout out to Forest Park - I love that it's all one zone, one price.  

Best bathroom?

I don't know if it's the best, but the sexiest and sauciest bathroom is Poor Phils!

Name: Aracelis Sanchez

Place of Business: Dominican University

What does she do for fun?

For fun, I love to try new recipes, watch cooking shows, and spend time with my two fur babies, Kobe and Koko. I also love to travel the world and explore the cultures of other countries. The photo is from my time at the Dominican Republic where I was on my way to visit the El Limon Waterfall in Samana.

Why do you love the Chamber?

I love the Chamber because of it’s commitment to community and connecting others. There are a number of benefits and opportunities that the Chamber provides, but the networking and human connection is most important in my view. I absolutely love to see people sharing ideas, supporting one another and their businesses, and rallying around important issues in their community. It’s all about that #ChamberLOVE for one another!

Favorite coffee shop?

The Great Sip Café is my absolutely favorite coffee shop in Oak Park – it’s owned by a wonderful Dominican family and it’s always a great place to work and eat. I love hearing the salsa play while I work and enjoy my Brown Sugar Latte. 

Best cocktail?

I am a tequila girl, so I love a yummy, balanced margarita. Make it spicy and it’s even better!


Women Leaders in Philanthropy (WLIP), a giving group of the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, is now offering a new Seed Grant program! For 2023, WLIP is awarding up to 2 grant(s) of $5,000 each for a one-year grant period to an organization or group that is addressing food insecurity and/or “food deserts”. This cause area is inspired and derived from the Community Voices report, published by the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation last summer.


WLIP recognizes that a new idea or fledgling organization may never get far “off the ground” because of the struggle to find time and resources to test it out. The intention of the Seed Grant is to be radically entrepreneurial in spirit, to allow for the lessons and learnings from piloting a new concept, and to provide a “kick-start” of funding with minimal fuss. Our hope is that an organization may find some small success, a step towards a “proof of concept” to share with their board and staff, communities served, donors, and/or other partners to garner support and move it forward.


These grants will be made to support new programs or initiatives in existing organizations, or to provide general operating support for new organizations.


If your organization wants to learn more or is interested in applying, click the following link: Submissions will be accepted through April 14.


Oak Park River Forest Chamber of Commerce

141 S Oak Park Avenue

Suite 3


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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