Chamber Advantage

September 17th, 2023

"Preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures."

- Cesar Chavez

The Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce is proud to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month which spans from September 15th to October 15th. Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to recognize the multitude of cultures, contributions and histories of Hispanic and Latiné communities in the United States. As a first-generation college graduate and Latina, I am deeply invested in the educational success of Latiné students and I am proud to work for Dominican University, a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution and fellow chamber member! I hope to share with you today a little bit about the importance of this month, and the diversity within this community.

A number of countries and cultures are looped into the ethnic category of Latino/Hispanic, but each of these cultures are unique and have rich, deep histories. It’s important to recognize that Latiné people can come from a number of countries (not just Mexico!) and that some folks may not have Spanish as their primary language – they could use an indigenous language, or other languages (French Creole, Portuguese, etc). With over 63.7 million Americans identifying as Hispanic or Latiné – over 19% of the total population – it’s important for all of us to understand the complexity of this important portion of our population and celebrate all we have to offer. The Chamber is proud to support our Hispanic-owned businesses, and remains committed to ensuring they thrive within the community. We are proud to host Patricia Santoyo-Marin, Deputy Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the Illinois Department of Central Management Services at our next BIPOC Affinity Group meeting on Monday Sept. 25th. We hope to see you there!

For anyone who wants to learn more about this month, PBS has a fantastic resource: PBS – Hispanic Heritage Month.


Aracelis Sanchez, M.A.

Board Secretary

OPRF Chamber of Commerce


What's the Board up to?

The Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce Board recently held a board retreat, focusing on the question, "How can we be a board that values Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?" This gathering ignited passionate discussions and strategic planning. Following the retreat, the board has wholeheartedly embraced a commitment to change. We are actively implementing a range of tactics discussed during the retreat, including diversifying board membership, fostering inclusive communication practices, and collaborating with local community organizations to ensure a more equitable and welcoming business environment for all.


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!

Tuesday Sep 19, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM -

Health & Wellness Affinity Group CornHole Tournament

Join us for a day of camaraderie, laughter, and some friendly competition at the OPRF Chamber of Commerce Health and Wellness Cornhole Tournament. It's the perfect opportunity to unwind, enjoy the company of your community, and get ready for the upcoming holiday season. We look forward to seeing you there!


Wednesday Sep 20, 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM -

ACL 2nd Chance Shop STOP&SHOP Member Sale Day

Drop by Animal Care League Second Chance Shop during regular business hours on Wednesday, September 20:

  • Meet the owners of this iconic Oak Park store.
  • Receive 15% off your purchase all day (during normal open hours).
  • Tell them that you are a member of the OPRF Chamber of Commerce. We guarantee they will take care of you and will find something you didn't know you needed!

Wednesday Sep 20, 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM -

Young Professional Candle Making Meet-Up

Get ready to unwind, socialize, and tap into your inner artisan as we dive into the art of candle making. Dr. Cheryl Washington, Owner of Civinte, will guide us through the process of crafting your very own custom candles. You'll have the opportunity to choose from a variety of fragrances, vessels, and styles to create a unique masterpiece that reflects your personal style.


Friday Sep 22 - 3:45pm - 10pm and

Saturday Sep 23 - 11:45am - 10pm -

Volunteer with The Chamber at Oaktoberfest

Chamber members will be volunteering in the ticket booth!

  • Work a fast-paced 3hr. shift with colleagues and friends.
  • Promote your business to the community.
  • Get a FREE souvenir mug and three drink tickets! Stay on after your shift and enjoy live music, amazing brews and local food all night long. (only one free mug per volunteer).

OPRF Chamber Annual Meeting 2023

Celebrate & Commemorate ALL Things Chamber!

Join us in commemorating our collective achievements and learning about the exciting endeavors we have planned for the organization.

What is the Annual Meeting? The Annual Meeting is the official annual gathering of Chamber members and local business leaders to celebrate previous year accomplishments and set the stage for the upcoming year.

150+ attendees may enjoy a light breakfast, networking & our program.

We want to give a big thanks to our sponsors for this event!

Byline Bank, Old Second National Bank, Adam Doe State Farm, The UPS Store-Lake St., The Sheridan at River Forest and Kettlestrings Restaurant Group.


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!

Thursday Sep 28, 4:30 PM - 5:00 PM -

Ribbon Cutting at Med Aesthetics

This week we'll be at Med Aesthetics in River Forest celebrating this new business, taking pictures of the ribbon cutting, and enjoying a great networking opportunity! Come meet the Med Aesthetics team and discover all the services this shop offers! 

Med Aesthetics, LLC, is a boutique medical spa offering a full suite of cosmetic services to men and women. Their goal is to help our patients improve their overall well-being and live happier lives! They provide a comprehensive set of services that span from body sculpting, skin rejuvenation, laser treatments, and more.


BIPOC Affinity Group -

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Thank you for making the inaugural year of the OPRF Chamber's BIPOC Affinity Group a success. 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! 

What to Expect

Join us on September 25th, 2023, at Estillos Barber Studio for an enriching and inclusive event hosted by the BIPOC Affinity Group as we come together to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage.

Enjoy a vibrant evening filled with delicious food and drinks as we gather in the welcoming atmosphere of Estillos Barber Studio. We are delighted to have the owner, Oscar, share his inspiring personal journey and experiences with us.

Our keynote speaker for the evening will be Patricia Santoyo-Marin, Deputy Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) for the Illinois Central Management Services. Patricia's expertise and passion for DEI initiatives promise to make this event both enlightening and impactful.

Come be a part of this celebration of Hispanic heritage, connect with like-minded individuals, and gain valuable insights into the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our communities and workplaces. It's an event you won't want to miss!


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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