Chamber Advantage

March 24th, 2024

In the midst of Oak Park's ever-changing weather, one thing remains constant: our community's unwavering resilience. As we adapt to the whims of Mother Nature, I'm reaching out to remind you of the importance of your voice in shaping the future of our Chamber. Your insights are invaluable, which is why I encourage you to take a few moments to participate in our Membership Survey. By sharing your thoughts and perspectives, you play a crucial role in guiding our efforts to enhance the Chamber's offerings and better serve your needs.

Furthermore, I'm thrilled to share some exciting news about our upcoming 2024 Economic Symposium. This event promises to be a highlight of the year, offering a platform for engaging discussions, valuable insights, and meaningful connections within our local business community. Mark your calendars and get ready to dive into the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities shaping our economic landscape. More details will be unveiled soon, so stay tuned for updates and be prepared to be inspired!

Rob Guenthner

Board President

OPRF Chamber of Commerce


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.


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!

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 Mar 28, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM -

FLEX (Young Professionals) Happy Hour and Networking at Kettlestrings Tavern

Come FLEX with us at our March outing at Kettlestrings Tavern. Kick back after work and join the fun! A FLEX social gathering is a great opportunity for young professionals to expand their networks, share experiences, and build lasting connections.


So enjoy Happy Hour with us at Kettlestrings! Kettlestrings Tavern offers a wide array of beverages, and updated, inventive bar cuisine - they're an Oak Park favorite because they excel in food, service, drinks and vibe. Come chat, chill and chow with us!


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.


As Women's History Month draws to a close, I want to take a moment to extend my deepest gratitude to the incredible female members of our board. Your unwavering dedication, leadership, and invaluable contributions have played a pivotal role in shaping the direction and success of our organization. Your resilience, vision, and unwavering commitment serve as a beacon of inspiration for all of us, highlighting the remarkable impact that women continue to make in every facet of society. As we reflect on the achievements and contributions of women throughout history, let us also celebrate the remarkable achievements of our female board members who continue to pave the way for future generations. Thank you for your outstanding leadership and for being exemplary role models for us all.

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


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 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.


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.


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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