Upcoming Summits

Summit

If you’re in Chicago looking to network, connect and join others in business-related summits, where should you go next month?  One place for those with green fingers is the meeting Adding Value:  Back to our Roots. Hosted by the National Floriculture Forum on 16-17 February, click here for more information.

On February 14 to 17th, the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI) is hosting its 37th annual national conference.  This year’s theme is “Defend Democracy: Aquí y Ahora” and will take place at 301 E. North Water Street, at the Sheraton Grand Chicago Hotel.  Congressman Joaquin Castro will be one of the keynote speakers and Luis V. Gutierrez, a former congressman, will be a speaker for the Latino Leaders Recognition and USHLI.  For registration, click here.

On March 28,  there is the Family Office Deal Flow Summit organized by ResearchandMarket.com.  This is an amalgamation of family investors, dealmakers, private businesses and more.  At the one day summit they can all work on getting a mutually beneficial deal completed. Discussions and presentations that will take place will be on the following subjects:

  1. Build Your Family Office Co-Investment Network;
  2. Learn How to Structure Deals and
  3. Deal Flow & Due Diligence Best Practices.


Travels in Time

Terra Cotta

It’s amazing how much of real estate, environment and infrastructure changes over time…and yet stays very much the same.  At the moment one example of this is what has evolved over the years at West Oakdale Avenue. 

In 2005, a new landmark was designated in Chicago within the Lakeview neighborhood.  the area between Seminary and Sheffield Streets for locals and tourists alike to check out historical buildings.  Many years ago these were home to the Northwestern Terra Cotta Company officers founded in 1878 by John True and others which became the name in terra cotta trimmings.

one of those houses – completed in 1887 – was given the name the Henry Rokham House.  that became known as The Queen of Terra Cotta Row and in 2012 had a market value of nearly $2.5million.  Featuring stained glass windows, brick etchings of a woman on a spinning wheel, unique tile work, original coach house and more, it was designed by Theodore Karls.

now, for the first time in six decades one of these properties is for sale!!! The two floor building with four bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, and two kitchens has a 1970s vintage feel to it.  back in its day it was known as “the absolute crème de la crème.”  now it can be yours for $699,000 to enjoy leopard print carpeting, condo sports and more.  It may be somewhat outdated and in need of some modernization but the location and the story it tells brings it more than charm.

Working Moms

The Mom Project

Women can find it challenging to get back into the workforce after they have had children.  It was found that 34 percent choose not to return to their jobs.  An endeavor in Chicago is now aiming to fix that issue.  The Mom Project – a Chicago-based startup – is trying to reduce that figure by bringing moms to employers looking to hire who understand and appreciate the value a mom can bring to their firm and who will work with them to alleviate mom-based pressures. 

The startup is currently working with 75,000 women in this position. To date, they have gotten 1,000 companies internationally to see if they can make a fit with moms returning to the workforce.  The mission of the project is: “helping women remain active in the workforce in every stage in their journey.”

Some of the companies the project works with include: JLL, Sapient Razorfish, Georgia-Pacific, Miller-Coors and more.

Economic Outlook: 2019

Conference

Mark your calendars.  On January 17, 2019, the Economic Outlook conference – hosted by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business – will take place.  The title of the conference is ‘Trade Wars, Deficits and Inflation: Rhetoric or Reality.’ Discussion participants include: Austan D. Goolsbee, Randall S. Kroszner, and Raghuram G. Rajan who will be talking about the state of the global economy and look at what might be happening for 2019. The event is being moderated by Bloomberg’s Global Economics and Policy Editor, Kathleen Hays.

Areas of discussion include: tax cuts, deregulation, America’s approach to China trade, growth, deficits, inflation, corporate profits and more.  

Christmas Shopping!

Christmas shopping

Even if you still haven’t gotten all your Christmas gifts, there are some great last minute opportunities for Chicago Christmas shopping.  Thankfully, someone else has done the work for us on Urban Matter’s webpage, which has the ultimate guide for last minute Christmas shoppers.

Struggling to think of the perfect gift for the one who has it all?  Look no further (but book quickly!) than booking a Scenic ride in Chicago’s Santa’s “Sleigh.” The Chicago Helicopter Experience this year is offering “a one-of-a-kind opportunity to take flight over the city on a panoramic  Holiday Lights Tour exploring Chicago’s best destinations from thousands of feet above.”

For those whose budget doesn’t quite extend that far, here is a list of 16 awesome holiday gifts you can purchase locally that won’t see you taking more than $100 out of your pocket: https://urbanmatter.com/chicago/holiday-gifts-under-100/

Christmas might be a good time to find out where you really came from; so look into 23 & Me’s $79 ancestry kit as a gift option too.

Health and Educational Endeavors in Illinois

Illinois Hospitals

This year’s Leapfrog Group list of 118 America’s Highest Quality Hospitals features 7 from Illinois.  Chicago has four:

  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital,
  • University of Chicago Medical Center,
  • Amita Health Saints Mary & Elizabeth Medical Center
  • Amita Health Resurrection Medical Center

To gain the results the following was measured: efficiency, management structure, patient safety and quality.  Performances areas investigated were: infection prevention; limiting C-sections; using technology for improved care; leadership policies and practices.

Meanwhile,efforts are being made to enhance education in the state.  According to a recent statement put out by JB Pritzker, a new committee has been put in place to bolster “the educational standards for every student in Illinois from kindergarten through 12th grade up through college.

The establishment of the new committee – Educational Success Transition Committee – was announced last month at the Genevieve Melody STEM Elementary School.  CEO and co-Chair of Chicago Public Schools Janice Jackson said:

“We must acknowledge the fact that not every single student in every community has access to the same education.  And we intend to fix that–not only in our city–but throughout the great state of Illinois.”


Looking Ahead: Business Growth in the US in 2019

Economic Growth

At the 2018 EY Strategic Growth Forum, the advice given to the invite-only annual conference for leading US-executive leaders was based on the following key elements:

  • Establish a purpose
  • Create a solid foundation
  • Contemplate the future
  • Customer prioritization.

Steve Costello summed up some more of the outcomes of the conference.  He speaks about the advice given from jewelry designer Kendra Scott on the importance of setting up an advisory board.  This is important, not necessarily for advice but to maintain a strong system of checks and balances.  She advised:

“Report to them quarterly like a public company and have biannual planning meetings with them.  We all have biases, so select balanced, deep thinkers who’ve known you a long time and can easily identify your blind spots.Like your best mentors, they’ll give you the perspective you don’t want to hear.”

co-founder of the organic baby food brand Once Upon a Farm Jennifer Garner advises using the business you establish to help fund causes dear to your heart.  She explained:

“I’m in business because I’m sick of asking people for money. I … generate money by getting people to buy a product that helps them and can help someone else.” And she has proceeds of her company donated to the Ron Finley Project which provides healthy food and access to urban gardens in underserved LA communities.

Regarding stocks,it is anticipated that there will be a “modest recovery” next year mainly due to “pressure from higher interest rates and concerns about peaking earnings growth. Investing in smaller, domestically focused companies had been among the most popular strategies in 2018, as tariff tensions and a fiscal stimulus boost made them into safe havens.” 

In fact, many economic experts anticipate a And in general, US economic growth is expected to be very small next year, with an even deeper drop in growth levels in the second quarter.  Thankfully few believe that it is likely to result in a huge recession.

Spurring Solar Solutions

Illinois is increasingly moving toward solar power for its energy sources.  The costs of the equipment used is significantly lower and the state of Illinois is so encouraging of the transition, that it offers many attractive incentives to move over.

One of the most popular solar markets today in Illinois are those that are in conjunction with farmers.  In these cases, the farmers benefit too.  They lease the solar companies some of their property which is used to cultivate solar energy and they get money for this as it is in place of crop growing.

The agrarians are needed to facilitate this process as they are the ones lining up the solar panels in the most efficient way to absorb the sun’s rays.  The energy then gets transported to the closest power substation, being absorbed into the power supply.  Ultimately this is a good business deal for landowners and solar companies.

Within Chicago itself, a recent statement given by the Sierra Club promised that they will be conjoining into a “new community coalition working to move Chicago to a 100 percent clean, renewable energy future.  The Club’s Ready for 100 Action Campaign organizer Krya Woods added:

“The Ready for 100 Chicago Collective stands ready to advocate for bold policy that will bring the greatest economic, environmental, and social benefit to communities across Chicago. A new energy economy can create jobs, save money through energy efficiency and phasing out fossil fuel, and empower our residents to participate in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of strategies that will most effectively address our communities’ needs. We are here to address how we power this city and who has power in this city.”

Civil Rights Issues

The establishment of a fourth transition committee has been announced by J. B. Pritzker as an advisory board on matters of civil rights.  To be known as the Committee on Equality, Equity and Opportunity, Marca Brista, Marty Castro and Kim Hunt will take equal responsibility for guiding the committee in the capacity as co-chairs of the 25 members.  They are all currently involved in related endeavors (Access Living; Casa Central and Pride Action Tank).

According to Lt. Gov-elect Juliana Stratton, the committee’s role is to really listen “to the communities across Illinois who haven’t been heard or who’ve experienced systemic disinvestment.”  She should know.  Being the country’s first Democratic Lieutenant Governor-elect in the 2018 election as well as the first ever black woman to be elected to that position in Illinois, Stratton couldn’t be more apt for her work on this committee. She added:

“The Committee on Equality, Equity and Opportunity will tackle civil rights issues in our state and work to ensure Illinois can protect children and families from dangerous policies from the federal government.”