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Message from the Founding Chairman

As the founding chairman of the board, it’s my honor to salute the Schaumburg Business Association, and all the founding members, as you celebrate your 15th anniversary. Well done! It was close to 17 years ago that the Schaumburg Business Development Commission, which is a group of prominent business people (appointed by Mayor Al Larson), made the decision to explore the formation of a local chamber of commerce.

Several of us volunteered to participate in the effort, and I was asked to lead the group. Never one to shy away from such a wonderful challenge, I gladly accepted the role as chairman of this organization-to-be.

I quickly sought out business community friends that I knew would share my enthusiasm for a new organization. I still remember vividly the initial reactions to my invitations to sign on: “I’m in – just tell me what you need!,” “great idea; how soon can we start?” and “it’s about time we did this!”

The list of enthusiastic supporters was endless. To name just a few: Jim Earley, from Ala Carte Entertainment, so we would always have a good place to eat and party; Tom Palmer from MPS Law, so our legal work would be done by an attorney who truly understood our mission; Kay Wojcik, our voice in Spring eld and a legendary leader in Schaumburg; the late Jerry Handlon, executive director of the Schaumburg Park District, a visionary who always helped us move forward; and Larry Mazzef , of his own rm Mazzef and Co. CPA, who was our most direct contact to the village. Others on our first board included Barry Christian (Heritage Bank), Bill Kelly (Kelly, Kelly and Kelly), Sheila Schwartz (Wintrust) and Marc Stritch (Wood eld Mall).

We made the decision to throw a big party to introduce the organization to Schaumburg, and it was at that time that we knew it was time to hire a full-time, paid president of our fledgling organization.

Our search quickly led us to Laurie Stone, my close friend who was president of the Greater O’Hare Association. Laurie was fascinated by the prospect of helping to build a brand new organization in Schaumburg, and we quickly named her our first president.

The rest is history. I was chairman for 2 years, and loved every minute of it. Those that have followed me – and Laurie – have done a wonderful job. Membership has grown to over 650, and the SBA is doing more for its members than ever before.

I salute the current board and President Kaili Harding. Keep up the good work!

Brian Burke
Links Technology, President & CEO

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