Spring is rapidly approaching with longer days of light, flowers blooming, the local garden center keeps me posted on what is being planted. Spring is that time for new beginnings and provides us the opportunity to start fresh. Soon the farmers will be tilling the soil in preparation for growing crops. Just like the farmers tilling the soil, we too can prepare ourselves for planting crops by taking advantage of educational events and networking events throughout the region.
The MCEDC is celebrating our 25th Anniversary in 2016. Over the last 25 years, the MCEDC has worked to create a positive environment for business growth....to make McHenry County a great place to start a business, run a business, maintain a business or expand a business... all while providing the community with the benefits of an expanded tax base, primary and secondary job opportunities. It takes many touch points, a great deal of outreach, tremendous collaboration and leadership to mold a positive environment for business.
Regarding touch points, coming up next week, our Makers Movement ‘Meetup’ will be on March 7th at 4:30 – 6pm here at our offices (call our office to register-no cost). We are gathering inventors, designers, tinkerers and artisans; mentors who have experience and expertise to share; and angel investors who want to support and grow a project as we build a Makers Movement right here in McHenry County. I am pleased to say our Maker’s Movement is gaining momentum with interest from numerous inventors and entrepreneurs as well as mentors and investors. We have invited an angel investor, Stan Lynall, CPA, to speak at our March 7th meeting. He is one of the founders and architects of the Central Illinois Angels (CIA). Central Illinois Angels is a nonprofit membership-based angel investment organization composed of business leaders and professionals in Central Illinois. Over the last seven years, the CIA has invested over $8 million dollars in early stage opportunities. Mr. Lynall will discuss how forming the investment group has led to growth in local business opportunities due to the CIA’s investments in a variety of technological advancements developed by entrepreneurs in the area. We hope this initiative will spark future businesses and take those ideas drawn on a napkin and make them reality. We are looking for innovators, entrepreneurs, investors as well as mentors in all areas who are interested in helping grow the opportunities available here in McHenry County.
As part of our “Enhancing Excellence” Speaker series, we are excited to bring in a heavy hitter with a great sense of humor. William A. Strauss, a senior economist and economic advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, will share his expertise on the Midwest economy as well as the manufacturing and automotive sectors. Call our office or register online for this April 12th, 2016 event which will be held at the Crystal Lake Country Club from 7:30 – 9:30 am. Cost is $20 for MCEDC Investors/members and $35 for others.
Our inaugural CEO Peer Group has been meeting for several months and with its successful launch, we are now ready to expand to a second group. The CEO Peer Group is a confidential place to improve leadership skills, have a unique opportunity to connect, learn and succeed in an environment designed to realize opportunities, overcome challenges and promote economic success. Each group consists of only 10 executives in noncompetitive markets, based upon leadership styles, fit and synergy. There are 12 half day workshops throughout 2016-2017 which accelerate the leadership journey among like-minded executive peers. Each group is led by an accomplished business trainer, Chris Kremer of The Success Catalyst and is designed for executives committed to personal and professional improvement. Please call me to learn more about our CEO Peer Group opportunity and our upcoming informational meeting on May 12th from 5 to 7pm.
Also up ahead, the Enhancing Excellence speaker series will continue, the 2016 municipal round tables for our economic development partners will kick off in April and as part of our 25th Anniversary celebration, we will be holding events for our former board of Directors, business leaders who volunteered their time and expertise and who had a passion for economic development as well as the famous ‘Road Warriors’ and members of the Better Roads Coalition who supported McHenry County’s transportation priorities. To keep in touch with MCEDC activities and events, please visit our website home page at www.mchenrycountyedc.com.