DuPage County Regional Business Outlook is an Annual Can’t-Miss Event
In May 2013, Choose DuPage along with Ice Miller LLP and Mesirow Financial hosted the DuPage County Regional Business Outlook at Drury Lane in Oak Brook, Ill. Attended this year by nearly 500 people, it is a “do-not-miss” event to gain insights about current regional, national and global economic conditions.
Dan Cronin, chairman of the DuPage County Board, opened the event by honoring the current, former and newly elected municipal leaders and their contributions to local economic development.
Bob Schillerstrom, partner at Ice Miller, set the stage for this important event.
Diane Swonk, chief economist and senior managing director at Mesirow Financial, followed Cronin. She discussed the nation’s current financial outlook, saying, “The good news is we’re moving forward with the headwinds that once held us back abating just a bit and finally some tail winds to offset those headwinds to set us up for a little bit of a better journey going forward. The journey ahead is not without ‘speed bumps,’ and we’re in one now. The speed bump of the sequester have slowed grow and fiscal restraint, higher taxes have slowed growth.” She then took the assembled group through an analysis of the economy by sector.
The event continued with a panel discussion led by President and CEO of Choose DuPage, Greg Bedalov. The panel featured local business leaders Chuck Allen, CEO of Crowe Horwath, Kevin Giglinto, vice president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, Chris Sears, partner at Ice Miller and Scott Hoekman, CFO of UICO, LLC. The panel discussed various topics including the economy, DuPage County government, taxes, innovation, medical reform and entrepreneurship.
Sears, a partner in Ice Miller’s Health Care Group, talked about federal health care reform and its impact on businesses. “The time to act is in fact now, and we’re getting past the time to act for a lot of businesses,” said Sears. “What a lot of employers may not understand at this point is the complexities in terms of who do you have to cover under health care reform.”
“I think a lot of people see health care reform as an obstacle and many of my comments have been a little pessimistic in terms of what is it going to cost businesses,” continued Sears. “But I think the opportunity for businesses that are going to continue to provide health care for their employees is to look at the way they’re providing health care. Lots of companies are looking at wellness programs. Employers are looking at employee-directed health care. We’re even seeing private health care exchanges. So while I think that health care reform can seem like an obstacle, it is an opportunity to go back in and look at fundamentally how we’re providing health care to our employees.”
Following the panel discussion, the keynote speaker sponsor, PNC, introduced Tom Ricketts, chairman of the Chicago Cubs and chairman/CEO of Incapital LLC. Staying consistent with the event’s theme of moving forward and acting now, Ricketts revealed his restoration and renovation plans for Wrigley Field. Ricketts said he is confident the project will move forward and forecasts that the Chicago Cubs will just get better and better with time.
The event concluded with the Comcast Business Networking Reception where guests met, mingled and spoke with the featured speakers.
The DuPage County Regional Business Outlook is an annual event with a history of bringing in well-known, knowledgeable speakers to analyze current economic conditions and prepare businesses to work within them. To learn more about next year's event, please contact Mary Ralston
at (630) 955-6127.
This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader must consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader's specific circumstances.