As the West Region of Northwestern Medicine has many different chamber memberships (14 at last count), I have had the good fortune to interact with many different chambers. While I value all, I find the Batavia Chamber of Commerce is in truly elite company in the value it delivers to its membership. Whether it be the continuing opportunities to connect with other businesses/people that serve Batavia and surrounding communities through lunches, multi-chamber events, after hours etc., or the access to high quality education and training that encompasses business skills development and useful legislative information, the Batavia Chamber of Commerce continues to work to deliver a quality experience month-in, month-out, throughout the year. Kudos to Holly, Lindsey, Margaret and the Batavia Chamber Board for doing such excellent work on behalf of your membership!
Terry Semmens - Chamber Member since 1997
Chairman's Circle Member
The Batavia Rotary Club has been a member of the Batavia Chamber of Commerce for 32 years. At a recent Networking It! event, the Batavia Chamber of Commerce selected our club to be the Charity of the Month and presented us with $465, which had been collected by door donations and the 50/50 Raffle. They receive our heartfelt thanks for supporting Rotary and it is without question their leadership defines the success of our business community.
President, Batavia Rotary Club
Alarm Detection Systems has been a member of the Batavia Chamber of Commerce for many years. ADS is very active in the NFIB, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, and several national industry groups. So belonging to the local chambers fits with our general understanding that with success comes the need to support the business community in general. Batavia was no exception. It was just a few short years ago that we learned the real value of the Batavia Chamber specifically.
Tri-Com Central Dispatch, which serves Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles and Elburn had abruptly made a decision that would effectively eliminate competition for commercial fire alarm monitoring within their service area. The net result would have been dissolving all the fire alarm monitoring business we built in the area since 1968 and by not allowing competition; it would drive up the cost of monitoring for all business owners. It was then we realized the full value of the Batavia Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber leadership and some concerned customers appeared for us before the Batavia City Council who was involved in the adoption of the Tri-Com resolution. To the credit of the City of Batavia, Mayor Jeff Schielke and City Manager Bill McGrath ran the most transparent meetings in the Tri-Cities giving us the best hearing of any community. The chamber being out front for us was huge. At the end of this long skirmish, the measure failed and fair competition for business prevailed.
In part because of the Batavia Chamber advocating for us, Alarm Detection Systems continues to grow as the largest private alarm company in Illinois. More importantly to the membership, every fire alarm subscriber in Batavia has choices to pick the most reasonably priced fire monitoring their money can buy.
Kim Keating - Chamber Board Member since 2011
Executive Officer - Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Chairman's Circle Member
The Batavia Chamber of Commerce brings the business community together with the community at large. If you are a member of the business community and not part of the Chamber, you are an outsider and missing out. Jump in with both feet and get involved. It is good for business and good for the community.
Kevin G. Drendel - Chamber Board Member 2009- 2015
Attorney - Drendel & Jansons Law Group
I joined the Batavia Chamber of Commerce a couple of months after opening my doors in the Spring of 2007 after my sister-in-law advised me to do so. "You will get of out it what you put into it" she explained, but "being a part of the business landscape in your community is so valuable". After 9 years , and finishing my 6th year on the Board of Directors, I can only shake my head in resounding agreement to what my sister-in-law told me. At first, it was very difficult to pick and chose what events to be a part of since I was the only employee and did not want to miss out on "generating revenue". Then Chamber director, Roger Breisch, called me up and recommended a small business forum that was being started. I joined reluctantly, but after a couple of months, things just snowballed from there. I have been part of a group of small business owners who I have I grown to love and trust very much over the past 8+ years. I liken it to "getting my MBA via the chamber". I have met so many wonderful individuals, brilliant business owners and extremely genuine and enthusiastic people over the past 9 years. I did not join the chamber to "generate leads" for my business, even though I have benefited from it. My main purpose was to get involved in the business community I live in and help shape it in some fashion. I know now the value of the chamber for me is doing business with top quality professionals , learning from extraordinary entrepreneurs, and helping create a vibrant business community in the town I live.
Joe King, PT, ATC - Chamber Board Member since 2010
A friend advised me to join the Batavia Chamber around 6 years ago in order to increase exposure for my business. I took the advice and started attending the events. I was welcomed and encouraged by a great group of business owners. I track all of my phone calls, and over 6 months I started to notice an increase in calls and referrals related to the Chamber. By my second year I was so impressed that I got more involved so I could reach and help other businesses succeed. Today the Chamber produces steady, high quality leads and my staff takes advantage of the networking (Net-Working It!) and training opportunities on a regular basis. I have not found a better value for my business!
Tom Wangler Jr. - Chamber Board Member since 2010
President - Confident Aire, Inc.
As a representative of the City Council on the Chamber Board, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work alongside of many of the business owners in the community. It is always gratifying to get to know people from another aspect of the community, and the energy and good intentions for the future are gratifying, as these people, their families, friends and customers are the people for whom City government strives to provide a high quality of life.
Hearing a business person’s point of view also widens my vision and gives a broader context from which to work and make decisions along with the City team. I am able to better communicate the sense of business to the City Council when it comes time for policy making as well. Lastly, it is an important forum for the City to show its concern for its businesses.
City Administrator - City of Batavia
I took the plunge into entrepreneurship in 1985, when I quit my job with a large Chicago law firm to join a start-up computer consulting company as the third person in the company. The decision was like that first jump off the high dive as a kid – scary at first, but once you jump, it’s a blast! Fifteen years later, I left that company after helping transition it through a successful acquisition by a larger firm. That was my first of four start-up business experiences, which included some memorable events, including lobbying the National Security Agency for approval on software encryption, filing for and obtaining patents on a new software product that I helped design and develop, and speaking to the press on a whirlwind nationwide media tour to launch a new e-commerce product.
I can honestly say that entrepreneurship is a roller coaster ride with inspiring highs, and stomach churning lows where – at the end - you always say “let’s go again!”
These experiences led me to the last 10 years of my career as the Manager of the IL Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Waubonsee Community College, where I have had the pleasure of experiencing that ride vicariously with my clients.
Helping entrepreneurs navigate the ups and downs of running a business, celebrating as they achieve success and providing moral support as they struggle through challenges, is my passion. In the decade that I have been with the SBDC, I have helped more than 2,000 entrepreneurs evaluate business ideas, craft business and strategic plans, obtain financing, hire employees, implement sound operational practices, manage finances, and many other details required in starting, growing, buying or selling their business.
As this chapter of my life closes, I am looking forward to the next experience with Waubonsee’s Customized Training department.
My passion for business translates to my involvement in the Chamber. I have witnessed how the vitality of a community – especially the business community - is mirrored in its Chamber of Commerce. In spite of all the technology we use and the ease of getting information and education online, it is in our daily inter-personal relationships where our most meaningful connections take place. Those connections are found where we build trust and loyalty, meet new prospective customers, partners, vendors, and friends.
Over the decade I spent working with the SBDC at Waubonsee, I was able to engage with 12 Chambers of Commerce within our boundaries. I am now in my fourth year serving on the Batavia Chamber board, of which I am currently serving in the role of president. The twists and turns of entrepreneurship and small businesses are still very much a thrill ride that I want to do again and again.
Harriet Parker - Chamber Board President, 2015-2016
Manager, IL Small Business Development Center - Waubonsee Community College
I have been a member of many chambers of commerce (less of them today). What I look for in any advertising, networking and investment is a return. It’s not always about you but the contribution to the community at large. When you invest you expect a return on your investment, and that is what I have seen for many members and myself with being a part of the Batavia Chamber of Commerce.
It’s true that just joining a chamber will reap benefits in the proportion that you invest in it, the the Batavia Chamber is one that reaps the highest reward I have found for that investment of dollars and time. Their staff is incredible in their responsiveness and willingness to help you make the most of your membership. You get an real value in that return for how and where your business can be promoted to the community, and I have seen the stock in my brand and my business grow over the years I have been involved.
When I was asked to be on the board of directors I was hesitant (I don’t need another volunteer opportunity), but I have found it one of the best ways to serve my business and the community at the same time. I am a numbers geek and the numbers add up. Being a member of the Batavia Chamber of Commerce has helped me see significant grow in myself, my business, and the community! It’s been a GREAT investment for B2b Interactive Marketing, Inc. and I know you will see the same results (if you invest your time and energy to grow your business).
Brian Basilico - Chamber Board Member since 2012
I am so thankful that a few of my fellow Batavian’s recommended the Batavia Chamber of Commerce to me. Since I joined I feel as though I have been blessed with a second family with all the support and motivation I get from them on a regular basis. Holly, Lindsey and Margaret are the most amazing women. They have great passion for business and helping people. I truly feel they care about my business on a personal level and want to see it grow and succeed as much as I do! They have gone the extra mile to get my name and my business name out there and introduce me to the business community. The Chamber has so many opportunities available that have helped my business both grow and problem solve such as the free monthly Networking It events and the Home-Based Mastermind Group. I highly recommend the Batavia Chamber of Commerce to all business professionals.
Since becoming a new Business owner in Batavia in 2015, the Batavia Chamber of Commerce has been with me every step of the way. Without their guidance, support and introductions to key influencers in our area, I would have been lost. I am so grateful for their warm welcome, and patience as I learn the ropes and develop into a successful business owner. Holly, Margaret and Lindsey truly care about helping my business grow and succeed, AND have made me feel like a part of this great Batavia community. I am proud to be a Chamber Member and Batavian!
Having come from the corporate world, the Batavia Chamber was instrumental in helping me get started in the small business arena. The various events provided great opportunities to meet local business owners, as well as other key community leaders. We have been a Chamber member for over 10 years and look forward to being active in the years to come.
Volkman Insurance Agency
I have been a member of the Batavia Chamber of Commerce for 1 year along with being a Batavia Chamber Ambassador, and a newly appointed Board Member. A key reason I became a business coach is to help businesses in the local community to thrive and to build a stronger sense of community by helping to foster increased networking and closer interactions between local businesses. These are the key benefits I see as being a member of the Batavia Chamber of Commerce. With the nice mix of industrial, retail and service businesses based in Batavia, who are members of the Batavia Chamber of Commerce, there is a good breadth of talent and business offerings that exist here which provides for great networking opportunities. Since joining the Batavia Chamber, I have made many good business connections. A strong local business community is the foundation for any successful community and I look forward to being part of nurturing Batavia’s business and community growth as a business coach and a member of the Batavia Chamber Board of Directors.
Jeff Vekony - Chamber Board Member since 2016
I invest in the Batavia Chamber of Commerce because I know the Chamber is working hard to advocate for business.
Buttrey-Wulff-Mamminga Agency, Inc.
Members of the Batavia Chamber of Commerce since 1978