College of DuPage is training hundreds of contact tracers, meeting an urgent public health need while providing employment

Contact Tracers

When we think of the fight against COVID-19, we tend to think of doctors, nurses, scientists and other frontline workers. But there’s a growing army of individuals—largely consisting of retirees, medical students and those who were recently unemployed—fighting the pandemic from behind the scenes.

Known as “contact tracers,” these trained workers help limit the spread of COVID-19. And now, thanks to the hard work of several individuals and a collaboration amongst local institutions, an innovative new program at the College of DuPage is preparing hundreds for careers in contact tracing.

When Lori Gache-Garcia stepped into her role as Program Manager at the College of DuPage, she never imagined that her first year would be defined by a pandemic. And then—over the next three weeks—COVID-19 swept across the nation, Illinois ordered residents to shelter-in-place, and the College sent faculty home.

It wasn’t the beginning she expected.

But Lori didn’t panic. Instead, she got to work.

As the nation faced a public health emergency and an unemployment crisis, the College of DuPage responded on both fronts—introducing a new course designed to train people for careers fighting the pandemic. Working from her home computer, Lori collaborated with College staff and local organizations like the DuPage County Health Department to develop the contact-tracing program.

As a contact tracer, your job is to track COVID-19 and limit its spread. The work is entirely remote—you spend a lot of time on the phone with people who have been exposed to the virus, encouraging them to quarantine and identifying others with whom they may have come into contact.

Contact tracers are often compared to detectives. There is some scientific sleuthing involved, as you follow a trail of evidence, gather clues, conduct interviews and piece together a bigger picture. But contact tracers are often less like detectives and more like counselors, broaching uncomfortable subjects while providing valuable guidance and information.

The best contact tracers are often the most personable and empathetic people.

Contact Tracers

To create an effective contact-tracing program, the College of DuPage collaborated with the DuPage County Health Department. The Health Department employs numerous contact-tracers, so they knew exactly what skills were needed. With their guidance, College staff tailored the curriculum to focus on these key skills.

“Right off the bat, the Health Department told us they wanted soft skills, like customer service,” Lori says. “As a contact tracer, there are a lot of phone conversations, and these conversations are very sensitive. With that in mind, we incorporated communication skills into the curriculum. We actually have a script that students learn—it’s part of the final exam.”

The program that Lori developed—with curriculum designed by COD Surgical Technology Professor Kathy Cabai—covers a wide range of “hard” and “soft” skills at the core of contact tracing: from building the student’s knowledge of infectious diseases, to learning how to build rapport with cases and accounting for cultural sensitivities.

The program consists of four modules over four weeks. It’s entirely online; instructors are available to answer questions; and students largely determine the pace over the course of each week.

For those who pass the final exam, the prospects of landing a career are good. There’s no guarantee of employment, but contact tracers are in high demand. Students are often employed by public or private institutions shortly after graduating. Many are employed by the DuPage County Health Department, and they find themselves fighting COVID-19 within their own community.

To date, more than 400 students have enrolled.

Contact Tracers

While many of us are learning about contact tracing for the first time, it isn’t a novel concept. Tracing has been used to fight a variety of infectious diseases, from the 1918 Flu Pandemic to the 2014 Ebola outbreak. In tandem with other measures—like masks, social distancing and vaccines—contact tracing has been used to reduce the spread of diseases and, in certain cases, eradicate them.

Dr. Sanjeeb Khatua, Executive Vice President and Chief Physician Executive at Edward-Elmhurst Health, is the Incident Commander for the organization’s COVID-19 response. He says that contact tracing is a critical component of any community’s response to the pandemic—and it also benefits individuals. 

“Contact tracing allows us to identify individuals who have COVID-19 and their contacts, so we can warn them and inform them,” he says. “The more we’re able to do that, the better it’s going to be for all of us. The less community spread, the less chance you have of actually getting COVID-19.”

And while contact-tracing is nothing new, the demand for contact tracers in 2020 has skyrocketed.

“The urgency and the sheer number of contact tracers the country needed was incredible,” Lori says. “When the need arose, we recognized that we, the College, needed to create a short-term training program to teach people the skills and knowledge they need. And we had to create it quickly.”

“In a matter of weeks, Lori worked with full-time faculty to develop this wonderful program,” says Joe Cassidy, Assistant Vice President of Economic Development and Dean of Continuing Education and Public Services at COD. “This is a great example of how we can flex as a college to meet an urgent need. It’s also a perfect example of what can happen when we collaborate on-campus and off-campus, with partners like DuPage County Health.”

Contact Tracers

You don’t have to be a scientist or a public-health expert to become a contact tracer. To enroll in the College of DuPage program, all you need is a high school diploma (or equivalent) and a computer.

Contact tracers are a diverse group, consisting of many demographics. COD’s program has seen students ages 18 to 72 (the 72-year-old recently graduated and was hired soon after). And while students come from all walks of life, many fall into one of three categories: retirees, college-aged students or those who were recently unemployed.

For retirees, becoming a contact tracer is the perfect way to fight back against the pandemic. It’s entirely remote, so you don’t have to put your own health at risk. It can also be a good way to get some much-needed socialization.

For college students interested in the medical industry, contact tracing is a good way to gain some real-world experience in the world of public health. For those who were recently unemployed, a career as a contact tracer is a win-win. The pay is good—contact tracers make up to $28/hour—and the work is fulfilling.

And while there may be no “typical” contact tracer, Lori says the majority are drawn to the program simply from a desire to help their community.

“Not surprisingly, they tend to be the most diligent students,” she says.

Interested in becoming a contact tracer? To enroll in the College of DuPage program, you must be 18 years or older, have a high-school diploma or equivalent, and have access to a computer. The online program consists of four modules over four weeks, and the cost is $279. The next course is January 25-February 21. Learn more or register here.

Newest ComEd Program Provides Bill Assistance to Struggling Small Businesses During Pandemic


Small-Business Assistance Programs offers one-time grants and flexible payment options

With many restaurants, bars, retailers and other small businesses across northern Illinois struggling to stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic, ComEd announced a new bill-assistance program to help eligible small businesses facing financial difficulties.

“Small and family-owned businesses are the backbone of our communities. When they struggle, our neighborhoods struggle.” said ComEd CEO Joe Dominguez. “By offering a new bill-assistance option targeting small and family-owned businesses, we hope to do our part to ensure that the businesses that we all love and depend upon continue to be a part of our lives.”

ComEd’s Small Business Assistance Program provides eligible small-business customers that are past due on their energy bills with a one-time grant equal to 30 percent of their total ComEd balance (up to $1,000) for a limited time. Customers whose electric service has not been disconnected can then set up their remaining balance due on a payment plan of up to six months.

Small-business customers can visit or call 1-877-4-COMED-1 (1-877-426-6331) to learn more or apply for the Small Business Assistance Program.

Earlier this week, ComEd announced its new Helping Hand program to provide more immediate aid to eligible residential customers most in need during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For a limited time, this financial-assistance program provides an additional one-time grant of up to $300 to help reduce past-due balances of income-eligible customers.

Assistance through the Helping Hand program is administered directly through ComEd, which expedites the verification process so that customers can receive grants more quickly. Residential customers can apply for Helping Hand grants at

Assistance Options to Help Residential Customers

Helping Hand and the Small Business Assistance Program are the latest in a number of assistance options ComEd has developed since the pandemic to help customers, including a $18 million bill-payment assistance program for residential customers announced earlier this summer.

ComEd has continued the suspension of service disconnections for low-income customers and those who express a financial hardship through March 31, 2021. For other customers, it’s important that they continue to stay current to avoid higher past-due balances into the spring that will be harder to address.
ComEd’s bill-assistance programs also include flexible payment options, financial assistance for past-due balances and usage alerts for current bills. Any customer who is experiencing a hardship or difficulty with their electric bill should call ComEd immediately at 1-800-334-7661 (1-800-EDISON-1), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to learn more and enroll in a program.

ComEd also offers usage alerts and energy-management tips to help customers manage energy use to save money now and on future energy bills. For information, visit


Wynndalco Offers 50 College of DuPage Students a Stronger Tech Connection

For most of us, 2020 will go down in the books as one of our most challenging years; for local college students, those same challenges—health, work, and financial concerns—also collided head-first with a technology shortage due to a massive movement toward distance learning. But for 50 College of DuPage (COD) students, their studies will get a bit easier (and their technology access more dependable) thanks to Wynndalco Enterprises’ donation of 50 Dell Pentium laptops in Mokena on November 2.

Wynndalco founder and CEO, David Andalcio, is well-versed in education challenges himself, having emigrated from his native Trinidad in his early teens to a foreign US school environment. His hunger to excel propelled him forward but also formed a deeply philanthropic spirit: He’s quite familiar with the plight of students who don’t have the same opportunities simply because of geography, history, and funding. And he’s mindful of changing that landscape, however and wherever he can.

“David is a member of the COD Foundation board and so learned of the COVID relief fund we’ve established for students who need the most support, technology-wise,” says Karen Kuhn, Foundation executive director. “While COD currently offers a technology rental program, these 50 laptops actually will go to 50 students directly and stay with them throughout their time at COD, so they can concentrate on their studies and have one less thing to worry about.”

As with so many others involved in K-16 education, Kuhn recognizes the tremendous technology requirements needed for larger families with multiple students involved in e-learning who are often struggling to share a single device. For a college-level workload, it’s almost impossible to do well.

“There’s been a huge shortage of laptops since schools changed to distance learning and scrambled to offer one-to-one, student-to-device ratios,” Andalcio explains. “But we have long, supportive relationships with today’s leading technology suppliers plus a lot of public schools both here and abroad and were able to use our connections to help make these donations happen.”

Founded in 1967, COD boasts nearly 3,000 full- and part-time faculty on its 254-acre campus in west suburban Glen Ellyn and serves an average semester enrollment of 25,000 students. In fact, some of Andalcio’s family and staff have attended there and used that valuable local education to continue on at some of COD’s many partner schools (Benedictine and Northern Illinois Universities, for example). In fact, Sean Noonan, DuPage County Board Member, was one such student years ago, and appreciates the attention Andalcio gives toward myriad DuPage County efforts—from education to transportation to the Emergency Telephone System.

“Working alongside David, I see how he supports both sides of the aisle; the most important thing is helping kids with their education and making our communities better,” Noonan explains. “It is just a generous thing to share the tools for learning that are so needed today…and what better timing than now, when kids are scrambling?”

Adds Andalcio, “I believe so strongly that access to technology and the Internet simply should not be barriers for today’s students. Wynndalco regularly donates hundreds of units annually to do our part in making education more accessible. Now more than ever, we need to come together and help where we can.”   

Established in 2009, Wynndalco is a certified DBE/MBE/SBE/BEP that serves educational institutions, state- and local governments, Fortune 500 and -100 businesses, and transportation entities with proven, affordable, professional support for End-User Device Management, Warehouse & Logistics, Project Management, Technology Infrastructure Operations, and SMART Board® and A/V services. For more information, visit

Made in DuPage

Made in DuPage

Manufacturing is a major part of our region’s heritage. As the 5th-largest industry in DuPage County, manufacturing employs more than 57,000 people. This October, we are celebrating Manufacturing Month by sharing the stories of the products, flavors, foods, and more that are Made in DuPage



Downers Grove | Flavor, Color, and Ingredient Solutions

This DuPage company uses science to make things taste delicious and smell amazing. Founded in 1971 and headquartered in Downers Grove since 1982, Flavorchem creates and manufactures flavor, color and ingredient solutions, including many organic-certified products. Meanwhile, their fragrance division, Orchidia Fragrances, develops inspired creations through the researchers’ knowledge and passion for fragrance. The company’s sweet, savory, sour and spicy creations are produced at manufacturing facilities throughout the world. 

Flavorchem Downers Grove



Addison | Medical Products, Devices, and Technologies

This DuPage innovator makes technologies that improve women’s health worldwide, including in remote areas with limited access to healthcare. Headquartered in Addison, MedGyn is present in more than 140 countries, delivering a comprehensive portfolio of OB/GYN products.

MedGyn DuPage


Ball Horticultural Company

West Chicago | Ornamental Plant Breeder, Producer, and Wholesale Distributor 

Have a garden? Chances are, your plants are rooted in the work of Ball Horticultural Company, right here in West Chicago, DuPage County. A family-owned business founded in 1905, Ball Horticultural is on a mission to be the world leader in the research, breeding, production and marketing of ornamental crops. Its innovative and award-winning work can be found in gardens across six continents.

<Ball Horticultural Company DuPage County


Pioneer Services Inc.

Addison | Precision Parts

This DuPage manufacturer makes custom parts that are used in some of the world’s most important products—including lab equipment where COVID-19 vaccines are being tested, cooling machines used in giant data centers, hydraulic equipment for energy producers, and hundreds more. Headquartered in Addison, Pioneer Service Inc. is a Women-Owned Small Business with 30 years of experience. 

Pioneer Services DuPage County


Greenleaf Foods, SPC

Elmhurst | Plant-Based Foods

Some of the North America’s most delicious plant-based protein is made right here in DuPage County! Headquartered in Elmhurst, Greenleaf Foods, SPC, is owner of popular brands Lightlife® and Field Roast, which create nearly 50 plant-based products. Today, the brands have taken a leading market position in the refrigerated, plant-based protein category in the U.S., and they plan to continue enticing new customers who never knew that plant-based protein could taste so good. 

Greenleaf Foods DuPage County



Lisle, Naperville | Connectivity Solutions Provider

This DuPage business is enabling life-saving technologies during COVID-19. Headquartered in Lisle, with a manufacturing facility in Naperville, Molex works with customers in fields like healthcare and data communications to improve lives around the world. Recently, the company collaborated with customers to develop assemblies for thermal camera systems and portable ventilators, technology that’s critical to detecting infections and saving lives. 

Molex DuPage County


Fusion OEM

Burr Ridge | Integrated Robot Solutions

This Burr Ridge-based company engineers integrated robot solutions. For decades robotics has been reserved for large manufacturers such as automobile manufacturers, but Fusion’s affordable robotic solutions extended the market to small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises.

Fusion OEM assembles the machines that produce the air-filled “pillows” that protect Amazon orders, machines that place the plastic “six pack” rings on beer cans, and the Carvey— a unit that small businesses, “makers” and students use to mill untold number of innovative products.

Fusion OEM DuPage County


IP Automation 

Downers Grove | Automation and Wire Fabrication Machinery

What do a stove and shopping cart have in common? Hint: The answer does NOT involve food. Still thinking??? Here’s the answer: Both contain BENT WIRES! The wire rack inside your oven is shaped by the same machine that creates your Costco cart. These products are made possible thanks to companies like IP Automation in Downers Grove known for its wireforming machines and automation lines.

IP Automation DuPage County



Carol Stream | Custom Food Service & Water Treatment Solutions

Family-owned and operated, Antunes is a leading provider of custom countertop cooking equipment and water filtration systems. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Antunes quickly leveraged its in-house design and fabrication capabilities. Stepping into action early, they developed safety and sanitation equipment – countertop shields and hand sanitizer dispenser stands – enabling other businesses to stay open. Read more about them here.

Antunes Carol Stream Facility DuPage County


Victor Envelope Company

Bensenville | Commercial Printing

For over 50 years, the Victor Envelope Company has delivered on its brand promise: “Envelopes when you need them.” Residing in a 250,000 square foot, air conditioned, state of the art manufacturing and printing facility in Bensenville, the company produces more than 1 billion envelopes annually!

Its dedicated workforce of Machine Adjusters, Machine Operators, Printers, and Mechanics—just to name a few— blend modern print technology, craftsmanship and engineering to deliver the fastest turnaround times in the industry.

Victor Envelope says it embraces its social responsibility to manufacture a competitive product while minimizing any negative impact on the environment. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company was deemed an essential manufacturer. “We dedicated ourselves to keeping our people safe and healthy during the pandemic,” says Susan Ryan, VP of Human Resources. “COVID-19 generated an increased demand for Ballot Envelopes which we were prepared to manufacture.”

Victor Envelope DuPage County



Itasca & Bolingbrook | Sweet Treats

Ferrara, an emerging powerhouse in the North American confections and snacking categories, produces the sweet treats and other delights at its Itasca and Bolingbrook facilities.  

A $3B organization, Ferrara is No. 1 in seasonal confections and No. 2 in sugar confections. The powerhouse company has entered the world’s largest cookies market through the acquisition of a beloved portfolio of cookie brands, a category growing at more than four percent. 

Sustainable growth means Ferrara continues to expand and hiring needs remain constant. Shaping the future of the candy and cookie industry, employees provide quality products to millions of people daily.

For more information visit:


Packaging Personified

Carol Stream | Flexible Packaging Manufacturer

Apples, carrots, potatoes… Ever wondered about the bags they come in? What about those long black tarps spread across the ground weathering the toughest elements? Meet Packaging Personified. More than a catchy name, this Carol Stream-based manufacturer creates environmentally-friendly storage solutions for frozen foods, produce, landscape, and other markets. Founded in 1975, the company supplies packaging, casings, and wrappings using multiple state-of-the-art methods. Learn more about the company here:

For more stories like this, follow Choose DuPage and workNet DuPage on social media. 

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The Smartest, Sleekest & Healthiest Workplaces in DuPage: 2020

What are the elements of a great workplace?

Okay, how about a tougher question: What are the elements of a great workplace… in 2020?

This year, many of us are spending an unusual amount time thinking about the places where we work. When it comes to offices, we still care about the things that we’ve always cared about. We still want an attractive space where we can be productive, efficient and comfortable. But now, it’s pretty much impossible to talk about a workplace without bringing up COVID-19.

The pandemic has raised the bar on what makes a great workplace ‘great’. A good-looking building with excellent amenities is no longer enough. Now, to win us over, a workplace has to work extra-hard to keep us healthy.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at 9 of our favorite workplaces in DuPage County. We selected our picks based on three criteria:

  • Is it smart? Is the office designed to make your workday better, to encourage collaboration, to make workers feel good about going to work? Does it incorporate cutting-edge technology? Does it challenge the notion of what a workplace can be?
  • Is it sleek? Is it attractive? Does the look of the office embody the company’s character, impress clients and add to the fun of working there? (For the record, we’re pretty loose with our definition of ‘sleek’. A grungy, industrial-chic space can definitely be sleek, by our standards.)
  • Is it healthy? What amenities does the workplace offer? Does it allow for social distancing? Is it healthy for the environment? Have the tenants, building managers and architects found creative solutions for comfort, safety and sustainability?

Each of our selections earned high marks in all three categories. But, as you’ll see, they couldn’t be more different. Some are playful and imaginative, alive with vibrant colors, murals and sculptures. Others are cool and sophisticated. One has a pickup truck parked in the middle of its workspace; another has a garden where employees pick fresh produce for lunch.

That’s what makes each space unique, but here’s what they all have in common: Each workplace listed here embodies the spirit of its occupant. Each one is smart, sleek and healthy. Most importantly, each one is a place where we would love to work—this year, and any other.

In no particular order, these are the smartest, sleekest and healthiest workplaces in DuPage County…


WernerCo Corporate Headquarters

Itasca, IL | Manufacturer & Distributor

   WernerCo HQ in DuPage County WernerCo HQ in DuPage County WernerCo HQ in DuPage County

There’s a pickup truck and a cargo van parked in the middle of the WernerCo Corporate Headquarters. Don’t worry; they’re supposed to be there. The company’s brand-new office, which opened in October 2019, is a state-of-the-art facility with an industrial-chic vibe, mirroring the customers and industries the business serves. The vehicle replicas at the center of the space serve dual purposes: as a mark of the company’s personality and as functional life-sized models used to demonstrate WernerCo products. Sometimes, standing in the middle of the 34,500-SF office, you get the feeling that you’ve been transported to an active construction site—this, too, is by design. The building’s concrete columns are visible throughout the headquarters; cement floors cover the common areas; light pours in from floor-to-ceiling windows. As WernerCo employees buzz between the office’s conference rooms, labs, studios and social spaces, you may forget that you’re at an office altogether—until you realize that no one’s wearing a hard hat.

What we love about it:

  • The creative use of space. Some of our favorite offices in this feature transport employees to another place and time. The WernerCo headquarters accomplishes this act of teleportation with bold moves, like the truck parked in the middle of the reception hall, as well as more subtle touches, like the variety of materials used to evoke the atmosphere of a construction site or manufacturing facility.
  • The brand presence. The WernerCo brand is imbued into nearly every aspect of the new office. Wall graphics showcase customers using WernerCo products, while the authentic details of the industrial-chic vibe pay homage to their clients’ industries. Some workplaces are designed for employees; others are designed for clients—the WernerCo office seems to have struck the right balance between the two.
  • The variety of gathering spaces. At a company like WernerCo, the size and makeup of collaboration is always changing. The company’s new Itasca headquarters provides a dynamic space for any situation, giving employees the flexibility they need to be productive, efficient and comfortable. The office features eight conference rooms, a boardroom, a training room, a reception hall and a café, among other gathering spaces.

Architect: EWP Architects


Marquette Companies

Naperville, IL | Real Estate

Marquette Companies office in DuPage County

Marquette Companies office in DuPage County Marquette Companies office in DuPage County

Not only did Marquette Companies design and build their new office; they actually created the entire district around them.

The development and property management company’s workplace is in the heart of Naperville’s hottest new development: the Water Street District, a project spearheaded by none other than Marquette. Located along the famous Naperville Riverwalk, on the south end of Downtown Naperville, Water Street is a highly walkable destination featuring premium retailers, innovative restaurants, a high-end hotel and an events venue. The district’s aesthetic is pure Naperville. Marquette drew inspiration for the development’s various materials and key design elements from the city’s historical hallmarks, such as the former limestone quarry (now Centennial Beach), its origins as a farming community, and the Kroehler Manufacturing plant that assembled furniture on the north side of town.

What we love about it:

  • The amazing location. Employees can step out onto a balcony for a gorgeous view of downtown Naperville. Plus, some of the area’s hottest cafés and restaurants are within a minute’s walk of the office.
  • The thoughtful design and attention to detail. We love how nearly every aspect of the Water Street District and the Marquette office is inspired by the history and culture of Naperville, the company’s hometown, while also drawing upon European space-use theory. The attention to detail is incredible: from the carefully chosen materials to the size and separation of the buildings. Every element was meticulously planned, and it shows.
  • The story. This one’s hard to beat: A hometown company transforms what was formerly a 24-acre eyesore into one of DuPage County’s hottest developments, drawing inspiration for the site’s design and materials from the surrounding community. And then, the cherry on top: They love the space so much that they actually move into it. Read more of the Marquette story here.

Architect: Sullivan, Goulette & Wilson

Contractor: LendLease


American Academy of Pediatrics Headquarters

Itasca, IL | Health Organization

American Academy of Pediatrics HQ in DuPage County

American Academy of Pediatrics HQ in DuPage County American Academy of Pediatrics HQ in DuPage County

The employees at the AAP’s Itasca headquarters are on a mission: “to obtain optimal physical, mental and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.” They work hard to achieve this goal. In turn, their Itasca headquarters works hard to keep them happy, healthy and motivated—through thoughtful design elements, plenty of wellness-related amenities, and creative solutions to keep workers healthy in 2020.

What we love about it:

  • The creative safety solutions. With plenty of indoor and outdoor workspaces, employees are encouraged to work wherever they feel comfortable on campus—including the beautiful patio, which features high-speed WiFi. The stairwells are extra-wide, with large windows offering gorgeous views that encourage employees to take the stairs. The spacious entryway, which was formerly used for large gatherings, offers extra room for social distancing.
  • The artwork. Turn just about any corner on campus, and you’ll encounter a beautiful mural, sculpture or other work of art. Many of the works feature children, reminding employees of the impact of their work. A mural on the fifth floor depicts an adult and child dressed as superheroes, preparing to fly. Beside them is a quote from Mr. Rogers: “Anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me.”

Even the exterior of the building is a work of art, with colored semi-transparent panels that appear to change the color of the building, depending on your perspective and the time of day.

  • The healthy amenities. Workers at the office enjoy a beautiful courtyard and walking space, a workout area with locker rooms and showers, a cafeteria offering fresh food, as well as EV charging stations and bike racks for commuters. On every floor, you’ll find a kitchen, treadmill desks, common areas and adjustable sit-stand workstations. Meanwhile, huddle rooms and numerous collaborative workspaces encourage teamwork and socialization.
  • The sustainability. The building features HVAC systems in the highest category of energy-efficiency. Also, the campus itself features environmentally friendly design, with native landscaping, large natural areas and bioswales.

Architect: Stantec, with architects Ken Novak, Angie Lee and Chris Keller.

Builder: Opus, with tenant rep Eric Kunkel from JLL.


Molex Headquarters

Lisle, IL | Electronic Solutions Provider

Molex HQ in DuPage County

Molex HQ in DuPage County Molex HQ in DuPage County

The Molex headquarters in Lisle is a story of constant reinvention—fitting for a global technology innovator.

Molex, which has a presence in more than 40 countries, has been headquartered in Lisle since 1970. The campus encompasses five buildings and 440,000-SF of office and laboratory space, all of which has been custom-built or renovated to Molex’s specifications. Since the company moved to Lisle, 100% of the space on campus has been renovated at least twice.

What we love about it:

  • The experimentation. The company’s Lisle location serves as a living laboratory. When Molex introduces a new technology or design feature within their headquarters, the changes are then brought to other locations throughout the world. Some of those developments include Molex-created LED lighting fixtures, security and video surveillance systems, access controls and building automation.
  • The constant reinvention. The Molex mission is to make a connected world possible by enabling technology that transforms the future and improves lives. We love how the company fully embraces the spirit of this mission by continually reinventing and implementing new technologies within their Lisle headquarters.
  • The healthy amenities. Molex goes all-out to encourage healthy lifestyles at their office. Some of the amenities include: a fully staffed fitness center; a cafeteria serving fresh, healthy meals; and various outdoor sports facilities for basketball, tennis, pickle ball, volleyball and frisbee golf. Their campus is set on 60 acres of beautiful wooded land, so employees are encouraged to explore the walking paths that wind through the property.
  • The global impact. We love having such a prominent global technology innovator at the heart of DuPage, especially when that innovator is committed to making the world a better place.


Edward-Elmhurst Health Corporate Center

Warrenville, IL | Healthcare Provider

Edward-Elmhurst Health HQ in DuPage County

Edward-Elmhurst Health HQ in DuPage County Edward-Elmhurst Health HQ in DuPage County

The Edward-Elmhurst Health Corporate Center in Warrenville is not only an outstanding office space; it’s played a crucial role in the health system’s response to the pandemic.

One of Illinois’ larger health systems, Edward-Elmhurst Health is comprised of three hospitals: Edward Hospital, Elmhurst Hospital and Linden Oaks Behavioral Health, and provides comprehensive healthcare to residents throughout Chicago’s west and southwest suburbs. In December 2019, 900 members of the Edward-Elmhurst Health System relocated to the state-of-the-art Corporate Center in Warrenville, a 190,000-SF space with amenities like micro-kitchens, outdoor seating and volleyball courts. The move was well-timed. As demand for healthcare surged in early 2020, the system’s hospitals had significantly more space to care for patients, while employees at the Corporate Center had a safe, healthy and beautiful place to work.

What we love about it:

  • The role of the Corporate Center during the pandemic. As we mentioned above, the Center has opened up much-needed space at Edward-Elmhurst hospitals and given 900 employees a safe place to work. In addition, Edward-Elmhurst worked with the City of Warrenville to set up a temporary outdoor testing site in the Center’s parking lot.
  • The modern design. The building is spacious and minimalist, with plenty of windows and glass walls that allow natural light to filter through. Live plants and colorful murals add a touch of color, bringing the office to life. There are even living room-like nooks, where employees can unwind by a fireplace.
  • The thoughtfully designed workspaces. Need to work with a team? Head to a conference room or shared space. Need to focus alone? Head to an individual workspace. Each floor features ergonomic desks that can be raised or lowered, as well as privacy panels and adjustable white noise. These thoughtful design elements make it easy to focus and collaborate.
  • The healthy amenities. No one knows health better than Edward-Elmhurst, and the Corporate Center works hard to keep employees rested, refueled and well. Each floor of the office space features a fully stocked micro-kitchen, while a café on the ground floor offers fresh meals for breakfast and lunch, with indoor and outdoor seating. There’s also a fully equipped fitness center and volleyball courts to promote active team-bonding.

Architect/Builder: The Corporate Center was redesigned by Whitney Architects and remodeled by Executive Construction, Inc.



Naperville, IL | Mixed-Use Campus

CityGate Centre in DuPage County

CityGate Centre in DuPage County CityGate Centre in DuPage County

There may have been a time when you had to go downtown to find a cool place to work, but those days are over. West-suburban pioneers like Calamos Real Estate helped flip that paradigm, and they continue to lead the way today.

CityGate, developed by Calamos, is one of the largest properties on this list. Built between 2004 and 2008, CityGate encompasses a 31-acre main campus, with an additional 25 acres of undeveloped land across Ferry Road. It’s a great place to work, but it’s also a popular spot to shop, eat, relax and stay. The campus features two Class-A office buildings, as well as retail space, restaurants and a full-service luxury hotel. CityGate serves as the headquarters for the Calamos companies, and its office buildings also house numerous tenant businesses, including General Motors, PMA, Forecast5, Commercial Credit, Kinectrics and Informatica.

What we love about it:

  • The walkability. CityGate doesn’t feel like a typical corporate campus. It’s laid out like an upscale urban neighborhood, with a walking trail that meanders through the beautiful property.
  • The high-end amenities. Some of the hottest restaurants in the area are located on campus – like Che Figata, which serves authentic Italian in a modern, open-kitchen setting, and CityGate Grille, serving UDSA Prime steaks & seafood with a Mediterranean flair – along with other unique amenities, including a spa, fitness center and various health and wellness providers.
  • The accessibility. The campus couldn’t be more conveniently located. Right off I-88, it’s an easy commute to Chicago, O’Hare and Midway. Plus, its parking garages are ideal for unpredictable Midwest weather.
  • The sustainability. CityGate is a green campus with LEED-certified buildings. That includes Hotel Arista, the first Illinois hotel to receive the certification. The hotel boasts the latest in energy-efficiency and indoor air-quality systems.
  • The comprehensive safety measures. This spring, CityGate took a variety of smart safety measures to protect workers and visitors on campus. That includes: touch-free temperature checks and security checkpoints at building entrances; hand sanitizer stations throughout the building; limited elevator capacities; dedicated one-way staircases; plexiglass barriers at strategic points; touch-free menus and online ordering at campus restaurants; PPE and frequent sanitization; designated seating and workout equipment; and the latest Global Plasma Solutions™ indoor air quality ionization system, which is currently being installed.

Architect: Dirk Lohan

Developer: Calamos Real Estate


NAI Hiffman Headquarters

Oak Brook, IL | Commercial Real Estate

NAI Hiffman HQ in DuPage County

NAI Hiffman HQ in DuPage County NAI Hiffman HQ in DuPage County

The centerpiece of NAI Hiffman’s Oak Brook headquarters is “The Market,” a community area where employees gather to exchange ideas and eat, celebrate or just unwind. While there are plenty of spaces in the office where employees can focus individually or gather in small groups, The Market is the beating heart of company-wide culture and collaboration.

NAI Hiffman, the largest independent real-estate services firm in the Midwest, built their DuPage headquarters from scratch in 2015, with the help of international design firm Ware Malcomb, also based in Oak Brook.

What we love about it:

  • The way office design has transformed company culture. While many modern offices have shared spaces, we love how NAI Hiffman branded theirs as “The Market” – the perfect name for a place where ideas are exchanged – and dedicated the space to company-wide socialization and collaboration. In addition to The Market, the company invested in new technology, furniture and team spaces. They say this radical transformation of their workspace has, in turn, transformed nearly every aspect of their company, from their ability to serve clients to their brand and culture.
  • The local collaboration. Not only did NAI Hiffman design their Oak Brook headquarters from the ground up; they partnered with another Oak Brook-based company (Ware Malcomb) to make it happen. This kind of hyper-local partnership may be rare elsewhere, but we’re seeing it happen all over DuPage.


CBRE Office

Oak Brook, IL | Commercial Real Estate

CBRE HQ in DuPage County

CBRE HQ in DuPage County CBRE HQ in DuPage County

As an employee at CBRE’s 45,000-SF Oak Brook office, you don’t have an assigned workspace. Instead, you work where it makes sense to work at any given time. At one moment, you might be alone at an individual sit-stand workspace or in one of the many focus rooms. The next, you could be collaborating with a small team in a huddle room, having a large group meeting in the RISE Café, or meeting with a client in The Heart, a dynamic space that serves as a concierge, lobby, meeting and workspace. Where you work and how you work is up to you.

In 2017, CBRE, a giant of the global real-estate industry, consolidated several of its Chicago suburban offices in the Oak Brook workplace, which they expanded and renovated. The redesign was driven by the principles of Workplace 360, a company-wide initiative that eliminates traditional assigned seating and replaces it with a variety of different workspaces for different needs, giving employees the freedom to choose where and how they work. With this flexibility, employees can choose to work where they are most productive and efficient for the task at hand, whether that’s a quiet focus room or a bustling communal space. The days of endless cubicles are behind us.

What we love about it:

  • The balance of individual & group workspaces. When companies first began creating open, collaborative workspaces, some overdid it. Suddenly, everything was an open workspace. There was no privacy, no quiet and – as many found – no way to focus. We love how CBRE’s office provides a smart balance of group workspaces, open community areas and individual ‘focus rooms.’
  • The urban-meets-rural aesthetic. Much like the western suburbs, CBRE’s Oak Brook office celebrates the coming together of urban and rural elements. This is reflected in the aesthetic of the office, which balances warm organic materials with striking urban accents.
  • The radical flexibility. No assigned workspaces. That may sound scary to those of us who have had an assigned workspace since we began our careers, but the company’s commitment to radical flexibility means that you, the employee, can work where it makes the most sense at any given time. This philosophy strikes us as particularly smart during COVID-19, when many companies are having teams work at the office in shifts. Maybe we’ll see more companies adopt the Workplace 360 philosophy in the months ahead.

Architect: Gensler

General Contractor: JC Anderson, Inc.


Wight & Company Headquarters

Darien, IL | Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Transportation Firm

Wight & Company HQ in DuPage County

Wight & Company HQ in DuPage County Wight & Company HQ in DuPage County

Step into the Darien headquarters of global Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Transportation firm Wight & Company, and one of the first things you’ll notice is that the space is somewhat narrow. That narrowness is by design. The firm is a pioneer in sustainability – in fact, they designed the first building in the U.S. to receive LEED certification – and the slim shape of their Darien office allows natural light to shine through the entire inside of the building, one of the keys to LEED certification.

When the firm created their Darien office in 2004, their goal was to make a space that connected employees with nature. That goal informed every aspect of the building, from its location and décor, to the way the office blends interior and exterior spaces. Nature is all around; the Wight office abuts an equestrian farm, and there’s a forest preserve right down the street. Then, there’s the workplace itself.

At times, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where the Wight office ends and the natural world begins. Earlier, we described the office as “narrow”—and it is, but it’s far from cramped. The expansive windows create a feeling of radical openness, dissolving the boundary between inside and outside, while the ground floor opens onto two patios, where employees work and collaborate, as well as walking paths and a garden. The office’s interplay between indoor and outdoor workspaces has been especially valuable during the pandemic.

In addition to connecting employees with nature, the designers of Wight & Company’s Darien office wanted visitors to feel as though they were entering a home, rather than a corporate office. To achieve this, they built an open lobby that leads directly into the kitchen area, with the intent that the common space could be used by local schools and community organizations.

What we love about it:

  • The ahead-of-their-time sustainability. The employees of Wight & Company like to say that their office was sustainable before it was the cool thing to do. Some of their sustainable practices and features include: LEED certification, compostable waste bins, decks and furniture constructed of mindful materials, a bioswale that collects storm runoff and recharges groundwater, car-pooling spots and EV charging stations.

    For this feature, we looked for offices that embody cultural hallmarks of their occupants, and the sustainability of the Wight & Company office clearly reflects the company’s history and design philosophy. As we mentioned above, Wight designed the first building in the country to receive LEED certification. In addition, they have created 30% of all Net-Zero buildings in the state of Illinois and were the first company to receive a Green Firm Certification from the Sustainable Performance Institute (SPI).
  • The commitment to wellness through nature. While many office spaces now offer gyms and rec areas, we love how the Wight & Company’s Darien office promotes wellness through nature. The organic world is present all through and around the office, from the courtyards and the garden, to the natural light shining through the large windows. Employees frequently take walks (socially distanced walks, these days) along the nearby paths, and many tend to the garden at lunch time, harvesting produce and sharing it amongst the staff.
  • The uncommon attention to air quality. While the Wight staff follow CDC guidelines, the company has gone a step further with air quality, installing a state-of-the-art Bipolar Ionization filtration system that removes air impurities, including viruses and bacteria. The technology, which can be retrofitted into existing offices, charges ions that enter the space. The ions, in turn, neutralize contaminants at their source. Pretty cool, right? Wight says they’re currently testing several technologies in their headquarters, like their new air quality system, and recommending their favorites to clients.
  • The cool factor. In the words of a Wight & Company rep: “While we aren’t zipping around on scooters or sipping kombucha on tap (not that there’s anything wrong with either of those!), we feel our cool factor comes from being intentional and thoughtful stewards of the space we are fortunate to inhabit.”


In DuPage County, Scientists use Supercomputers and X-Rays to Tackle Coronavirus

Argonne National Laboratory

Originally Published by: Bisnow | Written by: Julia Troy, Bisnow Custom Content Writer

As the race for coronavirus therapies and a vaccine speeds up, the spotlight is on DuPage County, Illinois, and its two national laboratories — Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab — that have been working tirelessly to help the country’s fight against the virus.  

“Argonne is situated at the crossroads of not only DuPage County and Illinois, but America,” Argonne Laboratory Director Paul Kearns said. “We are closely located to multiple interstate highways and are a short drive to two international airports, which is critical for us as we conduct scientific collaborations across the nation and around the world.” 

Argonne National Laboratory, which is owned by the Department of Energy and operated by the University of Chicago, is the largest government-funded research and development laboratory in the Midwest, with an operating budget of just under $1B. Along with employing thousands of DuPage County residents, Argonne has awarded contracts to Illinois-based businesses for a total of over $116B, with more than $40M awarded to small businesses in the state. Now, Argonne is working with national and global labs to help stop this worldwide pandemic.

DuPage County is home to 19 accredited colleges and universities, and has the highest educational attainment in Illinois, with nearly one in five residents holding a graduate or professional degree.

This highly educated workforce has attracted several major businesses to the area, including Fortune 500 companies like Navistar and Dover Corp.

Bisnow sat down with Kearns to learn more about how Argonne is working to combat the coronavirus locally and globally and how its location in DuPage has contributed to its work.

Bisnow: It’s been reported that Argonne is fighting the coronavirus on multiple fronts. Can you tell me what that looks like?  

Kearns: Our research is laying the groundwork for potential coronavirus drug therapies and vaccines. The ultra-bright, high-energy X-rays provided by our Advanced Photon Source, which is essentially a stadium-sized X-ray microscope, allow us to view and understand the protein structures of the virus. Argonne researchers have determined nearly half of the detailed structures of COVID-19 that have been identified.​  

Along with that, Argonne is using artificial intelligence to screen billions of drug-like molecules. This AI-driven approach screens these compounds at least two orders of magnitude faster than traditional virtual screening. By using AI, Argonne can help reduce the current 18- to 24-month drug discovery time to two months or less. Additionally, Argonne scientists are integrating antimicrobial functions into N95 masks to expand their effectiveness or extend their service life​ while making them more comfortable, reusable and effective. 

Bisnow: On a more local level, how is Argonne working to help Illinois communities slow the spread of the virus?  

Kearns: With the help of Argonne’s supercomputers, scientists have been working with a highly accurate model of Chicago — down to every man, woman and child — simulating their behaviors, their times at home or at work, and who they associate with. Their actions played out over the course of an entire year.  

The model simulates the infection process, even simulating interactions of people at home. It is so detailed that scientists can ask this simulated population to do different things such as wear masks and practice social distancing. The city of Chicago, Cook County and state of Illinois all use this model to inform top leadership for decision-making to help combat the pandemic.  

Bisnow: Looking beyond the pandemic, what else is Argonne working on?

Kearns: Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Some things we are working on include our unique scientific user facilities, like the Advanced Photon Source and Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, which attract more than 7,000 visiting researchers per year. Both are updated with the latest technology and they conduct studies aiming to make transportation more efficient, treat emerging diseases like COVID-19 and construct safer buildings. 

Our battery technology already powers electric vehicles, and storage for the electric grid is our next goal. Meanwhile, our computer models simulate global and regional natural and man-made disaster scenarios, helping experts preemptively design responses to mitigate further devastation.

Bisnow: What do you like about being based in DuPage County? 

Kearns: Our location in DuPage positions us to lead technology commercialization for the entire Chicago region. We partner with local businesses and have helped thousands of companies and entrepreneurs bring new innovations to market. The surrounding suburban communities also provide our local employees with safe neighborhoods and good schools. Our prime location and beautiful campus are major assets in our retention and recruitment efforts.

We also work to give back to the community. We are a major regional employer that provides thousands of DuPage residents high-paying jobs and worthwhile careers. We buy from local merchants, and we host thousands of national and international visitors annually, who stay at nearby hotels and shop at local small businesses. 

Our collaborative research attracts even more businesses and economic activity to DuPage County.  

This feature was produced in collaboration between Bisnow Branded Content and Choose DuPage. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.  

For a list of resources related to coronavirus or COVID-19, please click here.

Department of Energy selects Argonne to lead national quantum center


Q-NEXT will tackle next-generation quantum science challenges through a public-private partnership, ensuring U.S. leadership in an economically crucial arena.

Article by: Argonne National Laboratory | See Original Article 

Recently the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the creation of five new Quantum Information Science Research Centers led by DOE National Laboratories across the country. One of the national centers, Q-NEXT, is led by DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory.

Q-NEXT brings together nearly 100 world-class researchers from three national laboratories, 10 universities and 10 leading U.S. technology companies with the single goal of developing the science and technology to control and distribute quantum information. These activities, along with a focus on rapid commercialization of new technologies, will support the emerging ​quantum economy” and ensure that the U.S. remains at the forefront in this rapidly advancing field.

The world is on the cusp of a technological revolution. Through the collaborative efforts of the national laboratories, universities and companies actively involved in Q-NEXT, we will develop instrumentation to explore and control the quantum properties of matter and translate these discoveries into technologies that benefit society,” said David Awschalom, Q-NEXT director, senior scientist at Argonne, Liew Family Professor of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago and director of the Chicago Quantum Exchange. ​This partnership is essential to create a domestic supply chain of new quantum materials and devices for a robust quantum economy.”

Q-NEXT will also create two national foundries for quantum materials, one at Argonne and one at DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. Together, these foundries will act as a single ​quantum factory,” producing a robust supply chain of standardized materials and devices that will support both known and yet-to-be-discovered quantum-enabled applications. It will also create a first-ever National Quantum Devices Database for the standardization of next-generation quantum devices.

The world is on the cusp of a technological revolution. Through the collaborative efforts of the national laboratories, universities and companies actively involved in Q-NEXT, we will develop instrumentation to explore and control the quantum properties of matter and translate these discoveries into technologies that benefit society.”  — David Awschalom, Q-NEXT director

New technology spawned by Q-NEXT will accelerate U.S. prosperity and security,” said Argonne Director Paul Kearns. ​As part of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, Argonne is proud to be the lead laboratory for Q-NEXT in this important endeavor bringing together world-leading experts and the wealth of scientific resources at national labs, academia and industry.”

Q-NEXT will be funded by the Department of Energy at $115 million over five years, with $15 million in fiscal year 2020 dollars and outyear funding contingent on congressional appropriations.  Additional funding from partner organizations totals $93 million. The State of Illinois General Assembly also directed $200 million in FY 2020 funding through HB62 to develop infrastructure for quantum science and technology, which will support Q-NEXT through collaborative efforts. With these resources and the strength of private-public partnerships, Q-NEXT will focus on three core quantum technologies: 

  • Communication for the transmission of quantum information across long distances including quantum repeaters, enabling the establishment of ​unhackable” networks for information transfer
  • Sensors that achieve unprecedented sensitivities with transformational applications in physics, materials and life sciences
  • Processing and utilizing ​test beds” both for quantum simulators and future full-stack universal quantum computers with applications in quantum simulations, cryptanalysis and logistics optimization

Q-NEXT will also train the next-generation quantum workforce through innovative training programs with industry, academia and government to ensure continued U.S. scientific and economic leadership in this rapidly advancing field.

The fundamental discoveries and technological advances enabled by Q-NEXT will expedite the coming quantum technology revolution and build the quantum workforce of the future. This is a very exciting time,” said JoAnne Hewett, Q-NEXT deputy director and associate laboratory director for fundamental physics and chief research officer at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

Argonne and SLAC are joined in the collaboration by 21 partners that are embedded in all aspects of Q-NEXT: participation in each of the scientific thrusts, governance and development of the center strategy and training of the next generation of the quantum workforce. The collaboration among laboratories, companies and universities is crucial to speed discovery, develop quantum applications and prepare a quantum-ready workforce. Q-NEXT’s partners are:

  • Applied Materials
  • Argonne National Laboratory
  • Boeing
  • California Institute of Technology
  • ColdQuanta
  • Cornell University
  • General Atomics
  • HRL Laboratories
  • IBM
  • Intel
  • Keysight Technologies
  • Microsoft
  • Northwestern University
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • The Pennsylvania State University
  • Quantum Opus
  • SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
  • Stanford University
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison

About Q-NEXT

Q-NEXT, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Quantum Information Science Research Center led by Argonne National Laboratory, brings together nearly 100 world-class researchers from 3 national laboratories, 10 universities, and 10 leading U.S. technology companies to develop the science and technology to control and distribute quantum information. Q-NEXT will create two national foundries for quantum materials and devices, develop networks of sensors and secure communications systems, establish simulation and network testbeds, and train a next-generation quantum-ready workforce to ensure continued U.S. scientific and economic leadership in this rapidly advancing field. For more information, visit https://​www​.​q​-next​.org.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.

Click here to download the fact sheet.

Essential Supplies: Wynndalco Donates 50 Laptops and Two Mobile LAN Carts to Fenton

As many US schools scramble to find enough technology to meet student needs, Mokena-based Technology Managed Services firm, and Choose DuPage Board Member Wynndalco Enterprises, LLC, donated 50 laptops and two mobile LAN carts on August 28 to Bensenville’s Fenton Community High School. The feeling was celebratory, with Fenton Superintendent James Ongtengco, Principal Jovan Lazarevic, and School Board President Paul Wedemann in attendance alongside various DuPage County officials, including Chairman of the Board Dan Cronin, Board Members Greg Hart and Donald Puchalski, and Choose DuPage CEO and Board Director Greg Bedalov and Dr. Darlene Ruscitti, respectively. Rounding out the reception were Wynndalco founder and CEO David Andalcio, President and COO Jose Flores, and Senior Project Manager Eva Andalcio. The technology package included premium Dell Latitude 3160 Pentium Touchscreens that had been preconfigured to support Fenton’s current hybrid onsite/remote learning efforts.

“We are thrilled to have been able to support Fenton in this manner, because Wynndalco has deep roots in the public school community in Illinois and across the United States,” says David Andalcio. “Probably better than most, Wynndalco Enterprises understands what a challenge it’s been to pivot to distance learning and ensure the technology necessary for students to succeed is not only available but up to the task in terms of hardware and software capabilities. And as Fenton serves 1,500 diverse students in terms of ethnic and financial backgrounds, we are grateful for the opportunity to give back to such a great, wide-reaching local school.”

Technology to Further Education
For decades, Andalcio has been involved in procuring and setting up needed computer technology for students at myriad school systems in and around Chicago, New York, Dallas, Denver, Puerto Rico and elsewhere, as well as helping gain the most robust internet connectivity possible for students to learn well at school and at home. Further, Andalcio and his team believe all children should have equal access and opportunity to the many benefits technology can provide.

“We believe our work is truly essential, as Wynndalco has deployed close to 50,000 devices to nearly 500 locations since the pandemic began,” Flores adds. “We feel honored to partner with those on the front lines of education to help keep the learning going in this historic time at our schools.”

About Wynndalco
Established in 2009, Wynndalco is a certified DBE/MBE/SBE/BEP that serves educational institutions, state- and local governments, Fortune 500 and -100 businesses, and transportation entities with proven, affordable, professional support for End-User Device Management, Warehouse & Logistics, Project Management, Technology Infrastructure Operations, and SMART Board® and A/V services. For more information, visit

Hugh Elliott named private-sector co-chair of Choose DuPage

Choose DuPage is pleased to announce Hugh Elliott, principal at accounting firm Dugan & Lopatka, has been named private sector co-chair of the Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance, joining chairman of DuPage County Board and public sector co-chair, Dan Cronin. Elliott will serve as elected private sector co-chair for a two-year term.

“Choose DuPage plays an important role in the success of DuPage County,” said Elliott. “As we navigate the reopening of our economy in the coming months, public and private sector collaboration will be critical. As the collective voice of the business community, Choose DuPage opens the dialogue for these important discussions.”

A long-time Choose DuPage board member, Elliott moves into his new role as co-chair after having served on the board of directors for Choose DuPage since 2007. In his position at Dugan & Lopatka, he oversees the audit & review practice of the firm for privately held businesses in a wide variety of industries as well as for nonprofit organizations. Dugan & Lopatka was established over 45 years ago and is located along the I-88 corridor in Warrenville. The firm is consistently recognized as a top accounting firm in the region.

“Hugh is a respected business leader with an unwavering commitment to serve DuPage County’s  business community. His dedication to the mission of Choose DuPage and to supporting economic development in our region makes him the right choice to help our Choose DuPage members, and all our local businesses navigate these unique and challenging times. Together we will continue to foster a collaborative public/private partnership that encourages prosperity for DuPage,” said DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin.  

Hugh Elliott is a Certified Public Accountant and member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Illinois CPA Society (ILCPA), and the ILCPA Peer Review Acceptance Committee.

Elliott assumes the position of private-sector co-chair following Ahmed Elganzouri, deputy general counsel at Edward-Elmhurst Health. Elganzouri served as private-sector co-chair for two years from 2018-2020.

In addition to Elliott being named private sector co-chair, the following members were elected to positions on the Choose DuPage Executive Committee.

Executive Committee Members

Public Sector Co-Chair
The Honorable Dan Cronin, Chairman, DuPage County Board

Private Sector Co-Chair
Hugh Elliott, Dugan & Lopatka

Immediate Past Private-Sector Co-Chair
Ahmed Elganzouri, Edward-Elmhurst Health

Private Sector Vice Co-Chair
Diana Riekse, CBRE

Mike Roth, Ice Miller LLP

Sue Pittacora, Corterra Solutions

Choose DuPage
Greg Bedalov, President & CEO

Finance Committee Chair
Chris Pohlman, Mesirow Financial

Marketing Committee Chair
Ray Kinney, MACLYN & Blooming Color

Programming & Development Committee Co-Chairs
Diana Riekse, CBRE
Karyn Charvat, PowerForward DuPage

Public Policy Committee Co-Chairs
John Quinn, AT&T
Sean McCarthy, Comcast – Greater Chicago Region

Workforce Committee Chair
Dan Allen, CISCO

DuPage County
Joan Olson, Chief Communications Officer

To view a full list of board members, click here.

CityGate Hospitality Restaurant Brands Launch Community Giving Program

Press Release

NAPERVILLE, IL (May 11, 2020) – CityGate Grille, Che Figata and Tap In Pub, in conjunction with the John P Calamos Foundation, today launched an effort to raise funds for five local nonprofits by adding a donation option to their online menus. 

The John P Calamos Foundation pledged donations ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 each for the Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry, Naperville Education Foundation, Indian Prairie Educational Foundation, Career & Networking Center, and Naperville’s community television station, NCTV-17. Individuals ordering online from the three CityGate Hospitality restaurant brands can add to the funds in $5 increments when placing online carryout orders.

“We selected these organizations as they are cornerstones of the community and have either suffered loss of projected funds or increased demand for services due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said CityGate Hospitality SVP and Chief Operating Officer Mae Calamos. “Recognizing that members of the community also want to offer support, we’ve added the donation option to our contact-free online transactions.”

According to the Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry website, every $10 donated equals $70 of food. The organization currently is feeding 5,000 people per week. 

Naperville Education Foundation is providing crisis services directly to more than 80 at-risk District 203 students and their families impacted by COVID-19. 

“The thought of being able to continue to provide immediate support to our most vulnerable Naperville 203 families is so heartwarming,” said Naperville Education Foundation Executive Director Wendy L Goettsch. “The bonus of the online give-back program is icing on the cake!”

Typically serving 5,000 District 204 students with free and reduced lunch, the Indian Prairie Educational Foundation now is providing meals to an additional 70 COVID-19 affected families.

“We are so incredibly grateful for the tremendous generosity towards our students and families in need,” said Community Relations Coordinator Lisa Schwarz-Barry. “This donation will make a significant impact on our families in crisis.”

Career & Networking Center, formerly Community Career Center, is facing increased demand for its services as more members of the community face uncertainty in their employment due to COVID-19.

“This is life-changing for the Center,” said Executive Director Kimberly White. “It will have a real impact on people’s lives in our community.”

NCTV-17 has continued fulfilling its mission to bring a uniquely local perspective to the news and keeping its community informed while suffering a significant loss of revenue from its coverage of sports and events canceled due to the pandemic.

“As a community television station, NCTV17 plays a vital role in keeping Naperville residents informed and connected with timely, accurate and local news about what’s happening in their hometown,” said the station’s Executive Director Elizabeth Braham Spencer. “In these unprecedented times, local news really matters and NCTV17 is there to deliver it on a daily basis.

“The NCTV17 Board of Directors and staff would like to thank the John P Calamos Foundation for their generous donation to help us continue to deliver our important mission of telling local stories on air and online,” Spencer added.

In addition to the donation and fundraising effort, some CityGate Hospitality Associates facing reduced work hours are volunteering with Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry in an effort led by Che Figata Sous Chef Tom Marquez.

To contribute to these organizations through the CityGate Hospitality effort, community members can visit for online ordering at CityGate Grille, Che Figata and Tap In Pub, where they can select any one or all of the organizations and donate in increments of $5 added to their food and beverage order.

CityGate Hospitality LLC manages Hotel Arista, CityGate Grille, Che Figata, Tap In Pub, Lavazza Naperville, Zorba Cocktail Bar, Arista Spa & Salon and Olympus Executive Fitness Center, all located on the CITYGATE campus at Rte. 59 and Ferry Rd., alongside I-88, in Naperville.