Choose DuPage, Ice Miller LLP and Mesirow Financial hosted Sixth Annual Convening on the Region’s Economic Health.
OAKBROOK TERRACE – (May 5, 2015) Governor Bruce Rauner served as the keynote speaker at the sixth annual DuPage County Regional Business Outlook event held Tuesday at the Drury Lane Conference Center, providing his framework for driving growth and economic development in DuPage County and statewide.
Governor Rauner shared his insight with a gathering of nearly 1,000 of the region’s business and civic leaders, welcoming them as “the backbone of the Illinois economy,” before sharing his vision for the future of the state.
“My number one priority is to make our state among the most competitive business environments in the nation,” added Governor Rauner. “How do we do that? By creating jobs and laying the foundation for sustainable economic development.”
As a prelude to Governor Rauner’s speech, Diane Swonk, Mesirow Financial’s Chief Economist and Senior Managing Director, provided a glimpse into her views on the national economy amidst a period of sluggish growth. Discussing global macroeconomic trends, Ms. Swonk advised the crowd to remain cautiously optimistic as the economy moves further into 2015 adding, “We expect much of the recent weakness in the economy to be transitory in the months to come and real GDP growth to rise at 2.5% in 2015.”
DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin kicked off the event by highlighting recent economic development wins within the County while expressing a desire to continue working with local business leaders and elected officials to create a favorable business environment in DuPage County.
“Through our economic development arm, Choose DuPage, we were proud to welcome 118 new projects to our county last year,” said Chairman Cronin. “We are collaborating with our regional partners in Chicago, Cook and the other collar counties to grow and retain business, especially manufacturing businesses, in DuPage.”
Following his keynote presentation, Governor Rauner sat down with John Calamos, Chairman, CEO and Global Co-CIO of Calamos Investments, for a question and answer session about the future during which he highlighted challenges facing the state, including a lack of strategy and innovation in infrastructure spending and the loss of businesses to more competitive business environments like Texas, Wisconsin and Indiana.
“The DuPage business community can get involved by making its voice heard and getting involved,” Governor Rauner advised the group. “As business leaders in the region, we need your support to make the needed systemic changes to propel our great state forward.”
When asked to sum up the event, David H. Hight, Managing Partner of the DuPage County Office of Ice Miller LLP, who also served as the session’s emcee, added, “Today’s turnout is a real testament to the commitment of the DuPage County business community to grow our great County. Nearly 1,000 people were on hand to hear Governor Rauner, Ms. Swonk and Chairman Cronin provide valuable insight into how we can continue to seek growth and progress. It’s a prime example as to why our region annually serves as the benchmark for economic growth.”
About Choose DuPage
Choose DuPage is the regional economic development organization for DuPage County, Illinois. A public/private partnership, Choose DuPage is dedicated to advancing DuPage County as a premier global business location. Geographically desirable, with a highly skilled labor force, DuPage County offers a diverse economy, friendly business climate, and substantial transportation network. Choose DuPage leverages these benefits to retain and attract business, support local economic development efforts, and address policy issues critical to the needs of business.
About Ice Miller LLP
Founded in 1910, Ice Miller LLP is an Am Law 200 Firm with a nationally recognized reputation in many of its practice areas. Ice Miller offers a broad array of capabilities in virtually all areas of legal practice including: corporate, patents and trademarks, bankruptcy, lobbying, labor and employment, litigation, employee benefits, environment, tax, trusts and estates, real estate, municipal finance and government law. With offices in Chicago; Cleveland; Columbus; DuPage County, Ill.; Indianapolis; and Washington, D.C., the Firm has more than 300 lawyers and 40 paraprofessionals.
About Mesirow Financial
Mesirow Financial is a diversified financial services firm headquartered in Chicago. Founded in 1937, it is an independent, employee-owned firm with approximately 1,200 employees globally. With expertise in Investment Management, Global Markets, Insurance Services and Consulting, Mesirow Financial strives to meet the financial needs of institutions, public sector entities, corporations and individuals.