Tech Innovator and Entrepreneur Howard Tullman Shares Insight on Industry Trends; Latest Tools and Technologies Shaping the Future of Business

Nearly 700 Area Business Leaders Attend 10th Annual DuPage County Regional Outlook Event

Addressing an audience of nearly 700 of the region’s top business and civic leaders, Howard Tullman, Executive Director of the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship at the Illinois Institute of Technology, returned as the keynote speaker for the 10th Annual DuPage County Regional Business Outlook event on May 1 at the Drury Lane Conference Center in Oak Brook. Tullman shared his perspective on the implications and risks traditional businesses face as consumers shift focus to “utility and usership,” rather than on “possession and ownership.” 

Howard Tullman

“If you’re standing still, you’re not standing still – you’re actually going backwards,” said Tullman. “You need to look at your business and think not of how it’s been done in the past, but how it can be done better tomorrow to make the greatest change. Each change accelerates the next change. So, if you’re moving quickly, that’s one measurement; but, the real, significant measurement is how fast you are getting faster.”

Tullman concluded his remarks by reviewing the new ways that constant mobility and ubiquitous connectivity—“the internet of everything”— will change our day-to-day lives and how we interact with each other. More importantly, how our interaction with the machines and robots will increasingly be a larger part of our lives.

Prior to Tullman’s remarks, DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin opened the event by presenting a DuPage County economic outlook. Sharing highlights from the first quarter of 2019, Cronin noted DuPage County’s continued pattern of economic sustainability and consistent growth.

Chairman Dan Cronin

“At just 3.2 percent, DuPage County’s unemployment rate is the lowest in the region and second lowest in the state,” said Cronin. “We create a business-friendly culture in the county resulting in persistent, steady industry growth and low office and industrial vacancies. We are driving development and heightening the county’s status at the forefront of Illinois’ suburban economies.”


Following Chairman Cronin’s county update, Cresset Founding Partner and CIO Jack Ablin provided an economic market outlook for Illinois and the national landscape. While detailing his views on the practice and study of economics—from taxes to social trends in spending and saving—he explained, we are starting to see policy makers moving communities.

“Economics is not a hard science; it’s a social science,” said Ablin. “Economic pendulums can only swing so far in one direction until we go too far. That creates a social pushback and then the pendulum is going to swing the other way.”


Jack Ablin, Cresset

The annual Regional Business Outlook event, hosted by Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance, Mesirow Financial and Ice Miller LLP, brings together DuPage County’s business owners and executives, government and education leaders and other members of the local business community to gain key insights about the current regional and national economic landscape, as well as to discuss best practices and growing potential in today’s economy. This year’s event highlighted DuPage County’s thriving business climate and reinforced the spirit of innovation and opportunities throughout the business community. Choose DuPage continues to promote the region’s diverse assets, economic strengths and opportunities for investment in an effort to continue future economic development for the region.

About Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance

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

Ice Miller LLP is a full-service law firm dedicated to helping our clients stay ahead of a changing world. With over 340 legal professionals in seven offices, we advise clients on all aspects of complex legal issues across more than 20 practice areas. Our clients include emerging growth companies, FORTUNE 500 corporations, municipal entities and nonprofits. Learn more about Ice Miller and our client commitments.

About Mesirow Financial

Mesirow Financial is an independent, employee-owned firm founded in 1937. As specialists in investment, risk management and advisory services, we are committed to helping our institutional, corporate and individual clients achieve their objectives. Our professionals are inspired by an entrepreneurial desire to develop tailored solutions that deliver measurable results.  Authentic communication, consistent accessibility and an unwavering commitment to achieve define the Mesirow approach.