Chamber redefines outreach

Jarnutowski’s goal is to continue to grow the membership, offer tools, seminars

By Laura Katauskas | Staff Reporter

The Romeoville Area Chamber of Commerce is working hard in its mission for members to get involved and get noticed.  Under the new leadership of Executive Director Michelle Jarnutowski and new board members on the horizon with four vacant seats set to be filled by mid-July, the chamber has been undergoing change.

Jarnutowski was named to the position in March and she has been on a mission to connect members to one another, trying to bring a more personal touch to the chamber environment.

Gone are the days of sitting at the table with the same group, she has put in place a system to ensure members truly mingle and get the benefit from their peers.

“That’s what the chamber should be about—I want our members to get value for their time and money and make that connection that can help them in their business,” said Jarnutowski. “So far the feedback has been nothing but positive.”

Currently at 200 members strong, Jarnutowski’s goal is to continue to grow the membership as well as offer them the tools and seminars they need, taking aim to listen to what members are asking for.

In a mix of old and new events, the summer months are busy.

Several events are upcoming including the annual “Pitch Your Business” Luncheon to be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 14 at the Edward Hospital Athletic and Event Center, 55 Phelps. Each business is given one minute to sum up what they have to offer. Rather than the normal stiff pitch, businesses get in a little fun, using skits, music, etc., to show off their own dynamics, explains Jarnutowski.

Next up is the “Captivating Business Presentations” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 15 at Rasmussen College, 1400 Normantown Road; a workshop designed to show how to design and deliver to keep the audience glued to your presentation.

July 16 marks the chamber’s first Cruisin’ the Square, a traditional car show event to be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Edward Athletic and Event Center.  Car enthusiasts are asked to bring out their pride and joy and partake in a community event that also will include vendors, food and beverage, and family entertainment. A second car show will be held Aug. 27, with the hopes that this will become a regular event every week next year.

A new event, the Rise and Shine breakfast has become a huge success, said Jarnutowski. In response to members who could get away from work for a luncheon, the breakfast opportunity was a means to reach more members. The next Rise and Shine will be held from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Aug. 18 at the Prairie Golf Club. In partnership with the village, a presentation regarding I55 and Weber Road and its impact on business will be discussed. Members and non-members are encouraged to attend. Cost is $25 for members and $35 for non-members.

One of its premiere events, its annual golf outing will be held Aug. 26 at the Bolingbrook Golf Club and will be take on a new vibe this year with the Nine and Dine. Attendees will take on nine holes in the afternoon instead of a full 18, hoping to free up time for those who can’t away from the office the entire time, and end with dinner. More details to come.

“We are very excited about all of our events and the chamber in general and we want people to become involved as much as they can,” said Jarnutowski.

To register and for more information about any events, call the Chamber office at (815) 886-2076 or email

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