Dick Peach took the podium as president of the Chamber of Commerce for perhaps the last time at the annual meeting on Jan. 14. He welcomed new president Rebecca Berneck, founder of Officeheads, executive vice president Michael Corr of First Bank & Trust, treasurer Ingrid Stafford and recognized retiring board members Carolyn Dellutri, Steve Hagerty, Angelique Richard and Jaime Varela. New board members are Judy Aiello for Evanston Community Foundation, Richard Kirkpatrick of The Autobarn and Miguel Wong of Co-Lab.
Ms. Berneck founded Officeheads, Inc. in 2008, just prior to the downturn of the economy. The downturn did not affect her launch, she said, "because quite a few folks who had been masking their entrepreneurial spirit, decided to launch businesses during their unexpected unemployment."
Ms. Berneck said she is "excited to be at the helm of the Evanston Chamber to manage against our new strategic plan. The Chamber is all about promoting and growing businesses in our community, which is such a perfect fit with what I do every day for my clients. Secretly, I am a data-geek, so my personal goal for the Chamber is to be instrumental in gathering information to ensure that every business in Evanston is counted, recognized then connected to what they need to thrive, regardless of size or industry."
Joe Romano of Romano Wealth Management was honored as Businessperson of the Year, and Jane Doyle, founder and retiring executive director of Center for Independent Futures, as Community Leadership/Public Service Person of the Year.