Dear Members,

Earlier this week, I was thrilled to address a sold-out room at my first-ever Fall Luncheon at the Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile. It took several seconds to hush a crowd full of members so eager to connect with one another. That’s the sign of a group of people who like spending time together!

Our keynote speaker, Roz Brewer, Chief Operating Officer for Starbucks, spoke about Starbucks’ deep connection to Chicago – the company’s home away from home. Their “Gold Coast” blend is an homage to Chicago, which was the first market Starbucks opened stores in after Seattle. She described the upcoming Starbucks Roastery as a “third place,” after work and home and likened the coffeeshop atmosphere to that of a public library where guests are welcomed to reflect, relax, and recharge.

Welcoming people to the best of what Chicago has to offer is what our Association was founded to do back in 1912. We’ll be welcoming a million visitors in on November 22 and 23 for the 28th annual BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. We hope you join us as a spectator, volunteer or sponsor.

Like any worthwhile project, it takes the effort of many to make the Lights Festival a success. (Hint: Sign up here to volunteer.) We’re also a lot of fun to hang out with, so join us! We’ll be glad you did.  


Kimberly Bares
President and CEO