CCAC eNews
October 2020
CCAC eNews is the monthly newsletter of the Chicago Central Area Committee. For more information about the CCAC or to inquire about membership, please contact Kelly O'Brien at (312) 602-5148 or
Download the 2020 Meeting Calendar (PDF)!
The CCAC 2020 Meeting Calendar is ready to download in PDF format. The Calendar lists this year's dates and locations for our popular luncheon speaker series, hosted each month by a different CCAC member organization.

Download the CCAC 2020 Meeting Calendar (PDF)

Forward eNews to a Colleague!
CCAC is growing! Don't hesitate to forward this newsletter to someone you think might be a good fit for membership. Just use the "Share This" email button above the masthead.
Share Your News with Us
Let us feature your newsworthy organizational stories here in CCAC eNews. Send them to Kelly O'Brien at (312) 602-5148 or
Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi Shares how COVID-19 Impacts Assessments
CCAC would like to thank Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi for addressing the CCAC membership at our October 13th CCAC Member Meeting. Kaegi provided an update on how his office has altered both the assessment process and office operations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cook County Assesor Fritz Kaegi 
At the start of his presentation the Assessor outlined several major technology improvements the office has implemented since 2019. Some of the most impactful initiatives—which Kaegi feels will improve office efficiency and user experience drastically — include digitizing the commercial appeals and exemption application processes and overhauling call center protocols to focus on metric-driven success. The Assessor also announced a website upgrade that allows property owners to submit commercial data online.  Thankfully, all of these initiatives were implemented just before the start of the pandemic. The Assessor says these technology initiatives have played a major role in the office’s success throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,  as the initiatives have allowed the office to pivot remotely efficiently.
The Assessor also discussed his decision to include the impact of COVID-19 into the office’s valuations, a bold decision given the Cook County Assessor’s office is the first office in the nation to do so. While Kaegi is keenly aware the information available is not perfect and the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still unfolding,  he felt the office must include the widespread impact the pandemic has on property value. He added that all of the assessments done in 2020 incorporate the impact of COVID, and other assessments may receive an adjustment. To make these important decisions, the office is using data created on a daily basis by the markets, as well as public economic data such as unemployment rates.
Explaining in more detail the Assesor said, “We will look at the starting position of where (an) assessment was pre-COVID …and if the valuation versus where market values were pre-COVID was small enough…then we can apply a COVID adjustment to it, but if the property already seems to be very under assessed, and that difference is greater than the impact of COVID, then …we probably won’t make an adjustment.”
The office is actively collecting more data — some of which will be provided by property owners themselves — to assist the office in making these difficult decisions. The Real Property Income and Expense (RPIE) form — a new initiative created by the Office of the Assessor to allow commercial property owners to submit information before the assessment process begins — represents one such data collection initiative. The RPIE form is completed electronically, and will decrease office costs while allowing property owners to provide information such as rent collections.
Kaegi also credits the success of his office to his dedicated staff. Kaegi explained how his office specifically hires a combination of technology experts, individuals with private sector experience, and individuals with international assessment experience to create a well-rounded group of professionals.
Expressing his opinion, Kaegi shared, that Cook County is overly reliant on property taxes to pay for government services, a problem which has been exacerbated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  The growth of the financial, technological, and healthcare sectors are significant parts of the economy, but they occupy very little real estate.  While Kaegi said this reliance has been “tolerable in past decades”, he mentioned that “COVID…is going to cause more inequity.”
The Assessor closed with his desire to see the federal government help pay for the cost of public education, which would reduce the state’s reliance on property taxes.  He said, “COVID is exposing the inequity of the property tax system in terms of bricks and mortar having to shoulder the entire cost of paying for our education system.” 
We appreciate Assessor Kaegi joining us this month, and we thank him for his insights and leadership during these unprecedented times.  
Next CCAC Virtual Member Meeting: 
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Executive Committee and Member Discussion Regarding The Future of the Central City and CCAC's Role 
The combined impact of COVID-19 and this past summer’s social unrest has dramatically changed the look and feel of downtown Chicago. In response, CCAC leadership is inviting its membership to join a discussion about the future of the City, its recovery and creating a more equitable economy.
CCAC is hosting this event as a virtual meeting (not a webinar) and hope you will join us with your camera on. This meeting is exclusive to CCAC members in good standing.
CCAC November Membership Meeting
CCAC Executive Committee Members
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. 
Meeting via Zoom
Please watch your email for a message from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Community Policy and Development Studies Division (CPDS). The invitation will come from cdpsevents@chi.frb and will include a registration link and other details for the 7th Summit on Regional Competitiveness the week of November 16-20. 
We are proud to announce our confirmed speakers below and provide a sneak peak of our agenda here. Please REGISTER and reserve your spot as soon as you receive your invitation. Thank you for your continued support.
Day #1: November 16th, 2020
8:45 a.m. CT, Welcoming Remarks
  • Kelly O’Brien, President & CEO, Alliance for Regional Development
9:00 a.m. CT, Understanding “Virus Economics”
  • Anna Paulson, Executive Vice President, Director of Research and Executive Committee Member, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
  • Austan Goolsbee, Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Economics, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago & Former Chair of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers
9:30 a.m. CT, “Regional Development in a post Covid era – What’s next?”
  • Lamia Kamal-Chaoui, Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, OECD
10:00 a.m. CT, Driving Racial & Economic Equity Throughout The Tri-State Region
  • Shayndi Raice, Midwest Bureau Chief, The Wall Street Journal
  • Vanessa Allen-McCloud, President and CEO, Urban League of Northwest Indiana
  • Karen Freeman-Wilson, President and CEO, Chicago Urban League
  • Eve Hall, President and CEO, Milwaukee Urban League
11:00 a.m. CT, Chicago's Corporate Coalition: Reducing Economic Inequities through Collective Action
  • Brian Fabes, Managing Director, The Corporate Coalition
  • Nicole Johnson-Scales, Senior Vice President, Community Development, Fifth Third Bank (Chicago)
  • Eileen Mitchell, President, AT&T Illinois and AT&T Great Lakes States
  • Linda Nolan, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Northern Trust
Day #2: November 17th, 2020
8:45 a.m. CT, Welcoming Remarks
  • Kelly O’Brien, President & CEO, Alliance for Regional Development
9:00 a.m. CT, The Economy of the Digital Divide
  • Kelly O’Brien, President & CEO, Alliance for Regional Development
  • Beth Ford, President and CEO, Land O' Lakes, Inc. 
9:30 a.m. CT, Living, Learning and Working in a Transformative World
  • Todd McLees, President & Founder, Pendio Group, Inc.
10:00 a.m CT, Building Trust in Businesses and Brands
  • Kelly O’Brien, President & CEO, Alliance for Regional Development
  • Richard Edelman, President & Chief Executive Officer, Edelman
Day #3: November 18th, 2020
8:45 a.m. CT, Welcoming Remarks
  • Susan Longworth, Senior Advisor, Community and Economic Development, The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
8:55 a.m. CT, Opening Remarks
  • Charles Evans, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
9:00 a.m. CT, Understanding the System-Level Effects of Mobility Innovation
  • Michael Berube, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy
9:30 a.m. CT, Innovations Reshaping Mobility
  • Ann Schlenker, Director, Center for Transportation Research, Argonne National Laboratory
  • James Chen, Vice President of Public Policy, Rivian
  • Abolfazl Mohammadian, Professor and Department Head Civil, Materials, and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Estella Woo, Director Business Development NA- Innovation Management, Robert Bosch LLC
10:30 a.m. CT, “Transforming the Great Lakes Port: The Contemporary Role of Transportation in Enhancing Commerce throughout the Mega-Region”
  • David Naftzger, Chief Executive Officer, Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers
  • Ian Hirt, Port Director, Port of Indiana–Burns Harbor
  • Adam Tindall-Schlicht, Director, Port Milwaukee
  • Del Wilkins, President, President, Illinois Marine Towing
Day #4: November 19th, 2020
9:15 a.m. CT, Welcoming Remarks
  • Kelly O’Brien, President & CEO, Alliance for Regional Development
9:30 a.m. CT, The Mayors Panel: Recovery in the Mega-Region’s Urban Centers
  • Tom Barrett, Mayor, City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Lori Lightfoot, Mayor, City of Chicago, Illinois
  • Jerome Prince, Mayor, City of Gary, Indiana
10:30 a.m. CT, The U.S. Economic Development Administration: Supporting Integrated Economic Development Strategies to Strengthen the Competitiveness of the Tri-State Region
  • Dennis Alvord, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Development & Chief Operating Officer, U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration
11:00 a.m. CT, Federal Departments, Region V, Priorities and Grant Opportunities
  • Susan Longworth, Senior Advisor, Community and Economic Development, The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
  • Susan Brehm, Acting Regional Director, U.S Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration
  • James Cunningham, Deputy Regional Administrator, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Angela Green, Regional Administrator, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families
  • Jon Grosshans, Community Planner, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
  • Clark Martin, Program Manager, U.S Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration
  • Robert Scott,  Regional Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Rosaura Zibert, Acting Regional Administrator, U.S. Department of Labor
Day #5: November 20th, 2020
8:15 a.m.  CT, Welcoming Remarks
  • Kelly O’Brien, President & CEO, Alliance for Regional Development
8:30 a.m. CT, Labor markets, Covid, and where do we go from here?
  • Dan Sullivan, Executive Vice President & Director of Economic Outreach, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago 
9:00 a.m. CT, The Future for Work and for Workers: How to Reset and Reimagine Work for the New Next
  • Becky Frankiewicz, President, ManpowerGroup North America
Please Participate:  Chicago Loop Alliance Survey On Recovery 
Recently, Michael Edwards, President and CEO, Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA), was a guest speaker on the CCAC/Alliance webinar series.  As a follow up CCAC members have been invited to participate in CLA's short survey tracking operating plans for businesses located in the downtown area.  Please click here.  Thank you for your support.  
CCAC Member Highlight:
Congrats to CCAC Member Thomas McElroy
Congratulations to CCAC member Thomas D. McElroy on his inclusion in Crain’s 2020 Notable Entrepreneurs.  Thomas was selected among 38 other entrepreneurs for their efforts in maintaining their businesses throughout a global pandemic, and continuing to grow relationships in spite of the challenging business culture.  In spite of the current conditions, Level-1 continues to plan for Chicago's future, with plans in progress for some of Chicago's newest major developments, including OneChicago, O'Hare 21, Chicago Police & Fire Training Academy, and the adaptive reuse of the old Cook County Hospital.

View the 2020 Notable Entrepreneurs page here.
CCAC and Alliance for Regional Development Webinars
Disruption, Driving Innovation, and Embracing Economic Change October Episodes
All webinars are available on the CCAC website.  If you missed a live October episode, please see links below:
Mark Rust,   Partner and Management Committee Vice-Chairman, Barnes & Thornburg LLP 
Susana Mendoza, Illinois State Comptroller 
Dr. Thomas Keon, Chancellor, Purdue University Northwest, and Dr. Niaz Latif, Dean of the College of Technology, Purdue University Northwest
Brad Henderson, Founding CEO, P33
Andrea Zopp, President and CEO, World Business Chicago and CCAC Board Member
"Like Us" on Social Media! Connect with CCAC!
CCAC is active on social media including Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Please follow us on Twitter with our username @CCAC or click the icon(s) below to be directed to our page. Please search for us on LinkedIn or Facebook under the name Chicago Central Area Committee!
Twitter Facebook LinkedIn
(312) 602-5148
powered by emma
Subscribe to our email list.