CCAC eNews
February 2018
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 2018 Meeting Calendar!
The CCAC 2018 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.
(NOTE: Locations subject to change--see website for newest calendar. Meetings open to paid members and guests, only.)
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CCAC Hears About the Doomsday Clock
CCAC would like to thank Gina Berndt, Managing Director of Perkins+Will, for hosting CCAC’s monthly luncheon on Tuesday, February 13th. The keynote speaker was Rachel Bronson, PhD., President & CEO, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Bronson shared insight on the Doomsday Clock, it’s history, the current time and what it means for our future. She also discussed the recent move of the clock from 2.5 minutes to midnight to where it is currently, 2 minutes to midnight, the power of the clock, the importance of the clock’s design and the current events pertaining to the clock.
To set the stage, the Doomsday Clock is a design that warns the public about how close we are to ending life on earth as we know it with dangerous technologies of our own making.
Connecting the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and the Doomsday Clock, Bronson provided a brief history of the organization. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is a 73-year-old organization that was formed in Hyde Park by University of Chicago physicists who had worked on the Manhattan Project. The organization engages science leaders, policy makers, and the interested public on the topics of nuclear weapons and disarmament, climate change, and emerging technologies. Best known for their work on nuclear issues, Bronson stated, “We as an organization concern ourselves with existential threats, which are any science or man-made technology that has the potential to end life or change life on earth as we know it.” Key founding members of the organization include Albert Einstein and Robert Oppenheimer. These scientists were concerned that since the world has changed, science has started to outpace the ability to document information.
(L:R) Greg Hummel, Partner, Bryan Cave LLP; Rachel Bronson, PhD, President and CEO, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists; Gina Berndt, Managing Director, Perkins+Will; and Kelly O'Brien, Executive Director, CCAC.
Rachel Bronson addressing the CCAC audience at the February 13th Meeting
Based on this information, in 1947 the Bulletin created a six-page black and white booklet with the goal of engaging the public to discuss complicated issues that will change the world. Artist Martyl Langsdorf, who was married to physicist Alexander Langsdorf at the University of Chicago, was asked to create a design for the cover of the booklet. After many design ideas, such as using the symbol for uranium, she decided to use a clock. With the clock suggesting urgency and ticking towards midnight, Martyl Langsdorf created the design for the doomsday clock and after listening to scientists, she set the time as 7 minutes to midnight.  
In 1949, The Soviet Union tested nuclear weapons and the editor of the Bulletin moved the clock from 7 minutes to 5 minutes to midnight. The Doomsday Clock became a dynamic symbol.  Bronson stated, “over time, the Bulletin has been moving the time on the clock both forwards and backwards. The last and only other time the clock has been as close as two minutes to midnight was in 1953.  “The clock has been set as far as 17 minutes away during the end of the Cold War, where new rounds of arms control agreements were moving forward and had the potential to substantially reduce the numbers of nuclear weapons in the United States.”
According to Bronson, “to date, the United States and the Russians together own, hold, and have more than 90% of the world’s nuclear arsenals. The good news is, we have moved from a period in the height of the Cold War, where we had 60,000 nuclear weapons and now we are down to about 10,000.” However, she continued, “Although we have substantially reduced our arsenals, every single major nuclear power is investing heavily in the modernization program to modernize nuclear weapons.”
Bronson shared that the Bulletin has been moving the clock steadily towards midnight for about the last ten years in order to set an alarm that things are not headed in the right direction. When deciding on moving the clock, the Bulletin Board meets twice a year and surveys it’s members. There are two major questions asked when deciding on moving the clock: Are we safer or greater at risk this year than we were last year at this time? Are we safer or greater at risk compared to where we’ve been in history? She said, “It’s both an immediate look back over the year and what does that look like compared to history. At the end of the day, time is truly the judgement.”
Just after the 2018 announcement setting the Doomsday Clock, Bronson informed us, the Bulletin has moved the clock to 2 minutes to Midnight and the reason why deals with things that are happening now and what has happened over the last couple of years. Bronson provided history on setting the doomsday clock across various years.  
Highlights include:
2015- This year was the most dramatic as the Bulletin moved the clock from 5 minutes to 3 minutes to Midnight. The reasons include significant deterioration in United States and Russian relations due to each country owning arsenals, huge investments being made in nuclear power, and a lack of international agreement to address issues surrounding climate change.
2016- The Board decided to keep the clock at 3 minutes to midnight based on the Iran Deal, Paris Climate Agreement and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) from the U.S. Department of State, even though it had yet to be implemented.
2017- After the Presidential election occurred, the Bulletin moved the clock from 3 minutes to 2.5 minutes to midnight. This was the first time in history of moving the time less than an increment of a minute. According to Bronson, the Board cited the reason being “the growing global disregard for expertise, when expertise is needed now more than ever to address the huge challenges we face, and a recklessness around nuclear issues.”
For 2018, The Board decided to set the clock for 2 mins to midnight and the emphasis is on nuclear issues. On February 2nd, the Trump Administration released its nuclear posture review which talks about the modernization of nuclear weapons. Bronson stated, “According to the nuclear posture review, there is $800 billion dollars in the budget to modernize the nuclear arsenal by ensuring weapons are safe, reliable, and efficient. There is also a 50% increase that will place the budget at $1.2 trillion dollars over 30 years, thus creating a new arsenal with a goal of reducing the threshold of nuclear weapons.”
Since the Administration plans to adopt a $1.2 trillion investment in nuclear arsenals, Bronson asked a series of questions such as, “What are alternatives to putting our money into nuclear weapons? Can we put our money in more conventional weapons that will keep us safer? Do we need the entire amount of money? Do we need the triad? Referencing a think-piece published on the Bulleting of Atomic Scientists’ website, also asked, do we really want one person to have the ultimate decision to launch nuclear weapons? How do we democratize this decision but still keep us safe in a world?” There are pieces of legislation that are being passed that support the ideals of reducing the use of nuclear weapons, i.e. the “No First Use” policy which states we won’t use the weapons first because they are instruments of deterrents.
Bronson ended her remarks by saying, “The doomsday clock to me is one of the most powerful examples of when art and science comes together to allow us to have these conversations. But are we at greater risk or safer? There are a lot of questions on the table that public debate and discussion can help shape, and as we continue to move forward, we can figure out what it will take to move the clock back in terms of policy while applying emerging technologies.
CCAC Executive Committee Holds Board Strategy Session
The CCAC Executive Committee held a board strategy session earlier this month. The meeting began with an overview of 2017 and included a discussion building on past successes and identifying new projects/initiatives.

The Executive Board agreed to reach out to members and prospective members to receive suggestions and input on how best to continue to position the organization to advance its mission.

In addition, the Board nominated and unanimously voted to add Dr. Suzet McKinney, CEO and Executive Director, Illinois Medical District, to the Executive Committee.  Please see the article below.
New Addition to CCAC Executive Committee
CCAC is pleased to announce that Dr. Suzet McKinney has been named to the Executive Board. Dr. McKinney, who has over 20 years of experience in public health and planning, currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Illinois Medical District (IMD), one of the largest medical innovation hubs in the country.
“I am both excited and humbled to be joining the board of the Chicago Central Area Committee and working with the Executive Committee and staff to help enhance the identity of our great city through smart and innovative development,” said Dr. McKinney. “At the IMD, we’ve had to make creative and conscious choices as to how we envisioned shaping our neighborhood. It has been an honor and a privilege to help establish the IMD as a key US destination for global medical tourism, and I am thrilled to be able to contribute my insights to a project as magnificent as the city of Chicago.” 
Prior to exceling in her role as CEO and Executive Director of the Illinois Medical District, Dr. McKinney served as Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Public Health Preparedness & Emergency Response and the Division of Women & Children’s Health at the Chicago Department of Public Health, where she has served in various roles since 2002. Dr. McKinney was responsible for leading the department’s public health and healthcare preparedness efforts, and integrating these programs into the larger spectrum of the City’s Public Safety initiatives, developing a strategy and planning for the Division of Women & Children’s Health, ensuring quality service to more than 40,000 low-income women and children as well as overseeing more than $26 million in both state and federal grant funding.
“Dr. Suzet McKinney’s experiences and insights will be a valuable addition to the Executive Committee.  As CCAC continues its long legacy of supporting smart development and visionary planning, she will play an important role in shaping the organizations efforts,” said CCAC Executive Director, Kelly O’Brien.
“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Suzet McKinney to be a part of CCAC leadership.  Our members will benefit from her being a resource on important issues such as emergency preparedness.  As a sought after expert, she is respected locally and nationally. Her contributions will strengthen CCAC’s ability to increase our impact around the City,” said Greg Hummel, Partner, Bryan Cave LLP and CCAC Chairman.
Next CCAC Meeting:                                       
Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP
Join us at Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 for the next CCAC meeting hosted by Michael Csar, Partner, Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP.
Thom Serafin
Serafin & Associates, Inc.
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP
191 North Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
Michael Csar
Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP
Kelly O'Brien at 

"From the Statehouse to D.C.: Perspective of the Primary and Beyond"
Communications guru Thom Serafin, a frequent television analyst named one of the “20 Most Powerful Political Insiders” by Crain’s Chicago Business in 2015, is excited to speak about the current election season at our upcoming luncheon. With the Illinois Primary Election happening the following week, Thom will offer his perspective on the current state of affairs and give his outlook on the hottest races this season on the local and national level. Thom will offer his unique insight on two multimillionaires fighting for the role of Illinois Governor and highlight the big race that lies ahead for those vying for Chicago’s mayoral seat. While also looking towards November elections, Thom will touch on Republicans’ role in Congress and who is really in control.
CCAC Member Spotlight:
"Lendlease Chicago Office Nabs Several Green Certificates Including State's First 3-Star Fitwel Rating"
CCAC member, property and infrastructure development firm Lendlease, recently relocated it’s Chicago office to 30 S. Wacker Drive. The new space is the first to receive a 3 Star Fitwel Rating in Chicago and the first commercial interior space to receive the highest rating under the certification system in Illinois.
Operated by the Center of Active Design, Fitwel is a global health certification system providing design and operational strategies to improve building occupant health and productivity. The Lendlease Chicago office also achieved LEED Silver under the USGBC’s LEED v4.
“Our employees have told us overwhelmingly that they prefer the new workplace to the old one,” said Bert Brandt, general manager of Lendlease’s Chicago construction business. “They enjoy the natural light, they like the flexibility and convenience of the new technology, and most importantly they just feel healthier and more at ease here.”
CLICK HERE to read the full article published in the 'The Midwest's Leading Source for Commercial Real Estate News' on February 22, 2018. 
Thank You For Your Continued Membership
CCAC remains committed to being at the forefront of creating the City’s identity, shaping the vision of a global destination and helping to set the right priorities to attract broad based investment. Your continued membership allows your voice to be heard. 
Getting involved provides a unique opportunity to give back to the City you call home based on your professional expertise.  Your talents will help shape our tomorrow. 2018 membership invoices have been mailed and sent via e-mail. If you have any questions, please contact Executive Director, Kelly O'Brien at, (312) 602-5148.
CCAC Young Leader Event on March 8
Limited spots remain open! The first quarter Young Leader event will take place on March 8 at 5:00 pm. Please see details below.  The flyer can be shared by clicking and downloading the image. Confirm your seat today!
Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower is now undergoing a major redevelopment from street to sky!
Join us on Thursday, March 8, 2018 for a special presentation and guided tour by the lead designer and development team who are driving the $500 million redevelopment plans.  The evening event will include an overview of the office building amenity and workplace enhancements now underway, along with the visionary designs and concepts for the new base of the tower that will feature unique retail, dining, fitness and entertainment.  
And once this transformation is complete, Willis Tower will raise the boundaries of architectural excellence and redefine what the work, life experience looks like in the City of Chicago – and establish a new standard for urban centers around the world.
Join us for a happy hour immediately following the presentation beginning at 5:00 pm.
For membership information and to RSVP, please contact Kelly O'Brien,
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