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CCAC eNews
January 2019
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 2019 Meeting Calendar (PDF)!
The CCAC 2019 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.)

Download the CCAC 2019 Meeting Calendar (PDF)
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Let us feature your newsworthy organizational stories here in CCAC eNews. Send them to Kelly O'Brien at (312) 602-5148 or
CCAC Hears From Illinois Tech President
CCAC would like to thank Gina Berndt, Managing Director, Perkins+Will, for hosting CCAC’s first monthly meeting of 2019 on Tuesday, January 8th. The keynote speaker was Alan W. Cramb, President, Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech). President Cramb discussed the strategic priorities and vision to use the City of Chicago as a global platform to advance Illinois Tech in an environment of scientific, technological, professional knowledge creation and innovation.
Providing the history of Illinois Tech, President Cramb shared that it was founded from an idea envisioned by Chicago Minister Frank Gunsaulus. Quoting Gunsaulus, Cramb stated, “that with a million dollars he could build a school where students of all backgrounds could prepare for meaningful roles in a changing industrial society, even while working in the meat packing industry.” Moving forward, Illinois Tech was created in 1940 by the merger of Armour Institute and Lewis Institute based on the idea of philanthropy, which can be a critical component in schools today.
“Illinois Tech is ranked in the top 100 universities in the country and the top university in Illinois for salaries post-graduation. Illinois Tech is also the top university in Illinois for the transition of students from modest backgrounds into professionals. We’re number one in that style and we’re very proud of that,” said President Cramb.
(L:R) Kelly O'Brien, Executive Director, CCAC; Alan W. Cramb, President, Illinois Institute of Technology; Gina Berndt, Managing Director, Perkins + Will; and  Greg Hummel, Partner, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and CCAC Board Chairman.
Illinois Tech's undergraduate program has roughly 3,000 students which includes, 26% minorities, 31% women and 19% international. Approximately, 30% of students are eligible to receive and obtain Pell Grant scholarships. This means that they are paying less than $50,000 per year. President Cramb shared, "We actually as a university, bring in 25 students, every year from the City of Chicago public school system, to give them a full scholarship that includes books, tuition, and housing as a part of the scholarship program called ‘The Commons'."
Illinois Tech is comprised of eight different schools, along with four major campuses and four institutes. President Cramb highlighted the newest institute that opened in October 2018 named the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship. “This Institute focuses on innovative thinking and transitioning new ideas into products and processes. The Kaplan Institute houses facilities and equipment for implementing novel, educational, and entrepreneurial strategies. This allows advancement within the undergrad students and gives them space to practice their creativity,” President Cramb explained. Goals of the Ed Kaplan Institute are to help solve problems that are technology based and to move forward as a tech hub in the City.
President Cramb shared that Illinois Tech is proud to be located in Bronzeville. "With the completion of the reconstruction project around Lakeshore Drive and the upcoming renovations around 35th Street, there will be significant dollars invested around the neighborhood." He continued, “We’re seeing an increase in the interest of the University because I think we add value to the students that come to us, and the parents who want to see their children go to a University with a diverse background.” 
“When you say Illinois Tech, people don’t understand who you are, unless you’re coming from the south side of Chicago. When you say Illinois Tech, everyone starts to think about other familiar schools like Caltech, Georgia Tech, Carnegie Tech before it became Carnegie Melon, and the other tech schools in the country. That’s who we are and that’s who we’ll always be. We started as an engineering school and we have added science, architecture, design, a law school, and business school to end up where we are now. However, every school we have is tech focused.” President Cramb continued, “We are trying to build a University where all the campuses are focused in the tech sphere. But also, one that wants to be a part of Chicago. We have great relationships with the CPS system and community colleges. We also have a fast forward program where our students can go to a community college and credits can be transferred into Illinois Tech.” 
When asked how the downtown business community can help Illinois Tech expand their reach, President Cramb responded and said, “I think if the downtown business community recognizes that there is a larger area than the downtown area, that would be really helpful to us. A lot of people I speak with from the downtown area have never been to any of Illinois Tech’s campuses. The business community and the growth in Bronzeville, along with the apartments and upscale condos being built, located roughly two or three stops from both the Green Line and Red Line, shows this is a growing area.” 
“Our goal is to be a great research University, which we are, but we also want to be a great Chicago University that helps the students who want to be in the tech world get a great degree from a prestigious university.”
 Alan W. Cramb, President, Illinois Institute of Technology, speaking to the January 8th CCAC audience
 January 8th CCAC luncheon audience
Chicago Central City Strategy Initiative Team Meetings 
Following the December 5th CCAC Central City Strategy Roundtable discussing connectivity, economic development, and growth in the City as an investment framework, the working teams began meeting to build on their ideas from the breakout sessions. The teams are: infrastructure of connectivity, catalytic economic projects, and digital planning.
If you did not attend the December 5th session, you are still welcome to get involved. If there are members in your network that should be involved with this initiative, please let us know. 
The second meeting for the Infrastructure of Connectivity working team will be meeting on Friday, February 1, 2019 from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm at the Chicago Connectory located inside Merchandise Mart, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 570, Chicago, IL 60654.
For more information and to add members to participate, e-mail Kelly O'Brien,
Next CCAC Meeting:
Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill
Join us at the offices of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 for the CCAC monthly luncheon 2019 hosted by Adrian Smith, FAIA, Founder; Gordon Gill, FAIA, Founder; and Richard Wilson, AICP, City Design Director; of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. CCAC  Members and Young Leaders are invited to attend this meeting. 
“World Expo 2020 Dubai”
At the February CCAC meeting, Adrian Smith, Gordon Gill and Richard Wilson will present an overview of AS+GG master planning for Expo 2020 Dubai and design of Al Wasl Plaza the central attraction of the event.  The Expo is one part of a strategic initiative to grow the city of Dubai and its logistics and aviation sectors; therefore, planning and design address both event and legacy buildouts.
Adrian Smith is an architect of international renown having designed many landmark buildings, including Trump Tower in Chicago and the two tallest structures in the world – Burj Khalifa in Dubai, completed in 2010, and Jeddah Tower, currently being constructed in Saudi Arabia.  As a former president of CCAC, Smith has played active roles in numerous Chicago developments and transformative civic initiatives.
Gordon Gill is one of the world’s foremost exponents of performance-based architecture. His work ranges from the world’s tallest buildings to sustainable communities and is driven by his philosophy that there is a purposeful relationship between formal design and performance.
Richard Wilson leads the City Design Practice of AS+GG.  He is an architect and city planner with three decades of experience working with public and private sector clients to envision, design and build large-scale urban districts in historic and emergent cities worldwide.
The firm’s recent work in Chicago includes “The Yard” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the expansion of Steppenwolf Theater, the Chicago Architecture Center, the North Branch Framework and site design of Pullman National Monument.
Adrian Smith, FAIA

Gordon Gill, FAIA,

Richard Wilson, AICP
City Design Director

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture 
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
12:00 pm- 1:30 pm.
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
30 West Monroe
Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60654
Kelly O'Brien at 

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. 2019 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.
Special Thanks!
CCAC would like to thank Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner for providing our organization office space and general services again in 2019. The firm prides itself on community stewardship and has made an extraordinary commitment to CCAC.  The Chicago attorneys assist clients on a wide variety of corporate legal needs and have created a welcoming and professional environment.  The CCAC Board appreciates this major contribution and CCAC staff feel privileged to work at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. 
2019 Lunch Meeting Venues
Thank you for our members who have graciously agreed to host the 2019 monthly membership meetings.
January 8th:  Perkins + Will
February 12th: Adrian Smith+ Gordon Gill Architecture
March 12th: Drinker Biddle & Reath
April 9: Arcadis
May 14: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
June 11: The Habitat Company
July 9: Wight & Company
August: (No meeting scheduled)
September 10: Jenner & Block
October 8: Level-(1) Global Solutions
November 12: BatesForum
December 10: Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

To access the complete calendar, please CLICK HERE.
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