CCAC eNews
July 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 Learns about Benefits of Health and Wellness in the Design of Buildings
CCAC would like to thank Pat Cermak, President & COO of Wight & Company, for hosting the July membership meeting from the rooftop of the University Club of Chicago.  While overlooking Millennium Park and Lake Michigan, the membership heard from John Mlade, Senior Project Manager for Sustainable and Health Environments at Wight & Company, about the benefits to occupants and owners of buildings that include sustainable design features.  
According to Mlade, “Air quality is one of those issues we like to ignore because of its risk, but addressing it can actually helps mitigate that risk.”  The room nodded in agreement when he also mentioned that many developers are offering a wide array of amenities to their tenants and residents to remain competitive, but now offer so many features residents cannot possibly use them all.  Mlade suggested that developers may be able to differentiate their buildings through consideration of comprehensive “health and wellness” amenities that all occupants, by nature of being in the building, can benefit.  

Mlade explained that less than 1% of a company’s annual expenses are typically  for energy, but about 90% are on its people, so it makes sense to include the health and wellness of its workforce when designing the work space to keep employees healthy and productive.  He explained that according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), our physical environment is the largest influence on our health, which Mlade interpreted to mean there is a great opportunity for buildings to better impact the health of occupants.  

Moreover, Mlade explained that investors, and the millennial generation in particular, are looking to invest in Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria options, creating an investment opportunity for innovation to provide more sustainable products.  Mlade then explained four different building frameworks and rating systems that measure the impact that a building has on the health and well-being of occupants.

First, the WELL building standard holistically measures building design, construction, operations, and organization policy, and their respective impact on occupant wellness.  WELL includes on-site performance verification which creates huge value and confidence in the data.  The City of Chicago was the first city in the world to include the WELL Building Standard as a contributing option for compliance with a municipal ordinance (City of Chicago Sustainable Development Policy). 

Second, FITWEL was designed by the federal government to assess baseline health and wellness of federal government office buildings in support of a more productive workforce. Its biggest benefit is its low cost and ease of use, which can largely be completed by an office administrator.  Third, the RESET AIR Standard measures and provides verification of air quality, and is very popular in China which has tremendous air-quality issues.  It can be used for single tenant fit-outs or entire buildings and also has a comparatively low cost for registration. This standard even helps to provide recommendations on when to open and close building windows.  Finally, GRESB is a transparency tool used by building portfolio and infrastructure owners and investors to understand the material risk and operations in the real-estate assets within their portfolio investments. After a successful trial period, GRESB now has a mandatory health module that must be completed – a recognition of the importance and relevancy of understanding the health and wellness of real assets.

Mlade closed his remarks by saying, “When we  think about return on investment in buildings, we have to think beyond energy and water, or even employee productivity...Upstream value propositions include attracting more tenants, attracting investment, reducing risk, and more opportunity that has yet to be explored.”
(L to R): Pat Cermak, President & COO, Wight & Company; John Mlade, Senior Project Manager for Sustainable and Health Environments at Wight & Company; Greg Hummel, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner & Chairman, CCAC; and the rest of the CCAC Membership learned about sustainable building design while overlooking Millennium Park from the rooftop of The University Club of Chicago.  
CCAC and World Business Chicago Partner on Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative
CCAC is partnering with World Business Chicago (the City's public private partnership organization for economic development) to lead a corridor revitalization effort that includes local community organizations.  CCAC has assigned separate teams to consult on five commercial corridors throughout the City that includes the following:
  • Analyze up to 50 property PINS within a commercial corridor (ownership, tax status, liens, zoning, etc.)
  • Make recommendations that support energy and modernization effort
  • Prepare architectural renderings for potential improvements to storefronts, vacant property and redevelopment strategies
  • Prepare renderings for cohesive corridor design (i.e. signage/ neighborhood markers, streetscape elements, etc)
  • Make infrastructure recommendations (i.e. sidewalks, traffic calming features, etc)
  • Research best and highest use for vacant parcels
The five neighborhoods and their corresponding community organizations identified by World Business Chicago include:
Sign Up Today to Join CCAC Delegation to Visit World Expo 
After a fierce competition, CCAC member Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture was selected to design the Al Wasl Plaza for the World Expo 2020 in Dubai.  During the February CCAC meeting, it was announced that a CCAC delegation would be traveling to Dubai in 2021 to attend the Expo, and experience Dubai and its many highlights stemming from this global event.  The delegation will attend from January 27 to February 2, 2021 (yes, 2021, which is the middle of the month-long event).  For more information about the Expo, please click on either of the following links:  

For more information or to be added to the delegation list, please contact Kelly O'Brien at  
CCAC Meetings: 
As always, CCAC will NOT have a monthly meeting in August.
The monthly meeting for September will be held on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 at noon at Jenner & Block.  The featured guest speaker will be Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi.  (CCAC will not meet on September 10.)
The Burnham Council Update
Members of The Burnham Council met on Thursday, July 25 for a networking happy hour at Bernie’s Supper Club in River North. Thank you to Matt Cermak, Commercial Account Manager, Chicago Title Insurance Company for helping to organize and Joe Gregoire, Senior Vice President, Wintrust Financial Corporation, for sponsoring the evening. 
Burnham Council Coffee Meet-Ups - Last Thursday of Each Month
The Burnham Council will meet on Thursday, August 29 from 8 a.m. - 9 a.m. at The Revival Café Bar located at the Revival Food Hall at 125 S. Clark St. for coffee and networking.  The new monthly meet-ups are being organized by CCAC/Burnham Council member, Matt Cermak, Commercial Account Manager, Chicago Title Insurance Company. 
Members are encouraged to let Matt know if they plan to attend by e-mailing but there is no formal registration.
Central City Strategy for All of Chicago Update
The Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (see above) is an outgrowth of the "Catalytic Economic Initiatives" section of this white paper. 
Since the release of CCAC's Central City Strategy in May, CCAC leadership has been briefing elected officials and opinion leaders on ways that success in the City's core can leverage success in the City's neighborhoods.  CCAC members are invited to share the briefing documents with their network, and contact Kelly O'Brien at if you would like to schedule a detailed briefing.
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