CCAC eNews
April 2021
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 2021 Meeting Calendar (PDF)
The CCAC 2021 Meeting Calendar is ready to download in PDF format. Until further notice all CCAC meetings will be held over Zoom.  

Download the CCAC 2021 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
Chicago Technology Sector has Enormous Potential
CCAC would like to thank Brad Henderson, CEO, P33 Chicago, for speaking at the April CCAC meeting, and for educating the membership about driving inclusive growth in Chicago’s technology industry.  Henderson spoke at length about what actions CCAC members can take to support this growing industry and attract talent to Chicago.
Henderson explained that Chicago has room for improvement for science jobs and said, “Chicago has the same life science research and development in our universities as Boston…but they have 100 times the investment capital as we do.”  Henderson specifically focused on quantum computing, which is a $80 million sector and uses electrons to do coding which is unhackable.  He explained Chicago is well positioned to take advantage of this sector because of its access to higher education institutions but lacks the private capital investment other cities have.   
Despite Chicago’s access to private capital, Henderson is disappointed that minorities have enormous difficulty tapping into that capital, which is why P33 Chicago created a $5 million investment fund to help minority entrepreneurs compete for investment and mentoring.
Henderson spoke at length about the technology workforce, which is not as large in Chicago as it should be, and does not represent Chicago’s minority communities.  Efforts to keep and attract technology talent includes Destinations 312 to convince Chicagoans who left the City to return by starting out working remotely using peer support, marketing, and networking opportunities with Chicago-based companies.   Henderson also encourages companies to continue providing internship opportunities, but to ensure those programs include minority outreach.  His challenge was, “Find roles and exposure for these kids early in their careers so they can make up some of those social capital gaps that happen outside the classroom in our good universities.”
Henderson was also very hopeful about President Biden’s administration and what it means for Chicago’s technology industry because of its support for sustainability, of which Chicago is well positioned.  Similarly, he said other governors are instituting policies that discourage companies to bring their innovative ideas to those states, which is also an opportunity for Illinois and Chicago.  
Updates for Round 2 
The Chicago Department of Planning and Development recently announced 15 mixed-use proposals that were submitted based on RFPs that were written by CCAC members.  To learn more please click here to read the City's official announcement.  
Updates for Round 3 
The Chicago Department of Planning and Development recently posted Invest South/West RFP’s including development opportunities in Chicago Avenue, North Avenue, and Southeast.  CCAC members assisted the Department with drafting the RFPs focusing on design excellence. It was an honor to work with the talented DPD team, and CCAC is proud to have fulfilled its mission of providing world class talent to better the City we love.  Please click on the links below to see the CCAC Team Leaders and Members:
Updates for Round 4 
CCAC will continue to provide assistance to the Department of Planning and Development as they identify communities for Mayor Lightfoot's INVEST South/West initiative, and will be seeking membership firms to continue their support for this work by serving on teams that write the RFPs that are issued by the City.  Firms that help write an RFP are prohibited from being a member of any team that submits a proposal for the RFP they helped write, but do not have a conflict of interest for other projects.  If you are interested in assisting with this effort please let CCAC staff know by e-mailing  
Chicago Launches Citywide Planning Initiative
"We Will Chicago" is a three-year, citywide planning initiative under Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot that will encourage neighborhood growth and vibrancy while addressing social and economic inequities that impair Chicago’ s legacy as a global city.  As the first citywide plan of its type since the “1966 Comprehensive Plan,” We Will’s near-term work plan will be refined in the coming weeks, with equity and resiliency serving as its guiding, fundamental principles.
Initial planning work included a series of virtual workshops with other cities that have completed citywide plans, followed by virtual community conversations on a variety of topics, including jobs, the changing economy, neighborhood development, the changing climate, and other subjects. This work was completed in late 2020 and early 2021.
We Will staff is currently developing its engagement and outreach strategies for 2021.  More information will be shared in future newsletters as appropriate.  CCAC members can also visit for more information.  
Update Your Contact Information witih CCAC
Next week each CCAC member firm will receive an e-mail from CCAC staff asking them to fill out an on-line form identifying who from each firm should receive meeting notices and other correspondence, and to identify individuals who may be interested in participating The Burnham Council, which is CCAC's next generation of leaders.  Please monitor your e-mail for this request, and ensure the appropriate person on your team knows it is important to complete.
News You Can Use:  New ARO Ordinance
CCAC members should know that the Chicago City Council passed Mayor Lightfoot's affordable requirements ordinance at its April meeting.  The ordinance increases the affordability requirements in many development projects, and goes into effect October 1, 2021.  For more information visit the City's official website at 
Please Participate:  Chicago Loop Alliance Monthly Survey
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 monthly survey tracking operating plans for businesses located in the downtown area.  Please click here to fill out the April survey. Participants will also be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift certificate to a Loop area restaurant.
Next CCAC Member Meeting:  Tuesday, May 11, 2021 
CCAC is continuing its tradition of member meetings on the second Tuesday of the month.  Instead of in-person lunches, we now meet virtually over Zoom until further notice.
These monthly presentations are for MEMBERS ONLY and a registration link will be sent directly to members in good standing.
Michael Fassnacht
Interim President & CEO, World Business Chicago  
A seasoned marketing leader with more than 25 years of experience, Michael works alongside the Mayor’s office as the Chief Marketing Officer to ensure that all marketing, branding, and business development activities for the city are aligned with Mayor Lightfoot’s economic growth plan focused on inclusive growth across Chicago’s communities. In December 2020, Michael stepped in as interim President and CEO of World Business Chicago to ensure a smooth transition to a new leader while intensifying World Business Chicago’s efforts on attracting new companies to Chicago.
Michael Fassnacht has been a recurring figure in Chicago’s civic community and has led critical pro-bono work for the rebranding of the Chicago Public Library and its foundation, the city’s Amazon HQ2 pitch, and most recently for the city’s Census 2020 activities. Additionally, he has been involved as a board member with: Marwen, World Business Chicago, and the Civic Consulting Alliance; while providing counsel to P33, the Joyce Foundation and the Chicago Prize by the Pritzker/Traubert Foundation. 
CCAC April Membership Meeting
Michael Fassnacht, Interim President & CEO, World Business Chicago
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Online Networking
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Guest Speaker
Webinar via Zoom
CCAC Meetings:  Return of Networking!
At the March membership meeting CCAC experimented with the Zoom breakout room feature to bring back networking before the guest speaker.  Feedback was positive, and many members indicated it was good to catch up with colleagues and members.  Until we can meet again in-person, further experimentation with the feature may continue, perhaps even to continue the conversation among CCAC members to discuss what knowledge was gained from the guest speaker.  
"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.