CCAC eNews
February 2017
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 2017 Meeting Calendar!
The CCAC 2017 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 From the Illinois Film Office
CCAC would like to thank Michael Csar, Partner, Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP for hosting the CCAC luncheon on Tuesday, February 14th. The membership heard from Christine Dudley, Director of the Illinois Film Office. Under Christine's leadership, the office promotes Illinois as a global destination for premier film production. As the gateway to government for the television, film and commercial advertising industries, the Film Office manages the film tax credit incentive program, in addition to a full range of services that support production and business development for the continued growth of Illinois’ creative arts economy. 
Dudley noted, “The film industry is a business. By no mistake, the Office of Film is a part of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. We’re about commerce, economic development, and the opportunity to grow and look for new ways to grow the film industry.” 
Television shows such as Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, the newly created Chicago Justice, and Empire are all filmed in the city. “We love the assets that they bring, the money they spend and the highlighting of the city”, Dudley expressed.
(L:R) Kelly O'Brien, Executive Director, CCAC; Christine Dudley, Director, Illinois Film Office; and Michael Csar, Partner, Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP
The purpose of the Illinois Film Office is to attract more production to the state of Illinois. Currently, the Illinois Film Office has a team of six people. The Illinois film tax credit incentive program has helped Illinois create an industry that is sustainable and continues to attract more and more production projects to our state. 
Film tax credit and incentive programs originated in Canada, resulting in a boom of production filming in cities like Toronto and Vancouver.  Initially, over 40 states took Canada’s lead and started offering a tax credit program, but many of those programs have diminished in the last few years because of a lack of infrastructure, talent and assets that are built into places like Illinois, New York and California. The benefits of the program were seen quickly when Illinois’ once booming industry-- specifically in the 80’s and 90’s which featured iconic films such as Risky Business, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, My Best Friend’s Wedding, and so many more – began to see productions head to states with production tax credits.  Dudley mentioned, “We had all the assets in place, but initially we didn’t have a tax credit program to compete with the other states and Canada.”   
The Illinois Film Tax Credit Incentive Program was passed into law in 2003 and amended in 2008 as a direct conversation with the film industry, and most importantly, local stakeholders to determine how to revive film production in Illinois. Those involved in the development of the statute looked at best practices of other programs to craft an Illinois program that was focused on jobs and economic development. The resulting and current program offered a 30% transferrable tax credit for qualified Illinois spending. This program has renewed Illinois’ film industry, which hit a record high for estimated Illinois spending in 2016. Productions now look to Illinois for our diverse and iconic locations, talent and highly skilled labor, and a comprehensive supply chain of industry vendors.
To qualify for the Illinois Film Tax Credit program, the production must fill out an application and provide information regarding the budget for spending in Illinois and demonstrate that “but for” the tax credit, the production could film cheaper elsewhere. The application is submitted for review by the Illinois Film Office and legal counsel to determine eligibility pursuant to the statute and rules. Once the production concludes filming and has paid the last invoice, an independent CPA prepares and submits an attestation of the qualified Illinois expenditures. Once again, the Illinois Film Office and legal counsel verify the information, resulting in a tax credit certificate being issued to the production. 
The Illinois industry’s focus currently is on episodic television production and commercial advertising which has long been a mainstay of creative and production jobs in our state. “In terms of supply, we are the regional leader now for film production. When we talk about regionalism, no one can hold a candle to us in this region in terms of film production and that goes back to when the 2008 tax incentive program was amended,” Dudley expressed. Surprising to most in the audience, Dudley explained that Georgia is the number one state in the country for television and film production. Over 400 film and television programs are being produced in Georgia, primarily because they offer the most lucrative tax incentive. The program provides 20% tax credit with an extra 10% for adding the ‘Georgia Peach’ logo in the credits. Their credit doesn’t have a cap on salaries and includes non-residents. 
Yet Illinois is still competitive and offers a lot of assets and advantages. In 2016 there were 13,372 job hires and $500 million in estimated production spending – as previously noted, a record for the state. In closing, Dudley noted, “We need to continue to develop our workforce, to be present and understand the needs of the community, walk that fine line between the stakeholders and customers’ needs to develop all-inclusive community for this industry. The Illinois Tax Credit Incentive is a good program that helps the city of Chicago, state of Illinois, and gives us an opportunity to be a leader.”
CCAC Audience at the February 14th Luncheon at Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP
Next CCAC Meeting:                                       
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Join us at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 for the next CCAC meeting hosted by Douglas Voigt, Director of Urban Design and Planning, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP.


John Jay Shannon, M.D.

Chief Executive Officer

Cook County Health & Hospitals System



Tuesday, March 14, 2017



12:00 -- 1:30 p.m.



Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

224 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 1000

Chicago, IL 60604 



Douglas Voigt

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Kelly O'Brien at

"Repeal, Replace (or Repair) & Reinvest"
Dr. Jay Shannon is the CEO of the Cook County Health & Hospitals System, one of the largest and most storied public health systems in the nation. CCHHS' historic mission includes providing care for more than 300,000 unique patients every year without regard for their ability to pay. Since 2013, CCHHS has operated CountyCare, a Medicaid managed care health plan which was made possible through the passage of the Affordable Care Act. CountyCare provides coverage and care to more than 140,000 Cook County residents through a network that includes more than 100 primary care access points and nearly all hospitals in Cook County. CountyCare has been instrumental to CCHHS' transformation, a transformation that has resulted in a positive bottom line for the past three years and a reduction in Cook County tax allocation by more than 75% ($370M) since 2009. Join us for a discussion of the potential impact ACA repeal, replace (or repair) could have on the system and why regardless of federal action, CCHHS is committed to reinvesting in its facilities and services. 
Membership Tier for Next Generation of Civic Leaders & Upcoming Quarterly Meet-Up
The first gathering of 2017 is scheduled for March 7th. CCAC Young Leaders presents: "Streeterville In Focus: Future Development and Neighborhood Change." This roundatable discussion will feature some of the most influential players in transforming the Streeterville neighborhood such as Alderman Brian Hopkins, 2nd Ward, City of Chicago; Curt Bailey, President, Related Midwest; Sarah Burke, Director of External Affairs, Northwestern Memorial Hospital; and Gail Spreen, Owner of Streeterville Properties and Past President of S.O.A.R. Topics will include real estate, urban design, community needs and infrastructure. The discussion begins at 6:00 pm with a Happy Hour to follow. For membership information and to RSVP contact Kelly O'Brien at
Young Leaders with firms that are CCAC Members are automatically included and welcome to attend. Non-firm/Individual Young Leader Membership is $1,000.00 annually.   To download the flyer please click on it for a version to distribute.
Alliance for Regional Development
5th Annual Summit on Regional Competitiveness
Monday, October 16, 2017
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
The Fifth Annual Summit on Regional Competitiveness is set for October 16, 2017 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. For more information, please contact Executive Director, 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. 2017 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.
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