Leaders from several local service clubs held their first service club summit in November at the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce. Representatives from the Jaycees, Naperville Women’s Club, Kiwanis Club, Knights of Columbus, Rotary Clubs, Naperville Jr. Women’s Club and Exchange Club attended.

Hosted by the Exchange Club of Naperville, the summit was organized by Club President Robin Choquette and President-Elect John Dunham.

“There is much informal collegiality between service clubs in the area,” said Choquette. “We live close to one another, support many of the same charitable causes, help each other out at fundraising events and collaborate on social events.”

For instance, Exchange Club members volunteer at Jaycees’ Last Fling, and Lions Club and Jaycees volunteer at Ribfest.

Dunham planned several Exchange social events with Jaycees this past year. The two groups hosted a mixer in late summer, a bowling party this fall, and are looking forward to their second Trivia Night together this winter, organizers said.

Part of the driving force behind the summit began easily enough. Rotarian Scott Mitchell, Executive Director of Samaracare, mentioned collaboration to Choquette.

During Ribfest this past summer, for example, the Exchange Club ran low on beverage tickets. The Jaycees came to the rescue by going to their storage facility and lending Exchange beverage tickets. Even though the tickets were strictly back up, the cooperation and the initial suggestion of collaboration lead to the idea of a more formal approach to sharing ideas among service clubs.

Choquette reached out to Nicki Anderson, President/CEO of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce, and Rick Lochner, a local executive leadership coach to facilitate the summit. Topics included stewardship, collaboration, best practices, leadership structure, recruitment, business models/structure, allocation of monies and public relations. The group, at the meeting, determined that emphasis will be placed on sharing best practices and stewardship as it relates to agencies that the groups support.

The attendees plan to meet regularly and alternate hosting the summit. All area service clubs are welcome to attend. For more info, email president@exchangeclub.org.

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