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Friday, March 1, 2024

Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce selects Nicki Anderson as President & CEO

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nicki anderson
Nicki Anderson

The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has announced the selection of longtime resident, Member and small business owner Nicki Anderson as its president & CEO.

“Starting today we’re moving this Chamber forward with passion and the purpose of serving our membership,” Nicki Anderson said in a news release. “I know how difficult the business environment can be for a small business owner, but I’ve also personally experienced the positive impact that a strong, value-driven and relevant Chamber can have. Focusing on how to make our membership more successful is going to guide every decision we make.”

Board Chairman Tom Kallay, an executive with Nicor Gas, said they were swayed by Anderson’s business acumen, vision and enthusiasm for leading the Chamber to new heights. Her deep connections within the community were an added bonus that will ensure a seamless transition.

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“In Nicki, we have found someone with great discipline, an abundance of energy and a keen business sense that will advance this Chamber to meet the needs of our members in an ever-changing business environment,” said Kallay. “Her experiences as a small business owner and Chamber Member will serve her well as this organization’s new leader.”

Anderson has ambitious plans for the Chamber, including maintaining its reputation as a 5-Star Accredited chamber – a designation belonging to only one percent of chambers nationwide. But her first priority will be to meet, listen and interact with Members and elected officials.

“We’re going to be regional leaders, helping to empower our members to make decisions that will help their businesses grow. We will advocate for our Members to create awareness of the impact legislation in Washington, D.C. and Springfield has locally. Members should expect a busy year and I welcome suggestions and feedback,” continued Anderson. “I also want to thank my friend Katie Wood for her leadership over the past few months. The Chamber has strong forward momentum, which is an enormous benefit as I take over.”

Kallay stated that the Chamber board is incredibly appreciative of the contributions Wood made over the past few months as acting chief executive. As planned, Wood will return to her role as executive director of the Downtown Naperville Alliance, an affiliate of the Chamber focused on marketing businesses in the central district.

“The board has made a phenomenal choice and I am looking forward to working alongside Nicki to promote downtown as well as the Naperville business community as a whole,” said Wood. “The Chamber’s biggest champion is the DNA and together we’ll help our community grow. Nicki is a strong advocate for the business community.”

Anderson previously served as owner and CEO of Reality Fitness Inc., in Naperville, and became an active Member in 1995. The homegrown business became one of the top personal training facilities in the region, and won the Naperville Chamber’s Small Business of the Year Award for Service in 2001. Since she sold the organization in 2012, she has been working on the speaking circuit. She is active in community organizations and nonprofits.

The Search Committee met with several outstanding candidates interested in leading the Chamber. “Though there were great candidates to choose from, it became apparent early on that the right person to lead this organization was Nicki Anderson,” said Kallay.

Despite contractions and mergers within the industry, Anderson believes that the Chamber’s brightest days are ahead.

“With so many talented business leaders as committed Members, our potential is truly endless. We will remain the preeminent voice of business and are going to provide even greater value to those who belong,” Anderson noted. “Without our Members’ involvement, the Chamber cannot be successful and we’re going to work hard to continually earn their business, involvement and trust.”

Anderson’s first day in the office as president & CEO of the Chamber will be Monday, Feb. 3.

Did you know? The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce is the largest suburban Chamber in Illinois with an active membership of 1,400 organizations of every size and from every sector. The Chamber’s membership participates in more than 400 briefings, committee gatherings, events, and programs annually. Through its programming, the Chamber provides leadership for the benefit of region’s business community by promoting economic growth and advocating the interests of business. For its efforts in promoting free enterprise and the business community, the Chamber has been recognized with 5-Star Accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an honor bestowed on only 79 Chambers, out of the nearly 7,000 in the nation.

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