• Inside The Chamber Podcast   

    Every week we’re taking a deep dive into topics relevant to our small business community, through interviewing some of the most innovative and influential business leaders. By sharing our collective expertise, we will empower listeners to use their own skill-set to achieve ultimate success in their business and their life.  FOR MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES CLICK HERE


     

  • A Unique Collaboration

     

    D.M. Burton LOVES all things Chamber, and the Chamber LOVES the innovation and ingenuity of entrepreneurship. What better way for us to align than develop a podcast to give our members a platform to discuss the successes and challenges of running a small business.

     

    Join us as we tackle timely topics head-on and fearlessly ask the hard questions.

     

    #chamberLOVE

        


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  • RECENT EPISODES


  • Episode 19 - Village Gems, Holiday Shopping, & Business Warriors

           Sponsored By:   

    We all know and love our local independent retailers but they have been hit hard by this darn pandemic - overnight closures, limited numbers in their stores and no touching of beautiful things! So how can you help to ensure the survival of our Village gems? Come and spend some time with three owners of some of the most visible businesses in Oak Park and learn right from these business warriors how you can help them weather the storm and why they love to hate pivots in each of their businesses.  Join us as we welcome Anne Pezalla from Lively Athletics, Kim Humphrey from Bead in Hand and Cheryl Vargas from Studio 928! Let Anne tell you about her favorite item in her store and how you can help Lively survive this pandemic. Find out how Cheryl's virtual painting parties are attracting bookings from Netflix to Bill and Melinda  Gates Foundation and help connect you with friends and family across the country. She even enlightens us about Google Business. And let Kim's plans for at home beading projects save your family holidays in lock-down. Nothing is predictable anymore in the retail world and these women know it. It's going to take a Village to make sure our shops are around next year - listen-in so you can do your part this holiday season.

  • Episode 18 - Beach Vacations, Deserted Airports, & Crystal Balls

    .    Sponsored By:     

    Who is dreaming of a beach vacation or some time away with friends? We are all craving to get out of our Covid bubble and see the world again, and with the holidays around the corner, is it safe to travel yet? Can you book family vacations? Should you travel? Is Spring break even going to be a thing next year? We checked in with our local travel expert, Lydia Villanueva-Soto from Tan Travel to bring you the inside scoop on everything from middle seats, getting your credits & refunds and where you can still travel in Mexico! And don't miss the tips and tricks to find the perfect Mimosa in a deserted airport. Our crystal ball says there could be a return of the Travel Agent - get ahead of the curve and meet Lydia! Hear it here first and get connected!

     

  • Episode 17 - Cults, Insurance, & Independence

    .    Sponsored By:   

    Latina business owners are a rising demographic in this country and with over 4 million business in the US being Hispanic-owned, we want to shine a light on  our Hispanic entrepreneurs. As we close out Hispanic Heritage Month, join us to get to know one of our newest Chamber members, Esther Grachan. It's been a long journey from dreams of Flamenco in the west side of Chicago to owning her own insurance agency here in south Oak Park. Proving herself in a male-dominated world, supporting her Latino community and being too social to fit the corporate mold, Esther has landed on her feet with her passion for community. Her dedication to her insurance family and her journey of caring for her clients will inspire you to see insurance in a whole new light
     
  • Episode 16 - Dreams, Secret Sauce, & Figure Skating.

     

    .    Sponsored By:   

    Welcome to Membership Month, where we celebrate all things Chamber! And what better way to kick off October than to learn from the Chamber experts. Join Darien in the studio for a chat with our Board President, Dr. Mary Ann Bender - two veteran entrepreneurs, who started their businesses from scratch - an empty schedule, no clients and a dream. But we know that team work makes a dream work, and these two have made use of every ounce of the secret cause that makes this Chamber special. Want to know what that is? Tune in to find out!

     

  • Episode 15 - Ping Pong, Pottery & Pretty Things.

     

    .    Sponsored By:     

    Did you know that your local village potter can school you on juggling ping pong balls, Nigerian jazz and the entrepreneurship of craft? We speak the truth and we captured it right here on the Chamber airwaves. Listen-in as two of our youngest Chamber members ruminate on the joys of hiring staff and bringing pretty things to the masses. And yes, they will also convince you that successfully adulting does include bespoke dishware on a weeknight! GPTetrev Pottery.

     

  • Episode 14 - Rubber. Underwear & oh my!

     

    .    Sponsored By:     

    What do tires, Oh- boy moments and the pioneering spirit of selling women's undergarments have in common? All this and more is happening for the magnanimous Trent Stoner, who flew the coop from an accidental career in Corporate America to seize his third generation entrepreneurial spirit here in Oak Park. Join us on location at the historic Boulevard Arcade as we talk with Trent about how making tires sexy set him up for his real passion - creating a community for entrepreneurs at CrossFunction Flexible Workspace. Need an oasis from the home office - listen in, we can tell you how!

  • Episode 13 - Cash. Bosses. Dirty Details.

     

          Sponsored By:     

    Who's scared to talk the real-talk with their accountant? Or do you only share the good news with your bookkeeper? We at the Chamber know that cash is king, but talking about cash can be like wallowing in your own dirty laundry - nobody wants to deal with it, but it has to be done! BOSS Lady Julie Thompson knows what small business owners need and she's with us this week handing out free advice for her favorite clients - entrepreneurs. Join us and learn how going to confession with your accountant is a must for every business owner, how financial statements are like learning a whole new language. Cash is king baby and we want you to rule the roost. Listen to the BOSS and learn now!

  • Episode 12 - Tradition, Warriors, & Common Ground

     

          Sponsored By:     

     

    Ever wonder what a forty-something, white, established business owner with two kids has in common with a young, black, gay, chronically single, entrepreneur? Well, there's a lot of common ground discovered in this conversation with Oak Park Village Trustee Dan Moroney. Growing up in Oak Park and the shared legacy of being OPRF alums, these two Oak Parkers discuss social justice warriors, bad branding in the face of authentic politics, backing up passion with facts and why we should vote for the Rock for president.

     

  • Episode 11 - Layoffs, Hookups, & Sanitation

     

        Sponsored By:     

     

    Phase 4 of reopening was a long time coming for our indoor fitness facilities and nobody knows it more than Jeff Long from FFC. Join us as we talk to the General Manager of the Oak Park location as he lets us in on how the network of eleven gyms have been impacted by the Covid shutdown, what one does in an empty gym for four months and the importance of this community to the success of his facility. You might even be inspired to start working out!

  • Episode 10 (Part 2) - Crime, Fireworks, & Systemic Racism

     

        Sponsored By:  

     

    We could not get enough of the sage words of Dan Haley, Executive Director of Growing Community Media (previously known as Wednesday Journal!). Come and listen to the second half of our conversation where we discuss crime, racism and unconscious bias in reporting, fireworks in social media and ruminate on being a twitter addict.

     

  • Episode 9 (Part 1) - Community Journalism - The Beast That Needs to Get Fed

        Sponsored By:     

     

    Hands up - who questions what they read and hear in the news these days? For Dan Haley, being a trusted source of information has been at the forefront for his over 40 years of owning the local Wednesday Journal. Come and spend some time with Dan and learn about trust in news media, survival in a dying industry, and why every young person should see their name in print.

     

  • Episode 8 - Tall Buildings, Burgers & Throw Pillows

     

    .    Sponsored By:   

    It's no secret that there are a few new high rises that have gone up in the past few years in Oak Park, but who is living in them and where are they coming from? Join us as we get to know Casey Gustafson, leasing agent for the new Eleven33 property on Oak Park's South Blvd. Casey will give us the inside scoop on what it's like to be a newcomer to Oak Park, about the hunger for high rise living and how our fabulous business organization gave Casey a community to call his own. july 2020

     

  • Episode 7 - Speaking Up with Erika Bachner

            Sponsored By:  

    Our Village trustees have a lot to manage these days and River Forest Trustee Erika Bachner is no different. She has been a champion of minority rights for years and we were thrilled to have her join us in the studio to talk about advocating for undocumented members of our community, LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace and diversity in River Forest in the age of the BLM movement. july 2020

     

  • Episode 6 - Supporting LGBT Businesses

     

          Sponsored By:      

     

    There was a lot this June that co-opted Pride month, but we are taking it back and refocusing on what matters to us - engaging LGBT employees, getting certified as an LGBT business, and how we all can support LGBT businesses in our community and throughout Chicagoland. Liz Holt, Executive Director from our OPRF Chamber joins as a co-host to a chat with Jerome' Holston, the Executive Director of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

     

  • Episode 5 - L!VISIBLE

     

          Sponsored By:   

     

    Ever wonder what happens when activism, passion and entrepreneurship intertwine? Join Darien as he talks to Reesheda Graham Washington, owner of L!VE Cafe and find out. They will unpack being Black in Business, the L!VISIBLE Business Coalition and living in a real-life revolution. june 2020

     

     

  • Episode 4 - Taking Care of Your Mental Health 

     

         Sponsored By:      

    Though not usually considered "frontline workers" mental health professionals are dealing with the Covid-19 crisis head-on, literally. Guests Vanessa Matheny from Community Mental Health Board of Oak Park Township and Annie Arnold from Riveredge Hospital share unique viewpoints on how our Chamber community is coping with this global pandemic and highlight strategies to get into a good head space, for your business, your employees and your family. may 2020

     

  • Episode 3 - Restaurant Pivots

     

             Sponsored By:     

    Co-Host Alex Hutchinson from Recipe Revolution and guest Judith Lalor-Sarkine from Little Gem Restaurant discuss how restaurants were impacted by the abrupt Covid-19 shut-down and are now among the first to reopen. How can these businesses provide a unique customer experience, under a strict set of guidelines, while just trying to survive and keep the "doors open." This chat with industry veterans will give insight into what all of our food service businesses are facing during the Covid-19 pandemic. april 2020

     

  • Episode 2 - Majamas Earth "Small to Big"

     

           Sponsored By:     

     

    Want to hear from someone not daunted by reinventing her retail business strategy during a global pandemic? We speak to Majamas Earth owner, Germaine Caprio, about taking her retail brick and mortar to a digital platform, how she has navigated the Covid-19 crisis, and how she has a clear vision for what retail will look like in the future.  april 2020

  • Episode 1 - OUR "New Normal"

     

          Sponsored By:     

     

    Pivoting business models to continue to grow and operate in our "new normal" - this is what is on everyone's mind! We’ve assembled a team of local leaders who are changing up their game and weathering the storm of this Covid-19 pandemic. Guests: Corey Thomas from D.M. Burton, Sam Yousif from Fuller Health Group, Marissa Grott from andthentherewaswell and Constance Contursi from Hit it Fitness. march 2020