The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce just finalized our programs and events calendar through December 31, 2023. Yes, that’s through NEXT YEAR! Our team wanted to be able to plan out our programs far in advance so we can more easily work into your calendars. You can view our calendar of programs and events as well as add them to your calendars here.
As we were going through and checking dates, our team looked at the local school calendars as well as Federal holidays. As an organization, it is our mission to be Your Resource and Your Advocate for Our Community – and while that means we care about the needs of the Business Community, it also means working around the events that shape our businesses and our lives. This could be school events, holidays, or the time we spend outside of work – living our lives. We don’t just live to work, we work to live. We tried hard to reflect that in our 2023 programs and events calendar so that our events are convenient and accessible for all.
To that end, we wanted to ensure that the calendar reflects our entire business community, from the solopreneur to the large conglomerate. We also wanted events that reflect the diverse make-up of both our community and business community. The NACC has a fantastic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. The 2022 Chair of the DEI Committee, Meena Banasiak, Vice President of Quality and Corporate Social Responsibility at Phoenix says this about why it is important to look at a diverse calendar as you are planning events.
As a business owner, being aware of the holidays that your employees, clients, customers, or suppliers observe is a really simple way to demonstrate inclusiveness. Why? Because it shows that you appreciate your stakeholders not only for their contribution to the viability of your business, but also for the experiences and traditions that shape who they are and what’s important to them. Knowing this can be impactful to your bottom line! If you’re a restaurant owner and you know when Ramadan begins, you might offer special hours for meals before sun-up or after sundown. Or if you sell clothing, crafts, or accessories and you’re tracking the start of the Lunar New Year, you might proactively adjust your inventory to include a greater variety of red-colored items. Understanding what holidays and cultural celebrations are taking place can help you find unique ways to create a more welcoming environment and also avoid the discontent that arises from conflicting events and priorities (like if you were to schedule mandatory overtime or a project deadline right in the middle of Diwali). Having a calendar and business practices that visibly honor a diverse set of celebrations is a meaningful way to respect and engage people who may otherwise feel unseen, excluded, or ignored.– Meena Banasiak
I am so grateful to our business community, and to the community-at-large, for embracing these ideas and living them out. Our DEI committee is a reflection of the great work of those individuals and businesses in creating opportunities for all voices and all ideas to be heard, regardless of background, race, gender, or religious belief among other things. As we move toward the end of the year and the start of our 2023 calendar, I’m excited to be able to continue to bring more voices, ideas, and opinions to the table, in order to create opportunities for all businesses to thrive. As they say, a rising tide lifts all boats.
Download the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Resource Guide (available in Spanish as well) to get an understanding of DEI concepts, resources, and suggested first steps to implementing DEI practices throughout your business.
Read this timely article on strategies for Advancing Diversity & Inclusion in Manufacturing Employment.