A RECORD OF THE RESPECTED SPEAKERS AND ENGAGING CONVERSATIONS WE’VE HOSTED

PAST MEETINGS

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Webinar 
12:00pM - 1:00pM

General (Ret.) Stan McChrystal

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Webinar 
12:00pM - 1:00pM

Secretary Pete Buttigieg

Monday, September 13, 2021

Webinar 
12:00pM - 1:15pM

Governor JB Pritzker

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Webinar and Annual Meeting
12:00pM - 1:15pM

"Moving Forward: Implementing the Vision of the Obama Presidential Center"

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Webinar
12:00pM - 1:00pM

"Outlook on the U.S. and Our Regional Economy" with Charles L. Evans, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Webinar
12:00pM - 1:00pM

"A Discussion with Mary Dillon: Leading in Retail through 2021 and Beyond"

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Webinar
10:00AM - 11:00AM

"A Discussion with China's Ambassador Cui Tiankai"

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Webinar
9:30AM - 10:30AM

"Achieving Health Equity Through Innovation and Global Partnerships"

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, and Sheba Medical Center Director General Yitshak Kreiss discussed the Chicago ARC Innovation Center, an open collaboration venture between Illinois and Israel.  ARC stands for accelerate, redesign, and collaborate. With a proven and repeatable model based on Israel’s “Startup Nation” approach, and a market-driven strategy adapted for the U.S., the venture will fast-track health innovation and equity in Illinois, the nation, and internationally.  

The recently announced Chicago ARC Innovation Center is a joint venture between Israel’s national hospital Sheba Medical Center, Kaleidoscope Health Ventures (KHV), and Farpoint Development. This initiative was engineered by Chicago-based KHV, a national health-focused venture development firm. The center will anchor the $7 billion, 100-acre Bronzeville Lakefront development on the historic site of the Michael Reese Medical Center. 

Participants discussed how Illinois and Israel can fast-track groundbreaking research and innovation; foster collaboration between academic institutions, government, startups, and corporations to advance health equity and social justice; and spur inclusive economic development. COVID-19 has exacerbated health disparities and highlights the critical need to improve the U.S. healthcare system — especially in Chicago, which has the largest life-expectancy gap between two low- and high-income neighborhoods across 500 cities in the U.S. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Webinar
12:00PM - 1:00PM

"COVID-19 Vaccination: Strategies for Distribution and Inoculation"

On January 26th, the Commercial Club hosted a webinar on the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Chicagoland area.  The panel featured Dr. Allison Arwady, MD, MPH, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health; Dr. Kevin Ban, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Walgreens; Sol Flores, Deputy Governor for the State of Illinois; and Dr. Julie Morita, MD, Executive Vice President at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Former Member of the Biden Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board.

Commercial Club President Kelly Welsh started the program by introducing the panel.  Each speaker provided a brief presentation to detail the work being done on each level -- federal, state, city and the private sector.  Following these presentations, Commercial Club chair Jenny Scanlon moderated a virtual fireside chat. 

Information regarding the vaccines continues to be updated on a daily basis, so please continue to monitor the news and public health officials to stay up to date on the most current information. Below you will find some key takeaways from our panelists that we anticipate will remain true for some time, as well as links to the websites that were mentioned during the program.

Key Takeaways

  • A return to pre-COVID activities will require patience and perseverance. 
    • We are experiencing supply issues, however more vaccine will become available, more sites will have the vaccine, and the systems for vaccination will run more smoothly.
    • In Chicago, decisions regarding reopening will be based on the COVID-19 numbers and not based on the vaccine coverage. 
  • It is critical for people to continue to do the things we know will protect us and our loved ones – continue to wear your masks, socially distance, avoid large gatherings, wash your hands, and isolate and quarantine when recommended.
  • Vaccine hesitancy is quite high across the country, particularly in low income and minority communities that have been the hardest hit by COVID-19. Employers can play an important role in educating their employees and empowering them, in turn, to educate their communities.
  • This truly is an unprecedented effort that requires public/private partnership across federal, state, local, and private sector organizations. Transparency and information sharing is particularly important to applying best practices and learning along the way, particularly given the many complexities. The more unified the approach to COVID-19 distribution and vaccinations, the easier it will be for consumers to understand how, when, and where they can be vaccinated.

Websites Mentioned

Jenny Scanlon closed the program by thanking all of our speakers for their time and thoughtful discussion as well as their efforts in dealing with the next phase of this pandemic. 

We greatly appreciate all the continued efforts being made across our City, State, and Country as we move on to the next phase of tackling this pandemic. As we work together during this time, we strongly encourage all partners to maximize distribution and inoculation across all populations.

The Commercial Club presents illuminating conversations across a broad spectrum of issues

Commercial Club meetings provide members opportunities throughout the year to hear from business, governmental, and other influential thought leaders on the most relevant and engaging topics of the day. The meeting schedule consists of monthly lunches between September and June, a family dinner meeting in December, and occasional special events. During the Commercial Club’s history, guest speakers have included nine U.S. Presidents, Cabinet members, ambassadors, foreign heads of State, as well as numerous local and national business, civic, and cultural leaders.
  • Meetings are by invitation only and closed to the press
  • Members must reserve a space at all meetings

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