Thursday, June 20, 2019

12:00PM – 1:30PM

Penny Pritzker

Founder and Chairman, PSP Partners and 38th United States Secretary of Commerce

Our guest speaker was Penny Pritzker, Founder and Chairman of PSP Partners and its affiliates, Pritzker Realty Group, PSP Capital, and PSP Growth. From June 2013 through January 2017, Penny served as the 38th United States Secretary of Commerce. During this time, she was a core member of President Obama’s economic team and served as the country’s chief commercial advocate, leading the Administration’s trade and investment promotion efforts. Penny is an entrepreneur, civic leader, and philanthropist with more than 30 years of experience in numerous industries.

Since returning to Chicago, Penny has worked with member Chris Gladwin and Civic Committee President Kelly Welsh to launch P33, our technology initiative that is working to bring the Chicago community together to turbocharge Chicago’s tech economy and promote inclusive economic growth. Penny is also a member of the board of Microsoft, chairman of the board of trustees of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a co-chair of the Cyber Readiness Institute, and a member of the Harvard Corporation, the Aspen Strategy Group, and the Aspen Economic Strategy Group.

During the meeting Penny discussed her time as Secretary of Commerce, the future of jobs and the workforce in the 21st Century, her work with the P33 initiative, as well as women leadership in business.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

12:00PM – 1:30PM

Tom Wilson

Chair, President, and Chief Executive Officer | The Allstate Corporation

Tom Wilson is the Chair, President, and Chief Executive Officer of The Allstate Corporation. Founded in 1931, The Allstate Corporation is the largest publicly held personal lines property and casualty insurer in America. Tom has held a number of senior executive positions at Allstate since he joined the company in 1995. In addition to his leadership at Allstate, Tom has been the chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a trustee of Rush University Medical Center, a member of the Young Presidents Organization Gold Chicago chapter, and has served as the national and Illinois Co-Chair for WE Day and as the co-chair of Get IN Chicago.

Monday, March 25, 2019

12:00PM – 1:30PM

Toni Preckwinkle

Mayoral Candidate | City of Chicago

As Chicago prepared for an historical mayoral runoff election on April 2, we invited Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle to discuss the key issues facing Chicago. President Preckwinkle’s career has included a number of public sector positions, beginning as a high school history teacher and serving as Alderman of the 4th Ward for 20 years and as Cook County Board President since 2010.

Monday, March 18, 2019

7:30AM – 9:00AM

Reflections on the City of Chicago and What is Next


Carole Brown

Chief Financial Officer | City of Chicago

Robert S. Rivkin

Former Deputy Mayor | City of Chicago

Edward N. Siskel

Corporation Counsel | City of Chicago

As Chicago awaited the outcome of its mayoral election, we heard from three members of Mayor Emanuel’s senior team. They discussed what they saw as the key accomplishments of the Emanuel Administration as well as issues to monitor in the coming administration.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

11:30AM – 1:00PM

Lori Lightfoot

Mayoral Candidate | City of Chicago

February 26, 2019 brought a record-breaking mayoral election in Chicago with 14 candidates on the ballot, resulting in a runoff election. This luncheon featured a conversation with mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot, a lawyer who most recently served as a senior equity partner at Mayer Brown LLP and has held numerous public sector positions, on the key issues and policies outlined in her platform.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

12:00PM – 1:30PM

Update on Reducing Gun Violence in Chicago and Implementing the Consent Decree


Brian Fabes

CEO | Civic Consulting Alliance



Supt. Eddie T. Johnson

Chicago Police Department

Walter Katz

Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety

Lisa Madigan

Former Attorney General | State of Illinois

Kwame Raoul

Attorney General | State of Illinois

Despite meaningful progress, Chicago continues to have more annual homicides than New York and Los Angeles combined. Reforming the Chicago Police Department is an important part of a long-term solution to Chicago’s gun violence epidemic. Our panel of leaders in the critical efforts to reduce violence discussed the provisions, negotiations, and expected impact of the police consent decree that was approved by a federal judge in January 2019.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

12:00PM – 1:30PM

The Honorable Rahm Emanuel

Mayor | City of Chicago

During his tenure, Mayor Emanuel led major initiatives to improve education, youth programming, neighborhood development, transportation, infrastructure, public health, and public safety in Chicago, and made significant improvements in the financial stability of the City. Shortly after his announcement that he would not seek a third term, Mayor Emanuel reflected on his time as Mayor and discussed his thoughts about the City’s biggest challenges and opportunities that lay ahead.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

6:00PM – 9:00PM

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian, public speaker, and Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times #1 best-selling author. Ms. Goodwin joined us following the September 2018 publication of her seventh book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, a culmination of her five-decade career of studying the American presidents focusing on Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson, which became an instant New York Times bestseller.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

12:00PM – 1:30PM

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth

State of Illinois

The November luncheon celebrated the service of America’s veterans and active service members. Our guest speaker was Illinois’ U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War Veteran, Purple Heart recipient, and former Assistant Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs who served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years. Representatives of the member organizations spearheading our Veterans Working Group (VWG) joined the meeting and were available to answer questions. The mission of the VWG is to make Chicagoland one of the best places in the nation for returning veterans to enter the civilian workforce and build a career.

Friday, October 12, 2018

12:00PM – 1:30PM

David Axelrod and Reince Priebus


David Axelrod

Senior Political Commentator, CNN, and Host, The Axe Files
Director, University of Chicago Institute of Politics
Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama (2009-2011)

Reince Priebus

White House Chief of Staff (2017)
Chairman of the Republican National Committee (2011–2017)

In advance of the November 2018 mid-term election, we invited leading political strategists from each party to discuss their thoughts on the political climate in our country and share their views on the expected election outcome and its implications for the future. We welcomed David Axelrod, a 35-year veteran of politics and journalism and former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, and Reince Priebus, former Chairman of the Republic National Committee and Chief of Staff to Donald Trump, for a fireside chat three weeks before the election.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

12:00PM – 1:30PM

Steve Easterbrook

President and Chief Executive Officer | McDonald’s Corporation

Steve Easterbrook has been President and CEO of the world’s largest restaurant company since 2015. Easterbrook is recognized for leading McDonald’s turnaround by sparking the evolution of its company culture with McDonald’s global system of franchisees, suppliers, and employees moving with greater speed, efficiency, and purpose to satisfy the rising expectations of today’s customers in their 37,000 restaurants in more than 110 countries. As part of this process, McDonald’s moved their headquarters to downtown Chicago from Oak Brook in June 2018.

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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