Local leaders and the Evanston Police Department are looking for Evanston businesses and organizations to take part in a free comprehensive, cohort-based training program to prepare for active threats to the community.
Active threat events have increasingly occurred in communities large and small, and vary widely in scope — from the acts of a lone perpetrator to larger, more coordinated attacks intended to invoke terror in a community. The tragedies at Sandy Hook, Aurora, Washington Navy Yard, and more recently in Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino and Orlando remind us that we need to be prepared from active threat events occurring in our community. The complexity and rapid nature of these events have left communities and organizations asking the same question: What Should We Do?
A free training course will be offered in Evanston this September to engage a whole community approach to addressing the challenging issue of preparing our communities for an active threat event. Instructors will provide insight on lessons learned from previous events, along with guidance and tools to help prevent, mitigate, respond to and recover from a future active threat event.
A middle-level manager from your company or organization is encouraged to participate. These participants will be the champions in their organizations as they look for ways to build better understanding of active threat preparedness.
Integrated Approach to Active Threat Preparedness
Free two-and-a-half-day training course.
September 21–23, 2016
8:30 am – 4:30 pm (Wed, Thu); 8:30 am – 12:30 pm (Fri)
City of Evanston Ecology Center
2024 McCormick Blvd, Evanston, IL [ map ]
REGISTER NOW: http://evanstoncohortbasedtraining.eventbrite.com
- Review of previous threat events and lessons learned.
- Teaching the Life Cycle of an Active Threat Event.
- Development of a common operating picture for community-based active threat preparedness.
- Validation of core competencies through realistic scenarios.
- Help all communities and organizations begin to address the issue of active threat preparedness from an integrated perspective.
- Rather than silo-based training based on a specific field of work (i.e., law enforcement, fire, EMS, educators, medical providers, houses of worship, the private sector), our cohort-based training program will bring together stakeholders from these groups at once, allowing them to think about the relationships and interdependency as they prepare for an active threat event.
Taking place over 2-1/2 days (with lunch served on two days), senior leadership engagement is required.
If you have questions about participating in this innovated course, please contact Commander Joseph Dugan of the Evanston Police Department at JDugan@cityofevanston.org OR Amanda Wight, Active Threat Planner for Cook County’s Active Threat Program at Amanda.Wight@hagertyconsulting.com or 630-715-3565.
The Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) is committed to establishing communities of Cook County as centers of excellence for active threat preparedness. DHSEM serves as the central agency for coordinating the efforts of Cook County to prevent, protect against, mitigate the effects of, respond to and recover from all incidents, whether man-made or natural.
For more information:
- An Invitation to Participate in Cohort-Based Training, Evanston Police Department
- Cook County’s Integrated Approach to Active Threat Preparedness
Please REGISTER NOW for this important training event.
The North Shore’s oldest juried arts fair, presented by the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, features eclectic works from more than 150 artists. The fest is held at the intersections of Sherman and Church Streets just steps from Evanston’s historic Fountain Square. A gate donation of $5 benefits the Evanston Chamber.
Fest hours are 10 am–9 pm on Saturday, 10 am–6 pm on Sunday.
A relaxing respite for North Shore residents as well as nearby city folks, the fest takes up several city blocks and includes paintings, sculptures, metalwork, jewelry, glasswork, wood work, mixed media and more.
All new at the fest this year will be a ticketed Fountain Square Craft Beer Tasting, a special microbrew event on Saturday evening from 6-9 pm. For $25, pass holders can sample up to 15 3-ounce special beers, including several from Evanston, which has become a beer-making bonanza of flavorful brews, as well as regional and national specialties. Tasting passes can be purchased in advance here.
According to Elaine Kemna Irish, Executive Director of the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, the presenter of the Fair and the Beer Tasting, “Craft beer has become such a special niche in today’s menus, we thought it would be fun to add it to our eclectic menu of art, music and activities. And there will be music during the Craft Beer Tasting, too,” Irish added. Craft beer ticket holders will be able to enjoy the performance of Saturday night’s music headliners: Dave Matthews tribute band, the Tripping Billies.
- Other highlights include: Family Fest area created by the Evanston Art Center with kid friendly activities, Adirondack chairs for parents and fest goers to lounge and an interactive project coordinated by Evanston’s Bottle & Bottega with a surprise ending.
- In addition, the City of Evanston’s popular mobile water station will be on-site for visitors to enjoy eco-friendly water bottle fill-ups.
Find more information about the programs and services and purchase Craft Beer Tasting tickets. Follow the fest @EvanstonChamber and use #FSArtFest for food vendor lineups.
Evanston, Ill., April 27, 2016 — In celebration of National Small Business Week, the Evanston Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Evanston will present, “Google+ Workshop: Let’s Put Evanston on the Map,” on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Part of Crain’s Small Business Week, this free event will be held in the Parasol Room of the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center in Evanston.
“It’s important for business owners to understand that the more information businesses provide online, the more likely those businesses will be considered reputable by consumers,” explains workshop presenter Steven Johnson, a Google Street View Trusted photographer.
The free Google+ workshop is designed to help businesses learn how to best build and optimize their Google+ business listings. In addition, presenters, Johnson and Maribel Lopez, partner of Vision Starts LLC, will provide insights into the importance of Street-View Technology to improve search ranking and will show live examples of local businesses that are currently using the technology to add value to visitors’ online experience.
During the event, attendees will also benefit from tabletop displays of local marketing consultants, social media experts, Web developers, videographers and photographers who can help businesses enhance their visibility and online presence.
As an added bonus, attendees will have the opportunity to have their businesses “verified” on-site by presenting a copy of their business license or a recent business utility bill. As a Google-trusted vendor, Johnson will provide verification services following the program.
EVANSTON, Ill., April 22, 2016 — Construction is complete and Simply Pure Rx is ready to re-invent the pharmacy experience for Evanston and North Shore residents. Located at 1607 Benson Ave., near the corner of Benson Ave. and Davis St., the pharmacy held its grand opening and ribbon-cutting yesterday, with Mayor Tisdahl, directors of the Evanston Chamber of Commerce Board, and members of the Evanston business community.
“Our team is thrilled to bring the Evanston area a complete care pharmacy focusing on a patient-centered experience,” says owner and chief pharmacist, Sami Musleh.
During the grand opening Musleh, gave the Mayor, Chamber Board members and Evanston business owners a tour of their facilities which include a full retail pharmacy and Evanston’s first advanced compounding lab. The state-of-the-art lab allows Simply Pure Rx to provide various new options for patients seeking innovative solutions for their medication problems. The pharmacy also creates its own line of over-the-counter medications.
Simply Pure Rx offers home delivery service, custom-made pet medications and traditional, personalized services with cutting edge technology. “We’re pleased to be bringing back the personalized attention that every patient deserves,” adds Musleh.
More information on Simply Pure Rx is available at www.simplypurerx.com.
On Tuesday, April 26, representatives from Evanston Chamber members, Northwestern University and Oakton Community College, will serve on a distinguished panel to discuss the real-world pain and ramifications of Illinois’ historic budget stalemate. The event, Illinois on the Brink: A discussion of the state’s budget impasse and its consequences, will be held at 7 p.m. at the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center in Evanston and is open to Evanston Chamber members as well as the public.
Illinois State Senator Daniel Biss will moderate the panel discussion. Panelists include:
- Therese McGuire, professor of strategy at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
- Bill Stafford, trustee, Oakton Community College
- Mark Weiner, president and CEO, CJE SeniorLife
Illinois is now in its tenth month without a state budget causing havoc for the state’s human service providers, colleges and universities as well as other nonprofit organizations.
Illinois on the Brink: A discussion of the state’s budget impasse and its consequences will begin promptly at 7 p.m. on Tuesday April 26 in the Parasol Room of the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center. The Civic Center is located at 2100 Ridge Ave. in Evanston, with ample parking in the back of the building. More information is available at www.SenatorBiss.com or by calling 847.568.1250.
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today reminded people with home-based businesses that, when filling out their 2015 federal income tax returns, they can choose a simplified method for claiming the deduction for business use of a home. View IRS YouTube Video on Simplified Home Office Deduction.
In tax year 2013, the most recent year for which figures are available, more than 3.4 million taxpayers claimed deductions totaling just more than $9.6 billion for business use of a home, commonly referred to as the home-office deduction.
Introduced in tax year 2013, the optional deduction is designed to reduce the paperwork and record-keeping burden on small businesses. The optional deduction is capped at $1,500 per year, based on $5 per square foot for up to 300 square feet.
Normally, home-based businesses are required to fill out a 43-line form (Form 8829) often with complex calculations of allocated expenses, depreciation and carryovers of unused deductions. Instead, taxpayers choosing the simplified method need only complete a short worksheet in the tax instructions and enter the result on their tax return. Self-employed individuals claim the home-office deduction on Schedule C, Line 30; and eligible employees claim it on Schedule A, Line 21.
Though homeowners using the simplified method cannot depreciate the portion of their home used in a trade or business, they can claim allowable mortgage interest, real estate taxes and casualty losses on the home as itemized deductions on Schedule A. These deductions need not be allocated between personal and business use, as is required under the regular method.
Business expenses unrelated to the home, such as advertising, supplies and wages paid to employees, are still fully deductible. Long-standing restrictions on the home-office deduction, such as the requirement that a home office be used regularly and exclusively for business and the limit tied to the income derived from the particular business, still apply under the simplified method.
Further details on the home-office deduction and the simplified method can be found in Publication 587 on IRS.gov.
Other tips in the Tax Time Guide series are available on IRS.gov.
Special prix fixe menus to showcase the culinary prowess and creativity of Evanston restaurants.
The Evanston Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the first-ever Evanston Restaurant Week, March 18–26, 2016. Participating restaurants will offer custom prix fixe menus for lunch and/or dinner to give individuals a taste of why Evanston’s growing restaurant scene has earned national media acclaim.
“Evanston has become Chicagoland’s premier dining destination,” says Michael Pure, owner of The Margarita Inn and member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. “We have an impressive variety of restaurants where even the most discerning foodie can indulge … and price-conscious families in search of healthy and hearty choices for their finicky eaters will enjoy a night out together.”
Evanston Restaurant Week has been uniquely structured to afford price consistency and accessibility. Participating restaurants will offer prix fixe menus for lunch at $20, and/or dinner at $30 and $40. As Pure explains, less expensive dining options are developing prix fixe menus for two.
Evanston’s diverse range in cuisines include the fine-dining culinary experiences of restaurants like Oceanique, Found and KOI; the dynamic menu creations of trendy options like Boltwood, Peckish Pig and Tapas Barcelona; as well as neighborhood comfort cravings such as Bat 17, Edzo’s and YoFresh Yogurt Café. And many more restaurants have agreed to participate and will sign up soon.
“While we are grateful to the Evanston Chamber and, in particular, it’s Restaurant Committee for planning and leading this initiative,” adds Pure, “we could not have extended this event without the support of our sponsors: Gordon Food Service, Highland Baking Company, and Sammic Corp.
Restaurants are in the process of designing their menus and signing up to participate in ERW. To view current participants and for more information on Evanston Restaurant Week, visit www.evchamber.com/restaurant-week.
Commitment to Volunteerism is a Lesson Taken to Heart.
The Evanston Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the selection of Kevin Mott as Public Service/Non-Profit Person of the Year. A financial advisor with Edward Jones Investments, Mott will be honored at the Evanston Chamber’s Annual Celebration and Awards Dinner on Monday, February 1, 2016.
“Since the award’s inception in 2007, we have recognized the contributions of many outstanding individuals, and Kevin is certainly very deserving of this distinction,” says Michael Corr, 2015 Evanston Chamber president, and senior vice president of commercial banking with First Bank & Trust, presenting sponsor of the Chamber’s Annual Celebration.
The Public Service/Non-Profit Award is presented each year to an individual who has distinguished herself/himself in the public service and/or non-profit sectors by: demonstrating innovation, commitment and leadership; working to advance Evanston and the organization(s) they represent; responding to opportunities with creativity and efficiency; and creating awareness for her/his organization and its benefits to the Evanston community.
Ask anyone who knows him to describe Mott, and you’ll likely hear the words “service” and “community” mentioned. From the time he first came to Evanston in 1995, Mott quickly established himself as someone who cares deeply about the community.
“Growing up in my family, volunteering was what you were supposed to do,” Mott says and he has taken that lesson to heart. The list of organizations to which he has contributed is extensive. Mott has served as president for both Kiwanis Club of Evanston and Connections for the Homeless, as well as a board member of Evanston Community Foundation, First Night Evanston and Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse. In addition, he was President of his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi — Evanston alumni group and a campus advisor at Northwestern University. Most recently, he participated in the Evanston Community Foundation’s root2fruit initiative — a grant program designed to build the capacity of small to mid-size non-profits in Evanston.
Other groups that have felt the Mott touch include the Executive Committee of the Evanston NAACP, the City of Evanston Commission on Homelessness and on the business side, the Chicago chapter of the National Sales Network, a professional sales organization, where he served as president.
Mott’s commitment to helping people extends not only throughout the community, but also within his company (with offices spread across several North Shore communities) where he has mentored several Edward Jones managers.
As for his involvement in Evanston non-profits, Mott plans to continue to take his volunteer work to heart. “I am so impressed with people who are dedicated to helping others, and I want to continue to help and encourage them in their commitment.”
The Public Service/Non-Profit Person of the Year award will be presented to Mott on Monday, February 1 at the Evanston Chamber’s Annual Celebration & Awards Dinner. More information on Mott, the award and event registration is available at www.evchamber.com/annual-celebration.
Distinguished public accountant and champion for justice and underdogs.
The Evanston Chamber of Commerce is pleased to recognize Joseph Liss, CPA, as Evanston Businessperson of the Year. A director at Porte Brown LLC, Liss will be honored at the Evanston Chamber’s Annual Celebration and Awards Dinner on Monday, February 1, 2016.
“Throughout his career, Joe has achieved enormous success as a public accountant, financial officer, board director, and entrepreneur,” says Michael Corr, 2015 Evanston Chamber president, and senior vice president of commercial banking with First Bank & Trust — presenting sponsor of the Chamber’s Annual Celebration. “But I would be remiss if I didn’t add humanitarian to that list of titles, for the critically important work he has done and continues to do for a variety of non-profit organizations.”
A longtime Evanston resident and Chicago native, Liss, 70, first discovered an interest in accounting when he switched majors from music to business at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Accounting, he said, was the very first course he took as a business major and, “it just suited my personality to a T, how precise and regular it can be when everything works the way it’s supposed to.”
After graduating in 1968, Liss began his career at a top accounting firm; and four years later was recruited by one of his clients, KPK Corporation, where he worked as its chief financial officer and served on its board as well as the boards of KPK subsidiaries. During his tenure there, Liss oversaw the accounting and financing of more than $100,000,000 worth of real estate developments, and helped the company expand its operations and acquire subsidiaries.
When the company was sold in 1978, Liss left KPK and opened his own public accounting practice, Joseph M. Liss, PC.
Over the next couple decades, he embarked upon several mergers before joining Evanston accountants Scott Kaplan and Paul Brown to form Brown, Kaplan & Liss, LLP in 2000. The Evanston firm, founded in 1964, was a good fit for Liss who learned that he enjoyed working with individuals and small businesses more than big corporations. In 2014, Brown, Kaplan & Liss was acquired by Porte Brown, LLC where Liss currently serves as a director.
Since 1978, Liss has managed a diversified practice of individuals, estates, trusts, family partnerships, non-profit entities and businesses in many industries. His achievements as a public accountant cover a range of creative and proactive work to help clients meet their financial goals — from identifying opportunities to apply advanced estate and gift planning techniques so parents can pass their wealth to their children at reduced tax costs, to making “cloud” accounting available to small-business owners and helping businesses and individuals (at different levels of the financial spectrum) make sound financial decisions.
A pioneer in the accounting world, Liss is also a dedicated volunteer. In the early 2000s, Liss embarked upon what would become a nine-year-long tenure on the board for Connections for the Homeless, a non-profit organization that serves the homeless and those at risk of losing their homes.
“I’m generally somebody who takes underdog causes, and this is the underdog cause of underdog causes,” Liss explained.
In 2013, Liss joined the Budget, Audit and Investment Committee for the ACLU of Illinois, and in February of last year, he was recruited to serve as the board treasurer for the Chicago Innocence Project, a non-profit organization devoted to investigating wrongful convictions.
Established in 1993, the Evanston Businessperson of the Year Award is presented annually to an individual who displays remarkable abilities in her/his Evanston business, serves as an active participant and leader in Evanston Chamber activities, is a role model for demonstrating how business volunteerism can better the community, and exemplifies excellence in innovation and/or entrepreneurialism.
Liss will be honored on Monday, February 1 at the Evanston Chamber’s Annual Celebration & Awards Dinner. More information on Liss, the award and event registration is available at www.evchamber.com/annual-celebration.
The Evanston Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the selection of Patrick Hughes, Jr. as Community Leadership Person of the Year. The CEO & Founder of Inclusion Solutions, Hughes will be honored at the Evanston Chamber’s Annual Celebration and Awards Dinner on Monday, February 1, 2016.
The Community Leadership Person of the Year Award honors an individual who has made Evanston a better place for its people and its institutions through involvement in civic and/or service organizations, and by: demonstrating innovation, commitment, and leadership; inspiring others to become involved; channeling private sector resources; and creating partnerships within the community.
For Hughes, making Evanston better is personal. His contributions to the community and beyond as well as his professional accomplishments and success stem in large part from his passion for solving problems. When presented with a challenge, Hughes automatically starts coming up with ideas to address it.
“The word ‘no’ and the word ‘can’t’ absolutely drive me crazy,” says Hughes,
47. The secret to turning ideas into solutions, he explains, is all about having passion, which inspires others, “It’s about being excited. When you start something new, you get a whole new group of people in [to help you].”
Although Hughes is known for many things — serving as a mentor for ETHS’s Senior Studies program; volunteering for Center for Independent Futures, Cradle to Career, and the Evanston Chamber of Commerce; serving as a previous board member of Equip for Equality; and currently sitting on the board of the national organization Results.org — he is probably best known locally for founding Evanston MashUp. In its seventh year, this annual networking event fosters camaraderie among community and business leaders, entrepreneurs and others by bringing them together for a summer evening of food, music and fun on Northwestern University’s beach.
Hughes was also instrumental in founding the Evanston WestEnd business district, a group of companies that is located near the Evanston Plaza at the corner of Dempster and Dodge. He believes that forming the organization helps businesses in the area better address common concerns and goals, such as reducing crime or getting new sidewalks. And, he points out, it gives the city an organization to communicate with to help make changes happen.
As a business owner, Hughes also aims to make the world a better place. His company, Inclusion Solutions, develops innovative products to help retailers and the government better serve people with disabilities. These products are used by gas stations to serve drivers with disabilities, by drive-thru restaurants to serve customers who are deaf, and by retailers and restaurants to make access for patrons with disabilities friendly and welcoming.
The Community Leadership Person of the Year award will be presented to Hughes on Monday, February 1, at the Evanston Chamber’s Annual Celebration & Awards Dinner. More information on Hughes, the award and event registration is available at www.evchamber.com/annual-celebration.