Originally published in Journal & Topics, January 20, 2021.

The Niles Chamber of Commerce and Industry will celebrate its 50th anniversary during an online leadership celebration at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, where Mayor Andrew Przybylo will deliver his annual State of the Village address and members of the chamber’s board of directors take their oath of office.

The event will also see chamber members honored for significant 2020 anniversaries while other speakers, including U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-9th) and State Sen. Ram Villivalam (D-8th), give updates from Washington, D.C., and Springfield, along with outgoing chamber President Vince Gendusa and incoming Chamber President Christine Pusateri.

Entertainment will be provided by students from Maine Township High School Dist. 207, Niles High School Dist. 219 and Notre Dame College Prep.

Although the leadership celebration is typically an in-person luncheon, this year the event will be virtual, broadcast simultaneously via the chamber’s Facebook page, YouTube channel, and via the Niles cable access channel, the same way the Night of Roses civic awards event was broadcast in October.

Chamber officials will broadcast live from White Eagle Banquets, in honor of the longtime banquet hall’s 50th anniversary with the chamber. Live or recorded video feeds from speakers and events would then be included in the event throughout the evening.

The event marks the Niles Chamber’s 50th anniversary. Several of the chamber’s longest-standing members will be honored with anniversary plaques and recognized at the event. Among those celebrating long term anniversaries with the chamber, besides White Eagle are:

Better Kitchens, celebrating 50 years as a chamber member; Journal & Topics Media Group, publishers of the Niles Journal, celebrating 45 years as a chamber member; Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, the Golf Mill Shopping Center, and Certified Tax Accountants celebrating 40 years with the chamber; Callero & Callero celebrating 35 years with the chamber; LaPelusa Home Improvement, Wipfli, Johnson Real Estate and Edward Jones celebrating 30 years with the chamber; Niles Foot & Ankle Center celebrating 25 years with the chamber, St. John Brebeuf Catholic Church, Howard Commons, Costco, U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-9th), Ridgewood Gardens, State Farm, Kappy’s American Grill, Sassan & Sassan, Orchard Village, Halls Rental, Cartered By Design, Embark Senior Living, all celebrating 20 years with the chamber along with others celebrating 15, 10, and five-year anniversaries.

Officers being installed to the chamber’s board of directors at the event by Mayor Przybylo include President Christine Pusateri, of Christine Pusateri Solutions; First Vice President Patricia Knoll of Shure Incorporated; Suzanne Wulf of the Niles-Maine District Library; Treasurer Kimberly Smith of Athletico Niles/Northwest Chicago, Immediate Past President Vince Gendusa, of Platimum Touch Industries, and board directors; Skip Lawson of Notre Dame College Prep, Alan Zielinski of better Kitchens, James Medina of First Financial Credit Union, Niles Public Works Director Fred Braun, and living directors emeritus Dean Strzelecki, Irv Coats, and Joanne Cwynar.