of Growing Local Economies By Enhancing Visitor Spending

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. -- MAY 15, 2023 – At its Annual Partnership Celebration on Thursday, May 11, Meet Chicago Northwest (MCNW) celebrated its 40-year anniversary, shared highlights from the year and exciting plans for the future, and elected its board of directors and officers. Business and civic leaders from the eight municipalities that MCNW represents – Arlington Heights, Elk Grove Village, Itasca, Rolling Meadows, Roselle, Schaumburg, Streamwood and Wood Dale – gathered at Chandler’s Chophouse in Schaumburg to pay tribute to the organization’s rich legacy of investing in the hospitality community and enhancing local economies through visitor spending.

In addition, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a proclamation declaring May 11 as Meet Chicago Northwest Day, in honor of the organization’s “great success in managing all aspects of destination marketing and enhancing local economies through visitor spending.” The proclamation recognized MCNW’s 40th anniversary and its role as one of 37 Illinois-certified convention bureaus and the first in the state to have achieved accreditation through Destination International’s prestigious Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP).

Held during National Travel & Tourism Week, MCNW’s Partnership Celebration highlighted successful efforts to promote the communities of the Chicago Northwest region and their restaurants, hotels, attractions and meeting spaces. In addition, MCNW members elected their executive committee and board of directors for Fiscal Year 2024.

“We’re thankful to the business leaders and government officials who serve on our board and partner with our MCNW team to give Chicago Northwest a competitive edge and make an economic impact for this region that sits on the edge of Chicago and O’Hare International Airport with so much to offer,” says MCNW president Heather Larson, CMP. “At this year’s Partnership Celebration, we were especially excited to celebrate the region’s growth in visitors and events over the past year. While our hotel occupancy rates in calendar year 2022 were still down 5% from pre-COVID rates, our hotel revenue saw an increase of 44% over calendar year 2021, indicating the area is successfully rebuilding after drastic reductions during the pandemic.”

The Annual Partnership Celebration also included a performance by Laugh Out Loud Theater of Schaumburg, as well as time for the area’s hospitality leaders to network and connect with each other.

Shirlanne Lemm, president and CEO of GOA Regional Business Association, will continue as MCNW’s chair. The other officers for 2023-2024 are:

  • Vice Chair: Christina Anderson-Heller, Lynfred Winery

  • Past Chair: Dieter Heigl, Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel

  • Secretary: Michael Larson, Schaumburg Boomers

  • Treasurer: Chuck Valenti, DoubleTree Arlington Heights

  • Vice Chair: Jerry Varghese, Country Inn and Suites Elk Grove Village

  • Ex-Officio: Heather Larson, Meet Chicago Northwest


The Board of Directors for 2023-2024 are:

  • Steven Andrews, PACE

  • Carmie Antongiovanni, Aloft Chicago Schaumburg

  • Chip Brooks, Hey Nonny

  • Jodi Curry, Belvedere Events

  • Mayor Tom Dailly, Village of Schaumburg

  • Lisa Gregor, Church Street Brewing Company

  • Michael Jacobson, Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association

  • Trustee Jeffrey Franke, Village of Elk Grove

  • Andy John G. Kalkounos, Chicago Prime Restaurants

  • Karyn Kraske, Daily Herald

  • Heather Lloyd, Woodfield Mall

  • Trustee Frank Madaras, Village of Itasca

  • Rick Marsh, Westin Chicago Northwest

  • Adolf Mondaca, Marriott Schaumburg

  • John Moorhead, Eaglewood Resort and Spa

  • Dr. Avis Proctor, Harper College

  • Janelle Silva, City of Wood Dale

  • Randy Recklaus, Village of Arlington Heights

  • Rob Sabo, City of Rolling Meadows

  • Pratik Trivedi, Trivedi Hospitality Group

About Meet Chicago Northwest

Meet Chicago Northwest (MCNW) is a non-profit, 501c6, destination marketing organization whose mission is to promote its service area of eight communities (Arlington Heights, Elk Grove Village, Itasca, Rolling Meadows, Roselle, Schaumburg, Streamwood, Wood Dale) for meetings, convention, sporting events, group tours and leisure visits. MCNW concentrates on direct sales and marketing programs designed to promote the area in order to increase overnight hotel stays, thereby enhancing the local economy through visitor spending. MCNW is one of 37 Illinois-certified convention bureaus and the first in the state to have achieved the prestigious DMAP Accreditation through Destinations International. For more information, visit chicagonorthwest.com.