Welcome to Partner Spotlight! A highlight of the diverse and talented individuals in our Chicago Northwest region’s hospitality industry.

MEET Shirlanne Lemm, President & CEO, GOA Business Association, Chairman of the Board, Meet Chicago Northwest

Shirlanne Lemm - GOA Regional Business Association & Chairman of Meet Chicago Northwest's Board of DirectorsShirlanne grew up in Peoria, Illinois and moved to Chicagoland when she was 14 years old.  She attended Fenton and Glenbard North High Schools.  She has called Carol Stream home for the past twenty years.

Working for the GOA Regional Business Association since 1984, Shirlanne served as the Director of Programs and Events, Director of Membership and Vice President.  She became President & CEO in 2001.  The GOA represents Elk Grove Village Chamber of Commerce, Itasca Chamber of Commerce and Wood Dale Chamber of Commerce as well as three trade associations.

Over 37 years, there have been many interesting experiences but what she most enjoys is meeting people and learning their personal and professional stories.  “The most rewarding thing about my job is being able to do something I believe in and enjoy doing. I really like coming to work every day. I have seen several startups grow into very successful businesses that are still going strong after 30 years. I would not have had the opportunity to see that in another industry,” she says.

When asked what she would like to tell young professionals starting their careers she states, “Be open to learning from others and listen to their point of view. One of the biggest things I have learned is not everyone thinks like me. It's very interesting when you see things through another person's lens and discover new way to look at things. It will make life more interesting.”

Fun Fact:  When Shirlanne was in her early 20’s she was the lead singer in a band called Nostalgia; singing pop hits from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

When Shirlanne is not working, she enjoys heading down to Disney World with her husband, Stan and son, Alex.  She is a huge fan of Disney World and tries to get there at least once per year.  

Shirlanne currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Meet Chicago Northwest.

Special thanks to Shirlanne for sharing a little bit about herself! We hope you join us as we share Partner Spotlights each month.