Inspired at Economic Club of Chicago Dinner

economic-club I am always inspired by stories of successful business people and community leaders who are really making a difference in people’s lives.

On Feb. 15, I attended a black-tie dinner for the Economic Club of Chicago, an organization that often hosts high-profile speakers from government and business, such as former Vice President Al Gore, President Barack Obama, and the CEO of Starbucks.

The most recent event featured a speech by Mayor Richard Daley, who will be leaving office this spring after 22 years.

Daley talked about his tenure – how when he took office in 1989, the city was depressed and in an economic downturn and few people wanted to start new businesses here. By the mid 1990s, the city had completely revived, and today it is considered a beacon for international business and progress.

Daley said he has pushed to make Chicago an environmentally friendly city by promoting green rooftops, and he has focused on increasing Chicago’s international prominence by encouraging foreign language in schools.

He also said he was proud to come from a family where his parents supported his dreams. His parents told him not to seek their approval, but instead, to listen to his own heart.

I am impressed when I listen to people involved in community service, especially when I think about the obstacles they encounter every day. Even though they face constant criticism from opponents and the press and make very little money, they have so much commitment, integrity, and passion for their community that they continue to serve others.

These are traits I would like to strive for as well, as I continue to follow my dreams and reach for my goals.