The Wilmette-Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce will have a new leader on May 11.
Following the February resignation of longtime director Julie Yusim, the chamber’s board of directors approved earlier this month the hiring of Cathy Voight, the executive director of the Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce in the northwest corner of the city.
“Having experience is always a good thing and Cathy has seven years as an executive director,” said Charles Hutchinson, the chamber board’s president. “We were looking for someone who is good at communication and good at hospitality and good with people and not afraid to roll up their sleeves and get to work.”
Voight, a Chicago resident, previously worked for Marriott International and was at one time a store manager for the Starbucks at 3520 Lake Ave. in Wilmette — just west of Loyola Academy.
In 2014, Voight changed directions and worked on a political campaign for John Garrido, who sought the aldermanic seat for Chicago’s 45th ward.
Voight joined the Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce the next year and served as executive director for seven years.
She said she heard about the opening in Wilmette from a local friend and was “excited to try something new.”
“I’m looking forward to working with the businesses and building those relationships,” Voight said. “I hope we can better serve them and get them everything that they need and are able to host events and be successful.
“I love being able to help businesses and see them grow,” she added. “ … Putting on events and putting them on together with local businesses is a lot of fun.”
Like most organizations over the past two pandemic-disrupted years, the Wilmette-Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce was forced to get creative with its programming, hosting virtual activities and postponing some others.
Hutchinson praised the chamber’s ability to retain members during the challenging stretch, but said a goal moving forward is bringing back events.
“We want to reintroduce what we used to do, like the Taste of Wilmette — we haven’t done that for two years,” he said. “So a lot of it is restarting up things we used to do and hopefully do them better.”
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