Wilmette, Community

For second time since May, Wilmette-Kenilworth chamber gets a new director

Another new face is leading the Wilmette-Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce.

Less than three months after changing executive directors, the local chamber welcomed Jennifer Herren Gatesman to the nonprofit.

Gatesman spent the last 12 years with the Edgebrook-Sauganash on the far northwest side of Chicago.

“I’m always looking to learn something new,” she said. “There is a special place in my heart for the North Shore; I grew up in Evanston. I thought it would be fun to support businesses in a village instead of a booming city like Chicago.

Gatesman is actually the third executive director of the Wilmette-Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce this year.

Longtime director Julie Yusim, who twice held the position (2000-2009, 2015-2022), resigned in February, leading to the hiring of Cathy Voight in May.

Chamber Board President Charles Hutchinson said Voight left for a “job she had been wanting for quite a while,” but provided the board with recommendations for her replacement.

Prior to coming to Wilmette, Voight worked with the Gladstone Chamber of Commerce also on the far northwest side. She often collaborated with Gatesman, who started in Wilmette on Aug. 1.

Hutchinson said Gatesman brings a lot to the chamber — including experience, connections and organizational skills — at an important time for local businesses.

“We’re trying to help businesses with new challenges, like lack of staffing and inflation, of course,” he said. “We’re focusing on getting (the chamber) back to normal and events back to what we used to have, like the Taste of Wilmette. Just help drive business to our businesses.”

And Gatesman is here for it.

“I just want to continue the momentum that has already startd here and continue to service a robust membership roster,” she said. “I am here to help, here to strategize and to build the business community.”

The Wilmette-Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit business association that serves local businesses. Its main office is in Linden Square at 351 Linden Ave. in Wilmette. To learn more about the chamber, visit its website.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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