1904-1912: From Inspiration to Industry

1904. Chicago Commercial Association founded by Alfred McDonald Compton.
1912. The Chicago Association of Commerce plays a key role in the creation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

1912-1919: Helping found Chicago Institutions

1912-1919. The Association takes part in founding the Chicago Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Chicago Safety Council, the Chicago Better Business Bureau, the Chicago Plan Commission, and the Advertising Council.

1930: Making a Difference

1930. The Association organizes the Committee on Prevention and Punishment of Crime, six influential businessmen who organized the Chicago business community against Al Capone.

1945-1949: Paving the Way

1945. The Association successfully advocates for the State Slum Clearance and Rehousing Program Act, and passes its own Modernized Building Code, paving the way for Chicago's great housing developments following World War II.
1949. The Association and the State Street Council jointly conceive and finance the Parking Plan for the City of Chicago. Chicago's parking garages and parking lots are a direct result of this plan.

1959-1973: Going Global

1959. The Chicago International Trade Fair run by the Association, sees Her Majesty, Elizabeth, Queen of the British Commonwealth, visit Chicago.
1962. Association CEO Thomas H. Coulter accepts an "E-For Export" award from President John F. Kennedy during a ceremony at the White House.
1973. The Association sponsors the first export fair and largest export promotion ever held in the United States in cooperation with the Japan Midwest Association.

1974-1991: Investing in the Community

1974. The Association plays a key role in the creation of the Regional Transportation Authority.
1991. The Association launches the Chicago Pact/Drug Free Workplace Program to emphasize prevention, early intervention, and treatment of substance abuse.

1993-1996: Name Change for a Digital Age

1993. The Association changes its name to the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.
1996. The Chamber debuts its first website.

2000-2013: A Chamber for the New Millennium

2000. The Chamber launches the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center.
2005. The Chamber launches disabilityworks as a collaborative effort with the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities and DCEO.
2007. The Chamber wins 5-star designation by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
2013. Theresa E. Mintle becomes the fifth (and first woman) President and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber’s Genealogy

  • 1848: Chicago Board of Trade
  • 1861: Mercantile Association
  • 1869: Merchants and Commercial Travelers Association
  • 1897: Chicago Commercial Association (incorporated; not activated)
  • 1904: Chicago Commercial Association (activated)
  • 1905: Chicago Association of Commerce
  • 1947: Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry
  • 1993: Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

Celebrating our Founding members that remain members today

  • AT&T. Joined when they were Illinois Bell
  • Rexam. Joined when they were American Can Company
  • Bank of America. Joined when they were Continental Illinois
  • Macy’s. Joined when they were Marshall Field and Company
  • BNSF. Joined when they were Burlington Northern
  • BP. Joined when they were Standard Oil
  • Com Ed. Joined when they were Chicago Edison
  • JP Morgan Chase. Joined when they were First National Bank of Chicago