Lake County Partners’ signature annual breakfast, aptly named “The Big Event,” once again brought together hundreds of business and civic leaders for a morning focused on continued collaboration and business growth. The morning will also marked the organization’s 25th anniversary of fueling economic development in Lake County, Illinois.
The Big Event specializes in providing insights on the latest tools and trends driving economic development, and this year’s program will zero in on performance. Keynote Speaker David Epstein, a New York Times best-selling author of the books Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, and The Sports Gene, will discuss his bold and challenging ideas on the most effective path to success, as inspired by his analysis of some of the greatest executives, scientists, artists and athletes in history.
Big Event attendees honored the tremendous accomplishments of Richard H. Korengold, the outgoing Lake County Partners Board of Governors Chair and Senior Managing Director at Mesirow Wealth Management.
“Under Richard’s direction and vision, Lake County Partners has flourished as the go-to economic development organization in the northern suburbs. His leadership has defined our organization, and we are so grateful for the time and energy that he has put into his position,” noted Steve Madden, the incoming Board of Governors Chair and CEO of Libertyville Bank & Trust Company, N.A. “As measured by job growth and investment, the last four years have been one of the best runs in the county’s history. As the incoming Chair, I am committed to sustaining the forward momentum that will keep Lake County at the forefront of business growth and innovation.”
“Richard has championed the development and approval of the county’s new Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS),” adds Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart. “The CEDS is extremely important because it collaboratively aligns economic priorities across the region and creates an action‐oriented, five‐year economic development strategy that will enhance our communities and business climate. I am confident that the final CEDS product has set us up for success and will result in a better Lake County for generations to come.”
“Richard’s achievements, and the economic growth that we’re seeing in Lake County, are nothing short of extraordinary,” says Lake County Partners president and CEO Kevin Considine. “Our team is currently nurturing 22 new projects, with six wins already under our belt this year. In the last four months alone, we have welcomed a new PR company, food manufacturer, vitamin supplements manufacturer, frozen pizza manufacturer, food equipment manufacturer and an affordable senior housing project into the area, which has resulted in over $190 million in new capital expenditure, 666,000 sq. ft. of new and reactivated space, 493 new jobs and 450 retained jobs. We expect that trajectory to continue through the back half of the year. All told, since 2019, Lake County Partners has been directly involved in projects that have resulted in 4,155 new jobs, 4,677 retained jobs and $807 million in direct investment. I am very proud of what we have accomplished with the support of our partners and Lake County Partners’ Board of Governors.”
“It has been my pleasure to work directly with local leaders to enhance the economy, grow business and make sure that we are positioned for future prosperity,” responded Korengold. “Lake County is in excellent shape. Over the last several years, our Gross Domestic Product has grown 9.6%, reaching $69.7 billion. The number of businesses in Lake County now exceeds pre-pandemic levels, and growth has been particularly prominent in our key industries of advanced manufacturing, life science, healthcare and professional and technical services. Economic projections indicate that more new jobs, increased consumer spending and growth capital investment, and continued state-of-the-art real estate construction are on the horizon. My tenure as Chair of the Board of Governors has been very rewarding, and I have appreciated the opportunity lay the foundation for another 25+ years of success at Lake County Partners.”
One company that has leveraged Lake County Partners’ resources to expand is Henry Broch Foods. At the Big Event, the company will be honored with the 2023 Community Investment Award for investing in its existing Waukegan headquarters by adding 160,000 sq. ft. of new production, robotic warehouse and distribution space. Not only is the company retaining 400 existing jobs, but it is adding an additional 150 new jobs in Lake County too. The project represents a capital investment of nearly $40 million.
“I am thrilled to accept the award on behalf of Henry Broch & Company,” said VP of Business Development Edan Antonetti. “From our headquarters in Lake County, Henry Broch Foods has established itself as one of the leading food manufacturers in the nation. Our success is the direct reflection of the work environment that we have created in Waukegan. People have been a game changer for us. In deciding to invest in more people and new space, we knew that we wouldn’t find better talent and support than what we have here in Lake County.”
The Big Event is made possible with generous support from the Lake County business community including Lake County, the College of Lake County, Old National Bank, the Hunter Family Foundation, Abbott, AbbVie, Comcast, Horizon Therapeutics, Innovation Park, the Gorter Family Foundation, 1818 Renewable Energy, a5 Branding & Digital, Advocate Condell Medical Center, Aston Carter, Bridge Development, BCI Acrylic, CBRE, Great Lakes Construction Association, Great Lakes Credit Union, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, JP Morgan Chase, Libertyville Bank & Trust Company, N.A., Mesirow, Pace Suburban Bus VanGo, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, UCC Environmental, The Upper Illinois River Valley Development Authority, Van Vlissingen and Co, Walgreens, Barbara’s Bookstore, Five Grain Events and World Business Chicago.