About the Joliet Chamber
The Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry was incorporated initially in 1914 to serve as the collective voice force initiating action for the betterment of the entire community. The Mission of the Chamber today reflects these same goals: “to advance the interests of business, professional and service organizations in the Joliet Region, acting as their voice in governmental and social affairs, communicating and servicing their needs, and thereby enhancing the business environment and the local quality of life.” The Chamber’s board of directors, elected by the membership, sets Chamber policy regarding all phases of the organization’s internal and external programs. The day-to-day administration of the Chamber is carried out by a full-time, professional staff. Member businesses work together through the committee structure to carry out the goals and objectives set by the directors.
Joliet Chamber Staff
Mike Paone, IOM
Joliet Area Young Professionals Ex-Officio
African American Business Association Ex-Officio
Ambassador Committee Liaison
MARY JAWORSKI is the President of the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry. With the Chamber for 23 years, all day to day business aspects of the Chamber are under her leadership. Mary’s responsibilities are vast, but she works every day to develop and achieve goals and objectives to serve the Chambers members. Guiding from within, Mary advances the interests of the Chamber to assure that the organization’s priorities are responsive to member needs and serve to advance the Joliet area. Mary works closely with the board to create new and positive initiatives for the Chamber while continuing to build partnerships within other organizations. Mary continually gives voice to public policies, issues, and the Chambers fiscal condition. Rotary member for sixteen years, as well as Chairman of the Youth Leadership Initiative for twelve years, Mary is also the Co-founder of the Young Professionals, Alianza, Council of Working Women, and Education Committee. Deeply passionate about education, Mary has built the foundation of the Education Committee which serves to combine the initiatives of business and education in the Joliet Community. Under Mary’s leadership the Education Committee has implemented many efforts such as the Great Teachers Banquet, Top Students Banquet, Entrepreneurs Club, and breakfast for new educators. In addition, the Education Committee provides 45 scholarships for top fourth to eighth grade students with aspirations of attending university. As a lifetime resident of Joliet, Mary’s passion for the community and as president of The Chamber extends far beyond the office. Mary and her husband Paul have four grown kids: Mike, Katie, Kristen, and Nicholas. If not found on the golf course or near her garden, she is most likely spending her free time supporting her grandkids in their numerous activities or relaxing with them around the pool. An avid runner, Mary runs 12 to 15 miles every week as she has done for an uninterrupted eight years. “NOTHING IS IMMPOSIBLE FOR A WILLING HEART.”
MICHAEL PAONE is the Vice President at the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the largest and most active Business Organization in Will County. Mike has worked with numerous businesses and organizations in the Joliet region to help increase their awareness and bottom line through various member benefits and opportunities. Under his leadership, the Chamber brought in more than 2,000 members equaling $750,000+, adopted and implemented eight successful membership drives, and has added many program offerings for its members. Mike is the co-creator of the Joliet Area Young Professionals (JAYP), the African American Business Association (AABA), and the creator of two Chamber referral groups known as Business Builders. In addition to overseeing membership, Mike works closely with the JAYP and AABA Board of Directors as their ex-officio. Mike is also the ex-officio leader of the Chamber Ambassadors, a volunteer group of 40 plus Chamber members. Mike has co-designed three new Chamber web sites and has implemented the Chamber’s social media program. He has been an integral part of Chamber marketing and communication plans. In his new role as Vice President he has become more involved with legislative and community affairs; planning governmental lobby trips to the State Capitol and Washington DC, in addition to city government relations. Currently Mike serves as the Government Affairs Chair of the Illinois Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Board, a past Regent for the U.S. Chamber Institute for Organization Management, is a 2008 graduate of the program (IOM designation) and past class advisor. Mike is a 2001 Joliet Chamber Community Leadership School graduate, United Way of Will County board member, Cornerstone Services board member, member of the Joliet Kiwanis club, past board member of the Joliet Catholic Academy Alumni Assoc., and many other committees. Mike received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois and currently resides in Joliet with his wife Carleen and two sons Brandon & Alexander. He enjoys family vacations, coaching and supporting his sons sports, as well as playing in Fantasy Sports Leagues and golfing when he has the opportunity to do so. “MAKE THE HARD THINGS LOOK EASY AND THE EASY THINGS LOOK HARD.”
TRISH BLACKLOCK is the Office Manager of the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Trish directs all general office workings, among her many responsibilities she manages the office calendar and Ealerts, oversees VISION, the Chamber newsletter, and manages minutes and correspondence of the Chamber Board. Trish is also a passionate member of Alianza where she serves as Liaison, as well as helps coordinate the Community Leadership School program. For any questions regarding scheduling, Ealerts, Alianza, or Community Leadership School, Trish is the perfect staff member to contact. Trish is a diehard Chicago Blackhawks and Bears fan, and loves cheering on her teams with her husband of 18 years Mike. The two of them enjoy vacationing in Toronto as well as Vegas, but also love the opportunity to get away and take a road trip together. If Trish is not cheering on her favorite teams she can often be found submerged in a good book. “KEEP YOUR DREAMS ALIVE. UNDERSTAND TO ACHIEVE ANYTHING REQUIRES FAITH AND BELIEF IN YOURSELF, VISION, HARD WORK, DETERMINATION, AND DEDICATION. REMEMBER ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE.”
Director, Member Events
Council For Working Women Ex-officio
Education Committee Liaison
LISA JONES is the Director of Finance. She is in charge of all financial aspects of the Chamber and its subgroups. She manages the database, handles billing, and administers accounting; both accounts payable and receivable. Lisa is passionate member of both the Council of Working Women as well as Business Builders. For any questions regarding general finances, Council of Working Women, or Business Builders, Lisa is the perfect person to contact. Lisa loves to read, especially about health and ways to live a healthy lifestyle. She enjoys a multitude of activities, music, and movies: her favorites can generally be classified by what makes her laugh the loudest or smile the widest at the moment. Her nieces and nephew are dear to her heart and she loves spending time with them. Lisa is devoted to her loving dog Almond, a gorgeous Mastiff Mix.
KELLY BALTAS is the Director of member Events. Having worked as the first intern at the Joliet Chamber fifteen years ago, Kelly now coordinates the many events that the Chamber hosts each year including member luncheons, Business After Hours, ribbon cuttings, business showcases, and annual galas, as well as our large scale fundraisers such as Boots & BBQ and New Orleans North. Kelly manages all aspects of these events as well as holds the position as liaison of the Council of Working Women. For any questions regarding events or the Council of Working Women, Kelly is the perfect staff member to contact. Kelly received her Associates Degree from Joliet Junior College before continuing her education at Southern Illinois University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications with a Minor in Marketing from Southern Illinois University. Kelly and her husband Jason love to travel and would ideally be found somewhere on a sandy beach with their two boys, Ben and Tyler. When not traveling to new sandy destinations, Kelly can often be found cheering her sons on in their many activities, the most common location being various hockey rinks around the Midwest. “IT IS NOT HOW BIG THE HOUSE IS, IT IS HOW HAPPY THE HOME IS.”
DANIELLE BLAKE is the Account Executive. She is most directly involved with the Joliet Chamber members, recruiting and maintaining relationships throughout the community. Danielle is the perfect person to ask any questions regarding the benefits of being part of the Chamber of Commerce and the opportunities the Chamber has to enhance your business. Danielle played on the University of St. Francis Women’s Golf team in Joliet, Illinois where she earned her B.A. in Graphic Design. Danielle earned her Master of Education in Higher Education from Illinois State University and is soon to complete her Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University. Danielle worked for twelve years in higher education in the career services department, focusing mainly on employer relations, planning multiple career fairs a year, and creating internship and job leads for current students and alumni. Danielle is recently married to her husband Brian and enjoys cooking, entertaining, and sewing as well as continues to be an avid golfer. “IF YOU CANNONT CHANGE IT, CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT IT.”