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.
Diversity and Inclusion Statement
Creating an inclusive environment that engages individuals reflective of the full spectrum of our region strengthens our organizations and is a key to the success of the Joliet Region as a whole.
To that end, the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry promotes inclusiveness and equal opportunity for all in its leadership, staffing, policies, and practices, and encourages all of its member businesses to do likewise.
Joliet Chamber Staff
JEN HOWARD became President of the Joliet Chamber on April 1, 2020. She was born and raised in Joliet and was no stranger to the Chamber or the Joliet business community as the owner of the TCBY in Shorewood, Il and a member of the Chamber’s Board for the last four years, two of which she served on the executive board.
Prior to TCBY, Jen was the owner of two temporary staffing companies managing over 20 million dollars in sales. Jen has proven herself to be a successful entrepreneur and executive with consistent abilities to lead organizations and achieve growth in sales, marketing , community relations and operations. She has a proven record of building strong relationships with client companies, community partners and teams of employees.
She serves on several local boards including Joliet Junior College Foundation, Rotary Club of Joliet, Rialto Square Theatre Foundation, Joliet Area YMCA, and Illinois Partners for Human Service. Jen and her husband Vic enjoy travel, fitness, golf and family time.
KELLY BALTAS is the Executive Vice President. 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.”
LISA JONES is the Vice President 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.
MICHAEL PAONE is the Vice President of Governmental Affairs 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.”