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Forest Preserve Rep Shares Information About Vendor Participation at CBA Meeting

Deborah Bayliss | 5/14/2014, 4:07 p.m.
A wealth of information was dispersed at Chatham Business Association’s (CBA) monthly meeting on Tuesday. Patrice Daniels, Contract Compliance Administrator ...
(L-R) Patrice Daniels, contract compliance administrator for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, served as guest speaker for the Chatham Business Association monthly meeting on Tuesday. Melinda Kelly, Chatham Business Association's executive director is seated next to her. Deborah Bayliss

A wealth of information was dispersed at Chatham Business Association’s (CBA) monthly meeting on Tuesday.

Patrice Daniels, Contract Compliance Administrator for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, served as guest speaker and shared information on how to become a registered vendor with the Forest Preserve District and its affiliates.

“The most important thing for businesses is to register for the Supplier Diversity program to receive procurement contract opportunities,” said Daniels as she addressed the packed room of business owners. “Growing the program is all about relationships. Contract opportunities that are equal to or greater than $750 are posted on our website at www.fpdcc.com”

With 69,123 acres of land and over 263 groves, the Forest Preserves District provides support for and has an affiliation with several independent, non-profit agencies, including the Brookfield Zoo and the Chicago Botanic Garden. Brookfield Zoo is administered and operated by the Chicago Zoological Society; and the Botanic Garden by the Chicago Horticultural Society, and both are located on Forest Preserve District lands and are cooperative functions of the District, according to information provided on the Forest Preserves website.

Daniels also laid out the Forest Preserve District’s policies and procedures for Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Women Business Enterprise (WBE) goals saying “According to a 2012 ordinance, the Forest Preserves’ minority participation goals are 25 percent MBE and 10 percent WBE for Service and Supply; 24 percent MBE and 10 percent WBE for Construction; and 35 percent overall for Professional Services."

The Forest Preserves’ Department of Planning & Development is responsible for managing the Forest Preserves’ Capital Improvement program and will be issuing proposals for competitive bid. The 2014 update to the 5-year Capital Improvement Plan includes a complete list of funded and unfunded projects for 2014-2018 that can be downloaded at www.fpdcc.com/cip/.

A list of anticipated 2014 bid packages can be obtained from the Forest Preserves’ Planning & Development Department or email Patrice Daniels at Patrice.Daniels@cookcountyil.gov.

To register as a vendor with the Brookfield Zoo’s, Supplier Diversity Program, go to www.brookfieldzoo.org/CZS/supplier . To register with the Chicago Botanic Gardens contact Beth Dunn, director of Government Affairs and Coordinator of the Garden Supplier Diversity Program at (847)-835-6879.

For more information on summer youth and other jobs, visit the Forest Preserves’ website at fpdcc.com.

Other talks at the meeting included the announcement of Micro Lending Day, where new lenders make a concerted effort to make loans to the City's smallest businesses.

Melinda Kelly, executive director of the Chatham Business Association, said, “There’s a technology deficit in our community. Our micro lending program has shown that this community is bankable and our Micro Lending Day is May 22.”

Caitlin Dorsey with Franklin Energy discussed the partnership between ComEd, Peoples Gas and the City of Chicago involving a pilot small business energy-savings program where local business in Chatham received free energy assessments.

Local businesses in Chatham completed 22, free assessments and 15 energy efficiency projects, saving 16,039 therms of natural gas and 100,997 kilowatt-hours of electricity.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the greenhouse gas savings from these projects are equivalent to taking 32.6 cars off the road for a year. In addition, the energy savings from these projects will amount to an estimated $19,603 in annual savings for the participating local businesses, according to Dorsey.

For more information and to schedule free assessments, call the Peoples Gas, Natural Gas Savings Program at 855-849-8928 and ComEd’s Smart Ideas for Your Business Program at 855-433-2700.

CBA’s next Mix and Mingle event, is scheduled for June 20 and a golf outing is planned for July 25. For more information on these events, visit the CBA website www.cbaworks.org.

The next scheduled CBA meeting is June 10. A rep from Attorney General, Lisa Madigan’s Office, is the scheduled guest speaker.