Invest Aurora Hosts May 8 Business Growth Strategies Forum

Invest Aurora Hosts May 8 Business Growth Strategies Forum

Kane County residents can meet and collaborate with business owners and employees from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, during Invest Aurora’s annual business forum held in concert with Crain’s Small Business Week.

Attendee’s will have access to business resources aimed at cultivating sustainability and are encouraged to participate in two panel discussions centered around identifying and seizing opportunities for growth.

Networking opportunities will be available and encouraged throughout the event. A continetal breakfast and luncheon will be served.

If your business offers resources such as consulting, legal or financial services to small businesses, you’ll want to attend this event. Register as an exhibitor today and promote your services to attending small business owners and potential clients. Contact Loretta Daly to receive an application.

How to Develop a Business Growth Strategy

Keynote Speaker

Erin Guthrie, Director of Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity

Guthrie most recently served as the regional general manager for Uber Midwest in Chicago, where she partnered with cities and regulators to create safe, positive experiences for customers and residents.

From 2013 to 2017, she was a client engagement manager and partnership portfolio manager at McKinsey & Company in Chicago. Previously, Guthrie worked as a product manager MBA intern at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, as an account executive at 4INFO and as a business development manager at Nokia in San Francisco.

She received her MBA from the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business and Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from Stanford University.


Panel 1 – Embracing Obstacles to Growth

Ray Ziganto, Founder & CEO of Linara International

Linara International is an Aurora-based advisory firm with expertise in strategy, technology and business development for domestic and international manufacturing companies.

Ziganto has successfully led facility start-ups, technology additions/transfers, and customer diversification efforts for an integrated global manufacturing firm with more than 1,500 employees in the U.S., China, Malaysia, Thailand, and Mexico.

Ziganto and his wife are proud long-time residents of Aurora. He is also active on the board for the Aurora Public Art Commission.

Panel 2 – Resources to Overcome Obstacles

Rick Mervine, Founder of StrategyMentor, Former City of Aurora Alderman

Mervine has a strong career of growth and change management as an advocate to provide the small to mid-sized business community the tools it needs to grow profitably.

His management consulting firm of 37 years, StrategyMentor, focuses on enabling double digit business growth and removing the operations obstacles that may impede that growth.

His public life is just completing after 11 years as an alderman in the city of Aurora focusing on Public Safety, Economic development and efficient delivery of resident services.