by Susan O’Neill
Sugar Groveâ€”Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce and Industry Executive Director Shari Baum understands the role of independently owned businesses within a community and the importance of supporting them.
When she was first married, Baum managed the administration of her husband’s Aurora-based business, Baum Sign Co. More recently, she managed the office of the Sugar Grove Economic Development Corporation (EDC) while providing accounting and administrative support for the chamber.
When the EDC office closed in early 2009, Baum said she was approached by the Chamber Board of Directors to take on the chamber’s first full-time position.
â€œIt was a natural fit,â€ Chamber President George Silfugarian said. â€œShe hit the ground running.â€
Baum said one of her goals in working for the chamber is to bring Sugar Grove businesses and its community closer together. She said she found there are people in the community who do not know the village has a chamber of commerce.
â€œI want to let people know about us and what we can do for them,â€ she said. â€œI firmly believe in promoting Chamber of Commerce members to the community and providing them with advertising opportunities,â€ she said.
She said the chamber recently worked with a Yorkville-based publishing company to create a brochure promoting the businesses and other organizations within the community. The chamber also works with the Home Pages to ensure chamber businesses are listed. A new Sugar Grove map will be available soon.
Baum said the most rewarding part of her job is to help obtain answers for people when they call with questions. If she doesn’t know the answer, she will find them someone who does.
â€œThere’s nothing more frustrating than not getting answers,â€ she said.
Baum and her family have lived in Sugar Grove Township for more than 30 years. She is an unabashed cheerleader for Sugar Grove. She said it is a wonderful community that offers its residents many benefits. Good schools, a low crime rate, a great library and park district, beautiful open space, bike trails and easy access to surrounding communities are only part of the picture.
â€œNeighbors are friends and the community works together,â€ she said. â€œSugar Grove is blessed to have many volunteers that work hard to improve and enhance the quality of life for the community. The residents support community business, programs and events.â€