On October 20, 2022, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) hosted a dealmaking event at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL. With more than 1100 registered participants, 117 exhibitors, and 31 featured retailers seeking expansion in the Chicago area, the event was a the first of its kind after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Corporate sponsors of the event included Craig/Steven Development Corporation and Crexi.

Matanky Realty Group’s CEO, James E. Matanky, conducted an interview-style conversation entitled Driving Inclusive Economic Development in Chicago sharing the stage with the morning’s featured speaker Michael Fassnacht, CEO of World Business Chicago – an economic development agency chaired by Mayor Lori Lightfoot and featuring a board of directors comprised of a diverse group of business and nonprofit leaders.

Michael shared with the ICSC crowd his thoughts on Chicago’s economic health, the importance of Chicago as a premier business destination for the world, and the opportunities for business growth in the city.

As part of this discussion, Mr. Fassnacht described the positive effects of World Business Chicago’s events including the Chicago Venture Summit and Think Chicago which highlighted the importance of the tech community to economic growth. Furthermore, Michael shared with James and the audience the sectors which, according to World Business Chicago, are the primary drivers of future economic growth including:

  • Healthcare and Life Sciences
  • Food Production and Agriculture
  • Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics
  • Manufacturing

Michael shared that Chicago uniquely stands out as a world-class economy due to the city’s size and diverse population. The area features business incubators, research centers, universities, and think tanks which foster innovation and ingenuity. Furthermore, Chicago’s centralized port location and expansive transportation network keeps the metropolis connected to the rest of the world.

Prior to his tenure as the CEO of World Business Chicago where he has served since 2020, Michael Fassnacht was the Chief Marketing Offer for the City of Chicago leading all branding and business development activities alongside Mayor Lightfoot’s office. James Matanky also serves on the Board of Directors of World Business Chicago. Both gentlemen call Chicago home with their families.

To learn more about World Business Chicago, visit www.worldbusinesschicago.org.

Have a question regarding how Matanky Realty Group continues to help shape communities in the Chicago area? Visit https://matanky.com/contact-us/ to contact us today.