Allen Babiarz, 29, was recently installed as president of the Calumet City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Babiarz began his one-year term Jan. 1, and previously served as a director of the chamber. “I felt honored that the rest of the directors believed in me to lead this great organization,” Babiarz said.
“I’m excited, nervous, happy, determined and a whole bunch of other emotions all rolled into one right now, but looking forward to seeing what the next year will be like,” he added.
Babiarz said that one of his goals is to bring a sense of community back to Calumet City’s economy. “We all know how slow times are economically, and with big setbacks like Sears closing its doors in Calumet City, business can be lagging.”
“I hope to show our current members and future members that there is a community to back them and support them. I want the chamber to be a great resource for business,” he added.
Babiarz is a 2003 graduate of Thornton Fractional South High School and attended South Suburban College in South Holland for his associate degree.
He earned bachelor's and master's degrees at Governors State University in University Park, finishing his studies in 2012.
He has been employed by South Suburban College for more than a decade, and now serves as a client solutions & project manager.
“It’s never redundant," Babiarz said. "I’ve really learned a lot about the manufacturing industry, for example. My background is media and communications, something quite different. I think it gives me a different edge that I can bring to the table.”
Babiarz also instructs speech classes at South Suburban College, in addition to teaching classes and workshops for Governors State University and Moraine Valley Community College.
“I have no idea how I fit this all into my schedule. It’s not easy, let me tell you. One of my mentors told me to always ‘say yes, and figure it out later’, so I did.”
A Calumet City resident, Babiarz is in charge of coordinating the 2014 Chicago Women’s Conference in March.
“Our running theme this year is "Get Moving," so we are planning a day to show women not only how to physically get moving, but mentally get moving in everyday life.”
“I’m really excited and proud of this event, and I’m glad I am able to coordinate it along with my committee.”