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Q&A with the Gala co-chairs

We got a chance to sit down with our Gala co-chairs, Judie Moore Green and Bill Noonan, to get their perspectives on our upcoming Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation Gala, “Illumination 2013,” and hear their tips for first time attendees.

Tell us about your first encounter with CLA and your decision to get involved. Why are you a member?

Judie Moore Green: As the Marketing Director of the Auditorium Theatre back in 2004, I was first involved with the Marketing Committee of the Greater State Street Council (GSSC). When the GSSC and Central Michigan Avenue Association merged in 2005 to form Chicago Loop Alliance, I was excited to get involved in an organization that seeks to improve and promote the Loop and all of the diverse organizations and businesses that live there. CLA provides a wonderful opportunity to leverage partnerships between members and expand the reach of the Auditorium Theatre and any member that is a part of it.

Bill Noonan: I joined the CLA board in 2005 as a representative of Merchandise Mart Properties. Our trade shows and showrooms brought thousands of buyers and exhibitors to the Loop each year and we wanted to be plugged into what was happening in the Loop -- and its effect on our customers.  CLA was a relatively new organization at the time, but it quickly proved to be the meeting place for the business, hospitality, educational and cultural communities within Chicago’s most important neighborhood. Staying involved with CLA has been a very easy decision for me. As a downtown resident, CLA’s mission is very much in sync with my own ideas about the Loop. Additionally, no other organization in town offers the diversity of membership and programming that CLA does -- it really reflects the best that Chicago has to offer.

What is the best thing, in your opinion, about Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation Galas? Why attend?

Judie: The Gala is a great occasion to mix and mingle with the diverse pool of partners that make up the Loop. It is a perfect vehicle to connect and make new friends.

Bill: For starters, the Gala is a blast!  Like any good party, it all comes down to great guest list.  You always know you’ll have fun a CLA event because only CLA brings together such a unique mix of folks.  You’ll be sharing the evening with a who’s who of Chicago’s theatre, educational, business, residential and cultural communities.

Give our readers a preview of this year’s event. What are you looking forward to the most at “Illumination 2013”?

Judie: The Palmer House Hilton, the iconic Chicago hotel since 1871, will roll out the red carpet and help CLA compose one of the more memorable stories in its long and grand history.  “Illumination” is the theme and the spotlight is on all of you, our members. Some of our very talented university students will entertain us! The bubbly will be flowing, the food will be exquisite, the music will be top-notch and don’t forget to wear your dancing shoes.

Bill: Illumination 2013 promises to be a memorable evening. We’re delighted to be holding 'Illumination' at the grand dame of Chicago hotels -- the Palmer House Hilton.  A Loop landmark since the 1870s, the Palmer House is more sparkling than ever after a recently concluded $170 million renovation. The evening is divided into three components: the cocktail party, the gala, and new to this year’s event, the VIP after party. Our guests will spend the evening in three uniquely beautiful Palmer House environments bathed in custom “illuminations”. Try your luck at one of our great "pick it to win it” raffles -- or get your groove on to the beat of the City Lights Orchestra.

Any tips to help readers prepare for the event?

Judie: Invite someone new to be your guest and show them why the Loop is truly a place to live, work and PLAY!

Bill: Don’t miss a minute! Arrive early and bring your dancing shoes -- because Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation Galas tend to be a little livelier than your average black tie event. Better yet, why not make a weekend out of it? Our friends at Palmer House are offering a special Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation rate of only $159.00 on the evening of Friday, October 25th. This is a great opportunity to stay the night at one of Chicago’s finest hotels and spend a relaxing Saturday exploring the Loop, catching a show, or just brushing up on your shopping. (This special rate includes room and tax. Reservations must be made by September 25, 2013. To reserve, please call (877) 865-5321 and reference Group Code ‘CLG’ when booking.)

Judie Moore Green is the Chief Development Officer for the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Bill Noonan is the former Vice President/General Manager of Merchandise Mart Properties.


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