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Chicago Loop Alliance's 2017 Downtown Futures Series continues with 'Get Outside!'

Posted  6 years ago

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | May 9, 2017

CHICAGO—Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA), the sole service provider for Special Service Area (SSA) 1-2015, hosts its second Downtown Futures Series event of the year with Get Outside! Urban Revitalization and the Active Outdoor Lifestyle on Wednesday, June 7 from 7:30-9 a.m. at 1871 (222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1212). Learn how outdoor amenities—like Chicago’s Riverwalk, the 606 and Maggie Daley Park—give cities a competitive advantage in attracting people and investment. This public forum features keynote speaker Cailin O’Brien-Feeney, local recreation advocacy manager of the Outdoor Industry Association, in conversation with Urban Kayaks Owner James Morro and Breakwater Chicago Vice President and Co-Founder Ashvin Lad. Gensler Principal Dave Broz will moderate.

Baby Boomers and Millennials are moving back to urban areas, but are expecting to keep their active outdoor lifestyles. At Get Outside!, keynote speaker Cailin O’Brien-Feeney will lead the conversation on how outdoor recreation opportunities in cities can stimulate population and economic growth. According to a recently released study from the Outdoor Industry Association, the outdoor recreation economy generates $887 billion in consumer spending annually in the United States—more than pharmaceuticals and fuel combined, and almost as much as hospital care. In the Midwest region of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, nearly 1 million jobs are generated by outdoor recreation activities.

Get Outside! Urban Revitalization and the Active Outdoor Lifestyle takes place at 1871 (222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1212) on Wednesday, June 7 from 7:30-9 a.m. A light breakfast and networking will precede the panel discussion from 8-9 a.m. Tickets are free for CLA members and $20 for non-members. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.LoopChicago.com/DowntownFutures.

Cailin O’Brien-Feeney is the local recreation advocacy manager of the Outdoor Industry Association. Cailin joined the Outdoor Industry Association in August of 2015 to start a new program engaging the outdoor industry in state and local recreation advocacy. Previously he was the Policy Director at Winter Wildlands Alliance, worked on a range of recreationconservation issues with Outdoor Alliance and ran the Idaho Outdoor Business Council. Prior to working "for the outdoors", he worked in the outdoors – spending the better part of a decade as an outdoor educator and guide across the West. He holds a master’s degree in Natural Resource Management from University of Idaho and a bachelor’s in environmental studies from Lewis & Clark College. He currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.

James Morro is an owner at Urban Kayaks and an American Canoe Association certified kayak instructor. He has served as the director of the Human Powered Craft Sector for the Chicago Harbor Safety Committee and is currently the sitting president of the Chicago Harbor Safety Committee. He has been working in the kayak industry for more than a decade.

Ashvin Lad is currently the vice president and co-founder of Breakwater Chicago, a floating entertainment destination being developed for Lake Michigan. In this position, he manages marketing, business development, and government and community relations. Prior to this, Ashvin served as the director of the Invest in Illinois and The Illinois Funds divisions in the Office of Illinois State Treasurer. In that role, he was responsible for overseeing economic and community development programs related to agriculture, businesses, disaster recovery, charitable organizations, and a venture capital fund; as well as managing merchant processing and a $6 billion pooled investment money market for public entities.

The Presenting Sponsor of Get Outside! is Springboard, with additional support from Tolpin & Partners and Goddess and the Baker.

About the Downtown Futures Series

The global downtown is in a renaissance—from the sharing economy and future transportation technology to increased professional mobility, collaborative offices and the burgeoning creative class. Chicago Loop Alliance’s Downtown Futures Series brings recognized urban thought leaders into public dialogues on emerging downtown trends and their impact on Chicago’s Loop. Forums are held three times annually through 2018.

About Chicago Loop Alliance

Chicago Loop Alliance, the sole service provider for Special Service Area SSA1-2015, creates, manages and promotes high-performing urban experiences, attracting people and investment to the Loop. For more information, please visit www.LoopChicago.com.

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