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Simms named chair of Southland Chamber board

Connie Simms has been selected the 2021 Board of Directors Chairperson for the Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce (CSCC). Simms has been serving on the board since 2017 and on its executive board in 2020.

Connie Simms

She is the third female chair in the 36-year history of the chamber, and the first woman of color to lead the organization.  

“As we come out of the pandemic, I look forward to a productive and exciting 2021 for the Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce,” she said. 

Craig Schmidt, the outgoing chair, recommended Simms because of her dedication to the Chicago Southland and her vision of what the Chicago Southland Chamber should, and can be, for the region. 

“I am pleased to have the opportunity to serve as your chairperson for 2021,” Simms said when the announcement of her appointment was made on Friday, March 26. “I welcome the challenge during an extremely difficult time that we all face growing our businesses during a pandemic.  We look forward to working with all local chambers, villages, municipalities, colleges and universities, workforce development partners and legislative officials to ensure that we continue to be a strong Chicago Southland region.” 

Simms said the CSCC is focused on legislative initiatives that include business expansion plans such as the proposed Peotone airport, additional Amazon facilities, and a casino.

Simms is employed with BankFinancial as a senior vice president/market manager for Chicago and the South Suburbs. She manages six branches and overseeing the grassroots community initiatives for the bank. 

Simms, of South Holland, gives time to her community as minister of bereavement, and as a member of the Married Couples Ministry at Park Manor Christian Church in Chicago. 

According to Terri L. Winfree, executive director of CSCC, a date for the annual meeting will be scheduled when COVID-19 numbers allow for group gatherings.

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