GEMS World Academy – Chicago received the prestigious Mies van der Rohe Citation of Merit for Innovation from the Illinois chapter of the American Institute of Architects during a special ceremony at the school on October 12.

img_0344awebCiting the colorful and innovative vertical orientation of the building designed by bkL Architecture, the AIA Illinois jury remarked that it “showed real creativity by inserting a complex educational facility in a dense urban context.”

According to a press release from GEMS World Academy – Chicago, “The Mies van der Rohe Citation of Merit for Innovation is one of five design awards that AIA Illinois presents every year.”

To arrange a campus “coffee tour,” please visit or call (312) 809-8910.


Cultural Mile hosts Halloween gathering and parade Oct. 22   

The Chicago Cultural Mile’s second annual Halloween Gathering and Parade will fill Millennium Park with costumery, floats, performances, and thousands of guests on Oct. 22.

A Daytime Festival will occupy the Sir George Solti Garden from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The two-hour Spectacle Parade starts at 6 p.m. at Columbus Dr. and Balbo Ave. and proceeds south to Monroe St.

The family-friendly event includes arts and crafts workshops, gigantic puppetry and professional fire-breathers.

Last year’s event, which involved some 4,000 participants, attracted an estimated audience of 200,000, according to

Preparations for the parade represent a year-round effort for the Chicago Cultural Mile, a nonprofit organization that was formed to celebrate and promote the stretch of Michigan Ave. from Wacker Dr. to Roosevelt Rd.


— Daniel Patton


Mayor, Alderman help break Wanda ground

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Alderman Brendan Reilly spoke of prestige, jobs, and convenience while offering gratitude to China-based commercial property company Wanda Group at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Wanda Vista Tower on September 7.

img_9314a2webAddressing attendees from a stage overlooking the skyscraper’s future Wacker Dr. location, the Mayor informed the crowd that “the largest real estate investment by a Chinese firm in the United States of America is going to be right here in the city of Chicago.”

In addition to the thousands of jobs that the building’s construction will require, he continued, nearly 500 permanent jobs will exist after it is finished.

During his remarks, Alderman Reilly declared that the project would also include additional “much needed improvements” such as “connecting Upper Wacker to Waterside Dr.”

Upon its estimated completion in 2019, the Wanda Vista will rise 1,186 feet and become the city’s third tallest building.

— Daniel Patton


Council on Global Affairs moves to New Eastside

After relying on outside venues for 20-plus years, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs finally came “home” to the New Eastside Sept. 7.

The organization’s new state-of-the-art Conference Center directly off Prudential One’s lobby at 130 E. Randolph St. makes accessing the world’s preeminent leaders a cinch.

logoThe city’s most prestigious think tank acquired the new space due to growing demand and a need for technology.

“Our main intention was to host events,” said Council COO Jenny Cizner. “We kind of feel like we’re in the middle of [things] here.”

The only “downside” is the frequent need for even more space.

According to Cizner, about 80 percent of last year’s programming attracted crowds of approximately 200 people.

For New Eastsiders, the prospect of direct access to the Council’s dynamic roster of dignitaries, thought leaders, and academics is a thrill.

“I had a member from the New Eastside say that the Council moving here was ‘the greatest thing ever to happen to me,’” laughs Cizner.

Nearly all events are open to the public. CCGA members enjoy reduced event fees. Memberships range from $40 for students to $100 for regular members. Approximately a third of its 7,000 members are aged 25 to 40.

Judging from a recent “gender equity” luncheon, an eager contingent will be right on their heels.

“I’ve been to a lot of conferences,” said Nicole Wojnoski, a junior at Whitney Young Magnet School, “and this was great. It was smaller, so I felt more connected and engaged.”

Students from neighboring tables also felt happy to attend.

“It’s a nice place to actually see what’s going on in the world,” said GCE Lab School freshman Lucas Meidinger.

For more information, visit

— Tricia Parker


Wilson Sporting Goods makes new HQ in New Eastside

102-year Chicago firm Wilson Sporting Goods announced in September that it would move its global headquarters to Prudential Plaza. According to Crain’s, the 400-person firm signed a 12-year lease and will move from its current location near O’Hare in late 2017.

— Daniel Patton


Sports Summit brings the business of pro sports to New Eastside   

On October 5 at the Hyatt Regency, the inaugural Chicago Sports Summit will combine big league marketing directors, medical specialists, and agents to discuss the current and future state of business in Chicago sports.

summit02-01“The objective was to get all of the different professional organizations in the same place at the same time,” explains Dr. Brian Cole, who founded the event.

Dr. Cole is team physician for the Chicago Bulls and associate team physician for the White Sox. He will moderate one of three panels during the event, which runs from 7 a.m. to noon.

Titled, “Keeping Our Athletes Healthy: The Risks, Liabilities and Economics,” the panel will tap into his experience as host of popular ESPN radio program, “Sports Medicine.”

“The intesting things are how injuries affect players and the dynamics of taking care of professional athletes,” he explains. “You have a lot of stakeholders: the agent, owner, GM, trainer, family.”

Other notable guests include Chicago White Sox Director of Marketing & Analytics Beth Grabowski, who will be part of a discussion about marketing and franchising professional sports.

“Our goal is to make sure that the game day experience is as enjoyable as possible,” she says.

Besides ensuring the ongoing success of Free T-shirt Thursdays and Friday Fireworks, she helped secure the Guinness Record for greatest number of dogs at a park when the Sox hosted 1,122 four-legged fans at U.S. Cellular Field over the summer.

Admission to the Summit is $200.

— Daniel Patton

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