LOMBARD – It doesn’t seem that long ago that Whitney Cimaglia was walking the halls as a student at Glenbard East High School.
Still anchored in Lombard, her career path has not led her far in terms of geography, but the 28-year-old is definitely on her way up.
As the new president of the Lombard Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry, youth has its advantages.
“I am hoping that it encourages younger professionals to get involved,” said Cimaglia, a branch manager at Inland Bank, 837 S. Westmore Ave. in Lombard.
Cimaglia, a Lombard native and Glenbard East alumna, has been a chamber member for five years. She began her leadership role as a chamber director three years ago, and last year had the title of vice president.
“The idea is that every director that comes onto the board has the ability and the desire to move up the ranks,” said Cimaglia, who was appointed president earlier this month at the Chamber’s annual membership meeting.
“She is dynamic and she’s very intelligent,” said Lombard Village Trustee Dan Whittington, who is also the chamber’s current vice president. “She is a good fit – all of the [chamber] board members believe that.”
Along with common goals like keeping the chamber board engaged, developing business growth and local promotion through social media outlets and networking events, Cimaglia hopes to draw members from neighboring communities including Glen Ellyn and Villa Park.
She also wants to put a focus on member businesses that may not be able to get out of the office for events, but still want to be active in the chamber.
“We care about all the businesses in town, and we’re going to do the promoting work for you,” Cimaglia said.
Through social media posts, email blasts, a weekly newsletter, a community business directory and the option of placing banner advertisements on the chamber website, businesses remains active, she said.
A new mobile application, “MyChamberApp,” is also a feature used by the chamber, and allows consumers – both local and visiting – to quickly identify local businesses.
“Local members [businesses] are on the app, and it shows where people can dine, shop and stay at when they’re here,” Cimaglia said.
The chamber maintains a close relationship with the village, something that goes back to late Lombard President William Mueller, who Cimaglia said was very heavily involved with the chamber.
“The relationship was very important to him,” she said. “He showed up to everything, and I think he laid that example for the future [village] presidents to come. The village is very supportive.”
Cimaglia admits that she wouldn’t have envisioned herself in this role so quickly when she began five years ago, but that it’s a “real honor.”
“It’s been crazy how many people have come up to me and said that it’s refreshing and encouraging,” said Cimaglia, one of the youngest managers at her bank. “Sometimes you can get push-back because it’s assumed that you’re young and don’t know everything, but so far, I have not felt that at all.”