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Local News

Hundreds gather for Kane County Leaders Summit in St. Charles

ST. CHARLES – Municipal leaders, administrators, educators, Kane County Board members, developers and employers from throughout Kane County gathered in St. Charles on Friday for a daylong Leaders Summit.

“I’m so grateful that people would come,” Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen said, estimating the attendance neared 300 for the first-time event.

Held at the Q Center, the 2015 Kane County Leaders Summit aimed to build partnerships and address how cooperation can lead to attracting investment and growth in healthy ways, Lauzen said.

Topics included transportation, economic development and public health.

Jim Schultz, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity director, and Randy Blankenhorn, acting secretary for the Illinois Department of Transportation, were among the speakers.

Mark VanKerkhoff, director of the Kane County Development and Community Services Department, said the summit was a chance to reinforce strategies that have worked well, especially with newly elected officials in attendance.

Greg Benson, chief of the Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District, said it’s important to consider the regional perspective because growth in one community has the potential to affect other jurisdictions.

He commended Lauzen for bringing the participants together.

“It’s really excellent,” Benson said.

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