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The Greening of Jerry Roper


Chicago – Jerry Roper, president and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, former head of the Chicago Convention & Tourism Board, former show manager for the National Restaurant Association, and founding member of Chicago Gateway Green, will add another feather in his cap next Wednesday when a public garden is named in his honor. January 25 will be declared “Gerald J. Roper Day” by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, and the Expressway Garden at Kennedy/Edens Expressways junction will be renamed “The Gerald J. Roper Gateway.”

The recognition is part of Roper’s Lifetime Achievement award that he will receive for his support and dedication to Chicago Gateway Green and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce over the past 25 years.

In addition to Roper’s considerable contributions to civic and business efforts in the region during his 18 to the tourism, convention and association sectors. Earlier in his career, Roper was the show manager for the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show at McCormick Place, one of the largest trade shows in Chicago.

During his nine-year career at the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, he served as the head of marketing and sales for both the bureau and McCormick Place before being promoted as the bureau’s president and CEO in 1988. He also headed the Rosemont Convention Bureau, and was general manager of the Holiday Inn O’Hare-Kennedy.

He also was recognized by the Chicago chapter of Meeting Planners International and received the Roosevelt University Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 presented by the University’s Manfred Steinfeld School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Manfred Steinfeld School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and on the boards of the International Visitors Center of Chicago, Chicago Sister Cities International Program, and Visit Illinois.

The Lifetime Achievement Award event will be held at the Hyatt Regency Chicago from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm on January 25. Mayor Rahm Emanuel will present Roper with the prestigious Chicago Urbs in Horto (City in a Garden) award. Ticket and sponsorship information can be found at

Reach Jerry at (312) 494-6710 or

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