This week’s local business look profiles Aging Care Connections of La Grange which has been a staple in the community, helping seniors in their later years. Recently, we talked with Beth VanDeWoestyne, Director of Philanthropy and External Affairs.
Q. How long has your business been in the community (what community is it)?
A. Aging Care Connections has been located in La Grange for 43 years. Formerly known as the Southwest Suburban Center on Aging, we serve older adults (60+) and the adult disabled population that live in Lyons, Riverside, Proviso, Leyden and Norwood Park townships.
Q. What brought you/your business to this community?
A. Aging Care Connections was founded in the building we are located, 111 W. Harris Ave., La Grange. The village was very supportive of the need to assist older adults in our community.
Q. What is your favorite thing about the business community in which you work?
A. In La Grange and surrounding communities we have established relationships with owners of many local businesses. A majority of these business leaders recognize how important it is to support community ventures—especially nonprofit organizations. Through networking opportunities at the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce or the La Grange Business Association, many of these professional relationships also turn into friendships and you look forward to connecting at different events.
Q. What is your favorite thing about the community in which you work?
A. The support we receive from the community at large—other non-profits, businesses, community members, etc. are more than willing to rally to support older adults in their communities. Whether they choose to serve as an ambassador, volunteer or donor for Aging Care Connections, we can always count on them to help further our mission.
Q. What benefits does your community offer that a large city, like Chicago, does not offer?
A. Walking down the street, you always see a familiar face. In the summer, many La Grange restaurants offer outdoor dining on the sidewalk. I will often see one of our Board Members or donors having lunch with a business associate or friend. When I stop to say “hi,” we get to talking about Aging Care Connections and the work we do to support older adults in the community. As easy as that, someone new was introduced to our organization.
Q. What is a tip you would give to new businesses/organizations?
A. Network with other professionals in the area—join chambers, visit local businesses, support nonprofit organizations—get out of the office! Getting connected with the community will help your business succeed.
Q. Why would you advise someone to open a business in a smaller community, not unlike the one you work in?
A. The community seems to rally around new businesses and truly want to see them succeed. I’ve heard many residents and professionals promote new businesses via word of mouth to help get people in their door.
Q. What is your favorite local spot, aside from your own business?
A. Aging Care Connections loves to support businesses that support us. For example, Tates Old Fashioned Ice Cream (located at 25 S. Ashland, La Grange) just served our volunteers delicious ice cream sundaes to recognize them for their hard work.
The West Suburban Chamber of Commerce & Industry serves as an advocate for business and constantly promotes and assists in enhancing the well-being of the communities that we serve through networking, professional development and legislative involvement. Reach them on the web at www.wscci.org.Tags: Local business look