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Why We're HQ Central/The Deal Sheet

Chicago Deal Sheet

Chicago is working hard to raise its profile as a global business city, and companies at home and around the world have taken notice. Case in point: inflight Internet provider Gogo just chose Chicago for its HQ over Denver, for access to our top-tier talent. (Pair that with being allowed to play on your phone through the whole flight and flying just got a lot more fun.)


More than 300 of you joined us at Bisnow's 5th Annual Chicago State of the Market at the Swissotel last week, where World Business Chicago president and CEO Jeff Malehorn (left) gave the keynote and Pircher, Nichols & Meeks partner David Pezza (right) moderated. Jeff joined WBC in June after 28 years with GE Capital and his mission is job creation. How does he sell CEOs on the city's talent, market access, and diversity? The stats speak for themselves, he says. (We would've made a diorama; that's why he's the expert.) Chicago produces 145,000 new degrees each year and O'Hare (fresh off a $6.6B revamp) is the most connected airport in the US.


Chicago has a $530B gross regional product (no more than 13% of employment coming from any one industry), meaning if it were a country, the Chicago MSA economy would rank No. 21 in the world. Jeff's plan is two-pronged—build Chicago's industries and infrastructure. While advancing areas like tourism (Bank of America Chicago Marathon, anyone?) and manufacturing, it's also important to invest in workforce development, the neighborhoods, and general ease of doing business, he says. Stewart National Title Services' VP Tom Gray (center) gave opening remarks, telling the audience about Stewart's international footprint (they do title insurance in over 80 countries), as well as recent local deals like Dominicks' 72 store commitments.