Cook County (May 3, 2024) – Southland Development Authority will host ‘Beyond the Call: Veteran Business Support Symposium’ in Richton Park on Thursday, May 9, 2024. 

The event will be held at the Richton Park Community Center located at 4445 Sauk Trail in Richton Park, IL from 5:30pm to 7pm.

The symposium will feature a panel discussion with business and civic leaders who have also served in our nation’s military. Veteran support groups will also be in attendance to provide important information and access to veteran resources. 

Also, veteran serving and veteran owned businesses, organizations, and advocates are encouraged to attend and can expect an evening of support, entrepreneurial learning, discussion, and networking. 

The SDA is proud to serve those who have so selflessly served our nation. This event is important for the veterans because these resources, benefits and opportunities are frequently under promoted, thus, underutilized. Events like this connect vital services and support with veterans who otherwise wouldn’t know about them. 

Special Guests Confirmed:

  • Moderator – Deena Love – Director of Veterans Affairs at Cook County Department of Veterans Affairs (Army)
  • Richard Reinbold – Richton Park Mayor (Navy)
  • Bo Kemp – Southland Development Authority CEO
  • Greg Liss – Huntington Bank (Army)
  • Leon Hiddleston – Attorney (Marines)
  • Mike Yucuis – Regional Manager, Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (Air Force)
  • Nicole Mandeville – Director, Contact Compliance at Cook County Government (Army)

Veterans bring valuable skills from their military service that are crucial for business leadership, particularly in logistics and operations,” said Bo Kemp, CEO of the Southland Development Authority. “With a significant veteran population in the Midwest and the ongoing ‘silver tsunami’ of retiring baby boomers without succession plans, there’s a pressing need to connect these skilled veterans with available business opportunities. The Southland Development Authority is committed to facilitating this connection, ensuring veterans have the support to succeed and maintain the economic health of our communities.” 

 “The Village is very pleased to host this dynamic event and help SDA shine a light on the potential for more veteran-owned businesses and entrepreneurs to thrive in the South Suburbs. Richton Park’s newest veteran-owned business, Galaxy Labs, is the first vertically integrated Black-owned cannabis company in Illinois and will be featured at this event—so there will be a lot to see and learn,” said Richton Park Village Mayor Rick Reinbold.

The event is coordinated by the SDA’s Business Growth Services team in collaboration with the Village of Richton Park. 

About Southland Development Authority

The Southland Development Authority is a nonprofit business organization launched in 2019 by business, civic, and political leaders from around the Southland who recognize the potential of the region’s people, businesses, and real estate. Our mission is to bring the resources and capacity needed to achieve transformative, inclusive economic growth for the south suburbs with a focus on investments in the Southland’s communities, industry, housing, and workforce.

We work steadfastly to connect Southland business owners, investors, and individuals with key resources to operate and thrive in the region, from equipping mid-size and small businesses in our Business Growth services Program with customized advice and consulting services, to helping local residents access the tools needed to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. With a deep institutional knowledge of the Southland’s people, markets, and history and our multifaceted, experienced team, the Southland Development Authority is a powerful partner for any individual, business, or investor.

Media Contact: Melissa Kennedy | 708.717.8707