He began by showing past and present photographs of himself with Eagle Scouts and reflected on some of his favorite memories serving as the mayor in the Village of Bolingbrook.
Then, Roger Claar moved quickly to the celebration of the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup. And, yes, he was pictured drinking champagne from the Cup when it made the rounds through Bolingbrook last summer.
Finally, he told stories of how Bolingbrook continues to buck the odds and grow business and industry because “it is a friendly place to do business” during his State of the Village Luncheon address on Thursday at the Bolingbrook Golf Club.
A crowd of nearly 700 attended the 28th annual event—one that has grown from the confines of a neighborhood sports bar to the glamor of the Village’s golf course ballroom. And Michael Carpanzano, president and CEO, took a moment to thank all the guests for attending the single-largest event thrown on an annual basis by the Bolingbrook Area Chamber of Commerce.
Claar cited a number of examples to highlight Bolingbrook’s growth during his 27 years as mayor—the popluation jumping from 35,000 to 74,000. And, as he starts his 28th year, he paused to look back on 2013 and to talk about many of the biggest business success stories of the year, including that of WeatherTech, which he described as a world-class company that makes more than car floor mats and pickup truck liners.
Claar said WeatherTech has a line of 28 products, including men’s plastic belts that allow for ease in navigating through airport security systems. (They don’t set off the alarms). He was wearing one of the belts himself.
And he said WeatherTech will be featured during a first-half ad spot on television during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2.
“It’s not funny one,” Claar said. “I’ve seen it. It’s a serious ad about American-made products and American workers.”
He said he’d like to take credit for luring Dave MacNeil to Bolingbrook and for presenting him with the keys to the village. The truth: Claar said MacNeal has his built his business to 24 acres and 957 employees all on his own.
“Dave found us,” Claar said. “He came to Bolingbrook from Downers Grove because we’re business-friendly. He liked the street signs and the tree-lined medians.”