New HCC chair hopes businesses will get involved

As someone who spent her childhood in Hinsdale and returned after college to live and work in the area, Laura Liss has watched her hometown grow and change. Now, she's helping to keep that growth and change going, both as a business attorney and as chair of the Hinsdale Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

"It's both a personal and a professional sense of pride to be involved," said Liss, who joined the chamber as a member in 2019 and served as a board member and vice chair before stepping into her current role.

As board chair, Liss said she hopes to help maintain the chamber's busy calendar of events.

"We're really known for our activities that bring residents and visitors to our downtown," Liss said.

Those activities include time-honored traditions such as the Fine Arts Festival and the Christmas walk, along with newer events like the Wine Walk. Uniquely Thursdays and the farmers market also are important tools in bringing people to Hinsdale and its businesses.

During her tenure, Liss said she hopes to also nurture events that will bring chamber members together to draw upon each others' experiences and commitment to the village. Monthly gatherings such as happy hours and breakfasts have begun, she said, and are gaining interest.

Raised by two attorneys, including fellow chamber leader Michael Liss, Liss said she considered the option to follow in her parents' professional path as she embarked on her post-high school journey - a journey that would quickly take an unexpected turn.

Liss toured the Tulane University campus on a picture-perfect 73-degree day. The teenager was convinced that New Orleans was the warm, sunny place where she would pursue her studies of political science and history.

But as hurricane Katrina closed in on Louisiana, move-in day doubled as evacuation day. Liss said she, her parents and her brother moved her belongings into her dorm and promptly left for higher ground. Liss, and the rest of the Tulane community, wouldn't return to campus until the following year.

"I enrolled at DePaul for the semester," she said, and spent her first months of college back in cold, snowy Illinois.

Her degree in hand, Liss took her educational journey from sea level to a mile high when she enrolled in law school at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. She said she chose the school for its practical curriculum.

"Law school doesn't necessarily get you ready to practice," but the Sturm College of Law focuses on preparing its students to put their education to work, Liss said.

Now a practicing attorney for more than a decade, Liss serves as chair of the DuPage County Bar Association Business Law Section and president of the Chicago chapter of Exit Planning Exchange.

Working with her father at Liss & Lamar, Liss addresses the needs of small- and medium-sized businesses like those that are part of the Hinsdale Chamber of Commerce.

She said she encourages anyone who does business in Hinsdale to check out what the chamber has to offer.

"We're always looking for more people to get involved," she said.

- story by Sandy Illian Bosch, photo provided

Author Bio

Sandy Illian Bosch is a contributing writer to The Hinsdalean