September 15, 2020

The Big Table: Greater Peoria to Host Virtual 4-day Community-Building Event to Discuss Progress and New Challenges Facing the Region

PEORIA– Residents throughout the region are invited to take a seat at the 2nd Annual Big Table: Greater Peoria to share their voice and vision for their communities during a series of focused conversations on Oct. 19 – 22 from 11:30AM-1:00 PM. The sessions will be hosted virtually over Zoom.

Following up on last year’s event which had over 700 community members participate, this event is intended to continue to push those conversations forward, discuss progress, and address new challenges that many of us may be facing. The goal of The Big Table is to generate a shared regional vision through a series of open, thoughtful conversations and an exchange of diverse ideas and perspectives. Participants will have the chance to share their thoughts and experiences and discuss the opportunities and challenges faced by their communities.

The event organizers—a collection of twelve community and economic development organizations—hope hundreds of residents will again take part in one or more of the facilitated conversation sessions where participants will discuss workforce and education, entrepreneurship and innovation, diversity, equity and inclusion, and quality of life.  Each of these focused conversations will include progress updates and introductory presentations by community leaders and professionals involved in those efforts. Zoom breakout rooms will be utilized to help participants continue conversations and make connections.

“As our nation sits firmly at an inflection point, our future depends on our willingness to lean into the work of creating a more equitable Peoria Region and one that works for all of us,” said Joshua Gunn, President & CEO of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce & CEO Council.  “The strength of The Big Table is not only the important work that happens as a result of this collaboration, but the collaboration itself; people from every facet of our community, all working together towards a common goal, is a massive achievement in itself, and one that we are proud to support.”

“The conversations started at last year’s Big Table have already helped focus our organization’s work and shape our strategy for the future,” said Chris Setti, CEO of the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council. “We are excited to share progress on initiatives, such as Distillery Labs, and continue the conversations needed to keep moving our region forward.”

Registration for the event is free but required. All are welcome to participate in individual sessions or the entire program. Event details and registration are available at www.bigtablegp.com

The organizations involved in planning the event include: CEO Council, Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Peoria Hispanic Chamber, Black Business Alliance, Morton Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council, East Peoria Chamber of Commerce, Pekin Chamber of Commerce, Washington Chamber of Commerce, and the Peoria Heights Chamber of Commerce.