Greetings from CNT’s new CEO, Erin Grossi

The winds of change are currently transitioning Chicago from a long and gorgeous summer to a crisp and energetic fall. They are also blowing through the north side, where we at CNT are busy strategizing and prioritizing our future work, and also planning for a Cubs victory this year! Keep believing!

For my part, it is an honor to be leading this effort as the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer. It is also an honor to be working alongside the very talented Scott Bernstein, who is adding to the repertoire of roles he has played for the organization as our President and first-ever Chief Innovation Officer.  He is one of CNT’s Founders, and also its “Thinker in Residence.”

When we consider CNT’s ultimate mission, the essential focus on economic development and lifting all boats on the sea of economic progress remains unchanged. We also continue to work to preserve the natural environment, our home, and work to protect the Earth from destruction wrought by climate change. Though our strategies and tactics may vary with time, our commitment to the mission is clear, consistent, and strong.

As I assume the strategic and financial helm of CNT at this important time, it isn’t lost on me that this organization has an impressive legacy of building products and services in the name of our mission. For 38 years, the organization has leveraged its network and its collective intelligence to solve some of the biggest challenges this world has to solve. Does that give us great confidence as we move into this new era? You bet it does!  We are quite sure that we have what it takes to solve more pressing problems and build even more sophisticated solutions together. We simply have to do this.

In addition to building our own solutions, one organizational challenge is to be more open to both allies and competitors outside of CNT who are tackling similar challenges and devising effective solutions to them as well.  Indeed, as the pervasiveness of national and global economic disparities and environmental destruction have ratcheted up, a host of traditional and new market entrants have joined in the battle to combat these realities. By opening our eyes and minds to their great work, we will gain new allies and arsenal for the fight.

Technology is finally in a position where hardware makers and software developers can communicate with industrial partners to help solve challenges in critical economic sectors including energy, water, transportation, the built environment, and more. These are all of the places where CNT has contributed and will continue to invest significant intellectual and social capital for years to come. We look forward to working with a variety of partners and friends who either match or complement our commitments and capabilities. We know there are many out there who want to work with us.

Finally, we at CNT want to thank all of you for engaging with us in this important work. Without your belief, support, and engagement over the years, our efforts would be greatly diminished. Our greatest asset is truly the network that we work within, at home in Chicago and across the nation. Indeed, we believe the mission is global and that we will increasingly have a role to play on that stage as well.

To better understand our immediate focus and work, we invite you to take a look at what RainReady is doing to prevent flooding in increasingly over-subscribed urban locations. We are leveraging intelligent technology as much as we can to alleviate these burdens. We look forward to building out our capabilities even more this year, but we will need your help to do that. Let’s continue to work together as a group of concerned but optimistic neighbors and friends.

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