CommercialForum: Trends In Development
Meredith L. O'Connor
Director of Business Development
As Director of Business Development for World Business Chicago (WBC), a public-private business organization created & chaired by Mayor Richard M. Daley, O’Connor specializes in the retention, attraction and expansion of businesses for the Chicago region. Her focus includes corporate headquarters, business services and the financial and insurance sectors. She also acts as a liaison for corporate leaders to appropriate city, state and private resources and is responsible for building relationships with Chicago’s commercial real estate community.
Recently, O’Connor acted as project manager for United Airlines, as well as PepsiCo, Banker's Life and Casualty Company, Brunswick Corporation, YMCA USA’s national headquarters, Sara Lee, Synovate's global headquarters, and JP Morgan Chase's retail expansion, to name a few.
O’Connor has assumed roles within the Advisory Board of Loyola University Chicago’s Corporate and Community Relations Committee, the Chicago Software Association’s Policy Development Team, Mayor's Council of Technology Advisors, the Urban Land Institute and the Chicago Association of Realtors. O’Connor also sat on Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s transition team. O’Connor also spent 10 years with the City of Chicago, including her position as Deputy Commissioner of Technology for the Department of Planning and Development, where she co-authored the Chicago Technology Action Plan.
O’Connor has held several other City positions, including Assistant to the Mayor, where she monitored all legislation within the City Council and acted as liaison to 50 Chicago Aldermen. As North District Coordinator/ Assistant Commissioner, she was responsible for the promotion of economic development on the City’s north side. She directed Mayor Daley’s Business Express program and acted as the Assistant Sergeant At Arms for City Council.
O’Connor has been recognized by I-Street Magazine as the “Person of the Week” one of I-Street’s “Women in Black” – emerging leaders of Chicago’s new economy. She was also honored by Chicago Sun Times’ “Top Women in Technology” and named a finalist for the Kathy Osterman Award for “Outstanding Executive Employee” for the City of Chicago.
O’Connor is a licensed travel agent, real estate salesperson, and member of the National Association of Realtors. She graduated cum laude from of the University of Illinois and holds an MBA from Loyola University Chicago. Meredith and her husband Dan live on the Northwest side of Chicago with their five children.