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The Quad-Cities Chamber of Commerce Friday revealed its most recent step in a restructuring plan laid out by new CEO Paul Rumler: creating a Business Services division.

Friday, Chamber leaders announced the creation of the new division, aimed at providing resources for small, medium and family-owned businesses. Julie Forsythe, who has served with the Chamber since 2013, was appointed leader of the division, according to a news release. 

"I believe that small, medium and family-owned businesses represent the largest opportunity for economic growth in the region," Rumler, president and CEO, said. "The Chamber's core focus is centered on helping area businesses grow, and in this new role Julie will work closely with members to provide them with essential resources."

Rumler said the Chamber plans to increase business outreach and programming. The new division is part of a new organizational plan announced in late June, which so far has included the loss and restructuring of some jobs, as well as the appointment of Greg Aguilar as director of Q2030. 

"We have some great diagnostic and business stage specific programming coming our members' way, leveraging our regional resource partners and Chamber member businesses to assist," Forsythe said. "Growing a business is a journey ... For many, especially the small and medium-sized companies, one doesn't know what they don't know, and curve balls come up. We look to help businesses get through these crucial junctures and continually position them for the next stage of business success."

Past director of entrepreneurship and innovation, Forsythe was instrumental in developing Ignite Quad-Cities and creating an entrepreneurial culture, according to the news release. She also played a role in the Quad-Cities Manufacturing Hub, connecting manufacturing firms to growth resources.

Before serving with the Chamber, Forsythe worked with Chicago employers in the fields of architectural design, mental health and talent recruitment. Forsythe said she also knows the experiences of start-ups and small business owners, as her and her then-husband previously bought a retail shop.

Times staff

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