top of page

Our Mission

Founded with an innovative spirit to create a full-service event production agency, we provide comprehensive program management for meetings, events, content, and incentive programs. We are committed to surpassing client expectations through creative solutions, staying at the forefront of the industry with competitive strategies, and connecting with the local community to provide opportunities in underserved areas.​

Our Values

Creativity

Courage and creativity go hand in hand

Integrity

We are nowhere without our integrity

Teamwork

The magic of collective achievement

Respect

A foundation built on collective respect

Community Engagement

We actively strive to contribute positively to the world around us

Diversity

The dynamic force propelling our team to conceive and execute extraordinary events

First ADMEI Directory Brochure
Katherine Fenech,
CEO & Managing Partner

Our History

Founded in 1976 by Joanne O'Connor, a native of Chicago’s northwest side, "Chicago Is..., A Global DMC Partner" is a pioneering force in what has become known as the Destination and Event Management Industry. At 32, Joanne started as a tour company, naming it after Frank Sinatra’s song “My Kind of Town, Chicago Is.” As her business grew, tours evolved into events as clients increasingly sought her local expertise. Recognizing the need for comprehensive support and services for large city-wide conventions, Joanne helped establish a new segment within the travel and meeting industry, setting a high standard for excellence in total event production. Thus, the evolution of Chicago Is... one of the first destination management companies (DMC). ​

Eventually, Joanne and several colleagues formed their own network, a predecessor to what is now known today as the Association of Destination Management Executives International (ADMEI). As a founding member of ADMEI and its first board President, Joanne’s trailblazing leadership is honored through the annual Joanne O'Connor President's Award, which recognizes individual efforts and leadership within the industry. Her legacy of innovation and world-class service continues to drive our commitment to our clients.​

Katherine Fenech
Katherine Fenech
CEO & Managing Partner

Today, this legacy is carried on by our Managing Partner and CEO Katherine Fenech, an industry veteran with over 18 years of experience, including more than a decade at Chicago Is... Katherine embodies the "Chicago Is… spirit” and exemplifies professionalism in the hospitality and events community, priding herself on honesty, integrity, and transparency. As a true Midwesterner and Chicago local, Katherine's focus on authentic relationships and purpose ensures that Chicago Is... remains the leading choice for full event production in corporate, association, and incentive programs in the beautiful city of Chicago. Her unwavering commitment to client satisfaction, a value deeply ingrained in our company, is a testament to our dedication to providing the best service possible.​

 ​

Frank Sinatra said it the best, Chicago Is…”Our Kind of Town”.

Joann O'Conner
Joann O'Connor, Founder
ADMEI directory
Inaugural ADMEI Directory
Chicago park

Our approach is not just unique – it’s one of a kind.

We are built on trust. Acting as an extension of your team, we leverage our destination expertise and exclusive vendor relationships to create tailored solutions for your program’s needs. Committed to making every dollar count, we manage budgets effectively and provide unparalleled event solutions. Guided by our motto "Live in the Future", we anticipate what's ahead and help navigate common pitfalls based on our local experience. We are meticulous and detailed, ensuring we surpass the idea of "good enough".

Our Vision

Revolutionizing event experiences with cutting-edge production and meaningful community involvement, we aspire to elevate and inspire every gathering.

Chicago skyline at night
Awards & Recognition

Chicago Is... garnered accolades such as the Global DMC Partners US Partner of the Year 2023, the 2022 Stella Awards, and Special Event Magazine's Annual DMC Spotlight in 2022 and 2023. The Team is driven by a passion for crafting memorable and impactful experiences, constantly innovating to meet the evolving needs and expectations of the event industry.​

bottom of page