Nancy Cummings bids farewell to La Grange

La Grange Business Association director moves on after 12 years

Nancy Cummings will be leaving her position of executive director of the La Grange Business Association next month.

Nancy Cummings is leaving her position as executive director of the La Grange Business Association, a position she has held since 2011.

The La Grange Business Association is a nonprofit organization founded in 1981 that aims to support local small businesses and the community. The association also organizes events such as markets, festivals and showcases.

“I think one of the things I take a lot of pride in is being part of a movement that has really helped our local businesses connect with one another and collaborate,” Cummings said.

Before her role at the LGBA, Cummings had experience in the hospitality industry as the hotel director of public relations at Hyatt Hotels.

Cummings said the LGBA was made up of only volunteers until 2011 and she was the first paid staff member.

One of Cummings’ biggest accomplishments during her time at the LGBA is her involvement in helping to grow its membership base. Over the past 12 years, the organization has grown from 90 members to more than 300, Cummings said.

“I was part of a team. This is a team of volunteers, of other business leaders, civic leaders, business owners, and so it was really coming up with a strategy and a plan on how we were going to work together, what that was going to look like and what direction this organization was going to grow in,” she said.

During her time as executive director, Cummings’ respect for the hard work it takes to open one’s own business and her respect for the local community that appreciates and supports small businesses has only grown stronger.

“Over my tenure with this organization, I have acquired a tremendous amount of respect for what it takes to open your own business,” Cummings said. “The vision that you have of the dream and the passion, that you have to see that dream come to fruition and just the level of hard work that it takes to run your own business.”

Small businesses were hit hard by the pandemic. According to a report released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife in April 2020, 40% of small businesses that were still open reported it was likely they would need to temporarily shut down within the following two weeks.

“Certainly coming through the quarantine and the complete shutdown of businesses is something that is etched in everyone’s mind. For our small businesses here in La Grange, that was a time of tremendous turmoil,” Cummings said. “I take pride in the fact that I was part of an organization that really helped them navigate that.”

Cummings said she plans to continue working for the LGBA in a marketing role as an independent contractor.

Cathy Domanico, who has experience in tourism, travel and marketing, took over the role of executive director May 30.

Some of the roles Domanico has held in the past include vice president of global trade development for Brand USA and vice president for tourism and leisure sales for Choose Chicago.

“I think she will have a very strong impact in building day tourism to La Grange,” Cummings said. “She really brings a high-level perspective to this organization.”