December 01, 2008 10:20 ET

ChicagoFIRST Marks Fifth Anniversary as Leading Public-Private Partnership for Financial Community Resiliency

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - December 1, 2008) - ChicagoFIRST members and strategic partners from local and federal agencies gathered at The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to mark the fifth anniversary of ChicagoFIRST, the nation's preeminent regional public-private partnership dedicated to security and business continuity.

Executives from more than a dozen critical Chicago financial firms came together in July 2003 to form ChicagoFIRST, recognizing the interdependence of the city's financial services industry, its economic importance at both the local and national level and the need for a coordinated response to emergencies. The non-profit organization works with city, state and federal officials to address homeland security and emergency management issues in order to enhance the resiliency of the local financial community in the event of a crisis.

The anniversary reception was an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of ChicagoFIRST and honor key supporters of the groundbreaking organization. Those recognized for their support included Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley; Valerie Abend, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Critical Infrastructure Protection and Compliance Policy at the U.S. Treasury Department; and William O'Connor, Assistant Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

"Chicago is a world class city with a very diverse financial center," said ChicagoFIRST Chairman John Fowler. "Our public officials understand the importance of working with the private sector for a coordinated effort in a crisis situation."

Since its inception, ChicagoFIRST has doubled its membership and has been recognized by all levels of government as a model public-private partnership. ChicagoFIRST has also provided the framework for other cities -- including Dallas, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco -- to create their own organizations.

In addition to its members, ChicagoFIRST currently has nearly 30 strategic partners, including the City of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications, the Illinois Terrorism Task Force, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

About ChicagoFIRST

ChicagoFIRST was formed in July 2003 by Chicago-area financial organizations and seeks to enhance the resilience of the Chicago financial community. It does this by establishing relationships between the Chicago financial community and all levels of government and by providing a means by which the financial firms can coordinate with respect to homeland security issues. Additional information can be found at

Contact Information

  • Contact Information:

    Jim Binder
    The Options Clearing Corporation
    Email Contact

    Angela Kotso
    The Options Clearing Corporation
    Email Contact