Wally “Famous Amos” and Concordia-Chicago College of Business Dean Claudia Santin share insights on aging, business opportunities at Center for Gerontology-sponsored event

Dr. Claudia Santin, Dean of Concordia-Chicago’s College of Business (right), listens as fellow panelist Wally Amos, founder of Famous Amos cookie company, shares reflections on business and aging with a luncheon audience of 200-plus attendees.

Concordia University Chicago’s Center for Gerontology was a proud co-sponsor of “The Silver Gold Rush: Aging's Impact on Business and Community,” held on May 23, 2017, at Dominican University in River Forest.

Keynote speaker Wally Amos, founder of "Famous Amos" cookies and owner of "The Cookie Kahuna" company delivered the keynote address. Amos’ warmth, spontaneity, and optimism shone brightly as he shared observations about his life philosophy, his development as an entrepreneur and his desire to leverage his fame as an entrepreneur to promote adult and child literacy initiatives.  

Following Amos’ talk, attendees gathered for a luncheon and panel discussion. Panelists spoke about the impact of the global aging population on local communities as well as the tremendous potential that may be realized by businesses poised to serve them. Dr. Claudia Santin, Dean of the Concordia-Chicago College of Business, shared demographic forecasts about aging adults in their roles as continuing/returning employees and as consumers. Santin was joined on the panel by Wally Amos; Marla Levie, CEO of marketing agency Focus on Aging; and Rosanna Marquez, AARP Illinois State President.

The event was co-hosted by the Celebrating Seniors Coalition, the Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce, the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce and Development, and numerous other area businesses and organizations.

Mr. Amos’ day in River Forest began with a visit to Concordia-Chicago’s Early Childhood Center, where he read a story aloud to an attentive circle of preschool-age children. 

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