M A Y W O O D ,   I L L I N O I S



Member Profiles

An On-going Series of Discussions with Maywood Chamber Members.


Q & A


    Get to Know MCC

The Chamber is pleased to bring you its Member Profile series, which is intended to broaden awareness of the special gifts, talents, experiences and insights that members of the Maywood Chamber of Commerce bring to their businesses, customers, the Chamber, and Maywood.  Each interview reveals a little more about the men and women who make our Chamber and community special.  Enjoy.


  (See Member Profile Below.)  



Maywood Chamber of Commerce Member

Jennifer Koehler

Loyola University Health System

Full name:

Jennifer Koehler

Place of Birth:

St. Charles, MO

High School:

Downers Grove North


Loyola University Chicago

Highest Degree:

J.D. also from Loyola

First Job:        

Dunkin' Donuts (Age 14)

Favorite Job:

Loyola University Health System, of course.

Most Cherished Memory:

I try to create new ones every day!


Q & A with Jennifer Koehler




Each Interviewee provides written responses to questions prepared by webmaster, Dan Perkins.  Responses may be edited to enhance readability.


You are now Vice President for External Affairs at Loyola University Health System.  Congratulations.  What are your primary responsibilities?  Will you interact with the community of Maywood: its government, residents and businesses?


I’m excited to be joining both the Loyola and the Maywood Communities in this new role!  As Vice President of External Affairs I am responsible for establishing relationships with our state, local and federal elected officials.  I also oversee Loyola Medical Center and Gottlieb Memorial’s community benefit initiatives.

In addition to partnering with the Chamber, we are also a part of Proviso Partners for Health, which facilitates some of our interactions with our local officials and community-based organizations.  We are working closely with them on multiple health-related initiatives including adopt-a-park strategies, a giving garden in Maywood and anti-tobacco policies.



Before assuming your new post, you were CEO of a consulting firm you established in 2015.  Was that your first entrepreneurial venture; and what were some of the lessons you take away from that experience?  Also, how might your experiences, as an entrepreneur, benefit you in your current position, and influence your involvement with the Maywood Chamber?


Yes, J. Koehler Consulting was my first entrepreneurial venture – prior to going out on my own, I worked in state and local government for 17 years.  Business development is a significant and difficult aspect of being a small business owner.  Every day it is necessary to meet new people and explain how you can help them.  In that respect, the outreach that I did as a small business owner will be similar to the work I hope to do for Loyola and the Chamber.  We both need to keep reaching new people and sharing the benefits that we provide.


You are assuming your new post at a time of great uncertainty within healthcare.  How can an institution like Loyola, operating in a community like Maywood, assist the local government in understanding and promoting matters of health; and assist local businesses and residents in keeping pace with the overwhelming pace of change in the health care industry?

Loyola is very involved within the Maywood community. We provide free health screenings at our hospital, ambulatory sites, schools, churches, and at events.  We also track our performance and community impact by monitoring our activities through our Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) process.  The CHNA process also helps us assess what the health priorities are for the surrounding community. Our current CHNA is posted on our website at

Our substantial Community Benefit presence has allowed us to make many partnerships with community leaders and organizations. We currently are working on the Tobacco 21 initiative for Maywood with the Chief of Maywood police, Chief Talley. We also are involved in improving access to healthier food options through the Proviso Giving Garden, which coordinates with Proviso East High school.  The Giving Garden staff share information with young people on growing their own produce and on healthy food choices.



How can the Maywood Chamber support you in your new position, and better serve as a resource for Loyola?


We know that the Chamber has significant reach and a large audience.  I look forward to working with the Chamber on increasing awareness of the community benefits that LUHS provides on a regular basis, so that more residents take advantage of the free health screenings we frequently offer.  Prevention is key to improving health outcomes and we want to do our part to ensure that preventive screenings are readily available for the community.



It can be difficult, assuming a new position.  What kinds of things to do like to do to relax and recharge your mind, body and spirit?


I really love traveling and experiencing new cultures.  After I left state government in 2015, I traveled through Guatemala for six weeks and tried to learn Spanish.  My Spanish is definitely still a work in progress, but I enjoyed the experience immensely and met the most wonderful people, many of whom I keep in touch with regularly.



Who were the greatest influences on you as a young person, in high school, or college?  How did those influences shape your development?


This is going back awhile, but I went to grade school at St. Mary’s Of Gostyn, in Downers Grove.  Sister Bernadette, our English teacher, never seemed to have a bad day in her life.  Of course, I am sure that is not true, but when she had bad days, she never let it show.  She was also so encouraging of everyone in the class.  When an A+ wasn’t a good enough grade for her to adequately express her enthusiasm for someone’s homework, she would make up grades, such as the time I received something called an “A+ 15”.  Not only was she one of the most upbeat people I can recall from all my years in school, but she was obviously also creative, and not particularly restrained by rules.


What is the number one item on your “Bucket List;” and why?

I wish I could cross “learning Spanish” off my bucket list, but it is still there.  I would say continuing to improve and become more fluent is still my number 1 goal, at least in the short term.





List of Previous Profiles       Go to Top


Not yet a member?  Join Today.


© Copyright 2017 Maywood Chamber of Commerce.  All rights reserved.