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BOARD MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Chet Tambe

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

With his strong history of helping underserved people internationally, Chet Tambe learned of FamilyForward’s mission at an opportune time — just as he was looking for ways to make a difference in the local community.


New FamilyForward Board Member Chet Tambe, May 2023

We are delighted to announce that Chet Tambe has joined the FamilyForward Board of Directors. In addition to being an established business leader in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and beyond, he has a strong interest in helping people in need. Chet learned of FamilyForward’s mission at an opportune time, just as he was looking for ways to make a difference in the local community.


A native of Palatine, Chet earned his BA from Indiana University Bloomington. In 2005, Chet started Avion Technology, Inc., from his parents’ home in Schaumburg. More than 18 years later, as one of Chicagoland’s premier digital agencies, Avion has delivered over 1,500 successful projects, including building websites on a variety of platforms, developing software and apps, providing digital marketing services, and leading digital development and transformation in organizations. Chet was also founder and chief technology officer of a successful Silicon Valley start-up called Flipcause. Other business ventures include JustValue (a human resources startup firm) and Aspire, an internship-based program for learning high-end web technologies. He visits India two to three times per year for business purposes.


Helping underserved people far and near

Chet has a strong history of helping underserved people, especially internationally. He was instrumental in bringing internet access to 20 remote village schools in India. “Seeing the smile on the face of someone whom you have given a life-transforming tool was a once-in-a-lifetime moment.” He also provided the financial support to cover the monthly operational expenses of an orphanage for a year. Other volunteer activities have included distributing books, arranging internships and donating food to food pantries.


Chet first learned of FamilyForward in 2022, when he met Executive Director Erica Chianelli through their shared activities with the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce. “I was at a life stage where I wanted to bring a greater impact within the community,” he explains, and the work of FamilyForward was appealing. Having spent time in Asia, Australia and Europe while building a small business, he feels he has a certain “diversity of thought wrapped in a sense of humor” to contribute to the FF Board of Directors. He is also excited to bring both his technology knowledge and focused commitment to his new role. If all else fails, he quips, “I can do a quick 10-minute stand-up routine that usually elicits a ‘well, that explains a lot’ reaction from those around me.”


The importance of a helping hand

Chet has a special interest in helping people who are struggling — people who are often at the margins of society. “Poverty is not only about money. Clichéd as it may sound, it is about a state of mind replete with lives in disarray, potentials unfulfilled, hopes destroyed and struggles amplified. I think FamilyForward helps the marginalized members of society achieve some level of coherence and structure by providing them rental assistance and bringing financial prudence into their lives. In times of tumult, it is often a helping hand that leads us out of the storm. I think that is exactly what FamilyForward does.”


Equity and equality are markers of social cohesion, Chet says, and he believes both are necessary for a society to be able to function. “As inequity and inequality keep increasing, we are going to see more and more social dissonance, especially amongst the most marginalized members of society. I think organizations like FamilyForward keep society functioning by offering a helping hand to those in need.”


Chet leads an active life and has many fond memories of playing soccer in college. These days, Chet enjoys being a writer — with two published poetry collections and a long-running blog — and a stand-up comic, with “a decent 15-minute set.” He has also directed numerous community theater productions. An avid reader with a 1,000-book personal library, he enjoys learning new languages and is currently learning Spanish and Arabic. He is married to Ana and is a father to two kids and a goldendoodle. Welcome, Chet!


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