Reflections on 15 Years of Greeting

file5361246659300Yesterday was the 15th anniversary of Welcome Home’s first in-home visit. During that time 4,543 new households and businesses have been welcomed to Batavia & North Aurora.

Things have changed a lot in fifteen years, and sometimes I wonder if greeting services are relevant in today’s society. Our lifestyles have become very hectic and it is more difficult to find people in their homes. Thanks to the internet, newcomers can find almost any information they need at their fingertips.

Is what I do relevant to them? Is it worth my time to seek out and meet with newcomers?

I have met some fascinating people and animals – a Medieval Times knight and a bomb sniffing Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms dog come to mind. I’ve met nurses, teachers, psychologists, 911 dispatchers, chiefs, waitresses, authors, office and factory workers, firefighters, police officers, moms, dads and people with big dreams.

I’ve heard horror stories about home sales and closings gone wrong, and amazing stories of how everything aligned so perfectly it was clear to me God wanted these people to move here for some reason.

I’ve laughed and cried with newcomers. Fortunately there have been many more joyful moments than tearful ones.

Do I love what I do? Absolutely! Do the newcomers love what I do? Absolutely! I am thanked over and over again for delivering gifts and information from the wonderful businesses that sponsor Welcome Home. People are overwhelmed by the generosity of the business community.

We may live in a world of busyness and perhaps we’re becoming more isolated, but as long as we need human interaction there is nothing that will ever replace the one-on-one personal touch of feeling welcomed to the community.


15th Anniversary Press Release

Welcome Service Reflects on Housing Market over the Past 15 Years
Welcome Home Batavia and North Aurora Celebrates its Anniversary in March

Batavia, IL – March 11, 2014
– With 15 years of experience personally greeting newcomers, Jennifer Zack has not only met a lot of people, she has firsthand knowledge of trends in the local housing market.
As president of Welcome Home Batavia and North Aurora, Zack says she has personally presented welcome packages in 4,546 homes since beginning her business in March 1999. Calling herself a “moving van chaser,” Zack acknowledges that there have been fewer vans to chase in recent years, but has seen an increase in homes changing hands.
“There are very few company transfers now,” reports Zack. “People moving from out of state are usually here because they took a new job.”
Other reflections about the local housing market:
·         People moving to Batavia and North Aurora from Chicago and suburbs to the east generally come for the lower cost of housing and/or the school districts.
·         During the housing boom there were more single women buying houses than now.
·         Older couples who retired to warmer climates many times move back to be closer to family.
Known by many as the “Welcome Lady,” Zack’s business has changed over time. She originally worked for Welcome Wagon beginning in 1996. When that business switched their business focus to direct mail several years later, Zack decided it left a large void in the community, and she chose to fill it.
Zack credits her involvement with Welcome Services International with changes in her own business. She has added a business to new business greeting service and for a time, she offered a “Welcome Home Baby” service. Zack served as the president and vice president of Welcome Services International and currently serves on the board as a member at large.

She acknowledges that many people can, and do, research their new hometown online. She, too, has grown her presence online with a website, and a Facebook page, People can request a visit at either of these sites.

During a visit, she presents small gifts and coupons from the 50 -60 businesses who advertise through her service. Additionally, she always includes a civic packet, which is delivered at no cost to the information supplier. Typically, it includes maps, a letter from the mayor, library information, volunteer opportunities and information about local clubs.

“I can answer many questions that they would normally need to research to find the answer,” says Zack. “It might be about garbage pickup, voter registration, school registration, driver’s license information and more.”
Generally, the recipient is pleased with the visit, acknowledging that the face-to-face interaction from Welcome Home may be unusual in the digital age, but serves as a good introduction to their community. Zack says that several people who also own their own businesses enjoyed the welcome visit so much that they signed up for her service immediately. 
For new Batavia and North Aurora residents looking for a smile and a bag full of information and gifts, contact Jennifer Zack of Welcome Home Batavia and North Aurora at 630-229-2001. Or email her at Businesses that would like to see their information walked through the door of a receptive newcomer are also welcome to contact Jennifer Zack.

About Welcome Home Batavia and North Aurora:
Welcome Home Batavia and North Aurora has been connecting newcomers to their new community and its businesses since March 1999. A business-to-business greeting service began in 2013. For more information, visit Contact Jennifer Zack at 630-229-2001 or email her at,