EAC Announces High Five Award Recipients
In the spirit of Hollywood’s awards season, the Elgin Area Chamber rolled out the red carpet for Elgin’s leading men and women of the business community at its 109th Annual Meeting and High Fives Awards Dinner at Grand Victoria Casino on Thursday, January 26th. The gala event was emceed by Fox Valley Broadcasting’s Rick Jakle and sponsored by Northwestern Medicine, AT&T, Elgin Community College and Grand Victoria Casino.
As part of the event, the Chamber recognized eight individuals, organizations and business initiatives that contributed to Elgin’s overall economic vitality in 2016:
Innovation Award: Nancy Abuali, MEA Cargo, and Keith Rauschenberger, Rauschenberger Financial Advisors, for their coordination of the inaugural Elgin Area Small Business Academy. EASBA’s first class saw twenty small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs participate in the 6-month program and the Class of 2017 is now underway.
Membership Award: Pat Szpekowski, PR Strategies and Communications, for chairing the Chamber’s Special Events committee, which coordinates the bi-monthly CEO Unplugged events, as well as, other Chamber programming, and for consistently helping to recruit new members to the Elgin Area Chamber.
Enhancing Elgin Award: James Harvey, James Harvey Photography, for capturing Elgin’s story through photography by volunteering his professional services, not only at Chamber programming but at Elgin community events throughout the year.
Leadership Award: Dr. David Sam, Elgin Community College, for his leadership on a number of vital Elgin initiatives and organizations, including Alignment Collaborative for Education, United Way of Elgin and as Chair of the Elgin Area Chamber Board of Directors the past two years.
Showcase Business Award: Blain’s Farm and Fleet for converting what was a long-vacant big box retail space on Elgin’s west side into a thriving new flagship store that has brought well over 100 jobs into the Elgin community.
Elgin Development Group Workforce Award: Alignment Collaborative for Education, for organizing and coordinating the Explore 2016: A U-46 Curriculum and Career Expo at Elgin Community College last October. ACE Governing Board Chair Linda Deering-Dean of Advocate Sherman Hospital accepted the award.
Elgin Development Group Business Development Award: PanCor, for building a new speculative building this past year, which has already facilitated new development in luring Fabric and Manufacturers Association to Elgin, and for their generosity in supporting the Elgin Development Group’s Advancing Progress initiative.
School District U-46 also recognized Gail Borden Public Library with their Community Partner Award.
Additionally the Chamber officially installed five new board members for 2017, including Jim Companik, Director of Manufacturing, Motorola Solutions; Mike Bilyk, Director of Manufacturing, NTN Bearings; Leslie Maloney, Executive Director Fraud Protection, Chase Card Services; Linda Siete, Manager, Sales and Operations, Reflejos Publications LLC; and Steve Super, Village Manager, Village of South Elgin.