In the spirit of the Winter Games, the Elgin Area Chamber awarded some much deserved hardware to several deserving individuals, businesses and initiatives at our 110th Annual Meeting and High Five Awards on Thursday, January 25 at the Grand Victoria Casino's Grand Ballroom.
The afternoon's award recipients included:
Leadership Award: Jaci Kator of AT&T for her leadership on the Elgin Area Chamber’s Board of Directors this past year and for AT&T’s generous support of Chamber programming including the on-going Legislative Brew series, annual ChamberFest Golf Classic and Mayor Kaptain’s State of the City address.
Community Partner Award: Linda Siete of Reflejos Publications for constantly looking to connect the Chamber to new businesses, her service on the Elgin Area Chamber’s Board of Directors and for her continued support of the annual Hablamos Espanol Expo, including securing premium concert tickets for the event’s grand prize raffle.
Membership Award: Jim Galvin of Galvin and Associates for having one of the longest continuous tenures as a member of the Chamber’s Ambassador Committee. He regularly attends EAC Social Network after hours events and has represented the Chamber at countless ribbon cuttings and other functions over the years.
Small Business Award: Aaroco Software and owner Aaron Bowgren have been shining examples for how a small business should leverage their Chamber membership thru consistent participation in all varieties of Chamber programming. Aaron is a graduate of the Chamber’s Elgin Area Small Business Academy and now serves on the planning committee.
Large Business Award: Elgin State Bank/Wintrust Bank has been offering innovative financial services to the Elgin community for decades. Devoted Elgin Area Chamber members since 1972, Elgin State Bank not only provided generous sponsorships of Chamber events this past year but offered members periodic after-hours networking opportunities and skills building events at their branch.
Showcase Business Award: The Bear Family McDonalds unveiled their newly remodeled, state-of-the-art restaurant in South Elgin this past October with a gala grand opening ceremony. The restaurant is one of just 30 McDonald’s in the world that enjoy this new, open kitchen layout.
Elgin Development Group Workforce Award: MKD Electric’s Apprenticeship Program has enabled the company to hire entry-level apprentice workers to train first in the classroom’s “boot camp” to learn the necessary skills, tools, parts and safety habits and then on the job work with MKD’s journeyman coupled with additional ongoing training. They currently have 48 individuals actively participating in the program.
Elgin Development Group Business Development Award: Fabricators and Manufacturers Association opened their beautiful new corporate headquarters at 2135 Point Boulevard in Elgin this past May. The new facility features a state-of-the-art conference center to hold member events; the latest technology for training, video conferencing, and webcasts; plus comfortable one-on-one meeting areas.
Elgin Development Group Transportation Award: Pace's brand new I-90/IL 25 Park-n-Ride Station opened to the public in December. This facility, boasting nearly 200 parking spaces, will further connect Elgin to the Northwest Suburbs, O'Hare Airport and downtown Chicago.
Enhancing Elgin Award: The Enhancing Elgin Committee, consisting of marketing, communication and events professionals representing more than a dozen Elgin organizations, collaborated on a free, public self-guided architectural tour of unique Elgin spaces and places called Open Elgin. The tour brought nearly 400 visitors from more than 40 different zip codes across five different states to discover Elgin's picturesque beauty. The encore edition of Open Elgin drops on Saturday, April 21 from 1-5pm.
Partnership Award: The City of Elgin for the myriad successful partnerships developed between the City and the Elgin Area Chamber, which have resulted in marked economic development success for Elgin. From the Mayor and City Councilmembers generously donating their time at Chamber events and on EDG committees to City Manager Rick Kozal, who has been on the front lines with Chamber and EDG staff as a consistent conduit, advocate, resource and partner in all of the EDG's economic development efforts.
School District U-46 also recognized KCT Credit Union and President Mike Lee with their Business Partner of the Year Award.
The Chamber also officially installed seven board members for a second three-year term, including Linda Deering Dean, Yvonne Irving, Yaneth Medina, Keith Rauschenberger, Mike Warren, Chris Zannis and Jim Thomason.
Former Fox Valley Broadcasting President Rick Jakle masterfully served as the emcee of the luncheon, which was sponsored by Northwestern Medicine and Grand Victoria Casino and attended by over 100 people.