Elgin Area Chamber President & CEO Carol Gieske has been named 69th Annual Woman of the Year by the Altrusa International Club of Elgin. Gieske will be presented with the award at the Altrusa Annual Dinner on Thursday, May 17 at Villa Olivia Country Club. Reservations can be made by calling Joanna Webster at 847-528-3157.
Altrusans Pat Szpekowski and Dr. Clare Ollayos said Gieske was chosen to receive this honor as "she has dedicated her career to Elgin. Her outstanding measure of service is the impact she has made on significant community not for profit and business organizations."
For over 20 years Gieske provided strong leadership to the United Way of Elgin. She served as president for 15 years and with an extraordinary staff and volunteers, she successfully raised more than $44 million dollars to assist those in need through the Elgin social service network.
While serving as president of the Provena Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation (now Presence), Carol successfully raised funds for the hospital’s first capital campaign in more than 40 years for the new state-of-the-art Bob and Edna Meadows Cancer Care Center and new heart center. $11 million dollars was raised to make a difference in the healthcare needs of our community.
In her current position as president of the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce, Carol works closely with the City of Elgin staff, connects with Elgin City Council members, and serves with prestigious Chamber board members. She collaborates, promotes, and assists the Chamber’s entrepreneur members. In 2014, the Elgin Area Chamber was named among the Top 3% of all Chambers nationwide.
Very active in the community, Gieske was the first female member inducted into the Elgin Noon Rotary Club, where she served as President in 2003-04. She chairs the Elgin Advisory Board to the VNA Health Care and has been an integral part of the award-winning Elgin Area Leadership Academy since its inception and she remains on its steering committee.
She is on the boards of Alignment Collaborative for Education; City of Elgin Parks and Recreation Foundation; Elgin Community College Foundation; Fox West Philanthropy Network. She is a member of the women’s professional organization, WIM Fox Valley, and has served in many capacities for First United Methodist Church.
Carol’s honors include: Elgin YWCA Leader Luncheon Awards- Marie Grolich Award for Social Service and Beatrice Dorsey Award for Business & Professions; Influential Women in Business -Business Ledger and Elgin Community College Fabulous Fifty and Distinguished Alumnus Award.