- Jul 23, 2015
Last month the Chamber board appointed a subcommittee tasked with building awareness and encouraging member participation in the Chamber’s annual Business Awards. The Chamber has three awards: The Corporate Business of the Year recognizes companies for local philanthropic efforts (2015 winner was Northbrook Court). The Small Business of the Year honors a business that has experienced considerable growth and offers outstanding customer service (2015 winner was Countryside Montessori School). The Volunteer of the Year recognizes an individual who has contributed to furthering the Chamber’s goals (2015 winner was Bob Caldwell, NorthShore FamilyCare). Award winners are announced in January and presented at the Chamber’s annual meeting and dinner in the spring.
Headed by Dr. Gregg Gerstin, Align Wellness, the subcommittee hopes to communicate that award nominations can be submitted year round. “We want members to know that their opinions are valued and encourage them to participate in the process,” comments Gerstin.Members of the subcommittee include Caryn Torres, Northbrook Court; Mary Bowler, Wags on Willow; Jim Lazar, Marcello’s and Mark Brodson, Lowenbaum Real Estate.
The panel surveyed previous award winners to determine how the award impacted their business and why it had value and meaning. Past winners commented that they were extremely honored to receive the award and appreciated the visibility in the community.
Steve Lewis, Lewis Floor and Home, 2014 Small Business of the Year award winner cited the award in all of their advertising. “The articles in the local newspapers were clearly seen by many people in the community,” he said. “It only helps your business when you are recognized in a positive manner by the Chamber. We do business with other members of the community that have recently been recognized and just knowing that they have won the award gives them credibility with both myself and my employees.”
Northbrook Bank and Trust, 2009 Corporate Citizen of the Year winner, still mentions the award in its promotional materials. “The recognition of being the Chamber’s second Corporate Citizen winner was very meaningful and significant for our bank, employee pride, and customer goodwill,” notes Rich Rushkewicz, Northbrook Bank. “We felt very honored, shared the good news with our customer base, and proudly displayed the banner from our tower for months.”
Past award winners encourage members to submit their suggestions to honor those who make a difference in the community and to the organization. Dan Gelfond, Personal History Interviews and 2012 Volunteer of the Year award winner comments “People should really take the time to nominate fellow members who are donating their time and effort to making the Chamber the best. ”