The 15th Annual Small Business of the Year Awards were presented by the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce on May 18 during festivities at the Chicago Marriott Naperville.
According to Chamber President & CEO John Schmitt, the awards are a way for the business community to recognize outstanding work by its members.
Immediate Past President of the NACC Board Kevin Harris of BP America served as emcee, introducing presenters, keeping the program moving and recognizing that many individuals and sponsors had contributed to the success of the evening.
For 2012, 47 members were nominated in six catergories. Three businesses from each category then were selected by the blue-ribbon committee, a panel of last year’s winners, to be recognized with certificates. One business was chosen as the category winner.
The three certificate winners in Business to Business were John Robbins of Awards & Fine Gifts, Inc.; Paul Feith of Paul Gregory Media; and Karrie Gibson of Vintage Tech Recyclers. Vintage Tech Recyclers received the SBY Award.
In the Business to Consumer category certificates were presented to Laura and Matt Weber of Clark’s Car Care; Bob Jung of Bob Jung Painting & Decorating, Inc; and John Gallagher of Exterior Designers Inc. Clark’s Car Care received the SBY Award.
The Professional category recognized Don Cowart of Cowart Chiropractic, Jeffrey Ross of Jeffrey Ross Photography, and Becky Bewersdorf and Camille Jones of West Suburban Educational Associates. Jeffrey Ross Photography received the SBY Award.
The winners in the Retail category were Jim McLean of Odyssey Fun World, Jimmy Zakoor of Eddie Z’s Blinds and Drapery, and AdreAnne and Andy Tesene of Two Bostons. Two Bostons received the SBY Award.
When 2011 SBY Award recipient Scott Mitchell of Samaritan Interfaith Counseling Center presented the three winners in the Not-for-profit category, he said, “Our not-for-profits are the best in the country… Each one is deserving.” Certificates went to Kathy Blair of Giving DuPage, Janet Derrick of Naperville CARES and Sun Kwok of the Rotary Club of Naperville. Naperville CARES received the SBY Award.
The Excellence in Business recognition is given to companies in existence for less than five years. Recipients were WAR Chest Boutique, Profit Focused Principles and Top Level Fitness.
The Lifetime Achievement Award, given to one business and civic leader each year, was presented to Tim West, longtime resident since 1968 who began full time in 1973 at the Naperville Sun as columnist, opinion editor and more. As he praised his wife Kathy and all the amenities in the community, he provided “Cliff Notes” of his rich experiences, while admitting he’s much more comfortable writing about this type of event than being honored at one. “It’s great to be here,” West said.
The 2012 overall Small Business of Year was Clark’s Car Care.
Musical entertainment was performed by the Express Show Choir from North Central College.
For more information, visit www.naperville.net.
Editor’s Note: To help promote the Naperville Chamber SBY Awards, earlier posts included more information. Find those stories about Tim West and all nominees for the SBY Awards and more when you use the drop down “Local Business.”
The SBY Certificates were framed by Colbert Custom Framing, 2002 Small Business of the Year.
Favorite quote of the night came from Kevin Colbert who attributed American wit Will Rogers with, “Good judgment comes from experience. And experience comes from bad judgment.”
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