Now in its fourth year, the City of West Chicago Brilliance in Business Awards program has identified and honored 17 West Chicago businesses considered shining examples of industry best practices, innovation, creativity, sustainability and outstanding corporate citizenship. The nomination period is open now through September 3, 2012, and the City is looking forward to adding to that number.
"The awards bring important accomplishments from our business community to the forefront," according to Rosemary Mackey of the City of West Chicago. "Often their achievements fly 'under the radar' of the general public, yet positively impact the larger community, and the City believes they shouldn't go unrecognized." Last year, Siemens Industry, Inc., Sleep Innovations, Inc., Kramer Tree Specialists, Main Street Family Dentistry Office of Dr. Richard Smith, Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce, and Deicke Scout Shop were honored for their individual contributions in one of six categories including Green Initiatives, Community Service, Community Image, Small Business of the Year, Economic Development and Outstanding Not-for-Profit. A commemorative video, featuring each business and the reasons why they were chosen, may be found at www.westchicago.org under Communication Channels/Video.
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Receiving a Brilliance in Business Award is a meaningful experience on many levels for some of the program's past recipients. "We all like to be recognized for our hard work," said Juan Chavez of Jel Sert, a 2010 winner in the Green Initiatives category. "The award validated the extra efforts put in by many at Jel Sert. I am sure that it increased the sense of pride that many employees, who live in West Chicago, feel about working at Jel Sert."
David Sabathne, President and CEO of the Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce which won an award in the Economic Development category last year, acknowledges the great intrinsic as well as practical value in the Brilliance in Business program. "The experience of being nominated (more than one year) and actually winning this award has had so many benefits. There is the motivation of staff, officers and directors, recognition among peers and clients, further building on a relationship with residents and community leaders, free advertising and a quality piece of marketing material to show the world your authenticated success. The video produced by the City was offered freely for our use, and the feedback we received was extremely positive. But it was more than that; our members, suppliers, board of directors, staff and even community residents felt like they owned this together…and they did."
For Jerry and Cathy Morelli, owners of Augustino's Rock and Roll Deli, the City's development of the award program was a wonderful thing. " All of us at Augustino's Rock and Roll Deli work hard to be good citizens of West Chicago and to contribute positively to the entire area; to be appreciated by the governmental officials of West Chicago was and remains still very heartwarming," said Cathy. The restaurant won a Green Initiatives Award in 2009 for their efforts to move toward environmentally friendly tableware and cleaning products, wherever possible. "We knew that making the decision to do so was the right one for us, and as a business. Any change whether small or large is for the greater good. Right away we noticed that lots of our customers really appreciated the change and championed the change. It was amazing to have their support, but to receive an honor from West Chicago was pretty much the icing on the cake. It validated our efforts on a much greater level."
Betsy Meyers, office manager for Kramer Tree Specialists, Inc. summed up the experience for her company being recognized last year with a Community Image Award. "The Brilliance in Business award is a terrific conduit to showcase local businesses, whether long-standing companies like Kramer Tree Specialists, Inc. or up-and-coming organizations."
Residents, businesses, government agencies, organizations or City of West Chicago staff are encouraged to nominate a business(s) for one or more award. Businesses may nominate themselves. Nomination applications, found at www.westchicago.org under Forms, may be submitted in the following ways:
email to firstname.lastname@example.org
mail to: City Hall, 475 Main Street, West Chicago, IL 60185 Attention Rosemary Mackey
fax to (630) 293-3028 (please note on fax: Attention Rosemary Mackey)
The deadline for nominations is September 3, 2012. An award ceremony is scheduled for winning businesses at a future City Council meeting. "I would encourage any business to participate in this great initiative by the City to show appreciation for the companies and industries that contribute so much to the quality of life that we all enjoy here in West Chicago," said Sabathne.