Some Northwest suburban businessmen joined an elite group on Friday when they were singled out as distinguished citizens by officials with the Northwest Suburban Boy Scout Council.
John Rippinger of Schaumburg, Bill Walsh of Barrington and Dave Donovan of Park Ridge all received the distinguished citizens award, while David Sheppard of Barrington earned the council's Outstanding Eagle Award.
"I'm very honored. It came out of the blue," said Rippinger, who has started multiple companies in the Northwest suburbs, all involving insurance. He now serves as president of Rippinger Financial Group in Schaumburg.
"I was a Scout, and my brothers all were Scouts," he added. "I've led by life by those principles."
More than 200 people gathered at the Cotillion Banquets in Palatine for the dinner program, which included a keynote address by Bears Hall of Famer Dan Hampton.
"I give motivational speeches all over the country about the importance of setting goals, having drive and dedication, and teamwork," Hampton said. "And all of those things are covered in Scouting."
Guests ranged from Hanover Park Mayor Rodney Craig, who is a former Boy Scout leader, to ABC 7 News reporter Paul Meinke, a Des Plaines resident and executive committee member of the Northwest Suburban Boy Scout Council.
The Mount Prospect-based council serves more than 7,700 Scouts and 3,000 adult volunteers in 33 North and Northwest suburban communities.
Marie Diffley, council president, thanked the many Scout volunteers and business people in attendance before describing each of the distinguished citizens.
Sheppard is a senior vice president and wealth management adviser with Merrill Lynch. He accepted the Outstanding Eagle Scout Award during the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Boy Scouting's highest rank.
Walsh was honored as a business expert who works to empower startup companies and entrepreneurs through his company, Powerteam International, while Donovan has volunteered at nearly every level of Scouting in Park Ridge.
"We want to recognize these outstanding citizens and thank them for their service to the community," said Diffley, a Schaumburg resident. "But we also want to let them know that we're building the next leaders for their companies."