The Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce celebrated a night of new officers and award winners with dinner for nearly 300 people on Thursday night.
Executive Director Jon Ridler said Thursday night's event at European Crystal was the largest annual dinner the chamber has hosted. Outgoing Chamber President Cliff Higley recounted the successful events of the past year including several golf outings, the Taste of Arlington Heights, The Mane Event and Suburban Chicago's Got Talent.
Cindee Manaves was named Business Volunteer of the Year. Manaves started the health and wellness committee within the chamber and has been instrumental to planning several events, Ridler said.
Manaves credited a friend who died last year with inspiring her to give back.
"I asked her what I could do to remember her, and she said, 'Honor God and serve others,'" Manaves said. "I guess this is just the beginning."
Fitness 19, 1601 W. Campbell St., was named Emerging Business of the Year.
Village Bank & Trust, which has several locations in Arlington Heights, was named Business of the Year.
Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., was named Non-Profit of the Year.
Mike Nadolski of Visual Enterprise Systems Inc. was named Business Leader of the Year.
A special moment came when Higley asked the other 11 past chamber presidents and incoming President Dianna Ehrenfried to join him onstage to present a special award to outgoing Village President Arlene Mulder.
Mulder was emotional as the room gave her a standing ovation.
"I would just like to say thank you. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you. It was never in my game plan, I'm just a P.E. teacher," Mulder said. "It's you, the people and the business community, that make Arlington Heights the best place to call home."
Mulder joked that she would have to learn how to play golf so she could keep attending chamber events and golf outings after she retires this spring.
After being installed at the 2013 chamber president, Ehrenfried previewed a new chamber website she said will launch in the next month, and she said she plans to form a President's Advisory Council with former chamber presidents to meet quarterly as a resource.
The theme of the night was "Yin and Yang," showing how people have to work together to be successful, from small and large businesses to different groups within town.
Ehrenfried became the eighth woman in 66 years to lead the Arlington Heights chamber.