Peggy Kinnane's Irish Restaurant & Pub owner Derek Hanley has received several community awards in the 17 years his business has been in Arlington Heights, but the one he got this week "means the most," he said.
The Irish pub at 8 N. Vail Ave. was awarded this year's Arlington Heights Disability Employment Awareness Award by the village's Commission for Citizens with Disabilities, in recognition of the business' efforts to recruit and employee people with disabilities.
Hanley has a nephew with autism, so he says he understands the importance of those individuals being accepted into the community and the workplace. Today, he has six people with disabilities working at the Irish pub.
"We see the light we bring to these individuals," he said. "Our business wouldn't be the same without them."
The award has been given out since 2009, when members of the commission decided to have a local component to National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October.
Roxanne Calibraro, the commission's chairman, said Peggy Kinnane's wholeheartedly fits this year's theme of "Inclusion drives Innovation."