Arlington Heights chamber celebrates successes, hopes to gain traction in 2020
Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce officials feted local business award winners and celebrated successes of the past year during the organization's 73rd annual awards banquet on Friday night.
Channeling new chamber board Chairman Michael Mulder's love of race cars and racing, the theme of the night at the Cotillion Banquets in Palatine was "gaining traction in the new year." It's a metaphor for how he and other local business leaders installed on the board Friday hope to build upon successes in the new year.
"To keep the traction we need to continuously revisit (our) vision, as well as our purpose," said Mulder, senior vice president at Village Bank and Trust/Wintrust Commercial Banking.
Before the gavel was passed to Mulder, who is the son of former Mayor Arlene Mulder, 2019 board Chairman David Jaffe highlighted the chamber's year in review:
• Attendance at the annual downtown summer block party, the Mane Event and Taste of Arlington Heights, tallied 12,000 per day. The chamber also inked a new agreement with village's special events commission that allows for major sponsors on both days. (The Friday Mane Event is organized by the commission and the Saturday Taste is organized by the chamber.)
• There were 65 new chamber members, and the organization surpassed its goal of 84% membership retention.
• Officials help cut ribbons at 20 new businesses.
One of those new businesses is Jaffe's @properties, which opened its real estate office at 31 S. Evergreen Ave. in July 2018. It won the first award of the night, Business of the Year, after doing $135 million worth of sales volume in town last year and working with 332 local buyers and sellers.
Another new downtown business, Hey Nonny, was named Emerging Business of the Year. Chip Brooks and Chris Dungan opened the music venue/gastropub in October 2018 in the Metropolis building.
Small Business of the Year went to Imagineering Studios, which does graphic design, photography, web and video production work, including the chamber's rebranded website, logo, materials and promotional videos.
Salute Inc. was named Non Profit Organization of the Year for its support of military members and their families by providing short-term financial assistance.
Volunteer of the Year is Mike Clements, a member of the local Lions and Rotary clubs who also gives of his time at chamber events.
Colin Gilbert, an attorney and owner of Tuscan Market & Wine Shop, was chosen as Business Leader of the Year. He's also a former chamber board chairman who oversaw a transition from a working board to a governance model.
Jim Bertucci, an investment adviser and financial planner, was named Community Leader of the Year. The longtime local volunteer is vice president of the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre board, co-chair of the Mayor's Community Prayer Breakfast, committee member that helped start the Arlington Heights Memorial Library Foundation, member of the St. James Leadership Summit, and Rotarian who helped secure sponsors for the Rotary Santa Run.
"This is our community," Bertucci said. "And when you do get involved as many of the nominees for this award know, leave it better than you've found it."