2019 AABE award honorees
SMALL BUSINESS (UP TO 50 EMPLOYEES)
Broadstreet Home Care, Wilmette
Nominated by Joanne Levine of Lekas & Levine Public Relations
Based in Wilmette and serving the Greater Chicago area, Broadstreet Home Care provides premium, customized in-home care services for seniors who want to remain healthy and independent in their homes.
Broad Street was created following the personal family experience of founder, Sam Cross. Cross' aunt was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's simultaneous to his uncle being diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. For Cross, the light bulb went off. In-home health care is a critical service that so many people need, but it goes beyond an extra set of hands. They need a professional, organized service -- a solution.
While circumstances can vary and experiences are relative, their mission is clear: Improve health and wellness outcomes by creating great experiences for clients, their families and the personal assistants who work with them.
Coaching Financial Concepts, Des Plaines
Nominated by Kim Brisky, Small Business Advocacy Council
Coaching Financial Concepts was created in March 1998 to help businesses grow and for individuals to increase their personal wealth while being properly protected. Its approach is to be the financial coach for their clients by understanding their client's dreams. It is easier to guide them by utilizing the best financial product or strategies, instead of just providing a product to sell.
Financial coaching is the way to victory, for both individuals and businesses. Insurance, investments, benefits and retirement funds -- there's a complicated, challenging world of choices, strategies and golden opportunities.
The company's mission is to help people balance offensive and defensive strategies to better position their family or business financially, utilizing and maximizing fundamental techniques.
Generation Painting, Lake Zurich
Nominated by John Opsahl
Generation Painting is a high-quality painting company that serves all of Lake Zurich and surrounding areas as well as completing projects in other nearby counties.
With almost two years in business, the company began out of a passion for helping homes come alive with the help of a team built on continually striving to become better versions of themselves; both in their trade and in their personal lives. They do this by understanding that a good company can be great by providing their employees with a rich, family-oriented culture, therefore allowing them to recruit the highest quality professional painters.
Their mission is to get the job right the first time.
Katz, Goldstein & Warren, Bannockburn
Nominated by Marie Lazzara with JJR Marketing
Established in 1998, the firm of Katz, Goldstein & Warren concentrates its practice in the areas of matrimonial and family law. Prior to establishing the firm, the three founding principal's had practiced together in the field of matrimonial law for many years. From day one, they developed a keen sensitivity to the strife and emotional stress that often accompany these issues, while taking into consideration of each client's privacy with the utmost respect.
Now the firm is comprised of seven experienced trial attorneys, all of whom understand the impact that family-related matters have upon clients and their children. Through their collective efforts, the firm is known for offering thoughtful and creative solutions to meet the needs of their clients.
Passion, dedication, expertise and positive resolutions. These are words that best describe the work ethic of this team.
Tash Wellness, Skokie
Nominated by Diane Valletta with Valletta Associates
Saharan Tash's entrepreneurial journey to creating a successful fitness facility represents the culmination of her own lifetime journey from challenge to passion. Recognized as an innovator in the fitness industry, Saharan's focus on functional fitness for optimal aging is unique in the Chicagoland area. But her poignant story of triumph over challenges -- and what led her to become founder and president of TASH Wellness for Women in Skokie -- had its beginnings in her childhood.
From birth to present day, Saharan has had to fight obesity. She has struggled with diet programs, exercise, relationships and careers which have made her the spokesperson she is today. She teaches that success in accomplishing a lifestyle change is not an easy task. It takes work -- hard work and it takes time.
The story of Sharon Tash and Tash Wellness for Women is one of surviving personal challenges, of leveraging those challenges into a business that is thriving precisely because it leads and inspires others to excel, and of doing so in the context of gratitude and giving.
MID-SIZED COMPANIES (51-150 EMPLOYEES)
BCS Financial, Oakbrook Terrace
Nominated By Renee Hoerschelmann
Seventy years ago, BCS began providing customized insurance and financial services solutions to Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. Today, BCS has expanded its core business to deliver growth, diversification, and protection solutions to insurance companies, brokers, agents, administrators, employers, employees, and individuals.
Licensed to provide life, health, property, and casualty insurance in all 50 states, BCS covers more than 5 million lives with its unique portfolio of 16 ancillary, large claim, and specialty risk insurance offerings.
BCS has watched the health care industry evolve over the last decade and has responded to the changing health landscape with new products designed to fill gaps in current health care.
Headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace for more than 12 years, BCS is committed to advancing the economic vitality of the community, and giving back to people it serves
Cornerstone Partners Horticultural Services Company. Elgin
Nominated by Gary Brester
Providing professional landscape and snow/ice management services throughout the Northwest suburbs. Cornerstone prides itself on superior attention to detail and excellence, which is evident in the highly trained and certified team.
Their market includes both residential and commercial landscape projects. In addition to offering weekly maintenance to clients, they are known for their landscape enhancements, which includes hardscape design and installation, along with garden designs that include tree, shrub and perennial installations.
Its mission is to be a trusted partner while caring for the outdoor environments of those they serve. They achieve this by consistently doing the little things exceptionally well while living their core values of honesty, integrity and faith.
York Solutions, Westchester
With over 25 years of experience, York Solutions is a veteran-owned IT consulting firm that uses a non-transactional, value-based approach to provide clients with custom workforce solutions to achieve business, technology, and operational goals. Using a strategic partnership approach with their clients, York Solutions focuses on fostering a long-term, trust-based relationship.
Its mission is to always have a positive impact on the lives, careers, and future development of IT professionals within the communities we serve.
LARGE COMPANIES (MORE THAN 150 EMPLOYEES)
Grove Dental Associates, Bolingbrook
Nominated by Teresa Tuttle
For 50 years, families in the Chicago area have trusted their smiles to Grove Dental Associates.
With more than 30 dentists and specialists, they offer experienced dental care at any stage of life. They are one of the few dental practices in the Chicago area to offer an array of dental specialties all under one roof.
Grove Dental Associates is proud to be able to serve multigenerational families with extraordinary dental care tailored to their unique needs in a state-of-the-art environment. With four locations in Bolingbrook, Downers Grove, Lombard and Wheaton, Grove Dental is Chicago's one-stop dental office.
In addition, they are fully committed to the community in which they serve. Grove Dental supports local causes by donating their time and talents to collect treats for troops, food for the needy, host coat drives, provide free dental care to our military heroes on Veterans Day, and sponsoring local church and school events.
Orange Homes Services, Elburn
After working more than 10 years for a larger company in the area, Jim Cannella, along with other staff were laid off without any warning. Shocked and concerned that another job might mean another layoff, Jim, with the help of his wife Cindy, decided to put his more than 20 years HVAC experience to the test by starting Orange Home Services in 2010.
Now with 10 employees, seven vehicles and with three locations to accommodate their growth, Orange Homes Services strives for customer satisfaction, no matter what it takes.
Their foundation is uncompromised integrity and commitment to constantly improving themselves and their services.
Plum Gove Inc., Hoffman Estates
With over 37 years of history and experience, and an average employee tenure of 15 years, Plum Grove prides itself on industry-leading customer service and execution excellence.
Plum Grove holds strong family values as the foundation for its culture and believes in fostering long-term partnerships with its clients, and acting as an ongoing resource and extension of the client's business. Whether a startup, an established local business or a large national brand, Plum Grove offers seamless brand solutions that amplify business growth and success.
Plum Grove empowers businesses to connect with the world, tell their story, build their brands and promote growth through high-quality custom printing and marketing solutions.
Pulse Technology. Carol Stream
Nominated by Megan Barrera
Pulse Technology is a family-owned company passionate about building an authentic partnership for the future. Previously known as Des Plaines Office Equipment, Kramer & Leonard, and McShane's, these three family-owned companies have combined their nearly 200 years of experience in the industry to service the greater Chicago area under one name: Pulse Technology.
The Pulse Technology family has been bringing technological innovation to the workplace as early as 1921 and continues to stay ahead of the curve. The families have carried on traditional values of building a better community through local partnerships, such as their initiative, "Buy Local, Give Local" which focus on donating a percentage of each sale to a local nonprofit organization.
With the second and third generations taking over and the business doubling in size over the past five years, Pulse Technology has established a track record for success and sustained growth, while instilling community-centric values within the generations to come.
INNOVATION IN BUSINESS
Impact Networking, Lake Forest
Nominated by Karlee Ricks
Impact was founded in 1999 as a team of four with a strict focus on digital office equipment. Now, more than 19 years later, Impact is a fierce competitor in the Intelligent Process Automation space, employing more than 450 people at its 15 Midwest and West Coast locations.
While competition is still strong in their line of business, utilizing local presence, family culture, and robust fleet of service and IT feet on the street give Impact Networking a unique combination of strengths that others cannot provide.
With two milestones under their belt. The first occurring in 2005 when they opened their doors, being a nationwide company focused on enterprise accounts. Their other milestone occurred nine years later when a 50 million revenue mark was reached.
Impact is about real partnerships with their acquired companies, employees, customers, and OEM partners -- believing that treating people with kindness and respect is central to their mission.
BUSINESS ORGANIZATION/ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Batavia Chamber of Commerce
Nominated by Shirley Mott with the Write Word
The Batavia Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization, incorporated on September 30, 1953 with the goal of promoting an environment that creates success for local businesses to prosper. They are an active chamber with more than 470 members that look to advance its members' growth and prosperity, and provide increased opportunities and value for its membership.
As the local business climate changes, so do the needs of their member businesses. To keep up, they listen and have modified program offerings to fit the current needs, such as adding morning breakfast events to accommodate schedules and partnering with other organizations by cross-promoting and growing their member audience.
Batavia Chamber of Commerce offers opportunities and access for businesses to partner in building a stronger community all while providing a healthy business environment to its membership.
Dominican University, River Forest
Nominated by Jessica Mackinnon
Dominican University has been an actively engaged member of the west suburban area for almost 100 years. Founded in 1901 by the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters, the higher education institution moved from Wisconsin to River Forest in 1921 and opened as Rosary College the following year, later renamed Dominican University in 1997.
Under the leadership of Donna Carroll, the university has experienced tremendous growth -- in size and quality. The number of full-time faculty has doubled, new schools and programs have been established, the operating budget has increased fourfold.
Consistently recognized by U.S. News & World Report's prestigious annual "Best Colleges" survey, Dominican University achieved its highest rank ever this year, jumping eight places to the number 11 spot on the publication's list of 165 regional universities in the Midwest.
ARCHITECTURE AND CONSTRUCTION
Michael Menn Ltd., Northbrook
Nominated by Deborah Trimpe
Michael Menn Ltd. is your premier source for both design and build excellence. They strive to exceed the goals of their clients, be it for renovation, remodeling, additions or new construction.
Michael Menn formed his first architectural private practice in 1983, devoted to small custom residential and commercial projects. Over the years that firm evolved into a diverse architectural planning, interior design and construction firm.
Mid-States Glass and Metal, Niles
Nominated by Julie Simon of Signature Bank
Mid-States Glass and Metal Inc. was established in 1986 and focuses primarily on high-rise glazing projects. In the last 20 years, Mid-States has expanded its scope and capacity to include all facets of the glass and metal industry.
Utilizing union ironworkers, the company has successfully completed some of the area's most challenging projects, including the Burberry flagship store on Michigan Avenue, Loyola University Medical Center, and One Museum Park East residential tower. Mid-States' business strategy is to employ the top field and office personnel in the industry and focus exclusively on the Chicago market.
Mid-States Glass and Metal has a resume of repeat and satisfied customers, as well as a reputation as a great place to work. Mid-States is a woman-owned business with a mission to maintain its distinction as the area's premier curtainwall erector and contractor.
Paramount Theater, Aurora
Nominated by Cort Carlson with Aurora Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Commissioned by J.J. Rubens for $1 million and officially opened in September, 1931, the theater was designed by esteemed theater architects C. W. and George Leslie Rapp.
Over the many years, Paramount Theater has changed the landscape for live theater and entertainment in the Midwest while elevating the image of Aurora and contributing to the economic development of the region.
In less than 10 years, the Paramount Theater under the direction of Tim Rater has grown from a limited run rental house to the second largest subscription theater in the county. In October 2018, Paramount Theater's subscription totals topped 40,000.
Paramount has been and continues to be the driving force in the resurgence of Aurora downtown and its cultural arts scene.
Allendale Association, Lake Villa
Nominated by Joanne Levine of Lekas & Levine Public Relations
The Allendale Association is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to excellence and innovation in care, treatment, education and advocacy for children and youth with serious emotional, mental and behavioral health challenges.
Since its humble beginning in 1897 as a refuge for young boys living on the streets of Chicago or arriving on the now historic "Orphan Trains," Allendale has been a source of hope and strength for youth and their families.
Today, the Allendale Association annually serves over 800 children and their families -- with specialized focus on youth who have suffered severe relational trauma, often including physical and sexual abuse. They operate residential treatment facilities in Lake Villa and North Chicago for up to 120 children and youth.
Batavia United Way
Nominated by Shirley Mott with the Write Word
Evolved from the community-based organization, Community Chest, Batavia United way is a registered 501(c) (3) charity in good standing in the Not-for-Profit category.
The Batavia Community Chest became a United Way of America affiliate in 1996. This was done to better serve the residents that worked outside of the community, by taking advantage of corporate employee giving and matching funds programs. Thus, Batavia Community Chest and United Way emerged, later changing its name to the Batavia United Way.
Batavia United Way is charged with raising funds and dispersing them in a fiscally responsible manner to programs which directly benefit Batavians. Their mission and vision include independently identifying community needs, focus on one project at a time, as well with being a leader and catalyst for change or improvement.
Diveheart, Downers Grove
Nominated by Marie Lazzara, JJR Marketing
In 2001, Jim Elliott founded Diveheart, a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 organization. His vision was to build confidence and independence in children, adults, and veterans with disabilities through the sport of scuba diving.
Their organization is focused on seeing the potential in every individual. Through scuba diving and scuba therapy, their teams offer life changing experiences that help participants grow in confidence, independence and self-esteem.
Since its inception, Diveheart has trained thousands of volunteers in order to be able to carry on their mission throughout the world. They have worked with individuals across the U.S. and in Mexico, Israel, Australia, China, the Caribbean, and more.
Northwest Center Against Sexual Assault (CASA), Arlington Heights
Nominated by Rebecca Plascencia
Northwest CASA was an idea brought to action in 1976 by a group of women attending a local community college. These women saw the growing need within their community to have a point of contact for women who were victims of sexual violence. A hotline was created and support was provided 24/7 by a group of volunteers who took shifts to keep the hotline up and running.
Since its incorporation, they have grown into a fully comprehensive not-for-profit sexual assault center that provides sexual assault services to 30 communities in the North & Northwest suburbs of Cook County with their main office in Arlington Heights.
Northwest CASA's mission is to provide specialized professional services to support victims of sexual abuse and sexual assault in their recovery from the traumatic effects of their abuse at no cost to the survivor and to end sexual violence in our communities through education, raising awareness, training of allied professionals, and community collaborations.
Iverson & Company, Des Plaines
Nominated by Marie Lazzara with JJR Marketing
Iverson & Company was founded in 1931 by Edward A. Iverson. Edward worked for Hardinge Brothers based in Chicago and despite being one of only three employees was offered an opportunity to relocate to upstate New York, opting to become their local representative.
They are a sales and service organization that offers engineered manufacturing process solutions to the customers they serve. These solutions include turnkeys on new milling, turning & grinding machines as well with training and after the sale support.
Since the beginning and still today, philosophies have included quality, honesty, integrity and full customer service.