Plenty to celebrate for Barrington-area chamber at annual dinner
One of the top annual events on the Barrington-area social circuit was held Thursday night to celebrate business accomplishments and raise money for a scholarship fund.
Live and silent auctions, entertainment and buffet stations with salmon sliders, tomato-basil soup and more were part of the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Excellence soiree at Avante Banquets and Conference Center in Fox River Grove.
As about 220 guests mixed and mingled before dinner, Chamber President/CEO Suzanne Corr said one of the organization's new initiatives for this year will be to team with the village of Barrington to hold public events that are more effective in attracting crowds while driving business to retailers and restaurants.
"We're actually going to start hosting quarterly merchant meetings to bring more of the merchants together, hopefully, along with representatives of the restaurants," Corr added, "because the theme to me this year really has got to be collaboration."
Keith Hanson will be the new Barrington-area chamber board chairman for 2020, succeeding Dennis Kelly of FGMK Insurance Agency, who was recognized with a leadership award. Hanson is managing partner of Hanson Law Group in Barrington.
"Barrington ... is a community where you have tons of active involvement by citizens," Hanson said. "The service clubs are active and growing. They're not wasting away. The churches are active and growing and the chamber is active and growing. And so you have opportunities to link with other organizations to do things."
Other recognitions went to the Barrington Area Community Foundation, Moretti's Ristorante & Pizzeria, Bob Finley of Virtue Asset Management, Hart Dental and Charlotte Neault, of Barrington Bank & Trust Co. Sitter Hub, created in a Barrington High School business incubator class, received the chamber's Young Entrepreneurs Award.
Thursday's festivities raised money for chamber grants and programs, as well as the Lauren Brown Memorial Scholarship fund named after the organization's former head of communications, who was 29 when she died from ovarian cancer in 2012.
Founded in 1969, the Barrington-area chamber has about 900 member businesses. It serves Barrington, Barrington Hills, Deer Park, Inverness, Kildeer, Lake Barrington, Long Grove, North Barrington, Port Barrington, South Barrington and Tower Lakes.