Noting hard work, a team effort and a commitment to high standards, 22 suburban based companies and business organizations were honored Wednesday evening in the 26th Annual Awards for Business Excellence, sponsored by the Daily Herald Business Ledger.
More than 120 people were in attendance at Medinah Banquets in Addison to congratulate the honored companies and their representatives.
2016 Annual Awards for Business Excellence honoreesSmall Size Employer Companies (under 50 employees)• HST Materials, Elk Grove Village
• Pro-Home Services, Glen Ellyn
• Rainbow International of South & West Suburbs, Hickory Hills
• Spec Engineering, Plainfield
• Swapadventure, Mount Prospect
• Sweet Peas Design, Libertyville
Mid-sized Employer Company (51-150 employees)• B2B Industrial Packaging, Addiso
• Optomi, Downers Grove
• Proven Business Systems, Tinley Park
• Willow Services Home Care & Hospice, Plainfield
Large Employer Company (over 150 employees)• NICOR Gas, an AGL Resources Company
• COTG -- A Xerox Company
Architecture & Construction• Aldridge Electric, Libertyville
• Riley Construction, Lake Bluff
Entertainment/Hospitality• America's Best Pop & Jazz Standards, Orland Hills
Family Business• Imperial Crane Services, Bridgeview
Manufacturing• Bison Gear & Engineering, St. Charles
• HM Manufacturing, Wauconda
• Royal Die & Stamping, Carol Stream
Minority Owned Business• Infinite Systems Support, St. Charles
Notable Not-for-Profit Organizations• Clearbrook, Arlington Heights
• Giving DuPage, Wheaton
The AABEs showcase successful suburban businesses and organizations and honor its leaders for business achievement, growth and community involvement. They are presented to outstanding businesses and nonprofit organizations with a significant presence in the suburbs.
Keynote speaker Mark Seigle, president of Seigle's Cabinet Center in Elgin, spoke to the group about the life lessons he picked up through his career of transforming his family's business from a lumber company to a home improvement company, and to its current incarnation as a home cabinet center. He built upon the 3 Rs learned in school, building his 6 Rs of success: Be ready, responsive, respectful, resourceful, resilient, and real.
He noted that something as simple as dropping a thank you card into the mail after meeting a client can set you way ahead of the competition.
"49 cents, folks, is the best investment you'll ever make," Seigle said. "You write half of it before you get to the client, finish with an anecdote after the meeting find a mailbox and send it. The next morning it gets in their mail and they go 'whoa.'"
The honorees spoke of the values and the missions of their businesses, many attributing success to the quality of their employees.
"The most important job I have is to surround myself with the right people," said Lance Bohne, executive vice president of Imperial Crane Services of Bridgeview. "I think I've done that. We got people who work as a team in a team environment."
Peter Oprisko, president and founder of America's Best Pop and Jazz Standards of Orland Hills, said the honor was a testament to the hard work leaders put in to make their business a success.
"This award represents the sacrifices, many anxious moments, many hours of hard work and perseverance and many sleepless nights wondering, 'Have I done the best I could possibly could do?'" Oprisko said.
Spotlighting business involvement with its community, Giving DuPage Executive Director Shefali Trivedi noted her organization "is in the business of recognizing your generosity. The honored companies will be profiled in a special publication of the April 18 Daily Herald Business Ledger.
Presenting sponsors for the event are Focus Capital Advisors, Northern Illinois University MBA Program and B. Gunther & Co. Corporate sponsor is All Funds & Games (formerly Leaderboard Tournament Systems).
Marketing partners are the Valley Industrial Association, the Construction Industries Service Corporation, the Quad County African American Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Advocacy Council and MRA-The Management Association.