Twenty suburban businesses and organizations were honored Wednesday evening during the 27th Annual Awards for Business Excellence, presented by the Daily Herald Business Ledger and its sponsoring partners at Medinah Banquets in Addison.
The AABEs are presented in recognition of business achievement, growth and community involvement. The 20 honorees were among dozens of businesses and nonprofit organizations in the suburbs nominated by their peers for the award. The honorees were selected following review by members of the Daily Herald Business Ledger's management team.
2017 Awards for Business Excellence honorees• alligatortek, Oakbrook Terrace
• APEX CPAs and Consultants Inc.
• Aurora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
• Buck Services Inc., West Chicago
• CASA Lake County, Vernon Hills
• DesignStorms LLC, Glen Ellyn
• Family Bridges, Oakbrook Terrace
• HR Boost LLC, Libertyville
• Iyka Enterprises, Wheaton
• JAK Creative Design, Darien
• Linea di Liara, Addison
• Little City, Palatine
• Paul Gregory Media, Naperville
• Pro Home 1, Wood Dale
• Ridgeworth Roofing Co., Inc.
• Sebold Capital Management, Naperville
• Spotted Paw Salon, Wheaton
• Starship Travel Inc., Arlington Heights
• The Center for Gifted, Glenview
• Weber Grill Restaurants
Keynote speaker Doug Cook, owner and president of Feldco Windows, Siding and Doors in Des Plaines, outlined key points he learned during his experience of "renovating" Feldco into a major Midwest company. The main point, he stressed, was being sure you have people -- both employees and customers -- who understand and share the vision you have for the company's success.
"Every lesson I've ever learned -- coming in, acquiring a business, rolling up my sleeves -- is all about one simple word: People," he said. "It's all about people."
He noted he came into Feldco as "a visitor on someone else's turf," and had to earn the respect of the employees and customers in order to bring his mission and goals to the company.
"This is about influence. This is about the core elements of leadership," he said. "It's all about bringing people into leadership."
Many of the honorees echoed Cook's remarks, that their company's success would not have happened without the dedication and work of their employees.
"My name came up several times, but this award is really about the organization and the team ringing it all together," said Cort Carlson, executive director of the Aurora Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"When you receive an award like this for your company, you know you're doing the right thing and working for the right company," added Lauren Rullo, sales and marketing director for Weber Grill Restaurants in Lombard and Schaumburg.
Detailed profiles of all 20 honorees will appear in a special pullout section of the Daily Herald Business Ledger's April 17 issue.
Presenting sponsors for this year's event are Focus Capital Advisors in Downers Grove, Northern Illinois University MBA Program and B. Gunther & Co. of Lisle. The corporate sponsor is All Funds & Games in South Elgin.
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, DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau and MRA-The Management Association.