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updated: 3/14/2019 1:23 PM

Dukane Precast takes top honor at VIA Spark Awards

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  • Donald Dardis, right, president of Dukane Precast, and his team accept the top Spark Award for 2019 for the Overall Excellence category.

    Donald Dardis, right, president of Dukane Precast, and his team accept the top Spark Award for 2019 for the Overall Excellence category.
    Photo courtesy Valley Industrial Association

 
Daily Herald Staff Report

Dukane Precast in Naperville was honored with the Overall Excellence Spark Award at the Valley Industrial Association's annual ceremony held this week in Geneva.

The Spark Awards celebrate manufacturing throughout the Chicago region and are awarded by the association, which provides strategic resources, educational programming and networking opportunities for its 225 member businesses in the Fox Valley and Chicago area.

VIA members submitted award entries in six categories: Culture, Innovation, Operational Excellence, Safety, Social Responsibility and Workforce Development. Dukane Precast scored the highest across all six categories, followed by International Paper of Aurora and Bison Gear & Engineering of St. Charles.

"It's been a long journey since the recent depression, but if you are not moving forward, you are falling behind," said Dukane Precast President Donald Dardis. "Our people are our family, and they have great pride in their work and the company."

Individual category winners were:

Culture: CARR Machine & Tool, Elk Grove Village

Innovation: Bison Gear & Engineering, St. Charles

Operational Excellence: Dukane Precast, Naperville

Safety: Tek Pak Inc., Batavia, and United Scrap Metal, Cicero

Social Responsibility: United Scrap Metal, Cicero

Workforce Development: CARR Machine & Tool, Elk Grove Village

The Spark Awards provides an opportunity for business peers to celebrate business accomplishments, said Aaron Nosek.

Throughout the fourth quarter of 2018, manufacturers completed surveys where they benchmarked themselves on 10 best practices in each of the six categories. Then, company management was interviewed by outside peer teams. Points were awarded and the companies with the three highest totals in each category were Spark Award finalists. The winners were announced Wednesday night during the ceremony.