Central Lake County business community projects growth, awards leaders
Business leaders were honored at this year's GLMV Chamber of Commerce Winter Gala in Vernon Hills. Some said they expect to see sales growth this year. | Courtesy of GLMV Chamber of Commerce
MORE AWARD WINNERS
Volunteers of the Year: Ruth Quijada, Bank Financial; Jackie Flick, American
Chartered Bank; and Stephanie Barrons, Shaw Media
Heart Award: Marian Rodriguez, Carstar-Mundelein, for assisting the chamber.
Service Award: Chamber marketing director Carol Levin, for 10 years of service
Outstanding efforts in education and networking: Roch Tranel, The Tranel Financial Group and Norm Roth, Roth Sales Enhancers
Updated: February 12, 2013 7:36PM
VERNON HILLS — With holiday sales over and local businesses seeking their stride for 2013, some area business leaders say they plan to see slight gains this year.
More than 200 members of the GLMV Chamber of Commerce — which encompasses Green Oaks, Libertyville, Mundelein and Vernon Hills — gathered at their annual winter gala this season at Cuneo Mansion & Gardens in Vernon Hills to share ideas for growth, and to honor businesses leaders who are already succeeding.
Gary Steinhafel earned the Member the Year award from the chamber, and said he hopes to see at least a modest business growth this year as home sales slightly rebound.
For his own business, Steinhafels Furniture in Vernon Hills, finding that growth means focusing on strategic planning, he said.
“You have to have a vision and a plan,” he said. “Goal setting is important and so is communicating those goals to your entire organization.”
But Steinhafel wasn’t the only person honored for contributions to supporting business in Lake County.
Jeff Shapiro of Real Urban Barbeque was named Entrepreneur of the Year for heading a new and leading area business, said chamber officials. The popular eatery has locations in Vernon Hills and Highland Park.
“(It’s) a model for a successful business,” said chamber spokeswoman Carol Levin.
Even non-business owners earned awards for finding ways to keep business growing in future years. Nancy Shipley of Vernon Hills High School, supervisor of the business, applied technology, and family health departments, was recognized with the Dollars for Scholars Recognition Award.
Dollars for Scholars is a chamber run non-profit which aims to provide scholarships to students in the three area high schools so that they can attend college and succeed in the future. Shipley helped the program gain scholarship money by organizing fundraising events at her school, such as a Battle of the Bands contest and a Dining for Dollars.
For Shipley, this holds special meaning.
“I’m very passionate about it, because my father was a blue collar factory worker and neither of my parents went to college,” Shipley said. “If it wasn’t for scholarships, I would never have been able to go myself.”
The chamber honored several other business leaders, including giving the Commerce Award to Andy Christiansen of Mundelein’s Home Depot, in part for playing a key role in preparations for the chamber’s fashion show.
Jeanne Silver of Mundelein’s Carstar also earned the Community Service Award for her many contributions to area residents, such as providing cars and restoring cars to needy families.