COUNTRYSIDE – Men and women of the west suburban business community joined together with staff and officials of area municipalities for an evening celebration at the 40th annual Champions of Business Event.
The award ceremony – hosted by the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce – recognized those who've demonstrated outstanding leadership and added on to the region's high success level.
This year's event was held at the William Tell Holiday Inn, 6201 Joliet Road, and presented awards in five categories, along with a tribute award to close out the night's festivities.
Nicholas Cozzi, of Tropical Sno, in Western Springs received the evening's first award; the Young Professional/Entrepreneur of the Year award. Cozzi, a sophomore at St. Ambrose University in Iowa, opened the shop to help give his brother, John, who has down syndrome, a job.
The night's second award – the Community Collaboration of the Year – was presented to Motion Source Video Production and the Rotary of La Grange. The pair was honored for a video they created that informed residents about human and social resources nearby and how to obtain those resources, along with information on volunteer opportunities and more.
Gail Paul, city administrator of Countryside, received the Public Servant of the Year award. Paul, who became the city administrator in 2010, said the city council deserves credit as well.
Two of the final awards were give to Keith Hill, of Edward Jones in La Grange, for Business Leader of the Year Award, and Burcor Properties, of La Grange, which was recognized as the Business of Year.
Rounding out the evening's celebration was the 2014 Tribute Award which was presented to the family of the late Bob Butler. Butler, who passed away March 6 after battling an extended illness, was a longtime board of directors member at the Rich Port YMCA in La Grange and later with the Greater La Grange YMCA in La Grange Park. Butler was also the owner of the family business, Allan E. Power Plumbing, in La Grange.