Doolin's active involvement with the chamber, its board of
directors, and the annual Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival qualified
him for the chamber's most esteemed humanitarian award. Doolin is
CEO of Integrity Data, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. He and
his wife, April, are parents of four children.
and visions have helped the chamber grow its mission in so many ways
over his six years on the board," said Bobbi Abbott, chamber
executive director. "He has been active with many of the committees,
served as board president and has taken a monumental responsibility
of coordinating airport activities during the Lincoln Art & Balloon
Festival. To know Patrick is to know a positive spirit, one who
never says die and one who shares his time for the greater good.
Patrick is a true example of a person who doesn't become part of the
problem; he becomes part of the solution."
Culver's was recognized as New Business of the Year. The new
restaurant is owned by local residents Elaine and Steve Awe and
employs over 50 people. Following its grand opening in March 2007,
the owners have aggressively supported civic and school fundraisers
and have, in the words of the nominator, "raised the bar of frozen
desserts in Logan County."
Lincoln Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep was named Small Business of the
Year. Owners Coy Hutchcraft and Scott Soebbing purchased Row Motors
in 2007 and consolidated their quality pre-owned car business, Coy's
Car Corner, with the new-car dealership. Lincoln Chrysler, Dodge and
Jeep expanded its service department and increased its sales force
to grow from 11 to 19 employees.
Wal-Mart was selected Large Business of the Year, following the
grand opening of its new Supercenter store on March 14, 2007. The
store's work force increased to 275 employees with the expansion.
Wal-Mart's contributions to local charities and organizations
exceeded $50,000 last year, including support to the Lincoln Park
District, the Lincoln Area YMCA, the chamber of commerce, and the
Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival.
The chamber's Business Innovation Award was bestowed upon Jim and
Shelley Horn for their originality in combining two businesses in
one location: J&S Auto Centre and Panache Boutique.
[to top of second column]
"It's an out-of-the-box idea to have a gift shop within the walls of
a car dealership, but it's turned out to be an interesting and
successful co-existence," said the nomination. "The gift shop has
funky, fun and eclectic merchandise. It's unique!"
Jake Johnston was awarded the chamber's Curb Appeal Award for his
continued efforts to improve his small business, Jake's Furnishings.
Jake recently invested in new signage and awnings to help improve
the curb appeal of his furniture store.
Eaton Electrical was named 2007 Friend of the Chamber to
recognize the generous technology grant that the county's largest
employer awarded to the chamber of commerce. The contribution
allowed the organization to upgrade its workstation computers, add a
server and provide a public computer kiosk in the visitor center
Retiring chamber board members were recognized for their service
and involvement: Patrick Doolin, Integrity Data; Hazel Alberts, ME
Realty; and Sharon Awe, Illini Bank. New board members introduced at
the banquet were Eric Graue of Merrill Lynch and Dana Hudson of
Re/Max Hometown Realty.
New members, those joining the chamber in 2007, were inducted
into the organization during the event. In attendance were
representatives from Lincoln Jaycees, Phil Turner--Farmers Insurance, Stuart
Solutions, Air Evac Lifeteam, Humane Society of Logan County,
Heritage Packaging, Hudson's Talk of the Town, Culver's, Valerie
Graue--Re/Max Hometown Realty and Prairie Signs Inc.
The chamber board president, Cody Atkins of Wal-Mart, reviewed
chamber accomplishments of 2007. A few of the highlights were
forming an energy purchasing co-op, awarding $9,000 in ag
scholarships, graduating 13 candidates from the chamber's Leadership
Academy, promoting local trade through the Chamber Bucks gift
certificate program, and administering a successful 2007 Lincoln Art
& Balloon Festival.
The chamber board has planned its 2008 initiatives to focus on
marketing and promotions through their "Putting YOU on the Map"
annual theme. "Businesses need exposure, and this year's theme will
bring to focus the many opportunities that are available for getting
the word out about your business through the chamber," Atkins said.
[Text from file received from
Bobbi Abbott, executive director,
County Chamber of Commerce]