Friday, February 04, 2011
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Chamber of commerce recognizes excellence in our community

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[February 04, 2011]  The Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce had its annual dinner Saturday, celebrating excellence in Logan County. The event spotlighted the chamber's success in 2010, introduced the new board members and was highlighted with the Pride and Progress Awards and the Champion for Free Enterprise Award. The event at the Elks Lodge ballroom was attended by almost 100 community members.

The evening was a wrap-up of 2010 and the success the chamber experienced under the past president, Deron Powell, and a "ringing in" of the new year with the 2011 president, Donna Boyd. Community members from all over Logan County came together to take pride in the chamber's accomplishments and embark on a new year.

The Pride and Progress Awards, sponsored by the chamber's executive committee, are designed to recognize outstanding achievement and promote positive awareness of local businesses. The Pride and Progress Awards celebrate and acknowledge excellence, innovation, initiative and community involvement. They are a thank-you to those who go the extra mile to make Logan County a great place to live, work and play.

The chamber's Pride and Progress Awards are nominated by community members and judged independently by a committee, using scoring criteria for questions related to the award. All scores are then tabulated.

The 2010 nominations resulted in the following.

The New Business of the Year was given to The Owl's Roost because they opened in 2010, offering a nice place to go for a wide range of beverages and good homemade food. The owners have turned an abandoned storefront into a great place on the downtown square to enjoy time with friends, host an event or small gathering. The Malkowskis, as owners of The Owl's Roost, have invested in the community and made it their home.

The Beautification Award winner, Integrity Data, took an eyesore in downtown Lincoln and restored it into a state-of-the-art office complex that is a complement to the downtown historic area. The award winner took their vision and made it a reality with the daunting and costly task of transforming an ill-repaired historic landmark into a showpiece. They've taken great pride in keeping the construction business local whenever possible on this project. They've set the standard on how historic renovation should be done. The results speak for themselves and truly have made Lincoln and Logan County a more beautiful place to live.

Logan Lanes received the Excellence in Service Award for offering a free community room for birthday parties, baby showers, card clubs and game clubs. This business provides a service and entertainment, fulfills a need, and is an asset to the community. Many employees who work for the business say the atmosphere is that of a family. In the past the business has helped by hosting benefits for family members of its employees and has helped host area benefits and fundraisers on a regular basis. Ensuring that customers receive the best service on a daily basis is what this business believes in. The business provides a service in Logan County that offers activities for people of all ages and those with special needs. This business was open to new ideas and helped the chamber see new success in 2010.

The Ambassador of the Year for 2010 was Mike Fak. He received the award for attending ribbon-cuts, business after-hours and other chamber events, encouraging chamber membership and being an overall ambassador and steward of Logan County. It is rare that there is an event in Logan County that this person is not in attendance to support and report.

The Student's Choice Award, new in 2010, went to Qik-n-EZ. This award was developed as a monthly contest to recognize businesses that give our local college students great customer service. Monthly, the winner receives the "This Place Rocks" traveling trophy, sponsored by Lincoln Daily News. Voting is done by students through the chamber's website.

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Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital received the 2010 Distinguished Business of the Year for making Lincoln and Logan County a more attractive place to live and do business. With the construction of their new campus, ALMH is taking their commitment to the community seriously and partnering to offer a state-of-the-art medical facility with increased presence for outpatient care and therapy. Expanding, growing and changing to meet the needs of our community is why Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital received this distinguished award.

The Mike Abbott Volunteer of the Year went to Vic Martinek, who has served on the board and on various committees with the chamber for several years. He is always willing to serve where needed, has many good ideas and insights, and is diligent in his responsibilities. You can always count on him to follow through on whatever he commits to doing. He really is an exemplary volunteer with a servant's heart. Martinek has given full commitment to every chamber event, going above and beyond to help the chamber staff and members. When it comes to the Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival, he has helped to bring a new event to life; he was the man on the scene making sure that the parade kicked off the festival in a grand way.


The last award of the evening was given by the Illinois Chamber and the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber. The award for Champion of Free Enterprise was given to two of our legislators: Sen. Bill Brady, who was not in attendance, and Rep. Rich Brauer. The award was designed to recognize legislators who have made special contributions in the defense of free enterprise and the furtherance of economic opportunities for Illinoisans. Legislators with ratings averaging 85 percent or better on the chamber's legislative voting score card over the previous three General Assemblies have demonstrated their commitment to legislation that frees the entrepreneurial spirit, thus qualifying for the award.

The chamber's annual dinner and the Pride and Progress Awards are part of the organization's mission to serve its membership through a commitment to the economic prosperity of Lincoln and Logan County.

[Text from file received from the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce]

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