Vote Now for 2019 LZACC Award Nominees!
Below are SHORT stories for each of the award nominees. All nominees and the winners will be presented at our WINNING HANDS MEMBER APPRECIATION EVENT on January 30, 2020. If you haven’t already purchased your tickets CLICK HERE so you don’t miss out on the fun! Each voter may only vote ONE TIME for each category. Be sure to share this voting page with your family and friends.
Voting Closes on January 10 at 11:59 pm.
2019 Business of the Year Nominees
Avalon Salon Spa
Avalon (and owner Bonnie Conte) has played a significant role in our Chamber for over a decade. She employs over 50 people at her Deer Park location and recently opened a second location in Crystal Lake. Continually recognized as one of the top salons in the U.S., Avalon invests in leadership training and continues to touch the community at large with efforts like the Water Giving Back Initiative, Caring Women’s Connection, local networking groups, and other charitable donations.
BBQ’d Productions Sports Bar & Grill
BBQd Productions has created a place that community loves to dine at while incorporating support for local law enforcement into menu items’ names. They received the Championship Title for the Chicago Culinary Fight Fest which is a testament to the time and passion they put into their cuisine. They were recognized by Illinois State Police District 15 for going above and beyond to assist District 15 in the wake of losing Tpr. Christopher Lambert and Tpr. Gerald Ellis. They support groups and charities such as Illinois State Police, HOPE Child Abuse Prevention Groups, Salvation Army, and Lake County Responds for Veterans.
Deer Park Chiropractic
Owner Serena Kleinstub marketed the practice thru many networking events in multiple chambers and charity organizations. Serena began the strategic promotion of her office long before it was even built! She starts early before her office opens networking at Chamber events and after her practice closes in the evening. Having heard her lecture on chiropractic medicine, Serena is totally impassioned in helping others. Her business continues to grow, attracting new clients on a regular basis. She values the Chamber and understands how to utilize it to build long term business relationships.
Generation Painting, Inc.
Generation Painting, Inc. has built a company that customers can rely on quality, customer service, and the experience of our team. In just two years their sales have doubled and have expanded their clientele. They have expanded and trained their team to be more versatile, invested in more equipment which improved production and quality. In 2019 they received the Daily Herald’s Business Ledger awards – Business Excellence Award (50 employees or less) and Top 100 Small Business. They have sponsored community organizations including: Fellowship Housing, Lake Zurich’s Quarterback Club, Food For Friends the LZACC’s Everything Expo, District 95 Educational Foundation.
Nothing Bundt Cakes
With her previous corporate experience, owner Caryn Simons has built her franchise locations with excellence in all areas. She rigorously trains each of her employees to succeed in delivering the meticulously, creative products they sell. Caryn has served on numerous Chamber committees including Everything Expo, Taste of the Towns and Member Experience. She has also served as a women’s entrepreneur advisor for the Girl Scouts of America. She has become an excellent networking among several local groups both for business and charitable causes. There is rarely an event that she has not donated her bundt cakes.
2019 Community Impact of the Year Nominees
Ancient Oaks Foundation
AOF has been volunteering their time for the past decade to restore and preserve natural areas by decreasing invasive species and reintroducing native vegetation that may have never otherwise been maintained by village dollars. This not only raises property values, but has numerous benefits to the environment and provides healthy places for citizens to benefit from both mentally and physically. Their endless efforts to restore Kuechmann Park gave the Village the opportunity to turn the park into the first local Arboretum earning a Level 1 accreditation by ArbNet, a national organization associated with Morton Arboretum that provides standards and best practices for arboreta. AOF also received the Urban Forestry Partnership Award from The Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI) alongside the Village of Lake Zurich and Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95 for their efforts to create a unique open space that highlights the natural oak habitat of the area with a conservation arboretum. AOF has hosted volunteer workdays with several local youth groups including Eagle Scouts, Girl Scouts, the Lake Zurich High School REACT Club, Middle School North among others to educate youth on the importance of preserving our green space and the health benefits of getting outside in a digital generation. They also give their time to hosting workdays for local businesses to conduct employee workdays which provides team-building experiences and increases productivity in the workplace. They host about 20 educational programs for all ages on the care of natural areas and the benefits for future generations. The non-profit truly gives endless hours of volunteer work time to our community to make our area a better place to live.
Chris Bos – Ela Township Official
Chris Bos loves our local community. Chris, is married with three children, and has been a Lake Zurich resident for 17 years. He was a pastor at Alpine Chapel and has been in nonprofit leadership for 18 years. He has supported the Chamber by volunteering on the Government Affairs committee, as well as helping the Chamber embrace Small Business Saturday. Chris has also served as an Ela Township Precinct Committeeman, is a Sarah Adams PTO volunteer, as well as a volunteer with the D95 Educational Foundation, and volunteers at local food pantries. He is a past volunteer coach for Ela Soccer and KITS. He loves wanting to help out where ever he can. He brings the light to people and just shines wherever he can. We have done business together and just everywhere I turn he’s there with helping hands to make a difference in our community.
Culver’s Lake Zurich
Every day, owners Steve and Christine Anichini, take Culver’s commitment seriously to doing it right for each guest. They have been recognized by their industry for Commitment to Excellence awards that recognize restaurants for consistently maintaining a high standard in restaurant operations, guest experiences, community relationships and team development. For well over a decade, those living in and around Lake Zurich are very familiar with the kind of impact their local Culver’s restaurant has made in and around the surrounding areas. It’s commitment to the community is unparalleled as they support the Lions Club, LZ Area Chamber of Commerce, Village of Lake Zurich, and Mount Saint Joseph Association among numerous others. Partnering with several local churches, they host a free Thanksgiving Day dinner every year, providing those in need with a warm meal.
District 95 Educational Foundation
The School District 95 Educational Foundation gathers and disburses resources to CUSD 95 to support activities that enhance, enrich and supplement instructional opportunities for District 95 learners consistent with the school District’s core values and mission. Community Unit School District 95 has a history of excellence educating students in grades Pre-K to 12. The School District 95 Educational Foundation provides the resources to allow excellence to grow and flourish, over and above what current revenue sources allow. As a 501(c)3 not-for-profit Foundation, the Foundation is an autonomous organization working in partnership with businesses, community, parents, and the School District to gather and disburse resources to benefit students in all eight District 95 schools.
SW Lake Lifestyle
SW Lake is a family lifestyle magazine that chronicles the lives of area families and the work of locally owned businesses. Since the re-launch of the magazine in October of 2016 the publisher, editor and local contributors have sought to upgrade the quality of the publication while adding other forms of public outreach that include special events, Social Media, email campaigns and an enhanced website. Every month the local team works together under a simple guiding principle — to create a product “where active families turn for positive local news that’s always helpful, useful and informative.” In addition to partnering with local businesses, SW Lake Lifestyle also seeks out and shares the stories of not-for-profits, local charities and school districts with the objective being to provide information at no cost for the betterment of local residents. SW Lake Lifestyle gives voice to residents to share their stories, make connections and contribute to the fabric of the community. More than 63% reported that they are make purchase decisions locally by the ads and stories they read SW Lake Lifestyle works with business owners, writers, photographers and local leaders seeking to connect with members of the community through print, digital and Social Media. To date the publisher and his team have produced 40 issues that focus on this principle. SW Lake Lifestyle has featured 160 writers and shared photos by 70 photographers. On average in each monthly issue 30 local businesses share content that helps to distinguish themselves before 11,000 families. The goal of SW Lake Lifestyle is to help these businesses communicate directly to families, attract new customers and grow their revenue.
2019 Entrepreneur of the Year Nominees
Andy Migacz – AM Woodland Outdoor Design
Andy has accomplished more at his young age than most people accomplish their whole career. He put his mind to something in regards to his business and is now a successful business owner with a community forward focus. Andy and his team refined old school processes and built their business on friendship and teamwork. He and his team are an inspiration for fellow business owners and young professionals in the community. Not only do they have a laser focus on growing and perfecting their business, they also make it point to involve themselves in many local non profit organizations,
Anping Lovejoy – Lake Zurich Florist
Anping Lovejoy came to the United States from the People’s Republic of China, learning a new language, a new culture and trying to fit in to the tradition-bound community of Lake Zurich. Absent a work visa and undertaking the requisite six-month “no work” policy required by US Immigration, Anping garnered the temerity to ask the local florist to teach her to arrange flowers instead of idly whiling away her time. After legally earning the Green Card and thus the right to work, Anping asked the same florist if he was willing to sell his business to which he agreed. She learned right away that an investment in capital equipment and an enterprise system to manage customer databases, financial statements, tax returns and event planning were crucial. Anping simultaneously embodies the tolerance and toughness to constantly ask her legacy and new staff members how they can improve the customer experience and then performs experiments to see what parts of the Value proposition in her business resonates with the market. Anping is a minority, a woman, and has no experience owning her own business. She never considers herself disadvantaged or a victim; she rolls up her sleeves, goes about her work and constantly develops new processes to survive, improve and prosper – which as resulted in a 25% growth over the previous year. She is a model of the American Dream.
Brian Blasey – Never Measure
Brian is the definition of a true inventor. He has had many ideas throughout the years and has worked hard at making his way. If one idea or venture did not work, he was on to the next without fault. Brian’s extreme ambitions brought him to his most recent invention, the “NeverMeasure.” It is a precise leaving and picture hanging tool, that also aids in many other household projects. During the countless hours spent in design, prototyping and production, Brian never lost sight of his goal to bring it to market. Brian drives forward each and every day through networking, advertising, trade shows and many other avenues. Through his persistence and dedication, NeverMeasure was featured on the Today Show with WGN’s Lou Manfredini. NeverMeasure is now available at ACE Hardware stores, Berlands house of Tools and coming soon Do It Best hardware stores. Most recently, Brian integrated with two of the top three home staging and interior design organizations to introduce NeverMeasure within that market. Lastly, Brian just received his patent for NeverMeasure. In between his work, Brian leaves time to volunteer at LZACC and is on the Member Experience committee. He enjoys helping were he can and giving back by sponsoring a Toys for Tots event in partnership with WGN.
Brian Mattey – Generation Painting, Inc.
Brian is the owner of Generation Painting. We have watched him methodically build his business into a “painting powerhouse”. He utilizes networking opportunities and Chamber programs to successfully market his business. Brian was a major sponsor for 2019 Chamber Expo. His wife is also active in promoting their operations thru the Chamber. Brian has taken his painting business from a one man operation to a profitable business venture where he now spends most of his time managing rather than painting! His vendor booth at our 2019 Expo was outstanding and the quality of a big corporation! Generation Painting under Brian is truly a Chamber success story!
2019 Chamber Volunteer of the Year Nominees
Amber Wirkus – Holiday Inn Express
Amber not only serves selflessly on the Chamber’s Board of Directors, but she willingly volunteers for just about everything and ensures her efforts contribute to success. She has led the Young Professionals for the past several of years, demonstrating the importance of Chamber involvement.
Dan Migacz – AM Woodland Outdoor Design
Dan has been an active member of the Chamber since 2010. As a young entrepreneur, along side his brother, Andy, they have grown their business exponentially over the past decade. Dan joined the Chamber’s Board of Directors a year ago bringing new and innovative ideas to the Chamber. He has been instrumental in leading the Member Experience Committee, which has decreased the Chamber’s member drop rate from 40% to 20% in just one year. He has also led the Ambassadors Club, which is vital to the on-boarding of new Chamber members.
Ginny Opsahl – RE/MAX AT HOME
Our Chamber’s 2019 President, Ginny Opsahl, has truly been an outstanding volunteer – attending numerous Chamber events, community events, and Chamber volunteer committee meetings. Her tenacious leadership has guided our Chamber through a significant transition year. Her presence shines for all to see.
Laurie Wilhoit – Historic Downtown Long Grove
Laurie as been with the Chamber for over a decade. She recently joined the Board of Directors and been instrumental with the transition of the new Executive Director and the changes that have been made. She serves on the Marketing Committee. We can count on her to be there for events that need on-site volunteers.
Peter Salerno – Stratus Concept, LLC
Pete has been an active member on the Marketing and Ambassador committees, as well as the Chamber’s Board of Directors. He has also given his time to the Chamber office with IT support. He continually brings innovative ideas to the Chamber.
2019 Chamber Rookie of the Year Nominees
Susanne & Chad Dershaw – Volle’s/Mr. Tux
These two new owners, of a longstanding business in the community, joined the Chamber in March 2019. While Volle’s has been in the community for decades, they have revived the business by playing an active part in our Chamber. They attend several events and have partnered with similar industry members as well as make an effort to use members of the Chamber for their business and personal needs.
John Opsahl – JMM CPA
JMM CPA joined the Chamber in 2019 and has been their main Chamber representative. John regularly attends the Business Before and After Hours events, as well as other Chamber sponsored events. He joined both the LZANG networking group and Ambassador Club in 2019. JMM CPA was part of the Chamber’s Inaugural Lake County Job Fair during the summer and hired one of the attendees they connected with at the event. They also recently hired another accountant that was referred to John through a Chamber member. They recently hosted an all day team training session in the Chamber’s conference room. John and JMM CPA have definitely embraced the Chamber and the various resources it has to offer a local small business.
John Shuster – Wells Fargo Advisors
John Shuster joined the Chamber March 2019 and has been very active with several Chamber events. He joined one of Chamber’s networking groups, LZINC, and has volunteered at some of the Chamber’s signature events. The visibility he has created and the relationships he has made has heightened the value of his membership.