By: Katherine Hodgkins, IL – The West Suburban Chamber of Commerce and Industry will host the 38th annual Seeds of Greatness Awards Dinner on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at the William Tell Holiday Inn in Countryside.
The Seeds of Greatness Awards honor persons and businesses that have contributed to the success of our region through outstanding achievement in community service, public service, or business. This year’s award winners are: Community Service – Linda Nadkarni, teacher, La Grange Park resident and area philanthropist; Public Service – Mike Bojovic, Village of La Grange, Assistant Director of Public Works; Business Leader – Allison Muzal, Bookkeeping Express; Excellence in Business – First National Bank of La Grange. The Young Man of the Year winner is Reggie Young, Argo Community High School; Young Woman of the Year winner is Meghan McDermott, Lyons Township High School. The Honorable Mention for Community Service was awarded to the Y’s Mens Club of the YMCA.
The annual awards celebration is a wonderful opportunity to recognize the significant accomplishments of the honorees. Their contributions have positively impacted the economic and community development of the region.
Keith Hill of Edward Jones Investments and Securities spoke on behalf of Community Service winner Linda Nadkarni: “Linda is one of the unsung heroes of our community. She works to affect real change, diving in and pushing others to work harder.” Nadkarni has offered her talents to Kiwanis, Builders Club of S.E. Gross Middle School, Riverside Presbyterian Church, the LeaderShop (formerely CEP Youth Leadership), Pillars, Elmhurst College Alumni Board, Teen Parent Connection, and Lifelink Charities.
Charlene Vickery, La Grange Business Association Board Member said of Public Service winner Mike Bojovic: “Mike is a tireless supporter of the area business community. Among his many successes is his work beautifying the Village of La Grange. It looks great! And his work is indispensable on the Village’s Summer Arts Program.”
In addition to the generous volunteer hours Business Leader Allison Muzal contributes to WSCCI events and committees, her business – Bookkeeping Express – is committed to value and excellence. Muzal regularly shares her expertise with the community in the form of free educational events and is a trusted professional resource. Muzal has also served on the board of the Westchester Library.
“First National Bank of La Grange received many nominations for the Excellence in Business Award,” noted Katherine Leibforth of the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce. “They are widely acknowledged as having an important impact on the health and well-being of area residents, particularly the aging.” Ken Grunke of Aging Care Connections called attention to their Elder Abuse program, which worked to create an awareness of the financial exploitation of seniors. Grunke stated, “All levels of staff at FNBL are involved in community efforts. All area organizations, businesses and individuals have benefitted from having an institution like First National Bank of La Grange. They offer a strong sense of partnership with a strong, caring heart.”
Meghan McDermott of Lyons Township High School will receive the Young Woman of the Year Award based on her “passion for helping others.” Leslie Price, Children’s Director at the Theater of Western Springs said, “Meghan has a tremendous empathy for others. She goes the extra mile to make sure younger students feel empowered to try new things, and shy students grow in confidence.” McDermott initiated a partnership with Peace Builders, bringing two dozen inner-city students to a TWS production. Said Price, “Meghan is a wonderful student and an amazing citizen.”
The Young Man of the Year Award will go to Reggie Young of Argo High School. In addition to school work, Young plays football, runs track and volunteers at the LeaderShop. Leadershop staff member Meredith Schilsky said of Young: “Reggie has devoted more than 710 hours of volunteer work to the LeaderShop. He is the kind of student who will achieve his goals despite setbacks. I fully expect to see Reggie influence young people through sports, service and his inspiring words of hope and change.”
The Y’s Men are well known in the Western Suburbs for their Christmas tree sale, the proceeds of which are distributed among several area charities. In addition the Y’s Men award scholarships to some of the local high school’s most promising scholars based, in part, on their own service to the community.
The gala honoring these award winners is sponsored by Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital, Community Memorial Foundation, and MB Financial Bank. The evening will begin with a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner and awards at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $65 per person or tables of ten for $600; the event is open to the public. For reservations, program advertising, sponsorship, or additional information, please contact Kristen Hermes, West Suburban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 708-387-7550, or firstname.lastname@example.org.