12th Annual Summit Awards

SSSBA’s 12th Annual Summit Awards were held at the elegant Idlewild Country Club in Flossmoor, Il. on February 12th, 2014. A capacity crowd gathered to recognize and honor this year’s five awardees for their outstanding business achievements.

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The Annual Summit Awards honor leading business people and organizations who have contributed to the economic and cultural growth of the region. Each of the awardees is carefully selected from the many businesses and organizations in the region for their outstanding performance and excellence in their qualifying category.

The Summit Awardees for 2013 are:

Small Business of the Year Award recognizes a businesse’s management ability, continued growth, innovativeness of their product or service, and contribution to the community or others.
Awardee: Professional Systems Inc, Riverdale, Illlinois

Training Excellence of the Year Award recognizes businesses that are striving to maintain and upgrade their employees’ skills, contribution to the community or others, value added from the training process to their business and recognition of being ready for new or changing technologies or processes.
Awardee: Carl Buddig, South Holland, Illinois

Economic Development Leader of the Year Award acknowledges management ability, contribution to the community and region by working toward continued growth and viability of the region, efforts made to build good, strong relationships with business.
Awardee: Rachael Jones, Marketing & Public Relations Manager, Village of Homewood, Illinois

Creative Arts Award acknowledges the ability to offer top-caliber talent to the community, the use of local talent representing the diversity of the communities it serves, demonstration of continued growth and success as an organization and its willingness to engage in collaborative efforts with other creative arts organizations.
Awardee: Paul Henry Arts Gallery, Hammond, Indiana

Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes the vision, innovation and hard work of a young person; their contribution to the community or others; and raises awareness in our communities and among our youth of the critical role that private enterprise and entrepreneurship play in the building of America.
Awardee: Jesus Fernandez Ortiz, Thornwood High School, South Holland, Illinois



When: Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

7:30 – 7:45 a.m. Check in and Networking
8:00 – 9:45 a.m. Breakfast, Speaker, and Awards
Where: Idlewild Country Club (click for directions)
Address: 19201 Dixie Highway, Flossmoor, Illinois 60422

Musical Artist: Brian Danzy, Seton Academy

Keynote Presentation: It’s Not Small Business, It’s Your Business

Tony Sindone

Tony Sindone is a Continuing Lecturer in Economics at Purdue University North Central. He holds a MA degree in economics from Notre Dame with concentrations in labor economics and public policy. He is in the process of completing his Ph. D. in Economics from the University of Notre Dame. Prior to Purdue, he served on the faculties of Indiana University South Bend and the University of Notre Dame. His more than 27 years’ experience as well as his research and consulting interests include forensic economics, labor markets, workforce development, public policy, housing markets, and regional economic development. He is a member of the Regional Council of Economic Advisors for Northwest Indiana. His opinions on regional economic issues and labor markets are sought often by local news media in Northwest Indiana. He has been quoted numerous times in regional newspapers and has been a frequent guest on news radio.

Prior to pursuing his academic and consulting career, Mr. Sindone worked as an avionics technician, inspector and quality engineer for Lockheed Aircraft Service. He started and grew a technology service company while in graduate school. He was also the owner of a popular restaurant and home furnishings store in La Porte, Indiana.

Additionally, Mr. Sindone had served in the past as the President of the La Porte City Redevelopment Commission. He had also served on several not for profit Boards of Directors including as President of Stepping Stone Shelter for Women and as President of Smooth Jazz At South Shore Inc. In addition to his work with the Regional Council of Economic Advisors, he is currently serving on the Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) 2040 Plan Implementation Committee. His focus on that committee is on workforce development and innovation.

To read about previous year’s Awardees: Please click here.

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