Small Business of The Year

The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce awarded five businesses at their 17th annual Small Business of the Year Awards – held at the Bolingbrook Country Club.

Every year, chamber members nominate their peers and then past award winners select this year’s winners.

An award is given in five different categories and those winners are then entered into the running for the top prize, the overall Small Business of the Year.

Honored this year were:
Business-to-Business: Design & Promote
Business-to-Consumer: Reebie Storage & Moving
Professional: Sikich LLP
Not-for-Profit: KidsMatter
Service: Showalter Roofing Service, Inc.

“We know all of you put our young people and our families first,” said IdaLynn Wenhold, Executive Director for KidsMatter during her acceptance speech. “And without you everything that we could do and are doing is not possible. Thank you.”

Design & Promote was awarded the overall Small Business of the Year.

The 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award went to Mayor George Pradel.

Two of his three kids, Carol & Gary introduced their father, sharing all the things Pradel has done is his life, along with a little humor.

“He earned the title Officer Friendly, but that was not his name at home when we got in trouble as kids,” explained Carol.

From those days as Officer Friendly to his nearly 20 years in office, Mayor Pradel has left his mark on the Naperville community.

Many Naperville notables shared their fond memories of Pradel in a video played at the ceremony.


“It’s with mixed feelings I’m up here receiving this award,” said Pradel. “I just thank all of you for what a wonderful city we have because of the quality of life you demand. I just want to be a part of that forever. I just want to thank all of you that are here. I would do anything for you.”

The mayor said the best part of the night was sharing it with his wife Pat and the rest of his family.

Overall, there were 33 businesses that were nominated and honored at this year’s awards.


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