BLOOMINGTON — Business and community leaders gathered Saturday night to celebrate the McLean County Chamber of Commerce’s 12th annual Business Excellence Awards. The sold-out gala was hosted at the Illinois State University Brown Ballroom and served as an opportunity to award the success of chamber member businesses of 2021.
• Jim Shirk, Legacy of Excellence Award
Shirk has been building his legacy though the continuation and growth of Beer Nuts Brand Snacks, the creation of other businesses in real estate and agriculture, and the development of the Shirk Family Foundation. By providing grants to local institutions, the foundation seeks to promote the programs and initiatives that support the arts, education, athletics, leadership and spiritual growth. This has resulted in contributions exceeding $20 million in McLean County.
• CRAFTED Commons, New & Emerging Business Excellence Award
Born in the height of the pandemic, CRAFTED Commons has proven that a symbiotic relationship between business and community is the key to success. After opening Clinton’s, Coffee Corner in 2018, sisters Bryn and Kylie partnered with friends and family to expand their enterprise in Bloomington-Normal, which now includes CRAFTED, CRAFTED Coffee Brews, & Pokeworks.
• Project Oz, Nonprofit Excellence Award
Each year, Project Oz, founded in 1973, reaches more than 6,000 youth through school-based prevention initiatives, early intervention, emergency crisis response, counseling, skill building, and tailored housing solutions for runaway and homeless youth. As more young people in the community face homelessness for the first time as a result of the pandemic, job loss or family conflict, they are at increased risk of contracting and spreading infection. Project Oz’s work to shelter and educate local youth extends beyond their traditional mission, helping to curb the impact of the pandemic on the underprivileged and homeless.
• Moxii Marketing Solutions, Micro Business Excellence Award
Founded and operated by Kate Burcham in 2018, Moxii Marketing Solutions’ personal approach to consultation allows them to deeply understand their clients’ needs and ideas to articulate a clear, creative and effective message. Burcham also donates her time, talents and money to nonprofits in McLean County, including the Boys & Girls Club, Lymph Logic and Pub Club Rotary. When the pandemic hit in early 2020, Burcham continued to support her clients with pro bono work
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• Tarvin’s Culligan Water Conditioning, Small Business Excellence Award
A third-generation business, Tarvin’s Culligan of Bloomington has been serving customers in Mclean County since 1956 with water treatment products and services. The business has thrived on providing cleaner, safer water to residential and commercial customers. Considered an essential business during the height of the pandemic, Tarvin’s worked to ensure all water needs in the community were met while also problem-solving water treatment and infrastructure issues.
• CEFCU, Large Business Excellence Award
Since their start in 1937, CEFCU has believed in an open, honest approach to helping members handle their money. Support from new and long-standing members allowed CEFCU to return a $20 million Extraordinary Dividend to their members in 2021, totaling $380 million since 2000. CEFCU supports local nonprofits including Junior Achievement, The Baby Fold, the Children’s Discovery Museum and Midwest Food Bank.
Who was there? 29 photos from BLINGO 2022
BLINGO co-founders Carrie Kieser and Emily Vercruysse
Elizabeth Byrd, Katie Mavros, Melissa Ash
Ciarra Kohn, Tracy Perry, Emily Derege
Kydia Trembley, Mary Colby
Melinda Freeman, Desarae Fowler
Karen Quinn, Julie Kronmiller
Karie Henderson, Nicole Chizmar
Keri Roper, Anna Miles
Julie Bell, Laura Cline
Arianne Anderson, Karen Huels
Kari Henderson, Becky Reinhart, Stephanie Gonzalez, Heidi Sharpe
Annie Cunningham, Cora Olsen, Erin Olson
Nicole Blanchard, Patty Natoli
Mollie Burkhart, Tasha Tomlinson, Tobi Shickel
Brooke Grieder, Renee Haning
Kelly Scott, Erin Redd
Emcees Jeff Mavros, Brandon Vercruysse
Staci Whitaker, Ciarra Kohn
Carolyn Balota, Kathy Current, Connie Allen
Rachel Weaver, Trisha Thomas, Jolene Kerr
Lori Holland Brian Waddell
Jan Tudeen, Kacy Rader, Angie French
Ashley Nolan , Brittany Huber
Kristal Fetzer, Victoria Patrick, Holly Pearson
Bri Schreiner, Pam Vigna, Quinn Bossert
Becky Reinhart, Jesse Simmons
Lauren Gerdes, Julia Greenland
Wendy Noel, Erika Hunt
Tadd Shickel, Aaron Meyer