The Better Business Bureau of Chicago & Northern Illinois (BBB) is honored to announce this year’s award winners and new board members activated at its 92nd Annual Dinner held on Thursday, March 7, 2019 at the Swissotel Chicago. With over 600 attendees, the event featured the globally acclaimed Dev Patnaik, CEO of Jump Associates and one of the leading voices for Conscious Capitalism, as the keynote speaker.
Jump Associates is a strategy and innovation firm that works with some of the world’s most admired companies, including GE, Nike, Target and Virgin. Dev is a frequent speaker at business forums, and his articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Businessweek, Forbes, and Fast Company, and is the author of the widely acclaimed book “Wired to Care.”
Distinguished awards that were presented include:
Torchbearer of the Year Award to Daniel Goodwin. As Chairman and CEO of The Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc., Dan oversees a business that specializes in creating, developing and supporting separate real estate investment and financial companies. His passionate focus on ethics in business led to The Inland Real Estate Group of Companies winning the coveted Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics three times in the last eight years.
- Diogenes Award for Excellence in Media to Zully Ramírez. Zully works as a reporter for Telemundo Chicago’s consumer unit. “Telemundo Chicago Responde” was launched in 2015 and offers Spanish speaking consumers a direct opportunity to have their concerns investigated. Through her mediations and investigations, she has helped consumers in the Chicago area and suburbs recover nearly a half million dollars.
- The James E. Baumhart Lifetime Achievement Award to Dale J. Mueller, the Chairman of Chicago AAMCO Transmission Dealers. Dale is the owner and operator of eight AAMCO Transmissions and Car Care operations, and Midas auto repair centers in Chicagoland. Since starting his business in 1967 he has won numerous awards from both franchises for excellence in sales and customer service. He has been a member of the Better Business Bureau since 1986, currently serves on the Board of Directors and is Chair of the Ethics and Standards Committee.
“All of our award recipients exemplify the goals and principles of the Better Business Bureau to support and foster an ethical marketplace benefiting both consumers and businesses,” says Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the BBB.
The dinner also included the addition of several top business leaders to the Board of Directors. In alphabetical order they are:
- David J. Abrams | Sales Manager, Windy City Limousine & Bus Worldwide. As a premier transportation company providing worldwide services, David’s business was voted “Best Transportation Provider in Illinois” nine times in the past ten years by peers in the hospitality industry.
- Rich Baudo | Vice President of Sales for Comcast Spotlight Chicago. Since 2017, Rich has been the Vice President of Sales for Comcast Spotlight Chicago, the advertising sales arm of Comcast Cable. He leads a team of 50 local and regional sales professionals in the Chicago market.
- Ed Connealy | Connealy Design Element. Started in 2016, Connealy Design Element provides consultation to the local Architect and Design community and drives sales for some of the industry’s most beautifully designed products.
- Victoria Garofalo | Vice President, Director of Marketing at Pan American Bank & Trust Responsible for the bank’s marketing activities, Victoria oversees the development and delivery of a fully integrated marketing strategy.
- Susan Jacobs | SVP Revenue Strategy, Tribune Publishing. In her current role at Tribune Publishing, Susan leads revenue and sales strategy across nine major markets, including Chicago Tribune, NY Daily News, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel, Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, Hartford Courant, Allentown Morning Call, Virginia Pilot, and Newport News Daily Press.
- Juan Leyva | General Manager, LondonHouse Chicago. Juan manages a team of over 300 employees and oversees day-to-day operations at the 452-room luxury lifestyle hotel in downtown Chicago.
- Natalie Bauer Luce | Executive Vice President for Culloton Strategies. Natalie has developed and executed award-winning integrated marketing and communications campaigns. She’s an executive at a media communications and strategy firm that specializes in media relations, crisis communications, public affairs and grassroots campaigns.
- Roger T. Stelle | Founding Partner, Meltzer, Purtill & Steele LLC. With a law practice focused on the representation of closely-held companies, including succession issues and the pursuit of both growth and exit strategies for their principals, Roger is a founding member of one of the largest suburban-based law firms in the Chicago metropolitan area with offices in both Schaumburg and Chicago.
- Walt Valo | Managing Director, Lucid Agency. As Managing Director of Lucid Agency’s Chicago office, Walt Valo focuses on new business development and leading integrated digital marketing strategies that drive business growth for a variety of Fortune 500 clients.
PNC Bank was the presenting sponsor for this this year’s Annual Dinner. This year’s gold sponsor was Inland Real Estate Group of Companies. Silver sponsors included ComEd, Discover Financial and Fox Valley Auto Group.
Other major announcements at the Annual Dinner included:
- The 2019 BBB Educational Foundation’s scholarship contest for high school seniors and college students will move to all video submissions this season. Entries must be submitted by Friday, May 31st. For more information go to org/entry-guidelines.
- The 25th Annual Integrity Golf Classic will be held at Northmoor Country Club on Monday, July 22nd. All proceeds raised from the golf outing will benefit the BBB’s Educational Foundation. For sponsorship opportunities and golfer registration go to org.
- Nominations for the 2019 BBB Torch Awards for Marketplace Trust and Excellence are now open. Nominate your company today at org.
By Better Business Bureau. March 15, 2019.