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Chamber names 2014 ‘Business of the Year’

Published: Friday, May 30, 2014 5:28 p.m. CDT

CRYSTAL LAKE – The Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce named its annual award winners at a dinner Thursday at the Crystal Lake Country Club.

The Robert O. Covey Business of the Year Award went to Georgio’s Chicago Pizzeria & Pub. Started in 2003 by owner Brian Coli, Georgio’s has been named one of the top 100 independent pizzerias in the nation by Pizza Today Magazine. The award recognizes a business on the basis of its success, community support and leadership in memory of Robert O. Covey, according to a news release from the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce.

“Through Brian Coli’s leadership, Georgio’s homegrown success has been an example to follow,” the release said.  

This year’s Carl E. Wehde Award went to Crystal Lake Mayor Aaron Shepley. He has been the longest-seated mayor in the city and “he consistently demonstrates a pattern of leadership and public service that emulates that of” former Mayor Carl E. Wehde, the release said.

Shepley, who said he “loved being mayor,” thanked his family, employer and members of the Crystal Lake City Council.

“It really is about loving your community,” he said.

The Chamber of Commerce presented Presidential Awards of Excellence to former Chamber President Gary Reece, Bob Blazier of Home State Bank, Julie Mayer of Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, Erin McElroy of Lakeside Legacy Arts Park, Cathy Oberbroeckling of Van Galder Bus/Coach USA Co., and Ken Pringle of CPR Finance & Associates LLC.

A special Thank You award was presented to Kathryn Martens, director of the Crystal Lake Public Library, for her work in leading the search committees that hired Reece and the Chamber’s new president, Mary Margaret Maule.

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