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MVCC names winners of Business Champion Awards

Updated: December 24, 2013 1:23PM



Moraine Valley Community College’s Corporate, Community and Continuing Education subdivision has selected the winners of its 2013 Business Champion Awards, which recognize the valuable contributions businesses and their advocates make to the economic development of Chicago’s southwest suburbs.

Awards are presented in six categories: Training and Development, Sustainability, Excellence in Government, Philanthropy, Entrepreneur/Small Business Person of the Year, and Women in Business/Leadership Award.

Priscilla Steinmetz, founder and executive director of the Bridge Teen Center in Orland Park, was selected to receive the Training and Development Award.

Steinmetz is being recognized for the grassroots community center’s work in training seventh- through 12th-grade students to develop mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually in a safe environment.

Steinmetz has dedicated her life to working with teens by transitioning a struggling youth program with less than 10 students into a multi-tiered operation serving the interests and needs of 400 suburban teens through after-school programs.

Phil Shea, vice president of sales at Prairie Material, will receive the Sustainability Award.

Prairie Materials, in Bridgview, has established sustainable best practices, including operating several recycling centers that accept used and returned concrete; developing innovative concrete products that partially replace cement with industrial byproducts, preventing industrial waste from clogging landfills; reusing process water; controlling dust, and incorporating a company-wide environmental management system to document best practices.

The Excellence in Government award will be awarded to Daniel McLaughlin, mayor of Orland Park, for his part in the economic, environmental, cultural, social, and recreational progress of the village..

McLaughlin has attracted a number of new businesses to the village, created the Residential Rewards Program and the Ninety 7 Fifty on the Park project, the Taste of Orland and many other events.

Under his leadership, the village has grown and maintained its vitality and low crime rate.

This year the Philanthropy Award will be presented to William Keyser, owner of Florida Plastics/Keyser Retail Solutions, for a $1 million donation to Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn.

The donation helped open a $3.5 million pediatric cancer center at Advocate Christ Medical Center.

The Keyser Group is a family-owned business in Evergreen Park that offers expertise and products for local store marketing and merchandising solutions.

Marc Golden, owner of Golden Shoes in Palos Heights, will be awarded the Entrepreneur/Small Business Person of the Year award for celebrating 50 years in business.

The store’s longevity speaks to his care, concern and business ethic of always making the customers feel important and being sincere and devoted to them. He truly cares about his clientele.

The Women in Business/Leadership Award will be presented to Andrea Ramirez-Justin, vice president of Old Plank Trail Community Bank.

At the bank, she manages governmental and public entity relationships with the bank’s community outreach services.

Ramirez-Justin is involved in many civic and community activities, is the president of the Mokena Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Professional Women’s Network, a member of the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office’s Banking advisory board and serves on the Moraine Valley Foundation board. She has received “The Business Ledger’s” Entrepreneurial Excellence Award.

The awards will be presented at the 18th Annual Business Champion Awards dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Moraine Business and Conference Center, Building M, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills. Tickets are $50 each or $380 for a table of eight.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call (708) 974-5714 or email schrimplee@morainevalley.edu.

Staff report



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