Congratulations to the 2023 Annual Dinner Award Winners

July 22, 2021 | Annual Awards | Events

2022 Business Excellence Award Winners

The Business Excellence Award is the most prestigious award given by the Chamber to a member who best exemplifies the following criteria: Evidence of success given company’s expansion and financial accomplishments, development and/or utilization of innovative or creative business methods, and contributions to the community.

Belleville Township High School, Dist. 201, The CAVE (Center for Academic & Vocational Excellence)
is a highly impactful contribution to the Greater Belleville business and industry community.  It is an example of innovation and a creative approach to providing opportunities for students to have access to job skills, while filling a significant need within our business and industry community. 
 The CAVE is a state-of-the-art facility designed to be an incubator for leaders of all types, and to
bring students with differing interests together under one roof. The facility offers in-demand
vocational programs so that students can take advanced courses beyond what are offered on the main campuses of Belleville East High School and Belleville West High School. Vocational
programs currently being offered at The CAVE include culinary arts, welding, carpentry,
automotive, machining and metal works. In the Fall of 2023, early childhood education, advanced technology training, healthcare, and certified nursing assistant training will be added.
Partnerships with credentialing agencies such as SWIC, the St. Clair County Workforce Development Dept. and others provide guidance to ensure the needs of both employers and the school community are being met.  Additionally, District 201 has partnered with over forty businesses to help Greater Belleville maintain its strong presence in the regional and national economy. 
One of the greatest contributions a school system can provide for the communities it serves is preparing students to be productive members of society.  This facility provides an immediate lifelong employment and opportunity that can change the trajectory of young men and women immediately after high school graduation.   The CAVE has been recognized across our state and region as a shining example of how schools and business/industry leaders should, can and are working together.
Logan & Logan, Management and Accounting Services
Established in 2018, Logan & Logan’s goal was to serve low income families with tax and accounting advisor services.   It didn’t take them long to grow out of their small office and locate to a larger office on North Belt West to serve the needs of their clients better.

With so many tax providers in the area, they stride to give their customers a great experience by not only doing their taxes but also giving them an understanding of their taxes and plans for the future. They committed to giving their clients the best support to ensure success in their business.
Annually, Logan & Logan host school supply giveaways and donate to Children’s Home & Aid each year. They also give out hats and gloves in the winter.  They are always looking for ways to make a difference and impact the community.

They are a small business with big dreams. They volunteer their time to assist anyone in need.
Logan & Logan also assists at the Small Business Development Center with Pitch Competitions evaluation submissions. Along with the Chamber and other local resources, they are working with the Small Business Development Center to host Getting Connected.   Logan and Logan are always looking for ways to not only better the business community but to give back.

2022 Citizen of the Year Award Winner

The Citizen of the Year Award recognizes an individual member of the Belleville Community for their outstanding contributions and service. These contributions and community service include areas such as education, charitable and voluntary service, fundraising or any other area which contributes to the enrichment of the quality of life in Belleville. This award is given to honor and ensure the recipient’s contributions and commitment will provide an inspiration to us all.

The recipient of this year’s Citizen of the Year Award is the Honorable retired Judge Annette Eckert.
Throughout Judge Eckert’s studies from Belleville East High School to Bradley University, to DePaul University Law School, Judge Eckert was thinking of how she could serve others.
She started her career as an assistant Public Defender in Cook County, IL, then to private practice where her service began with teaching young law students, to serving on Judicial committees, Judge Eckert was determined to make a difference.

After several years in private practice, she became a presiding judge in the Family Division, 20th Judicial Circuit Court and in November 2002 was the first women elected Circuit Judge in the 20th Judicial Circuit Court of Illinois.

Her community service in Belleville includes:
Founding member and still currently active in the Belleville Heritage Society, served on the Board of Directors of the Belleville Main Street, helped founded the Old Town Market where she was also the Assistant Market Master, served as an instructor for Government & Legal System with Boy Scout Troop 77, founding Coordinator for the Mock Trial Club at Governor French Academy, member of  St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, served on the Advisory Council for the National Guard and served on the Board of Directors for the Karla Smith Foundation.

Most recently, she was instrumental in helping the City of Belleville bring Southern Illinois University School of Law to the Southwestern Illinois Justice and Workforce Development Campus, where she also serves as an adjunct professor.

With that said, she’s not done. She recognized a need in the community to still serve the youth. 
In 2014 she founded the St. Clair County Teen Court. This program represents an alternative approach to juvenile justice that holds the first-time non-violent youth offenders accountable through a sentence imposed by their peers.  The St. Clair County Teen Court emphasizes accountability and responsibility rather than traditional punitive measures. Teen court helps troubled youth become accountable for their offense, helps to repair harm caused to victims and finds solutions to help the youth become a more productive member of the community. This program continues to grow every year under Judge Eckert’s guidance and leadership.

Leadership Belleville Alumni Award Winner

This award recognizes alumni who have made an impact through their service to the community and to the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce. All nominees must be a member of the Chamber and be an alumnus of the leadership Belleville program for more than 5 years.

This year’s recipient of the Leadership Belleville Alumni Award, Eric Schauster is a graduate of the very first year Leadership Belleville was formed, Class of 2001. He truly believes in the Leadership Belleville program so much that even after he stepped away for almost 15 years, he came back with a passion taking a leadership role in the program.  Eric has either served as the committee chair, assistant committee chair or day planner since joining the committee.
Eric is constantly recruiting for Leadership Belleville as he sees the true value in the program, and enjoys watching the class members grow as a team and in their own personal leadership development. 
Eric has used his own leadership experience to help him grow with through professional development.  He is currently the Assistant Director of Economic Development, Planning & Zoning Department for the City of Belleville and is considered the city’s expert and go to person for TIF’s. 
Eric’s leadership and his willingness to give back to the Leadership Belleville program is why this program will continue to evolve and go on for another 20+ years.  Thank your Eric for your dedication to our community, the city of Belleville and to the Chamber.