Reprinted from DAILY SOUTHTOWN, April 16, 2006

Business, Education Proponents Garner Awards
Annual awards luncheon hosted by Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce

Business, education and community representatives from the Southland gathered Wednesday for the Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards ceremony.

Nine awards were presented to individuals and companies who have exceeded ordinary service in areas such as business, education, governmental leadership, international business, small business, entrepreneurship and home-based businesses.

“We’re honored to have such great businesses operating here in the Southland,” said Joseph Christofanelli, chairman of the Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce.

The “Business Achievement Award” was presented to Frank Giordano, president and chief executive of Illinois Transport Inc., South Holland.

Giordano was unable to attend the presentation, but company spokeswoman, Fran Brescia, expressed gratitude for such an honor.

In 1978, the company moved to South Holland from Bedford Park, and has expanded steadily since that time. With more than 65 employees, Illinois Transport, 17201 State St., spans about 25 acres and specializes in repairing shipping containers, including refrigerated containers.

Dan Gardner, coordinator for work force and community services at Prairie State College, received the “Business Education Award.”

Gardner has been with PSC for more than three years and was honored for his work on the Job Shadowing program offered at the college.

State Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Matteson) received the “Government Leader Award,” but was unable to attend the luncheon.

The “Local to Global” award was presented to William Saxelby, president and chief executive of Landauer in Glenwood.

“This is a very impressive group of people,” Saxelby said. “We are thankful for this honor and hope to continue our goals that include increasing our foreign business transactions.”

Saxelby said Landauer is currently generating about 20 percent of its revenue from the foreign market, but would like to see that figure closer to 50 percent. The company specializes in radiation monitoring equipment and services.

Chicago Heights Construction Co. was given the “Small Business of the Year” award, and company president, Daniel Bergin Jr., thanked his “tremendous” staff.

“They have been the catalyst for this company and I appreciate their dedication and service,” Bergin said.

“We are a four-generation company that was founded by my grandfather, Daniel Patrick Bergin, an Irish immigrant,” Bergin said.

Ann Drake, CEO of DSC Logistics, received the “Business Woman of the Year” award for her work mentoring women in the business community.

DSC, based in Des Plaines, is a leading supply chain management organization. Drake was unable to attend the awards ceremony.

The “New Entrepreneur of the Year” winner was Michael Gutchewsky of The Gootch Financial Group in Homewood.

Gutchewsky is a member of the Chicago Southland Chamber as well as the Oak Lawn Chamber of Commerce. He is an active community member who offers a host of financial services to area businesses.

Geoff Slawson, owner of TGS Communications, thanked the chamber for his award as “Home-Based Business of the Year.”

TGS Video works with large and small companies producing professional programs, training videos, as well as promotions and special events.

The “Economic Impact Award,” was presented to MI-Jack Products Inc. for its contribution to the Southland. The Hazel Crest-based company makes overhead cranes.

The luncheon, sponsored by Advocate South Suburban Hospital, was held at Georgios Banquets Comfort Inn & Conference Centre in Orland Hills.
© Copyright Daily Southtown. April 2006. All rights reserved.

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