On Saturday, February 5, business and community leaders came together to celebrate the 12th Annual Business Excellence Awards.
The sold-out Gala was hosted at the Illinois State University Brown Ballroom and served as an opportunity to award the success of Chamber member businesses of 2021.
These awards went to:
• Jim Shirk, recipient of the Legacy of Excellence
• CRAFTED Commons, recipient of the New &
Emerging Business Excellence Award
• Project Oz, recipient of the Nonprofit
Excellence Award• Moxii Marketing Solutions, recipient of the
Micro Business Excellence Award
• Tarvin’s Culligan Water Conditioning, recipient
of the Small Business Excellence Award
• CEFCU, recipient of the Large Business
Jim Shirk, recipient of the Legacy of Excellence award
About Jim Shirk:
For his entire career, Jim Shirk has been a key contributor to making McLean County a better place to live. He has been building his legacy though the continuation and growth of their local calling card business and product line, BEER NUTS® Brand Snacks, the creation of other businesses in real estate and agriculture, and the development of the Shirk Family Foundation for the benefit of McLean County.
Jim’s community involvement is extensive over the years. He served on the Board of Directors for the McLean County Chamber of Commerce including a term as the Chairman. Jim served on the Board of Trustees at Illinois Wesleyan University for over three decades and has been involved in various foundation boards at Illinois State University. Jim’s most recent and exciting involvement has been on the building committee at the YMCA after spending years on the Board and pushing the new construction project along for over twenty years.
Jim’s proudest contribution to the community is the Shirk Family Foundation. By providing grants to local institutions, the Foundation seeks to promote the programs and initiatives that support the arts, education, athletic excellence, leadership, and spiritual growth. This has resulted in contributions exceeding $20 million in McLean County for several organizations. The Chamber is honored to name him this year’s recipient of the Legacy of Excellence award.
New & Emerging Business Excellence Award Winner: CRAFTED Commons
Born in the height of the pandemic, CRAFTED Commons has proven that a symbiotic relationship between business and community is the key to success. After opening Clinton’s, Coffee Corner in 2018, the CRAFTED sisters, Bryn and Kylie partnered with friends and family to expand their enterprise in Bloomington-Normal.
Consisting of three enterprises, CRAFTED, CRAFTED Coffee Brews, & Pokeworks, CRAFTED Commons offers something for everyone enjoy. The CRAFTED Commons team continues to enhance the experience with their menu innovations, recreational leagues, live music scene, trivia nights, and partnerships with local artists for special events.
CRAFTED Commons spent the early days of establishing their business actively giving back to the community by partnering with local businesses such as GoBena Coffee, supporting countless area nonprofits, and lifting community artists with live music and craft events. In supporting their community, the community has supported them.
Nonprofit Excellence Award Winner: Project Oz
Since 1973, Project Oz has created a continuum of innovative programs to help all young people thrive and reach their full potential. Each year, the organization reaches more than 6,000 youth through its services, which include school-based prevention initiatives, early intervention, emergency crisis response, counseling, skill building, and tailored housing solutions for runaway and homeless youth.
In all programs, Project Oz focuses on implementing evidence-based practices to support the healthy emotional and social development of young people. Specifically, their staff collaborates with both school districts to provide counseling, career planning, student support services, conflict resolution, and healthy living strategies to students and families.
As more young people in the community face homelessness for the first time as a result of the pandemic, job loss or family conflict, they are at increased risk of both contracting and spreading infection. Project Oz’s work to shelter and educate local youth extends beyond their traditional mission, helping to curb the impact of the pandemic on the underprivileged and homeless.
Micro Business Excellence Award Winner: Moxii Marketing Solutions
Founded and operated by Kate Burcham in 2018, Moxii Marketing Solutions’ personal approach to consultation allows them to deeply understand their clients’ needs and ideas to articulate a clear, creative and effective message.
Kate and her team lend their creativity and passion not only to their clients, but also to the community. Kate regularly donates her time, talents, and money to countless non-profits in McLean County, including the Boys & Girls Club, Lymph Logic and Pub Club Rotary, where she is also a founding member.
When the pandemic hit in early 2020, Kate continued to support her clients with pro bono work – demonstrating her true dedication to the success of McLean County businesses.
Small Business Excellence Award Winner: Tarvin’sCulligan Water Conditioning
A third-generation business, Tarvin’s Culligan of Bloomington has been serving customers in Mclean County since 1956 with water treatment products and services. The business has thrived on providing cleaner, safer water to residential and commercial customers in our community.
From dedicating time and resources to Miller Park Zoo, to supporting the Children’s Discovery Museum, to donating water to the local universities and injured veterans, their commitment and promise to the community is steadfast.
Considered an essential business during the height of the pandemic, Tarvin’s Culligan Water Conditioning worked tirelessly to ensure all water needs in the community were met while also problem-solving water treatment and infrastructure issues.
Large Business Excellence Award Winner: CEFCU
Since their start in 1937, CEFCU has believed in an open, honest approach to helping members handle their money. Today, that includes better loan rates, fewer fees, Extraordinary Dividends, personal benefits, and more.
The continued support from new and long-standing members allowed CEFCU to return a $20 million Extraordinary Dividend to their members in 2021, totaling $380 million since 2000.
CEFCU is committed to giving back where members live and work by supporting countless local non-profit organizations including Junior Achievement, The Baby Fold, the Children’s Discovery Museum and Midwest Food Bank, to name just a few.
In addition to supportin non-profits and community events, CEFCU is also committed to educating members about how to manage and use their money wisely to achieve strong financial health. Looking forward, CEFCU will continue to focus on meeting members’ financial needs, sharing their success, and making a difference in the communities they serve.