SBA Honors Illinois Small Business Leaders at Expo

Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Roper to receive the SBA 2010 Illinois Choice Award

CHICAGO  (  The small business public is encouraged to take part in the 47th Annual Illinois Small Business Week, Awards, Lender Matchmaking, and Business Expo at Chicago’s Navy Pier on June 29. Throughout the Expo, workshops will feature expert panels addressing today’s critical small business issues, and an Award Luncheon honoring local award winners for their impact in the small business community.

During the Awards Luncheon, SBA will recognize Jerry Roper, President and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce as this year’s winner of the prestigious 2010 Illinois Choice Award. Each year, this award is presented to recognize an individual whose life avocation has been focused in a direction that significantly impacts and fosters business and economic development within Illinois.

Warner Cruz, President of J.C. Restoration, Inc. of Rolling Meadows, IL, will be presented the Small Business Person of the Year Award. Last month, he was honored in Washington, DC. as a runner-up to the National Award.

The award presentations will follow a panel discussion featuring perspectives from leading local financial experts.

Business owners can register online for lender matchmaking appointments and the business expo, and purchase award luncheon tickets at where additional information is available.

WHAT:   Small Business Week, Awards, Lender Matchmaking, and Business Expo
WHO:   Judith Roussel, SBA Illinois District Director
    Warren Ribley, Director, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
    Jerry Roper, President and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce (2010 Illinois Choice Award)
    Warner Cruz, President of J.C. Restoration, Inc. (2010 Illinois Small Business Person of the Year)
    Eshwar Noojibail, Chairman, SCORE Chicago Chapter
WHEN:   Tuesday, June 29, 2010
    Navy Pier (600 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611)
    EXPO: Lakeview Terrace (8:00 AM—5:00 PM)
    AWARDS LUNCHEON: Grand Ballroom (11:45 AM to 1:30 PM)

Additional 2010 Illinois Small Business Week Awardees:

  • Small Business Exporter of the Year—Chris Helle, Vice President of Sawmill Hydraulics, Inc.
  • Jeffrey Butland FamilyOwned Business of the Year—Paul A. Renzaglia, General Manager of Alto Vineyards, Ltd.,
  • Minority Small Business Champion of the Year—Monica Billinger, Manager of Corporate Supplier Diversity for Health Care Service Corporation
  • Women in Business Champion of the Year—Angelika Coghlan, President of Catwalk Consulting.

47th Annual Illinois Small Business Week Awards Event Activities:


Register for one-on-one appointments with lenders seeking to do business with creditworthy small businesses. Sign up for at least 3 pre-arranged appointments with lenders of your choice. Choose from an array of national, regional and community banks and other lenders that will be available to explore financing options and opportunities with you. Matchmaking appointments will be scheduled in 15 minute increments from 8:00 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. and then again from 1:40 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


The Small Business Expo will feature resource and technical assistance partners that will provide valuable information to help you start and/or operate your small business. The Expo will also feature workshops on capital access and opportunities, seeking venture capital, marketing versus stalking, and reinventing your company through social networking.