Chamber of Commerce honors Evanston community members for charity work

Billy Kobin, Reporter

An Evanston Chamber of Commerce annual event honored several community members Wednesday evening for their work with disaster response, homeless citizens and youth.

The 95th Annual Celebration & Awards at Evanston’s Hilton Orrington hotel, 1710 Orrington Ave., recognized outgoing and incoming members and officers of the Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors.

Elaine Kemna-Irish, executive director of the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, said past honorees nominated and voted for this year’s winners.

Kemna-Irish introduced Michael Corr, First Bank & Trust’s senior vice president of commercial banking and the newly elected president of the Chamber, along with other incoming executive members. The dinner event, which had about 175 attendees, included a raffle drawing of gifts and prizes from local businesses.

Steve Hagerty, founder and CEO of Hagerty Consulting, received the Businessperson of the Year award, which goes to a person who displays outstanding business leadership.

“It means a lot, because the past winners of this award have demonstrated through their entire careers that one person can make a difference,” Hagerty told The Daily.

Hagerty Consulting works with clients to prepare for and recover from disasters. Hagerty Consulting has supported relief efforts nationwide and has also helped prepare emergency plans for local organizations including Northwestern, according to Hagerty.

“Evanston has a really big heart as a community,” Hagerty said.

Bill Logan, a lifelong Evanston resident, received the Community Leadership award for his involvement in several Evanston organizations. The Chamber recognized Logan for his work with the Chessmen Club of the North Shore, Inc., the Fellowship of African American Men (FAAM), the Evanston Community Foundation and the Rotary Club of Evanston.

Logan focuses on serving Evanston youth and the North Shore through his work with the Chessmen Club, a civic organization that serves both the youth and elderly, and FAAM, a youth basketball program.

Logan expressed appreciation for having the support of so many people who are working together to make Evanston a great city.

Paul Selden received the Public Service/Non-Profit award for his work with Connections for the Homeless, an organization working to support homeless citizens.

Selden, who is retiring from Connections after eight years as executive director, told The Daily the people at Connections should receive credit as well.

“I’m not a big one on awards,” Selden said. “Evanston has been a good place to work and to do this work.”

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