Innovative Project Award
Henry and Stark Counties Economic Developers Network
The Inaugural Fast Pitch Competition was held on April 17, 2012. The idea of a business competition was initially suggested to draw out the most serious entrepreneurs and inventors who could benefit from technical assistance. Each entrepreneur was given 10 minutes to pitch their business or business concept to a panel of three or four judges. Judges rated the participants according to scoring criteria developed by the University of Illinois Extension Service. Winners were selected in four categories but all those who participated will receive technical assistance.
Community Champion Award
Francie was an original member of the MAPPING Group, formed to create a vision for the City of LaSalle. As a lifelong resident she has memories of a successful downtown. Her vision and confidence that LaSalle could once again have a great downtown fueled her creativity to initiate events so people could visualize our potential for a great downtown. With her ability to partner with other organizations as well as lead and execute many projects, her efforts have been successful in several ways including: a phantom gallery, planting flowers downtown, a Canal Market and more.
Professional Partnership Award
Shelbyville and IHPA
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency has worked closely with DowntownWorks! to revitalize and preserve historic downtown Shelbyville. Anthony Rubano in particular has worked closely with the group on establishing guidelines for businesses in the historic district on making structural improvements without destroying the cohesive look of downtown. He has also come to Shelbyville twice to do a historic walking tour. Anthony has also been a resource for the community in connecting the DowntownWorks! group with other similar communities.
Community Teamwork Award
Fall in Love with Maroa
When the idea for Fall in Love with Maroa started it peaked interest in the Maroa community. Once the MAPPING meetings began, the reality of how much participants appreciated and enjoyed their community came to life! What began as a group of “individuals” became “teams” for a great cause. Ideas began flying, group leaders emerged and participants were having fun. Some of the initial accomplishments included; a ‘Taste of Chocolate’, a ‘Festival of Trees’, a ‘Tour of Homes’, and two ‘Movie in the Park’ events. As well as fundraising for a splash park, cleaning up the community, adding flowers downtown, and more.