Belleville

Belleville chamber honors businesses, individuals at annual dinner

Kevin Richter, left, gives Gloria Crowder the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce 2016 Citizen of the Year award Thursday night. Crowder was honored for her work with the 17th Street Neighborhood Association. Richter, an attorney with Mathis, Marifian & Richter Ltd., is the chamber’s president.
Kevin Richter, left, gives Gloria Crowder the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce 2016 Citizen of the Year award Thursday night. Crowder was honored for her work with the 17th Street Neighborhood Association. Richter, an attorney with Mathis, Marifian & Richter Ltd., is the chamber’s president.

Peace by Piece Co., a clothing and jewelry store in downtown Belleville, and SCORE of Southwestern Illinois, a nonprofit association that helps small businesses, received the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Award Thursday night.

The Business Excellence Award is the top honor bestowed by the chamber.

Also, three persons were given individual awards during the chamber’s annual dinner at Fischer’s Restaurant in Belleville.

Justin Chapman was named the 2016 Ambassador of the Year; Leigh Sindelar received the 2016 Leadership Belleville Alumni of the Year Award; and Gloria Crowder was named the 2016 Citizen of the Year.

Here are highlights from the chamber’s descriptions of the award winners:

▪  Peace by Piece is located at 132 W. Main St. and recently launched its fashion truck, Evolution of pxp.

“Peace by Piece Co. owners, Christina and Jason Keck, strongly believe in working together with local businesses to promote growth and business retention in downtown Belleville,” the chamber said in a news release. “In fact, they were the driving force behind Belleville Main Street’s inaugural Shop Local for Schools program which launched in 2016. Their commitment to their employees and their ability to keep up with the demands of their clientele and the community are the reason they have experienced such growth over the past seven years.”

▪  SCORE of Southwestern Illinois Branch No. 423 has counseled numerous businesses in the greater Belleville area.

“In 2016, SCORE Branch No. 423 teamed up with local businesses and organizations to host a variety of workshops,” the chamber said. “These workshops included, ‘Simple Steps to Starting a Business in Illinois,’ a digital media workshop at Lindenwood University-Belleville, and an all day workshop for small businesses with several area chamber of commerce directors as guest speakers during Small Business Week.”

▪  Justin Chapman, an assistant vice president of commercial banking with The Bank of Edwardsville, served as chair of the Ambassador Committee in 2016 and dedicated “lot of his time attending ribbon cuttings, coordinating Ambassador Luncheons and volunteering at chamber events throughout the year,” according to the chamber.

▪  Leigh Sindelar, Leadership Belleville Class of 2004-05, has been with Hospice of Southern Illinois for over five years and “helps ensure hospice patients and their families’ wishes are fulfilled with dignity and respect.” Outside of work, Sindelar volunteers for several community organizations and events, including Art on the Square and the chamber’s Healthcare/Community Service Agencies Committee.

▪  Gloria Crowder has played a “key role in the creation, the growth and the community impact of the 17th Street Neighborhood Association. She has been an essential part of neighborhood improvement initiatives, including the association’s summer camp, which serves up to 160 elementary students per year, and employs high school students as counselors,” the chamber said.

“Gloria is an inspirational and spiritual leader of community transformation. Her visionary leadership is founded in faith, action and a strong desire for a community that serves everyone’s needs. She regularly sees a lighted path towards potential, rather than focusing on the barriers,” according to the chamber.

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