Chamber Business Awards

The Chamber understands the value of recognizing the businesses and individuals that stretched the extra mile to deliver services and remain viable. Business awards are annually announced at the Fall Gala. Nominations for the 2023 Business Awards open August 21, 2023 and close September 22, 2023.The nominees will be voted on by the Chamber membership. 

To submit a nomination for the 2023 Chamber business awards, click here

Business Award Nomination Categories:

Chamber Business of the Year: This award is presented to a business that has made a significant contribution  to the prosperity and of the Cook County community.

Community Business Leader of the Year: This award goes to the business leader who has made noteworthy and impactful contributions to the community. This leader serves in leadership capacities outside of their day to day business life.

Entrepreneur of the Year: This award is presented to the person who has taken on greater than normal personal and financial risks to advance their business ultimately adding to the economic viability of the Cook County community. 

Norman Deschampe Award: This is a special award that honors the legacy of leadership brought to our community by the late Norman Deschampe. The award is bestowed to an individual whose dedication to the business community is exemplary. 

Awards will be announced at the Annual Fall Gala on Thursday October 26th, 2023 at Up Yonder. 

 

Cook County Chamber Annual Business Award History

 

2023

  • Business of the Year: Up Yonder, Cassidy Gecas
  • Community Business Leader of the Year: Dee Brazell, World's Best Donuts
  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Thom & Jelena McAleer, Jameson Grace Hospitality
  • Norman Deschampe Award: Shele Toftey

 

2022

  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Vesta Unchained, Chris Skildum
  • Business of the Year: The Birch Terrace, Dave, Stevie, & Brian Larson
  • Community Business Leader of the Year: Dustin Hanson & Barry Pederson, North Shore Waste
  • Norman Deschampe Distinguished Community Service Award: Kelsey Kennedy, Cook County Higher Education 

 

2021 Both the Gala and the annual business awards were cancelled.

 

2020

  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Christina Conroy
  • Business of the Year: Grand Marais State Bank
  • Community Business Leader of the Year: Dennis Rysdahl
  • Norman Deschampe Distinguished Community Service Award: The Entire Cook County Community, for its “calm, caring and serious response to the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

2019

  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Kate and Jeremy Keeble of Hungry Hippie Hostel and Tacos
  • Business of the Year: Lutsen Mountains
  • Community Business Leader of the Year: Buck Benson
  • Norman Deschampe Distinguished Community Service Award: One Roof Community Housing

2018

  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Bruce Block, renovating Gopher Cabins to Village North
  • Business of the Year: Java Moose
  • Community Business Leader of the Year: Scott Harrison and Nancy Burns

2017

  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Baiers Heeren, North Shore Title
  • Business of the Year: North Shore Waste
  • Community Business Leader of the Year: Jan Sivertson

2016

  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Kim and Chuck Corliss, North Shore Winery
  • Business of the Year: Johnson Foods
  • Community Business Leader of the Year: Beth Kennedy
  • Chairman’s Award for Visionary Leadership: Scott Harrison

2015

  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Sid Backlund, for frozen pizza business
  • Business of the Year: G&G Septic
  • Community Business Leader of the Year: Howard Hedstrom

2014

  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Camp Chow
  • Business of the year: Joynes Department Store
  • Community Business Leader of the Year: Sue and Bruce Kerfoot, Gunflint Lodge

2013

  • Visionary Award: George Nelson, for establishing Lutsen Mountains
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Hal Greenwood
  • Leadership Award: Norman Deschampe
  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Jennifer Stoltz, for managing creation of new co-op
  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Jeff and Sarah Lynch, for reconstruction of Sawtooth Outfitters.
  • Business of the Year: Hedstrom Lumber
  • New Business of the Year: Harbor House Grille