Chamber Business Awards

The Cook County Chamber of Commerce is delighted to announce the return of the annual business award program. The Chamber understands the value of recognizing the businesses and individuals that stretched the extra mile to deliver services and remain viable.

Award Details

Who is eligible for the award? Any current business or individual who is an active member of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce. 

Who can submit a nomination? Any active person in the business community. OR Any current business or individual who is an active member of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce. 

How many awards will be announced? One individual for each award will be selected.

Award Types

Business of the Year 

This award goes to a business, not an individual, that has made large contributions over time to the prosperity and comfort of the Cook County community

Entrepreneur of the Year 

This award is presented to the person who has taken on significant risk and effort in the past year to launch a new enterprise or significantly expand an existing one.

Community Business Leader of the Year 

This award goes to the business leader who has made noteworthy contributions to the community by sitting on boards, serving as a volunteer and generally supporting efforts that make Cook County the great community it is. This award is not given for how well someone does their day job; it is for service to the community above and beyond daily work.

Norman Deschampe Award

This award is special and is awarded every year. This award is bestowed to an individual whose dedication and service to the business community is exemplary.


Chamber Award Winners


  • Visionary Award: George Nelson
  • Lifetime Achievement: Hal Greenwood
  • Leadership Award: Norman Deschampe
  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Jennifer Stoltz, Cook County Whole Food Coop
  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Jeff and Sarah Lynch, Sawtooth Outfitters
  • Business of the Year: Hedstrom Lumber
  • New Business of the Year: Harbor House Grille



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



  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Sid Backlund, Sven and Ole’s (frozen pizza)
  • Business of the Year: G&G Septic
  • Community Business Leader: Howard Hedstrom



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



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



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



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



  • 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.”

2021 – Gala and Business Awards Cancelled


  • Business of the Year: Dave, Brian, and Stevie Larsen, The Birch Terrace
  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Chris Skildum, Vesta Unchained
  • Community Business Leader(s) of the Year: Dustin Hanson & Barry Pederson, North Shore Waste
  • Norman Deschampe Award - Kelsey Rogers Kennedy, Cook County Higher Education