Our Newspapers Work!

Night of the Roses nominees announced

Voting closes April 24

The Niles Chamber of Commerce & Industry is proud to announce the nominees for the 16th Annual Niles Night of Roses held on Friday, April 24, 2020.

Each year this community-driven event identifies exemplary Niles residents and businesses who contribute to the growth and overall health of the Niles community. Through voluntary work, civic duties and influential leadership, the Niles community has chosen three finalists for each of the eight categories.

This year the Niles Chamber of Commerce will recognize the highest scoring finalist from each of the eight categories based on the community voting occurring during the month of March, different from years prior. The surrounding community is invited to visit nileschamber.com/nor for more information on voting details.

Voting will end on April 3, 2020 at 5 PM.

"We are excited to be able to honor more success in Niles this year. Instead of celebrating the winner in each of the eight categories, we will be celebrating the top three nominees," says Executive Director, Alicia Bermes. "We encourage the community to hear their stories and vote. Treat this like the Academy Awards of Niles."

The event will include entertainment from Niles North High School Choral Department and highlight two selected local high school students for a scholarship of $4,000. "It is important to show support for the future of tomorrow", says Associate Director, Chase Conner. "Providing access to education and information in any capacity is an important attribute of the Niles Chamber mission." This scholarship is given 2 exemplary students each year and in the past 16 years has awarded more than $160,000 in scholarships to local area students. Winners will be notified in March 2020.

"Because of this, I can invest more in the personal projects I plan to work on at UIUC, which will help build my resume," says 2019 Scholarship Recipient, Franklin Moy.

For tickets and more information, call 847-268-8180 or visit nileschamber.com/nor

The nominees for each category are as follows:

Corporate Citizen of Year Award

Summit Industries

Summit Industries is committed to creating a leading company comprised of a well-trained workforce that uses best practices to meet customer and market needs. They have been in Niles since 2017 and have displayed an effective and quality product Niles can be proud of.

Bear Family McDonalds (nominated by Julie Travers)

Bear Family McDonald's has been owned and operated in Niles for 52 years. They are community-driven and influential in our local schools! They have hosted over 30 McTeacher Night Fundraisers in Niles and give thousands of dollars to schools and service organizations.

Shure Incorporated (nominated by Chuck Hartogh)

Shure is a shining start in the Niles community! They are generous, dedicated and empathetic. They strive to be a community partner and build relationships with their staff and are influential in creating a safe and developed Niles community.

Ken Scheel Chamber Member of the Year

Jeff Curry – State Farm (nominated by Dean Strzlecki)

Jeff is instrumental in the Niles Chamber. He served as the President for 2 consecutive years and has gone above and beyond to service the Niles Chamber. He supports the Chamber and local community in every effort he can. Through countless hours spent strategizing, attending and sponsoring events at the Niles Chamber, he has created a legacy that will live on.

Judy McNulty – Niles-Maine District Library (nominated by Kimi Smith)

Judy is at every new business ribbon cutting, community event, Village committee meeting, etc. She dedicates her time and efforts in building a better and stronger Niles community every single day. She is always smiling and always willing to help.

Yannis Reglis – Brunch Café (nominated by Skip Lawson)

Yannis is the face of Niles. He is a generous business owner with a passion for supporting the Niles community. He works hard to ensure his patrons, staff and community members feel at home every time they visit Brunch Café. He brings energy to the Niles Chamber and exemplifies what it means to be homegrown success.

Small Business of the Year

Izzy's Arcade Bar (nominated by Suzanne Wulf)

Izzy's Arcade Bar is a fantastic addition to the Niles community. They offer arcade games that create a fun and engaging atmosphere, a fresh take on a bar. The Izzy's staff is welcoming and enthusiastic to help you make the right beer or appetizer choice and are a strong partner in the Niles community. They are always looking for ways to better support the Niles residents.

Pilorum Spa & Salon (nominated by Joe Elstner)

Pilorum Spa & Salon makes every client feel special. Their energy charged atmosphere paired with an epic staff, offers not just a hair styling but an experience. They have been consistent and reliable since day one. Each and every person is treated like family.

Joe Donut (nominated by Christine Pusateri)

Joe Donut has come in with a splash! They are bringing new faces in the Village of Niles and have created a sense of community on their corner. Good food, great staff and a good personality have created a packed restaurant every single weekend.

Niles Citizen of the Year

Joe LoVerde (nominated by Susan Antanis)

Joe has been part of Niles for over 40 years, from being a Village Trustee to a Park District Commissioner, Joe has gone above and beyond for Niles. There have been many teens and adults who have participated in programs that Joe has developed and cultivated in the 17-plus years he has spent with the Niles Park District. Joe exemplifies what is means to be a dedicated Citizen both in his professional and personal life.

Alan Zielinski (nominated by Alicia Bermes)

Alan is the owner of Better Kitchens, Inc. and is a dedicated resident of Niles! He serves on multiple Village committees and is instrumental in the development of the Niles Design District. He strives to grow and promote the community of Niles.

Dedication to Youth Excellence

John Petitt – Culver School (nominated by Mary Ellen Mueller)

John has been a Special Education teacher at Culver School in Niles for 29 years. He is committed to enriching the lives of special education students in their development, not only as students, but as individuals. Through coaching basketball and volleyball, to volunteering, etc. John has shown his dedication to the Niles youth and their success. After the 2020 school year, John will be retiring

Sheila Wheatley – Mark Twain School (nominated by Superintendent Dr. Scott Clay)

Sheila Wheatley, LSW, has served as Mark Twain School's Social Worker since 2013 – she has been no stranger to D63, having held the position at Melzer School during the 2010-11 school year. She is present and engaged every single day, helping students navigate their way toward success. The key to Sheila's own excellence is her deep understanding that healthy families are integral to student success.

Lindsey Brubaker – Niles Park District (nominated by Christine Pusateri)

Lindsay has worked at the Niles Park District since she was a teenager in 2000 – she currently serves as the Director of Development. Her sincerity and drive are a true asset to Niles and to the youth of Niles. She helps the kids gain confidence, develop their skills, and be better citizens. She advocates for the youth with the business community with unbridled enthusiasm.

Distinguished Voluntary Service

Roberta Tellefsen – Niles-Maine District Library (nominated by Cyndi Rademacher)

Roberta volunteers as Chair of the Niles Garden Club and as a library gardener at the Niles-Maine District Library. Her enthusiasm for learning through experience, willingness to share her joy of plants, and the fun she brings to gardening with other is infectious. She has lead the Niles Garden Club at Farm on Franks for several years, where they have grown many pounds of produce for the Niles Food Panty patrons.

Denise McCreery – Village of Niles Trustee (nominated by Christine Pusateri)

Denise serves as a Village trustee, volunteers on numerous committees, but more than that she lives and breathes Niles. She works tirelessly to promote the Niles community both within Niles and beyond our borders. She donates countless hours to this pursuit.

Debi Gajewski (nominated by Tracie Wynne)

Debi puts her family, friends, and community first above herself. She is known as Mrs. Clause to everyone in Niles. She volunteers reading, teaching and giving her stories to the community of Niles. Additionally, she was the force behind the creation of the Niles Artisan Guild which works to promote a love of art throughout Niles.

Public Safety Award of Excellence

Fred Braun – Village of Niles Public Works (nominated by Tony Dati)

Fred serves as Niles Public Works Director and has dedicated his career to perfecting the art of public safety through public works. He has re-written the book on how Public Works, Niles Fire Department & Niles Police Department work together and has taught his staff that you do not need to wear a badge to play a role in public safety – Public Works – first into the storm, last to leave after clean-up.

Scott Guerino – Niles Fire Department (nominated by Bob Greiner)

Scott serves as Niles Fire Department District Chief. Scott has taken the Niles Fire Department Community Risk Reduction program to a new level. He has implemented the Citizen Fire Academy, a new fire alarm installation program for Niles residents, and coordinates regular CPR training for the public and businesses in and around Niles.

Fotis Markadas – Niles Police Department (nominated by Robert Tornabene)

Fotis has served the Village of Niles for over 17 years from Community Service Officer to Police Office to currently a Field Training Officer. He trains many of our newest officers in the "right way of doing things" so that each officer is equipped with the tools to be successful. Fotis balances his strong work ethic with a dedicated family life and committed volunteer efforts throughout Niles including Coffee with a Cop and Cop of Top which raises money for Special Olympics.


Awarded to Mike Shields (nominated by Denise McCreery)

Born in July 1949 in Chicago, IL in the Austin neighborhood, Mike Shields has been an Illinois resident his entire life. Through attending University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana from 1967-1971 achieving a Bachelor of Economics, followed by the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business earning his MBA. Mike has a wealth of knowledge and experience through his years of Strategic Planning, development, process improvements, area planning and more. He has become an influential piece of Niles in the 50+ years has been a resident.

Mike moved to Niles, IL in 1972, after marrying his wife Karen. They raised two children in the Niles community and are very happy with Niles, the local schools and organizations. Mike has served on several committees in the Village of Niles, Comprehensive Plan Implementation, Bi Modal Transportation Steering, Economic Development and Neighborhood Renewal Commission, Comprehensive Signage Sub-Committee, Niles Design District, etc. He put his heart and soul into Niles and it has shown!

Mike has published 2 books in his lifetime; Fight to Win, The Greatest Moment (1982) and Never Never Quit, A Photographic Celebration of Courage American Sports (1987).


Reader Comments(0)