GENEVA – The Geneva Chamber of Commerce presented the 2020 Wood Award to essential and front line workers in the community – Geneva Community Unit School District 304, Geneva Police Department, Geneva Fire Department and Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, officials announced in a news release.
The four recipients have not only been a key component to fighting COVID-19, but also to keeping the community strong, the release stated.
Due to COVID-19 and Phase 4 regulations, the Geneva Chamber Annual Dinner was held virtually on Nov. 12.
Each recipient told their stories in a video which was shared that evening.
The Wood Community Service award is presented each year to an individual who has made significant community contributions in the areas of business, education, youth involvement, civic organizations, art, recreation, charity or government.
The award is named in honor of Bill and Elise Wood, and Nell and Burton Wood who all contributed to the growth and health of Geneva.
Chamber Member of the Year
Lynne Ball of the Liz & Kate Boutique received the 2020 Geneva Chamber of Commerce Member of the Year Award, which is presented to a person who has enhanced the chamber and Geneva as a whole through their continuing contributions of time and resources during a given year, the release stated.
Ball served the chamber and the Geneva community in numerous ways throughout 2020 and in previous years. She supported its festivals and events since joining the chamber.
Ball spearheaded the First Fridays event, a community-wide effort in bringing in additional foot traffic from 5 to 8 p.m. in the downtown, where participating businesses would offer something special, different or unique.
When Geneva Women in Business needed a secretary, Ball stepped up without hesitation, the release stated.
New Member of the Year
Matt and Meghan Roder of The Roder Group at CrossCountry Mortgage, Inc., received the 2020 Geneva Chamber of Commerce New Member of the Year, which is presented to a new member who has enhanced the chamber and Geneva as a whole through the continuing contributions of time and resources, the release stated.
While 2020 has not allowed the chamber to have as many in-person networking events, the Roders, who joined at the end of 2019, attended multiple webinars, virtual networking events and stepped up mid-season to be the Geneva Women in Business board as treasurer.
In their short time as a member, the Roders sponsored Giving Day and Christmas Walk Weekends.
Kristen Cornelio of of Kristen Holly, LLC, received the 2020 Geneva Chamber of Commerce Chamber Champion Award, who has made an impact in the Geneva community and supported the chamber throughout the year, the release stated.
Cornelio served on the golf committee, acquiring sponsors and raffle items, as well as running the raffle itself. She recently joined the Geneva Women in Business Board as the Marketing Director.
While working part-time for the chamber as Social Media Coordinator, Cornelio has lifted the chamber's Instagram and Facebook pages to a new standard in social media.
Her work not only highlighted Geneva by providing information on chamber events, but on members’ events as well.
Cornelio also coordinated merchant events, including the recent Autumn Fest, which began in 2019 and in 2020 she pivoted to make it COVID friendly, yet still fun for families.