IVAC names 40 Under Forty recipients for 2024

Group made up of leaders in several sectors across Illinois Valley

The Illinois Valley Area Chamber of Commerce board announced its inaugural class of 40 Under Forty members.

The Illinois Valley Area Chamber of Commerce announced this years group of 40 Under Forty recipients.

This year’s recipients represent organizations and industries from all across the Illinois Valley. The recipients exemplify a drive to make a positive impact on our communities, our businesses and our organizations, and have a proven track record for both business and community service and involvement.

The group is made up of leaders in education, small business, finance, nonprofits, retail and community protection, among other sectors.

“This award is about celebrating the next generation of difference makers across the Illinois Valley,” IVAC Executive Director Bill Zens said. “The group that was selected this year are not only difference makers in their organizations but also our communities. I am in awe of the work they are doing, and will continue to do to make the Illinois Valley an amazing place to be.”

The chamber’s selection committee included Steve Wrobleski, La Salle-Peru High School (IVAC Board president), Rachel Balestri, Eureka Savings Bank (IVAC Board vice president), Kim Bima, OSF Healthcare (IVAC Board member), Jay McCracken, Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce and Tracy Morris, Illinois Valley Community College.

The recipients are

  • Jacob Aden, co-owner, La Moille Auto Care Center
  • Tony Bacidore, credit analyst, La Salle State Bank
  • Carson Wetsel, executive chef, Camp Aramoni, Inc.
  • Ben Brown, Utica Fire Department chief, Utica Fire Protection District
  • Amanda Carter, executive director, La Salle County Historical Society
  • Patrick Chismarick, managing broker, Chismarick Realty
  • Dean Colmone, loan officer, North Central Bank
  • DannyDresbach, salesman/co-manager, Dresbach Distributing Co.
  • Kyle Foley, Talent Acquisition specialist, Ace Hardware Distribution Center
  • Tim Gatza, attorney/ owner, Gatza & Milus P.C.
  • Cameron Graper, lead pastor, Ax Church
  • Christa Hammers, superintendent, La Salle County Veterans Assistance Commission
  • Emily Hardee, teacher, Marseilles Elementary School
  • Alex Justi, paramedic supervisor PVAS assistant fire chief Dalzell FD, Peru Ambulance Service
  • Erin Karlosky, Realtor, Janko Realty
  • Matthew Klein, founder, Matthew Klein Films and Marketing, CL Enterprises
  • Neal Knauf, VP/senior lender, Central Bank Illinois
  • Ethan Koncor, teacher, Streator High School
  • Kathryn Kurkowski, account manager, MCS Advertising
  • Peyton Lamps, owner/florist, Petals by Peyton
  • Gabe Leonard, co-owner, Rip’s
  • Courtney Levy, executive director, Streator Chamber of Commerce
  • David Loveland, VP Finance, W.H. Maze Co
  • Nicholas McLaughlin, principal, St. Bede Academy
  • Alicia Meseke, managing partner, Express Employment Professionals
  • Zach Milus, attorney/owner, Gatza & Milus, PC
  • Abigail Nambo, Bruin Learning Center director, St. Bede Academy
  • Josie Navarro, program director, United Way of Eastern La Salle County
  • Kara Redshaw, licensed clinical social worker, Illinois Valley Counseling Services
  • Bobby Riahi, director of Food and Nutrition Services, La Salle-Peru High School
  • Angelica Rivera, owner and founder, Clean Quens Cleaning Service LLC
  • Christopher Safranski, dentist, Safranski Dentistry
  • Kelsey Sarver, teacher, Princeton High School
  • Alec Schwab, financial representative, Alec Schwab-Country Financial
  • Kaylee Sienza-Duncan, speech language pathologist, Ottawa Elementary School District 141
  • Heather Smith, owner, The Place 2 Be
  • Matthew Staab, manager, Cody Burroughs State Farm
  • Megan Theisinger, social worker, St. Bede Academy
  • Allison Warren, social worker, Bureau Valley High School
  • Anthony Williams, branch manager, Streator Onized Credit Union