Kane County Introduces 'Sparkler Awards' at May 8 Leaders Summit

Kane County Introduces ‘Sparkler Awards’ at May 8 Leaders Summit

Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen likes to talk about “Sparklers” — individuals, organizations, businesses and government initiatives that catch your eye because of their brilliance and beauty.

The irony is that many “Sparklers” in Kane County aren’t always seen and appreciated in the afternoon glare of our daily routines.

So, for a brief moment at Kane County’s May 8 Leaders Summit, event organizers will dim the lights to showcase the dancing fire of 10 “Sparklers” that make Kane County a better place to live, work and play.

The first-ever Kane County Sparkler Awards will be presented in a tight, 15-minute ceremony of the 2015 Kane County Leaders Summit, which takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, May 8, at the Q Center in St. Charles. Already, more than 100 Kane County leaders have registered for the event that sets them at the table with a nationally recognized speaker and key state of Illinois officials in the categories of health, transportation and economic development.

“This summit has the potential to actually make a difference,” Lauzen said. “By coming together, we not only have a chance to share ideas and learn best practices, but we can establish working relationships that can benefit Kane County residents for many years to come.”

The three speakers/panelists headlining the event are Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director J.M. “Jim” Schultz, Illinois Department of Transportation Acting Secretary Randy Blankenhorn and Illinois Department of Public Health Outreach Manager Juana Ballesteros. The keynote will be presented by Christopher Coes of SmartGrowth America.

Kane County leaders can register online at this Eventbrite page. Space is limited, but registration will continue until the day of the event. For more information, contact Kane County Development Director Mark VanKerkhoff at (630) 232-3451 or vankerkhoffmark@co.kane.il.us.

The Kane County Sparkler Awards recognize outstanding and sometimes-unheralded achievement in three categories: business, partnership and innovation. The awards will showcase the work of each of the nominees, and an award winner will be named in each category. The 2015 nominees are as follows:

Business Category

  • Joe and Luke Slawek, FONA, International
  • Jerry and Keith Rich, Rich Harvest Farms
  • Stephen Kase, ASK Power

Partnership Category

  • CASA Kane County
  • Workforce Investment Board – Serving Kane, Kendall and DeKalb Counties
  • Longmeadow Parkway Corridor
  • Fox River Ecosystem Partnership

Innovation Category

  • Kane County Community Health Assessment – Participating Partners
  • Elgin Land Use/Transportation Task Force
  • Kane County Planning Cooperative

More About the 2015 Kane County Leaders Summit