Chamber to host Recognition Lunch
Vicky Young, Woman of the Year
Updated: May 20, 2012 8:11AM
The Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce’s 36th annual Recognition Lunch will be held April 25, and all are invited to attend the annual lunch that recognizes Winnetka residents, community leaders, business members and area volunteers.
Patrick O’Neil, Winnetka restaurateur and owner of O’Neils, Little Ricky and Trifecta Grill is the Businessman of the Year. O’Neil grew up in Wilmette and graduated from New Trier High School in 1982. He began to work in a restaurant at age 15. At the age of 26, he opened his first restaurant in Wilmette and then one in Evanston. He decided to move his businesses north to Winnetka. He opened O’Neils 20 years ago; Little Ricky’s in 2002 and recently opened Trifecta Grill, all in Winnetka. O’Neil has three thriving restaurants in Winnetka because he is aware of what consumers in the area want and adapts his menus at his different venues to reflect this. Over the years Winnetkans have celebrated birthdays, graduations and other special events at O’Neil’s businesses. The Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce is pleased to present this award to Patrick O’Neil in recognition of his investment in Winnetka.
The Man of the Year is Toby Nicholson. Nicholson grew up in Baton Rouge, La. His family moved to New Jersey his senior year in high school and came to the Chicago area to attend Northwestern University. He was a theatre major and received his graduate degree in dance education from Northwestern. While at Northwestern he performed in WAMU with New Trier graduate, Ann Margaret. He spent 30 years as a dance and drama instructor at New Trier High School. He worked on many productions and taught hundreds of students. After teaching Nicholson “retired” and began volunteering for the Children’s Theatre of Winnetka, as well as the Winnetka Historical Society, the Winnetka Community House and the Winnetka Library. In his tenure with Children’s Theatre of Winnetka, he has worked on numerous productions and is indispensable as a director, choreographer, set designer and builder. Additionally he has lent his time and talents to projects at Hubbard Woods, Greeley and New Trier High School. Nicholson painted the wonderful map on the playground at Hubbard Woods School.
Vicky Young is the Woman of the Year. She came to Winnetka from Oregon in the winter of 2006, following her husband, Chuck Young, who was recruited to be The Hadley School for the Blind’s new president. Her community service includes The Hadley School for the Blind, Woman’s Board member where she has chaired the Annual Holiday Braille card sale; co-chairing the Spring Benefit and developing The Hadley Low Vision House. She has also spoken and represented Hadley at conferences, volunteered to teach senior citizens one-on-one and answered Braille letters to Santa. She has been a volunteer with The Winnetka Club, the Winnetka Woman’s Exchange and as a Sunday school teacher, and with the Awana Children’s Club and the Japanese Women’s Group at the Winnetka Bible Church.
The Public Safety Employee of the Year is Inspector Randy Fromm. Fromm has been with the Winnetka Fire Department for the last eight years after a long career as a firefighter in Glenview. Part of his duties includes an annual inspection of every commercial and multi-family structure. On Jan. 3 Fromm was performing a routine inspection of 144 Green Bay Road. Upon entering the building, he noticed an unusual odor and requested Engine 28 to respond to evaluate the air quality with their gas meters. When Engine 28 arrived and entered the building their carbon monoxide meter began to alarm. A contractor was called to correct the problem. The CO was due to birds clogging the vent pipe for the boiler. Fromm’s timely inspection and observation averted a potential disaster.
The Winnetka Village Employee of the Year is Steven Saunders, Village of Winnetka, director of Public Works. Saunders has been employed by the Village of Winnetka for over 25 years, and has devoted his entire career to Winnetka. He began his employment as a summer intern during 1985 and 1986. After graduating with a bachelor of science in civil engineering from the University of Illinois in May 1987, he was hired full time as junior engineer that same year. During his tenure, he has demonstrated his professionalism, competence and expertise by being promoted on four occasions. In 1989, he was promoted to civil engineer; in 1995 he was promoted to assistant village engineer; in 1997 he was promoted to deputy director of Public Works; and in 1998 he was promoted to director of Public Works.
For the first time, the Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce is recognizing a group with a Distinguished Service Award. The chamber presents this special honor to all the 24 Firefighter Paramedics of the Winnetka Fire Department. The nomination for this award was presented by a private Winnetka resident.
Tickets to the luncheon are available for $40 per person and $350 for a table of 10. For reservations call (847) 446-4451 or e-mail email@example.com.