The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce has named the top 12 front-runners for its 2016 James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award, which honors a business for its philanthropic values.
This year's front-runners are AGB Investigative Services Inc.; Bow Truss Coffee Roasters; ColorJar; Dill Pickle Food Co-op; Earlybird; Flowers For Dreams; Handcut Foods; KOVAL Distillery; Red Caffeine Inc.; ThinkCERCA; Tiesta Tea Company; and Vanille.
Leaders from each company will share their experiences and business-growth stories during a live pitch event April 14 before a panel of judges and a panel of local entrepreneurs and professionals. The audience will vote on six finalists to move on to the next round. Judges will give feedback after each pitch. After the event, a private panel will evaluate the remaining six finalists.
The winner of the award will be named at the chamber's annual meeting June 7 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.
First prize for the award has been doubled to $50,000 this year, courtesy of Mesirow Financial and The PrivateBank.
The Chicagoland Chamber and Mesirow Financial launched the James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award in 2012 in memory of Jim Tyree, former chairman and CEO of Mesirow Financial and chairman of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.