Sophie Evanoff, president of Vanille Patisserie, has won the 2016 James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award.
The award includes a $50,000 prize, courtesy of Mesirow Financial and The PrivateBank.
"We are so excited to announce Sophie Evanoff as the winner of our fifth annual Tyree Award,” said Theresa E. Mintle, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, said. “Vanille Patisserie is a true Chicago business story, with a passionate leader who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to her community and the city of Chicago. Coincidentally, Sophie is our first-ever female Tyree Award winner, which is just the icing on the cake.”
Vanille Patisserie specializes in authentic French pastries, desserts, and cakes. Evanoff revived an old bakery into a potential national brand, creating jobs and economic investment in Chicago’s neighborhoods. Evanoff already has a national contract with Victoria’s Secret and seeks to expand into additional markets.
The runners-up for this year's Tyree Award are Steven Dyme, co-founder and CEO of Flowers for Dreams, and Eileen Murphy, founder and CEO of ThinkCERCA. The top 12 front-runners for the award were narrowed down to six via an audience vote during a live pitch event two months ago. A panel of judges met to independently review and score the finalists’ original applications to narrow the selections to three.
The Chicagoland Chamber, in partnership with Mesirow Financial, launched the James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award in 2012 in honor of the former chairman and CEO of Mesirow Financial and chairman of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.
The award is presented annually to a fast-growing, emerging business with philanthropic values