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Loyola University Chicago Family Business Center Unveils 2007 Family Business of the Year Award Winners

CHICAGO, October 24, 2007 – Loyola University Chicago’s Family Business Center announced winners today for its 14th annual Illinois Family Business of the Year Awards, which recognize superior Illinois-based family businesses that demonstrate a strong commitment to both business and family. This year’s winners and finalists will be honored at an upcoming awards gala, co-hosted by Harris, on Thursday, December 6, at The Four Seasons Hotel – Chicago.

The 2007 Illinois Family Business of the Year Awardees:

Small: Chicago Sightseeing Company, Inc. (Chicago)
Medium: Smithereen Pest Management (Niles)
Large: Pepper Construction Group (Chicago)
Community Service Award: Acme Refining Scrap Iron & Metal Co. (Chicago)
Century Award: C. Cretors and Company (Chicago)

This year’s awards drew 425 nominations for the five categories: small (companies with fewer than 50 employees), medium (50 to 250), large (more than 250), Community Service, and the Century Award. Winners of the awards have demonstrated positive family/business linkage, multi-generational family business involvement, contributions to industry and community, and innovative business practices and strategies.

“Family businesses are the backbone of our economy, and we are delighted to honor these outstanding businesses, all of which have withstood the test of time,” says Andrew Keyt, executive director of Loyola’s Family Business Center.

Past award winners include Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, Turano Baking Company, Baird & Warner, Glunz Family Enterprises, Oberweis Dairy, Azteca Foods, Kemper Sports Management, ABT Electronics, and The Pampered Chef, among others.

For more information on the awards and the upcoming gala, please visit LUC.edu/fbc/fboy.shtml.

About Loyola University Chicago Family Business Center
The Loyola University Chicago Family Business Center is an internationally recognized pioneer and leader in family business program development and research, serving as a resource to family businesses in the Chicago region and throughout the nation. The center’s research projects have focused on issues such as family business leadership, the communication patterns of business-owning families, the role of trusts and trustees in family firms, the performance of family businesses compared with non-family managed counterparts, and demographic profiles of family businesses throughout the United States. For more information, please visit LUC.edu/fbc.

About Loyola University Chicago
Committed to preparing people to lead extraordinary lives, Loyola University Chicago was founded in 1870 and is the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic University. Loyola has a total enrollment of more than 15,500 students, which includes nearly 10,000 undergraduates hailing from all 50 states and 82 foreign countries. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy. Loyola also serves as the U.S. host university to the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies in Beijing, China. Loyola’s nine schools and colleges include arts and sciences, business administration, education, graduate studies, law, medicine, nursing, continuing and professional studies, and social work. Loyola offers 71 undergraduate majors, 71 undergraduate minors, 85 master’s degrees, and 31 doctoral degrees. Recognizing Loyola’s excellence in education, U.S. News and World Report has ranked Loyola consistently among the “top national universities,” and named the University a “best value” in its 2008 rankings. For more information, please visit our Web site at LUC.edu.

Editor’s Note: Please see below for a description of winners, along with a full list of finalists.

Chicago Sightseeing Company, Inc.
Since 1907, the Chicago Sightseeing Company has provided safe, innovative, and reliable transportation for Chicagoans and visitors from around the world. The Ferrone family has been associated with the company since 1919, when Henry Ferrone purchased the stock for the organization. In 1933, during the tourism boom of the Chicago World’s Fair, Henry expanded the business in numerous ways by providing tours for out-of-town travelers, as well as transportation within the city for Chicagoans. In 1946, Henry was also instrumental in forming American Sightseeing, an international franchise dedicated to sightseeing and tourism around the world. Following Henry’s death in 1955, his sons, Donald and Francis Ferrone, took over the company, and were joined by a third generation in 1976, when Chris, Don’s son, joined the company. Chicago Sightseeing Company has made numerous positive contributions to the state and local community, as well as the tourism industry.

Smithereen Pest Management
For more than 119 years, Smithereen has provided pest control services to the Chicagoland area. Smithereen was founded in Chicago in 1888 by a young pharmaceutical salesman, E.R. Jennings, during a time when the demand for pest control services was so great that one man alone could not cover the entire city by horse and buggy. This in mind, Jennings hired and trained a dozen individuals to provide Smithereen’s services. By selling a complete service, Jennings became one of the country’s first professional exterminators.

Today, Smithereen provides solutions for nearly every pest situation, servicing commercial, institutional, and residential properties. Known as the integrated pest management leader, Smithereen’s relationship building and attention to detail at every level of client contact provides a value unmatched in the pest control industry.

Pepper Construction Group
Founded in 1927, Chicago-based Pepper Construction is a privately-owned general contracting and construction management firm primarily serving the non-residential and private sector markets including education, health care, retail, institutional, interiors, and commercial clients. Serving clients from offices in Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, and Texas, Pepper Construction’s 2007 gross revenues total $1.2 billion.

Acme Refining Scrap Iron & Metal Co.
When Acme Refining was established in 1971, its goal was to become the best scrap metal resource for its customers, one that was better, cleaner, and financially beneficial. The company sought to create long-term relationships based on tremendous service, impeccable responsiveness, and the utmost care for the environment. Starting as a two-truck garage in Chicago, Acme Refining is now one of the largest scrap companies in North America, remaining family-owned for three generations. Its commitment goes beyond business to the heart of our communities. Acme Refining employees donate time, money, and resources to a variety of programs, with a special focus on children, education, and the environment. When it comes to service, Acme Refining sees the big picture—treating customers, the environment, and the community with respect and care.

C. Cretors and Company
C. Cretors and Company was created by Charles Cretors in 1885. At that time, he had a vision to adapt an ancient process of popping corn to meet the needs of modern tradesmen. His vision led to a revolution that continues today. In addition, his concepts and designs set the foundation for both modern foodservice and food processing industries as we now know them. Charles Cretors designed and patented the first steam-driven popcorn machine that popped corn in oil. Today, the foodservice equipment division has expanded to include cotton candy, warmers, dispensing systems, and other specialty equipment. In 1967, Cretors introduced a continuous production line featuring a hot air fluidized bed oven for popping corn. This production line was the first of its kind and revolutionized high-volume popcorn production. Today, the food processing division production lines have been adapted to produce other snack foods, cereals, and specialty products.

Category A (Small)

Chicago Sightseeing Company, Inc.

Richards Graphic Communications, Inc. (Bellwood)
Jack Clark’s Family, Inc. (Chicago)

Category B (Medium)

Smithereen Pest Management

SCR Medical Transportation, Inc. (Chicago)
Minee Subee Early Education and Childcare Centers (Mount Prospect)

Category C (Large)

Pepper Construction Group

Acme Refining Scrap Iron & Metal Co. (Chicago—also Community Service Award winner)
Edward Don & Company (North Riverside)

Community Service Award

Acme Refining Scrap Iron & Metal Co.

Century Award
C. Cretors and Company

This year’s awards program is made possible through the generous support of the following sponsors: Harris, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLC, Grant Thornton, Mass Mutual Pearre & Associates, Ltd., McDermott Will & Emery, Lowry Hill, MB Financial, Crain’s Chicago Business, AMC, Bell Litho, Inc., and the business-owning families who are members of the Loyola University Chicago Family Business Center.




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