Chamber honors community leaders

DeKALB – The DeKalb Chamber of Commerce inducted two members into its hall of fame and recognized retiring Northern Illinois University President Dr. John Peters with the 2013 Community Pride Award at the Chamber Annual Meeting Jan. 31.

The DeKalb Chamber Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs, business leaders and volunteers focused on DeKalb and the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce in their successes and volunteerism. Each year the chamber asks its members to nominate individuals for the hall of fame. This year, the chamber honored Frank Roberts and Jerry Smith.

Roberts is an executive vice president at Castle Bank and has been involved in a variety of roles in DeKalb. He is probably best known for his work as president of Re:New DeKalb. Roberts has also served on the boards and committees of the Kishwaukee College Foundation, DeKalb County Community Foundation, DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation, City of DeKalb, DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, DeKalb School District 428, Cornerstone Christian Academy and Jacob Haish Foundation. He has helped to move the community forward in many important ways and continues to strive for excellence in everything he does and for the DeKalb community.

Smith is retired after a 30-year career with Castle PrinTech and nearly 10 years with the DeKalb County Community Foundation. Smith’s community involvement includes being president of the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation, Kishwaukee Kiwanis, DeKalb United Way and DeKalb Chamber of Commerce and vice-chair of the Kishwaukee Community Hospital Board. He has also been a recipient of the NIU Foundation’s President’s Award for service to NIU, Kishwaukee United Way’s Leo Olson Award, DeKalb County Tribute to Heroes Award and Northern Star Hall of Fame. Smith remains active in retirement, contributing to local history publications, chairing the 150th anniversary of DeKalb’s St. Mary Church and serving on the Hospitality Committee for the IHSA Football Championship coming to DeKalb later this year.

In special instances, the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce and its members decide special recognition is warranted, in cases where an individual or organization has achieved a significant landmark, offered its full resources when the community was in need, or when other significant and unique circumstances have presented themselves.  This year, the DeKalb Chamber honored someone who definitely fits these criteria. NIU President John Peters was presented with the Community Pride Award for all that he has done for De-Kalb and Northern Illinois University.

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