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General Press Releases

Posted on: April 27, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Chris Svitak Named Citizen of the Year at Annual Westmont Awards Dinner

Village of Westmont
Date Issued: April 27, 2016

At the 2016 Westmont Awards Dinner, hosted by the Westmont Chamber of Commerce, Chris Svitak was named the 2015 Westmont Citizen of the Year. The award is presented annually to a Westmont citizen who has demonstrated exemplary customer service in the community. The Citizen of the Year Award was one of many awards presented at the event honoring Westmont businesses and citizens. Amy Quattrone, Westmont Jr. High School Assistant Principal, was also nominated for the prestigious award. The event was held April 25, 2016 at the Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort and Conference Center.

“Chris has proven time and again his willingness to roll up his sleeves and get involved,” said Mayor Ron Gunter. “His father John won the same award several years ago, so it’s evident that volunteerism runs in the family.” Some of Svitak’s accomplishments include being the former founder and President of the Westmont Jaycee’s, former President of the Westmont Lions Club, Chairperson for the Red, White & Bar-B-Q Festival, an officer for the Westmont Emergency Management Agency, and more. When accepting the award, Chris credited his wife Kelly for getting him involved with volunteerism, and once he started, he couldn’t stop. Svitak also won the Westmont Special Events “Making Memories Award”, which is given to a person who supports local community events. Congratulations, Chris!

The Village of Westmont 2015 Public Service Employee of the Year Award was presented by Mayor Ron Gunter and Village Manager Stephen May to James Wright for his outstanding dedication to the Westmont community through his helpfulness and never-ending support of all things Westmont. Wright has been instrumental regarding many initiatives including raising thousands of dollars for the Chamber and People’s Resource Center, assistance with the coordination of community events such as the storm drain stenciling program, river sweep, and community blood drives, and he is a frequent contributor to local social media promoting Westmont programs, services and events. Congratulations, Jimmy!

The 2015 Public Safety Officer-of-the-Year Award recognizes a local emergency medical technician, firefighter, or law enforcement officer for their outstanding efforts in their field and to the betterment of Westmont. The Public Safety Officer-of-the-Year award was presented to Lieutenant Josh Turen, Westmont Fire Department, for his exceptional level of work within the department on behalf of the entire Village of Westmont, as well as a heroic rescue of a man who was trapped in a burning building. Congratulations, Josh!

The 2015 Dick Busse Business-of-the-Year Award recognizes a Chamber business that has excelled in community service, business promotion, civic responsibility and contributions to the betterment of the Chamber and the Village of Westmont. The nominees for this award were Neat Kitchen + Bar and Uncle Jon’s Music. The Dick Busse Business-of-the-Year award was presented to Jon Kostal of Uncle Jon’s Music, (33 N Cass Avenue) in recognition of their high level of community interaction and support. Congratulations, Uncle Jon’s Music!

The 2015 Roger Westman President’s Award recognizes an individual who has performed outstanding service to the Chamber and the Westmont Community. This year’s award was presented to Mrs. Debby Piha, College of DuPage, (650 Pasquinelli Drive) by Westmont Chamber President Al Carson. Congratulations, Debby!

The 2015 Educator-of-the-Year Award recognizes a local educator for their outstanding efforts in their field and to the betterment of the Village of Westmont. The Educator-of-the-Year award was presented to Ms. Colleen Walsh, Westmont Junior High School. Congratulations, Colleen!

The Rotary Club of Westmont Past-President, Elaine Carmichael, presented Valerie and Kerry O’Connor with the Paul Harris Award in recognition of their exceptional level of community service and volunteer work. Congratulations, Valerie and Kerry!

The 2015 Westmont Community Improvement Award recognizes individual business property owners and businesses that have improved the appearance of their property. Community Improvement Awards for 2015 were presented to:

* Action Fabrics, 214 East Chicago Avenue
* Coco Froyo/Immediate Care of Westmont, 29 North Cass Avenue
* Expression Dance Studio, 25 South Cass Avenue
* Hinsdale Dance Academy, 645 Blackhawk Drive
* Mullane Healy Godley Irish Dance Company, 214 East Chicago Avenue
* Orangetheory, 19 West Ogden Avenue
* Woodgrain Neapolitan Pizzeria, 19 West Ogden Avenue

Added this year was the announcement of the winners of the 2016 Westmont Dining Reader’s Choice Awards. The Westmont Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau in conjunction with Shaw Media, sponsored the new program. The survey asked the public to vote for their favorite Westmont restaurants. There were 27 categories provided to consider. The winners were:

Best Mexican Restaurant – Las Palmas
Best Catering – Uncle Bubs BBQ
Best Fast Casual – Uncle Bubs BBQ
Best Burger – DJ’s Sport Bar and Grill
Best Video Gaming – DJ’s Sports Bar and Grill
Best Coffee Shop – Brewed Awakening
Best Seafood – Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen
Best Family Friendly Restaurant – Neat Kitchen + bar
Best Full Service – Neat Kitchen + bar
Best for Live Entertainment – Neat Kitchen +bar
Best Drinking Establishment – Neat Kitchen + bar
Best Sandwich – J. Flemings Absolutely Delicious
Best for Outdoor Dining – J. Flemings Absolutely Delicious
Best Fine Dining – Bakersfield and Vincitori
Best Asian – China Chef and Katy’s Dumpling House
Best Indian Restaurant- Saffron Restaurant

The Westmont Chamber Community Awards Dinner is an annual tradition in Westmont designed to provide a special opportunity to pause and recognize the many wonderful volunteers, activities and businesses that work to make Westmont a great place to live, WCCTB President Al Carson noted that “Over one-hundred and twenty-five Westmont area residents, business owners, and civic leaders attended the Westmont Chamber Community Awards program to demonstrate support for our community. The Westmont Chamber along with the Village of Westmont, Rotary Club of Westmont and Westmont Special Events Corporation are collectively proud to recognize the individuals and businesses that help contribute to the growth and success of Westmont, in a manner that keeps Westmont a great place to live, work and visit.”

Event photos can be found on the Village of Westmont Photo Gallery at and on the Chamber website at


Contact: Larry McIntyre
Village of Westmont Communications Director

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