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The original item was published from 5/1/2019 10:16:00 AM to 5/1/2019 10:50:26 AM.

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General Press Releases

Posted on: April 30, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Stella Qualizza Named Westmont Citizen Of The Year At Annual Community Awards Banquet

Westmont, Illinois
Date Issued: April 30, 2019

On April 29, 2019, Westmont resident Stella Qualizza was named the 2018 Westmont Citizen of the Year at the annual Community Awards Dinner held at the Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort and Conference Center, hosted by the Westmont Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau.  The Citizen of the Year Award was one of many highlights during the event, which recognizes the many wonderful volunteers, activities, businesses, and public servants who serve our community.  The banquet had an excellent turnout with more than 160 guests from the community in attendance.

Westmont Chamber President Steve Wozny noted, “The Westmont Chamber along with the Village of Westmont, Rotary Club of Westmont, Westmont Special Events Corporation and the Knights of Columbus 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.”  Following are some of the awards that were presented.

2018 Westmont Citizen of the Year Award recognizes individuals that reside in Westmont and have demonstrated exceptional community involvement and leadership. Mayor Gunter noted, “We have three wonderful people nominated for the Westmont Citizen of the Year that have made such a positive impact to the success of Westmont.” The nominees for this award were Jennifer and Larry Babyar as a couple, and Stella Qualizza. 

Larry and Jenny have been very involved with a number of projects and events including the annual Red, White & BBQ Festival, the Make-A-Wish of Illinois, Police Pension Board, Richmond Gardens, and Westmont Sister City.

Stella has become extremely active in the community in recent years including serving on the boards of Westmont Special Events, the Westmont Lions Club, Police and Fire Commission, as well as serving on her condo association board.

Mayor congratulated all of the nominees, and then announced this year’s selection, and presented the Westmont Citizen of the Year to Stella Qualizza.

The 2018 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: Uncle Bub’s Award Winning BBQ & Catering and Westmont Yard.  The Dick Busse Business of the Year award was presented to Uncle Bub’s in recognition of their high level of community interaction and support.

The 2018 Roger Westman President’s Award recognizes an individual who has performed outstanding service to the Chamber and the Westmont Community.  The Roger Westman President’s award was presented to Joe Moffa.

The 2018 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 John Jonak from Westmont Junior High School.

The 2018 Westmont Public Servant Award recognizes a member of the municipal organizations who demonstrates exemplary public service to the community.  The Westmont Public Servant Award was presented to Maggie Bjur, Westmont Police Department.  Bjur was recognized for her exceptional public service along with David DeCicco from Westmont Public Works and Josh Boyajian from Westmont Fire Department.

The Rotary Club of Westmont Paul Harris Award was presented to Jim Addington in recognition of his exceptional level of community service and volunteer work.  When receiving the award, Addington said that his continued commitment to community involvement was based on his inability to say ‘no’ when requested to help out.

The 2018 Westmont Special Events Corporation Jim Wright Making Memories Award was presented to Gregg Pill.  Pill has been involved in the community in numerous ways including participation with and chairing the Race to the Flag 5K fundraiser as well as launching the Westmont Restaurant Week and Reader’s Choice events.

The Westmont is the Bestmont award was presented to Pranav Viswanath.  More than 30 residents participated in this contest.  Viswanath was chosen for his Westmont is the Bestmont essay.  Additionally, Pranav has consistently demonstrated his passion for the community for a number of years.   

The Knights of Columbus presented three awards at the event.  The Knight of the Year Award was presented to Joseph P. Moffa.  The Family of the Year Award was presented to Tony and Sharon Polito.  And the Knights of Columbus In Service to One, In Service to All Award was presented to Al White.

The 2018 Westmont Community Improvement Award recognizes individual business property owners and businesses that have improved the appearance of their property.  Community Improvement Awards for 2018 were presented to: 

Neat Kitchen Bar, 246 N. Cass Avenue
The Sweet & Savory, 15 S. Cass Avenue
Vibrant Credit Union, 23 W Quincy Street
Zazzo’s Pizza & Catering, 200 W. Ogden Avenue
Eye Level of Westmont Learning Center, 216 E. Chicago Avenue

The 2019 Westmont Dining Reader’s Choice Awards is a program co-sponsored by the Westmont Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau and Shaw Media.  The public was able to vote for their favorite restaurants, dining experiences and food during the time period of March 13 to April 3, 2019. There were 28 categories provided to consider and just under 13,000 votes cast by the community.  The awards went to:

Best Asian Cuisine – China Chef Restaurant
Best Bakery – The Sweet & Savory Spot
Best Banquet Space – Zazzo’s Pizza & Catering
Best BBQ – Uncle Bub’s BBQ 
Best Breakfast – Citrus Diner
Best Burger – DJ’s Sport Bar and Grill 
Best Catering – Uncle Bub’s BBQ & Catering
Best Coffee Shop – Brewed Awakening 
Best Drinking Establishment – DJ’s Sports Bar and Grill 
Best Family Friendly Restaurant – Citrus Diner
Best Fast Casual – Uncle Bub’s BBQ & Catering
Best Fast Food – Chipotle
Best Fine Dining – J. Fleming’s Absolutely Delicious
Best Full Service – Zazzo’s Pizza & Catering
Best Holiday Brunch – J. Fleming’s Absolutely Delicious
Best Ice Cream – Tasty Treat 
Best Indian Cuisine Restaurant - Shree Restaurant
Best Italian Cuisine – Zazzo’s Pizza & Catering
Best for Live Entertainment – Johnny’s Blitz Bar & Grill
Best Lunch – Citrus Diner
Best Mexican Restaurant – Las Palmas Restaurant
Best for Outdoor Dining – J. Flemings Absolutely Delicious 
Best Pizza – Zazzo’s Pizza & Catering
Best Salad – Citrus Diner
Best Sandwich – DJ’s Sports Bar and Grill 
Best Seafood – Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen 
Best Sushi – Sushi House
Best Video Gaming – DJ’s Sports Bar & Grill

Pictures from the event are published in the Photo Gallery on the Village of Westmont Website at 2019-04-29-Community-Awards-Banquet

For more information regarding the Westmont Chamber and this event, contact the Chamber at or 630-960-5553.


Contact: Larry McIntyre
Village of Westmont
Communications Director/Public Information Officer

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