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Village of Park Forest - Top Story News

Posted on: October 23, 2023

Nominations for the Sam Montella Business Person of the Year Award due Oct. 31

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Park Forest's Economic Development Advisory Group (EDAG) is seeking nominations for the EDAG 2023 Sam Montella Business Person of the Year. 

The deadline is Oct. 31.

The EDAG Sam Montella Business Person of the Year award is an annual award to recognize Park Forest business owners for their contributions to the community through charitable work, service, and making a difference. 

The Director of Economic Development and Planning Sandra Zoellner said the award dates back to 2009. In 2015, they renamed it in memory of former EDAG Chairman Sam Montella, a former Park Forest businessman and influential force in the Village's business community. 

"Sam was a fixture in the community," Zoellner said. "During the nine years we worked together, and probably all the years before then, Sam worked tirelessly to promote the Village of Park Forest, its assets, and amenities to recruit, retain, and expand commercial enterprises and strengthen housing values."

Zoellner said in 1997, the Village of Park Forest established EDAG. Montella was appointed to EDAG in its inaugural year, and in 1999, Montella was appointed Chairman.  

Zoellner added Montella had a long and successful banking career. When he retired from banking, he started a consulting practice. Montella remained EDAG Chairman until September 2014, when he officially retired from his consulting business. 

More than a dozen award winners have been named since the award's inception. A full list of winners can be found here.

Residents can nominate someone for the award by submitting a nomination form here by Oct. 31.

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