Article written by Richard Klicki

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Laura, left, and Elia Rodgriguez of Alianza Hispana-Accounting, Tax and Travel
accept their awards during the Business Ledger Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards
at Danada House in Wheaton Wednesday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

A celebration of the passion and drive was on display Wednesday evening as 21 suburban entrepreneurs were honored at the 20th annual Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards, sponsored by the Daily Herald Business Ledger and its sponsoring partners.

More than 125 people heard their success stories during the event at the Danada House in Wheaton.

The annual event recognizes entrepreneurship in the suburbs. The honorees demonstrate the best traits of entrepreneurship, including the willingness to take risk, drive, perseverance and business creativity. They were nominated by their peers and selected by a members of the Daily Herald Business Ledger staff.

Tom Bugielski, president and CEO of Republic Bank and keynote speaker for the evening, spoke about the traits that make entrepreneurs unique. While there are many reasons why entrepreneurs do what they do, Bugielski said the two common traits, passion and drive.

“Entrepreneurs have passion and belief in their ideas, they’re willing to take risks because they innately know they will be successful,” he said.

Bugielski warned the honorees need to be adaptable and open minded to new concepts and ideas, even if they seemed far-fetched.

“Don’t let yourself get Ubered out of your industry,” he said.

Many of the honorees, in accepting their awards, gave credit to co-workers and families for supporting their vision and beliefs.

“There are so many people that help move me forward, ” said Sue Reardon of Suite Spotte in LaGrange. “I wouldn’t be here tonight without them., They pick me up when I’ve fallen and pat me on the back when I succeed.”

Ann Marie Imbordino of Chicago Buzz Marketing in Naperville added she was proof that all the naysayers who discounted her entrepreneurial efforts were wrong.

“You can move mountains no matter who you are if you have a vision and beliefs,” Imbordino said.

Robert Lambert, of Samurai Business Group in Chicago, added some strong advice for the audience in pushing forward.

“Fight like you are right and listen like you are wrong.” Robert Lambert.

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