The Batavia Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that the 2020 Donna Dallesasse Award winner is Harriet Parker, manager of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Waubonsee Community College.
Every year, the Batavia Chamber holds a Harvest Celebration to gather community members together to celebrate one Chamber member that has displayed an outstanding commitment and dedication to the Chamber’s mission, vision, and values. This member is recognized as the annual Donna Dallesasse Award recipient.
In his letter of nomination, Roman Seckel of Drendel & Jansons Law Group, currently a director with the Batavia Chamber of Commerce and a past-chairman of the board, touted Ms. Parker’s commitment to the Batavia Chamber of Commerce and the business community. He explained that during the pandemic, she has made an even greater impact in the business community.
“It is over the last several months with COVID impacting our Chamber and area businesses, that Harriet has truly given of herself,” Seckel wrote. “Others in her position could have simply sent out links to articles or emails, but I cannot fathom how many hours she spent in Zoom meetings gathering information, disseminating information and otherwise sharing her knowledge with businesses who woke up one morning in a brave new world.”
Margaret Perreault, CEO and president of the Batavia Chamber of Commerce is in total agreement.
“Last spring, when businesses shut down and the government announced various business and financial assistance, our members and the community turned to us for information,” explained Ms. Perreault. “Harriet immediately went to work, helping us dissect the mountains of information coming from many sources to determine what the business community really needed to know.
“She wholeheartedly helped my staff and I better serve the business community with these critical resources,” she added. “Harriet continues to generously share her business acumen with our members and us – I am extremely pleased with the Board’s decision to give this year’s Donna Dallesasse Award to her.”
Roman Seckel also wrote about her participation on the Batavia Chamber of Commerce board of directors.
“Harriet was incredibly instrumental in her role as the chairman of the Chamber’s board of directors during the transition of leadership from Roger Breisch to Holly Deitchman six years ago,” Seckel commented. “Besides assisting the Chamber to get on firm financial footing, she helped put into place many of the practices, policies and measurements we use currently to continually gauge the Chamber’s goals and community impact.”
As to Ms. Parker, she was “totally surprised” to learn she was selected for the Donna Dallesasse Award, stating, “I am very honored to be among such great company.”
Harriet, who is genuinely passionate about entrepreneurship, also serves on the Batavia Revitalization Committee organized by the Batavia Chamber. She is co-owner of HubTack, Inc., a web-based business serving land surveyors and engineers, which she started and runs with her husband, Andy. Additionally, she is on the Aurora Business Acquisition and Retention Committee, a subcommittee of the Aurora Downtown organization.
In 2011, she collaborated with community leaders to help launch the Fox Valley Entrepreneurship Center, and partners with them to refer clients to their business accelerator program. Several Batavia Chamber of Commerce members are creating their own success stories with the help of Harriet Parker. These include Bocaditos Café, Energy City Brewing, Gindo’s Spice of Life, Gun Barrel Coffee, and Limestone Coffee & Tea.
Roman Seckel put it best when he concluded his nomination letter with “the Chamber is a better organization for having Harriet involved.”
This year marks the 14th year the Chamber has given the Donna Dallesasse Award. Chamber members are invited join in celebrating the contributions Harriet Parker has made to the Chamber, and the greater community. Harvest Celebration this year will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Oscar Swan Country Inn, 1800 W. State Street in Geneva. The cost of the event is $40 per person and includes food, live music, and more! A cash bar will be available. Casual and/or seasonal attire is welcomed. Registration for this event is required. Because of pandemic restrictions, total attendance will be restricted, and masks will be required. To guarantee your spot, please call (630) 879-7134 or visit https://www.bataviachamber.org/events to register online promptly.