Community, Local

Home Based Business Owner Chosen As Sam Montella Business Person of the Year

Yvette Jones and Phil Perkins
Yvette Jones accepts the Sam Montella Business Person of the Year award from Phil Perkins, chair of EDAG. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The Economic Development Advisory Group, commonly known as EDAG, has existed since 1997. In that year, Sam Montella was appointed to EDAG, and in 1999 he became chair. Montella served as chair of the group until September 2014, when he also retired from his financial consulting business. An Indiana resident, Montella spent his days working to grow Park Forest businesses and the Park Forest business base.

“Sam was instrumental in creating the Business Person of the Year Award,” Sandra Zoellner, Asst. Director of Economic Development, told board members Monday night. “Sam believed it was time to put a face with the business [person],” Zoellner said. “After all, Sam said, the business plan, the profit and loss statement, and the balance sheet represent one day in the year. But the owner is here every day.”

In March of this year, the EDAG voted to rename the Business Person of the Year award after Sam Montella. While enjoying his retirement, spending time with family – and still taking calls, keeping in touch with Park Forest – Sam was diagnosed with cancer.

“We had every intention of honoring Sam tonight when the new award was presented,” Zoellner said. “Sam passed away November 1 of this year.”

So the torch passed to the new chair of EDAG, Phil Perkins, to present the first Sam Montella Business Person of the Year Award.

And as unique as Sam was, so was this first award, going, for the first time, to the owner of a home based business, Yvette Jones, a resident of Park Forest since 2000.

According to Phil Perkins, Jones obtained her Real Estate license in 1996 and registered as a home based business owner in Park Forest. In addition to being a realtor, Ms. Jones operates a mobile notary business.

Perkins went on to laud Jones’ work not only in business, but also her work with charitable organizations.

The audio from the presentation follows: