Three finalists have been named in the competition for this year’s $50,000 James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award. The award is presented annually by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Mesirow Financial, and CIBC to a high-growth small business with a commitment to philanthropic values. The award is named in honor of the late James Tyree, a beloved Chicagoan and the CEO and Chairman of Mesirow Financial who passed away in March of 2011. Mesirow and CIBC provide the cash prize.

The competition began with more than 30 applicants from among Chicago’s brightest entrepreneurial small businesses, from an array of industries. The finalists are:

  • GMA Construction Group | Cornelius Griggs, President: Full service General Contracting, Construction Management and Cost Engineering focused on developing people who will transform communities. GMA focuses on projects that impact the communities in which we live, work and play by renovating and building Educational, Healthcare and Affordable Housing Facilities within urban areas. 

  • Ink Factory | Dusty Folwarczny & Ryan Robinson, Co-Founders: Visual note-taking studio whose artists can listen to almost anything—a keynote speech, an earnings call or fireside chat—and draw a visual representation of what’s heard, using media such as illustrations, animated videos, outdoor murals and large-scale LED lightpanels.

  • Landmark Pest Management | Rebecca Fyffe, President & Director of Research: Landmark Pest Management’s team of scientists controls insects and humanely manages wildlife in the interest of human health and safety from an environmental sustainability perspective, with a love of nature and a deep respect for all living things. The firm’s approach to pest control is science-based, enabling clients to live and work in greener, safer buildings.

The winner of the Tyree Award will be announced at the Chicagoland Chamber’s 114th Annual Meeting on June 5th. Information and tickets to the event, to which Mayor Emanuel is also invited, can be found here.

Past Tyree Award winners have gone on to remarkable success, including expanding nationally, winning other major awards, and even landing on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies. More information and a video about the James Tyree Award can be viewed and downloaded here for use reporting on the Tyree Award.

In addition to his role as CEO and Chairman of Mesirow Financial, James Tyree served on the Board of Directors at PrivateBancorp, parent company of The PrivateBank (now CIBC), and as Chairman of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.