Applications are now being accepted for the 2019 James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award. The award is presented annually by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce to a high-growth small business with a demonstrated commitment to social impact. The winner of the award receives a cash prize of $50,000 to further fuel business growth, hiring, and give-back to the community.

The James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award is named in honor of the late Jim Tyree, a beloved Chicagoan who was the CEO and Chairman of Mesirow Financial. Mesirow and CIBC sponsor the award and provide the funds for the cash prize. Jim served on the board of The PrivateBank, CIBC’s predecessor. He also was Chairman of the Chicagoland Chamber from 2007 to 2010.

Tyree Award applications will be accepted through March 29th. 12 applicants will then be chosen to take part in a live “Shark Tank”-style pitch event, in front of judges and a voting audience. The winner of the award will be announced at the Chicagoland Chamber’s 115th Annual Meeting in June.

A link to the Tyree Award application is atop the Chamber homepage, A direct link to the application is here. A video about the Tyree Award can be viewed and downloaded for news use here. Past Tyree Award winners have gone on to remarkable success, including expanding in Chicago and nationally, winning other major awards, and landing on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies. Past winners are among the judges in the 2019 Tyree Award competition.


The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce represents 1,000 member organizations that employ 400,000 people and create more than $24 billion in revenue. It combines the power of its membership with a legacy of leadership and business advocacy to drive a dynamic economy. The Chicagoland Chamber focuses on delivering value for its members, making Chicagoland a world-class place to live and work.