The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce has announced the finalists for the 2016 James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award:

Steven Dyme
Co-founder and CEO | Flowers for Dreams

Named one of Business Insider's Most Inspiring Companies in America during its founding year (2012), F4D has been revolutionizing the way we buy and send flowers from right here in Chicago. Their bouquets are locally crafted, priced at a simple $35 flat rate, and delivered by hip millennials on bike all across the city. Even better, every bouquet benefits an amazing local charity. This has resulted in the company donating over $150,000 since its inception.

Eileen Murphy
Founder and CEO | ThinkCERCA

Eileen Murphy is the founder and CEO of ThinkCERCA, a web-based platform that provides the tools and content teachers need to personalize critical thinking instruction across disciplines. She taught English for 15 years and was the founding English Department Chair at Walter Payton College Prep as well as the author of 360 Degrees of Text (NCTE, 2011). As the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for over 100 of Chicago’s highest performing schools, she became passionate about the role technology could play in education in the 21st century and left CPS in 2012 to develop ThinkCERCA to help all students achieve career and college readiness. ThinkCERCA is one of the top Literacy Courseware Challenge winners (Gates Foundation). Eileen was a member of the first class of Impact Engine at 1871.

Sophie Evanoff
President and CEO | Vanille

Sophie Evanoff is the President and CEO of Vanille. She is responsible for business planning, new product development, sales and marketing. During her short tenure at Vanille, she has been recognized as an innovator and has proven she can make change happen. With a focus on growth, and quality and customer satisfaction, Vanille was awarded the 2015, #1 Retailer of Lincoln Park, Chicago. Sophie’s initiatives have also been recognized by several leading publications in the Chicago area.

These up-and-coming entrepreneurs are making an impact that goes beyond the bottom line. They embody the spirit of Jim Tyree, a man dedicated to strengthening Chicago’s economy through civic responsibility who empowered his community through ambition and growth. Each year, his legacy lives on through the Tyree Award, propelling an emerging Chicago entrepreneur to new heights. 

The recipient of the award will be announced at the Chamber’s 112th Annual Meeting on Tuesday, June 7, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The Tyree Award is given annually to a fast-growing Chicago business with philanthropic values and includes a $50,000 award, courtesy of Mesirow Financial and The PrivateBank.