Chicago, IL – Today, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce announced the top 12 front-runners for the 2016 James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award. First prize for the award has been doubled to $50,000 in 2016, courtesy of Mesirow Financial and The PrivateBank.

The following companies have been selected as front-runners for the award:

During a live pitch event April 14 at Mesirow Financial, leaders from the companies listed above will share their experiences and business growth stories with a panel of judges and an audience of local professionals and entrepreneurs. A live audience vote during the event will determine the six finalists who move on to the next round of judging.

The following expert judges will deliver live feedback immediately following each pitch:

  • Jim Alvarez, CEO of Gesture and 2013 Tyree Award Winner
  • Maria Christopoulos Katris, Co-Founder of Built In and 2012 Tyree Award Finalist
  • Michael Arndt, Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business (moderator)

Following this event, a private panel of judges will independently evaluate the remaining six finalists. The winner will be announced at the Chicagoland Chamber’s Annual Meeting on June 7 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

The Chicagoland Chamber in partnership with Mesirow Financial launched the James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award in 2012 in memory of Jim Tyree, former Chairman and CEO of Mesirow Financial and Chairman of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce from 2007-2010. The award is presented annually to a fast-growing emerging business with philanthropic values.

About the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce represents over 1,000 member companies, their 400,000 employees, and over $24 billion in revenue. We combine the power of our membership with our legacy of leadership and business advocacy to drive a dynamic economy. We focus on delivering value for our members, making Chicagoland a world-class place to live and work. Visit