The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce announced at its 111th Annual Meeting today that Neil Byers, Owner of Horse Thief Hollow, is the winner of the 2015 James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award. The award includes a $25,000 cash prize from Mesirow Financial in addition to business consulting services from the Chicagoland Chamber.

 “Having been born and raised in Beverly, Neil is a homegrown Chicago success story,” said Theresa E. Mintle, President and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber. “Not only is Horse Thief Hollow a popular, innovative restaurant and brewery, it has become a neighborhood anchor institution, creating jobs and investing in the community on the South Side of Chicago.”

Through Horse Thief Hollow, Byers has created more than 40 jobs since 2012 and plans to expand. He is dedicated to sourcing local ingredients, inventing new craft brews, employing creative recycling efforts, and supporting a variety of local fundraising events and initiatives on the South Side of Chicago.

“I met a lot of great people and learned a lot about myself throughout this process,” said Byers. “People resonate with authenticity, and you have to follow what your passions are. You can believe in yourself and believe in your product, and if you market it correctly, people will respond to it.”

More than 70 entrepreneurs from a variety of industries applied for the 2015 Tyree Award. The finalist pool also included Andrea Sreshta, Co-Founder and CEO LuminAID; Andrew Lutsey, Co-Founder and CEO of Local Foods; and Brian Leonard, CEO of Cardio Partner Resources.

About the James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award
The James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award is presented annually to one of Chicagoland's high growth small businesses. Qualified applicants must meet the following criteria: operate within the six-county Chicagoland metropolitan area; be in business for a minimum of two years; demonstrate substantial growth over the past two years; generate revenues of at least $500,000 but less than $10 million; have five or more employees; and be active in local civic or philanthropic initiatives.

About the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce combines the power of people 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.