On January 25, DSI celebrated its 25th anniversary as a business organization representing the interests and vision of a strong downtown neighborhood. That included 18 years of annual awards celebrating the most buzzworthy people and places of the year.
The 25th Annual Dinner was supported by premier sponsors Hanson Professional Services and President Abraham Lincoln Hotel a Doubletree by Hilton. It was the first time in DSI’s history that the dinner was held at the BOS Center. More than 550 guests were in attendance.
Thanks to WSEC Public Television for taping the evening for broadcast:
Congrats to all of our 2017 recipients!
2017 Best Signage
2017 Impactful Public/Private Partnership
Artistic Parklet at 6th and Washington: Urban Sassafras and Capitol Area Realtors
2017 Best Event
The Parent Place’s Halloween Parade
2017 Best Retail
2017 Best Restaurant
Long Nine Junction
2017 Best Nightlife
The Legacy Theater
2017 Best Creative Promotion
Willow & Birch’s Social Media Campaign “Countdown to Downtown”
2017 Innovative Business Concept
Hair of the Dog Bar/Bershop
2017 Best Not-for-Profit Initiative
District 186 Public School Foundation Bookfair Pop-up
Loukinens’ on 4th
Best Holiday Window Display
Chris Nickell & Partners/Rooftop Solar Installations
DSI Volunteer of the Year
Wally Henderson Lifetime Achievement
The Late Al Eck, Jr.
Guests were treated to aerial performances by Divas in the Air, and national recording act Fleekbass serving as the evening’s house band. Mayor Jim Langfelder gave the annual State of the Downtown address, focusing many of his remarks on his plans for the Y Block, including green space, areas for interactive experiences, and potentially – hopefully – a downtown higher education/innovation hub.
DSI Outgoing President Tony Comerio of Hanson Information Services passed the gavel to 2018 President Kevin Kuhn of Kuhn & Trello Consulting. The new 2018 Board of Directors was formally recognized for the first time.
For the 2017 awards, the public made nominations for every category except DSI Volunteer of the Year and Lifetime Achievement, which were selected by DSI Leadership. The nominations were all vetted by a DSI committee consisting of current members and Past Presidents of the organization.